I got a new job (YAYAYAYAY) and there is a full kitchen there, with a microwave. I am trying to stick to whole foods when I pack lunches but I’m not sure what can be done with a microwave in that regard. I don’t want to eat sandwiches every day. Anybody know any easy, healthy dishes?
You’re talking about actually cooking on your lunch hour, using the microwave?
I think it would be a lot easier to make whatever you want to make at home, bring it in, and use the microwave to reheat it.
Well, yeah. I guess what I’m really asking is for healthy lunch ideas, when a microwave is available for me to reheat things.
They’re not cheap, but Kashi makes some “TV dinners” what are pretty good, and amazingly healthy as these things go. I really like the Mayan one.
Soups and stews are always a good bet (I’d advise chili as well, but…). You can make a big pot in advance, divide into lunch-size containers, and freeze them. Grab one as you’re leaving the house, and it should be mostly/completely defrosted by the time lunch rolls around. Nuke to heat and enjoy.
I usually just bring leftover dinner for lunch and reheat it in a microwave. Soups/stews, pasta, veggie Indian food…pretty much anything. The only things I won’t heat up in a microwave are anything involving leavened dough - they get tough. Pizza gets heated up in the toaster oven, for example.
There are these packets of fully cooked shelf stable Indian food (Tastybite is a widely available brand, and makes the Trader Joe’s version as well. If you have an Indian grocery there’s also SWAD). There’s a spinach one that’s pretty low in carbs (yeah, this one). I also like the chick pea one and “jaipur vegetables”. IMHO they’re pretty tasty, something different, and not altogether horrifying for you. Not bad for something you can chuck in your desk drawer. I usually have some around for when I’m bored and/or lazy.
If you’re going to heat up Indian curries and such in a workplace microwave, it would be considerate of you to ask if the smell bothers your co-workers. Just as if you were heating up onions and garlic every day.
Amy’s Kitchen is an organic, mostly-veggie outfit that makes pretty tasty stuff that isn’t terrible for you. They’re pretty calorie-dense and high-sodium (as are most frozen entree stuff), but you can search their site for either Light&Lean or Light in Sodium versions, which (from the ones I’ve tasted, are actually pretty good.
It takes some prep time, but I really like this Alton Brown recipe to cook salmon in the microwave. I’ve made it a couple of times. If you click the episode link, there’s a similar recipe for a less-healthy ramen and shrimp.
Please also look into getting some Zip and Steam bags. I’ve been trying to get more veggies in my diet and these are *the best things ever *for easy veggies. I just dump a serving of green beans or broccoli into one and put it in my lunch bag. When the siren song of the vending machine starts, I tell myself that if I’m really hungry I’ll eat the veggies first. That usually either makes me realize I’m either not hungry (I just want candy) or it’s time for lunch.
Yukon Gold potatoes. Or just your average spud, but the gold taters have better nutrition. Potatoes have a very high satiety rating which means you feel full. they are also high in potassium (a mineral many Americans dont get enuf of), Vit C, and have a decent amount of fiber. They are also low in calories, unless you really load them up with toppings.
Some of that new 50/50 butter/olive oil spread and a little cheese (or some bacon bits) and you have a fine fast meal.
Remember to punch holes in the spud.
Yep. Cheaper than Amy’s or Kashi, requires no freezer. Just bring a little rice or bread. I like to have some Indian hot pickle or chutney too, but that’s not essential. Some are spicy out of the package, others very mild. There are several brands.
Especially in summer, there are lots of things that can be eaten cold or room-temperature besides sandwiches. I like hearty Mediterranean or Asian-inspired salads, for example, or cold sesame soba noodles.
Please don’t cook salmon in your office microwave.
To the OP - I’ve recently hopped onto the fad of “food in jars” which allows you to cook single servings in an oven and then reheat them in microwaves - (e.g. Chicken Cordon Bleu). I’ve done it with a couple of casserole-y dishes.
True. Or, pretty much any fish.
I don’t know if I’d go about heating up fish if you’re sharing the microwave with other coworkers. Some people aren’t too keen on the smell.
Or curry. I say this because I have smelled nuked scorched curry in the kitchen area of a college dorm and the whole floor stunk like a hundred dead skunks.