Office Dinner, 9.17.10
September 17, 2010

A brief interlude, if you will.

Earlier this week, I tried to show you that making a proper dinner, even at the end of a long day, needn’t mean abandoning either your healthy habits or your plant-based preferences. Well, for every night when I come home on the later side, there’s a night when I choose to eat at the office instead. Sometimes it’s because I’ll be there late, and I’d rather eat when I’m first getting hungry than wait till I’m home, and starving. Sometimes it’s because I have evening plans, and I’m simply not the type of gal who can tell my appetite to simmer down till they’re done. I need my dinner at dinnertime, ya dig?

For a long time, I felt a little sad about office meals. For the last few years, though, I’ve simply envisioned them as a good challenge: how can I create a harmonious and soothing eating environment even when I’m surrounded by legitimate professional distraction? There’s no magic trick—I’ve tried lighting a little candle before, but that’s not really what does it. It’s simply a matter of packing dinners that I really love, so that, when I sit down to eat, I’m filled with as much enjoyment and pleasure as I would be at my dining table at home.

Take tonight, for instance. Just a simple Gena-dinner: raw soup and kale salad. But it was what I truly wanted to eat, and I looked forward to it, and for both of those reasons, it made dinner at work and on the go feel like a perfectly leisurely and enjoyable meal:

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Thats massaged kale salad (giant) and my avo-coco soup (inspired by visiting Caravan of Dreams with Brendan; neither of us got it, but I was reminded of how great theirs is!).

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Necessity really can be the mother of enjoyment.

Have a restful Friday eve!


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  1. This made me think of my own awesome experience at Caravan of Dreams! Also, I got Brendan’s book, and it totally pertains to my life! I am currently training for a marathon, and his information regarding endurance training while sticking to a vegan lifestyle is really awesome, filling in a bit of the information I had yet to figure out. Thanks for the recommendation.

  2. I’m the same way when I get hungry, I don’t like to wait. 🙂 Luckily I rarely have to eat dinner at work, but I’m not a fan of eating at work in general. Your dinner looks great and is reminding me that I haven’t had a raw soup in too long! 🙂

  3. Delicious looking dinner – I think it’s important to create a meal that you crave in the moment, one that is especially stunning, if simple, to enjoy while eating at work..something about reclaiming the moment for yourself, even in the midst of tasks and papers, that is empowering!

  4. Gena, I have missed you so much! I started my freshman year of college two weeks ago and I took a little blogging break. I feel so out of the loop, but I am glad to see that you are still doing well and that you are still as gorgeous as ever 🙂

  5. i need to invest in larger tupperware, my salads are serious and i can eat 3-4 cups of greens no problem. i think i would LOVE that soup, avocado & coconut are 2 of my faves

  6. I totally agree with you – I often work late, and the key to making that better is a nice dinner that I want to eat.

    Question for you: did you bring in the soup already made, or did you make it with the tribest blender at work? Also, how loud is the tribest? When I want a smoothie at work, I make it before and bring it in, but I don’t love how it might loose some of its goodness (nutrition, flavor, consistency) – so I am thinking of investing in a tribest for work, because I do have an office where I can close my door, but am worried that it would still be too loud.

    • Hi Valerie!

      I made it at home and transported. I use my Tribest frequently at work to make a smoothie, but it doesn’t stand up well to young coconut meat. And I’m actually rather squeamish about raw soup — if it’s not VERY smooth, I won’t be able to eat it.

      That said, the Tribest IS quite noisy. Good think my office has a door 🙂


      • Thanks so much for responding Gena. Good to know the soup can be made ahead of time – I always worry about stuff with avocado and whether I can make it ahead of time. And yes, like you, my raw soup must be super smooth. And thanks for the Tribest feedback 🙂

  7. That salad is gorgeous!

    I’m all about eating dinner at work when necessary. On my long days I have a big bag filled with a green smoothie, lunch, snacks and dinner. Last week we had a (formal) dinner at work (college campus) and they made it clear my vegan option was a plain salad and a plain baked potato. So I made a delicious bean and sprout salad, which I ate 15 minutes before the dinner, at my desk. The salad and potato were my dessert 😉

  8. Looks delicious! I try to make sure I bring enough food for lunch and a snack so that I´m not too hungry when I get home. It helps me to not overeat.

  9. “But it was what I truly wanted to eat, and I looked forward to it,”—

    THAT is the story of my meals and life. I eat the same type of foods, i.e. raw huge veggie and salad bowls, but honestly, i never get sick of them, THAT is what i look forward to and crave, and so I honor that. So glad you do too…and yes, necessity IS the mother of enjoyment, for sure! Sometimes I wonder if I bore people, but I dont care anymore. LOL. It’s a groove; not a rut 🙂

    Have a Great weekend, Gena!

  10. I love the peek at your inbox and the Himalayan salt that I assume you keep stashed in a desk drawer.

    I used to hate having to stay late but if the alternative is bringing work home then I say stay and get it done. And somehow it gets done faster if you have real food for fuel.

  11. I used to get depressed that I was eating dinner at work, especially on a Friday evening! But now I realize that was a great alternative to eating at Cheesecake Factory while being interrupted 100 times to take a certain 5-year-old potty, outside to see the fountain, over to the cake area, etc., like I did tonight. 🙂

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