Nothing in particular against microwaves. Their effect on nutrients seems negligible, and the non-ionizing radiation is most likely not an issue. But I don't feel right being all paleo-like then heating up my lunch five days a week in a space age contraption. Fire-based cooking has been widely used for at least 100,000 years; while microwave based cooking has been widely used for 40 years. Science often ends up being imperfect in retrospect, so I figure might as well play it safe if at all possible.
Are there any alternatives that can be used in the office? There's these mug warmers that plug into a USB slot and baby bottle warmers that are more powerful. Neither is quite the contraption I'm looking for though. Basically, I've got a small container of meat and veggies, and need to heat it in something that won't risk burning down the office. Has anybody used an office food-warming hack? Alternatively, I could keep the meat unrefrigerated for four hours, but I don't know enough about food safety to do that...plus hot food tastes good.
Use the microwave. Working in an office all day isn't paleo either!
I'm not as concerned about microwaving, in general, as I am with the CONTAINER I use. Plastics, even deemed "microwave-safe", will leach nasties into your food (BPA, et al). Paper bowls will contribute a nice amount of tasty (GACK) chemical wax, as well.
I keep a microwave-safe stoneware (or glass) bowl/plate at work in which to nuke my grok noms. No more than 3-4 minutes total heating time, and resting period of 1 minute to allow the vibrating water molecules to relax.
1) Get a portable grilling machine like George Foreman's - a small one that will fit on the counter top. All that needs to be done is whack on your meat (stored raw in the fridge). I also do vegetables like onions and tomatoes on it. Do not discard the fat that gets caught in the tray, pour it back on top of the meat. Pile some salad on the side and voila, paleo lunch.
The only problem I can see with this is that you will get complaints about the smell of the grilling from other workers/the boss (especially if you do not have an office kitchen?) Unless you are the boss, I suggest treating everyone to a grill and/or let co-workers use it too (they can make toasted sandwiches on it) and then you will be facing a win/win situation.
2) If grilling is completely out of the question then a small slow cooker/crock pot would be perfect. Put your (lightly cooked) meat in it in the morning and by lunch time it will have heated thoroughly and evenly and produced a glorious rich sauce. You can get very small crock pots that only need to be plugged in - easy.
Again, you may get complaints about the smell, but if you can position it in the office kitchen, then all should be good come lunch time.
You might consider a thermal cooker. They are like a thermos with a pot inside. You heat everything up in the pot and then put the pot in the thermos for long slow cooking. I have not tried it but it is number two on my list of cooking experiments to undertake and the one I think would be most handy for the office.
Depending on what you are eating, certain foods can be put in a container which rests in a bowl of very hot water. I've done this in places where there are no microwaves. Works best on liquids or semi-liquids. Or for meat, you could put in a plastic bag and put in the hot water.
Lunch/Meal ideas!!! 6 Answers