lunch is underrated


One lazy day this past summer, when I was in Oregon, my friend Alex announced she was about to make herself a sandwich.  "Would you like me to make you one?" she kindly offered.

"Um, sure!" I said.  "Thanks!  Anything would be great -- just no meat."

About 10 minutes later, she returned with the best-tasting sandwich I'd had all year.  This thing was wonderful: it had deli cheese, onions, sprouts, pumpkin seeds, tomato, avocado ... man.  Just the memory of it makes me weak.  I sat in a sunny window, enjoying the view, eating this amazing sandwich with a glass of white wine, and I was completely blissed.  In fact, for the following 2 hours, I kept telling her that that meal alone made it worth the trip to Oregon.  I will never forget that sandwich.

Not surprisingly, Alex was sort of taken aback by how much I'd enjoyed this sandwich, a concoction that she probably made for herself a million times at home in San Francisco. But I think the reason I enjoyed it so much was because it was full of ingredients I'd never think to use myself -- I mean, here I am, working at home alone, and when it's lunchtime, I usually just forage for something quick to eat, without much thought.  Yet, in a mere 10 minutes, Alex had whipped up a healthy, cafe-worthy sandwich.  Why don't I do that?  It's such a simple, inexpensive little indulgence, and honestly?  A good meal, no matter how quick and easy, can absolutely make my day.

Since returning home from Oregon, I've made a point of taking a little extra care with preparing my lunch-for-one, and even though my lunches are very quickly made, because there's a little mindfulness involved, it's actually made a world of difference in improving the quality of my days.  There's just something about a beautifully-prepared lunch, even if it's quick and easy, even if it's tucked into a lunchbox and taken to an office cubicle (although, in that case, always pack a cloth napkin along with your lunch, for just that little extra pizazz).  I strongly recommend it.

So here's a question:  in my constant quest for looking for quick and delicious lunches, what's your favourite lunch-for-one?  Creative sandwiches, soups and salads are always welcome -- and if you feel so inclined, feel free to share the recipe in the comments, so we can all partake.  I say that we all declare a lunchtime revolution.  Take back our lunch, as it were.

SongKeep'n it real by Shaggy


Image:  A variation on Smitten Kitchen's Smashed Chickpea Salad, photographed with Nikon D300, 50mm manual lens.  One of my favourite workweek lunches.