Wellness Wednesday: Meet your (sandwich) maker

Today’s post begins with a bleedingly obvious statement: I’m thrifty. I was born into a thrifty family, so that’s where my penny-pinching began, but the precarious work situation of a mainly-freelancer certainly doesn’t help matters. So when my Money Makeover group* was discussing how to save money and one member said she always ended up buying her lunch, I decided to put my two cents in. I have been in the habit of taking my lunch to work ever since I joined the rat race – for me, a bought lunch is an occasional treat rather than the norm (if you spend $10 a day on lunch, that’s $50 a week, and that really adds up!)**. Often, my midday meal has been leftovers, but as I’m not keen on using a microwave, lately I’ve been putting the office sandwich maker through its paces. Normally, a sandwich maker makes… well, sandwiches. But if you think of them as a hot grill plate, they can do so much more! Like grilling vegies, for example.

A sandwich maker is super, super hot, so if you slice raw vegies to about 1.5cm thick, they cook in the time you can quickly flick through any newspaper left on the kitchen bench (at least, that’s what I do). Apart from eggplant, I’ve also cooked pumpkin, zucchini and capsicum at work – capsicum is the best because all my colleagues think there’s a pizza cooking somewhere. Mwah hah hah…. Apparently someone once grilled salmon on the office sandwich press, but that’s not necessarily a smell you want hanging around, so I don’t advise it unless you want to be very unpopular at work.

Once the vegies are done (literally in 5 minutes) you can eat them however you’d normally eat roast/grilled vegies – I like to add some olive oil, lemon juice and maybe a sprinkling of salt, plus a can of chickpeas or some other kind of beans (I keep a stash in my drawer at work). I’m not gluten or carb intolerant but I tend to get a bit sleepy if I eat a big, filling lunch. We had a Biggest Morning Tea recently (I was certainly drowsy after that!) and there was hummus left over, so when I was thinking about writing this post, I added that to my eggplant and capsicum.

Yum!! A healthy, fast lunch that costs maybe $2 at the most. AND you get to annoy your coworkers by taunting them with pizza-like aromas. Win-win situation, don’t you think?


*more about this in a post to come!

**One office where I worked for a couple of years was a former tractor factory in an industrial estate with no food options except for a Subway next door… so basically, no options. A food truck would call in every lunch time, but it wasn’t a fancy hipster food truck selling artisan kale burritos and quinoa shakes. This one sold such delicacies as margarine sandwiches. I suppose the theory was that you could bring your own filling and just buy the sandwich to put around it, but if you were organised enough to bring the filling then surely you would have had the sandwich bit sorted out too? Anyway, suffice it to say, I always, ALWAYS brought lunch to that office.