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What should I bring to the office that's healthy?

Ok, it's busy season at our office (tax season) and being that we have to work Saturdays and sometimes Sundays, our bosses are nice enough bring in bagels, cream cheese, sometimes lox, muffins and danish on the weekends. Nice! Also there are lots of cookies and chocolate lurking around (we finally got through the girl scout cookies). NOW a client wants to buy us a pizza on Friday. Great. HOWEVER, although I am more than happy to consume this free heartstopping food, I would like to counter some of the effects by bringing in something fairly healthy. I had thought of fruit, maybe some grapes, clementines, etc. Crudite, nah, it will go uneaten. We are a fairly adventurous bunch of eaters. Do you have any other suggestions? Nothing that takes TOO much prep or I will never end up doing it.


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  1. If you don't mind doing a LITTLE prep, then how about mixing up something like a trout dip and putting it on veggies like cucumber rounds or endive spears or in cherry tomatoes? Unlike cruidites, since the dip is already on the vegetable, they might get eaten, maybe?

    I always like a good tropical fruit salad - cut up fresh pineapple, dump in some mandarin oranges and sprinkle with some unsweetened coconut. Fresh and reasonably healthy.

    Or if you're looking for a main course, maybe a couscous salad with some grilled chicken or shrimp and chopped fresh herbs?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Andiereid

      Some really nice ideas. Esp the trout dip. I wasn't very clear I think, no main course necessary, just a little something to cut through all the carbs and fat! I don't think you can beat fresh fruit and vegetables for this...also best if I can keep it to finger food, as everyone is eating at desks. Now that couscous salad sounds good for dinner at home!

    2. When I start feeling guilty, I bring in hummous, babbaganoush, tabbouli, with some cut veggies or bagel chips. I usually make it at home but the dips are generally available in most markets. It's pretty satisfying. I also bring lots of fruit in - sometimes cut up, sometimes whole. Also bring a bag of granola to keep with you at work and that with soy or regular yogurt can make a tasty healthful snack. Incidentally, I brought these items to work today, and I still managed to meet a friend outside for lunch.

      2 Replies
      1. re: kayonyc

        Totally second the hummus. You can make a big batch, freeze half and then pickup a bag of baby carrots. Super easy and good and healthy.

        1. re: kayonyc

          I try not to snack at all. Maybe that's why I am so susceptible to the cookies etc!! I like the babaganoush idea...

        2. indiviudal jello cups with cool whip on top (if you have a freezer), mixed nuts, plain popcorn

          2 Replies
          1. re: ciaobella

            Not so sure cool whip is a healthy option. Is it even dairy? What is it?

            1. re: kayonyc

              kayonc, depends what your diet du jour is! I'm doing south beach, so jello and cool whip are a favorite treat at the moment. I like that they offer sugar-free and different flavored versions.

              Here's how Wikipedia describes it:
              Cool Whip is a brand of imitation whipped cream called a "whipped topping" by its manufacturer. It is used as a dessert topping and in some no-bake pie recipes. It is generally described as "non-dairy" as it contains no cream or milk and no lactose, though it does contain the milk-derived protein sodium caseinate.

          2. Maybe the bean-counters would like soybeans/edamame?

            1 Reply
            1. re: OCAnn

              I love edamame, and that's a good idea too. Thanks guys!

            2. 1. Homemade granola (or for that matter granola bars)
              2. Muffins (homemade = controlled fat, sugar, etc - try adding part whole-wheat flour)
              3. Healthier baked goods - meringue cookies, angel food cake, oatmeal/raisin cookies instead of chocolate, cupcakes w/ pumpkin or banana, etc.

              1 Reply
              1. re: laurendlewis

                Laurendlewis, nice ideas, but as the bosses will still be bringing in bagels, muffins etc, I am trying to avoid sweet and starchy stuff! I do love homemade granola though...

                1. Hummus was the first thing that came to my mind as well. In additon to serving w/crudites you can also bring in frozen naan (I like Trader Joe's version-they have a plain and a garlic) that can be warmed up/toasted beforehand as a dipper. Other ideas can include wasabi peas and mixed nuts. You can find Thai spiced, Wasabi spiced and other variations of mixed nuts at Trader Joe's as well.

                  1. air popped popcorn is a great snack- add spices or garlic powder or a bit of parmesan
                    mini pretzels with a mustard dip
                    homemade mini lowfat muffins

                    1. Super easy would be a shrimp platter. A little higher on the "more effort" scale, but still not too absurdly difficult would be shrimp (or tofu to keep it ultra healthy) rice-paper rolls with Vietnamese dipping sauce...There's an easy recipe on Epicurious.

                      Or, a supermarket sushi platter if your local grocery does a nice job and you don't mind springing for it?

                      EDIT: also, a frittata is easy and can be made to be pretty healthy, depending on egg whites to yolks ratio and the amount of cheese you decide to use. You can load that up with veggies!


                      1. I really think that some gorgeous fruit and vegetables would go over well - they complement your bagels/cream cheese and salmon both in colour and flavour. Forget wooden mini carrots and celery and get things like nice grape tomatoes, sliced cucumber, or jicama. You can add a few unusual or exotic fruits like the chilean gooseberries, or put strawberries/cubed mango/pomelo half sections on toothpicks. Think of the beverage angle as well - you could pick up some blended fruit and vegetable drinks, or make your own if you have the time/inclination.


                        1 Reply
                        1. re: pepper_mil

                          Strawberries are coming in to the farmers markets here in CA. A big bowl of them would be a hit, along with a sweetened yogurt sauce for dipping.

                        2. You know, I was just inspired by an hors d'oeuvres menu I was looking over in planning a work event. Boccoccini on skewers with grape tomatoes and a basil leaf. Granted mozzarella is more of the same kind of stuff you're trying to avoid, but I thought "what a great lighter party offering" and thought it would be very easy to do and anything on a stick is an instant party...and in the office during crunch time it may add a little levity to all the over work and stress.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: ballulah

                            This is a very nice idea. But I think I have decided to just stick with fruit and maybe some veggies like grape tomatoes. Just a little something with a few vitamins and minerals to cut through all that cream cheese. Thanks everyone!

                          2. onigiri - salted rice stuffed with umeboshi or any other filling, surrounded by a sheet of seaweed - usually triangle shaped

                            cold tofu drizzled with soy sauce, sesame oil, topped with bonito flakes and garnished with sesame seeds and green onion. remember to use high quality tofu or the dish will taste awful.

                            these are foods that I myself bring to school with me. They don't stink and don't require a microwave or additional heating.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: bitsubeats

                              Oh, that reminds me of another idea. Canned dolmades! They are a greek appetizer of vine leaves stuffed with herbs, rice and sometimes meat. They are canned in olive oil so they are not super low fat but they are generally good for you and are easy to transport to work. I can get them in Vancouver with little problem and we lived off them when we were traveling through Greece. Most of the time the ones you see in the deli are from the can anyways...


                              1. re: daily_unadventures

                                This is a really good idea. These are so good, even canned.

                                1. re: prunefeet

                                  I love the sweets! So when everyone else is bringing in cookies/brownies I have made a fruit pizza. It was a great hit...not AS healthy as just plain fruit but not as bad for you as the cookies/brownies. Easy to make little individual servings as well.