The break room got a steamer!
August 21, 2009 8:52 AM   Subscribe

Cool... work just put a quality food steamer in the really clean break room (boss is a workout queen). We're free to use, and there's a good farmer's market every Thursday right out the door. Now, what can/should I make? (more inside)

The steamer is large, two tier, and has an insert to steam soft or hard boiled eggs. There is also a rice insert, or I could bring prepped rice in to go with what I'd prep here. In addition, I think I could keep a small quantity of herbs about, or get them at the farmer's market.

All suggestions appreciated!
posted by Arch1 to Food & Drink (15 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Pot stickers! You can get all kinds in the frozen foods area of any decent grocery store. The dipping sauce from this recipe would also work nicely with any lightly steamed veggies from the market.
posted by maudlin at 8:58 AM on August 21, 2009

Steamed vegetables with compound butter that you keep in the refrigerator for just this sort of thing. I like broccoli with butter mixed with mustard, garlic, and parsley. Green beans are good steamed, with butter and lemon. You could probably do fresh corn.

You're lucky! Our breakroom consists of vending machines that dispense four hundred calorie packs of M & Ms and a microwave that seems incapable of making anything other than Office Popcorn.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 9:24 AM on August 21, 2009

Insane steamy fish wrapped in a banana/ti/taro leaf. Prep at home, let chillax/marinate before lunch in the fridge, steam, omnomnom.
posted by mdonley at 9:35 AM on August 21, 2009

Oh god, please don't cook fish in the office.
posted by mudpuppie at 9:41 AM on August 21, 2009 [13 favorites]

I'm with mudpuppie about the fish--partially because of the smell and partially because vegetarian folks might not be happy with fish having been in the steamer if they want to use it (YMMV, depending on your office population). I'd stick to veggies or rice, and maybe eggs, since that's what the insert's for and I'm guessing it doesn't affect the rest of the steamer.
posted by dlugoczaj at 9:45 AM on August 21, 2009

My farmer's market has terrific tamales that are best prepared steam. Seconding the pot stickers suggestion, too, or any kind of Asian dumplings (Trader Joe's has some good ones). Typical vegetables that steam well are: broccoli, edamame, corn, squash, green beans, asparagus, carrots, potatoes. There's no shortage of delicious sauce/dressing recipes you can make ahead of time, then bring to serve with them.

I'm lazy, so I'd probably just get a bottle of soy sauce to keep at work, some packages of pre-cooked, microwaveable rice, and some frozen foods like edamame, dumplings, frozen veggies, in order to avoid prepping stuff the night before every night.
posted by booknerd at 9:46 AM on August 21, 2009

Soft boiled eggs over steamed asparagus, with sea salt and butter. Asparagus will come in spring, but soft boiled eggs are great and easy on top of any veg.

Green beans, steamed with salt, garlic and sesame oil.

Steam shrimp (could be frozen) with bell peppers or squash. Serve over rice with teriyaki sauce. Warning, you might get the office shrimpy smelling.

Fish is another good candidate for steaming, as long as it's thin. Steamed fish and veg with rice can be an almost 0 fat meal. Of course it won't have much in the way of flavor either...

Also steaming is a great way to reheat some foods that may otherwise dry out. You could stock the freezer with tamales or red bean buns. When I think of steamers I think of dim sum. Venture out to your local asian supermarket and grab a few bags of frozen stuff.
posted by fontophilic at 9:51 AM on August 21, 2009 [2 favorites]

Oh god, please don't cook broccoli in the office.
posted by majick at 10:09 AM on August 21, 2009

Artichokes! There is nothing better than a steamed whole artichoke.
posted by CunningLinguist at 10:42 AM on August 21, 2009 [1 favorite]

Seconding the don't cook broccoli in the office. Ew.

Steamed soy beans! Steam them in their pods, salt, and eat!
posted by strixus at 10:43 AM on August 21, 2009

How cool would it be to have a few potted herbs in the breakroom too??
posted by CathyG at 10:49 AM on August 21, 2009

It's pretty hard for anything to not smell gross in the office. It's a contextual problem; you're not expecting it, you're standing by the copier, and someone's eating tuna or leftover spaghetti or curry and it's revolting. And microwave popcorn smells like despair. So I think you might as well cook what you want.

Except fish. People are right about not cooking fish.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 11:01 AM on August 21, 2009 [2 favorites]

Lovely fresh vegetables (broccoli, carrots, green beans - my god green beans are good -, potatoes), whatever catches your eye. Put the denser veggies in first (potatoes and carrots) and then the lighter greens (green beans etc.) after 5-10 minutes. Eat with butter and salt and maybe a bit of balsamic vinegar for zing, though the smell of the vinegar might not be office-friendly.

I sometimes used to steam a big batch of veggies to bring to work as lunch. Luscious.

Nthing never fish. Bad office smell and not playing nice with vegetarians on shared equipment.
posted by Billegible at 9:48 PM on August 21, 2009 [1 favorite]

Slice some garlic very thin and steam it with whatever green vegetables are freshest, then squeeze lemon juice over and sprinkle with salt. Or steam the veggies and drizzle with a bit of toasted sesame oil and add sesame seeds (or gomasio!).
posted by zinfandel at 9:59 PM on August 21, 2009 [1 favorite]

And microwave popcorn smells like despair.

Well said.
posted by kestrel251 at 10:21 AM on August 22, 2009

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