Tag Archives: Snacks

Rice Cakes, Boring to YUM!

Now I don’t want to take credit for this idea because it wasn’t me. Kaela introduced me to the idea of using a rice cake as almost an open faced sandwich instead of trying to choke down a dry, lightly salted rice cake. Let’s get real, if you eat them, you probably need a large glass of water to go with it. OR you are enjoying the caramel apple or some other sugary version of it.

Check out these yummy snacks:

Rice Cakes

They are delicious. Before the half marathon, Kaela pulled this snack out and it was perfect before our run.

It doesn’t really photograph well, but the sharpness of the cranberries goes really well with the rice cake and the cream cheese.

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I made this in my kitchen, and while I was placing the cranberries on it my sister, my mom and Brent all became curious. My sister loved it and Brent was pleasantly surprised. He’s the sceptic when I’m trying new things out and he actually liked it. ūüôā

From there, bananas made it onto the cream cheese and it was topped off with a blueberry jam that is made with fresh wild blueberries from maine. It’s not a sweet jam at all. But the snack is extremely moist and filling.

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YUM.

And for something a bit sweeter, try taking the Apple Rice Cakes and top it off with peanut butter and sliced bananas. Brent’s response to this one, “You did good things.”

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I have to say, there will definitely be more experimenting when it comes to this snack. It is healthy, low calorie, low carb snack that I don’t feel guilty eating. And there are so many options when it comes to adding things on top that I don’t think it could get boring.

With the fall upon us, I am looking forward to trying a PUMPKIN flavored rice cake! Apples might be something to try on it as well. Raisins??

 

Have you ever taken a boring, bland snack and made something amazing with it??

75 Gluten Free Snacks

Gluten-Free eating is becoming more and more prevalent, or at least it seems like it is to me. My sister, my best friend and my co-worker’s kids are all eating gluten free. My sister just ventured off to college this fall and is trying to find things to eat in the university dining hall, NOT THAT EASY. I know what I used to eat my freshman year of college and I don’t think a single Gluten-Free item passed these little lips. Well, maybe ice cream. What also makes it harder is the fact that she can’t cook for herself. She has a microwave and that’s about the extent of it. You remember your freshman dorm room right? I know mine was about the size of a closet. Room for a bed, a desk and a dresser with room to walk straight up the middle. I don’t so much miss that.

I was talking to my co-worker about a week ago and she was telling¬† me about how she is cooking for her kids these days. I honestly don’t know how she does it. Her kids are diabetic, gluten free¬†and in high school. She ends up cooking two different meals most nights to try to keep the cost down a bit. But the reality of it is, gluten free is expensive and it¬†can be really difficult to¬†find something to eat.

SO! I decided to do a little research, rack my brains and come up with some options. Hopefully there is an idea or two that will work for the little kidlets, and for college dorm living.

Can of V8 Splash Orange Slices Fresh Fruit
Baked Sweet Potato Chips Cold Cereal Apples and Peanut Butter
Jell-O Chocolate Covered Fruit Popcorn
Jell-O Pudding Waffle Sticks with Peanut Butter Pirate’s Booty
Applesauce Soup Fruit Roll Ups
Fruit Cups Pepperoni Chex Muddy Buddies
Lara Bars Meat and Cheese Roll-Ups Tuna Salad
Yogurt Celery with Cream Cheese Chicken Salad
Go-Gurt Greek Yogurt and Berries Nachos
String Cheese Cheese, Apple and Grapes with Dip Potato Salad
Ants on a Log Peanut Butter and Honey Popcorn Salad
Carrots with Dip Egg Salad Pasta Salad
Nuts, Sunflower Seeds Quesadillas Bean Salad
Pickles Mini Pizza with GF English Muffin Tacos
Cherry Tomatoes Mac N Cheese, with Rice Pasta Lettuce Wraps
Sliced Cucumber Rice Pudding/ Tapioca Pudding Kind Bars
Rice Cakes Raisin Mini Boxes Edamame
Rice Cakes with Peanut Butter Roasted Broccoli Cheesy Popcorn
Rice Krispie Treats Rice Crackers Kettle Popcorn
M&Ms GF Betty Crocker Muffins Cottage Cheese
Granola Oatmeal Smoothies
Trail Mix Quinoa Salads Veggies and Hummus
Frozen Grapes Quinoa Breakfast Blends Rice Cakes with Apple Butter
Hard Boiled Eggs Mini Craisin Packs Dried Fruit
Deviled Eggs Potato Chips Can Do Kids Bars

These are just some easy things that you can pick up or easily whip together. I tried to stay away from grain based foods that would require you to buy specifically gluten free products because they are usually a bit more expensive. So there are several other options that would open up if you have gluten free bread available.

To find some of the gluten free products a bit cheaper, there are online stores that offer discounts and a wider variety of gluten free foods. Strange, I know but you can order your food online! What if this is the future of food shopping?! Could you imagine logging onto a computer to order your food? Here are some of the online supermarkets that I found for Gluten Free Products:

Amazon

Gluten Free.com

Whole Foods

Udi’s

Nuts.com

Udi’s is a brand of gluten free¬†foods and you can order it on their website. But don’t forget to look at their special offers page for some coupons! Nuts.com is a website that you can order gluten free foods in bulk and hopefully save a penny or two. It looks pretty fantastic to me! If anyone gives it a try, let me know what you think!

Each supermarket also has a nutrition page on their website listing out their gluten free¬†foods, which should help out when you are trying to figure out what you can and can’t eat. For example, Publix¬†is the big supermarket in Florida. Definitely¬†use these to your advantage, especially in the deli section. Another great thing about Publix, is that you can actually speical order items that they don’t have on the shelves. So if you do want to give something a try, don’t be shy and ask someone to order it for you ūüôā

I also found this website¬†that you can actually find restaurants¬†in your area that serve gluten free¬†foods. This is fantastic. If you know of a restaurant¬†in your area that isn’t¬†on this site and serves gluten free foods add it up there!¬†¬†Eating Out Gluten Free!

Triumph Dining¬†<— For some information on supermarket shopping gluten free, eating out and a whole bunch more, check out this site. It is really informational.

I know this is a whole bunch of notes just thrown together, but hopefully there is something here to point you in the right direction. If you don’t see what you want, just set yourself to google! It’s a wonderful thing ūüôā I try to note when I cook up a gluten free meal in the categories so be sure to check that out too!

Hope it was helpful!

 

Sweet Potato Fries and Going Vegan

A bit of a story, on Thursday night I took Oreo down to Lake Eola in Orlando for a little walk. It is an extremely scenic walk and is just about a mile around. If you ever see pictures of Orlando, I am sure you will see the pictures of the lit up fountain in the middle of Lake Eola. On our walk around, there was a Winter Park Vet with a TV set up facing the lake playing videos of animal cruelty in slaughter houses. I don’t want to get into the details, but after talking to him for a while he had both nauseated me to the point that I couldn’t think about eating chicken ever again and also convinced me to give it a try. I want to say that he is a an extremely nice man that has no intention of imposing his views on people but rather aims to educate people on some of the things he was exposed to while going through veterinary school.

So for the past couple of days I have been giving it a try. I know friends and family that have tried eating vegan for all different reasons and each one of them has come back saying they feel like they have a lot more energy and feel overall more healthy.

Going into this, I have a couple of concerns:

  1. Not being able to eat anything. Vegans don’t eat meat, fish, eggs and milk. I eat an absurd number of eggs a week and milk is in absolutely everything.
  2. Struggling to find places to eat out.
  3. Finding foods that I will actually like eating. I’m not a big fan of hearty wheats and grains. I need flavor in my foods. And some versatility.
  4. Being that annoying friend that people struggle to find something to eat for. I don’t want my decision to eat vegan to have any effect on my friends decisions.

I really want to not change too much about my eating habits and lifestyle. I want to fit vegan eating into my taste and my current lifestyle, otherwise I will just feel like I failed and resort back to my carnivorous ways.

SOoooo, here’s just a little bit about my Monday as a Vegan. ūüôā

I got up as usual at 6 to head out to the gym. Worked out for about an hour and then took the pups for a walk. When I got back I stared at my kitchen for a while. Realized I had no oatmeal, which was what I was planning on making for breakfast and stared at the cabinets for a little while longer. Eventually I came up with this:

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Nothing crazy. I used Soy Vanilla Yogurt to avoid dairy and the granola that I had made yesterday. The granola was fantastic. I absolutely love it. Breakfast was delicious.

For lunch I decided that I was going to try it out on the road and not pack anything (against my better judgement). I went to The Villages today, which is a special place in itself. If you’ve never heard of it, it is a city specifically designated for retirees. It is what they call, “A Golf Cart Community”. I am not joking when I saw the first time I went to this city I sat in my car and just stared in awe. I was the youngest person there by 50 years and everyone was driving golf carts around. Not cars. And they deck them out! I mean they go nuts! This is just one example, and it doesn’t even compare to some of them that are truck shaped golf carts with the old styled wood beds.

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Anyways. If you are bored and want a good laugh…check out this you tube video of The Villages Golf Cart Drill Team. You can’t make this up.

Anyways, for lunch I literally drove all over this city looking for something I could eat. I finally settled on going into a local supermarket knowing that they had a deli attached. Again, I stared at the pre-made sandwiches. Nothing without meat. Salads…all topped off with meat. Deli menu. All meat. So I asked the lady if she would whip up a veggie wrap. “The only wraps we have are what are already pre-made.” Trying not to sound too stingy, I told her I didn’t eat meat and I was hoping she could just throw some veggies on some bread and call it lunch. She responds, “We don’t have any veggie options. I can’t even ring up a sandwich in the register that doesn’t have meat on it.” Lovely. So I asked her if she could just charge me for a meat sandwich and just leave it off. She disappeared and had to ask her manager.

In the end, I got my Veggie Wrap, which was delicious and paid for a ham sandwich.

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When I got home, I cleaned out my cabinets a bit and came across my sweet potatoes that had some serious foliage attached to them. Tonight, was sweet potato fries. Tomorrow, will be sweet potato chips!

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They were yummy! Here’s how to make them:

Ingredients:

1 Sweet Potato 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
Salt to Taste Pepper to Taste

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 450. Slice up your sweet potato into fries shapes. You can leave the skin on or shave the potato. Up to you. I left it on because I like the flavor that it adds.

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2. Place the fries in a pile on a cookie sheet and pour the olive oil on top. Stir the fries around until they are all coated. You don’t want them soaked but you do want them all shiny. If you put too much on they won’t end up getting crispy at all and they will probably taste like oil. YUCK.

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3. Now add your salt and pepper. I would say about a teaspoon would be enough salt. The pepper is up to you! The more pepper you add the spicier the flavor of the fry. So don’t be too shy with it if you like things on the spicy side.

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4. Spread them out on the baking sheet so they aren’t touching one another. If they do touch, they will get a bit softer and you will miss out on the crispy crunch that we all love. Let them bake in the oven for 10 minutes and then take them out and flip them all over. Throw it back in the oven for another 10 minutes and Finito! Sweet Potato Fries!

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For other options on the flavoring, try some paprika seasoning on top of them. Or maybe some garlic powder. You can’t really go wrong with these unless you try to get too fancy. The more simple the better. Sweet potatoes already have a ton of flavor, so don’t over do it. If you want a printable version of the recipe…this will do it! Recipe

I was also thinking as I was gnawing on them that they would probably be pretty good on a salad. Weird thought, I know, but I could see this working almost as an avocado does in a salad. It would bring a lot of flavor and could compliment the right salad really well.

Anyways! Let me know if you try the sweet potato fries or if you have any new vegan suggestions or hints! My goal is to stay with similar eating habits and a similar style of eating but cut out everything that vegans avoid. It should be interesting!

Happy Eating!!

Crunchy Granola and Taylor Swift

Today I woke up and met Brent for a quick Starbucks run with the puppies before he had to run off to work. The day really started off absolutely amazing. It was so relaxing to just sit out and people watch for a while sipping on an Iced Americana. Brent went off to work and I headed home thinking I was going to grab a book and head out to the park in Winter Park and just read a book and get some puppy training in for Oreo. Well, just as I walked in the door my sister shot me this picture,

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YES!!!! Taylor Swift and my sisters! Standing in a picture….together! Not exactly what I was expecting when the morning started…My sisters had gone to church this morning and spotted her with her new beau, one of the Kennedy’s, and asked her for a picture. Absolutely jealous.

After I got over the excitement (I literally felt like I somehow was there and got all nervous and excited) I grabbed my book and headed out to the park to read for a while. I found a bench around the fountain and parked myself there thinking a few people might walk by that could help Oreo get over her fear of people.

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Oreo was doing fairly good. Children were running past and she’d bark every once in a while. Then, a little three year old boy came by with his father and grandfather and sat on a bench across the fountain from us. As soon as he noticed the Oreo he came running over just to be greeted by Oreo lunging from under the bench right at the boy barking like mad. The poor thing turned right around and ran right back to his father. Munched another french fry and decided to give it another try. This time he walked over tentatively and sat on the bench next to me. He would chat with me, finish his fry, and run back to get another one, then plop back onto the bench next to me.

Oreo got used to the little boy and ended up wanting to play with him. THEN, she noticed his french fry. He obviously didn’t want to give it up so Oreo decided to go on a barking rampage at the poor thing. Naughty. A florida afternoon storm rolled in and we went back to the house.

With the rain beaming down, I decided to make something! Obviously. I have been wanting to make my own granola for a while now and just hadn’t gotten around to doing it. I had been told by a man at the local farmer’s market that once you make your own granola, you will never go back to the store bought stuff. FACT. I will never buy store bought granola ever again. This was just so much better. So this is how I ended up making my granola:

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Ingredients:

5 Cups Old Fashioned Oats 1/2 Cup Sliced Almonds

1/2 Cup Chopped Walnuts 1/4 Cup Chopped Pecans

1/3 Cup Sunflower Seeds 1/3 Cup Flaxseed Meal

3/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon 3/4 Teaspoon Salt

3/4 Cup Agave Nectar 1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine oats, all the nuts, flaxseed, seeds, salt and cinnamon.

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2. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil and Agave Nectar until it is a thick consistency.

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3. Now pour the liquid mixture to the dry mix.

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4. Take 2 cookie sheets that have edges to them, and spread out the oat mix among the two. You want to have a thin layer coating the pan.

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5. Cook the granola in the oven for 20 minutes. Take the pan out and flip the granola. You want to move the oats that are on the outside of the pan to the inside and visa versa. Then put the pan back in the oven for another ten minutes.

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The granola should look a golden brown throughout. Once the granola cools you will get the crunchy texture that you would expect. The batch that I just made came out amazing! I don’t think I will ever buy granola again. It takes not time to make and you can play with the flavors as much as you want.

Add your dried fruit to it once it has completely cooled. Options:

Fruit: Raisins, cranberries, cherries, currants, figs, pineapple, figs, apricots…and the list goes on.

I know the list of ingredients looks a bit longer than normal, but if you don’t have something there is no need to go out an buy it. Substitute it for something else. I made a short little list of some substitutes for ingredients to play with:

Nuts: Almonds, Walnuts, Pecans, Pistachios

Seeds: Sunflower Seeds, Pepitas

Flaxseed: Wheat Germ

Sweetener: Agave Nectar, Honey, Molasses

Mix the recipe up to be whatever you like. Granola is great for that. I am just bottling up the granola as is and not adding any fruits because I am planning on adding in the dried fruit when I prepare the actual meal. That way I can mix up the fruit as I go as well!

Give this one a try if you like granola. It makes enough that you won’t have to make it very often and it keeps really well. It will also end up costing you less that buying the store bought granola. I’m sold.

You want to store this in something air tight. I am using a glass jar because I store everything in glass jars. I find that they have a cleaner look and make the foods on the inside look more appetizing. They are also extremely air tight so foods stay fresher longer.

For a print friendly copy, click here…Printable Recipe

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Enjoy your granola! And let me know what combos you come up with!

Happy Eating!

Egg, Tomato and Chive Sandwich

Last night I had come up with this idea for breakfast and the fat kid inside me was so excited to whip it up. It is perfect for those days that you are running out the door and it is delicious! I was so excited to make this I forgot to toast my english muffin….which I would have.

I had seen a similar sandwich that had mayo, and fresh chives instead of the cream cheese chive flavored. I am not a huge fan of mayo at all and whenever I can I will substitute it out. I also don’t have fresh chives lying around all the time…soo born was this sandwich!

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(It was really difficult to make this look as yummy as it tasted in a photo)

Ingredients:

1 English Muffin (halved)                                     2 Slices of Tomato

1 Hard Boiled Egg, Sliced                                  1 Tablespoon No-Fat Chive Cream Cheese

Directions: 

1. On One half of your english muffin (toasted), stack your tomato and then your hard boiled egg slices. On the second half, smear your cream cheese.

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2. Put the sandwich together and your are finished! Seriously….that easy.

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Definitely mix it up with whatever you have in your kitchen…if you have fresh chives and plain cream cheese go with it. Of it you want to try the mayo and chive sandwich, that would be yummy too….just not as good for you (I think).

For the english muffin, I used a Honey Wheat double Fiber Thomas English Muffin, which are my favorite because they are a bit sweet and end up bringing their own little flavor into the mix. They are also low calorie and high fiber…exactly what you want.

Give it a try and let me know what you think! I’m off to a big meeting at an office in Melbourne, FL! Wish me luck!

Happy Eating!