I have just discovered that I have a grocery store in my work desk.
|My Grocery Store!|
I’ve got fruit, muesli, tea, a tomato, beroccas and vitamin D pills on the shelf next to my computer, and I’ve got vegemite, honey, peanut butter, two types of crackers, more tea, ground ginger, cinnamon sticks and tinned salmon in the bottom draw of my filing cabinet. And then in the fridge at work I also have yoghurt, cheese, grapes, rocket, leftovers from last night’s dinner and some tinned pineapple. This morning there was also some tinned peaches but I finished those with breakfast. And last week I had a packet of chocolate that no one knew about (hopefully).
God, it sounds like I eat a lot, doesn’t it?
Well, to be perfectly honest with you, I don’t eat all of it all of the time, though I’m sure that I’m probably eating a bit too much. However, after a trip to the doctor last week where I found out that I am at no risk of any diseases and my cholesterol is awesome, I’m happy over here amongst my groceries. J
Why do I have a grocery store between my desk and the office fridge?
I am simply:
a) Eating healthy foodevery day at work (after all, I spend the most time here each day).
b) Planning my meals ahead (I don’t bring everything everyday as I batch what I bring and when).
c) Saving a truckload of money. If you estimate the average work lunch to be $15 (a meal/roll plus a drink maybe from a food court or deli) then I’m saving $75 a week, which is $3750 a year (over 50 weeks, as I do have the occasional holiday)!
d) Having breakfast and lunch at work. I’m just not a morning person so I don’t eat breakfast before I leave home, but I want breakfast everyday around 9:30am. And I used to have morning tea as well but I cut that out most weeks
Would I recommend you have a grocery store as well?
Don’t think of it as a hassle, think of it as an investment in your future, and you’re looking for a worthwhile return on investment. Or you could just go with making your colleagues completely jealous! Do you know how many times I’ve had those longing looks at my fresh healthy lunches while my colleagues have greasy, squashed, half cold meals from the local food courts and deli’s? Do you know how many times colleagues have told me how healthy my lunch is or that I must be really healthy? Too many times to count!
Still thinking that I’m crazy??
Alright, say you think I’m silly to do this to myself, and maybe you think I’m only eating fruit, crackers and tea for lunch, let me tell you some of the meals I’ve had for lunch recently (and we only have a microwave, a sandwich press and a mini griller in the kitchen – so no stove or oven):
· Mini margherita pizzas with extra pineapple and rocket. I made these with 2 slices of bread, tomato paste, dried basil leaves and cheese and then put it in the mini griller.
|These mini pizzas were made on leftover Turkish bread.|
· Mini quiches. These were homemade and reheated in the mini griller to keep their crunch.
· Smoked salmon, cottage cheese, tomato and spinach crackers or other salad and salmon combinations.
|Tinned salmon, salad and cheese crackers – yum!|
· Salad in a jar. This brilliant idea is where you put the wet veggies at the bottom of the jar and the lettuce/spinach leaves at the top so you don’t have soggy salad by lunch. You don’t need dressing if you add a can of flavoured tuna or salmon.
· Tropical muesli. I added mango and kiwi fruit to my usual muesli and yoghurt breakky.
· Scrambled eggs on toast. It’s easy to scramble eggs in the microwave but you’ve got to do it for only 20-30 secs at a time and stir in between.
· Poached eggs to accompany a sandwich or wrap from home. I cracked the eggs onto the sandwich press and it cooked them just like in a fry pan. Tip: don’t close the lid as that squeezes out the yolk and its heaps messier to clean up afterwards.
· Crunchy chicken strip wraps. I cooked the chicken in spices and breadcrumbs the night before at home and used the sandwich press to reheat these to a warm and crispy texture the next day.
And they are just the ones I can think of!
I got totally sick of tomato and cheese toasted sandwiches 4 days a week, so I started to plan what I was going to have. I cook meals for dinner that will give me leftovers a few times a week so I can have hot meals some days. Then I use the salad items mostly to have salads, wraps and sandwiches. I also have started using crackers more, because I’m a little sick of bread at the moment. I also buy certain things for work in my usual grocery shops, such as occasionally I’ll get an extra loaf of bread and freeze it at work to use over a month or two. I also bring in extra cans and tins of things like beetroot, pineapple, peaches, and similar things so that I can have these items when I want them. But I don’t have to worry about soggy purple bread on a sandwich with beetroot, or beetroot stains and pineapple juice all through my handbag.
But take a look at what you have for lunch each day. Are you really having good meals? Could you bring a couple of things to make meals a bit healthier or more interesting? And don’t think you can’t with a work kitchen that only has a sandwich press and a microwave – think outside the box! A sandwich press is a fry pan essentially (I even cook burger patties in my sandwich press at home now, rather than using a fry pan).
So, what are you having for lunch today?
I think I might go with the mini pizzas….
Want more Spiced Anecdotes? Check out these earlier posts:
Two years ago:
4th February 2013 – The World Uses Fresh Foods:Why Not Us?
4th February 2013 – Casserole Pie
6th February 2013 – My Spice Cupboard
And for more on Work Lunches check out this 2 part series:
9th February 2013 – Budget Lunches You Can Take to Work
9th February 2013 – Mix and Match Salads