The croutons and dressing can be made days in advance and will stay fresh for a week. Swap in any meat you have on hand, like roast chicken, for the turkey.
1. Toss cubed ciabatta with minced garlic, extra-virgin olive oil, and enough finely grated provolone to coat lightly and evenly; season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Bake in a preheated 375° oven until crisp and golden, about 10 minutes.
2. Stir together equal parts balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and mayonnaise. Stir in hoagie spread (see Pantry Pointers, right), salt, and pepper to taste.
3. Pack mixed greens (we like radicchio, endive, and arugula) in a resealable container with sliced roast turkey, salami, provolone, celery, and store-bought giardiniera (marinated vegetables). Pack dressing and croutons separately. Toss to combine just before eating.
ACTIVE TIME: 20 MIN. | TOTAL TIME: 30 MIN. SERVES: 2
Prep the tuna-apple salad and wash and dry the escarole the night before. Then start at step 2 in the morning.
1. Whisk together 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, a pinch of sugar, and ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil; season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Cut an apple (we like Honeycrisp) into matchsticks, and toss with dressing. Add ½ bulb thinly sliced fennel and a jar of tuna in oil (see Pantry Pointers, right); toss to combine. Pack in a bento box or other resealable container.
2. Stir together mayonnaise and finely chopped fresh basil leaves; season with salt and pepper. Pack in a small compartment of your bento box (or a separate resealable container). Eat tuna salad with basil-mayo, wheat crackers, and escarole leaves.
ACTIVE/TOTAL TIME: 25 MIN. | SERVES: 2
Roast the vegetables, boil the eggs, and make the dressing over the weekend, and you can pack this spread in minutes.
1. Cut a small zucchini and a small eggplant into 1-inch pieces, and toss with enough extra-virgin olive oil to evenly coat. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Roast in a preheated 425° oven until tender and golden brown in places, about 18 minutes. Let cool.
2. Stir together ¼ cup each tahini and water with 1 tablespoon each fresh lemon juice and olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Pack dressing in a bento box or other resealable container with curly parsley leaves tossed with lemon juice and salt, a hard-cooked egg dipped in za’atar and pepper, Greek yogurt drizzled with oil, cucumber spears, store-bought stuffed grape leaves (see Pantry Pointers, right), Little Gem lettuce leaves, and roasted vegetables.
ACTIVE TIME: 25 MIN. | TOTAL TIME: 40 MIN. SERVES: 2
FOOD STYLING BY GREG LOFTS; PROP STYLING BY CARLA GONZALEZ-HART ■