Eating at work can be a challenge, whether you are trying to eat healthier or staying on a budget. It can be difficult to find appetizing, good options you can get excited about. It is hard to whip up something fresh at work due to a surprising amount of people don’t like leftovers. The most important part of office eating for me are the staples which are often overlooked. These are items that can be versatile and also give me the option of variety in my meals.
Staples I keep in the office:
- Peanut Butter is essential to my life. When I need a happy moment, I grab a spoon and dig in. Aside from that, it is amazing how many things you can eat with peanut butter. My favorite in-office snack is green apples and PB or celery sticks with PB. Healthier Option: Almond butter.
- Slap Ya Mama is an all-around amazing spice blend. If you have never used it, do NOT sleep on this! I use this instead of salt and pepper and put it on pretty much everything – even the apples and peanut butter sometimes. When you are in the office, you don’t have access to your spice cabinet so find a spice blend that you like that can be used liberally on many types of dishes. If you don’t go for spicy (which this is mildly), I suggest Jane’s Crazy Mixed Up Salt.
- Salad Dressings are another multi-purpose item-not only for salads, but I use them in the office for dishes that need a touch of oil or flavor. A simple dish of rice, a protein, and a veg is a thousand times more tasty with a tablespoon of good dressing. My go-to’s: AnniesShiitake Mushroom Salad Dressing, Green Goddess, Breanna’s French Vinaigrette, or Braggs Salad Vinaigrette.
- Aminos: Speaking of Braggs…Replace those 50k soy sauce packets in your desk for a small convenient spray bottle of Braggs Liquid Aminos. It will change your life. Use this as a good replacement for soy sauce – give a spritz to a variety of dishes.
- Low Fat String Cheese or individually wrapped cheese is great for a quick snack. I usually grab one on my way out the door to snack on in the car, but you will be surprised how often just a quick piece of cheese will work in your lunch or breakfast dishes.
- Microwavable Rice is super essential. It is the base for most of my lunches. Cheap, easy, tastes great and a little can go a long way. Word of caution – when choosing microwave rice, read the label! A lot of them have added salt or sugar so be careful if you are trying to cut calories or watch your sugar intake. Also beware, rice that has any flavor, you can bet have high sodium.
- Hummus and or guacamole. Need I explain?
- Annies Boom Chicka Pop or Skinny Pop. Either one, not bad for you, Non-GMO, organic popcorn that you like. These new awesome types of bagged popcorn is great for many reasons, but really – it stops the 4 pm burnt popcorn smell around the office. Need movie style? Pump a few sprays of ICBINButter and sprinkle with, you guessed it, Slap Ya Mama. Yummmmmm
- Can of Soup because sometimes you just only have time for a can of soup. I suggest Amy’s Lentil.
- Pouches of Tuna because sometimes you have lettuce and it needs a little tuna.
- Oh, and I keep the Gin Gins in my drawer because sometimes a meal can go wrong and when I have an upset stomach, I go straight for any form of Ginger. Aside from that – they just taste amazing (if you like ginger).
- Can Opener
- Fork, Spoon, Larger Spoon, Butter Knife, Sharp-ish Knife
- Ceramic Bowl
- Large Tupperware Bowl
- Quart size Zip Lock bags
So stock up! I suggest investing in a small plastic bin with a top that closes well to store all of your non-perishable items and dishes – the peanut butter can stay in your top drawer for easiest access like mine if you prefer.