Sunday, January 27, 2013

But I Don't Want To Clean The Kitchen! Snacks For Dinner...

One of the great things about being a grown up is that I can eat whatever I want for dinner without an adult telling me, “that’s not dinner!” You know what I’m talking about…chips and salsa…popcorn…hummus and pita chips…finished off with a hefty serving of caramel praline ice cream.

I’m aware that snacks are not substantial meals, but I only eat them occasionally. And the reason is not necessarily that I’m craving snack food. It’s because I’m just too tired to prepare dinner, and I REALLY don’t want to clean up the kitchen afterwards!

There’s nothing more intimidating than a sink full of dirty dishes staring me in the face, when all I want to do is relax, read a book, or watch TV. And since I don’t have kids with nutritional needs in the house anymore, why not snack?

Of course, I have nutritional needs too, so I’m not talking about snacking for dinner every night. Maybe just once a week, on my favorite HGTV night. And I’ve figured out a few ways to add a little substance to my snack food dinner repertoire that require minimal preparation, without destroying the kitchen…
  1. Heat up a Lean Cuisine pizza in the microwave. (cook it on the box and then throw the box away…no dirty dishes) Enjoy it with a small bowl of raw veggies. I keep air-tight containers of raw veggies and fruits in my fridge at all times, so they’re ready to go.
  2. A wedge of brie cheese with some peppered water crackers, a sliced apple, a handful of grapes, and a small piece of dark chocolate. Yummy!
  3. When in season, wrap chunks of cantaloupe or melon with thin slices of Proscuitto. Have it with slices of fresh baguette drizzled with a little olive oil.
  4. When in season, put tomato slices on slices of baguette, with slices of soft mozzarella cheese, topped off with a drizzle of olive oil, and a few twists of cracked black pepper and a dash of sea salt.
  5. Scramble eggs with grated cheese, and spread peanut butter or Nutella on a toaster waffle. One dirty skillet…it’s an easy clean up.
  6. Cereal. I love Rice Chex and Special K, jazzed up with nuts, seeds, berries, and dried fruit, with almond milk. 
  7. A smoothie, made with a cup of frozen berries, half of a frozen banana, a cup of orange/mango juice,  a blob of plain yogurt, and enough almond milk to make it drinkable through a straw. Yes, it does dirty up a measuring cup and the blender, but I just rinse them out and put them in the dishwasher immediately. Easy-peasy…
  8. When I have hummus and pita chips, I like to drizzle the hummus with a little olive oil, and add a handful of Kalamata olives and a big glass of low-sodium V-8 juice.
And then sometimes, I just want to eat salsa and chips, popcorn, and ice cream…and since I’m a grown up, who’s gonna to stop me?


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