I used to have a hard time with work lunches.
I was too cheap to go out to eat, save for the occasional co-worker get-together, yet I would often neglect to bring something to the office due to early morning brain-fog and the inability to pack something the night before because of, well, planning ahead.
I would usually try to delay taking lunch for as long as possible since it meant that, after my lunch break, there would only be a few short hours left to kill.
By two o’clock I’d be ravenous, willing to eat anything. If I’d forgotten to bring a lunch, two o’clock would find me trawling the break room, reduced to gnawing on a stale doughnut or a pickle of dubious expiration-date or, worst of all, eating handfuls of dry cereal, a box of which I kept on my desk for emergencies such as those.
It was only after making a particularly floptastic dish—asparagus and mushroom savory bread pudding—that I stumbled upon the main tenet of Leftovers-Salads-for-Work-ism: You are a captive audience, and like captive audiences everywhere (airports, athletic stadiums) you will eat anything.
The asparagus-mushroom bread pudding, while rather unappealing, was not quite horrible enough for me to throw away, but nowhere near appetizing enough for me to want to eat it more than twice, ever.
Rather than waste it, I portioned it out into tupperware containers and put them in the freezer at work, perfectly available for those moments of two o’clock “where-are-the-stale-doughnuts” ravenousness.
It wasn’t until recently that I discovered the second tenet of Leftovers-Salads-for-Work-ism: If you eat all of your fruits and veggies early in the day, you can eat anything you want for dinner.
Which is convenient, because so often for dinner I just want a big bowl of pasta or Cheetos, and vegetables are eaten only grudgingly, out of a sense of guilt and Good Sense.
I can tell you’re coming around to my point of view already, and I haven’t even told you my final reason, and it’s the raison d’etre for the leftovers salad in the first place, and that is that it gets rid of your leftovers in the fridge—the bits and pieces you don’t quite know what to do with but don’t want to have to have for dinner.
So go, spread the word of Leftovers Salads for Workism! Your friends and family will thank you at the next get-together of ‘Guilt-free Cheetos for Dinner-ites;’ it’s a potluck, and the menu is: Cheetos.
The last bit of advice I’ll offer you is to make your salad the night before because otherwise the brain fog and the “I-thought-I-had-clean-socks!” debacle is going to slightly distract you from tearing lettuce into bite-sized pieces.