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Around The Water Cooler

Delicious Just-Add-Water Office Meals

Everybody knows that the perfect office meal hinges on two key criteria; ease of preparation, and the envy of your colleagues.

Most people are content with one or the other; easy, uninspiring gruel, or a culinary masterpiece that takes hours of careful planning. But you’re not most people. You want office meals that are fast, delicious, and that’ll make your colleagues green with envy.

And we’re here to help.

Perfect, Rustic Porridge

Ah, the old faithful. Porridge is a criminally underrated breakfast, and it’s so easy to make! Just keep a container of quick oats at your desk and you’ve got brekkie sorted for a week.

  1. Combine 1 part oats with 2 parts water.
  2. Add a pinch of salt and sugar.
  3. Microwave in stages, taking it out to stir each time. How long you nuke it for will depend on personal taste, but a good rule is to take it one minute at a time, stirring thoroughly between each zap.

The best thing about porridge is adding your favourite toppings. Some people go for banana, some brown sugar, some chia seeds. We love to chuck on chopped almonds for crunch and fresh berries for flavour, but you do you! If you want to throw on chocolate chips and coconut, we won’t tell anyone.

Fancy Instant Ramen

If the thought of instant ramen or mi goreng sends shivers down your spine, don’t worry, you’re not alone. We’ve all been broke students, stuck between jobs, or saving like mad for a looming holiday – whatever the reason, we’ve all done our time eating noodles for every meal.

Don’t let that throw you off, though! With just a few little additions, instant ramen can turn from a last resort into an enviable office lunch.

  1. Buy a few packets of instant noodles – ramen, mi goreng, or just your classic two minute noodles. It’s up to you!
  2. Throw out the flavour packets. We’re going to DIY this one.
  3. Stock up on the following – enoki mushrooms, bok choy, miso paste, hot sauce, eggs.
  4. At home, soft-boil one egg for each packet of noodles.
  5. At work, grab a bowl and add noodles, a spoonful of miso paste, a squirt of hot sauce, mushrooms and bok choy.
  6. Pour the boiling water over everything.
  7. Slice your soft-boiled egg in half and let it float in your broth.
  8. Enjoy!

Fluffy Couscous Salad

Couscous is about as difficult to make as a cup of tea. Just bring a packet with you to work, then mix one part couscous with one part boiling water. Cover the bowl, let it stand for 5 minutes, then you’re good to go!

The best thing about couscous (besides its name) is its versatility. Now that you’ve got your bowl of couscous ready, you can add just about anything and it’ll taste great, making it the perfect way to get rid of leftovers. Couscous is delicious with roast lamb, grilled vegetables, fresh herbs (coriander is our favourite), sultanas, pine nuts, lemon juice – the world is your oyster!

Experiment by adding these bits and pieces, then stand around the water cooler and brag about your incredible homemade lunch.

Hearty Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken noodle soup isn’t just your mum’s favourite flu remedy. It’s an easy, nutritious office lunch that’s just as delicious when you’re fit and healthy. With a bit of prep at home, all you’ll need to do at work is chuck the kettle on.

At home:

  1. Take some strips off a BBQ chicken and throw them into a container.
  2. Chop some vegetables (carrots, potato, sweet potato, celery) into small chunks, boil them, drain them and let them cool, then add to the container.
  3. Chop up a handful of parsley, add to your container.
  4. Crumble a chicken stock cube into the container – this will help everything come alive when you add water.

At the office:

  1. Throw everything into a bowl and pour boiling water over the top. Let it sit for a few minutes, add a pinch of salt and pepper, and enjoy!

Chocolate Pudding In A Mug

Sure, office lunch is good, but you know what’s better? Office dessert.

Spend a bit of time on the weekend mixing together your dry ingredients and you’ll have everything you need for scrumptious just-add-water chocolate cakes at work. You’ll need:

  • 1 cup flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ cup dry milk
  • ¼ cup cocoa
  • 1 dash salt

Mix these all together and then bring your dry mix to work. When you hit the 3pm energy dip, just grab a mug, add 4tbsps of your dry mix and 2tbsps of water, mix together, and microwave for 30-40 seconds, then bam! Chocolate cake!