Lunch tends to be a difficult meal to cook for, because you’re not at home when you eat it. Whatever you make has to be easy to transport and relatively quick to prepare because you’re generally putting it together the night before or before work or school the day that you plan to eat it. I always promote cooking extra for dinner or making a big batch of something early in the week, so that you can take the leftovers for lunch every day, but I actually hate doing this because I get bored if I have to eat the exact same meal more than twice in a row. Sandwiches are obviously a great solution because they only take a few minutes to make, but I’ve never been very excited about peanut butter and jelly and it frequently leaves my stomach feeling only half-full.
One thing that I do put on sandwiches a lot because it feels more substantial is egg salad. This is really easy to put together in the morning, because you can do other things while the eggs cook. There are entire websites devoted to making the perfect hard-boiled egg, which I think might be a little bit of overkill, but there are a few things you can do to make sure that they’re not over or under cooked and that the shells peel off easily. When you boil eggs, put them in the bottom of your pot first and then fill the pot with cold water over them, making sure that the water comes at least an inch higher than the eggs. Bringing the water to a boil with the eggs already in ensures that they don’t crack from the temperature difference. Pay attention to the water until it boils, then set a timer and let the eggs boil for 10 minutes. No more, no less. Remove the eggs from the hot water immediately and run them under cold water or place them in a bowl of cold water for several minutes. This will cause the shell to separate from the egg and come off easily. Boiling eggs works best with eggs that are a few days old. The fresher your eggs are, the more difficult they will be to peel.
There are also entire websites devoted to making egg salad (I research these things, and apparently people really care about their eggs), and of course everyone out there thinks that theirs is the best. There are recipes for old fashioned egg salad and ones with a modern twist. Some people use mustard, pickles, capers, and even walnuts. Mine uses black olives because my mom always put them in when I was growing up, and curry powder just because. This recipe makes enough for one or two people, depending on how hungry you are, but is easy to increase.
2 hard-boiled eggs
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 tbs finely chopped onion
7-10 large black olives, sliced
Scant ¼ cup mayonnaise
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp curry powder
Salt and pepper to taste
1) If you haven’t boiled your eggs in advance, use the time while they are cooking to chop the celery, onion, and olives into a bowl. When the eggs have cooked, peel and coarsely chop them and add to the bowl.
2) Stir in mayonnaise, adding more if you prefer a moister salad.
3) Stir in garlic powder, paprika, curry powder, salt, and pepper until evenly mixed.
4) Serve alone or on toast or pita bread.