Lunch at the office can be a no-win situation.
Sure, you can go out everyday, but it’s expensive and, let’s be honest, most of us use at least part of the lunch hour working at our desks so having to go out for lunch takes time away from your latest project.
It’s also more difficult to eat healthy because of the temptation of those fantastic looking pictures (of high calorie foods) you have to stare at before you order.
Doing the brown-bag thing can be a cheaper, healthier alternative, but it can get boring always eating the same thing you just had for dinner a few hours ago.
The way to turn lunch from a no-win into a win-win is to start cooking at work.
Channel Your Younger Self
Think back to your college days where you spend hours inventing ways to cook your favorites without leaving your dorm room. You eventually figured out how to cook about anything in your dorm room right? Bring that ingenuity to the office.
Check Out Your Options
The first thing you need to consider is what types of cooking appliances are available, and what others are legal for you to bring.
Microwaves and refrigerators have become relatively standard in most offices, but it’s important to know what other small appliances are available, or legal for you to add.
Items to consider:
- Chiller bag, if you don’t have a fridge
- Tea kettle (to prepare couscous, cook angel hair pasta, etc)
- Toaster over
- Sandwich press
- Small crock-pot
- Rice cooker
Next, check out the shopping options around the office. If there is a local grocery store or small shop, become more familiar with their offerings so you know what is available in a pinch.
Remember, you are not cooking at home, and your mother will not be cleaning up after you. You’re sharing the kitchen space, and the air with many other people.
With this in mind, here are some tips to follow while cooking at work:
- Be careful about cooking items with a strong smell. If too many people are annoyed with the smell of your fish, bad things could happen.
- Make sure there is space available to properly clean up after yourself… and do it!
- Don’t monopolize the entire kitchen area.
If you’re ready to take control of your work lunches, here are some great resources to find recipes that will work.
- Micorwave recipes from Food.com
- Healthy Recipes for Your Microwave
- Inspiration from College
- The Fine Art of Stealth Cooking at Work
Put your thinking cap on and get started with cooking at work!