5 Awesome Lunches That Are Easier Than Buying Lunch

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Bringing lunch to work saves money, it's better for you, and more tailored to your tastes, and doesn't chew up so much of your afternoon. But who has time for that? You do. Read on.

Let's talk lunch. Raise your hand if you go out for lunch more or less every day. Wow, that's a lot of you. Nothing wrong with that, but making your own is cheaper, better for you, and more tailored to your tastes. But who has time for that? You do. How do I know? Because the work involved in these lunches involves about thirty seconds of labor and no time waiting at a table. They are all idiot-proof and delicious. Enjoy!

1. Sweet Potato!

Sweet Potato

Okay, here's what you do. 1: Acquire a sweet potato. 2. Heat your oven up to 400 degrees. Even if you have never used your oven, this should be pretty intuitive. 3. Place the sweet potato (or sweet potatoes--might as well do a bunch at once) in an oven-safe dish and place that dish in the oven. 4. Set an alarm for one hour in the future. 5. Do whatever you want for an hour. 6. Remove sweet potato(es) from the oven. AND THAT'S IT! Sweet potatoes are delicious just like that. No, seriously.

Things you can add: butter, cheese, salt. Boom. Or, go the sweet route (they are sweet potatoes after all): butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar. Like ice cream, but good for you, and less cold.

2. Hard Boiled Egg!

Hard Boiled Egg

Put egg in a pot, cover with water, heat to a boil, let it boil for ten-ish minutes. Done. There are only two ways to screw this up. The first is to wait for the water to boil before putting the egg in. Often the egg breaks when you do that. The second is to get so frustrated shelling the egg that you throw a temper tantrum that costs you the respect and admiration of everyone around you (possibly including yourself). Don't do that. To de-shell the egg, tap or roll it on a hard surface, then use that as a starting point to peel the shell. You can make it easier by shelling the egg under water (as in, in a bowl filled with water, you don't have to be underwater).

Things you can add: salt, pepper, bread, hot sauce.

3. Avocado!

avocado

Yeah! Just bring an avocado to work and eat it! Ideally you'll get some salt on there. The hardest part is picking a good one. Go for one that's darkish but not black, and that yields when you squeeze it a little, but doesn't fall apart.

Things you can add: tomato, bread/crackers, salsa

4. Couscous!

Couscous

Are you already looking sideways, thinking, "wait, he said these lunches would be easy!" Well, yes, I did, and couscous is one of the easiest things to cook. Here's what you do: put some dry couscous in a bowl. Add salt and whatever else strikes your fancy (cumin is the bomb, I also like to sautee a little garlic in olive oil, or at least pour a little olive oil in the couscous). Then: boil water and pour it on the couscous. Bring the water level about one finger above the couscous, maybe a little more. Wait five minutes, mix it around with a fork, boom, you're done. Cheap, filling, and, as long as you get something flavorful mixed in, tasty.

Things you can add: salt, pepper, olive oil, soy sauce, garlic, curry powder, hot sauce

5. Cheese sandwich! Oldie but goodie. Place cheese between two pieces of bread. Consume. I recommend cheddar or mozzerella, but do what you want, it's your sandwich. I also recommend your favorite condiment. Salsa can save all sorts of meh sandwiches. Mustard is underused and hot sauce is fun.

Things you can add: tomato, lettuce or arugula, the aforementioned condiments.

One final thing: some of you know I'm right on the merits of bringing your lunch to work, but you like going out. If it's a social thing, then fair enough, but if you mostly eat solo, consider this: you can bring your lunch, eat it at your desk or outside, and then you have the balance of your lunch time to do whatever you want. You can go to a cafe and read a book. You can go to a cafe and stare into space. You can take a walk. You can call your mom. You can have an ill-advised, midday beer. These lunches will set you free.

Let me know about your lunch successes, failures and suggestions in the comments or on twitter!

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