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Assembly line efficiency

Do you enjoy cooking like some enjoy painting? Do you like to think about what to make for dinner? Do you like experimenting with your lunch as if that's your great research in life? Did you say 'yes' even though you are not a chef? You are going to like what I have to say here.

I was in Portland last week for a conference. A girl I met during another charity event, told me about it. She got me the tickets and also invited me to travel and stay with her. As of today, she is one of my good friends and someone I am glad I met. In this post, she is V.

The conference was for 3 days and our schedule was packed with talks, events and meet-ups. So,there were going to be short windows for our meals, and almost no time to have a relaxed lunch. For me, that usually means grab & go; for V, it means there is a possibility of going hungry. And she, as V puts it, is not a happy person in that state.

V is also not a whiner. So, she obviously had it all thought out.

Day 0, evening : Buy grocery, and include every ingredient that you can think of, but ensure that you have some ingredients that belong to these categories:

Salad/ Sandwich stuff : Tomatoes, Onions, mushrooms, carrots, capsicums, lemons

Breads & Protein : Eggs, cereals, oats, quinoa, bread

Sauces & dips : Honey, tea, mustard sauce, hummus

Fruits : Apples, grapes, bananas, berries


Day 0, night

Cook quinoa; boil eggs; saute mushrooms, carrots, capsicums & onions; boil/bake beans; chop vegetables; let everything cool down.

Seal the cooked quinoa, boiled eggs, sautéed & chopped vegetables in separate bowls with cling wrap and keep in refrigerator.




Day 1, morning

Get up when you can, laze around while you let the oats boil (you can grab an apple though)

Add nuts, fruits and honey to the boiled oats & enjoy the breakfast.

Before you run out, put the quinoa in a Tupperware. Top it with the sautéed vegetables, beans; add salt, pepper & any spice you like; squeeze the lemon; lock and keep it


wpid-img_20140724_111645.jpgDay 2, 3, 4 - morning

Repeat Day 1 but when you want a change, keep some cut vegetables between two pieces of bread, add mustard sauce and cling wrap!

If bored of the same quinoa recipe, add whatever you like such as hummus, olive oil, salad dressing!




I don't remember worrying about food or going hungry during the conference! My energy was channelized towards the conference events, conversations and observing the world around me. At some instant, the sandwich might have even tasted exotic because of all the fun activities.

Food experiences are an integral part of my life. However, I am not a chef and do not aspire to cook for a living; so, I might as well cut a middle path; give cooking & food some routine; and develop a discipline for my work, projects and writing instead. This simple assembly line arrangement lets me stay attracted towards my day-to-day engagements; and saves me from culinary distractions.

I tried this last week and I could see the benefit on the first day. I didn't waste any time during the day on cooking and  put all my effort in preparing dinner. The result was a highly productive day, a satisfying lunch and a delicious dinner!

Thank you V.