The Lunch Problem

During the week, my mornings often start out slow and relaxed and then dissolve into a flurry of frenzied activity before I have to rush out the door, an inevitably forget something or hurt myself or end up missing the train anyway. You’d think after over a year at this job, I’d have the pacing down, but I think confidence has actually made me lazy.

Part of my whirlwind is usually making my lunch; I used to always cook and make enough for leftovers for Alex and I to take. Or back in the meat eating days, I’d make a turkey sandwich, and then later, a tomato and cheese sandwich and eventually, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. But now, in my never-ending effort to eat more vegetables (eat ALL the vegetables!!), salads have been front and center of my lunchtime show.

Except there are two problems.

1) I don’t ever make a salad for Alex because it’s all I can do to get my own salad components in tupperware and into my backpack. And while he is fully capable of packing himself a lunch, I dominate the kitchen space and he’s often afraid to use something in the fridge without express permission from me first (I’m working on it).

2) While I have a solid and healthy relationship with salad, my stomach protests when we see each other too frequently. Even though eating salad every day for lunch seems like a great idea in theory, it just straight up doesn’t work for me.

So on Sunday I embarked on a cooking extravaganza. Truly, I made 4 full meals – veggie burgers, tagine, stuffed artichokes and the salad below – plus almond milk, peanut butter, and enchilada sauce. It took a few hours out of my life, and I spilled half the dill dressing on the floor, but this morning, I was able to blissfully spoon farro salad into a tupperware and go off to work without rummaging through the fridge. And Alex got a lunch too!

This salad is perfect for spring – bright, crunchy, and light. I had it for lunch today with a side of scarlet runner beans and I felt perfectly satisfied but not overly full and I’m definitely ready for dinner. I hate that feeling of being so stuffed that you don’t even want to think about your next meal (I’ll be real and say this doesn’t happen to me very often. I love to eat.)

This recipe makes enough for at least a few lunches for two people, or a perfect side dish for dinner.

Dilly Spring Salad
Serves 6- 8
adapted from edible perspective 

  • 1 cup of farro
  • 2 cups of vegetable broth
  • 2 cups asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 4 cups of broccoli, chopped
  • 1.5 cups shelled fava beans
  • 1.5 cups zucchini, sliced into half moons
  • 1 large red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds

Dressing

  • 2/3 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 cup of dill, tightly packed
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp honey
  • Pepper to taste

1. Add 1 cup of faro and broth to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until tender but chewy, about 25 – 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, steam asparagus and broccoli for 3 – 5 minutes in a steamer basket. Add lava beans and zucchini, and steam until just tender. Dunk into an ice bath to stop them from cooking.

3. Drain vegetables well and add to bowl with farro. Add sunflower seeds.

Now at this point you can dress these salad or you can put the dressing in a jar (and pour half of it all over the floor and counter) and dress when you eat it. I like to do it that way because otherwise the farro absorbs too much of it and it gets bland and dry.

So delicious! Off to enjoy a lovely evening at home with our new printer!

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6 thoughts on “The Lunch Problem

  1. Cool post- I have the same problem every day before leaving for work. Once I actually made a quick stir fry and was 15 minute late to work..was worth it though! This sald looks really good, I’ve never had farro.

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