Microwaveable office lunches
The office microwave queue is a desperate, sad place. A lame blip in an otherwise predictably monotonous working pattern of tea-break-desk-loo-tea-break-desk-loo.
You know the score: you thought you’d timed it perfectly, but you arrive in the “kitchen” at 12.05 to find eight other chumps who have had the same idea. No one needs to spend 11 minutes of their lunch break queuing in awkward conversation (“oh that looks healthy” and “chilli con carne? Nice.”) with estranged colleagues from level 2.
In spite of the social peril that looms in the communal kitchen, microwaves are a blessing to have. So for those of you motivated enough to queue, and for those of you who can’t face it, here are recipes that are as good at room temperature as they are reheated.
• Try a new potato salad with fried chopped smoked bacon and blanched green sliced savoy cabbage: place the potatoes in cold water, bring to the boil, then simmer for 8 minutes, add the cabbage then cook until the potatoes are tender. Drain, cool then pack in a Tupperware with an olive oil and garlic dressing.
• The evening before, boil green lentils with an unpeeled garlic clove, a stick of celery cut in two, and a bay leaf, until tender but retaining a slight bite. Drain and dress (while warm) with olive oil, red wine vinegar, sea salt and black pepper. Smoosh the garlic and add, along with the celery, finely chopped.
Store in a Tupperware and before eating add sliced salami (a garlicky sort is good): snip this in with some clean scissors. Enjoy hot or not, with a crusty bit of bread for soaking up the juice.
• Roasted peppers reign supreme. Cut a red one in half, stuff each half with a couple of cherry tomatoes, drizzle with olive oil and roast for 25 minutes on a high heat. Meanwhile, make some couscous (pour over boiling water and leave to sit, covered). Mix couscous with chopped parsley, mint and some crumbled feta. Stuff couscous mix into roasted peppers (so it absorbs the juice) and arrange carefully in Tupperware.
Caroline Craig and Sophie Missing are authors of The Little Book of Lunch (Square Peg)