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Food for Thought: 6 Simple Snacks for April

Posted Apr 02 2013 5:47pm

Yesterday’s post got me thinking: Holy crap, it’s been a long time since I’ve cooked a meal. No, like really cooked a meal.

Starting a new job is no easy task. Starting two new jobs in less than two months, well, that’s even harder. I love what I’ve found myself doing these days, but despite the pretty okay work-life balance I’ve recently discovered, it’s nevertheless left little time for extensive tasks like Giada-worthy meals.

Not long ago, I told you all how I promised myself to clean up my act in time for spring — and in anticipation of summer. Every magazine is throwing it in our faces, aren’t they? Shape up! Get fit! Summer bod! Melt fat!

I get it. I’ll be in a bikini in no time.

Fortunately, as promised to myself, I’ve actually been super mindful of working out everyday. And it’s been easy.

The park is getting nicer everyday.

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The days are getting warmer every morning.

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The mornings are getting brighter each dawn.

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(Spotted: a bluebird on my run!)

Now that I think about it, Sunday is the only day I haven’t worked out in the last two weeks (I barely lifted a finger beyond cheering for Michigan from my couch; go blue!).

Unfortunately, I’ve also been doing a lot of this.

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It happens.

Anyway, as part of this whole attempt to get in shape thing, I have definitely been trying to add in healthful snacks and meals into my day. While, to be honest, my version of “cutting the crap” often means ordering in Indian one time less over the course of the month, I have ultimately sought the skinny options as well — when I can.

Looking for insanely simple inspiration in the kitchen? Read on for a few of the snacks I’ve been munching on lately. As always, each is made with the kinds of ingredients you already have in your cabinets. And remember, the goal here isn’t gourmet — but it’s still get-in-my-belly good.

1. Homemade Cheesy Potato “Chips”

All you need for this tasty snack is a regular and/or sweet potato, black pepper and shredded Parmesan cheese (no oil needed). Cook your potato in the microwave until soft — but not too soft. When almost cooked through (after about 3-4 minutes, depending on the strength of your microwave), slice thinly on a baking sheet or toaster oven tray. Broil until crispy and golden.

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2. Blanched Brussels Sprouts

One of the best parts about Brussels sprouts is that, as good as they taste fried, they’re equally delicious when blanched and tossed with a bit of salt and pepper. Be sure to slice in half first and not to overcook. Need a bit of flavor? Sprinkle a bit of extra virgin olive oil on top.

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3. Anything on an Endive

always keep endives around as a crunchy and amazing alternative to crackers. The perfect vehicle for almost anything in your fridge, I like to use endives for hummus and other dips. This weekend, I used the bitter lettuce while eating a broccoli puree and braised cabbage combination I picked up at the local market.

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4. Avocado, Spinach and Cheesy Flatbread

I’ve dished on my favorite whole-wheat flax wraps before — perfect for any runner or athlete. Have leftover veggies sitting around? Spread a bit of Parmesan cheese over the wrap while flat, and then throw on whatever veggies you can. I’m a huge avocado aficionado, which is a superb compliment to a healthy sprinkling of spinach.

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5. Strawberries and Cream

It was in college when I discovered the existence of non-fat whipped cream. Can you say yum? If you’re on the hunt for a healthful, spring-friendly dessert, slice up strawberries or some other fruit and serve with a square of hazelnut dark chocolate (or without, if you so incline).

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6. Asparagus and Chickpea Coleslaw

This one came about because, well, the only things I had in my refrigerator to eat last night were pre-shredded cabbage, fresh asparagus and leftover chickpeas. The result: asparagus and chickpea coleslaw, made by mixing the lot together with salt, pepper, freshly squeezed lemon and a bit of my favorite vinaigrette.

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So, simple snacks covered? Check. Running (almost) everyday? Check.

Now, all that’s left is to decide whether to do laundry or just buy new sports bras for the week.

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Decisions, decisions.

  • What are your favorite simple snacks when you’re pressed for time?
  • Serious question: laundry, or shop?

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