I work from home and when my tummy starts to rumble or I need a break from the computer, I’ll wander into the kitchen, open up the fridge and stare blankly at the contents. Being that I do all of the grocery shopping, I don’t know why I live in hope of finding a surprise magical food container of deliciousness from the fridge fairy.
But nope, there’s usually just ingredients to make dinner and a couple of lonely babybel cheeses in their shiny red wrappers. I’m a huge fan of Food52, and their “Not Sad Desk Lunch” campaign motivated me to stop the fridge staring, stop eating goldfish crackers for lunch and start making a little more effort.
Last week I embarked on a week-long “not sad desk lunch” mission and it was remarkably easy. Read all the way to the end for the rather delicious lemon, kale and chickpea quinoa recipe that I hope you make for your own lunch!
Monday’s lunch was leftovers. I’d been up in Vermont photographing a winter wedding and so Paul made himself a Thai-style yellow curry with chicken and cauliflower. There was just enough left for me to reheat with some sticky rice. Paul has a limited but remarkably eclectic recipe repertoire – Beef Wellington, Apple Crisp, Duckfat-roasted Potatoes and Thai green or yellow curry.
On Tuesday I raided the fridge for a quick and easy lunch of cheese, soppressata picante and crackers. Taking just a few extra minutes to add some olives and salty date and almond crackers made it feel not very sad at all.
After Tuesday’s cheesefest, something more austere was in order. A simple salad of baby salad leaves with vinaigrette, parmesan shavings and pine nuts felt just right.
The lure of the cheese draw called to me again on Thursday. A snowy-white soft goat cheese from Seal Cove Farms in Maine studded with jewel-like blueberries whispered “Leah….Leah….” I spread it generously on thick slices of toasted bread with a little drizzle of honey.
I ended the week with this fluffy, lemony quinoa studded with protein-packed chickpeas and baby kale leaves. Because if it contains kale it must be healthy right?
Kale, Chickpea and Lemon Quinoa Salad
2 cups quinoa
Scant 4 cups water or unsalted chicken broth (for more flavor)
1 lemon – juiced and zested
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 cups baby kale leaves (or grown-up kale leaves roughly chopped)
1 cup chickpeas (if canned, rinse thoroughly or cook according to package directions)
- Cook the quinoa according to the package directions reducing the water recommendations by 1/4 cup and replacing with the fresh lemon juice. Tips on cooking fluffy quinoa here.
- Take the pan off the heat, fluff the cooked quinoa with a fork and add the olive oil, the lemon zest and salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the baby kale and chickpeas, toss gently to combine. Enjoy!
Do you eat your lunch at your desk? In an office cafeteria? Are you a lady-who-lunches? What’s your favorite lunch?