on the packed lunch and a recipe for chickpea salad

I have a confession. When I’m at work, I often buy my lunch. I rarely bring a packed lunch.

Like, maybe once a month.

I’m not proud of this. A packed lunch is better for so many reasons. First and foremost, I can save a decent amount of money if I prepare my lunch at home and bring it with me to work. One day I paid close to $6 for a pile of tuna on top of some lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers. A huge rip off.  I was almost embarrassed.

Another huge advantage of bringing my lunch to work is that I know exactly what is going into my food. I use good quality ingredients at home, so I won’t have to worry about whether that tuna has been sitting out a while, or how clean those transparent slices of tomato are.

So, what’s my excuse? The usual. I blame a lack of time. Between getting myself dressed and helping my husband get the kids dressed and out the door in the mornings, I just don’t have any extra minutes to spare. I could make my lunch the night before, but again, I don’t make time to do so. I’d rather read my Kindle. Or sleep.

I’m lazy. It comes down to that.

I’m going to make an effort to change, though. I’m tired of giving all of my money to the hospital cafeteria and the local Subway. I’d like to expand my limited packed-lunch repertoire. I’m going to start with this recipe from Molly Wizenberg that was in the April 2011 issue of Bon Appétit. I tweaked it a tad by adding some chopped preserved lemon, and it was a simple, yet flavor-packed, no-cook lunch. The beauty of it as a packed lunch is that it keeps well and can be eaten cold or at room temperature.

But, will you help me out? I’d love to hear other suggestions on the wonderful, healthy lunches that you all bring to work. Because I know you do. You’re better at this kind of thing than I am.


Chickpea Salad with Lemon, Parmesan, and Fresh Herbs

This recipe is from Molly Wizenberg and was in the April 2011 issue of Bon Appétit. I barely tweaked it by adding some preserved lemon to bump up the flavor profile. Makes 2 servings.


1 15 to 16 ounce can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely chopped preserved lemon
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Kosher salt
Freshly-ground black pepper


Combine the chickpeas, basil, parsley, lemon juice, preserved lemon, olive oil, and minced garlic in a medium bowl. Add grated Parmesan cheese and toss gently to combine all ingredients. Season to taste with Kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

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10 Responses to “owning summer, and a recipe: broccoli salad”

  1. DessertForTwo — August 8, 2012 @ 6:51 pm

    This looks absolutely delicious. You never steer us wrong 🙂

    Enjoy your days 🙂

  2. Nelly Rodriguez — August 8, 2012 @ 8:27 pm

    Sweet raisins and salty bacon? Over super healthy broccoli!? Might as well call me a vegan! 😉

  3. Lana @ Never Enough Thyme — August 9, 2012 @ 10:39 am

    Enjoy your last few days of summer! Our schools have already started their year with students returning on August 6.

    I’ve been making a similar broccoli salad with raisins and bacon for many years. It’s always a hit, isn’t it?

  4. Paula — August 12, 2012 @ 12:53 pm

    Like Lana, I too have been making a very similar broccoli salad for many years and it is always a favourite at gatherings. My recipe may not be as healthy as yours as it calls for grated cheddar and I always add lots of that 😉

  5. Brian @ A Thought For Food — August 12, 2012 @ 10:42 pm

    I’m holding onto summer for a bit longer… and then I’ll drop it as soon as it gets old (hasn’t happened yet).

    Love this salad so so so much. I bet the bacon is just fabulous in it. Oooooooh… now I’m hungry.

  6. Family Foodie — August 13, 2012 @ 11:46 pm

    I can remember when my fourth started kindergarten. It was so bittersweet. Enjoy this school year! Those days are so very special. I love this recipe and can’t wait to try it!

  7. megan @ whatmegansmaking — August 14, 2012 @ 8:44 am

    I love broccoli salad, and it always makes me think of summer. This look so good 🙂

  8. Rachel Cooks — August 15, 2012 @ 8:17 am

    I can’t even imagine my daughter going to school but I’m sure I will blink my eyes and it will be here! Scary. I love this broccoli salad–especially all that bacon piled on top!

  9. Lola — August 15, 2012 @ 3:22 pm

    Made…sans the pine nus (just because I didn’t have them) and added some shredded bag Mexican cheese…also didn’t bother to cook the broccoli..didn’t need it. It was great, thanks for the inspiration.

  10. Beth (OMG! Yummy) — August 16, 2012 @ 6:00 pm

    Our fall snuck in even sooner as my YOUNGEST daughter is at high school orientation already!

    So good for you for owning that last bit of summer, especially while the kids are young, carefree, and not stressed out trying to get their voluminous amount of summer reading done before the first school bell rings!

    And I love the idea of an easy-to-prepare salad especially if it involves bacon!

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