10th February 2015

Learn to Love Lunchtime

I have recently abandoned the life of a freelancer to take up the full time, agency based position of Consumer Copy Writer at Tangerine. It was gently suggested that while I was in my induction period, I might like to make my first contribution to the official Tangerine blog.

Anxiety gripped me. Should I pontificate over consumer retail forecasts, best practice buzz words or digital trends? Or perhaps I should keep it simple with ‘My First Week at Tangerine’ (limited appeal) or ‘Differences between Working from Home vs Agency’ (general noise levels, learning to respect other people’s music choices, not wearing slippers at work.)

It turns out that having an area of expertise is positively encouraged at Tangerine, so I thought I’d write about a subject that not only has universal appeal, but is one I happen to know a lot about – food.

The sandwich is a thoroughly British invention, created as a hand held, portable mealtime shortcut, allowing the eater to get on with something else. But its evolution has been somewhat slow with the most popular fillings regularly topping polls being cheese and ham. I’m not talking swathes of hand cut, slow cured ham from acorn fed pigs or cave aged Alpine cheese from the cream-rich milk of long lashed bovines spread thickly onto a warm and crusty baguette. Nope, I’m talking about a couple of square slices of wafer thin pig flesh or Cathedral City slapped in between Mother’s Pride.

So why, when we need our lunch hour to recalibrate our brains and nurture our digestive systems gently through the afternoon, do the majority of us not put more effort into making our mid-day meal more appealing?

Some people (not me) spend a large percentage of their morning thinking about lunch (ok, me) so I  thought I’d offer you a few ideas for more interesting office lunches – although I have noticed already that on average, it’s the females in the office that are more inclined to bother with this sort of preparation. My colleague Lucy has already set a precedent by writing a blog on nutrition and what to eat to maximise energy levels and brain power.

Salads – This doesn’t mean the usual trinity of lettuce, tomato and cucumber. Make them more interesting and filling by using pulses and grains. Roast some chunks of butternut squash together with, red onion, red pepper, olive oil and thyme. Mix together with a tin of chickpeas or lentils, cubes of feta and some chopped parsley (check your teeth before afternoon meetings) and bring in a Tupperware. It will last a good few days so you can bring it in on alternate days. Have it on the side of a grilled chicken breast, salmon fillet or some peppered mackerel.

 

Soups – Get into the habit of making this once a week. Invest in a good soup recipe book and make the more interesting ones. Put a portion in the freezer each time you make it so you can build up quite a good selection. Use spices, pulses and/or coconut milk to give it a bit more depth. Make a lentil daal with roast cauliflower and bring it in with some chapatis. The guy across the office with his Cup-a-Soup will soon realise that it’s worth the effort.

 

There’s always someone who has a worse looking lunch than you, so if you want to feel better about your own hastily concocted meal, have a scroll through Sad desk lunch a whole Tumblr blog on the subject.

It was lovely not to have to think about my own office lunch straight away; as it’s a Tangerine tradition to take new starters out on their first day out and treat them. I think I’m going to enjoy working here…

By consumer copy writer, Deanna Thomas