How to eat when you’re REALLY busy

I haven’t dropped off the face of the earth, but I have been busy!  I am working at an accounting firm until the end of tax season, so April 17 or thereabouts.  So far it’s going just fine, although it’s certainly testing my ability to do the same thing over and over and over… and over again.  Everyone here is really nice though, which pretty much makes all the difference.  There are also a few perks:

Unlimited amounts of delicious coffee in company-standard blue mugs.  I seriously love these mugs.  The shade is such a soothing periwinkle blue.

Unlimited variety of Celestial Seasonings tea.  I once had a different office job where the ONLY perk was the huge variety of tea.  It made up for a surprising amount of downsides!

A pretty, light filled office with a fish tank, and a nondescript gray fish named Pauline.

The ability to do anything I want once my other duties are complete.  Like write this blog!  Yeah!  If I were getting paid to blog, I’d technically be working two jobs.  Technically.

The gift of an iPad for each employee.  Oh, wait.  That was the Christmas present for the staff, but not me.  Waaah.

The one thing that really stands out to me about working 8-5 is the cramp it puts on my cooking/food shopping style. Once 5pm rolls around, I don’t want to spend another 3o minutes at the grocery store, and then immediately come home and make dinner.  I also don’t like – hate, loathe, despise – packing luches at 7:15am.  What was once a fun and relaxing task has become pretty much the opposite. 

It also becomes more and more obvious that the busier one is, the more one relies on convenience foods.  Being frugal means that I usually eschew, say, packaged cookies for homemade ones, but even in the THREE DAYS of being at a job for 9 hours, I’ve already caved and spent $3 on a package of (discount) cookies when I could have made them myself for a lot less.  Dinners are less imaginative, too – basically some kind of protein, a veggie or two, and lentils, or rice, or sweet potatoes.  We call them “bland meals,” and there’s gonna be a lot of them!

Over the past few months, muffins have been making a comeback in my kitchen.  I finally figured out how to stick the gluten-free flours together (flaxseed, and usually a banana), and how to avoid an ultra-spongy texture (almond meal – it’s the BEST!  You can buy it in bulk at Whole Foods or Sprouts).  I also add two or three eggs to one recipe rather than just one, to boost the protein.  The result is dense, protein-rich muffins that really go the distance.  They’re cheap, easy, and you don’t have to keep an eye on them like you do with cookies.  5 minutes to mix, 20 minutes to bake, and done!  The basic formula is:

  • 1.5 cups flour, either1 c almond + some other flour(rice, quinoa, etc) or 1/2 c almond, 1c other
  • 1 banana
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed, or thereabouts
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda (though it works fine without it!)
  • 2-3 eggs
  • cinnamon, ginger, chocolate chips, or any combination of flavoring you want
  • enough almond milk or regular milk to create a muffin batter texture. I’d guess about 1/4 to 1/2 cup.
  • some butter… last time I used 2 tbsp

This recipe is really forgiving, and it doesn’t matter if you aren’t precise with the amounts.  At all.  Seriously!  Just toss stuff in there and it will come out beautifully.

One last confession: I bought a package of PLASTIC BAGS yesterday.  Ugh.  I haven’t bought them in a few months at least, after being inspired by Beth Terry’s plastic-free blog.  But truly?  I love using plastic bags.  They’re so… easy.  And handy. And hygenic.  And I can actually see the food I’m storing in them, unlike the wax paper bags I usually use.  Plastic FTW?

2 Comments on “How to eat when you’re REALLY busy”

  1. biz319 says:

    Luckily I have a pretty stocked kitchen at my office – toaster oven, etc. So reheating leftovers isn’t a big deal – we even have a grill off of our office deck – and come spring time (i.e – any temps over 50!) I grill for the office on Friday’s – love it!

  2. Angela Nilles says:

    Grilling on Fridays sounds amazing! All my office has is a bunch of candy that is hard to resist 😉

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