It’s officially Day 3 of my 7-Day Food Countdown, and still going strong!
While being on a vegetarian diet, I’ve found myself searching for new recipes and new vegetables to incorporate into my weekly rotations. Adding variety, adding color, and always excited to go to the grocery store and see what I can find.
I mean, I could just be eating oreos and mac-n-cheese… wait, why I am not doing this?
Just kidding. I know I consume my fair share of sweets, and I may have cookie addiction (something I’m working on…), but honestly, I am finding myself enjoying my food more and looking forward to eating each meal! And not just eating crap. Eating healthy, colorful, veggie-filled, delicious food.
1. Edamame Hummus
Now here is one vegetarian snack that I thoroughly enjoyed. The nice thing about making a big batch of homemade hummus, is that you can have it on hand to eat with carrots, celery or pita chips OR it’s perfect for adding some extra protein to a pita pocket with spinach, cucumber, and avocado for lunch.
So why choose edamame hummus over regular chickpea hummus besides its vibrant color and tangy goodness? Nutritionally, edamame beans do have a tiny bit more protein, slightly less calories and provides more of the healthy plant-based fats that we never seem to get enough of, but if you’re trying to limit your fat intake and plan on combining that edamame with other fats like olive oil (like for making edamame hummus…), then maybe its not a choice you want to make. Chickpeas also have a little bit more Iron, but this is slightly negated by a minimally higher sugar content, if that is something you need to look out for in your diet.
2. Veggie Chips
It seems like whenever someone is trying to eat healthy, cutting down on greasy chips get thrown in on the list of must-do’s. Veggie chips may still have some of that salt and oil, but hey, at least their vitamin count raises a couple degrees!
Truly a quick-fix to incorporating more non-potato veggies in your diet, veggie chips come in a variety of shapes (check out Snyder’s EatSmart Naturals line here) and contain healthy additions like spinach, tomato, sweet potato, and beets! Such variety, so veggie, wow…
Things to watch out for though are additional ingredients that may compromise the veggie super-power of this snack superhero. The less potato and corn, and more veggie puree, the better. But also, look out for excessive sodium content and shelf-life enhancing chemicals.
3. Sweet Potato Fries
A serious improvement to the already-radical french fry. These savory delights can now be found at many restaurants and fast-food chains. For true gluten-free and Paleo-followers, you probably shouldn’t trust the oil that is used for mass cooking in most restaurants. Although, it never hurts to ask what is used. If you stick with homemade though, I promise you won’t be disappointed! Taking the time to peel and cut sweet potatoes is made up for by having control over oil content, fry thickness and seasoning.
Sweet potatoes are super good for you too! Stock full of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, fiber and manganese, they truly pack a nutritional punch!
Chips and salsa. A college go-to for sure, and one of the simplest snacks known to man-kind. Just remember to check the labels for any hidden ingredients that may be banned from your current dietary lifestyle.
5. Roasted Chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
And last, but certainly not least – roasted chickpeas! Honestly, I am so glad I learned about this crunchy, health-snack alternative. Chickpeas provide a flavor-neutral base that can be made spicy, savory, or sweet. All you have to decide, is which one of a hundred flavor combinations you are going to pick! Super easy, and cheap! Check out these roasted chickpea recipe selections from the Kitchn here.