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3 DIY Lunches That Are Better Than Anything You Can Order In

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    On the totem pole of nighttime rituals, planning our lunches ranks on the low end. Just making a homemade dinner can be a feat in itself, so prepping another meal after that is asking a whole lot. But, come 1 p.m. the next day — as we're scrolling Seamless yet again — we suddenly wish we'd put in the effort after all.

    What we all need is an arsenal of quick recipes that taste gourmet and last longer than takeout. So, we asked recipe whiz Ali Nardi to think outside the lunch pail and create three very simple and fantastic meals that aren't just another ol' sandwich. From a veggie frittata to a creamy carrot soup to spicy soba noodles, there's no sogginess here — only triple-threat lunch perfection that'll make your wallet very happy, too.


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    Carrot Soup with Thyme & Ginger
    Servings: about 6 cups. (This soup lasts up to three days in the fridge and up to one month when frozen in individual portions.)

    Prep Time
    35 minutes

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    Ingredients
    3 tbsp olive oil
    2 lbs carrots, scrubbed and diced
    2 medium onions, diced
    1 piece of ginger, about 2 inches long, finely chopped
    4 cloves garlic, chopped
    10 sprigs fresh thyme
    Salt, to taste
    Black pepper, to taste
    1 qt low sodium vegetable stock, plus more

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    Instructions
    1. Heat a large, heavy pot over medium heat, and add oil. Add carrots and onion, and cook for seven to eight minutes or until onions are translucent and carrots begin to soften. Stir frequently.

    2. Add garlic, ginger, and thyme, and cook another three minutes, continuing to stir frequently.

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    3. Add vegetable stock, season with salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and cover. Cook 10 to 15 minutes or until carrots are very tender. Remove from heat, and discard thyme sprigs.

    4. Allow soup to cool slightly and place small batches into a blender. Adjust seasoning, and add extra stock for a thinner soup.

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    Fritatta With Broccoli, Leeks & Feta
    Servings: 4. (This dish freezes well in individual portions and can be portioned out for four lunches, lasting in the fridge up to one week.)

    Prep Time
    25 to 30 minutes