Posts tagged ‘snacks’

It’s Fall Y’all: Apple

Recently gone apple picking and have a sudden abundance of apples and no idea what to do with them? Or did the bargain bags at the grocery store simply look too good to pass up, but now you can’t stomach one more apple with your lunch? Yeah… me too! The hallmark of fall in New England to me is the apple craze that covers the region. Such an abundance of great, local fruit is too good to pass up! Even friends who never bake suddenly come running for ideas of what to do with their bounty. I haven’t had the chance to go apple picking this year, and am probably a bit late in the season. I gave up on the idea when a friend posted this on Instagram at the beginning of the week!

Screen shot 2012-10-13 at 6.38.25 PM

“Apple Death Valley”

I have started getting more great local apples in my Boston Organics box, though! My most recent apple obsession is homemade apple chips. I have loved the store-bought variety for years, but they are so expensive and laden with hidden sugars if you aren’t careful. When I saw this idea, I could hardly wait for apple season! It is simple: take a mandoline to thinly slice your apples, coat them in cinnamon, and then bake them at 225F for 2-2 1/2 hours. The result is a naturally sweet, crispy fall snack that livens up your standard after lunch snack!




Trail mix with homemade apple chips, pumpkin pie roasted almonds and almond butter granola!

In case that isn’t enough for you, here are some apple recipes I tried out last year…

Apple Pie Oatmeal

Cran-Apple Oats

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

Sugar-Free Apple Crisp

…and some recipes I have my eye on!

Apple Braid

Apple and Cinnamon Cake

Question: What is your favorite apple recipe?


October 13, 2012 at 4:00 pm 5 comments

It’s Fall Y’all: Pumpkin

Fall is definitely my favorite season. This was confirmed so many times this week: making fall snacks rich with cinnamon, taking a walk through Beacon Hill in the crisp chill of autumn with smells of fireplaces and fall leaves in the air, seeing all of the rich reds and oranges and yellows that fill the trees on my way to work. I love this season! This past weekend, I spent a lot of time in the kitchen making some fall treats to last me for the upcoming weeks. So look forward to some fall themed posts coming your way! Unfortunately, finding time to write about what I have been creating has been my limiting step as of late…

First up: pumpkin! It is all over the blog world right now – pumpkin in every baked good, breakfast treat, soup, and stew… wherever you can think to look, you can find pumpkin! I decided to be adventurous this year and roast my own pumpkin…from scratch! I did this once before I was blogging, and thought it was a fun process… boy, did I forget how much extra work it is! The beauty of thick-skinned pumpkins and squashes is that you can buy them, keep them as a centerpiece for a few weeks, and then roast them when you have time! Small, sugar pumpkins make the best for roasting, but the seeds of carving pumpkins are delicious too!

To roast a pumpkin, slice the top off, scoop out the seeds and strings, and then season with a bit of butter, salt and pepper. Roast it until it is soft at 350F – about an hour and a half. Then, peel the skin off and use the flesh for soups, stews, or puree to make your own un-canned pumpkin! The interesting thing about pumpkin is that the flavor is very mild. Most people associate pumpkin flavor with pumpkin pie, but the pie is made by the cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar. Take that away and pumpkin itself is pretty mild. That also makes it very versatile if you have an open mind about what it should taste like!


For a great pumpkin soup, try this spiced up version: Coconut Pumpkin Soup. This was my first pumpkin soup adventure and I would make it again! I am not quite sure what the equivalent of canned pumpkin would be since I used the whole pumpkin method. It has a great Thai flavor profile, thanks to the coconut milk (I used the lighter, boxed kind, 4 cups, in place of cans), coriander, and ginger. You can adjust the spice level by using less chilis. Use vegan margarine or oil instead of butter and it is vegan as well! Also, if you aren’t a soy sauce fan, I’d suggest adding a pinch or two of salt to the soup while cooking! This is a great alternative for a fall soup with great homestyle bread, or as an appetizer.


While you have the oven going, why not roast the seeds? Rinse them and shake them in some olive oil, salt and paprika. Spread them out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and roast them at 350F for 20 minutes, stirring them once. This is easier than most people thing, and make for a great fall snack!


Another great fall snack is pumpkin pie roasted almonds. I made them this weekend and seriously cannot stop eating them. If you are an almond fan, this is a healthier (and cheaper) way to have a sweet and salty snack than most of the pre-packaged varieties!

In case that isn’t enough for you, here are some pumpkin recipes I tried out last year…

Vegan Pumpkin Muffins

Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle

Pumpkin Brownie Pie

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

Pumpkin Almond Oatmeal

…and some recipes I have my eye on!

Pumpkin Gnocchi

Pumpkin Garlic Knots

Pumpkin Scones

Question: What is your favorite pumpkin recipe?

October 8, 2012 at 7:50 pm 1 comment

An Overdue Review

Way back in February (where does time go?!) I won a give-away that Sarah at The Smart Kitchen hosted! I was so excited to win this, not just because it meant free yogurt and granola, but also because I am excited about the cause that prompted the give-away. To enter the drawing, you had to sign Jamie Oliver’s petition to demand healthier food in school cafeterias. I was a huge fan of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution reality show, and was happy to learn how to participate in this cause. Pediatric obesity is a growing problem in our country, and cannot just be tackled at home. As kids spend more of their time daily in school, it is important to know that they have healthy food to nourish them throughout the day.


In full disclosure, I was not the healthiest eater when I started high school. I would be known to call a soft pretzel lunch, or grab a package of Nutty Bars to hold me over through dance practice after school. Looking back, I don’t know how I got through the day on just salt and carbs! Obviously, I have come a long way since then! These Chobani yogurts and Love Grown granola would have been much healthier options for lunchtime and after school snacks, had I been wise enough to make healthier choices as a teenager!


I was happy to try out some different combinations with the goodies I received. I loved the Vanilla Chocolate Chunk Yogurt – it was like having Cookies n’ Cream fro-yo for breakfast. Combine that with some fresh berries and a handful of the Cocoa Goodness Granola… what could be better?


Frozen yogurt! My friend used to freeze single servings of yogurt all the time, so I knew I wanted to turn this into real fro-yo. I mixed in a few more chocolate chips to make this more like a dessert, and then popped it in the freezer overnight. I popped it in the microwave for 20 secs to take the chill off, and then enjoyed a healthy, single serving dessert.


I love the Orange Vanilla flavor as well. I used it in a Strawberry Mango Smoothie, and loved the extra flavor it added. I also love it for breakfast with a sprinkle of the Simply Oats Love Grown Granola. For as much as I liked the chocolate, the simplicity of this granola has really won me over. There is the perfect amount of clusters to sneak as a snack, and the lightly sweetened granola is perfect for breakfast. If the taste alone wasn’t enough to sell me, the simplicity of the ingredients was! With little more than oats, honey, agave, and a few mix-ins, I love this granola as a quick morning breakfast on days I don’t have time to make oatmeal.


So go sign Jamie’s petition. Learn about pediatric health and nutrition. And treat yourself and a kid you know to a delicious, healthy snack!

April 9, 2012 at 10:05 pm 4 comments

WIAW Fall Edition

So happy that it’s Wednesday! The last of our lectures for the cardiovascular section is today, leaving me with just 1 1/2 more days of intense studying and then 3 whole days off… As exciting as a distant long weekend may be, Wednesday is even more exciting because of Jenn’s What I Ate Wednesday Party! Hope you have had some great meals so far this week!

Breakfast: 8:30amIMG_4544

I woke up early and didn’t want to wake my roommate up while banging around the kitchen, so I snacked on a clementine until a more decent hour. When the sun was finally up (even though my roommate still wasn’t!), I decided to try a new oatmeal bake: peanut butter and banana. I mixed 1/2 cup oats with 1/4 cup milk, 1 tsp ground flax, 1 tbsp peanut butter, 1 tsp vanilla, and 1/4 mashed banana. I baked it at 375 degrees for 20 minutes, broiled it for another 2 minutes, and then coated it with another swipe of peanut butter and sliced banana. Paired with a huge cup of coffee, it made for the perfect morning!

Lunch: 12:15pmIMG_4545

I am not usually a salad for lunch kind of girl because I get hungry too quickly after. But my Boston Organics box this week was packed with veggies begging for salad use! I packed myself a big salad with red leaf lettuce, baby spinach, sprouts, carrots, dried cranberries, and balsamic hummus dressing. I always keep the dressing separate when I bring a salad to go so I don’t have leak problems in my backpack en route, and so the lettuce isn’t soggy by the time I get there! No lunch is complete without fruit – a plum and another clementine!

Mid-afternoon snack: 4pm


As predicted, I was hungrier than normal mid-afternoon, after walking to and from school (my bike lock broke, so I am foot mobile until my new one comes!) and spending a lot of brain energy in an exam review. I inhaled this bowl of grapes while settling back down into study-mode.

Dinner: 7pm


I am so thankful roommate dinners are back! It is great to cook and share conversation together, and have an excuse to slow down for an hour or two. Plus, we usually make some pretty fantastic food! As we enjoyed a bowl of butternut squash soup with some toast, we decided that fall flavors were our favorite. Pumpkin, squash, apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger – so much warmth in fall food!

Dessert: 8pm


If we weren’t convinced of our love for fall enough, this bowl of sugar-free apple crisp sure set us over the edge!

Be sure to come back tomorrow for the Butternut Squash and Apple Soup and the Sugar-Free Apple Crisp recipes!

Question: Are you a seasonal food lover? What is your favorite fall flavor?

October 5, 2011 at 7:00 am 12 comments

WIAW Leftover Edition

I had a lot of fun participating in Peas and Crayons‘ What I Ate Wednesday last week, from taking pictures of my daily eats to getting inspiration for simple meal ideas from other bloggers. I am excited for my second WIAW, and hope to do this more in the future. Yesterday’s meals were pretty simple, pulled together from leftovers. I hate wasting food and will always use up leftovers (or freeze them) before cooking a new meal, even if I am getting bored. Freezing leftovers has been a huge help in the past, since I will often freeze individual containers and then have my own, homemade TV dinners when life gets hectic. Another way I have found to avoid leftover boredom is to reinvent them. Keep reading for some of my leftover makeovers!

Pre-breakfast snack: 7am

I set my alarm for 6:45am, with no intentions of leaving my warm cozy bed for class. Instead, I brewed a pot of my pumpkin spiced coffee, grabbed a handful of peanuts in the process, and crawled back under the covers with my mug and clinical textbook to learn about the cardiac exam.

Breakfast: 8am


After making it halfway through my reading, I decided to face the day and my cold apartment. I finally made myself some Pumpkin Oatmeal! I saw it on so many WIAW’s last week, and pumpkin recipes keep appearing everywhere, so I knew I had to have some. I followed this recipe at Oh She Glows for the oatmeal, but skipped the suggested toppings, choosing a few toasted almonds and some fresh ground cinnamon instead. So yummy! A hearty breakfast that sneaks good-for-you veggies without you even realizing… (Yes, pumpkin is a vegetable and it is rich in fiber and Vitamin A!)

Lunch: 11:45am


Lucky I had leftover Subway sandwiches on hand for what turned out to be a hectic afternoon. The break in the rain I needed to bike to campus never came, and so I was resigned to taking the bus. Unfortunately, the bus takes at least 3 times as long, and so I had to inhale my lunch as I was getting ready and flying out the door. I gave the Veggie Sub a little more staying power with a slice of melted cheese on one side, some hummus on the other, and a few extra pickles in the middle. Perfection. Good thing my new travel mug kept my peppermint tea piping hot until I got to school! Peppermint tea works way better than gum as a breath freshener (no one wants their (future) doctor to have Subway breath!)


Snack: 4:30pm

A long day of learning about heart sounds and the complete cardiac exam left me quite hungry by 4:30pm. I didn’t want to eat too much, since my yoga class was in an hour and it is not advised to go to hot yoga after eating a meal. I ate the pear I had picked out for lunch and didn’t have time to eat, and drank a whole lotta water in preparation for yoga. Good thing! This was the hardest yoga class I have ever taken! Granted, I have only been to 3… but it was a challenge, and I loved it! My arms feel strong, my legs feel stretched from the previous day’s 10.5 mile run, and I sweated more than I knew possible! (TMI? Sorry!)

Dinner: 8pm


The only One problem with not being able to bike to class is not being able to bike home! I was probably a treat to sit next to on the bus – sweaty, tired, and hungry (read: cranky). I heated up some leftover winter melon soup (almost through that gigantic pot!) but was sick of having eggs with it. Instead, I sauteed a few mushrooms in chili oil and added them to the soup with some soy sauce for a different spin. It was a nice change since I have eaten a lot of this soup lately, and it was good to have so much liquid after hot yoga.

Dessert(s): 9pm


Still pretty hungry after my big bowl of soup, I sought a sugar-free dessert. This is a trick from my roommate for “baked” cinnamon apples! Just cut up an apple, sprinkle it with cinnamon, and microwave it for 2 minutes. The apples give off a bit of juice that makes a quasi-sauce, and the natural sweetness and spice of the cinnamon really shines through. Not eating added sugar really opens up your taste buds!


Still hungry, I munched on some peanuts and raisins after my apple. I was really craving something salty, and needed a bit more protein in my day.


I settled down to finish studying for the evening, and was still hungry and thirsty from yoga! I made some decaf green tea with a few slices of fresh ginger (my new favorite night time drink!) and had a slice of toast with Smart Balance. I may or may not have sprinkled a tiny bit of salt on my toast… finally hit the spot!

Question: Have you ever done hot yoga? Do you experience weird salt cravings afterwords, or does it take your body a while to recover from the fluid loss?

September 21, 2011 at 6:42 am 10 comments

What I Ate Wednesday

I read a lot of blogs, mostly food related. Some of them are recipe blogs, some are food diaries, and some are mixtures. I really like seeing the simple meal ideas that other bloggers come up with, and love the idea that Jenn at Peas and Crayons came up with! Basically, bloggers from all across the country take pictures of what they eat in a day, and then post it on Peas and Crayons for What I Ate Wednesday. This can be inspiration for those looking for new meal ideas, accountability for those trying to lose weight, and support for busy, healthy lifestyles. After reading countless What I Ate Wednesdays, I am joining the link party for the first time! As you can tell, I am posting this on Wednesday morning… so this is really What I Ate On Tuesday. It is easier for me to start my post at night and then finish it up first thing in the morning, especially when I am drowning in work before my Infectious Disease exam on Friday. Oh Med School, the lame excuse that kept me from posting on Saturday, too! Hope you enjoy a glimpse into my daily food life!

Pre-run snack: 6:45am


I usually wake up starving, but my stomach can’t handle much food before going out for a run. I picked this trick up from KERF, and now fuel up with a pre-run date before my morning runs. I also snagged a peanut butter cookie dough ball for a little extra protein. That and a big glass of water and I was set to go! I met a friend for my run, and we completed a bit under 4 miles in 35 minutes. Not too shabby with all of the chatting we did!

Breakfast: 8:30am


Not in the mood for oatmeal, I decided on a Greek yogurt bowl. I sliced a banana into some strawberry Greek yogurt, topped with chia seeds and a few chopped almonds. That and a big mug of coffee and I was full and set to go for a morning of studying virology.

Mid-morning Snack: 11am


I learned my lesson the hard way: oatmeal is the only thing I have found that keeps me full for the morning. I snacked on some local, organic pickling cucumbers… and still was studying virology. The cucumbers were crisp and sweet, and were also really rehydrating since I was still thirsty and chugging water from my run!

Lunch: 12:30pm


It is a rare occasion when I go out to eat, but you caught me on a day with a planned lunch outing! I met two friends at a Middle Eastern place near school called Pita, and enjoyed a falafel wrap with a stuffed grape leaf on the side. We ate lunch in a nearby park since it was a beautiful day out, and it was actually cooler outside than in the restaurant! I love falafel and always choose that over the hummus wrap when I go to places like these since I have yet to be able to successfully recreate falafel on my own.

Dinner: 6:30pm


Normally, there is an afternoon snack. I need to eat every few hours or I get grumpy and sluggish. Usually small things, and I try for fruits and veggies. But I have my clinical medicine on Tuesday afternoons, and so am booked straight through until 4:30pm. Too late for a snack, I waited it out for my roommate dinner! We started cooking at 5:30 because we were both hungry, but we made a monster of a meal… What do you do with a 15 pound winter melon? You make soup! Winter melon, snap peas, carrots, and rice noodles in a spicy broth… served with cilantro, red chili flakes and a poached egg. You will have to come back tomorrow for the full story and recipe, but suffice it to say that I had a bowl or two of the huge pot of soup we made.

Dessert: 7:30pm


After chatting over dinner and lingering over empty bowls, we both enjoyed pears poached in ginger, cinnamon and honey. So simple and so good! Smells of cinnamon wafting through the kitchen always remind me of fall, and it was a really satisfying end to a meal and a day. Too bad the night couldn’t end there! After a handful of trail mix, my day ended late but right back where it started – studying virology.

Question: Have you ever participated in What I Ate Wednesday? Have you ever kept a food diary? Is this something you would like to see on more Wednesdays in the future?

September 13, 2011 at 9:54 pm 5 comments

In Defense of Snacks

Back to school, back to exams, back to study snacking. As much as I hate to admit it, I am definitely a muncher when I am studying. This has led to two outcomes: I lost a lot of weight during college because I wouldn’t be hungry enough to eat real meals, but wasn’t eating enough to keep up with my activity level. At other times, it has led me to gain weight, a consequence of mindless calorie consumption. No major swings, but enough to cause my mom and sister to worry (not to mention I’m not really a fan of either problem!) I tried to fix this by cutting out snacking all together, but that wasn’t really working for me either! I couldn’t eat enough at meal times to keep me from getting hungry (read: grumpy) in between. So I have resumed my study snacking ways, but have limited it to one to two snacks a day, and I try to keep them healthy. My current favorites: raisins and almonds, dry roasted edamame, roasted sunflower seed kernels, apples, and this popcorn!


Popcorn is a great snack food when veggie sticks or a piece of fruit just won’t cut it. I love veggies as much as more than most people, but I need a good, salty snack every once in a while! You can save a lot of money, fat and calories by making your own popcorn, and can make fun flavors, too. I have an air-popper, but you can do it over the stove as well. Three tablespoons of kernels is all it takes to make a huge bowl, at cents per serving and only 100 calories or so! For a classic movie theater bowl, I simply use canola oil and sea salt. With my recent purchase of nutritional yeast, I got a little more creative and made my own cheese popcorn! (Remember when I said I wasn’t at the point of being able to just sprinkle it on something? I guess my taste buds adapt quickly!) The flavor is just salty and cheesy enough to be amazing, and it is (filled with fiber, protein packed, lower in fat and salt) good for you! Cheesy popcorn not your think? Brainstorm other fun flavors! Spicy, classic kettle corn, chocolate… just a few others I have tried. Let me know what you come up with! I have a long year of studying ahead ;)

Questions: Are you a study snacker? What is your favorite snack food?


Homemade Smart Food

makes 1 large or 2 small servings

3 tbsp popcorn kerels

1 tbsp canola oil

1 tbsp nutritional yeast

1 tsp salt

Pop kernels in an air popper or using the stove method. Drizzle with oil, nutritional yeast and salt. Cover container and shake until well coated.

August 20, 2011 at 9:00 am 3 comments

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