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Let’s face it, a large majority of us eat at our desks. I eat nearly all of my meals here (and my keyboard is crummy enough to prove it). And I not only eat within my work flow, I frequently rush the food prep itself (especially Breakfast and Lunch) so I can get back to the ‘board as quickly as possible. Both of these behaviors run counter to my increasing desire to eat healthier. So, I’ve at least been trying to make sure it’s better food that I’m stuffing into the feedbag at my desk. Lately, I’ve been making tomato/basil, almond butter and banana, and cucumber sandwiches, on a really good-quality bread and with low-fat mayo (on the veggie sandwiches). These are all amazingly tasty and good for you.

So, we’d like to hear some of your desktop dining favorites and tips for cooking decent food quickly (and ideally making healthier choices under such less-than-optimal dining conditions). And yes, it goes without saying that we’d all be better off taking a break, eating at a proper table, eating in “the Big Room” (outside), etc. I’m trying to get better about that, too.

We’ll be doing a drawing of two of your comments/tips below and giving out copies of Cooking for Geeks, Jeff Potter’s awesome book that we’ve been excerpting from for our food theme. The drawing period will extend until midnight PDT on Sunday night (6/5/11). Winners will be announced on Monday. We’ll assemble the best desktop dining tips into a follow up article.

Update: Oh lordy, I can’t believe I forgot to announce the winners of this giveaway. So sorry this slipped through the cracks. The winners are Amy Holton and “Andy.” Please email me (gareth at makezine) you address to claim your prize.


In the Maker Shed:
Makershedsmall
Cooking for Geeks
Jeff Potter, O’Reilly, 2010
Are you the innovative type, the cook who marches to a different drummer, used to expressing your creativity instead of just following recipes? Are you interested in the science behind what happens to food while it’s cooking? Do you want to learn what makes a recipe work so you can improvise and create your own unique dish? Author Jeff Potter has done the cubicle thing, the startup thing, and the entrepreneur thing, and through it all maintained his sanity by cooking for his friends.

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture, including the first book about the web (Mosaic Quick Tour) and the Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Building Robots. He is currently working on a best-of collection of his writing, called Borg Like Me.


Related

Comments

  1. ida lively says:

    I like Sorrento Reduced Fat mozzarella and soy crisps.  High in protein = very filling for a small amount of food.  :) 

  2. My favorite thing to make lately is a crunchy quick salad using good ol’ Ramen noodles, (I havent fully grown out of college hood).  Its super fast! Mix the seasoning packet from the noodles in with oil, vinegar & a little soy (or with a fave asian/ginger/sesame dressing). After that, break up the noodles in a fry pan with a little oil or butter & toast till golden..this only takes a minute, so watch it closely! Mix dressing & noodles together with a bag of broccoli slaw, (you can find it in with other prepared produce in the grocery store).  If you want some more good-for-you-ness add in some precooked grilled chicken, shreds of rotisserie chicken, or some almonds & sesame seeds… or both!!  Crunchy, yummy, quick, healthy, (ish)  & satisfying! 

  3. My favorite thing to make lately is a crunchy quick salad using good ol’ Ramen noodles, (I havent fully grown out of college hood).  Its super fast! Mix the seasoning packet from the noodles in with oil, vinegar & a little soy (or with a fave asian/ginger/sesame dressing). After that, break up the noodles in a fry pan with a little oil or butter & toast till golden..this only takes a minute, so watch it closely! Mix dressing & noodles together with a bag of broccoli slaw, (you can find it in with other prepared produce in the grocery store).  If you want some more good-for-you-ness add in some precooked grilled chicken, shreds of rotisserie chicken, or some almonds & sesame seeds… or both!!  Crunchy, yummy, quick, healthy, (ish)  & satisfying! 

  4. A staple at our house is noodles. Every sort of noodle. One such recipe is pasta, can of corn, can of crushed tomatoes, can of mushrooms (drained) all stirred and heated together. I make the pasta separately drain it and add the rest then serve. Season with pepper and garlic powder. Even kids like it.. Enjoy

  5. Dave says:

    On the nights that we actually do cook, my wife & I usually try to make enough food for the next few days, so that all we have to do is grab a container out of the fridge and hit the road. Things like chili and other bean-based stews hold up really well and they are a great way to get veggies/protein/fiber all in one bowl.

  6. Dave says:

    On the nights that we actually do cook, my wife & I usually try to make enough food for the next few days, so that all we have to do is grab a container out of the fridge and hit the road. Things like chili and other bean-based stews hold up really well and they are a great way to get veggies/protein/fiber all in one bowl.

  7. Meekles says:

    Ramen too hot because you microwaved it way too long? Grab a PC case fan and either an external molex power supply (the kind you get with a usb to SATA dongle) or a 9v battery (some modding required to do this and may burn out your fan) to cool down your noms. Now you can enjoy your hot foodstufs faster without burning all of your tastebuds off. Case fans also work to cool you off on a hot day (a few server grade 120mm fans are like a small wind tunnel)

    1. orn310 says:

      Well, that is one that I will have to try some time, otherwise, it sounds like a really good idea!

      Thanks!

    2. orn310 says:

      Well, that is one that I will have to try some time, otherwise, it sounds like a really good idea!

      Thanks!

  8. Anonymous says:

    A sammie made with a good, natural peanut butter and juicy pitted apricots. Delish.

  9. Anonymous says:

    A sammie made with a good, natural peanut butter and juicy pitted apricots. Delish.

  10. Kent Durvin says:

    Add a little wine to tomato sauce. There are compounds in there that need some alcohol to get into solution. 

  11. Kent Durvin says:

    Add a little wine to tomato sauce. There are compounds in there that need some alcohol to get into solution. 

  12. orn310 says:

    Well, as far as I am condenser, there
    are two types of food when it comes to eating at desks, the “Low
    Mess” foods, such as string cheese, some breads, lunch meats,
    etc. that create little to no crumbs when eaten, or handled. and
    there are the “High Mess Foods” the ones that are almost
    guaranteed to spill, like thin soups, various noodle dishes, Muffins,
    and foods that are on the extremes of the moisture scale. For
    the Low Mess Foods, generally, you don’t need any sort of protection
    for your desk, or computer. That is unless they leave a residue, such
    as Salami, Pepperoni, and some cheeses; then you really should have
    some sort of napkin, or even if that’s not in reach, anything that
    would provide a barrier between the food and the surface, just watch
    out for those greasy hands!As for the High Mess foods, well,
    there are generally three different subsets, and three different
    methods of dealing with them.First of all there are the
    soups, such as Ramen: for those, Keep the bowl of soup on a Plate.
    The Plate doesn’t have to be that big, it just needs to be larger
    than the rim of the bowl. Next, does it have noodles in it? If so,
    keep it relatively close to your mouth as you eat it, while still on
    the plate; This way you can minimize the amount of splatter on the
    surfaces of your desk, and your chair. And on occasion drink the
    broth! doing this will lessen the splatter even more (Less broth=Less
    splatter!) and remember, skip the SPOON! doing this will reduce the
    likelihood of you flinging broth everywhere! If you have to use
    utensils stick with either a fork or a pair of chopsticks. If you are
    just having something with either relatively small noddles, or
    relatively small chunks of plants/animals just skip the utensils all
    together, and just drink it (and chew it!) Like a man… or a
    woman… depending on your gender.
    [Continued]

  13. orn310 says:

    Well, as far as I am condenser, there
    are two types of food when it comes to eating at desks, the “Low
    Mess” foods, such as string cheese, some breads, lunch meats,
    etc. that create little to no crumbs when eaten, or handled. and
    there are the “High Mess Foods” the ones that are almost
    guaranteed to spill, like thin soups, various noodle dishes, Muffins,
    and foods that are on the extremes of the moisture scale. For
    the Low Mess Foods, generally, you don’t need any sort of protection
    for your desk, or computer. That is unless they leave a residue, such
    as Salami, Pepperoni, and some cheeses; then you really should have
    some sort of napkin, or even if that’s not in reach, anything that
    would provide a barrier between the food and the surface, just watch
    out for those greasy hands!As for the High Mess foods, well,
    there are generally three different subsets, and three different
    methods of dealing with them.First of all there are the
    soups, such as Ramen: for those, Keep the bowl of soup on a Plate.
    The Plate doesn’t have to be that big, it just needs to be larger
    than the rim of the bowl. Next, does it have noodles in it? If so,
    keep it relatively close to your mouth as you eat it, while still on
    the plate; This way you can minimize the amount of splatter on the
    surfaces of your desk, and your chair. And on occasion drink the
    broth! doing this will lessen the splatter even more (Less broth=Less
    splatter!) and remember, skip the SPOON! doing this will reduce the
    likelihood of you flinging broth everywhere! If you have to use
    utensils stick with either a fork or a pair of chopsticks. If you are
    just having something with either relatively small noddles, or
    relatively small chunks of plants/animals just skip the utensils all
    together, and just drink it (and chew it!) Like a man… or a
    woman… depending on your gender.
    [Continued]

  14. Kent Durvin says:

    Combination cooking: Use the microwave to get the inside hot, then the toaster oven to crisp and brown the outside. It works great on leftovers like panko crusted chicken.

  15. Kent Durvin says:

    Combination cooking: Use the microwave to get the inside hot, then the toaster oven to crisp and brown the outside. It works great on leftovers like panko crusted chicken.

  16. orn310 says:

    Next up are the Sandwiches, which
    include your wraps, burritos, ect. First of all, is it wrapped in
    paper/plastic-wrap, if not Do so in such a way so that you can peal
    it down as you eat, while keeping the end of your favorite… thing
    that is described above covered. Doing so will prevent stuff from
    rocketing out of the end, and going all over your Monitor, requiring
    you to “Borrow” yet another bottle of Windex from the
    Janitors closet which you just so happen to have a key that “They
    totally gave to you”, [continued]

  17. orn310 says:

    Next up are the Sandwiches, which
    include your wraps, burritos, ect. First of all, is it wrapped in
    paper/plastic-wrap, if not Do so in such a way so that you can peal
    it down as you eat, while keeping the end of your favorite… thing
    that is described above covered. Doing so will prevent stuff from
    rocketing out of the end, and going all over your Monitor, requiring
    you to “Borrow” yet another bottle of Windex from the
    Janitors closet which you just so happen to have a key that “They
    totally gave to you”, [continued]

  18. Anonymous says:

    These are great suggestions, folks. Keep ‘em coming!

    For one of my splurge-y treats, I melt Sorrento reduced fat mozza onto low sodium white corn chips in a toaster oven and then cover with Tabasco sauce.

  19. Anonymous says:

    These are great suggestions, folks. Keep ‘em coming!

    For one of my splurge-y treats, I melt Sorrento reduced fat mozza onto low sodium white corn chips in a toaster oven and then cover with Tabasco sauce.

  20. Rahere says:

    A breadmaker is a must – quality bread makes anything inside edible. Two minutes to prepare and wash up, that’s less time than finding a loaf on the shelf, and much better for you.

    Peanut butter and banana is not only great tasting, but contains pretty much everything you need. Put the banana in cold water for a couple of minutes before peeling and it won’t go black in the fridge until lunch.

    Anyone got a quick way to do your own low-fat mayo? I guess the alternative is to take the time – it’s getting the emulsion going which takes the time, so make it in bulk.

  21. Ryan Nakata says:

    get brown bread banana nutella marshmellow and almonds then get your trusty heat gun and cook

  22. Ryan Nakata says:

    get brown bread banana nutella marshmellow and almonds then get your trusty heat gun and cook

  23. squigglytail says:

    Someone should send this book to Alton Brown.

  24. squigglytail says:

    Someone should send this book to Alton Brown.

  25. Phil Shapiro says:

    My new favorite lunch — easy to make and quite healthy.  Lentil-rice-butternut  squash casserole. Cook rice in a rice cooker. Throw in a can of lentil soup. Add in microwave baked butternut squash, prepared the night before. (That’s the only time consuming part. Nuke squash for about 12 minutes after piercing with a knife several times to create steam release holes.)

    Alternately, pour in Campbell Soup’s Butternut Squash soup, surprisingly tasty and healthy. Sold in a carton, not a can.

    I’d love to buy or make freeze dried butternut squash.  Any makers out there doing DIY freeze drying? Any tips on that?

    To reduce sodium in this recipe, mix in plain cooked lentils with the lentils from the can of soup. I cook my lentils in my rice cooker. (Prevents burning.)

  26. Phil Shapiro says:

    My new favorite lunch — easy to make and quite healthy.  Lentil-rice-butternut  squash casserole. Cook rice in a rice cooker. Throw in a can of lentil soup. Add in microwave baked butternut squash, prepared the night before. (That’s the only time consuming part. Nuke squash for about 12 minutes after piercing with a knife several times to create steam release holes.)

    Alternately, pour in Campbell Soup’s Butternut Squash soup, surprisingly tasty and healthy. Sold in a carton, not a can.

    I’d love to buy or make freeze dried butternut squash.  Any makers out there doing DIY freeze drying? Any tips on that?

    To reduce sodium in this recipe, mix in plain cooked lentils with the lentils from the can of soup. I cook my lentils in my rice cooker. (Prevents burning.)

  27. Phil Shapiro says:

    My new favorite lunch — easy to make and quite healthy.  Lentil-rice-butternut  squash casserole. Cook rice in a rice cooker. Throw in a can of lentil soup. Add in microwave baked butternut squash, prepared the night before. (That’s the only time consuming part. Nuke squash for about 12 minutes after piercing with a knife several times to create steam release holes.)

    Alternately, pour in Campbell Soup’s Butternut Squash soup, surprisingly tasty and healthy. Sold in a carton, not a can.

    I’d love to buy or make freeze dried butternut squash.  Any makers out there doing DIY freeze drying? Any tips on that?

    To reduce sodium in this recipe, mix in plain cooked lentils with the lentils from the can of soup. I cook my lentils in my rice cooker. (Prevents burning.)

  28. Phil Shapiro says:

    My new favorite lunch — easy to make and quite healthy.  Lentil-rice-butternut  squash casserole. Cook rice in a rice cooker. Throw in a can of lentil soup. Add in microwave baked butternut squash, prepared the night before. (That’s the only time consuming part. Nuke squash for about 12 minutes after piercing with a knife several times to create steam release holes.)

    Alternately, pour in Campbell Soup’s Butternut Squash soup, surprisingly tasty and healthy. Sold in a carton, not a can.

    I’d love to buy or make freeze dried butternut squash.  Any makers out there doing DIY freeze drying? Any tips on that?

    To reduce sodium in this recipe, mix in plain cooked lentils with the lentils from the can of soup. I cook my lentils in my rice cooker. (Prevents burning.)

  29. Phil Shapiro says:

    My new favorite lunch — easy to make and quite healthy.  Lentil-rice-butternut  squash casserole. Cook rice in a rice cooker. Throw in a can of lentil soup. Add in microwave baked butternut squash, prepared the night before. (That’s the only time consuming part. Nuke squash for about 12 minutes after piercing with a knife several times to create steam release holes.)

    Alternately, pour in Campbell Soup’s Butternut Squash soup, surprisingly tasty and healthy. Sold in a carton, not a can.

    I’d love to buy or make freeze dried butternut squash.  Any makers out there doing DIY freeze drying? Any tips on that?

    To reduce sodium in this recipe, mix in plain cooked lentils with the lentils from the can of soup. I cook my lentils in my rice cooker. (Prevents burning.)

  30. Week days I eat at my desk for breakfast & lunch.  Here is what I do to balance cost, nutrition and convenience.  I hit the farmers market in the spring and stock up on carrots, tomatoes, bell peppers and apples and sometimes berries.  Then I bring ‘em home, chop ‘em up and dehydrate them.  A case each of apples and tomatoes, 10 lbs of carrots & peppers and I am set for the year.

    Breakfast is 1/4C Oatmeal and 1tbsp each of wheat bran, oat bran, wheat germ, milled flax seed, slivered almonds, and what ever dried fruit I have on hand.  Typically dates, raisins, the apples I dried, maybe some blue and or strawberries, chopped apricots plus 1/4tsp cinnamon and a pinch of salt.  Made in batches ahead of time it is not as much trouble as it sounds.

    Lunch is similar, only different.  Tomatoes, carrots, peppers, dried minced onion, dried mushrooms and 1/4 pack of ramen.  The cool thing is you can really mix things up with the spice rack.  One day is Italian herb, next is chili, then curry, whatever your into.
    Just add hot water.

  31. Dan Quilty says:

    Before I started working at home I would keep Liverwurst, some 1/3 fat cream chese and dark mustard in the work fridge for a quick sandwich
     
    I’d also kept sardines in my desk, these made a healther quick snack than running to the vending machine or with a little mayo could be a quick sandwich (some are packed with hotsoause or mustard for built in condiments).  I’ve even thrown them into a bowl of raman.
     
    An added benefit is that nobody ever stole my food.

  32. Dan Quilty says:

    Before I started working at home I would keep Liverwurst, some 1/3 fat cream chese and dark mustard in the work fridge for a quick sandwich
     
    I’d also kept sardines in my desk, these made a healther quick snack than running to the vending machine or with a little mayo could be a quick sandwich (some are packed with hotsoause or mustard for built in condiments).  I’ve even thrown them into a bowl of raman.
     
    An added benefit is that nobody ever stole my food.

  33. Dan Quilty says:

    Before I started working at home I would keep Liverwurst, some 1/3 fat cream chese and dark mustard in the work fridge for a quick sandwich
     
    I’d also kept sardines in my desk, these made a healther quick snack than running to the vending machine or with a little mayo could be a quick sandwich (some are packed with hotsoause or mustard for built in condiments).  I’ve even thrown them into a bowl of raman.
     
    An added benefit is that nobody ever stole my food.

  34. Random fried rice:
    Takes about 10 minutes and can be adjusted for more or less health focus.
    Eat it out of a bowl with a fork or chopsticks

    What you need:
     Wok and spatula
     Left over rice
     Random combination of preserved veg (canned corn, dry tomato, frozen pees, etc)
     Random combination of fresh veg (peppers, leek)
     Random combination of meats (pork, beef, chicken, fish, shrimp, etc)
     Soy sauce
     Olive oil

    How you do it:
    1. Put some oil in the wok, turn it up high
    2. Throw everything in the wok (pork/chicken first, veg & other meats next, rice last and soy over the whole thing)
    3. Stir
    4. (and this is the most important step) Eat it

  35. I’m a big fan of the microwaved meal in tupperware.  I can make about 6 days worth of lunches in about 20 minutes by preparing some whole wheat fusilli pasta, jar of pasta sauce, and some ground beef cooked and thrown into the mix.  I’ll add green peppers and onions if I have them.  Then you can heat and eat right out of the tupperware with no mess on the keyboard.

  36. I’m a big fan of the microwaved meal in tupperware.  I can make about 6 days worth of lunches in about 20 minutes by preparing some whole wheat fusilli pasta, jar of pasta sauce, and some ground beef cooked and thrown into the mix.  I’ll add green peppers and onions if I have them.  Then you can heat and eat right out of the tupperware with no mess on the keyboard.

  37. Nathan Knudson says:

    If you happen to have a food dehydrator veggie chips made from Eggplant, zucchini, or carrot, sliced paper-thin and sprinkled with salt/lemon really help to kill those salty-snack cravings.

  38. Robbie Pitts says:

    Lately, I have been having sammiches. Spicy brown mustard is my usual bread wetter with corned beef and German Swiss. Today, I’m having peanut butter and honey sandwiches.

    I agree that keeping sardines at the desk is a great way to keep stuff from going missing, and an even better way to keep people from visiting you after lunch. (nap times?)

  39. Robbie Pitts says:

    Lately, I have been having sammiches. Spicy brown mustard is my usual bread wetter with corned beef and German Swiss. Today, I’m having peanut butter and honey sandwiches.

    I agree that keeping sardines at the desk is a great way to keep stuff from going missing, and an even better way to keep people from visiting you after lunch. (nap times?)

  40. romaric dautun says:

    Raw hot-dogs dipped in a jar of Mayonaise, no bun.

  41. romaric dautun says:

    Raw hot-dogs dipped in a jar of Mayonaise, no bun.

  42. romaric dautun says:

    Raw hot-dogs dipped in a jar of Mayonaise, no bun.

    1. Anonymous says:

      stunning minimalism… 

    2. Anonymous says:

      stunning minimalism… 

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  47. Anonymous says:

    Im a Geek and i love to Cook. Perfect!

  48. Anonymous says:

    Im a Geek and i love to Cook. Perfect!

  49. Anonymous says:

    I’ve dabbled with vegetarian food (I call myself a flexetarian… meaning I’m flexible ;)
    When in season, I discovered (via my sister who lives in CA), that tomato and avocado make for a really good combination! Just cut them up and put it in a bowl… (salt optional) a little salad dressing or vinegar can help… Also, tomato and cucumber slices make for a good sandwich too. Other than the occasional breadcrumbs these are good (and healthy) to eat at your desk.

  50. Anonymous says:

    Cooking for Geeks is awesomesauce! If I win I get to give a copy away! :)

    I’m a vegetarian-before-6 whose lunch is take-out. My favorites: Taco Bueno’s Black Bean Burrito (I usually 86 the cheese.), WhichWich hummus on wheat, and Domino’s thin-crust pizza with spinach and tomatoes.

    For breakfast I regularly eat oatmeal, I use the regular (not instant or quick) oats with hot water from the coffee pot, microwave it for a minute, and let it cool for about 5.

    That makes 4 of the 8 superfoods (http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1792538/the_8_super_foods_that_you_should_be.html?cat=51) everyone should eat more of. I also eat carrots and dried blueberries often at my desk which gets me up to 6. Now I just need to incorporate yogurt and walnuts…

  51. TerryH says:

    I cook sweet potatoes in the microwave, then cover with a bit of olive oil and truffle salt ~ quick gourmet dining….

  52. Anonymous says:

    If you get your hands on some nuts like almonds, cashews, or peanuts, crush them inside a ziploc bag with a hammer and use the chunky powder to top-off yogurt, cereals, or even fruit-soup. 

  53. Taylor Hill says:

    I’ve found that the easiest way to eat healthier/tastier foods when I’m in a rush or on the job is to get all the prep out of the way ahead of time.

    I usually spend a weekend afternoon cutting up tons of veggies and cooking up some chicken breast and storing them in the fridge. You can get packs of pre-cooked, pre-cut meats if you want to do even less work. Then in the morning when I want to wake up as near to when I need to get  on the bus as possible, I toss some assortment of veggies, meat, and cheese into a quick salad, or wrap them in a tortilla for a burrito I can microwave at work, or layer between slices of bread for a sandwich that’s as quick as the ol’ bologna and cheese but much less disappointing.

    The best part is, you don’t actually even have to do that much. Grab one of your containers of cut veggies and one of those little individual sized veggie dips and you’re good to go.

  54. Taylor Hill says:

    I’ve found that the easiest way to eat healthier/tastier foods when I’m in a rush or on the job is to get all the prep out of the way ahead of time.

    I usually spend a weekend afternoon cutting up tons of veggies and cooking up some chicken breast and storing them in the fridge. You can get packs of pre-cooked, pre-cut meats if you want to do even less work. Then in the morning when I want to wake up as near to when I need to get  on the bus as possible, I toss some assortment of veggies, meat, and cheese into a quick salad, or wrap them in a tortilla for a burrito I can microwave at work, or layer between slices of bread for a sandwich that’s as quick as the ol’ bologna and cheese but much less disappointing.

    The best part is, you don’t actually even have to do that much. Grab one of your containers of cut veggies and one of those little individual sized veggie dips and you’re good to go.

  55. Taylor Hill says:

    I’ve found that the easiest way to eat healthier/tastier foods when I’m in a rush or on the job is to get all the prep out of the way ahead of time.

    I usually spend a weekend afternoon cutting up tons of veggies and cooking up some chicken breast and storing them in the fridge. You can get packs of pre-cooked, pre-cut meats if you want to do even less work. Then in the morning when I want to wake up as near to when I need to get  on the bus as possible, I toss some assortment of veggies, meat, and cheese into a quick salad, or wrap them in a tortilla for a burrito I can microwave at work, or layer between slices of bread for a sandwich that’s as quick as the ol’ bologna and cheese but much less disappointing.

    The best part is, you don’t actually even have to do that much. Grab one of your containers of cut veggies and one of those little individual sized veggie dips and you’re good to go.

  56. Anonymous says:

    I do eat at my desk, but it’s usually a plate of fruit and carrots. (Here, look)

    General cooking strategy: I cook big batches of casserole-type dishes on weekends, dole them out into emptied & cleaned 1lb. cottage cheese containers, and freeze them. At any one time I have quite a variety of entrees ready to go.

    One of those, some freshly streamed vegetables (carrots, onion, spinach), and a salad are my usual dinner.

    Sometimes I’ll pack a dinner sized meal for lunch. I keep a few plates and bowls, purchased from Goodwill, at my desk. I arrive at work with a 2 lb. plastic container (yogurt/ cottage cheese/ whatever) full of salad, a smaller container with a mixture of salad dressing and cottage cheese, plus two more containers with steamed vegetables plus a pasta or casserole.

    I hog the break room microwave for about five minutes, getting the vegetables and entree hot, then eat a grand meal at my desk, with actual plates and flatware. This really impresses my co-workers.

  57. Anonymous says:

    I do eat at my desk, but it’s usually a plate of fruit and carrots. (Here, look)

    General cooking strategy: I cook big batches of casserole-type dishes on weekends, dole them out into emptied & cleaned 1lb. cottage cheese containers, and freeze them. At any one time I have quite a variety of entrees ready to go.

    One of those, some freshly streamed vegetables (carrots, onion, spinach), and a salad are my usual dinner.

    Sometimes I’ll pack a dinner sized meal for lunch. I keep a few plates and bowls, purchased from Goodwill, at my desk. I arrive at work with a 2 lb. plastic container (yogurt/ cottage cheese/ whatever) full of salad, a smaller container with a mixture of salad dressing and cottage cheese, plus two more containers with steamed vegetables plus a pasta or casserole.

    I hog the break room microwave for about five minutes, getting the vegetables and entree hot, then eat a grand meal at my desk, with actual plates and flatware. This really impresses my co-workers.

  58. Anonymous says:

    I do eat at my desk, but it’s usually a plate of fruit and carrots. (Here, look)

    General cooking strategy: I cook big batches of casserole-type dishes on weekends, dole them out into emptied & cleaned 1lb. cottage cheese containers, and freeze them. At any one time I have quite a variety of entrees ready to go.

    One of those, some freshly streamed vegetables (carrots, onion, spinach), and a salad are my usual dinner.

    Sometimes I’ll pack a dinner sized meal for lunch. I keep a few plates and bowls, purchased from Goodwill, at my desk. I arrive at work with a 2 lb. plastic container (yogurt/ cottage cheese/ whatever) full of salad, a smaller container with a mixture of salad dressing and cottage cheese, plus two more containers with steamed vegetables plus a pasta or casserole.

    I hog the break room microwave for about five minutes, getting the vegetables and entree hot, then eat a grand meal at my desk, with actual plates and flatware. This really impresses my co-workers.

  59. Anonymous says:

    I do eat at my desk, but it’s usually a plate of fruit and carrots. (Here, look)

    General cooking strategy: I cook big batches of casserole-type dishes on weekends, dole them out into emptied & cleaned 1lb. cottage cheese containers, and freeze them. At any one time I have quite a variety of entrees ready to go.

    One of those, some freshly streamed vegetables (carrots, onion, spinach), and a salad are my usual dinner.

    Sometimes I’ll pack a dinner sized meal for lunch. I keep a few plates and bowls, purchased from Goodwill, at my desk. I arrive at work with a 2 lb. plastic container (yogurt/ cottage cheese/ whatever) full of salad, a smaller container with a mixture of salad dressing and cottage cheese, plus two more containers with steamed vegetables plus a pasta or casserole.

    I hog the break room microwave for about five minutes, getting the vegetables and entree hot, then eat a grand meal at my desk, with actual plates and flatware. This really impresses my co-workers.

  60. Anonymous says:

    I do eat at my desk, but it’s usually a plate of fruit and carrots. (Here, look)

    General cooking strategy: I cook big batches of casserole-type dishes on weekends, dole them out into emptied & cleaned 1lb. cottage cheese containers, and freeze them. At any one time I have quite a variety of entrees ready to go.

    One of those, some freshly streamed vegetables (carrots, onion, spinach), and a salad are my usual dinner.

    Sometimes I’ll pack a dinner sized meal for lunch. I keep a few plates and bowls, purchased from Goodwill, at my desk. I arrive at work with a 2 lb. plastic container (yogurt/ cottage cheese/ whatever) full of salad, a smaller container with a mixture of salad dressing and cottage cheese, plus two more containers with steamed vegetables plus a pasta or casserole.

    I hog the break room microwave for about five minutes, getting the vegetables and entree hot, then eat a grand meal at my desk, with actual plates and flatware. This really impresses my co-workers.

  61. Anonymous says:

    I do eat at my desk, but it’s usually a plate of fruit and carrots. (Here, look)

    General cooking strategy: I cook big batches of casserole-type dishes on weekends, dole them out into emptied & cleaned 1lb. cottage cheese containers, and freeze them. At any one time I have quite a variety of entrees ready to go.

    One of those, some freshly streamed vegetables (carrots, onion, spinach), and a salad are my usual dinner.

    Sometimes I’ll pack a dinner sized meal for lunch. I keep a few plates and bowls, purchased from Goodwill, at my desk. I arrive at work with a 2 lb. plastic container (yogurt/ cottage cheese/ whatever) full of salad, a smaller container with a mixture of salad dressing and cottage cheese, plus two more containers with steamed vegetables plus a pasta or casserole.

    I hog the break room microwave for about five minutes, getting the vegetables and entree hot, then eat a grand meal at my desk, with actual plates and flatware. This really impresses my co-workers.

  62. Anonymous says:

    I do eat at my desk, but it’s usually a plate of fruit and carrots. (Here, look)

    General cooking strategy: I cook big batches of casserole-type dishes on weekends, dole them out into emptied & cleaned 1lb. cottage cheese containers, and freeze them. At any one time I have quite a variety of entrees ready to go.

    One of those, some freshly streamed vegetables (carrots, onion, spinach), and a salad are my usual dinner.

    Sometimes I’ll pack a dinner sized meal for lunch. I keep a few plates and bowls, purchased from Goodwill, at my desk. I arrive at work with a 2 lb. plastic container (yogurt/ cottage cheese/ whatever) full of salad, a smaller container with a mixture of salad dressing and cottage cheese, plus two more containers with steamed vegetables plus a pasta or casserole.

    I hog the break room microwave for about five minutes, getting the vegetables and entree hot, then eat a grand meal at my desk, with actual plates and flatware. This really impresses my co-workers.

  63. Ryan Holler says:

    Bring a small insulated lunchbox to work.  You can keep premeasured, somewhat-tidy snacks on hand for mid-day slumps: Almonds, low-fat string cheese, homemade crackers, etc.

  64. trajov says:

    Ramen noodles cooked in a microwave
    Vegie sandwich

  65. Anonymous says:

    Poached eggs: put in a plastic bag, tie it off (leave in a little air) put in near boiling water for 3-5 minutes, cut open and enjoy

  66. kstedman says:

    When I need to eat quickly at the desk, I go for almonds or an apple (held in the teeth when I need to type).

  67. kstedman says:

    When I need to eat quickly at the desk, I go for almonds or an apple (held in the teeth when I need to type).

  68. Hiro Protagonist says:

    I am a big fan of Indian ready-to-eat meals:
    http://www.gitsfood.com/index.php?action=product&type=RE&dmode=C&id=3
    http://www.mtrfoods.com/readytoeat/index.htm

    There are many others – they are very cheap. I make a batch of brown rice in the microwave [usually enough for 2 days], and I have a stash of curries at work. Rice & curry in 2-3 mins in the microwave.

    These are all vegetarian, now I’m no vegetarian, but I really like these. You can have a different hot lunch every day.

  69. Tané Tachyon says:

    I’m very used to eating at my (home office) desk, and keep containers of a large number of different varieties of nuts and dried fruits* there, in addition to making myself things like a hummus sandwich or big bowl of soup or salad. I actually eat a lot more slowly this way — when I’m eating at someone’s house or at a restaurant, to keep up with them it really feels like I have to wolf my food down in comparison to the way I eat at my desk.

    *The dried fruits I have here right now are cherries, peaches, nectarines, mangoes, figs, strawberries, apples, pears, plus candied ginger and lemon peel if you want to count that.

  70. Tané Tachyon says:

    I’m very used to eating at my (home office) desk, and keep containers of a large number of different varieties of nuts and dried fruits* there, in addition to making myself things like a hummus sandwich or big bowl of soup or salad. I actually eat a lot more slowly this way — when I’m eating at someone’s house or at a restaurant, to keep up with them it really feels like I have to wolf my food down in comparison to the way I eat at my desk.

    *The dried fruits I have here right now are cherries, peaches, nectarines, mangoes, figs, strawberries, apples, pears, plus candied ginger and lemon peel if you want to count that.

  71. Nicholas Russo says:

    My current favourite, Homemade Cup Noodle (instant soup).  Can’t take credit, saw it on River Cottage, but the variations are endless and satisfyingly culinary for the mid work meal.

    http://www.rivercottage.net/recipes/chorizo-tomato-instant-noodles-in-a-pot/

  72. Nicholas Russo says:

    My current favourite, Homemade Cup Noodle (instant soup).  Can’t take credit, saw it on River Cottage, but the variations are endless and satisfyingly culinary for the mid work meal.

    http://www.rivercottage.net/recipes/chorizo-tomato-instant-noodles-in-a-pot/

  73. andy says:

    Avacado & Crackers

    ingrediants: avacado, crackers: take a knife and halve the room temperature avacado (remove seed), segment avacado half inside rind lengthwise with knife (I usually make 3 segemnts per half) slide avacado segment onto cracker (salt & pepper if you prefer), enjoy with a glass of water, very healthy, filling and a good way to get your daily water and veggies in, requires no refridgeration.

  74. Anonymous says:

    Oh, yes:.RICE COOKERS!

    You can buy a small rice cooker for under $10. They’re simple and durable; mine has been around for at least 10 years.

    You dump rice and water in, push a button, and wait. Out comes rice.

    But (edit: as Phil suggests) you do more than cook rice in it. I throw in sliced carrots, chopped up onions, even a chopped up tilapia fillet. 

  75. Anonymous says:

    Oh, yes:.RICE COOKERS!

    You can buy a small rice cooker for under $10. They’re simple and durable; mine has been around for at least 10 years.

    You dump rice and water in, push a button, and wait. Out comes rice.

    But (edit: as Phil suggests) you do more than cook rice in it. I throw in sliced carrots, chopped up onions, even a chopped up tilapia fillet. 

    1. Anonymous says:

      I’ve had mine for about five years and use it about 3-4 times a week. One of my fave kitchen tools.

    2. Anonymous says:

      I’ve had mine for about five years and use it about 3-4 times a week. One of my fave kitchen tools.

    3. DeadlyDad says:

      I usually have a rice cooker on the shelf by my desk, as well as Double Happiness rice noodles (~$1 for a pack of eight ramen-sized bricks.), various seasonings, soya/hot/etc. sauce, etc.  One neat trick I just figured out is that they are perfect for caramelizing onions; I just toss in some frozen, diced onions along with a little water, then wait for the click.  You can freeze cooked hamburger in a seriously reduced broth in ice cube trays, and grab a couple to toss in with the noodles & frozen veggies.  7 minutes later, I throw in some frozen peas to bring the temp down, and Voila!  Tasty soup that doesn’t take much more time to make than regular ramen.  Another simple, yet tasty meal is to, once the noodles are cooked, pour off most of the water, then mix in a couple of healthy dollops of peanut butter and sweet chili sauce.

      They are also good for perfect brown rice, porridge, or even cooking a small chicken or roast.  One reason why they are so handy is that as soon as all of the water in the pot is absorbed or evaporates and the temperature rises above 100C/212F, the cooker automatically switches to a warming mode, so nothing really has a chance to burn.

      BTW, if you set up your lunch/dinner in the morning, then plug it into a timer, your meal will be piping hot and ready to eat when you are.

      Good rice cookers are actually very inexpensive.  Even the Zojirushi NHS-18 (The one I have, and highly recommend.  10 cups is usually larger than necessary for me, but it is perfectly happy making only 1 cup, and the 6 cup is only ~$10 less.) is less than $60 on Amazon, so go ahead and get one… or three (like my family has. :grin: )

    4. DeadlyDad says:

      I usually have a rice cooker on the shelf by my desk, as well as Double Happiness rice noodles (~$1 for a pack of eight ramen-sized bricks.), various seasonings, soya/hot/etc. sauce, etc.  One neat trick I just figured out is that they are perfect for caramelizing onions; I just toss in some frozen, diced onions along with a little water, then wait for the click.  You can freeze cooked hamburger in a seriously reduced broth in ice cube trays, and grab a couple to toss in with the noodles & frozen veggies.  7 minutes later, I throw in some frozen peas to bring the temp down, and Voila!  Tasty soup that doesn’t take much more time to make than regular ramen.  Another simple, yet tasty meal is to, once the noodles are cooked, pour off most of the water, then mix in a couple of healthy dollops of peanut butter and sweet chili sauce.

      They are also good for perfect brown rice, porridge, or even cooking a small chicken or roast.  One reason why they are so handy is that as soon as all of the water in the pot is absorbed or evaporates and the temperature rises above 100C/212F, the cooker automatically switches to a warming mode, so nothing really has a chance to burn.

      BTW, if you set up your lunch/dinner in the morning, then plug it into a timer, your meal will be piping hot and ready to eat when you are.

      Good rice cookers are actually very inexpensive.  Even the Zojirushi NHS-18 (The one I have, and highly recommend.  10 cups is usually larger than necessary for me, but it is perfectly happy making only 1 cup, and the 6 cup is only ~$10 less.) is less than $60 on Amazon, so go ahead and get one… or three (like my family has. :grin: )

  76. Anonymous says:

    Oh, yes:.RICE COOKERS!

    You can buy a small rice cooker for under $10. They’re simple and durable; mine has been around for at least 10 years.

    You dump rice and water in, push a button, and wait. Out comes rice.

    But (edit: as Phil suggests) you do more than cook rice in it. I throw in sliced carrots, chopped up onions, even a chopped up tilapia fillet. 

  77. Anonymous says:

    Oh, yes:.RICE COOKERS!

    You can buy a small rice cooker for under $10. They’re simple and durable; mine has been around for at least 10 years.

    You dump rice and water in, push a button, and wait. Out comes rice.

    But (edit: as Phil suggests) you do more than cook rice in it. I throw in sliced carrots, chopped up onions, even a chopped up tilapia fillet. 

  78. Anonymous says:

    Artichokes! cut them in half, scoop out the “fuzzy middle”, PRESSURE COOK for 10-15 min with chicken broth or red wine and thyme, finish off under the broiler!  Garnish with garlic Aioli or sriracha/butter sauce
    Zero to Awesome in 20 min…

  79. dohfiddle says:

    I love home made lentil soup easy to make healthy and easy to reheat

  80. dohfiddle says:

    I love home made lentil soup easy to make healthy and easy to reheat

  81. dohfiddle says:

    I love home made lentil soup easy to make healthy and easy to reheat

  82. I think ramen noodles have gotten more mention than anything else here and had to throw in my 2¢. My recipe originated not in college but in post divorce re-bachelorhood and post child-support re-poverty. I’ve included a recipe below that might seem complicated, but what it boils down to is this; When you make or buy Chinese food, store some of the meat/vegies in small zipper bags and freeze them…   Days / Weeks later when you need a quick ramen fix, open bag, break off a chunk of frozen goodness, add it to your ramen, add water (maybe a little less than called for), and nuke it (maybe a little longer than called for). What you end up with is something as easy a ramen noodles but with actual taste, texture, and nutrition. 

    My own version of this is a chicken stir-fry that I make when the kids are over. Typically I use 4-5 chicken breasts with 1-2 being left to go in the freezer. Because of that, I may be a little heavy on the ginger and garlic. Experiment.

    Ingredients
    1-2 large frozen chicken breasts (partially thawed – easier to cut than thawed or frozen solid)
    small bag of frozen pepper/onion mixture (i use kroger 3 pepper and onion blend)
    minced garlic (buy the little jars of pre-minced – this is “Make” not the food network)
    ginger  (puree in a little jar or squeeze tube)
    Cheyenne pepper or similar (ask for red pepper flake with your next pizza delivery) 
     - You can substitute Chinese chili paste but be careful and go easy on garlic
    Soy sauce
    Vegetable, peanut, canola, or similar Oil (not olive oil – wrong flavor)
    sesame seed oil (if ya got it)

    Dice, cut, slice (whatever) your chicken into small pieces – about 1/2″
    In a pan (non-stick) or wok heat about 2 tsp of vege oil on high heat until hot (not smoking, but hot)
    Add a splash of of sesame seed oil.
    Add chicken … stir as needed until starting  to brown on all sides
    Add about 4oz (about 1/3 of a 12oz bag) of the pepper and onion mix … Stir
    Add about tsp of ginger … Stir
    Add about tsp of mince garlic … Stir
    Add about 1tbsp of soy sauce … Stir
    Add pepper to taste … Stir
    Stir
    At this point remove from heat – OR – add veggies, peanuts, sauce (about 1/2tsp of corn starch dissolved in 1/2cup of water) and cook for a few more minutes

    Try just about anything but keep a few things in mind. Smaller is better. Breading is going to turn to mush when you make your ramen noodles. Sauces don’t always taste great when mixed with the ramen broth. Don’t cook vegies too long when you’re doing the stir fry because you’re going to cook them again when you make the ramen.

  83. Incudie says:

    Organic Macaroni mixed with cheese, tuna, corn, and milk. Cook the noddles first in boiling water, drain and add other ingredients. Throw it in a bowl and get back to your desk =).

  84. Anonymous says:

    My boss just finished talking to us about eating in the office and how it contributes to the ever increasing rodent problem (NYC).  I then returned to my desk and assembled a PB&J just as my boss crossed my office doorway.  My reaction to the look of shock on his face prompted me to say “I can also use the peanut butter to bait the mouse traps. . .”

  85. Inna Volynskaya says:

    I’m sorry if this defeats the purpose but I think that often the most productive thing you can do is to stop working and eat. Clearing your head and resting your eyes will make the rest of your day better and will cut down on sick days in the long run. You probably spend enough time on facebook that you can’t say you don’t have enough time to take a 10 minute food break.

    To help with the work-week craziness – make meals ahead of time. Lasagnas and pastas with veggies are super easy and hold up well in the fridge/freezer. Roasted chicken with grains like rice or quinoa would be a good healthy option.

    If there’s something you like to eat, google the recipe and follow it. You’re a geek, you can do it. Or…get this book?

  86. Inna Volynskaya says:

    I’m sorry if this defeats the purpose but I think that often the most productive thing you can do is to stop working and eat. Clearing your head and resting your eyes will make the rest of your day better and will cut down on sick days in the long run. You probably spend enough time on facebook that you can’t say you don’t have enough time to take a 10 minute food break.

    To help with the work-week craziness – make meals ahead of time. Lasagnas and pastas with veggies are super easy and hold up well in the fridge/freezer. Roasted chicken with grains like rice or quinoa would be a good healthy option.

    If there’s something you like to eat, google the recipe and follow it. You’re a geek, you can do it. Or…get this book?

  87. Inna Volynskaya says:

    I’m sorry if this defeats the purpose but I think that often the most productive thing you can do is to stop working and eat. Clearing your head and resting your eyes will make the rest of your day better and will cut down on sick days in the long run. You probably spend enough time on facebook that you can’t say you don’t have enough time to take a 10 minute food break.

    To help with the work-week craziness – make meals ahead of time. Lasagnas and pastas with veggies are super easy and hold up well in the fridge/freezer. Roasted chicken with grains like rice or quinoa would be a good healthy option.

    If there’s something you like to eat, google the recipe and follow it. You’re a geek, you can do it. Or…get this book?

  88. When at home I tend to grab whatever is easy and available.  So no real tip there, but my real tip comes to working the vending machines at work.  I don’t know if y’all have the modern snack vending machines in your area, but in my work place we have machines that have sensors making sure that something dropped, that way you don’t end up loosing your money in the machine and you don’t have to write a little note to the vending machine guy.  If something does not drop the machine continues to spin on that item until something drops out.  My tip is to choose an item that looks like it will jam up.  That way it will spin until the jam unjams, giving you multiple items.  This works best when there is a newbie vending service guy servicing your machine (they tend to load the machine more sloppily).  This worked well for me for awhile, but now the guy that loads the machine does so in such a way that the snacks don’t jam.  

  89. When at home I tend to grab whatever is easy and available.  So no real tip there, but my real tip comes to working the vending machines at work.  I don’t know if y’all have the modern snack vending machines in your area, but in my work place we have machines that have sensors making sure that something dropped, that way you don’t end up loosing your money in the machine and you don’t have to write a little note to the vending machine guy.  If something does not drop the machine continues to spin on that item until something drops out.  My tip is to choose an item that looks like it will jam up.  That way it will spin until the jam unjams, giving you multiple items.  This works best when there is a newbie vending service guy servicing your machine (they tend to load the machine more sloppily).  This worked well for me for awhile, but now the guy that loads the machine does so in such a way that the snacks don’t jam.  

  90. When at home I tend to grab whatever is easy and available.  So no real tip there, but my real tip comes to working the vending machines at work.  I don’t know if y’all have the modern snack vending machines in your area, but in my work place we have machines that have sensors making sure that something dropped, that way you don’t end up loosing your money in the machine and you don’t have to write a little note to the vending machine guy.  If something does not drop the machine continues to spin on that item until something drops out.  My tip is to choose an item that looks like it will jam up.  That way it will spin until the jam unjams, giving you multiple items.  This works best when there is a newbie vending service guy servicing your machine (they tend to load the machine more sloppily).  This worked well for me for awhile, but now the guy that loads the machine does so in such a way that the snacks don’t jam.  

  91. Hippie Deb says:

    I don’t tend to eat meals at my desk so much, but I snack a LOT. Crackers and cream cheese (must have plate to catch the crumbs), bagels with stuff on them (doesn’t matter, I like them ALL), string cheese, cups of fruit … I’m also quite prone to just take a slice of ham, a slice of cheese, roll them up, and munch that.
     
    I will say … I spent the bucks and got a seriously spillproof keyboard after killing my last 2 with WAY too frequent doses of coffee – best thing I ever did. My pc and I get along much better now.

  92. Hippie Deb says:

    I don’t tend to eat meals at my desk so much, but I snack a LOT. Crackers and cream cheese (must have plate to catch the crumbs), bagels with stuff on them (doesn’t matter, I like them ALL), string cheese, cups of fruit … I’m also quite prone to just take a slice of ham, a slice of cheese, roll them up, and munch that.
     
    I will say … I spent the bucks and got a seriously spillproof keyboard after killing my last 2 with WAY too frequent doses of coffee – best thing I ever did. My pc and I get along much better now.

  93. Hippie Deb says:

    I don’t tend to eat meals at my desk so much, but I snack a LOT. Crackers and cream cheese (must have plate to catch the crumbs), bagels with stuff on them (doesn’t matter, I like them ALL), string cheese, cups of fruit … I’m also quite prone to just take a slice of ham, a slice of cheese, roll them up, and munch that.
     
    I will say … I spent the bucks and got a seriously spillproof keyboard after killing my last 2 with WAY too frequent doses of coffee – best thing I ever did. My pc and I get along much better now.

  94. Hippie Deb says:

    I don’t tend to eat meals at my desk so much, but I snack a LOT. Crackers and cream cheese (must have plate to catch the crumbs), bagels with stuff on them (doesn’t matter, I like them ALL), string cheese, cups of fruit … I’m also quite prone to just take a slice of ham, a slice of cheese, roll them up, and munch that.
     
    I will say … I spent the bucks and got a seriously spillproof keyboard after killing my last 2 with WAY too frequent doses of coffee – best thing I ever did. My pc and I get along much better now.

  95. Hippie Deb says:

    I don’t tend to eat meals at my desk so much, but I snack a LOT. Crackers and cream cheese (must have plate to catch the crumbs), bagels with stuff on them (doesn’t matter, I like them ALL), string cheese, cups of fruit … I’m also quite prone to just take a slice of ham, a slice of cheese, roll them up, and munch that.
     
    I will say … I spent the bucks and got a seriously spillproof keyboard after killing my last 2 with WAY too frequent doses of coffee – best thing I ever did. My pc and I get along much better now.

  96. Plastic wrap on the keyboard works nicely, as does having a Model M with liquid drainage channels.

  97. Plastic wrap on the keyboard works nicely, as does having a Model M with liquid drainage channels.

  98. Plastic wrap on the keyboard works nicely, as does having a Model M with liquid drainage channels.

  99. Plastic wrap on the keyboard works nicely, as does having a Model M with liquid drainage channels.

  100. Ben says:

    A healthy, and surprisingly palatable, snack I’ve found is celery and spicy humus. Bonus: It’s ok for the slow carb diet I’m on, in limited quantities.

  101. Susan Jones says:

    I have to put in another “stop and eat” plug — people who stop to eat, tend to get hungry later than people who eat while doing something else.  I work in a computer lab and getting OUT of it is, actually, a good idea *and* it sets a good example… and the computers last longer.
        I do not, however, succeed at doing that… and my evaluations always include dings for my untidy surroundings. There are sometimes really strange stains…
        However, I *do* succeed in eating actual food instead of grazing on chips or candy.   If it doesn’t deserve tabasco, then it’s junk food.

  102. Kevin says:

    I eat at the pc only after loading up a video or movie. I recline in my chair and eat over my lap. Hey, it’s not really civilized eating at a computer anyway! Right? Right. I learned my lesson with the sweetened coffee on my keyboard…

  103. Kevin says:

    Generally sandwiches on unbuttered/oiled bread. Open-faced works well with veggies and a little cheese to hold it all together. Put under a broiler for a minute and you have one-handed tastiness!

  104. To prep for breakfast at my desk during the week I generally boil a dozen eggs on Saturday night and shell them using Timothy Ferriss’ “How to Peel Hard-boiled Eggs without Peeling” technique-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PN2gYHJNT3Y.  I then wrapped two eggs each in plastic wrap and I am ready for the week. A little salt from my desk drawer and breakfast is served.

  105. Sameer Verma says:

    I just use an OLPC XO while cooking and/or eating. Spills don’t matter that way, and the readability of recipes is great on that screen!

  106. None says:

    I make rice in a rice cooker twice a week.  When I pack my lunch, I put some of the rice in a bowl, look for toppings (left over chicken, some veggies, etc), apply the toppings, and put it in my lunch bag. I’ve lost 12 pounds in the last 6 months by eating rice bowls instead of going out to Five Guys or whatever greasy place the guys want to go to at lunch.

  107. None says:

    I make rice in a rice cooker twice a week.  When I pack my lunch, I put some of the rice in a bowl, look for toppings (left over chicken, some veggies, etc), apply the toppings, and put it in my lunch bag. I’ve lost 12 pounds in the last 6 months by eating rice bowls instead of going out to Five Guys or whatever greasy place the guys want to go to at lunch.

  108. None says:

    I make rice in a rice cooker twice a week.  When I pack my lunch, I put some of the rice in a bowl, look for toppings (left over chicken, some veggies, etc), apply the toppings, and put it in my lunch bag. I’ve lost 12 pounds in the last 6 months by eating rice bowls instead of going out to Five Guys or whatever greasy place the guys want to go to at lunch.

  109. Fred Cousins says:

    Toast an English muffin – spritz a little non-stick spray in a ramekin, add an egg and scramble – add pepper and a tiny bit of nutmeg. Microwave for 1:25 on high.  Microwave a slab of Canadian bacon. salt – better than an egg(you know what) at the local fast food place with the arches.  Forget about those stupid microwave egg poachers – don’t work at all.

  110. Fred Cousins says:

    Toast an English muffin – spritz a little non-stick spray in a ramekin, add an egg and scramble – add pepper and a tiny bit of nutmeg. Microwave for 1:25 on high.  Microwave a slab of Canadian bacon. salt – better than an egg(you know what) at the local fast food place with the arches.  Forget about those stupid microwave egg poachers – don’t work at all.

  111. Fred Cousins says:

    Toast an English muffin – spritz a little non-stick spray in a ramekin, add an egg and scramble – add pepper and a tiny bit of nutmeg. Microwave for 1:25 on high.  Microwave a slab of Canadian bacon. salt – better than an egg(you know what) at the local fast food place with the arches.  Forget about those stupid microwave egg poachers – don’t work at all.

  112. Doug Gold says:

    Before I set up my lunch area at my desk, I go to the breakroom and get get 2 12″ lengths of paper towels and put my lunch on those, in front of my keyboard. It never fails that I slop or splash some lunch juice on my desk.  

  113. Doug Gold says:

    Before I set up my lunch area at my desk, I go to the breakroom and get get 2 12″ lengths of paper towels and put my lunch on those, in front of my keyboard. It never fails that I slop or splash some lunch juice on my desk.  

  114. Doug Gold says:

    Before I set up my lunch area at my desk, I go to the breakroom and get get 2 12″ lengths of paper towels and put my lunch on those, in front of my keyboard. It never fails that I slop or splash some lunch juice on my desk.  

  115. Jon Noe says:

    I save a lot of time and effort by making big batches of food and freezing portions individually for days when cooking feels like more of a chore than an adventure. When you’re making a soup or anything that freezes nicely, it’s not much more work to simply double or triple the recipe and freeze what’s leftover.

  116. Jon Noe says:

    I save a lot of time and effort by making big batches of food and freezing portions individually for days when cooking feels like more of a chore than an adventure. When you’re making a soup or anything that freezes nicely, it’s not much more work to simply double or triple the recipe and freeze what’s leftover.

  117. Jon Noe says:

    I save a lot of time and effort by making big batches of food and freezing portions individually for days when cooking feels like more of a chore than an adventure. When you’re making a soup or anything that freezes nicely, it’s not much more work to simply double or triple the recipe and freeze what’s leftover.

  118. Onigiri (rice balls with picked plums or broiled salmon inside) works best at desktop. No mess at all!

  119. Onigiri (rice balls with picked plums or broiled salmon inside) works best at desktop. No mess at all!

  120. Onigiri (rice balls with picked plums or broiled salmon inside) works best at desktop. No mess at all!

  121. Onigiri (rice balls with picked plums or broiled salmon inside) works best at desktop. No mess at all!

  122. Onigiri (rice balls with picked plums or broiled salmon inside) works best at desktop. No mess at all!

  123. Onigiri (rice balls with picked plums or broiled salmon inside) works best at desktop. No mess at all!

  124. Onigiri (rice balls with picked plums or broiled salmon inside) works best at desktop. No mess at all!

  125. Alison Dance says:

    I find the standard Styrofoam take-away container serves nicely as its own shield when flipped open, and it is still narrow enough that you can reach around an arm on either side to continue typing between bites. I hate the waste from the container itself and the expense of the Italian place with the tasty victuals, but until I find an adequate reusable container to replace it with, well…

    Oh, and health-wise, ramen noodle folks, look in the Kosher foods section for low-fat noodles that haven’t been fried like your standard ramen noodles. You can’t taste the difference once they’ve been cooked.

  126. JustAGirl says:

    Anything you can eat with only one hand. Beware of grease on the trackpad.

  127. JustAGirl says:

    Anything you can eat with only one hand. Beware of grease on the trackpad.

  128. Brian Coy says:

    I think that the important thing is to keep liquids away.  Most any solid, even if sticky or damp can probably be cleaned up (eventually) but spilling soup on a keyboard, especially a laptop can be disastrous.

  129. Brian Coy says:

    I think that the important thing is to keep liquids away.  Most any solid, even if sticky or damp can probably be cleaned up (eventually) but spilling soup on a keyboard, especially a laptop can be disastrous.

  130. I love a good cucumber, cream cheese and dill sandwich along side a mug of tomato soup at the desk.

  131. I love a good cucumber, cream cheese and dill sandwich along side a mug of tomato soup at the desk.

  132. MeganH says:

    Okay you geeks, for the love of God, please stop microwaving your food in plastic and Styrofoam.  Remember the BPA and stuff?  Which makes the cancer and the immune function problems?  Someday I may want to date you and fall in love and have your babies, and if your reproductive parts are all screwy with endocrine inhibitors or whatever, we will both be so sad.  Therefore, in the microwave — as in the freezer — use glass.

    Or, make food that tastes great cold.  My favorite desktop lunch is the world’s easiest quinoa salad.  Cook the quinoa, it takes like 15 minutes, then toss it with oil and vinegar, salt and pepper, chopped garlic and onion, chopped mint and parsley.  If you don’t have mint or parsley, use arugula, watercress…anyway, some strong flavored green.  It’s good hot, it’s good cold, it will endear you to everyone you share it with.  Make more friends in the office.  It’s high in protein (quinoa), gluten free (quinoa) and vegan, so anyone can eat it.

    To keep it from between the keypads, I use a simple trick: I lean back from the desk.  If I have to type something, I put the bowl down.  I mean, if it were soup, I wouldn’t pick up the bowl in the first place.  Of course you’re going to slop it all over your brand new Mac laptop and then all of Facebook will have to endure your yowls of self-pity for the next month.  Better to look like a lapping puppy as you bend over your soup bowl.  That status update you’re reading is so super important that it’s worth a little splashy splash, right? 

  133. First, when you are involved in a hard core studying/coding/gaming session where you do feel the need to eat at the keyboard, you must be prepared.

    In such situations, I keep the following handy:

    1. Paper Towels (I usually just pilfer the roll from the kitchen, much to my Fiancee’s dismay)
    2. Handy wipes (Usually taken by the handful when visiting a bar-b-q joint.)
    3. Bottle of glass cleaner (For cleaning up the spot where the grease from whatever I’m eating has soaked through the paper it was wrapped in)
    4. Bottle of electronics cleaner (For when you inadvertently spray your monitor with the contents of your mouth.  Also, if you open a can drink within 10 feet of a monitor it’s almost impossible not to get some droplets on it.)
    5. Mcrofiber cloth (see item 4) 

    After gathering these items then, and only then, will I proceed to eat at my desk.

    As far as the food goes, I’m usually going to opt for something that can be held in one hand, so that I may continue to type/mouse with the other hand.  Think sandwich, sub, hamburger, hot dog or burrito (no tacos too high a risk of spillage).

    My favorite would have to be a meatball sub loaded up with onions, jalapenos, and black olives.  This sometimes might turn into a spaghetti sandwich if I’ve combined the meatballs with pasta to conserve fridge space. :)

  134. Anonymous says:

    I have a sweet tooth, and I find that cookies are one of the perfect snacks to eat one-handed while typing . I have some friends that eat Gluten-Free, and I enjoy cooking for them. While looking through GF recipes, I came across a wonderful little recipe for Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies. These little suckers quickly became my personal favorite and a real winner with friends and family. They are simple as they are troublesomely addictive! Crunchy and chewy, they compare to none I’ve tasted.   Recipe:                                                                                                                                           1 C. sugar                                                                                                                                             1 C. Crunchy Peanut Butter                                                                                                                   1 Egg                                                                                                                                             1 C. Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips                                                                                                                                                    1 tsp. Baking Soda                                                                                                                                   1 pinch of salt                                                                                                                                      Mix & Bake on non-greased cookie sheet until puffy and light brown. Let cool & Nom, Nom, Nom.

  135. cesar mauricio arias giraldo says:

    The better thing is to learn how to move the mouse with the left hand meanwhile you eat with your right one………………………………. 

  136. Krista Hutchens says:

    I love fruit and string cheese, I try to chop fruits or any lunch up so that I may use a fork rather than get my fingers all sticky with strawberries, apples, or oranges. But there are inevitably there will always be crumbs on my keyboard :/

  137. I like to make mexican food a lot.  Corn tortillas are much healthier than flour.  I usually just make a quick Quesadilla, putting some basil, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper in with the cheese.  If I have limes handy, I squirt some lime juice on each tortilla while it’s frying.

    Another one I really like is Chilequiles.  Cut up corn tortillas into strips and fry them all together in a little oil.  When they are cooked, pour salsa in.  In another pan, cook a fried egg, a little bit runny.  Put the tortilla strips in a bowl, place the egg on top and add cheese, more salsa, sour cream, etc.  It’s really tasty.

  138. Thu says:

    I love tossing fresh baby spinach in everything! Sandwiches, smoothies, pasta, scrambled eggs, ramen, etc.

  139. Anonymous says:

    The Good Old Toasted Cheese Sandwich – I use a toaster oven to make mine (Or Use a George Foreman) – But if using the Toaster oven – Place a layer of Aluminum Foil down on the oven rack – Then I proceed to butter the outside of the bread with (Either Real Butter or You can Spray it with Olive Oil to get a nice Crispy Bread Taste. Where I get creative is mixing it up with with different types of breads (Plain old White, Rye, or what ever you have on hand), Then I pick the fillings. You can make Pizza Toasted Cheese (Mozzarella, Pizza Sauce and Pepperoni) – Or 4 Cheese Toasted Cheese (Mozzarella, Provolone, American, ETC….) – Or make one of your own – I also love to put in Sweet Onion Slices, Bacon Bits, Franks Red Hot, Peppers, Banna Peppers, Green Peppers, Garlic, Pepperoni, Ham, Turkey, or what ever you have that sounds good. Quick Easy and What a Comfort Food

  140. Anonymous says:

    The Good Old Toasted Cheese Sandwich – I use a toaster oven to make mine (Or Use a George Foreman) – But if using the Toaster oven – Place a layer of Aluminum Foil down on the oven rack – Then I proceed to butter the outside of the bread with (Either Real Butter or You can Spray it with Olive Oil to get a nice Crispy Bread Taste. Where I get creative is mixing it up with with different types of breads (Plain old White, Rye, or what ever you have on hand), Then I pick the fillings. You can make Pizza Toasted Cheese (Mozzarella, Pizza Sauce and Pepperoni) – Or 4 Cheese Toasted Cheese (Mozzarella, Provolone, American, ETC….) – Or make one of your own – I also love to put in Sweet Onion Slices, Bacon Bits, Franks Red Hot, Peppers, Banna Peppers, Green Peppers, Garlic, Pepperoni, Ham, Turkey, or what ever you have that sounds good. Quick Easy and What a Comfort Food

  141. Betsy McIver says:

    Here’s a tip: Microwaving lots of foods destroys the vitamin content.  If you’re bringing food to work and plan to heat it, you should check which foods survive the nuker with their nutrients intact.  For example, broccoli loses most of its nutrients in the microwave :( 

  142. Schmidty says:

    Desktop food: lean pastrami with provolone on english muffins. :)

  143. Schmidty says:

    Desktop food: lean pastrami with provolone on english muffins. :)

  144. Schmidty says:

    Desktop food: lean pastrami with provolone on english muffins. :)

  145. I work from home, so my desk is where I’m at most of the day. I chose a very wide desk (a little more than 2 feet), so there’s plenty of space to move the keyboard back toward the monitor. I also installed the BackPack shelf on my Mac, so I can prop the keyboard on that if I need to. I try to create eating space instead of limiting my dining options!

    I’ve eaten every kind of food at my desk, and when I had a smaller desk I usually covered my keyboard with a paper towel or dish rag. Keyboard messes happen, and if I have to eat AND type, I keep a damp paper towel handy for drips. The key is to take care of drips before they dry!

    For quick eats, sandwiches are my favorite. Seriously, you can put almost anything in between two slices of bread (or into a wrap).

  146. I work from home, so my desk is where I’m at most of the day. I chose a very wide desk (a little more than 2 feet), so there’s plenty of space to move the keyboard back toward the monitor. I also installed the BackPack shelf on my Mac, so I can prop the keyboard on that if I need to. I try to create eating space instead of limiting my dining options!

    I’ve eaten every kind of food at my desk, and when I had a smaller desk I usually covered my keyboard with a paper towel or dish rag. Keyboard messes happen, and if I have to eat AND type, I keep a damp paper towel handy for drips. The key is to take care of drips before they dry!

    For quick eats, sandwiches are my favorite. Seriously, you can put almost anything in between two slices of bread (or into a wrap).

  147. Bill D says:

    I like to eat soup from a can.   Chunky’s Prime Rib with Vegetables,Steak and Potato, and my all time favorite Sirloin Burger.  I don’t heat them as they are fully cooked.  Some come in pull tab cans so there is not need for an opener.  I keep them in my desk for when dinner hour rolls by and 10pm is closer than a drive through restaurant. Peanut butter and pretzel logs work too!

  148. Bill D says:

    I like to eat soup from a can.   Chunky’s Prime Rib with Vegetables,Steak and Potato, and my all time favorite Sirloin Burger.  I don’t heat them as they are fully cooked.  Some come in pull tab cans so there is not need for an opener.  I keep them in my desk for when dinner hour rolls by and 10pm is closer than a drive through restaurant. Peanut butter and pretzel logs work too!

  149. Ian Mckay says:

    A laptop dining table from your local flea market does wonders! Just be sure not to spill your drink :)

  150. Ian Mckay says:

    A laptop dining table from your local flea market does wonders! Just be sure not to spill your drink :)

  151. Anonymous says:

    the easiest way to eat at the computer, or heck let your little kids anywhere near your computer is to protect the keyboard.  Plastic Keyboard protectors are great for this, my friends munchkins spill all kinds of things on his keyboard and he just picks up the protective cover runs it under some water shakes it and dries the underside and puts it back on.

  152. Anonymous says:

    the easiest way to eat at the computer, or heck let your little kids anywhere near your computer is to protect the keyboard.  Plastic Keyboard protectors are great for this, my friends munchkins spill all kinds of things on his keyboard and he just picks up the protective cover runs it under some water shakes it and dries the underside and puts it back on.

  153. Lou Ruppert says:

    Chopsticks are the answer for messy foods.  You don’t get your hands dirty and dirty up the mouse or keyboard.  Anything that comes in a foil bag gets eaten with chopsticks.

    For “cooking,” hummus and raw vegetables are easy to prepare, tasty, and don’t leave messes.  Plus you don’t need to join the epic battle for the microwave.

    Other than that, just eat out of a nice glass microwave bowl, and try to angle yourself such that you don’t spill it all over your vendor-supplied t-shirt or the keyboard.

    Simple.

  154. Lou Ruppert says:

    Chopsticks are the answer for messy foods.  You don’t get your hands dirty and dirty up the mouse or keyboard.  Anything that comes in a foil bag gets eaten with chopsticks.

    For “cooking,” hummus and raw vegetables are easy to prepare, tasty, and don’t leave messes.  Plus you don’t need to join the epic battle for the microwave.

    Other than that, just eat out of a nice glass microwave bowl, and try to angle yourself such that you don’t spill it all over your vendor-supplied t-shirt or the keyboard.

    Simple.

  155. raggd_46 says:

    Buy Haloumi, a Cyprus origin cheese that squeaks! You slice it and fry it to get a cheesy bite, crispy on the outside, then take olives, salad of your choice, a dressing (I like mayo or a sweet tomato and chilli chutney) and pretty much stuff it all in a sliced pitta bread. This crumbles less than normal bread, will give a different, easier to eat meal, and above all, tastes great!

  156. Keith says:

    I need all of the help I can get… I can cook some stuff, but  usually others don’t want to eat it!

  157. Keith says:

    I need all of the help I can get… I can cook some stuff, but  usually others don’t want to eat it!

  158. Amy Holton says:

    I must win this for my husband.  He said “Sweet” rather than “Awesome” when I showed him this book.  I am an English teacher, and adept at teasing out the intricacies of his not-so-intricate responses.  “Sweet” means he would CONSUME this book with passion and aptitude.  He has watched every episode of Bordain, brews his own beer, pores through  his emails from his bazillion foodie collectives he’s joined on a daily basis,  read every entry of The Food Lover’s Companion and corrects ME when I mispronounce stuff, and just cooked us up some yummy vegan metal pad thai using this guy’s recipe: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CeZlih4DDNg, which I believe earns him the title of quite possibly the geekiest cook ever.  Plus, it’s his birthday Thursday. PLLEEEEAAASE!

  159. Matt Gordon says:

    Although the original is now offline, I re-submit, back from the early fog of Makezine, my “Amazing Leatherman Spoon”:
    http://blog.makezine.com/archive/2005/04/the-amazing-leatherman-sp.html
    Basically, we grafted a spoon onto a leatherman in the physics dept machine shop late at night.

  160. Anonymous says:

    The eligible entry period ended last night at midnight pacific. We’ll announce the two book winners later today. But DO feel free to continue to enter desktop dining hacks. This is FUN.

  161. Shai Fisher says:

    I Prefer Hummus Sandwich.
    Good recipe for Hummus:
    Put 0.5 of chickpeas in water, add half teaspoon baking soda and let it rest for a whole night.
    Make sure you put enough water to cover the chickpeas, they will double during the night.
    Cook the chickpeas for about 1.5 hours. In the beggining, make sure you take out the foam from the baking soda.
    add half spoon salt and turn off the fire. Wait a litle bit.
    Grind 2 cups chickpeas in foodproccessor with: 0.5 cup Tahini (sesame paste), 1 spoon olive oil, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, salt (if needed).
    put the rest of the cooked chickpeas in freezer for the next time. you can make much more chickpeas and freeze it.
    Enjoy!

     

  162. Shai Fisher says:

    I Prefer Hummus Sandwich.
    Good recipe for Hummus:
    Put 0.5 of chickpeas in water, add half teaspoon baking soda and let it rest for a whole night.
    Make sure you put enough water to cover the chickpeas, they will double during the night.
    Cook the chickpeas for about 1.5 hours. In the beggining, make sure you take out the foam from the baking soda.
    add half spoon salt and turn off the fire. Wait a litle bit.
    Grind 2 cups chickpeas in foodproccessor with: 0.5 cup Tahini (sesame paste), 1 spoon olive oil, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, salt (if needed).
    put the rest of the cooked chickpeas in freezer for the next time. you can make much more chickpeas and freeze it.
    Enjoy!

     

  163. Shai Fisher says:

    I Prefer Hummus Sandwich.
    Good recipe for Hummus:
    Put 0.5 of chickpeas in water, add half teaspoon baking soda and let it rest for a whole night.
    Make sure you put enough water to cover the chickpeas, they will double during the night.
    Cook the chickpeas for about 1.5 hours. In the beggining, make sure you take out the foam from the baking soda.
    add half spoon salt and turn off the fire. Wait a litle bit.
    Grind 2 cups chickpeas in foodproccessor with: 0.5 cup Tahini (sesame paste), 1 spoon olive oil, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, salt (if needed).
    put the rest of the cooked chickpeas in freezer for the next time. you can make much more chickpeas and freeze it.
    Enjoy!

     

  164. Andy says:

    Eat your favorite cheese-flavored crunchy snacks with chopsticks. It keeps the orange stuff off the mouse.

  165. Andy says:

    Eat your favorite cheese-flavored crunchy snacks with chopsticks. It keeps the orange stuff off the mouse.

  166. Cold pasta salad goes a long way. make a big batch and keep it in the fridge, then grab bowls full as needed. fast, convenient and you can sneek lots of healthful things in there
    nieceyd@gmail.com

  167. Cold pasta salad goes a long way. make a big batch and keep it in the fridge, then grab bowls full as needed. fast, convenient and you can sneek lots of healthful things in there
    nieceyd@gmail.com

  168. Cold pasta salad goes a long way. make a big batch and keep it in the fridge, then grab bowls full as needed. fast, convenient and you can sneek lots of healthful things in there
    nieceyd@gmail.com

  169. Alexandros says:

    I reorganised my desk so that I had room for a plate in front of my keyboard (which is where I always tried to put it anyways) – less balancing (so fewer spills) and the food is never over the keyboard. I also tend to stick to fork-food – finger food seems more natural, but then I’m more likely to wave the food around, or type with grease/mayo/whatever on my fingers. 

  170. aaron teo says:

    I agree on stop microwaving your food unless you don’t have any choice. Start cooking with organic choices rather than everything can food. I don’t think that the government should pay for your food choices in eating badly (healthy sense). Please start thinking about staying alive longer.
    I been working trying to grow vegetables organically. Does anyone knows that fruits sold in the supermarkets are 1-2 years been frozen? Start thinking out of the box dudes.

    http://www.youshine.com.au

  171. aaron teo says:

    I agree on stop microwaving your food unless you don’t have any choice. Start cooking with organic choices rather than everything can food. I don’t think that the government should pay for your food choices in eating badly (healthy sense). Please start thinking about staying alive longer.
    I been working trying to grow vegetables organically. Does anyone knows that fruits sold in the supermarkets are 1-2 years been frozen? Start thinking out of the box dudes.

    http://www.youshine.com.au

  172. aaron teo says:

    I agree on stop microwaving your food unless you don’t have any choice. Start cooking with organic choices rather than everything can food. I don’t think that the government should pay for your food choices in eating badly (healthy sense). Please start thinking about staying alive longer.
    I been working trying to grow vegetables organically. Does anyone knows that fruits sold in the supermarkets are 1-2 years been frozen? Start thinking out of the box dudes.

    http://www.youshine.com.au

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