Six Quick, Healthy Filling Snacks

 

Hello HHL Readers!  My name is Melissa and I am a NYC-based blogger, fitness enthusiast and lover of the delicious food NYC has to offer.  After some time away from blogging, I’m back and excited to share my fresh perspective on fitness, health and nutrition.  Follow me over at FitnessNYC, if you like reading about fitness studios, workout plans and food — both healthy and indulgent! I’m honored to be guest posting on Ashley’s blog, and today I’d like to share with you some of my favorite quick, healthy and filling snacks.

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First up are my mini-meal snacks, which are great when I get home from work famished and I know dinner isn’t until 8pm or later.  The three options below are easy to assemble and very satisfying, and they all have fewer calories than your average nutrition bar to boot.

Steamed Vegetables with a Sprinkle of Parmesan

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I always have steamed vegetable mixes in my freezer.  When I’m cooking a meal, I almost always use fresh produce, but I find that frozen vegetables are great in a pinch and perfect for a quick, hearty snack.  I just fill a small or medium bowl with whatever frozen vegetables on hand, sprinkle on whatever grated cheese I have on hand, and toss in a few red pepper flakes. Three minutes in the microwave and I have a snack that will keep me full until dinner every time.

Tortilla Melt

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Another quick snack that always takes the edge off my hunger is a tortilla melt. I just put a corn tortilla in a skillet and top it with some cheese and salsa (and some TJs cowboy caviar in this case) and warm it up on the stove until the cheese melts.  I find this far more satisfying than a handful of chips and salsa.

Apple and Celery Stuffed Dates

FullSizeRender (1)FullSizeRenderWhen I have a sweet tooth, nothing satisfies like a fresh date.  To make it even more of a treat, I like to stuff the dates with apple, celery and nut butter to add volume and texture.  It’s sort of a grown-up version of ants on a log.

When I’m at work, I reach for grab and go snacks that require no preparation.  Here are my top three go to options:

Pistachios

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I love pistachios. They’ve always been one of my favorite nuts, so I keep a big back at the ready in my office desk.  I find these are the perfect option when I’m kind of hungry, but also kind of bored.  It takes a while to remove the shell, so unlike most nut snacks, they aren’t gone in a matter of seconds. An ounce of pistachios is 49 nuts, which is twice the amount of many other nuts, so they are a great volume option.  Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever taken the time to unshell 49 pistachios in one sitting.

Nu-Gu Fiber D’lish Bars

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Lately, I’ve been loving these bars when I need something to satisfy my sweet tooth. They are chewy, sweet and packed with fiber.

String Cheese

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String cheese is one of my favorite on the go options because it’s available almost everywhere, drug stores, bodegas, convenience stores, it’s my go to when there aren’t a lot of healthy options and I need a small snack.

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Katherine Elizabeth Diamond

On Tuesday, June 20th at 10:56 AM our lives changed forever in the most wonderful way. Our family of two grew to a family of three when Bo and I welcomed Katherine “Katie” Elizabeth Diamond into the world. Born 7 lbs 7 oz with a head of dark brown hair and beautiful blue eyes, she immediately filled our hearts and has already brought us so much joy and happiness in just five days of life.

Since her birth, my world has personally been a roller coaster of emotions, as many of you warned it would. The first month is supposed to be one of the most wonderful but also the most difficult as every day I am learning something new and at this point, she seems so fragile. We’ve had daily pediatrician appointments due to her rapid 13% weight loss following birth, breast milk production challenges and her higher than normal bilirubin levels. These health challenges, as well as my raging hormones, have kept everyone on their feet, including Bo and my poor parents. I am so thankful for their incredible support, doing everything from reminding me to shower or making me a cup of coffee.

There will be a full birth story recap coming, including the wonderful notes and pictures that Bo captured during the process, which was far faster and intense than expected surging from zero to baby in just 12 hours which caught everyone off guard, including this mom who never had a chance to receive her epidural.

Thank you for the notes, warm wishes, thoughts, and prayers during this time and hope you continue to enjoy the guest posts.

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Easy Pan-Roasted Tomato Garlic Spaghetti

Good morning! I’m so thrilled to share one of my favorite recipes with you all while Ashley is focused on Baby Girl Diamond. My blog,  Nourish & Fete,  is a food blog dedicated to making from-scratch cooking approachable, affordable, and delicious. You’ll find everyday recipes that are family-friendly and wholesome, as well as plenty of desserts for the sweet teeth among us! Monica, the cook, baker, and photo-taker, did not grow up knowing her way around the kitchen but has loved learning to cook and nourish family and friends with good food and everyday celebrations.

I am super excited to share this dish with you today – a lightning fast weeknight meal that delivers luscious flavor from simple, fresh ingredients – spaghetti, cherry tomatoes, and garlic. The secret to pulling this together is an easy emulsified sauce.

This lightning fast weeknight meal relies on an emulsified sauce to deliver luscious flavor with simple, fresh ingredients - spaghetti, cherry tomatoes, and garlic.

Normally, we learn that oil and water don’t mix, right? Unless you throw caution to the wind and rapidly boil them together for several minutes, in which case magic happens. The resulting light sauce delivers the flavor of olive oil in a way that doesn’t merely coat but adheres to the pasta.

This lightning fast weeknight meal relies on an emulsified sauce to deliver luscious flavor with simple, fresh ingredients - spaghetti, cherry tomatoes, and garlic.

This recipe has been in my back pocket for about four and a half years when I dog-eared a particularly delicious-looking page in Cooking Light. But it’s one of those meals I accidentally forget about for months at a time, probably because it is just so simple that it hardly seems like a recipe at all. But that’s a shame because it deserves frequent appearances on the dinner table – mine and yours.

This lightning fast weeknight meal relies on an emulsified sauce to deliver luscious flavor with simple, fresh ingredients - spaghetti, cherry tomatoes, and garlic.

Any cherry tomatoes will work for this, but if you can find an heirloom mix, all the better. In addition to infusing the spaghetti with a rich olive oil flavor, the sauce enhances without drowning the roasted tomatoes and garlic. I love to serve this with a simple side salad and call it a day – it’s one of those meals that you leaves you feeling satiated but not the least bit heavy.

Last but not least, I know this post is already a little picture-happy, but I couldn’t resist adding a snapshot of my little sous chef, ready to add some extra grated cheese to the finished product. (He’s got good instincts!)

I hope he’s always this excited to help in the kitchen! Enjoy, friends, and have a nice weekend.

Pan-Roasted Tomato and Garlic Spaghetti

Prep: 5 mins Cook: 15 mins Total: 20 mins

Yield: 3-4 servings

Ingredients

  • • 1 tbsp. plus 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • • 8 oz. uncooked spaghetti
  • • 5 tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • • 2 pints cherry tomatoes, multicolored if you like
  • • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • • 2-3 oz. parmesan cheese, shaved or grated
  • • 1/4 cup small basil leaves

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (220 degrees C).

2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 1 tbsp. salt. Add spaghetti and cook

until al dente. Before draining the pasta, reserve about 1/2 cup of the

cooking water and set aside. Return drained pasta to the pot.

3. In a small saucepan, combine 9 tbsp. of the reserved pasta water with 3 tbsp.

olive oil, and bring to a rapid boil. Boil for 4 minutes to emulsify the sauce,

then add it to the pasta and toss to coat.

4. While the pasta cooks, combine 2 tbsp. olive oil, tomatoes, and garlic on a

rimmed baking sheet, and toss to combine. Bake for about 11 minutes, until

tomatoes are lightly browned and just beginning to burst. Add tomato

mixture, 1/2 tsp. salt, and pepper to the pasta. Toss again to coat, top with

cheese and basil, and serve.

Source: Lightly adapted from Cooking Light, August 2012

 

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