I’ve been working for quite a few years now and the one thing that has remained a constant is that the office cafeteria food sucks. No matter how many options or shops the food court has, at the end of the day I either get tired or sick of the food. Sometimes both. To be honest I could go to one of the several nearby restaurants for lunch, but most of the time I either don’t have time to do that or I just don’t have the motivation to do so in the middle of the workday. Also its not the healthiest or the most economical solution to eat out everyday. So no matter which way I look at it, the only solution seems to be to take a packed lunch from home. In other words, take tiffin to work!
Stuffed Chicken Breast in Cream Sauce. This is the kind of lunch I end up ordering when I go out for lunch during work.
If you’re one of the lucky souls that enjoy cooking then this would probably be a piece of cake for you. But to me cooking is something I would only do if I have absolutely no other option. That means no money to order food, no friends to beg for money to order said food, no access to instant or cup noodles, and also no eggs to boil and eat. There was even a time when I went out and had 3 plates of pani puri/golgappas for lunch rather than cook something at home. Having to cook everyday is literally the stuff of my nightmares. Since I’m convinced that I can’t be the only one with this problem, I’ve come up with a list of easy lunches even the laziest among us can make or ‘cook’ and take as tiffin to work!
- Salads: Ok c’mon you had to be expecting this one. What is easier than making a salad? Is making a salad really even cooking? The answers are nothing and no! Chop up a bunch of vegetables and add some mixed greens – the more colorful, the fancier your salad will look, the more impressed your colleagues will be. Not that we care about at all. Since I can’t imagine ever eating a vegetarian salad, I have to add some meat to it. My favorite thing to do is to grill/roast a chicken over the weekend and then use the leftover grilled chicken in salads and sandwiches throughout the week. For an healthier option, switch out the chicken for fish or tuna.
- Wraps/Rolls or Burritos: Are they the essentially the same thing? Is a burrito the roll’s slightly fatter Mexican cousin? Who knows! But what I do know is that they are very easy to make and are extremely filling hence a great great lunch. You can literally put whatever you want into a wrap. In school there was a kid who’s mom would make him these chapati(wheat tortillas) rolls with butter and sugar and jam inside it. We would fight till death to steal that guys tiffin every day. He was a legend and him mom an angel sent from heaven. The point being we were idiots in school and you can put anything but the kitchen sink in a wrap and it will still be great! Since I’m lazy( Im going to say that a lot in this post) I buy these packs of 10 wheat tortillas from the supermarket to make my wraps. You have to heat it up in the microwave for 3 mins and you are good to go!
- Curd Rice or Rice and Dal: Ok with this one we have finally reached the stage where you have to actually switch on the stove and cook something. If you’re smirking then you’re one of the fancy ‘love to cook’ people and you don’t count! This is for us lazy people. These are my tried and tested fool proof items that can be prepared in 15 minutes tops with almost no supervision. By that I mean than you don’t have to stand and watch and stir to cook these things. You can make these in 15 mins before you go to work or the previous night, which is what I would do. Healthy balanced and respectable meals that you could take to work for lunch.
- Left over dinner from last night: Ok I understand that not everyone would be okay with this. There are a lot of people who don’t like to eat food prepared the previous day. But since I don’t have any problems with it I decided to include it. While I was studying engineering I stayed at an hostel for 4 years, and that has pretty much made me grateful for any food that can be identified as food or is not a blob of something in a strange color that you don’t want to spend too much time thinking about. So I really don’t have any problems taking my previous nights left over dinner as the next day’s lunch. This saves a lot of time and effort, and if you’re the one making the dinner then you could just make some extra for the next day’s tiffin. Easy peasy.
- Stir fry vegetables or chicken: This again involves some amount of cooking but you can control how healthy and what quantity you want it to be. Use olive or coconut oil if you want it healthy, and you can add as many or as few vegetables as you want. Salt and pepper and any other seasonings that you like. And thats pretty much it. Stir fry for 10-15 mins and cover and cook for 5 more mins if you’re adding chicken. Add some lime and you are good to go. This is very easy to make and requires no advance preparations. You can literally use whatever veggies and meat you have lying around in your refrigerator.
- Carrots,cucumbers and hummus: I love hummus, and I can pretty much eat it by itself. Its very healthy and surprisingly filling. Normally eaten with pita bread but then you can totally substitute it with whatever else you feel like eating. My personal favorites are baby carrots and cucumbers. Very heathy and very nice. I am making myself hungry just writing about it. Very little to almost no preparation needed if you are using store bought hummus. If you plan to make the hummus yourself thats also fairly simple and you can find tons of great recipes online.
So thats my little list for easy to make lunches to take to work. Now lets talk about the what we can use to carry these amazing lunches to work. If you thought tupperware and winced then I can help. To be honest a big part of the reason I have resisted taking tiffin to work so far is the fact that I will have to carry the ugly little bag with the plastic tiffin boxes, because no way am I putting it in my laptop bag and making my laptop smell like sandwiches for the whole day. And everyone knows plastic is not the ideal way to carry food right? But what are my other options? The old fashion 3 tier steel carriers? No way!
So imagine my delight when I was introduced to this neat new invention called the Vaya Tyffyn. Its literally the only reason I even considered carrying a whole packed lunch to work. The whole design is keeping in mind the working professional wanting to carry a home cooked meal to work. Its spill proof, keeps food warm, and comes with a very convenient purple sling bag to carry it in. Bonus points for being purple.
It doesn’t look like any regular lunch box I have ever seen, mine looks like a fuzzy sweater! It comes in three varieties, graphite, maple and wool, but the purple wool one is easily my favorite. I’ve been using it for about a week now and people won’t stop asking me where I got it from 😀 It keeps my salads fresh and non soggy, doesn’t let oil spill out, and most importantly for me doesn’t leave my bag or me smelling like food when I’m carrying it, even after the whole day. Which is great and trust me not an easy thing to achieve. So I have to say I’m very impressed with the product and happy to finally carry food to work and not look like I’m going to school with my little tiffin box!
The Vaya Tyffn was provided to us as a PR sample.