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.


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


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


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:



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


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


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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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


  • • 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


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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Easy Turkey Meatballs

Lindsey Janeiro, RDN, CLC is the blogger and dietitian behind Nutrition to Fit . Whether she’s consulting with brands, developing recipes, writing on her blog, or providing nutrition and breastfeeding support to clients, she is on a mission to help people live and eat with less stress and more fun. She lives in Sarasota, Florida with her husband where they’ve been having the time of their lives adjusting to parenthood with their seven-month-old daughter. Lindsey can be followed on social media at @nutritiontofit.

Ashley tells me she has a bunch of busy ladies here, so I have a feeling I’m not alone in my need for fast, easy, tasty weeknight dinners, right? Let’s get cooking!

These turkey meatballs are a longtime favorite of mine. They’ve always been easy, but I’ve recently made it even easier by simplifying it to five total ingredients, including spices. Better yet? As long as you and your loved ones eat turkey, everyone is good to go whether they’re gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo, Whole30, or just want to eat food that tastes good. Because seriously – whether you’re a new mom, a seasoned mom, or a busy professional, no one can keep up with everyone’s food allergies and preferences!

Dinner can come together in about thirty minutes with this meal. Start boiling the water for your pasta, or spiralize zucchini if making zoodles. Combine the turkey meatball ingredients, roll into meatballs, and get into the oven. Boil your pasta. Nutritional bonus: sauté extra diced vegetables to add to the sauce (i.e. onion, bell pepper, mushrooms, carrots). When everything is done, toss the pasta, veggies, and meatballs in a skillet with sauce. Done!

If you’re busy (who isn’t), or are expecting a little one of your own, I recommend making a double or triple batch of the meatballs. Just freeze after they cool from baking, and they reheat beautifully! When you want a quick protein with dinner, just thaw them (overnight in the fridge, in the microwave, or in a covered pan with a little water) and add your favorite sauce. Before I had my baby girl this past November, I made a triple batch and froze them all. They were one of my favorite foods to eat in a pinch! Even if breastfeeding hunger struck at a random hour, I could just thaw a meatball with some sauce and top with a little mozzarella for a super satisfying, protein-packed snack.

If you try these meatballs be sure to share on Instagram and tag Ashley (@healthyhappier) and I (@nutritiontofit) so we can see your dinner creations!

Easy Turkey Meatballs


  • 2-pound package lean ground turkey
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup ground flax seed
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 2-3 teaspoons garlic powder or garlic salt (use more if you’re a garlic fiend like me!)


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil. Spray foil with nonstick spray or brush with olive oil.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  3. Roll into 14 meatballs and place on baking sheet.
  4. Spray the tops of meatballs with nonstick spray or lightly brush with olive oil to help with browning.
  5. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through.
  6. Serve immediately with your favorite pasta or sauce.
  7. If freezing, allow to cool then store in a freezer-safe resealable bag or airtight container for 2-3 months.
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