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How a few hard-boiled eggs can rescue your office lunches

They're called incredible for a reason

Here's how to stave off lunchtime boredom: Go to the store and buy a dozen eggs. Boil them. Return the eggs to their carton, label them assertively to ward off peckish coworkers, and store them in your office mini-fridge. Voila: There's your ticket to dependably satisfying lunches.

Hard-boiled eggs have a lot going for them. They're a breeze to cook. They last forever. They're cheap, versatile, and straight-up delicious. Plus they've got enough protein to get you through your 3 p.m. conference call, or give you the motivational push you need to finally make it to that hot yoga class you've heard so much about.

Here's how to enjoy hard-boiled eggs for lunch every which way, without feeling like Cool Hand Luke.

Boil it just right

Go the lazy route: Gently slip your eggs into boiling water and let them go for 7 minutes, which will result in a semi-firm, bright-orange yolk with just enough gooey give. Be sure to time your eggs exactly, so you don't end up with a runny middle or — even worse — a chalky, grey yolk. You could also follow this method, but that requires a little bit more diligence and a larger attention span than I possess.

When you bring your eggs into the office, be sure to pack some salt (extra points for the fancy stuff) and freshly ground pepper in a little baggie or tupperware. You might as well start stashing some of both in your office drawer — a sprinkle will bring a little spark to your reheated soups and last night's leftovers. You can even wrap your eggs and seasoning up together in bundles of parchment, so they're ready to eat at a moment's notice.

Serving suggestions

Plate hard-boiled eggs alongside hummus or baba ghanoush and vegetable slices, and you've got one of those excellent lunches that feels good and is interactive and snack-y and can also hang out on your desk for a few hours if the mini-fridge is too packed.

You can also use your eggs to bolster salads (like this one) or add them to soups. Or make hard-boiled eggs the stars of the show, and turn them into an egg salad or potato salad.

Hard-boiled eggs are also there to add heft and protein to sandwiches (and save you from the threat of another humdrum ham and cheese). I like to fan sliced eggs on top of bread with a spread of refried beans or hummus; layer them on a baguette on top of avocado, kale, and Caesar dressing; or tuck them into a Mediterranean-inspired pita sandwich.

If I leave you with one thought, let it be this: When in doubt (or in a crunch for time), hard-boil. You've got lunch.

This story was originally published on Food52.com: How a few hard-boiled eggs can save your lunches

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