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Healthy Eating at the Barrel Office

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Lunch is a big deal at Barrel. Three times a week, we set up a spread of ingredients in our kitchen and encourage our team members to build their lunch. What started years ago with a few sandwich meats and sliced bread has evolved into a nutrient-rich cornucopia that gives our team a healthy lunch option.

Spread of fresh vegetables in the kitchen
Three times a week, we set up our kitchen for a “build your lunch” workshop.

Our Office Coordinator Bianca does an amazing job of sourcing ingredients and setting up the kitchen, making it easy for the team to dive right in and make their lunch. Here are some of the ingredients you’ll find:

  • Kale
  • Carrots
  • Avocados
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Baby bok choy
  • Red and green bell peppers
  • Mushrooms
  • Cucumbers
  • Tomatoes
  • Cilantro
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Deli meats
  • Bacon
  • Cheeses
  • Eggs
  • Fresh baked bread
Veggie fried rice ingredients
My personal favorite is veggie fried rice, which takes just 10 minutes to make.

Personally, my favorite lunch is veggie-fried rice. It takes less than 10 minutes to make, and I’ve yet to tire of it. I typically chop up onions, peppers, mushrooms, broccoli, and bok choy and toss them into our IKEA wok. I also throw in some rice, which Bianca picks up from around the corner at a Chinese supermarket, and season with sesame oil and soy sauce. A few minutes later, I add in some spinach and kale. I serve myself a bowl and top it off with half an avocado and a drizzle of sriracha.

Cooking veggie fried rice in a wok.
I toss everything into our IKEA wok and season with sesame oil & soy sauce.
Finished veggie fried rice.
Not bad for 10 minutes of cooking, eh?

Even on a busy day packed with back-to-back meetings, I’ve found this meal to be the most convenient in time and also the most satisfying. Of course, I owe it all to Bianca for making everything incredibly easy.

Others on the team also make their own versions of fried rice or use the ingredients to make sandwiches or salads. Being centrally located in Little Italy makes it easy for us to get quality meats (prosciutto!) and cheeses.

Fried rice with bacon and veggies.
A different take on fried rice.
Chopping turkey for salad.
The kitchen counter becomes a bustling center of activity during lunchtime.
Salad with croutons.
A tasty salad with some DIY croutons.
Simple ham sandwich
Sometimes a simple ham sandwich does the job.
Lunch and then coding.
Getting in a quick bite before returning to coding.
guacamole
Every now and then, we get a communal guacamole bowl going.

One of the advantages of being a small team is that it’s possible to have lunches like this every day. Our operations team has been amazing at taking team feedback and finding ways to improve the lunch experience while limiting food waste. As we continue our work with clients in the healthy lifestyle space, we’d also like to make sure that we’re setting good examples inside the company and providing our team with healthy options.

Note: We used to catalog some of the things we ate for lunch from 2008 to 2014–check it out at Barrel Eats.

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