Now that Labor Day Weekend’s over and everyone’s snapping out of lazy vacation mode, you might find yourself spending more time at the office to play catch-up. If you’re eating lunch at your desk more often than not these days, you’re not alone: sixty-two percent of office workers report that they typically eat lunch at their desks. But not every desk lunch has to be a #saddesklunch! Here’s how to give your midday meal a well-deserved promotion.
Fork it over — Give your meal a boost with silverware and a proper plate and bowl. In one study, people ate the same yogurt with a plastic spoon and a metal one, and rated it 15 percent tastier when eating with real flatware.
Play dress up — According to a survey by Bon Appétit Management (which operates cafés at companies and universities), 94 percent of millennials think customizing their meals is important. Make it easy to tweak your lunch with a stash of flavored olive oils and vinegars, or your favorite hot sauce.
Call a friend — Grab lunch with your coworkers—it might make you even better at your job. One recent study found that firefighters who ate together performed better than those who dined apart, an effect that also applies to those who wield Excel files instead of fire hoses, according to Kevin Kniffin, the study’s author. Eating with friends is more fun, too!
Ready for your lunch break? Try these cool recipes made from brand new supermarket products. The best part? You can whip ‘em up right in your breakroom!
Vietnamese Noodle Soup — Break 1 oz. thin rice noodles in half; place in 2-cup jar with a lid. Fill jar with boiling water; close lid. Let sit 20 minutes; drain. Add 1 1⁄2 cups Nona Lim’s Vietnamese Pho Broth ($6.99). Microwave, uncovered, until noodles are tender, about 2 minutes. Top with bean sprouts, halved sugar snap peas, shredded chicken, cilantro, mint and sriracha.
Sausage & Egg Toast – Microwave 2 Johnsonville Fully Cooked Breakfast Patties ($3.99) until hot, about 40 seconds. Crack an egg into a water-filled bowl. Microwave 1 minute, then cook in 15-second bursts until white is opaque, about 30 seconds more. Place egg and sausage on a toasted slice of Pepperidge Farm 3 Cheese Italian Bread ($3.99); season. Top with halved cherry tomatoes.
– By Cecily McAndrews and Grace Rasmus; Photography by Aaron Dyer
We like to consider ourselves the recipe experts, but we also give props where they’re due, and man, have supermarkets been upping their recipe game lately. For our Grocery Store Grill-Off story in the July/August 2016 issue, we scoped out the sites of several well-known grocery chains, and what we found surprised us—positively!—in scale (Whole Foods has almost 4,000 dishes!), quality (still talking about the Aldi burger we tried…), and creativity (I ended up watching Stop & Shop’s videos for fun).
In order to pick our favorite, though, it all came down to the food. To have a fair test, we picked a Greek burger from each.
Here are the contestants:
Pamper Mom (especially if that’s you!) with spa treatments from your kitchen. They’re even better than breakfast in bed for giving her an ahhh-some Mother’s Day!
Chocolate & Strawberry Scrub
Berries and cocoa are high in skin-protecting antioxidants, and coarse sugar gently exfoliates, says Philip Berkovitz, food beauty guru and founder of Philip B Botanical Products.
Left with a pantry full of canned black beans after Cinco de Mayo? Dinner–or dessert!–is only a few ingredients away.
Black Bean Salad Bites
Toss 1 can (15 oz.) drained, rinsed black beans with sliced scallions, a diced bell pepper, a handful of chopped cilantro, a pinch of cumin, 3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice and EVOO. Season. Serve in scoop-shaped tortilla chips topped with sour cream.
Starbucks is sprinkling it into lattes and grocery stores are stocking it on shelves: But what is this curious green powder called matcha, anyway? Whole-leaf green tea that’s been finely ground, matcha has a deeper flavor than brewed tea and more of the antioxidants believed to ward off cancer, lower blood pressure and boost brain power. Stir it into hot water or add it to sweet and savory foods for a fresh, grassy flavor. Get your green on for St. Patrick’s Day with these quick ideas!
Matcha Bundt Cake
Add 1 tbsp. matcha powder to a boxed yellow or white cake mix, pour into well-greased Bundt pan and bake according to package directions.
Butter’s popularity is spreading! A potential explanation: “Studies show that a diet rich in fats and low in carbs is more effective than low-fat diets for weight loss, possibly in part because of fat’s satiating effects,” says Nina Teicholz, author of The Big Fat Surprise. Learn which kind of butter is best for every kitchen task.
Freezer aisle finger foods are the key to no-sweat holiday parties. With these quick, from-scratch upgrades, no one will guess you’re serving store-bought!
There’s a whole new crop of vegetables at the supermarket–invite these five to your Thanksgiving dinner.
Think outside the box–It’s not just for breakfast anymore! Sprinkle these morning treats into other meals for a sweet surprise.
Move over, Pumpkin Spice Latte! A whole slew of pumpkin-flavored items are hitting the grocery shelves and we promise, they won’t burn the roof of your mouth! Check out some of our favorite ways to get your pumpkin fix this fall: