Photo: Steven Joyce

A Speedy Soup That Goes Right from Blender to Bowl
While most soups need to simmer for one to three hours (or more), this healthy and tasty one is ready after just 25 minutes on the stove. The recipe, from the new book, Leon Happy Soups, by Rebecca Seal and John Vincent, begins with sautéing zucchini, garlic and salt until the squash is soft. Next comes chicken, or vegetable, broth and then a smattering of fresh parsley and basil—so it has a bright, summery flavor (though these ingredients are available year-round). Whip the soup in a blender and pour it directly from the blender jar into single-serving containers and you're all set—it's delicious hot or cold.

Get the recipe: Zucchini and Green Herb Soup

Photo: Danielle Acken

The Rice Bowl That's Best at Room Temperature
A bowl of rice may not initially seem like a very interesting lunch—until you meet this one, from America: The Cookbook, because its savory-sweet flavors have impressive depth. To make it, you simmer nutty, earthy-tasting wild rice until it's chewy and some of the grains have burst open. Then, you mix in thin slices of red onion, dried cranberries, slivered almonds, chopped parsley, oil and vinegar. And while you can certainly eat this dish cold or hot, it tastes best at room temperature, with no one ingredient overpowering another.

Get the recipe: Wild Rice Salad

Photo: Danielle Acken

The Throwback Salad You Need to Revisit
Greens-free salads such as tuna, chicken and egg are great for make-ahead lunches, since they don't get soggy and can be made a day or two ahead of time. Here's one you may have forgotten about, though: the Waldorf. The recipe, from America: The Cookbook, simply has you combine diced Granny Smith apples, chopped celery and grated carrot and dress them with mayonnaise, lemon juice and black pepper. Some chopped walnuts and raisins add a nice crunchy and sweet finishing touch.

Get the recipe: Waldorf Salad

Photo: Katie Newburn

The Amazing Salad You Can (Almost) Make Whenever the Mood Strikes
A healthy, satisfying salad you can make largely with pantry ingredients in just 25 minutes? Believe it. This easy recipe starts with millet, a mineral-rich grain that cooks in 15 minutes. The dressing is a chunky one, made with chopped green olives, garlic, shallot, sun-dried tomatoes, lemon juice, capers, chopped dates, oil, mustard and vinegar, with finishing touches of chopped fresh mint and parsley. And once you've dressed the grains, they'll keep in the fridge for up to four days.

Get the recipe: Moroccan Millet Salad

Photo: ©2017 by Michael Graydon and Nikole Herriott

The Salty, Crunchy Way to Eat an Avocado You Haven't Tried
The seed mixture that makes everything bagels so wonderful just so happens to be great on, well, almost everything. Case in point: this nonrecipe for Avocados with Everything from Alison Roman's new book, Dining In. It's supersimple to make: Toss together white and black sesame seeds, caraway seeds, poppy seeds, dried onion and flaky sea salt and you've done all the "work." When you're ready to head out, throw a lemon wedge and an avocado in a resealable plastic bag; at lunchtime, halve the avo, squeeze lemon over it, sprinkle with the mix and eat with a spoon.

Get the recipe: Avocados with Everything