Meatballs don't always evoke thoughts of a quick, satisfying meal, but these ones should: no milk-soaked breadcrumbs, searing, or homemade tomato sauce necessary. Crumbled feta and one egg add plenty of moisture and flavor to ground chicken and quick-sautéed spinach, flavored simply with paprika and salt.
Harissa provides an undercurrent of gentle heat, complemented by sauteed kale, diced Bosc pears, lemon juice and zest, and the aforementioned radishes for nice zip.
What sets this soup apart from other tomato-bread varieties are two things: the welcome addition of mushrooms, cut into large pieces so they don't get lost in the crowd, and cinnamon, bringing an undercurrent of warm spice to the strong tomato flavor.
This week's Lunch Box ushers in fall with warm, nutty flavors. Fried hazelnuts serve double duty by acting as a crunchy topping when mixed with parsley and lemon zest, and infusing oil to be slicked on both the steak and the roasted cauliflower.
Stone fruits and melons bring to mind portable beach snacks, bubbling cobbler or juice dripping down your chin. But as we wrap up our leisurely summer weekends (and produce) and transition to fall, there's no need to leave the fruit behind—you can pack it in cold grain salads for an office lunch.
There are few sights more welcoming after a day in the sun than a tangle of cold noodles slicked with pesto, waiting to be eaten straight from the container. I recreated the pesto wheel here with arugula, Parmesan, walnuts and, stick with me, jalapeño.
A quick make-ahead lunch that uses Thai curry paste to pack big flavor into broiled pork skewers.
Creamy, easy make-ahead zucchini and quinoa soup flavored with dill.
Inspired by the classic Chinese take-out, this vegetarian lunchbox takes the best elements of the sweet and sour staple—saucy glaze, tangy-sweet flavor—and leaves out the less make-ahead-friendly ones—gloppy leftovers, heaps of sugar.
Heaps of fresh parsley, paprika, and coriander add tons of bright flavor to this hearty bulgur dish, stuffed into a pita and held together with some lemony tahini.
The key to a make-ahead sub is choosing toppings that won't wilt or dry out, and to choose a bread that won't quickly turn stale or soggy. This sandwich iteration of the classic beans 'n' greens pairing fits all the criteria, and takes less than 20 minutes to throw together.
This week's lunchbox was borne out of a desire to make and eat my favorite potato salad for lunch, followed by the begrudging conclusion that just potato salad does not a responsible lunch make. So I added some things—handfuls of arugula and a base of black quinoa—to turn a side dish craving into a full-fledged meal.
Baked tofu won't dry out the next day or get sad and shriveled like fried tofu can. A trip under the broiler yields a crunchy, chewy crust; here it's bolstered by a thick coating of sesame seeds. A spicy green bean salad makes a straightforward, refreshing accompaniment, and can be mixed and matched with whatever's in your fridge.
Few things improve overnight quite like chimichurri sauce, and corn and shrimp are the perfect backdrops for the bright, tangy sauce in the summer. Make a large batch and slather it on steaks and fish all grilling season long.
Inspired by cha ca la vong, a flavorful Vietnamese stir-fry, these mushrooms take on warm notes from turmeric, acidity from vinegar and lime, and sweet freshness from scallions and heaps of dill.
Not to be confused with the thick-as-fog, sits-in-your-stomach-like-a-brick winter-time version, this pea soup is subtle and light, fragrant with lemon and mint. The soup is only simmered long enough to cook through the peas and let the flavors come together; a handful of Parmesan at the end adds salt and a touch of creaminess.
Cucumbers and radishes are the perfect, refreshing candidates for a salad that can improve while sitting in dressing overnight. The tangy, shallot vinaigrette I used as a marinade—just shallots, apple cider vinegar, olive oil and a big pinch of salt—is my go-to, and it never fails me.
A quick Google search revealed that kale and tahini are not such original bedfellows, but the first time I tried a kale tahini salad it was a mind-blowing revelation. I added almonds and apricots, sticking with the Mediterranean flavor profile, and added some chicken as well to make it a more complete meal.
Sitting overnight gives the orange flavors time to permeate the dish, offset by salty, fatty prosciutto, bitter raddichio and balsamic. Farro is more than an afterthought here; every nutty grain absorbs bitter, tart and sweet flavors.
If fattoush salad is not in your regular culinary vocabulary, add it in now. This Mediterranean bread salad is crunchy, fresh, colorful, and, like most good Mediterranean foods, stunningly good in its simplicity. Lucky you, this lunch hour!