Friday, April 3, 2009

Stuff I'm Diggin'

I am a big fan of snacks. I don't think I'm much of a grazer throughout the day, but recently I have been noticing that I get super pumped over some of the snacks or mini-meals I've had. They aren't even unique or original, but they make me happy :)

1. Hummus. It's wonderful. Except the red roasted pepper kind. Blech. Gimme the real stuff: the garlicky, beany, tahini-y kind. Anyway, I think it was at Zankou Chicken in Hollywood when I first fell in love. (It's this awesome Lebanese/Mediterranean place...way good.) I was picking up a lunch order for work (ah, the days of being a PA...) and I decided to get a small side of it for myself. As a girl who loves her carbs, I was pretty psyched about the warm pita that accompanied the hummus. I wasn't even out of the parking lot before I was sampling my lunch. I had thought I had tasted hummus before, but this wiped out any vague memory of it. It was that yummy. So now I spread it on sandwiches, dip carrots or other veggies into it...but really, all I want to do most of the time is eat it with a spoon!

2. Indoor S'mores. I know I'm not the brainchild of this delightful invention, but I wish I were. It's not health food, but it has to be a tad better for you than the full-on chocolate bar version. All you do is take couple chocolate graham crackers, slap a marshmallow or two between them and pop them into the microwave for about 10 seconds. Or until your marshmallow is on the verge of exploding. And then enjoy the gooey deliciousness. Pure genius.

3. Chocolate Milk. We're talking Nesquick here, not the store-bought, syrup-in-a-jug stuff. Sometimes I feel like I'm sorta kinda on the verge of being hungry but a) it's either too close to meal time or b)I'm just not sure what I'm in the mood for. (Or c) there's a good chance it's boredom.) Either way, I have found that drinking a small glass of milk often cures this dilemma. I don't know if it cures the thirst part or the hunger part--or both--but it works. I find this especially helpful when I'm in the mood for something sweet but nothing heavy like a dessert. That's where the Nesquick comes in. It's perfect. It can be fairly healthy, too if you use skim milk. And it adds extra calcium to your diet. Bonus!

4. Couscous. Is it a grain? Is it a pasta? Is it entirely under-used by most people? (It's pasta, and yes.) Oh how I love love love its versatility. I could eat that stuff all day. It as easy to cook as instant rice but has the fullness of a good, whole wheat pasta. My most recent concoction consisted of Tri-Color couscous mixed with Italian-style tomatoes (drained) and garbanzo beans. It made me happy. I ate it as a main dish for dinner one night and then had it cold as a salad for lunch the next day. And the next. It's also good with nuts, raisins...the combinations are endless. It cost me about $6-$8 for a 32oz canister. So. Worth. It.

5. Spinach Salad. I hate salad. What is the point? Am I a rabbit? But I have been scarfing this spinach salad I've been making A LOT of lately. I put a couple handfuls of baby spinach on a bowl or plate, depending on whether it's my main dish or side dish. I then scoop some 1% Cottage Cheese on top. I don't use much, just enough to act in place of the dressing. Feta is yummy, too. I then section an orange and toss it with the other two ingredients. Top it off with some freshly ground pepper. (To section an orange, simply cut the peel away--including the pith/white stuff--with a knife instead of peeling it like normal. Then roughly chop into bite-size pieces. This ensures you get the best juicy, non-stringy fruit.) The different flavors totally and strangely compliment one another, and I'm sure it'd be great topped with some beans or cranberries, too.

Ahhh, I love beans. But they should be their own topic someday. I have much to say about them and all their glory.

Should you be so lucky to read all about it some time!

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