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Posts Tagged ‘healthy snack’

CSA box–each week a wonderful surprise of fruits and veggies!

This summer my husband and I decided to participate in a community supported agriculture (CSA) program. We thought this would be a great way to support local farmers, eat more fresh produce, and possibly trim up our waistlines! Participating in a CSA program is a great alternative for city-dwellers like ourselves to enjoy the fresh bounty of summer fruits and veggies even though we don’t have our own garden.

We decided to participate in Stillman’s Farm, which has been great so far.  If you are interested, you can follow their blog linked my Local Favorites blogroll list. We are about 5 weeks into the deliveries and are happy with the quality and selection of veggies. Lots of greens! It does take some work to clean and prep all of the produce, but the end results of delicious, fresh foods is worth it! I will be posting recipes using these fresh fruits and veggies (hopefully frequently).

This first recipe is a  fast, easy, and delicious way to use up Kale (which has been abundant in the boxes from week to week so far). The chips can me made with any variety of Kale.

Basic Kale Chips

  • Fresh kale–cleaned, stems and center ribs cut and removed
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

Tear kale into the size “chips” you desire. Toss kale in olive oil to coat. Place kale in a single layer on a baking sheet; top with salt and pepper (or other spices–see note below). Bake in oven for approx 30 min. You can check the crispiness at 20 min. then continue to cook until chips are crisp to your preference. Remove from oven and let cool on wire rack.

The chips are best the same day, but can last one or two more days, stored in an airtight container. The light, airy crispy kale chips will go fast, so you won’t have to worry about storing them too long 🙂

*Note: This is just a basic recipe. Add any spice you like (i.e. cayenne, garlic, cumin, crushed red pepper, etc.) to the chips to change up the flavors.

Kale chips–surprisingly delicious!

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For some reason sardines have acquired a bad reputation…but they shouldn’t have!  They actually taste good and are really good for you!

What to look for in the store...in water, oil, flavored oils--it's your choice!

Yummy....don't be afraid! This is what they'll look like inside the can 🙂

This may sound like an odd combination of foods, but for fish lovers…and sardine skeptics this recipe is worth a try. Eating canned sardines is something I have been enjoying since a little girl. I was first introduced to them by my father, who I am pretty sure is where I inherited my adventurous taste buds from. The classic snack was sardines on a saltine cracker with Parmesan cheese on top and a dash of Tabasco sauce. A quick bump in the microwave, and all of the flavors would meld together. Cheap, simple, and actually quite tasty!

The recipe provided here is somewhat of a fancier version that adds a couple of different ingredients. These sardine crostini are perfect little bites to get any meal started. They would also make a great party food for those who want to get their omega-3’s on a budget. Another plus to these little fishy bites–sardines are low in mercury, so no worries there either!

Sardine Crostini

1 baguette–sliced into 1/4-1/2 in slices on a bias

Olive oil

1 can sardines

1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

dash of cayenne pepper

grated fresh Parmesan (optional)

whole grain spicy mustard (optional)

To make:

Coat one side of the bread with olive oil (use a pastry brush or light drizzle). Toast in oven at 425 degrees until crispy (approx 5 min). Place the sardines, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and cayenne in a bowl; roughly mix together with a fork.  A note on the sardines: There will be bones in the sardines that are actually edible, but if that gives you the creeps feel free to remove the bones prior to mashing).  Place the mixture on the toasts, top with Parmesan cheese and return to the oven for another 5 min or so…just to heat slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature.  Optional: to give an extra texture and kick, lightly spread spicy whole grain mustard on the toasts first.

Cheap, easy, delicious--sardine crostini

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After being on a bit of a blogging hiatus due to busy work deadlines, a nice vacation in Mexico, then a bout of strep throat…my cooking has started again!

Veggie Pockets

This recipe resembles English peasant food–making hand pies (pasty) with whatever ingredients are in the cupboard or refrigerator that need to be used. I was a bit ambitious buying up fresh veggies the last time I went to supermarket, so I found myself with tons of leftover asparagus and spinach that needed to be cooked, asap!

These hand pies can be filled with pretty much anything–meat, cheese, vegetables, fruits, etc. A quick and easy trick is to used refrigerated pie crust at the dough. In under a half an hour this is a quick go-to for a budget friendly weeknight meal.

Veggie Hand Pie

1 package of 2, unbaked, refrigerated pie crust

1 egg white, mixed with a dash of water

1 bunch of  asparagus, rough bottom stalk ends removed

1 lb fresh spinach

1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes

1 tsp Kosher salt

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp dried basil

1/2 tsp dried thyme

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (not from the can, fresh is much better)

Instructions:

Prepare and cook the filling. This is pretty much true for any filling that you use, you want all of the veggies, meats, or fruit to be softened or cooked to your preference prior to baking the pie, otherwise you’ll end up with a mushy mess–all of the liquid will seep out from the uncooked food and the flaky pie will turn to mush!

For the filling : steam the asparagus and spinach. Drain the spinach and squeeze out as much moisture as possible. Cut the asparagus  into about 1/2 inch pieces and roughly chop the cooked spinach. Cut the tomatoes in half. Toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, basil, oregano, thyme, and garlic. Layer the seasoned tomatoes, cut side up, on a baking sheet and bake at 400 for 10-15 minutes. Pour the roasted tomatoes into a large mixing bowl–mash with the spoon to break up some of the tomatoes. Add the spinach and asparagus to the bowl–mix. Stir in the cheddar cheese.

Assembled Pies--not baked yet

Assembling the pies: Cut the pie crust into fourths (will end up with 8 triangular pieces using both pie crusts from the package).

Roll each piece into a ball then flatten out into approximately 6 inch circle (use your hands or rolling-pin).Place a scoop of filling (rounded 1/4 cup) in the middle of the crust–basically as much as you can fit and still be able to seal the pocket. Fold over the edge to make a semi-circular pocket. Crimp the edges to seal the filling and make the “hand pie” shape. Puncture the top of the pie slightly with 3 small slits–this will allow some of the steam to escape during baking. Brush the top of the pie with the egg white mixture then top with grated Parmesan cheese.

Bake the pies on a lined baking sheet (or greased) for 20 minutes, or until the tops are light brown at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Let cool slightly before eating–the filling will be very hot!  Eat plain or dip into your favorite dipping sauce (I used honey mustard). 🙂

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This is a quick easy, fun breakfast or snack that is perfect for kids of all ages…I still have not grown out of enjoying this finger food treat. It combines bananas, peanut butter, and traditionally Cheerios.

Never too old for this treat!

Given all of the new cereal options in the supermarkets today, there are plenty of ways to top the “log” with your favorite “doughnut.” I added a fiber cinnamon cereal topping to give the perfect crunch to each bite!

Doughnuts on a Log

Ingredients:

1 ripe banana

peanut butter

Oh-shaped cereal of your liking

To make:

Slice the banana in half then half the halves–quarter the banana 🙂  Spread a layer of peanut butter on each piece then top with the crunchy cereal.  That’s it…enjoy!

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One of my favorite snacks is chips and dip. And the dip of all dips…..Guacamole! Here is a pretty basic and delicious recipe for Guacamole that will be a hit every time. Try this dip with Food Should Taste Good, Jalapeno flavored tortilla chips to add an extra kick!

Guacamole Dip:

Ingredients:

2 ripe Hass avocados (ripe = should give slightly at the ends when pressed with fingers)

1 small shallot, finely chopped (or 1/2 red onion chopped)

Dash of garlic powder (or to taste)

1 tbsp olive oil (optional, but adds a velvety richness to the dip)

Dash of your favorite hot sauce Delicious, healthy snack to enjoy anytime!

2 Tbsp fresh chopped cilantro (or a pinch  of dried if fresh not available)

Juice from one small lime

1 tbsp Kosher salt

2 plum tomatoes chopped

fresh ground pepper to taste

Directions:

Cut the avocados in half, remove the pit carefully, then spoon out the flesh and put into a medium-sized mixing bowl (or if you want to be fancy a mortar and pestle).  Mash the avocados slightly (will still be pretty chunky). Add the remainder of the ingredients and mix until well blended.

Alternatively: Leave the tomatoes out of the mix and use as a garnish

Feel free to leave the dip chunky if you like, just make sure all the ingredients are well blended so that each bite is the perfect bite!

Pair with your favorite dipping vessel (chips, veggies, etc.) and enjoy! Recipe serves 1, 2, up to 4–depending on how hungry you are and how much will power you have.

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