Friday, January 14, 2011

Snack and Lunch Ideas- part two

I am extremely fond of making one-dish meals, especially for lunch. Trying to combine several food groups in one dish is not always easy and doesn't always turn out to everyone's liking. Following are some combinations that have worked in my family.

Sweet Potato 

Roasted sweet potato 
Sweet potato is not just a plain old potato with extra flavor. It is one of nature's abundant sources of beta-carotene having a superior ability to raise our vitamin A levels. With anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, one large steamed sweet potato is less than 100 calories. Have a steamed or roasted potato as a snack by flavoring with lime juice and dry mint. To roast, peel and slice the potato, spray with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and dry mint. Roast on high till done. Serve hot sprinkled with lime juice.

Roasted sweet potato for lunch
Serve roasted potato with slices of pineapple, cucumber, carrots, lettuce, celery and jalapeno peppers sprinkled with any salad dressing sparingly. roasted sweet potato tastes great warm and cold alike.

Chickpea and grape salad for lunch
1 can chickpeas drained
1/2 cup grapes halved
1 large orange peeled and chopped
1/2 cucumber chopped
salt to taste
Hint of sugar
Lime juice to taste
Bunch of fresh mint
handful fresh parsley or coriander
Mix all the ingredients together and let the flavors blend in for at least two hours before serving. Taste good cold or warm alike.

Coconut and peanut salad for lunch 
This is a great salad for lunch. Prepare ahead of time and mix lime juice just before you eat. For recipe click here.

Soup/stew for lunch
You can create your own soup recipe or simply follow the recipe here. Either way you are in for a wonderful, soul-warming experience, especially in winter time. Just add whatever vegetables, leftover chicken, fish, beans, grains you have at hand and boil it together to the desired consistency. I especially like stew with thick chunky veggies and loads of broth.

1 tsp olive oil plus 1 tsp butter
4-5 cups of chopped vegetables (carrot, green onion, celery, potato, tomato, red pepper, green pepper, spinach, etc. )
chopped red onion
2 cloves garlic chopped
2 tsp herbs(basil, parsley)
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2-3 cups water
1 cup boiled beans(black beans, chickpeas, any kind) OR cooked chicken shredded
1/4 cup quinoa OR soup noodles
salt to taste
cracked black pepper
  1. In a large stockpot, heat the oil and butter for a minute and add garlic and red onion. 
  2. Saute on high for 2 minutes till pink. 
  3. Add all the vegetables along with seasoning and herbs and cook for 2 minutes to coat the veggies with everything. 
  4. Now add the broth and water and bring to boil. 
  5. At this point add the beans and noodles or quinoa if using. If you are using cooked chicken, add it after 5 minutes so as not to make it tough. 
  6. Simmer for 10 minutes. 
  7. Serve with crisps or croutons.

Almond Or Peanut Butter
Have apple slices or celery sticks with a tablespoon of almond butter or peanut butter. Comparable in calorie count (1 tbsp will contain approx 100 calories) almond butter is higher in fiber while peanut butter is higher in protein and vitamin E. Both are rich in minerals and have powerful antioxidant qualities.

Rich source of calcium, vitamin B, and protein, yogurt contains live bacteria providing loads of health benefits especially digestive health. A cup of plain low-fat yogurt is only 100 calories and for added interest add one or more of :
1/2 cup berries
A tablespoon of nuts
1 tbsp honey
A sprinkle of cinnamon

Yogurt can be used as a substitute for sour cream. Just put a small quantity of yogurt in a muslin cloth over a sieve. Place in the fridge overnight. The liquid will separate, leaving behind a creamy thick cream like yogurt.

Make tzatziki dip with yogurt and enjoy with veggies. For recipe click here.

Unsweetened applesaucee
A cup of unsweetened apple sauce is only a 100 calories and quite filling. If you are a big fan of apples, this will suit your palette. Can be eaten warm with a sprinkle of nuts or seeds to add texture and flavor.
Few more lunch ideas next week. until then.....

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