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The secret to a week of amazing lunches, with only one day of cooking


lunch_bunch3Forget boozy book club—the coolest new group in town is your office lunch bunch.

The premise, according to Food52, is finding coworkers who share your taste in food (whether you’re veggan or all about Insta-worthy bowls), and then taking turns bringing in homemade lunches each day. Think of it as a rotating potluck party, only you’re alternating who’s doing the cooking—and, in the process, saving major time while still being able to enjoy a fresh, made-with-love meal at the office. (Goodbye, #saddesklunch!)

This method of “communal cooking” works because it’s a give and take: You can set a schedule (Mary-Anne Mondays, Tanya Tuesdays, Wendy Wednesdays, etc.) or change it up every week depending on what works for everyone (and who got the best CSA haul the night before). The pressure to deliver—not to mention impress your work friends—means that it’s unlikely someone’s going to come in with some basic PB&J sandwiches.

“To me, it’s the most obvious thing in the world,” Mary Anne Mendenhall, a public defense lawyer who started a lunch bunch with four other women in her New York City office building, told Food52. “For working people, it gets so wrought to make your own lunch, but when you’re making it for other people, it’s actually from the heart.”

Bonus: You’ll get to try tons of homemade, new-to-you dishes, which is a lot more exciting than ordering yet another “spinach, chopped, with chickpeas, onions, feta, and balsamic on the side.” —Alison Feller

Okay lunch bunches, let’s talk themes. Who wants bowls? Superfoods? Raw(ish) and vegan? There’s more where those came from!

(Photo: Instagram/mollyashworth