Did you know that the secret to working smarter is by doing nothing at all? No, we’re not trying to get you reprimanded by HR, we’re saying it’s time to take a break so you can get more done. It sounds counterintuitive but research from a time-tracking app shows that the ideal combination is 52 minutes of intense work and 17 minute breaks. We, along with Dropbox, want to remind you to step away and we have a few ideas on how to do that so you come back refreshed and refueled.
Dropbox has always been here to lead the way on working remotely. As experts in making the most of your time, they’ve teamed up with The Infatuation on a few quick recipes to help you optimize your breaks. In 17 minutes you can whip up a delicious bite that’ll nourish your body along with a quick wellness tip to refresh the mind.
First up, as experts in snacking, let’s update that veggie platter. Since no one’s headed for a Mediterranean getaway at the moment, we’re going to make a version that’ll tide you over. We asked Silver Lake restaurant Botanica, to help us make one. Featuring whipped tahini and crispy, crunchy carrots, cucumbers, and more, this is just the thing to help you power through that 4 p.m. presentation.
Crudité Platter With Whipped Tahini
Makes 1 Crudité Platter and 1 ¼ Cup Dip
For the Whipped Tahini:
- ½ cup tahini (Botanica likes Soom)
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup water
For the Crudité Platter:
- 1 large carrot
- 1 persian cucumber
- 1⁄2 head fennel
- 4 French breakfast radishes
- Lemon juice and salt, for seasoning
Minute 1: Garlic Paste
Peel the garlic clove, and add it to a food processor along with the lemon juice, and salt. Pulse for one minute, until the garlic turns into a paste. (You can also do this step by scraping the garlic and salt together on a cutting board with a knife, but it’s easier to use a food processor if you have one.)
Minute 2: Tahini
Be sure to stir the sesame paste well before measuring, then add ½ cup to the food processor. Use the pulse setting to blend the tahini and garlic paste, and keep a spatula on hand to scrape down the sides after pulses if you need to.
Minutes 3-6: Water
Using your food processor’s medium setting, stream ½ cup of cold filtered water through the feed until the ingredients are creamy and emulsified. Fiffer says you’ll know it’s done when it looks like a lighter version of hummus, without the chickpeas. “It’s very user-friendly and foolproof,” she notes — and recommends you make extra to store in the fridge for two weeks.
While You’re Waiting: Don’t Forget to Breathe!
It seems simple, but it’s so easy to take a deep, calming breath for granted. Take this time to breathe in and out slowly — Botanica chef Zarah Khan is constantly reminding cooks that doing so releases plenty of tension you might be holding in your body. “There is very little in this world you can do well while holding your breath,” she says. “We talk about the flow, or the dance that occurs on the line during service, and you can’t flow properly if you are stressing out holding your breath!”
Minute 7-15: Crudité Platter
Cut the carrot, cucumber, and fennel into quarters or sticks, and separate the fennel layers into a fan. Cut the radishes into halves or coins — the point here is to transform the vegetables into pieces that can be eaten in just a few bites.
Don’t have these veggies on hand? Try something new. Fiffer recommends seeking out what’s in season at your local farmer’s market, and asking the farmers themselves what they recommend. Don’t be afraid to branch out from your standby picks there, either — the whipped tahini will taste great on almost anything.
Minute 16-17: Finishing Touches
Arrange the vegetables onto a plate, and dress them with a touch of lemon juice and a sprinkle of salt. “It’s super important that, as simple as it might be, everything on a crudité plate needs to taste delicious on its own and just have a little bit of seasoning,” Fiffer says. (The lemon juice also helps stave off the vegetables’ natural oxidation process.) Add a bowl of whipped tahini and dip away.