Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Healthy Food Snacks

I was away a few days visiting my daughter. Knowing I was coming back home to my New Year goal of healthy eating again, I thoroughly enjoyed my Shepherd's Pie at the Irish Pub, The Harp, followed by a double dip from Baskin-Robbins. I'm back and I need to make lunches and snacks for work. Since I've been away, I'm not  ready to go for groceries yet. I think "Chopped"--use what you have to make two nutrition-rich snacks and a healthy lunch for the three days left of the week!!  I look in the fridge and find a butternut squash, broccoli, carrots, some leftover green beans and tomato sauce. I have the usual pantry items.  I clean and slice the two carrots onto a baking dish, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and slide into a 400 deg. oven.  I roast them about 10 min.  I add broccoli florets, also drizzled with oil and sprinkled with salt.  I let that roast about 10 more minutes and add some red pepper flakes and pine nuts and stir the mixture.  I let that roast until the vegetables are tender. It's bright, colorful and really good. I pack it into containers to eat for after-school snacks.

Since I'm trying to lower my cholesterol and beans are good for that as well as good protein, I saute some onions in olive oil in a pan on the stove, I add a can of rinsed roman beans and throw in those leftover green beans. 
After sauteeing a few minutes with some salt and freshly-ground pepper, I add some tomato sauce,  and simmer until it thickens.  I sprinkle some grated Parmesan cheese on top and scoop it into little jars to take to school for one of my snack breaks.
I pack some tortilla chips to munch with these.
Finally, I make some Butternut Squash Soup to take for my actual lunches.  The recipe I use is below.
Walnuts make a tasty munchie to eat along with this soup.

Butternut Squash Soup

2 Tblsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly-ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. garam masala
dash ground ginger
dash ground cloves
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced (about 6 cups)
2 cans (14-1/2 oz. ea.) Vegetable Stock

In a heavy dutch oven, saute the onion and garlic in the heated oil.  Add the spices. Stir.  Add the squash and saute about 10 minutes.  Add the stock and simmer until tender.  Use a hand-held immersion blender to puree the soup. I like to leave some texture in the soup. 
This makes about 4 servings.

Notice that I use small canning jars as my containers.  They are great to eat out of cold, or remove the metal lids and microwave right in the jar and eat right out of it heated.

It looks like I took a lot of food to work, but it's all healthy--just brimming with color. Snacks don't have to be celery and carrot sticks.  My quantities are small and so full of flavor, I don't need more.
After a day like this, all I want for dinner is a salad with a small piece of fish or lean meat.


Pioneeress said...

I love ur blog background. It suits you perfectly!

poppyseed said...

Thank you! I had a little help with it.