This time of year, our lunches can start to feel a lot like the weather outside – gloomy. Especially when we're eating them under fluorescent lights. Lately, we've been tossing a lemon into our lunch bag, and it's helped to brighten up our meals.
We're big on packing lunches that don't require a lot of prep work at home – it's hard enough to get out the door in the morning! For that reason, we keep a few staples in our desk drawer, like a salt shaker, a little pepper grinder and small bottle of olive oil. And lately, our daily routine has included grabbing a lemon before we head out for the day.
Here are a few ways it's come in handy:
- Squeeze into drinks. Tea is the obvious one here, but it's also great for water bottles.
- Brighten up leftovers. Some dishes aren't better the next day. If your soup or pasta has lost a bit of freshness, a little lemon can go a long way.
- Dress a salad. Don't bother with transporting dressing from home. If you keep olive oil on hand, some fresh lemon juice is all you need.
- Make a meal on the fly. Remember our tips for turning a single vegetable into a whole meal? A lemon can be a big help with that. For instance, instead of making a sandwich in the morning, grab a couple slices of bread, an avocado and a lemon. Toast the bread, spread on the avocado and top with lemon juice, salt and pepper. Lunch is ready.
Originally published January 26, 2010.