My wife is a floral designer, meaning she's about to go into the floral equivalent of a marathon. We don't get much of a V-day celebration because of her work, but every year I've brought in goodies for her coworkers...some years indulgent, some years more healthy...to show her that I love her and to make sure she eats when she's so busy (and that everyone else at her shop does, too).
Anyway, I've made a lot of things over the years. Muffins, cupcakes, roll-up sandwiches, fruit trays with dip, veggie trays, cookies...you get the idea. But I'm looking for some fresh ideas to mix it up. I will do something sweet and decadent for sure, and some bran-type muffins for the mornings, but I'm looking for ideas of savory things that they can grab a bite of as they walk by. Goals - get some protein and whole grains in them to fuel them up and get them going.
So far I'm thinking:
A lower-cal, greek yogurt based spinach dip in a fresh home-baked whole wheat loaf of French bread, with veggies and bread cubes.
Roll up sandwiches on lavash bread with herbed cream cheese and lean deli meats, plus some veggies.
Any other ideas?
02-11-2011, 01:45 PM
Savory things they can grab a bite of as they walk by made me think APPETIZERS! My favorite is turkey meatballs, particularly this recipe: Asian Turkey Meatballs (http://www.skinnytaste.com/2010/01/asian-turkey-meatballs-with-lime-sesame.html)
However, looking through my favorite food blog www.skinnytaste.com, there are the caprese salad "sticks" and the baked empanadas (when I made them I did a huge batch, half chicken/half beef and froze them) would be good choices as well.
I also like fruit skewers, pineapple, grapes, strawberries, kiwi, marachino cherries & a strawberry greek yogurt as dip for something sweet for your sweet! ;)
02-12-2011, 10:14 AM
If you are into baking, I've made two batches of these rolls now and they are fantastic: Spelt and Seed rolls (http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2011/jan/08/spelt-seed-rolls-dan-lepard). It was the first time I had baked with spelt and I am a convert. Even though I used whole grain spelt flour (the recipe didn't specify) they came out very tender inside and crisp outside. And they are one of the the only things I have baked lately that came out just like the picture, or even better.
I made the dough in the evening and let it do the first rising, then divided and put them in a sealed container with some extra room and let them rest/second rise over night in the fridge to develop a little more flavor (you can do this up to two days probably). Let them warm up out of the fridge an hour and then you can shape them. If you don't want to use the butter (it's only a couple of tablespoons) you can use an oil, it might make the crust a bit softer. You don't have to knead them very much, the spelt does better with the three "mini-kneads" and rests that Dan Lepard gives in the recipe.
The recipe divided into 10 as specified comes out to 253 cal each, because of the flax seeds; but they also have a lot of fiber and protein and are very filling without being aggressively "healthy". For a party tray dividing them into 20 would still make a filling and very attractive little sandwich. (If your spelt flour is not whole grain you can use whole grain bread flour and get the fiber that way.) They have a hearty flavor so hold up very well to strong cheeses like goat and blue cheese as well as tuna or salmon.
forgot to note: it's a UK recipe so when he says "strong flour" he means US "bread flour", it's a slightly higher protein flour that counteracts the spelt flour not having much gluten. E.g. Gold Medal "better for bread" flour.
02-12-2011, 10:19 AM
Wow, some cool ideas here. I don't think I have much to add, but I'm taking notes!
02-12-2011, 12:36 PM
Wow, that bread looks awesome! Thank you all so much for the ideas! Now I have some thinking and planning to do :D
02-13-2011, 12:33 AM
What about deviled eggs? If you make them with mustard and yogurt, instead of mayonaise, or if you used lowfat mayonaise (e.g., something with around 15 calories a tbsp), they aren't bad calories-wise. You could get creative and do different stir-ins in the fillings--e.g., chopped olives, sun-dried tomatoes, etc.
Also, I make a version of mini baked crab cakes that I often take to parties and it is always a huge hit. People have commented to me about how decadent they are, but they actually come in at only about 25 calories per crab cake. Here is the recipe.
• 6 oz can crab meat
• 1/2 cup bread crumbs (20 g)
• 1 oz scalliions, very finely chopped
• 1 oz red pepper, very finely chopped
• 1 tbsp fat free may
• 1/2 tsp dry mustard
• 1/2 tsp paprika
• 1/2 tsp lemon peel
• 2 tbsp egg beaters
Mix everything together and form into nine patties (they will be small--these are mini crab cakes), then place the patties on a cookie sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
If you want, you can make a dipping sauce to go with them using 2 tbsp yogurt, 1 tbsp fat free mayo, 1 tbsp green onion, 3/4 tsp horseradish, and fresh parsley to taste. I usually find that the dipping sauce isn't necessary however and it makes the crab cakes harder to just grab and go.
Per my nutritional analysis, which allows 50 calories for the bread crumbs and 10 calories for the mayo, the crab cakes come in at 25 calories each, with 2g of protein.
02-13-2011, 12:34 AM
That bread looks amazing. Wow.
3FC is, oddly enough, my favorite place to go for healthful/interesting recipes. You all have the best taste in foods that are deliciouswithout loads of sugar/butter :)
One of my favorite things when stressed is high-fiber raw salads -- not the kind of salad you have to make yourself that tastes like vinegar and includes leaves that make a mess, but salads you could eat with a spoon. Two favorites:
Fresh corn & avocado salad.
3 ears of fresh sweet corn, husked and cut from the cob
1/2 cup red onion, diced (about one small red onion)
1 avocado, diced
1 Tbsp olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped (can subs basil)
1/2 tsp sea salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Remove silks from corn and corn from cob; combine ingredients in large bowl; mix well; allow to marinade 6-24 hours and serve (it's better if left in the fridge overnight). So easy, so fresh & delicious. According to my calculator, this yields about four servings of 130 g, 160 cal each -- but I think that's a high estimate based on a large avocado. Use a small one. :)
Cucumber onion salad: This is an 'Asian' variant of the classic cucumber-onion-tomato salad. I make these two salads together because I like the palate consistency of the red onion.
3 English cucumbers, cut into 1/2-inch chunks (slice each cucumber into quarters length-wise, then cut each long pickle-shaped wedge into small 1/2-inch long pieces) -- about 5 cups of diced cucumber
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 Tbsp salt
1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce (I use Kikoman)
2 Tbsp rice vinegar (dark or white)
2 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 1/2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
Cover all the cucumber with salt as if a marinade; let sit for 30 minutes. The cucumber should 'dehydrate'; strain in a colander, removing as much salt water as possible. Combine with soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sugar in that order in a large bowl. (Add more soy sauce or sugar to taste.) Add chopped red onion. Marinade for 20 minutes. Drain about 1/2 the marinade; drip sesame oil onto salad and mix in; serve. Yields 8 servings of 100g each; ~53 calories.
This is a strong sweet-sour-salty cucumber salad; the longer you marinade it, obviously, the stronger its flavor. Although salt is used liberally at first, most of it is drained. If you choose to use sliced cucumber instead of chunks, cut down on salt at the beginning and reduce marinade time.
ETA: Wow, totally skipped over the whole grain / protein note. Sorry if these aren't helpful -- they're more of the 'refreshment' category of food. :)