Portrait of a Lunch

A Lemony Couscous Salad and Spiced Trail Mix to Power You Through the Afternoon Slump

No matter your lunch issues—shelling out too much cash for fancy salads or hitting the pizza a little too hard—our new series is here for you. With a bit of pre-planning (and some cute containers), you’ll attract jealous stares at the office fridge—and still have enough fuel to tackle a PowerPoint at 4 P.M. First up: a salty, crunchy couscous salad and a simple, unexpected Middle Eastern-spiced trail mix.

Put ½ cup cooked, slightly cooled couscous in a small bowl. Mix in ½ cup canned chickpeas, ½ cup diced cucumber, two tablespoons chopped fresh mint, and two teaspoons chopped preserved lemon. Drizzle with one tablespoon olive oil and the juice from half a lemon. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and toss to combine. Taste and add additional seasoning as needed. Refrigerate in a lidded container until ready to eat.

Combine one tablespoon roasted, unsalted, shelled pistachios, two tablespoons roasted, unsalted almonds, two pitted and chopped dates, ½ teaspoon za’atar spice blend, a pinch of sea salt, and a pinch of ground sumac in a resealable plastic bag or container with a lid. Shake so the nuts and dates are evenly coated in spices. Store for up to 2 weeks.

When you head to work, pack up your two creations along with a pita, toasted and cut into triangles. Eat up and prepare to get so much accomplished.