You’d think that working from home would save you from the curse of the sad desk lunch but then you find yourself shoving handfuls of popcorn into your mouth at 2pm. Hey, we’re not here to judge snacks as meals but if you really want to be productive, we have a better idea.
The most productive people know that stepping back helps them get more done during the day. In fact, research from a time-tracking app shows that the ideal combination is 52 minutes of intense work and 17 minute breaks. We, along with Dropbox, want to remind you to step away for a delicious bite so you can return refreshed and refueled to finish that to-do list.
Dropbox has always led the way on working remotely. As experts in making the most of your time, they’ve teamed up with some of The Infatuation’s favorite restaurants across the country on a few quick recipes to help you optimize your breaks. In 17 minutes you can whip up a delicious bite that’ll nourish your body along with a quick wellness tip to refresh the mind, leaving you ready to focus on an afternoon of back-to-back video calls.
So instead of washing down your popcorn with flat seltzer and calling it lunch, make this sandwich instead. We asked Family Café, a restaurant in San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood, to share how to make their King George Sando. Named after a restaurant in Daikanyama, Tokyo, it features layers of crunchy greens, carrots, and cabbage for a healthy yet delicious meal.
Makes 1 Sandwich, and plenty of dressing for other meals:
For the Sandwich:
- Two slices hearty bread of your choice
- 1 carrot
- ½ avocado
- ½ cucumber
- ¼ cup shredded cabbage
- Any other vegetables you have on hand (Family Café likes leafy greens, yellow squash, and steamed beets)
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- 2 tsp vegan mayonnaise
For the Herb Oil:
- 2 bunches Italian parsley
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 1 pint olive oil
- 1 tsp rice wine vinegar
- Pinch of salt
For the Preserved Lemon Vinaigrette:
- 1 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1 cup white wine vinegar
- ½ cup olive oil
- ½ tbsp creamy dijon mustard
- ½ preserved lemon peel (if you don’t have preserved lemon, use regular lemon)
Minute 1-2: Blend
Combine the parsley, cilantro, 1 pint olive oil, 1 tsp rice wine vinegar, and a pinch of salt in a blender and blend until smooth. The consistency should be thinner than a pesto (so if you’re extra short on time, you can easily substitute jarred pesto on your sando). Set the herb oil aside in the fridge — it will keep for a few weeks.
Minute 3-6: Blend Some More
Wash the blender, then combine 1 cup rice wine vinegar, 1 cup white wine vinegar, ½ cup olive oil, ½ tbsp dijon mustard, and ½ preserved lemon peel. Blend until it forms a creamy emulsion, and set the vinaigrette aside in the fridge. The multiple sauces might seem like a lot, but as Family Café owner Jessica Furui notes, they also make your sandwich “more complex — it’s not just a veggie sandwich, but suddenly has all these different flavors.”
Minute 7-12: Chop
Julienning vegetables seems tedious, but it’s actually really simple: Cut carrot, cucumber, beets, and any other vegetables you’re using lengthwise into planks, then stack the planks and cut them into sticks. (If you have a mandoline slicer, this step is even easier.) Cutting your vegetables so that they result in longer strips will help your sandwich stay together once you assemble it. Spoon the avocado out of its skin and slice it lengthwise.
Minute 13: Spread
Your bread will serve as same-but-different bookends on your sandwich, so dress each one accordingly. Spread 2 tsp each mustard and/or mayonnaise on one slice of bread before setting it aside. Layer the avocado slices on the other slice of bread — this will serve as your base slice
Minute 14-16: Layer
This is where your artistry skills will come into play. Start by layering a few leaves of greens neatly on top of the avocado. Add a small handful of shredded cabbage, and drizzle 1 tbsp lemon vinaigrette on top. Layer each julienned vegetable on top, making sure the sticks all point the same direction. Drizzle 1 tbsp herb oil on top, and top with your other slice of bread, mustard-side down.
Minute 17: Cut
To really admire your handiwork, cut your sandwich in half perpendicular to the direction of the julienned vegetables, resulting in a delicious and colorful cross section.
After you finish, but before you dig in: Take a moment to admire your handiwork
Much of Japanese culinary culture, Furui notes, “stems from respecting and honoring the food that you’re working with,” which includes your ingredients’ “inherent beauty.” Because most of your vegetables are raw, you have the opportunity to see their rainbow of nutrients in an unaltered state. Reflecting not only on what went into your sandwich, but the work required to bring those vegetables to your local grocery store and later into your home adds another layer of gratitude.