Tag Archives: vegetarian snack

Chili & Greens Smothered Potato

 

Whether for a quick snack or a hearty, filling meal, smothered potatoes are a go-to for me. A plain potato has 150-200 calories, along with magnesium, B vitamins, and a surprisingly high amount of vitamin C. Potatoes get a bad rep mostly because they are usually served or cooked with other things that are far less healthy for you, like butter, margarine, sour cream, and cheese.

The better options for topping your tater include: greens, fresh veggies like broccoli, onion, peppers, avocado chunks, beans, salsa, corn, and of course, chili! I used my delicious vegan three-bean chili. You IMG_7594will use leftover chili, or store-bought, whatever kind you like. If you don’t have chili, looking up this recipe is silly isn’t it?

This baked potato takes mere minutes to put together, and is perfect for a portable lunch. You will need a heavy plate and utensils though, no eating while literally on the run here. It is packed with vitamins and nutrients, filling fiber, healthy fats, and staying power from protein. And it’s totally vegan! But you won’t even know the meat is missing, it’s that good.

I used homemade sauerkraut on mine, because I totally love this tangy, salty stuff. If you hate it, don’t worry about it. Not required for the experience. Sauerkraut is ridiculously easy to make, by the way, and crazy good for your digestive health. I’ll have to post on that soon…

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium baking potato
  • 2/3 cups vegan 3-bean chili
  • 1/2 an avocado
  • 1/3 cup broccoli florets
  • 2-3 large kale leaves or 1/3 c spinach
  • 2-3 tbsp sauerkraut

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Step 1: Rinse well, and poke holes in the potato. Microwave on high for 5 minutes, turn it, and microwave another 4 minutes.

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Step 2: Cut the hot potato in half, and place on a large plate. Top with the greens, broccoli, and chili, and microwave another 1-2 minutes. Add the sauerkraut and avocado, season if needed and enjoy!

 

Less than 5: Honey Sweet Potato Snack

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Happy almost 4th of July! Whether you are having a small family get-together, a backyard BBQ, or going out to a picnic-and-fireworks party, enjoy our independence from the Crown and be safe! I’m sure there are overwhelming amounts of recipes involving burgers, apple pie, and anything red white or blue flooding the internet. So I went another way: to highlight a simple, humble veggie that I think doesn’t get enough attention.

Little bright orange jewels, so good for your health, sweet potatoes are more than a Thanksgiving side dish. Any time of the year, they can add nutrients and fiber to your diet and become an easy side dish or snack, even a main dish or dessert.

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Sweet potatoes are one of nature’s best sources of beta-carotene, the provitamin-A carotenoid. And an adequate supply of Vitamin A ensuresĀ  proper growth and development, immune system function, and healthy eyesight. Vitamin A deficiency is estimated to affect roughly 1/3 of children under the age of 5 worldwide, leading to developmental problems, eyesight deficiencies, and blindness. However Vitamin A is fat-soluble, not water-soluble, which makes it harder for your body to get rid of excess, leading to the possibility of toxicity if over-supplemented. Always ask a doctor or physician before starting a supplement regimen.

Not all sweet potatoes are orange, they can also be purple due to anthocyanin pigments. These molecules have important antioxidant properties and anti-inflammatory properties. World’s Healthiest Foods states: “Particularly when passing through our digestive tract, they may be able to lower the potential health risk posed by heavy metals and oxygen radicals.”

They also clear up the common confusion: sweet potato vs. yam. They can be very similar in terms of size, shapes, and skin colors, though they both come in a variety of flesh colors. Turns out, sweet potatoes are FAR more common in the US than are yams, so at a store it is pretty safe to assume you are buying a sweet potato, even if a sign says “yams”.

Anywho, sweet potatoes were on sale, and I wanted to incorporate more into my diet, so I bought a few. Luckily they keep for a long time so I could figure out what to do with it. Turns out, these can be the simplest snack ever. Simply take one to work with you, and whenever you need a tide-me-over between lunch and quittin time, or breakfast and end-of-board-meeting, pop it in the microwave, top as you please, and you have a filling, healthy snack. This is a sweet treat, though you could go savory instead with, say, goat cheese.

Ingredients:

  • 1 small-med sweet potato
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • -or- 1 tbsp sugar + 1 tsp cinnamon

So simple, just stab the potato a few times with a fork to let steam escape. Microwave the potato for 8-10 minutes, until soft. Break it open, drizzle on some honey, and enjoy! With about 100 calories per cup, this is a super healthy choice all around.

Try using sweet potatoes anywhere you would use regular potatoes for extra fiber and vitamins. Make sweet potato chips, roast chunks in the oven as a side dish, boil and mash them with some brown sugar and butter (just be careful of amounts, it’s easy to overwhelm the health benefits with sugar and fat!), throw some into soups, stews, and curries. See how you can creatively add some sweet potatoes into your 4th of July festivities!

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