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Welcome to my blog. Let’s share Stories, food and travel. Hope you have a nice stay!

Top 5: Snack Hacks

Top 5: Snack Hacks

Ok, sorry to complain, but I wanted to explain why I am not putting a new recipe up this week. Coming off Effexor has been harder than I had imagined. I spent all of last Friday in bed. I felt like someone was rattling a can of coins in the back of my head. I tried all week to keep my spirits up and press ahead, but I just ran out of energy. I have an amazing recipe for a zucchini cannelloni to share, so stay tune. I am hoping to finish the images this weekend. Instead of a new recipe, I am sharing some snack hacks for you to try.

In the studio, Jamie and I have been racking our brains for months for this blog.  I have tried and failed to make honey roasted chickpeas, fresh strawberry stuffed with fat-free whip cream and topped with chocolate. Neither of these turned out to be as photogenic as I had imagined.  I gave up on the strawberries yesterday.  Sometimes you have to throw in the towel and move on.  I think our current top 5 has superb options, however we will continue to work on new ideas to bring to you in the coming months.

Our focus was on simple foods that you could whip-up quickly and would satisfy a sweet or salty tooth! Let us know what you think?


Have you tried anything similar? What do you do to satisfy a snack craving?

 

#5 Southern Grove 100 Calorie Packs, Natural Almond and Walnut Mix, 100 Calories, 3 WW Points.

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When I was traveling in Canada last year, it was so helpful to have a light, protein rich snack, in my bag at all times. There were occasions when we were hiking and lunch or dinner was hours away. Having a small stock of nuts in my bag meant I could avoid becoming hangry and enjoy my adventures. Which is so necessary when traveling with a friend. At 3 WW points, these little pre-measured pouches will help you stay on track and not go berserk!


#4 Apple Slices with Cinnamon, Stevia and Hazelnut sprinkle, 101 calories, 0 WW Point.

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Apples with a sprinkle of stevia, cinnamon and nutmeg. So simple and delicious. My original plan for this sweet snack hack was to spiralize the apples and bake them with the stevia, cinnamon nutmeg mixture for a warm dessert. I changed my mind because it does not seem seasonally appropriate. Instead, in a small jar, mix together 1 TBSP of powdered stevia, 1/2 TSP cinnamon and 1/4 TSP nutmeg. Use a mandolin to cut an apple into thick even slices. Place apple slices on a dessert plate and sprinkle with the stevia mixture (as much or little as you want) and enjoy! You get the hint of apple pie flavor with the crunch of a fresh apple! Eat around the core of the apple and do not eat the seeds!


#3 Sweet Deviled Eggs, 97 calories, 0 WW Points.

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My mom always has deviled eggs at family get togethers! I love them and can eat at least 4 of them. I use to feel guilty because…well we have all been told that eggs are bad for you. How cool is it that eggs are now super foods again! The trick here is not getting crazy with the mayo. I bought pre-hard-boiled eggs from the store to save time (don’t judge me, it really made making these a breeze). The package I bought was 6 eggs and I rinsed and dried them. Cut each egg in half and remove yolks. Place yolks in a small bowl. Mash together yolks, light mayo, mustard and relish with a fork until smooth. Add yolk mixture to a small sandwich bag with the end cut off and pipe into egg whites. Sprinkle with paprika and serve. How easy is that? Now you have no excuse not to have these deviled yummy snacks on hand! You get 2 halves for 0 points!


#2 Reduced-Fat Microwave Popcorn with Ranch Seasoning, 67 Calories, 2 WW Points. 

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My husband Greg loves Ranch so much I have considered getting him ranch themed apparel. They have socks that say “if you can read this, bring me ranch.” Who knew the people at Hidden Valley had such a sense of humor! So, I decided to add a bit of ranch seasoning to our movie night popcorn. The key to keeping the calories and points so low is to use 94% fat free popcorn, I Can’t Believe It’s Butter spray and ranch seasoning. The calories change for movie popcorn with real butter and fresh ranch dressing poured over top, HA! I popped the microwave popcorn according to the directions, sprayed the popcorn with 10 pumps of butter spray and tossed in 2 TSP of ranch seasoning. Shake it all together in the bag and serve. You get 2 cups of popcorn for 2 WW points. You are welcome ranch lovers!


#1 Two-Ingredient Stuffed Dough-Balls, with low fat cheese and marinara and/or zhoug sauce, 61 calories, 3 WW points.

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If you have been on Weight Watchers, than you have heard of two-ingredient dough. The concept is simple, mix together 1 C of fat free greek yogurt, 1 cup of all purpose flour and you have a dough that can be used for flatbreads, bagels, dough-bits, ect. I tend to use Skinnytastes dough recipe that has a few extra ingredients, because I think her additions add more flavor and improve the texture. Here is how to make my stuffed dough-balls, two ways. They can be a used as a snack, side or main depending on how you serve them.

Ingredients:

2 C all purpose flour
4 TSP baking powder
2 pinches of table salt
2 C non-fat Greek yogurt
8 low moisture part skim mozzarella cheese twist (with cheddar) sticks, each stick sliced into 4 pieces
8 TSP low fat marinara sauce
8 TSP Trader Joe’s Zhoug Sauce
1 egg white, beaten
1 TBSP italian seasoning
1 TBSP greek seasoning

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

  • Mix together flour, baking powder, salt and 2 yogurt in a mixing bowl. It works best if you have a mixer with a bread hook. Mix until your dough forms into a large ball.

  • Knead together dough on a floured work surface. Knead about 10-15 times.

  • Re-form into a large ball and then divide into 16 smaller balls (I used a large knife).

  • Flatten each ball into small 3 inch circles, add 2 pieces of cheese and 1 TSP of sauce. Fold over sides and reform into a ball. Make sure you have sealed in the cheese and sauce and there are no holes in the dough (the cheese will ooze out). You will make 8 marinara balls and 8 zhoug balls. Coat balls with the egg whites and sprinkle the marinara balls with italian seasoning and the zhoug balls with greek seasoning.

  • Place on a non-stick baking pan and cook for 25 minutes. Let cool for 10-15 minutes and enjoy!

When serving, I use a small leave of basil on the top of the marinara balls and parsley on the zhoug balls. 3 WW points per ball.

Summer Crustless Quiche

Summer Crustless Quiche

Fresh Summer Salad with Raspberry Lambic Dressing

Fresh Summer Salad with Raspberry Lambic Dressing