A lunch for when there's no time for lunch

Working from home means forgetting about lunch until, oh no, what am I going to eat?

Published October 18, 2021 11:00AM (EDT)

Prop stylist: Sophia Pappas. Food stylist: Lauren Lapenna. (Julia Gartland / Food52)
Prop stylist: Sophia Pappas. Food stylist: Lauren Lapenna. (Julia Gartland / Food52)

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Big Little Recipe has the smallest-possible ingredient list and big everything else: flavor, creativity, wow factor. That means five ingredients or fewer — not including water, salt, black pepper, and certain fats (like oil and butter), since we're guessing you have those covered. For the next few weeks, we're sharing sneak peeks from the Big Little Recipes cookbook, all revving up to its release (blasts airhorn, throws confetti in the air).

* * *

What do you make when you don't have time to make lunch?

When I asked people this question — on text, on Slack, on Instagram — the answers were endless. Pita and hummus. Ravioli and butter. A can of soup. Instant oatmeal. Instant ramen. Instant soba. Quesadillas. More quesadillas. Sandwiches. Ice cream sandwiches!

Frozen chicken nuggets. Frozen veggie burgers. Tomato, cucumber, and avocado. Tomato, cucumber, and cottage cheese. Chickpeas with tahini and hot sauce. Chickpeas with olive oil and balsamic. Chickpeas on toast. Sardines on toast. Avocados on toast. Eggs on toast. Eggs on rice. Eggs on udon.

I could keep going. You could keep going. All of which makes me think: Huh, none of us have time to make lunch, do we?

And yet, we still have to eat lunch. And we want it to taste, at the very least, not bad. Or even, dare I say it, actually good. All in the nine and a half minutes before that next meeting.

Working from the office means planning ahead and packing something — or, in lieu of that, heading to the nearest sandwich slash salad slash soup spot. Working from home means forgetting about it until, oh no, what am I going to do for lunch?

This week's Big Little Recipe is actually two recipes, both plucked from our upcoming cookbook, and both dreamed up with WFH lunch — but make it fast — in mind. For each, all you need is a can of tuna, some sliced bread, and a couple other ingredients.

Ready, set, go.

Tuna Artichoke Melt

Melty, gooey, and overeager to be paired with a lemon seltzer. Marinated artichokes do all the work, even the dressing and seasoning.

Tuna Avocado Toast

Is it your new favorite avocado toast or your new favorite tuna salad? Trick question. It's both. This would also be great as a closed sandwich if that's your thing.

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By Emma Laperruque

MORE FROM Emma Laperruque

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