If you’re a foodie, you deeply understand the tasteful satisfaction that snacks bring to the palate. And the stomach, of course, never lags far behind in terms of extracting some much-needed pleasure of its own.
Snacks are simply addictive. Gastronomically speaking. And I should know, after watching many documentaries on the subject with my Cox TV Online. And after experiencing their soul-warming potential firsthand.
There is something about snacking that fills you up with all kinds of warm, light and fuzzy sensations. Maybe this effect has something to do with their normally high-carbohydrate content. Or maybe it’s related to their ‘small mouthful’ shapes, which make them seem different from hefty main courses.
Or maybe it’s all of these factors combined – which make their presence a ‘must’ in all your celebratory events.
You just need to be careful not to go overboard with their consumption. Not unless you want to end up looking like someone who requires emergency liposuction treatments to get healthy.
No…you definitely don’t want that to happen.
5 Quick & Healthy Snack Recipes
In this post, I’ll share five of my favorite snacks recipes that are not only good to taste, but are also easy on the waistline. And what’s more, they protect you from experiencing any unpleasant sugar cravings. These horrible everyday occurrences (as anyone on a carb detox diet can relate) are a slippery slope towards obesity. And the myriad of disease conditions like depression and systemic anxiety that accompany it.
The first two are my takes on the classic shepherd’s pie (cup size). The last three were inspired by a Martha Stewart episode I watched over 11 years ago. I’ve made some modifications to the original recipes, keeping my daily salt (sodium) requirements in check. I’m slightly hypertensive, you see.
These also feature a lower fat content; with much of the taste cultivated through healthy natural fat alternatives.
So if you do decide to cook these delicacies, you’ll also get to enjoy all of these nifty health benefits.
A total win-win, if you think about it!
‘Hearty’ Shepherd’s Pie
The classic recipe calls for the incorporation of some thickening agents, with corn flour and corn syrup being some favorites. But this heartier version, as its name literally implies, is more heart-healthy. By cutting down on any blood pressure-raising ingredients, it curbs down on a lot of calories. And it’s pretty simple to cook for just about anybody.
Not much culinary expertise required in its preparation.
For preparing my ‘hearty’ Shepherd’s Pie, you’ll need:
- Prepared Bakery Pie Dough/Sheets
- Chicken Breasts (1/2 kilo – boiled and shredded)
- Chicken Stock (1 liter; preferably homemade)
- Baby Carrots (2; diced into cubes)
- Potato (1; boiled and quartered)
- Peas (1/4 kilo; boiled in salt water)
- Low-Sodium Worcestershire Sauce (1 Tsp)
- Low-Sodium Soy Sauce (1 Tsp)
- Potassium Salt (1/4 Tsp)
- Olive Oil (2 Tbsp. for light sautéing)
- Ground Black Pepper (1/2 Tsp)
- Paprika (1/2 Tsp)
- Garlic Powder (1/2 Tsp)
In a Dutch oven or other deep-bottomed pan placed on a medium flame, put in the olive oil, and lightly sauté the shredded chicken. When golden brown, add in all the vegetables, sauces, spices and seasonings. Continue mixing with a wooden spoon until the vegetables give out their moisture (approximately 5-10 minutes).
Pour in the stock, and commence with the cooking on a high flame. When the soup is naturally thickened, turn off the flame. Line the top of the pot with the pie dough, and make small knife incisions liberally. Baste the top of the sheet covering with some egg wash.
Place in a preheated oven at 350 degrees Celsius, and bake for about 10 minutes (or until the crust becomes brown).
Therapeutic Shepherd’s Pie
This particular spin on the recipe is termed ‘therapeutic’ because it tastes like typical comfort food. But with a Cajun twist. For the most part, the recipe is pretty similar to the one recounted above. And its preparation method is the same.
During the simmering stage, you simply need to sprinkle in a ½ teaspoon of Cajun spice to add its distinctive flavor. And you’re all set!
Cajun spice has many powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer health benefits, due to its high polyphenolic content. As such, it’s highly valued for its unrivaled placement in preventative medicine and nutrition.
Herby Bacon Fingers
From the title of the dish, you may probably have guessed that it contains hotdogs. And your assumption wouldn’t be too far off, actually.
These neat little meaty treats are high in proteins and make for a delectable mouthful with each consumption.
In order to make these beauties, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- Smoked Bacon Strips
- Smoked Italian Sausages (any brand; cut in halves)
- American Cheddar (sliced)
- Egg Wash
- Doritos Crumb Mix (any flavor)
- Toothpicks or 4 inch Wooden Skewers
Take a cut sausage half, and wrap it with the cheese slice. Wrap this cheesy nugget with a bacon strip, and hold coverings in place with a toothpick. Dip the finger in egg wash, and then coat liberally with the crumb mixture.
Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees Celsius for 10-15 minutes.
Serve hot (with a guacamole dip, if desired).
Salmon, Olive & Lettuce Wraps
Preparing this snack is simple, with this being an understatement. Because its recipe only requires the three ingredients mentioned in the title, along with a little seasoning (of course).
For these light-tasting snacks, you’ll need:
- Smoked Salmon Strips (preferably taken from wild catch)
- Lettuce (Green; cut into burger wedges)
- Ripe Olives (pitted)
- Potassium Salt (to taste)
- Ground Black Pepper
- Toothpicks (for skewering)
Simply take a piece of salmon, and sprinkle it lightly with the salt and pepper. Put a lettuce wedge on top, and roll. Stick in a toothpick to keep the roll in place, and hook on an olive at both ends.
And you’re done!
Coconut Chicken & Vegetable Bites
The coconut flavor in the dish comes from the addition of coconut oil, which has many heart-healthy benefits to offer. In addition, coconut oil has been shown to promote weight loss and does not go bad at high temperatures.
For making these treats, you’ll need:
- Rotisserie Chicken Breasts (500 grams; cut into bite-size rectangles)
- Tomatoes (2; pitted and cut into squares)
- Bell Pepper (different colors; cut into squares)
- Olives (ripe and pitted)
- Wooden Skewers
- Coconut Oil
Take a chicken rectangle, and wedge it onto a skewer; followed by a tomato, bell pepper and olive piece. Continue adding (in this formula) until the stick only has one-inch free-space left on both ends. This recipe will yield up to 4-5 completed skewers.
Baste liberally with olive oil, and place on a heated steak grill on low flame. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side, until the vegetables show signs of slight charring.
Serve with a low-sodium nachos cheese or salsa dip for added flavor.
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