Monday, March 25, 2013

Snack time


I remember as a kid, during the middle of the day I would tell my mom that I was hungry and that I wanted a snack. She would say something like 'have an apple'. I would probably cringe, and put up a fuss and whine and then probably just stay hungry. I remember thinking that apples were for my school lunch during the week - something that I probably felt forced that I had to eat - and definitely didn't want one as a snack.

I don't remember having a lot of snack foods in our house growing up. Not until I was a bit older - and I probably went grocery shopping with my mom and just put things in the cart. We didn't have a lot of processed foods either - oh except for the bologna and summer sausage (oh my) that was for  sandwiches for the school lunch. My mom baked a lot - so there were always fresh muffins, cookies, banana breads in the house. And by 'in the house', I mean - they probably lasted an hour until my brother found out they were around - and they were gobbled up.

Since there weren't a lot of tasty treats around the house - I mean like - chips, chocolate bars, pepperoni sticks (that is one thing our friends always had - that and ding dongs and twinkies - I was so jealous) - that is probably why I would hop my bike to the corner store and indulge. I am sure that is where bad habits formed about buying treats like that - on a 'whim'. Although my eating habits weren't atrocious - they weren't great. I almost would never buy junk food when doing a grocery shop - the treats were picked up on a whim when I (or we as in me and the husband) were craving treats. Or, when friends or family were coming for dinner and I wanted treats. I still tend to do that.

For the past 6 months, I have really changed how I eat. I find that planning my meals in advance and sticking to them has helped the most. And it has helped with my snacks - and wanting snacks. I find that if there aren't snacks in the house - then I will just make a healthy choice - making a snack something that is worth it and will energize me. Like an apple. I absolutely love Gala or Fuji apples right now. I love them sliced - and sometimes for an extra bit of goodness I add a bit of almond butter. Deelish. But like all things - sometimes an apple just does not cut it. Sometimes I want chips. Or a cream puff. Or a bowl of ice cream. And I am happy to say that within the past 6 months, I have not had a cream puff or a bowl of ice cream. I have, however, had some chips and a DQ Blizzard and a Qoola (frozen yogurt). And I am not going to beat myself up about it - because having chips a couple of times and an ice cream treat twice - is ok.

My husband will often ask 'You don't have any Lay's potato chips lying around here, do you?' I sometimes just simply reply 'No, sorry'. And sometimes, I just stare at him without saying anything, and he knows the answer. If there ever are chips in the house - we make sure to have a small bowl - instead of bringing the entire bag. I don't care what anyone says - polishing off a bag of chips while watching a tv show or movie is easy - if you're not thinking about it. It just happens. It's not something good that happens - but it does. So instead of setting ourselves up for a chip blowout - it's good to ration, and enjoy a few at once instead of the guilt for eating too many at once.

I have been trying a few snacks - and they are good. They aren't deep fried, covered in sugar or smothered in chocolate sauce - but they are a treat when you are wanting something different, and they are satisfying.


Parmesan Lime Popcorn


Pop popcorn - try using a pot or a pop corn popper instead of the microwave kind if you have the option. We have an old-fashioned crank popper - and it makes the best popcorn.


Grate fresh parmesan cheese.

While the popcorn is still hot, top with the juice of half a lime and the parmesan cheese and give it a good toss. The fresh flavour of the lime mixed with the savoury taste of the parmesan - make this a deelish combo.


Corn tortilla chips

We make fish tacos a couple of times a month. I love their freshness and they are so simple to prepare. I often have corn tortillas left over and have decided that instead of throwing them in the freezer or waiting for them to grow mold - that I would make chips with them.

Pre-heat the oven to 425.


Using kitchen scissors or a knife - cut the tortillas into triangles or long strips.

On a lined baking sheet - lay out the tortillas in one layer. Using an oil spritzer, spritz the chips with a light vegetable oil. Sprinkle a dash of kosher salt over them.


Bake in the 425 oven for about 18 minutes - or until they are nice and crispy. I like to have them with my Guacamole Sauce or on the side, almost like a cracker, with my Cabbage Roll Soup. Or just as is with a little diet ginger ale.


Lime Almonds

Pre-heat the oven to 350.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a bowl add in two cups of almonds, the juice of one lime and about a tsp of kosher salt. Give it a good toss.

Bake in the 350 oven for about 13 minutes - turning them over half way.

I am always looking for great snack ideas, if you have some PLEASE SHARE.



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