Eating three times a day is a standard that has become habitual for most of us, but what about those in-between periods of time that call for a quick munch? What do you normally find yourself eating during those tummy-rumbling, snack-craving times? The reason I ask is because, i’ve found, that moments such as these can get a little tricky for anyone on the hunt for a quick and filling snack.
But beware, do not let yourself be fooled! The seemingly blasé act of ‘casual snacking’ is a sneaky traitor of an illusion that has us believing we are just simply, and nonchalantly, eating ‘a little something’ or ‘having a few (insert comfort food here),’ before a main, much more substantial meal. As you can see, this is an easy-to-believe facade similar to that of ‘casual smoking,’ which is similarly based on the notion that casual, insouciant involvement is somehow ‘better’ and ‘healthier’ for us.
Truth is, it’s very easy to minimize the importance of quality calories during those wee hours of the day, especially when your sweet co-worker asks if you’d like just a few sugar cookies with that cup of coffee. We’ve all been there. And if you’ve found that your in-between eats are leading you to consume excessive amounts of sneaky, empty calories, know that with a bit of planning and effort your snack times can actually set you up for energy-boosting success! I’ve listed three protein-rich, plant-based snacks that you prepare within 10-15 minutes and bring with you to work, or store in the fridge as a ready-to-eat snack!
Quinoa Garden Salad
»7 cherry tomatoes
»Handful of mint
»1 green onion
»1 clove of garlic (or tsp of minced garlic
Cook 1 cup of quinoa in two cups of water for 20 minutes (sieve any extra water off). Let your quinoa cool off and, when ready, prepare the quinoa with 1 tbsp of olive oil, lemon, salt + pepper. After you’ve prepared the quinoa, add in all of of the chopped ingredients listed above. Mix these ingredients accordingly. Then, place the mixed quinoa salad in the refrigerator and let it cool.
√Recommendations: You can put this quinoa garden salad over fresh greens with avocado + pesto, or you can serve over a grilled chicken breast. This salad is also great with some fresh cucumber, mint water 😉
Roasted Garlic Hummus
»15 oz can of organic garbanzo beans
(or soak dried garbanzo beans overnight as a healthier option)
»1/2 lemon (and zest)
»2 garlic cloves (roasted until blackened)
»1 tbsp of chicken broth
»2 tbsp of organic, extra virgin olive oil
»A pinch of coriander
»1 tbsp of tahini
»1-2 tsp of mediterranean salt
»A pinch of cayenne spice
»A few half sliced onions (grilled until blackened)
Instructions: If you’re using a 15 oz can of garbanzo beans, drain the can but save some of the liquid (can be useful later on). Roast garlic cloves for about two minutes (until sufficiently blackened); this ingredient will add so much flavor to the hummus! Place 15 oz of garbanzo beans in food processor/blender, add in tahini, chicken broth (and garbanzo liquid – only if needed), EVOO, lemon (and a bit of zest), coriander and the roasted garlic cloves. Meanwhile, place a half slice of onion and let it grill until blackened. Blend the ingredients until smooth. Chop up the grilled onions and add on top of finished hummus as a garnish. If you like a hint of spicy, sprinkle some cayenne spice on top for a tasty kick.
√Recommendation: Serve alongside some vegetables (carrots/cucumber) or a slice of warm, whole grain pita bread.
Not-So-Basic Mung-Guac Dip
»Mung beans (1 cup)
»2 tbsp of organic (Roma) tomato
»1 tbsp of onion
»1 tbsp of cilantro
»A pinch of chili powder
» optional: sprinkle pita chip crumbs on top
»optional: 1/2 Serrano chili pepper
Instructions: Boil a cup of mung beans for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare guacamole with the usual avocado, tomato, onion, cilantro, lime, salt and pepper ingredients (for extra spiciness add in some Serrano). After mung beans are ready/sprouted, drain the mung beans and let them cool. Mix the guacamole with the mung beans and add a generous pinch of chili powder for flavor.
√Recommendation: Eat with a warm, whole grain tortilla. And if you enjoy recipes with avocado, check out my avocado toast adaptations too.