EDGE Working lunch: Cubicle cooking gear, desk-drawer pantry improves 'dining al desko'

EDGE Working lunch: Cubicle cooking gear, desk-drawer pantry improves 'dining al desko'

June 1st, 2017 by Tim Omarzu in EDGE

The $40 HotLogic Mini Personal Portable Oven uses an aluminum-lined, insulated tote and a heating platform to cook and reheat food in metal, plastic, glass, cardboard and ceramic containers.

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

Dining al fresco, or outdoors, can be delightful when the weather's nice.

Dining 'al desko,' or eating at the office desk where you spend 40 hours a week, isn't always pretty.

There's even a website, Sad Desk Lunch, that lets people upload photos of dreary desktop dining: canned salmon eaten off aluminum foil, blueberry Eggo waffles straight out the plastic sleeve, and ramen noodles cooked inside the office coffee pot, captioned, "Someone did it. Someone really did it."

But solutions exist, ranging from stocking a desk-drawer pantry to using such gadgets as the George Foreman grill, which for $13 comes in a small size ideal for cubicle use.

"I turned my rather ordinary brought-in, turkey-and-cheese sandwich on wheat bread into a nice grilled, turkey-and-cheese sandwich that melted in my mouth," wrote a blogger who calls himself the "cubicle cook." "I got a wet paper towel and the grill was cleaned off in seconds. No mess. No grease."

A George Foreman-style grill stashed under the office desk can turn a boring sandwich into a hot, tasty panini-style treat.

A George Foreman-style grill stashed under the office...

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

The $40 HotLogic Mini Personal Portable Oven gets a glowing review as a cubicle cooking accessory from the blog Fewphoria.

Not liking the "rubbery mouth-feel" of microwaved food, the blog's author loves how mini oven food tastes — and that the mini oven cooks or reheats food safely in just about any container, including paper and plastic.

Along with gadgets, there are common sense ways to upgrade your midday meal, says Bon Appétit magazine, such as stocking your desk-drawer pantry with mustard, olive oil and Wasa Crispbread. The crispbread can be used to make a Scandinavian-style open-faced sandwich with something spreadable, such as ricotta cheese, mustard or hummus plus a produce or protein.

Another idea? Take your lunch and walk away from the cubicle.

"You eat your lunch at your desk [when] you could roam free," saddesklunch.com says. "Step outside. Breathe a little."


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