Mushrooms prepared for a nice bruschetta.
I tend to eat my main meal of the day around 2 pm at work and by the time I’ve finished work, done one of my evening classes (pilates or salsa! woo!) and maybe picked up some shopping, I’m lucky to get in the door home before 8 pm. I really don’t want to be making anything major at that time, as I basically want to do the couch potato with a glass of wine thing while watching dumb TV. But neither do I want to go the fast food or crap packaged food route. So here are some ideas for quick but filling and healthy snacks. Don’t let anyone tell you that a bit of fat in your diet is unhealthy or that just because we need a wide variety of plants in our diet that we need to be bugs bunny surviving off a nibbled carrot and a few lettuce leaves. Get those veg inside you but enliven them with some nice dressings (eg. yoghurt with mint and coriander and some chopped green chillies for instance) and a bit of protein, such as a bit of cheese or some fish or chicken. Anyways these are just ideas for things to eat that will give some satisfaction but are in no way bad. You can adapt to taste or what you have at home.
NB: By bruschetta we mean a slice of wholemeal or wholemeal sourdough bread grilled or toasted and drizzled with a little EVOO and then topped with a nice Italian topping.
Toppings for Bruschetta
- sliced mushrooms, preferably a mix of varieties, sautéed with minced onions and garlic with lots of chopped flat leaf parsley. Can also add a dash of white wine and a little cream if desired.
- sliced mozzarella topped with thinly sliced fresh tomato and torn basil
- 1 slice of proscuitto or salami, chopped sundried toms and shavings of parmesan and basil
NB: These are just a few ideas of what you can stuff into a nice warmed Arabic pitta pocket. Make up your own with the emphasis on some fat and protein and a wide variety of veg and salad
Fillings for Arabic pitta
- humous and a ton of salad such as finely shredded cabbage, lettuce and carrot with a chilli dressing and loads of parsley, mint and coriander
- falafel, salad and yoghurt dressing
- tabbouleh, olives and feta
- onion bhajis or other pakora with salad and yoghurt dressing with mint and coriander
- greek salad with feta and olives
- some shredded chicken with salad, some salsa and some yoghurt
- piperade* and some torn green salad leaves
NB: 1 medium sized potato. They don’t count towards your 10 a day. They count as carbs.
Toppings for Baked potato
- mix lots of fresh herbs into some yoghurt, mash into the potato and top with some cheese. No more than 20 g
- Mix tuna, sweetcorn, lots of chopped flat leaf parsley and a little finely chopped onion with 1 tbs of mayo.
- scoop out most of the insides of potato leaving some round the top of the shell so it holds its shape. Mix the potato with some bacon bits, grated cheese, finely chopped red and green pepper, a little parsley and seasoning. Scoop back into the half shells and bake for another 10 mins or so in a hot oven till golden on top
- have with herb butter and sour cream or greek yoghurt and a side salad
- top with the mushrooms for bruschetta topping and a side of green leaves.
- mash together feta, finely chopped onions, finely chopped peppers, and some chilli flakes with a little oil and use to top potatoes or spread on bruschetta
Some Random ideas
Make a small home made pizza with the emphasis on the veg side of the toppings.
Spread a Greek souvlaki pitta with a little tom paste that has been mixed with a little water, some fresh minced garlic or garlic powder, salt and pepper and a drop or two of evo oil.
top with a variety of very finely sliced veg such as onions, peppers, mushrooms and tomatoes and then top with no more than 20 g of cheese (about two handfuls of grated) and a little oregano. Bake in a preheated oven on a preheated, lightly greased baking sheet for about 15 – 20 mins. Have with a salad of green leaves.
A quick kinda Korean Ramen
Make a commercial package of instant noodles but don’t make them too sloppy. Add a salad of shredded cabbage and carrot that’s been tossed in soya sauce, some pickles of your liking and top with a fried egg
Make some home made guacamole and either have on a bruschetta or serve with a small bowl of taco chips and lots of veg sticks such as carrot and celery.
Take one small slice of feta (50 g) and place in the middle of a square of foil twice the size of the cheese slice. Top with some finely sliced onion, peppers and toms, a sprinkling of chilli flakes and oregano. Drizzle with EVO oil and twist the ends of the foil together at both ends to make a parcel that is open at the top to allow steam to escape. Bake in a hot oven for about 10 to 15 minutes. Have with crusty bread and a green salad.
Piperade is posh French scrambled eggs (see: Keith Floyd and the miserable French housewife for the funniest foodie chef clip ever). Nice as a breakfast but good at any time.
1/2 a small onion finely sliced
1/2 a green bell pepper finely sliced
½ a red pepper finely sliced
a handful of chopped flat leaf parsley
1 clove of garlic minced
2 eggs beaten with a tbs of cold water
salt and pepper
a knob of butter and a tiny drizzle of olive oil (the olive oil stops the butter burning)
Over a medium heat melt the oil and butter and add the onions and garlic. Saute gently til the onions are pale and see through. Add the peppers and continue to saute until they just start to become a bit flexible and have lost their crispness but not totally. Add the eggs and stir into the veg for a minute until the eggs are scrambled and almost set (don’t overdo it). Turn off heat. Add some salt and pepper and the parsley and stuff a warm pitta with the mixture.
The Greeks do a version of piperade that’s called strapatsada. But it’s a bit sloppier, though no less tasty. I like it in a bowl with some toast to scoop it up.
fry half a finely sliced onion in a little evo oil. Then add some sliced pale green peppers and saute til starting to soften. Add a finely chopped tomato and cook into a sauce consistency, then add a few cubes of yellow cheese such as cheddar or kasseri. Once the cheese starts to melt add two beaten eggs. Stir the mixture for a couple of minutes to cook the egg and pour into a bowl and season to taste.
Go to BBC food and have a look at their supper dishes and salads sections to get some ideas. You want to look at stuff that’s full of veg, so it might be an idea to look at veggie stuff. It’s often more inventive than meat eaters stuff. Just to get ideas!
Eat more fruit instead of having a second helping of evening snack.
Marinate carrot and cucumber sticks in lemon juice to have as a nibble with wine
Olives count to your ten a day, so do nuts. Nibble them.