How to Upgrade Your Office Lunch

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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.

office lunch

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

Vietnamese Noodle Soup

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.

Bacon Caesar Salad -- Microwave 2 slices Al Fresco Uncured Chicken Bacon ($4.49) until crispy on the edges, about 1 1⁄2 minutes. Slice and toss with Elevate Sunny Caesar Salad ($4.49).

-- By Cecily McAndrews and Grace Rasmus; Photography by Aaron Dyer