Are you sick of buying vending machine junk while you are at work or school because you forget to pack an adequate lunch? Why not choose a much healthier alternative by preparing these delectable (and quick) snacks the night before! Each recipe makes enough servings to guarantee your goodie bags are packed for the rest of the week.
1 Dry Roasted Edamame with Cranberries
- 1 cup frozen shelled edamame, thawed
- 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Coarse salt
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- Heat oven to 425 degrees. Arrange edamame on a baking sheet and drizzle with oil. Season with salt. Roast, stirring occasionally, until crisp and golden, 20 to 22 minutes. Let cool. Toss with cranberries.
2 Chocolate Apricot Nut Bars
- 1 1/2 cups dried apricots
- 1/2 cup raw almonds, toasted
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted
- Coarse salt
- 1/2 ounce dark chocolate, melted
- Pulse apricots, almonds, 1 tablespoon coconut, and a pinch of salt in a food processor until finely ground.
- Line a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with parchment, leaving an inch overhang on all sides. Transfer mixture to pan and press firmly to form a rectangle.
- Use parchment overhang to remove from pan. Drizzle mixture with chocolate and sprinkle with remaining coconut.
- Transfer to refrigerator and leave until firm, about 15 minutes. Slice into six bars.
3 Corn dip with Tomatoes and Basil
- 1 3/4 cups fresh corn kernels (from 2 ears) or frozen kernels
- 1/3 cup 2 percent milk
- 1/3 cup silken tofu
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 8 cherry tomatoes, quartered, or 2 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped
- 1/3 cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
- 3 cups baked white-corn chips (6 ounces)
- Cook corn and milk in a skillet over medium-high heat until corn is tender, 7 to 9 minutes. Let cool completely.
- Puree 2/3 cup corn mixture, the tofu, lime juice, and salt in a food processor; season with pepper. Transfer to a serving bowl, and stir in remaining corn mixture, the tomatoes, and basil. Serve with chips.
4 Spiced Walnuts
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 cups walnut halves
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- In a large nonstick skillet, heat honey, oil, and 1 tablespoon water over medium heat. Add walnuts; toss to coat.
- Sprinkle the sugar, salt, cumin, coriander, and cayenne over the nuts. Cook, tossing and stirring until the nuts are well coated and lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet to cool completely.
5 Sun-Dried tomato and artichoke dip
- 1 box (9 ounces) frozen artichokes, thawed and chopped
- 1/2 cup feta, crumbled
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (oil-packed), chopped, plus more for garnish
- 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
- 1/2 cup basil leaves, torn
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- Whole-wheat baguette slices, for serving
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine 1/2 cup artichokes, 1/4 cup feta, garlic, lemon juice, and 2 teaspoons water; puree until smooth.
- In a medium bowl, combine tomatoes, pine nuts, basil, remaining chopped artichokes, remaining 1/4 cup feta, and reserved artichoke puree; season with salt and pepper. Garnish with sun-dried tomatoes, if desired, and serve on baguette slices. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to three days.
[Recipes and photographs adapted from www.wholeliving.com]