Easy Work From Home Lunch Recipes (Because We’re Still In A Pandemic)
I still remember my last day at work prior to the pandemic: March 17th, 2020. I was taking the next three days off to do a remote 3-day SQL boot camp, and my manager at the time told me that she argued for me to be permanently WFH to counter the – at the time – alternate weekday scheduling that had started in early March. (Bless working in Infection Control with folks that understand it ain’t easy being spleenless during an unprecedented pandemic. 🙃) I spent the next three days in said SQL boot camp, our teacher up in Ottawa doing his best to teach under circumstances that had him shaken up as well.
Needless to say, it’s two years later, I still work remotely – with the occasional pre-planned office day – and I couldn’t code SQL to save my life. But I do know what it means to join tables! (Someone…give me credit…PLEASE…)
I recently moved back up to Washington Heights near the GW Bridge, my current apartment two blocks away from one I lived in circa 2010 – 2014. It’s so great to be back in this neighborhood, and even better to be back here with a roomy eat-in kitchen. My work schedule, by and large, does have that 2 p.m. lull which allows me to whip up quick yet tasty lunches, and rarely do I order out.
Here are a few easy – to – make work from home lunches that have been doing the MOST:
NOTE: There are no exact measurements for these work from home lunch recipes, just months and years of tacit knowledge being explicitly stated in a non-organized way. Ha! No lists nor proper set steps as there should be in a food blog post, just vibes. 😎✨😅
Work From Home Lunches: Breakfast Quesadilla with Baby Spinach, Cheddar, & Tomatoes
I eat this more for lunch and dinner than I ever do for breakfast. (Then again, I’m usually never hungry until about 2 p.m. on any given day!) My Our Place pan makes the crispiest quesadillas ever, so this recipe has been on ample rotation.
To make my scrambled eggs, I whisk together two eggs with a squirt of mayo and a splash of whole milk. Next, I grab a handful of baby spinach and roughly chop, then I’ll quarter a 1/2 cup of cherry or grape tomatoes. I’ll mix the vegetables into the egg mixture. I’ll melt a tablespoon of butter over medium heat, and add to my Our Place pan. I’ll scramble the eggs until they are just set, remove from the heat, and set aside.
Pre-grated cheese is my friend for quick meals – I always go for Cabot – but if you don’t have any, grate up about 1/2 cup of cheddar or Colby Jack cheese. I’ll wipe out my pan, add another small pat of butter, then let is melt over medium heat. I’ll add a large flour tortilla – I go for burrito-sized! – and add 1/4 of the cheese to one half of the tortilla. Once the cheese has started to melt, I’ll add the scrambled eggs on top of the cheese, add the remaining cheese on top of the egg, and fold over the other half of the tortilla. (…got it?) I’ll give it a quick – yet – careful flip to make sure it’s toasted evenly on both sides, then I’ll cut into quarters and devour.
Work From Home Lunches: Mac & Cheese with Truff Black Truffle Mayo *or* Mac & Cheese with Sautéed Red Bell Pepper & Tomatoes
I have become a huge fan of Banza Mac & Cheeses; I think it’s a polarizing brand, as most folks do not enjoy the taste and / or texture of chickpea pasta. I eat gluten – a lot of it! – but I enjoy the slight nutty flavor of the pasta, and the cheese sauce is some of the best I’ve ever had from a boxed mac & cheese! I always have at least four boxes of these in my party at any given time, so I’m ready to go.
I always split my boxed mac & cheeses into two servings. For the first, after combining the pasta & cheese, I stir in an healthy dollop of the black truffle mayo. It adds an incredible depth of flavor, and I love to serve it with a simple side salad, because – as food content creators have been saying tongue – in – checkily for years – BALANCE. For my second serving, I’ll reconstitute my mac & cheese on the stovetop with a splash of milk and a small pat of butter, while lightly sautéing some red bell pepper and quartered grape tomatoes on the side. I’ll add the pepper into my mac & cheese, and occasionally hit it with an extra dose of cheese from my fridge; a nice 4-cheese Mexican blend is always a winner here!
Work From Home Lunches: Tuna Salad with Cucumber, Bell Pepper, Feta, & Red Onion
For someone that is averse to virtually all seafood, I love tuna, one of the fishiest fishes out there! There is nothing subtle about its taste, so it’s even beyond me why I love it so much. But, all these years later, a tuna salad is still one of my fallbacks for a quick and satisfying meal.
If you haven’t already picked up on this, these recipes involve very loose measurements. So grab a can of solid white tuna, pop it open, and drain; for me, I always get mine in water opposed to oil. Flake it apart in a large bowl.
My go-to cucumber is always a seedless; cut one in half through the middle – width-wise, not length-wise! – and dice. Take 1/2 of a small red onion and dice. Take 1/2 of a bell pepper and dice. (Are we sensing a theme here?) Mix vegetables with tuna, and add in two heaping tablespoons of mayonaise; add more to your liking, I prefer a binding coat of mayo to my tuna salad rather to have my ingredients swimming in it. Sprinkle in some feta. Season to taste, I love to go for some garlic powder, either fresh or dried dill, and a grind or two from my Trader Joe’s Everything Seasoning Grinder.
Work From Home Lunches: Yogurt Bowl with Fruits, Nuts, & Seeds
So. Damn. EASY. Some days, there just isn’t time to eat a solid meal, but I can make something simple more elaborate and filling. More often than not, I just rip the top off of a pack of yogurt, add my toppings, and go to town. On occasion, I get fancy…such as if I need Instagram or website content. *ahem* Please don’t make me explain how to assemble a yogurt bowl, I hope you can figure that out on your own. (Ha!) I gravitate towards Siggi’s and Icelandic Provisions when it comes to yogurt – skyr, rather! – because if it ain’t thick, I don’t want it.
I’ll continue to post my work from home lunch standbys on my blog and on my Instagram, because they won’t be slowing down anytime soon! Continue to stay safe and eat well, y’all! ✌️