A couple of weeks ago, while eating lunch together in the conference room at Anova HQ, a few of us who were regularly bringing our own lunches from home got to talking. Not surprisingly, a lot of us here at Anova LOVE to cook, love to eat, and love to share delicious recipes.
We also share a common distaste for letting food we’ve purchased go uneaten, a problem we were all facing from buying just a little too much at the farmer’s market, grocery store, or Costco. (I can’t help it – the deals are SO GOOD!) The road to food waste is paved with good intentions, but we found that the dream of cooking more at home just wasn’t happening as often as we hoped.
The Delicious Solution
This fine day, as we all sampled the roasted red pepper & goat cheese sauce that the head of email marketing & production had brought in, the idea to bring in our surplus food from home and cook together arose. And just like that, The Lunch Bunch was born!
Now, at least four days per week, a group of at least four of us prepares lunch together and we use Anova almost every time because it’s so easy to create . With one person making each dish, meal preparation is reduced to about 10 minutes (not including sous vide or roasting time – we usually set everything up around 11 o’clock to have food ready at noon). Non-cooks/non-food-contributors who want to participate chip in a few bucks and are in charge of cleaning up, and the money collected goes to defraying the total grocery costs of the contributors.
Today’s Lunch Bunch spread 16 March 2017: #sousvide#organic#grassfed we cooked ribeye & NY strip (131 F/55 C for 1h) with our Precision Cooker and served with shaved asparagus salad with pomelo, lemon-scented almonds & shallot + power greens with tomato, fennel, radish &pumpkin seeds + roasted kale & mushrooms + steamed brown rice with poblano & black beans. We’re cooking meals in our office like this that are better than a $100+ steak dinner you’d order at a restaurant, and it’s SO easy with Anova! #sogood!
The Advantages of Cooking Lunch Together
The benefits of The Lunch Bunch have been numerous.
We are all eating higher-quality meals while spending less money on food. Buying lunch from nearby restaurants adds up, but guess what? You’re probably overpaying for meals you could reproduce with sous vide for far less, while getting far better quality results. You’re likely spending about $10-15 per person per meal, usually a lot more. To put it into larger budgetary terms, let’s say that people are spending an average of $15 per day on lunch for 20 days per month. That’s $300 per month, so in 12 months you’ve spent $3,000! Instead, you could be making amazing meals every day for an entire year with a tool that’ll cost you less than $200.* You’ll also end up cutting your daily lunch spend in half (maybe more!) and getting results like the steak we had today that would otherwise cost you $50-100 at a restaurant. That’s right, cooking lunch with Anova will save you an average of $1200 per year – probably more. (*and by the way – if you drop your email into the banner at the top of this page, you will get a special coupon code to grant you even GREATER savings!)
We are using leftovers to create world-class, restaurant-quality meals every day – and it’s EASY. Our chicken breasts are juicy and flavorful, steaks perfectly medium rare with a crispy seared crust, pork tenderloin completely infused with spices, and all paired with the freshest in-season vegetables that we can find. The same grass fed, pastured, organic ribeye at a top restaurant would cost at least $40, and you may not even GET the sides!
We are eating healthier overall. Of course, the members of the group happened to start off with an affinity for healthier food. Even so, lunch every day has been so filling and satisfying, everybody is making fewer trips to the snack shelf!
We are always trying new things. Whether it’s zucchini noodles with avocado-pistachio-basil pesto, sautéed red cabbage with creme fraiche and hazelnuts, or a new sauce or dressing on simple sous vide chicken, the combination of our different culinary experiences shines through in the daily spread. The variety keeps it interesting, but also supplies us with a greater range of nutrients than we may have experienced.
There is no more post-lunch dip in energy. As I said, we usually have 3 different kinds of vegetable dishes every day paired with a lean protein and optional starch. The magical combination of low GI complex carbohydrates, quality proteins, and healthy fats is just what the body needs to feel rejuvenated, and what the brain needs to keep going.
We are saving time on meal preparation. When you only have to prepare one simple dish, it does not take that long. Seasoning & bagging steaks to cook with one of the office Anova Precision Cookers? Two minutes. Making a tomato-mozzarella-basil salad? Five minutes. Throwing some quinoa in the rice-cooker with salt? Three minutes. Admittedly, we keep it simple, but it takes less time to throw together most dishes than it would to heat a store-bought freezer meal in the microwave.
We have grown even closer as a team. Cooking and eating together engenders both conversation and community. As Cesar Chavez was known to have said, “…the people who give you their food give you their heart.” I am a firm believer in this idea, and the proof is in the more frequent laughs, smiles, walks, and talks our little Bunch has been sharing over the last few weeks.
Doesn’t this sound like a great – and tasty – idea? Don’t you want to have a Lunch Bunch of your own? Start one up & commence saving money, eating kick-ass meals every day, getting healthier, and building a stronger social network. And don’t forget to take pictures and share with us on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, tagging #anovalunchbunch when you do!
Start your own lunch bunch to see how easy it is to cook the kind of quality meals in-office that would cost $100 at a restaurant, every single day. Have YOU used your Anova at work to create a lunch that ended up being infinitely more delicious than the usual lunch routine? Let us know in the comments!