Modern Lunch is the new lunchtime hero for time-strapped, budget-conscious, and salad-fatigued people everywhere. Focusing on healthy, quick--and, yes, Instagrammable--recipes, Allison takes readers on a feasting journey inspired by fresh flavors and ingredients, her travels, and minimal effort. Meals in jars and adult-appropriate lunchboxes will actually make you look forward to lunch now, especially when recipes like Chicken and Cucumber Ribbon Salad with Peanut Butter Vinaigrette, Tomato Sourdough Soup with Cacio e Pepe Socca Triangles, and Walnut-Crusted Avocado, Feta, and Eggs with Pesto Rice are waiting for you. Find inspiration for delicious lunches to eat at home, too, like Greek Chopped Salad with Crispy Peppercorn Salmon, and a new take on the classic ploughman's lunch. Spend weekends with friends gathered around easy-to-assemble platters and picnic baskets, and enjoy homemade brunches that rival any restaurant's. And, if you're someone who likes to improvise, Allison shares her staple recipes and tried-and-tested strategies for mastering meal prep, as well as ideas and combinations for quick, on-the-fly lunches that encourage creativity but promise satisfaction--even if you have to dine at your desk.
With dazzling recipes and photography, and smart tips on hacking the lunchtime game, Modern Lunch proves that a delicious, exciting, and inventive lunch can be achievable for any appetite, wallet, and busy schedule--and maybe even spark a little office envy.
|Publisher:||Appetite by Random House|
|Product dimensions:||7.43(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)|
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
From the Introduction
Life is too short to eat a bad lunch. Yet, in our culture, the midday meal is a forgotten opportunity to reinvigorate ourselves with food that makes us happy and energized. It has to be fairly quick and easy, and that often means resorting to convenience foods. There seems to be no middle ground: it’s either buy lunch or pack something sad. So I’m here to help you formulate and practice new rituals (I know some of you are already on your way!) to make homemade, balanced, and delicious lunches materialize. I’m not suggesting that you have to cook a from-scratch, freshly prepared sit-down meal every day—it can be just as special when prepped ahead (your new “leftovers”), especially with a touch more attention and creativity put into the ingredients used, presentation, and packing than what we’re used to. I promise, the reclamation of lunch is simple!
Like most kids, I found discovering what was in my packed school lunch a thrill. My parents would send me to school with sandwiches of iceberg lettuce, cheddar cheese, and mayonnaise on squishy whole-wheat sandwich bread, alternating only with peanut butter and honey or peanut butter and banana (which I still really enjoy). After the main course, there was always a treat of some kind, usually a small bag of cookies or chips, and a piece of fruit. And it was all stowed away in worn (clean yet always oddly cloudy) plastic containers that circulated between my older brother, me, and finally my younger sister, until they were retired to the recycling bin when they became officially too warped to snap shut.
As my eating preferences have changed, so have my lunches. However, the midday meal continues to have a hint of delicious nostalgia for me, not simply for the food but for the community it builds. Breakfast and dinner are often family affairs, while lunch is a break in our day when most of us are connecting with friends, colleagues, or someone who happens to be enjoying their meal on the same park bench. I’ve made friends with strangers by simply asking, “What’s for lunch?”
Lunch is a meal that needs a fresh coat of paint, a meal that deserves the same respect dinner receives, while still embracing the casualness of breakfast. To me, the story of lunch as it’s enjoyed today has yet to be told. Yes, it’s a break in the day to replenish the body and mind, even if you’re devouring a cup of noodles “al desko,” an Oxford English Dictionary-defined word (you’re welcome!). It’s a way to travel and taste a range of global flavors, all without a plane ticket. A homemade lunch saves you money, helps you eat healthier (made easier still with the recipes in this book), and gives you a swift boost to reenergize your day. And it’s a meal where the lighting is just so perfect for capturing a photo to share on Instagram (I do, @allisondaycooks). But it can be more than this, too. I’d like to introduce you to the “modern lunch.”
A modern lunch is special, simple, (mostly) make-ahead, healthy, share-worthy, community building, money saving, colorful, and delicious. It culls inspiration from world cuisines, is adaptable to your personal taste and pantry, and is always satisfying. It can be enjoyed at your desk, in the lunchroom, on a bench outside, at home, on the road, on a picnic blanket, in the car, at a set table, or on your lap in front of the TV. A modern lunch can be about connectedness: it’s a time to put yourself out there, socialize, and make new friends or bond with old ones. Done with intention and meaning, the modern lunch should get you excited about a quality midday meal!