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Archive for Snacks

TIP OF THE DAY: Omelet Roll

Omelet Roll

Baked Omelet Roll

Ham & Cheese Omelet Roll

Omelet Roll With Salad

Pesto Omelet Roll

Chinese Omelet Roll With Chicken

[1] The inspiration for this article, from The Wholesome Fork. [2] With a bright garnish from Fabulessly Frugal. [3] Ham and cheese roll from Mangia Bene Pasta. [4] Omelet roll with a side salad, from All Recipes. [5] A chunky pesto roll from A Little Bit Of Spice. [6] A Japanese-style steamed chicken omelet roll, from Yi Reservation.

 

Recently, we were reminded of one of our mother’s breakfast specialties: omelet rolls. She had two favorites: cream cheese and jelly, and cream cheese and smoked salmon.

We loved them, but the one food we can’t seem to make well is an omelet (sorry, can’t explain it). Personally, we’ve never seen rolled omelets at restaurants, except for sushi restaurants, which slice the plain pan-cooked egg “loaf,” tamago (literally, grilled egg; but often called egg custard) into pieces for sushi or sashimi.

When we landed on Esther Schultz’s website and saw the top photo, a re-visitation was required.

Esther’s inspiration was to make a wrap sandwich using eggs in place of bread. Her turkey arugula omelet roll, is below.

Esther prefers healthy recipes, so we’ll share her enthusiasm that “Just one of these turkey arugula omelet rolls contains a whopping 19 grams of protein. That is about the same amount of protein as you would find in 2 ounces of roast beef.

“The calorie count is just 173 calories, making it an excellent protein-rich snack, or a delicious lunch when paired with a salad.

“It is also a wonderfully child-friendly choice. You can let your children choose their own fillings and roll them themselves making them a fun, customizable lunch.

“And the best thing about them? They only take 10 minutes to prepare.”

They taste great at room temperature; and if you don’t like your omelet flipping skills, you can bake the omelet in a pan.

However you make them, if you slice them you can call them pinwheels.

IDEAS FOR FILLINGS

We like the idea of omelet rolls for brunch, or instead of (or in addition to) tea sandwiches, even as cocktail nibbles. The choice of fillings are endless. Consider pairing your favorite:

  • Breakfast meat (bacon, ham, sausage) with lettuce and tomato (for example, a BLT roll)
  • Cheese, e.g. cheddar, pepperjack, swiss/gruyère
  • Cheese and vegetable(s), e.g. goat cheese and spinach
  • Deli meat, bacon or sausage with cheese, e.g. ham and swiss, bacon and cheddar
  • Dessert roll*, such as mascarpone or cream cheese with preserves
  • Cream cheese and jelly* (Mom used grape jelly)
  • Cream cheese or Boursin-type cheese (with garlic and herbs), smoked salmon and onion
  • Fruit roll*, such as mascarpone and berries or ricotta and shaved chocolate/chocolate chips
  • Leftovers roll, such as cranberry sauce and stuffing
  • Pesto roll, blending the pesto with ricotta or other soft cheese for body
  • Soft cheese roll, savory with herbs or sweet with preserves or dried berries, such as goat cheese, basil and dried cranberries
  • Sweet roll*, such as cream cheese and jelly
  •  
    Next, consider:

  • Garnishes: cherry tomatoes, fresh herbs, toasted nuts
  • Savory toppings: barbecue sauce, pesto, salsa
  • Sweet toppings: fruit sauce, syrup
  •  
    For a light lunch, serve with:

  • Green salad
  • Raw or cooked vegetables (e.g., crudités with dip)
  • Soup
  •  
    RECIPE: TURKEY ARUGULA OMELET ROLL

    Prep time is 5 minutes, cook time is 5 minutes.

    Ingredients Per Roll

  • 2 large eggs
  • Pinch of salt, freshly-ground black pepper to taste
  • Cooking oil
  • 1 slice deli meat (Esther uses reduced sodium turkey)
  • ½ cup arugula
  •  
    Preparation

    1. WHISK the eggs with the salt and pepper.

    2. HEAT a skillet over a medium heat with a splash of oil. Add the eggs and cook slowly without stirring. When the eggs are mostly set, gently flip the omelet and cook for another 30 seconds.

    3. PLACE the omelet on a plate, topped with the turkey and arugula. Carefully roll the omelet, cut in half and serve.

    ________________

    *Add a pinch of sugar instead of salt and pepper

     

     
      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: 12+ Good-For-You Snacks For The New Year

    Four days into the new year, we can’t stop nibbling on the empty calories.

    So we put this list together, as a reminder that good-for-you snacks taste good, too.

    These are some of our grab-and-go favorites. For the sake of brevity, we’ve left off the most obvious—fresh and dried fruits, crudités, hard-boiled eggs, hummus, lowfat/nonfat plain yogurt, pepitas, pickles, popcorn, sugar-free Jell-O and pudding, tuna pouches, etc.—to present other ideas.

    For total convenience, they’re all grab-and-go.

    Enjoy them with a low-calorie beverage: flavored water or seltzer, hot or iced coffee or tea, bone broth, etc.

    SAVORY SNACKS

  • Edamame warm or dried: Edamame are green soybeans. They have a powerhouse mix of protein, slow-digesting carbs and nutrients like folate, iron, magnesium and vitamin K. If you have a microwave at hand, heat frozen edamame. The ones in the shell are better for snacking: They take longer to eat.
  • Jerky: While this meat treat does have some sugar, it is packed with protein. Our favorite brand is Krave, which has tender meat and nine delectable flavors. If you want a shot of caffeine with your jerky, we’re fans of Perky Jerky, with several flavors each in beef and turkey jerky.
  • Leafy green chips: Look for them at health food stores, or make your own. You can buy snack packs from companies like Rhythm Superfoods (which has five flavors of kale ships, plus beet chips). Here’s a recipe for microwave kale chips. We also like to make cabbage chips). You can also make chips from collards and any leafy green tops you may throw away, like beet tops and broccoli leaves.
  • Nut butter packets: individual servings in almond, hazelnut and peanut butter from Justin’s. You can simply squeeze the treat from the packet, or get the Snack Pack dipping package with pretzel sticks.
  • Other Vegetable chips: You can find carrot chips, green beans and mixed veggie chips in plastic containers at many retailers. Seek, and ye shall find.
  • Pistachios in the shell: Nuts are a nutritious snack, but it’s too easy to wolf down more than the recommended one-ounce portion. Pistachios are the best, because it takes time to remove them from the shell. Plus, pistachios have only 3 calories apiece, about half the calories of most snack nuts (example: for 100 calories you get 30 pistachios or 14 almonds). For a full ounce (the recommended portion):
  • *Almonds: 20-24 almonds have about 160 calories and 6 grams of protein.
    *Cashews: 16 to 18 cashews have about 160 calories and 5 grams of protein.
    *Peanuts: 28 peanuts have about 170 calories and 7 grams of protein.
    *Pistachios: 40 to 45 pistachios have about 160 calories and 6 grams of protein.

       

    Crunch-Dried Edamame

    Pistachio Snack Packs

    Olive Snack Pack

    [1] Edamame, steamed warm or dried, are packed with nutrition (photo courtesy Sensible Foods). [2] Pistachios are the best nut for snacking if you want the shell to slow you down (photo courtesy Wonderful Pistachios). [3] Load up on snack packs of olives—black, green, plain, flavored (photo courtesy Gaea).

    *Walnuts: 14 walnut halves have about 190 calories and 4 grams of protein.

  • Olive snack packs: heart healthy with fiber, individual snack packs are available in black and green, plain or flavored. There’s no liquid, no mess.
  •  

    Healthy Sweet Snack

    Red Grapes

    [4] Justin’s sweet or savory snack packs combine different flavors of nut butter—almond, hazelnut, peanut—with banana chips or pretzels (photo courtesy Cooking Light). [5] Easy peasy: freeze grapes or banana chunks (photo courtesy Only Gluten Free Recipes).

     

    SWEET SNACKS

  • Apple chips: One of our favorite sweet snacks just happens to be good for you: crunchy apple chips from Bare Snacks, in three varieties (Fuji, Granny Smith and Cinnamon). Naturally sweet with no added sugar, a half-cup serving is 110 calories.
  • Flavored nut butter packets: Justin’s has squeeze packets and Snack Pack dipping snacks with banana chips and chocolate, honey, or maple nut butter.
  • Frozen grapes: High in fiber, vitamins and minerals, frozen grapes are like a bite of an ice pop. One cup, about 32 seedless grapes, has about 100 calories. Red and purple varieties have more antioxidants. Wash seedless grapes, let dry, and freeze on a baking sheet. Store in an airtight zip-top bag. Frozen banana chunks are another option.
  • No Sugar Added Fruit Leather: The Stretch Island Fruit brand has no added sugar, and 45 calories per snack pack. There are six different fruit flavors.
  • No Sugar Added Popsicles: These may be grab-and-go, but you have to eat them on the go or they melt. Still, they’re one of our favorite ways to enjoy a frozen treat for 15 calories. There are also Creamsicles (30 calories) and Fudgsicles (80 calories). More information.
  • Sugar-Free Caramels: Werther’s makes sugar free hard caramels in original, caramel chocolate and caramel coffee. But our personal favorites are the soft, chewy sugar-free caramels.
     
    If your favorite good-for-you snacks are missing here, let us know!
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    TIP OF THE DAY: Make Cookie Spread, a.k.a. Cookie Butter

    Biscoff Spread Jar

    Speculoos Spread

    Cookie Butter

    Tumbador Cookie Butter

    Nuts & More Cookie Butter

    [1] The original Biscoff Spread, used for filling cookie sandwiches at Picky Palate. [2] The European name for Biscoff Spread is Speculoos (photo courtesy Dutch Shop). [3] Trader Joe’s three private label versions include original, crunchy and cocoa swirl (photo courtesy Baking Bites). [4] A favorite flavor, from Tumbador Chocolate. [5] Even health food stores sell cookie butter—as a protein boost (photo courtesy Nuts & More).

     

    Where did the cookie butter craze originate? In Belgium!

    THE HISTORY OF SPECULOOS SPREAD (CALLED BISCOFF SPREAD IN THE U.S.)

    Cookie spread or cookie butter began as an entry in a contest sponsored by Belgium-based Lotus Bakeries.

    Lotus is the maker of Speculoos (spice) brand cookies, known the world over (and called Biscoff in some countries). Els Scheppers, a contestant on the reality show The Inventors (De Bedenker), pulverized the cookies and mixed them into “the original speculoos pasta*.”

    It wasn’t that far-fetched an idea, but it was a great one. Belgian parents (including Scheppers) were already making sandwichs of buttered bread, the butter topped with crushed Biscoff cookies.

    She didn’t win the contest, but Lotus Bakeries approached her to obtain the exclusive rights to sell the Biscoff spread.

    They are actually called speculoos (spice) cookies in Europe, but the name was deemed too hard for Americans to pronounce. Because the biscuits were so popular with coffee, the cookies were rebranded as Biscoff for the U.S. market. (It may look like peanut butter, but it’s nut-free.)

    After its arrival on these shores, companies large and small jumped on the bandwagon. Home cooked created Biscoff cupcakes with Biscoff frosting (here’s the recipe).

    Hershey’s and other large companies made cookie spreads. They were made in conventional cookie flavors, plus Chocolate Macaroon and Pumpkin Spice.

    Even health-oriented stores sell it, manufactured from Nuts & More, a company that got Shark Tank funding. Their “High Protein + Peanut Spreads” include Toffee Crunch and White Chocolate, among other flavors.
    ________________
    *Pasta is derived from the Latin word for paste. In Europe it is used to describe foods from spaghetti (a paste of flour and water) to meat loaf (a paste of ground meat and fat to the fruit squares (pâte de fruit) that we call fruit gels.

     
    COOKIE SPREAD/BUTTER VERSUS NUT BUTTER

    Before we go further, let us emphasize that cookie butter is not a substitute for peanut [or other nut/seed] butter.

    They may be touted as alternatives to nut butters, but that’s only in spreadability, not in nutrition. They are better compared to chocolate spreads. To avoid confusing consumers, all of the cookie-based spreads should be called cookie spreads, not cookie butters.

  • Natural nut butters are simply ground nuts and a bit of salt. Supermarket brands often add caloric sweetener, vegetable oils and stabilizers (mono and diglicerides
  • Nut butters have protein and fiber. Cookie butters do not—unless they so specify.
  • Large brands of nut butters have been headed in the direction of cookie butter (actually, it’s vice versa), with chocolate swirl and other flavors.
  • Nutella, a hazelnut and chocolate spread, is not much more nutritious than cookie butter. It has some protein fiber from the hazelnuts but lots of sugar. On their website, sugar is listed as the first ingredient, followed by palm oil. The two “good” ingredients, hazelnuts and cocoa powder, are third and fourth.
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    MAKE YOUR OWN COOKIE SPREAD

    You can use any cookie that can be ground into a powder. This leaves out oatmeal raisin (but plain oatmeal is OK), chocolate chip, anything with nuts or a filling. Don’t despair if this eliminates your favorite: You can add these “textured” ingredients as mix-ins after the butter/spread is blended.

    Some options:

  • Biscoff or other spice cookies
  • Famous Chocolate Wafers or bake your own
  • Ginger snaps
  • Graham crackers
  • Oatmeal cookies
  • Peanut butter cookies
  • Sugar cookies, snickerdoodles
  • Swedish thin cookies (Annas Swedish Thins, Cookie Thins, Moravian Cookies, etc.)
  • Vanilla wafers
  •  
    You can add in anything else that can be smoothly blended or ground:

  • Cocoa powder
  • Flavored extracts
  • Nuts (chopped is better)
  • Purées (e.g. pumpkin for the holidays)
  • Small candies and baking products, e.g. mini chips, mini M&Ms
  • Spices
  •  

    RECIPE: COOKIE SPREAD OR COOKIE BUTTER

    You can keep the spread in the fridge for 14 days, maybe more. If you’re giving it as a gift, note the expiration date on the label.

    If you want to make a homemade version of Biscoff Spread, here’s a recipe.
     
    Ingredients Per 14-Ounce Batch
     
    For The Spread

  • 2 cups (8 ounces) cookie crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons white granulated or light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream, plus more if desired
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • Optional: 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla or other extract
  •  
    For The Mix-Ins

  • 1/2 to 1 cup of whatever you like
  •  
    For Serving

  • Assorted cookies, biscuits, toasts, whatever
  •  
    You can serve just one type of cookie; but a selection is more fun.
     
    For Gift-Giving

  • Mason jar or other tightly-lidded container
  •  
    Preparation

    1. GRIND the cookies in a food processor until very fine. Measure out 2 cups.

    2. ADD the crumbs back into the food processor along with the cream, butter and sugar; process until well combined. If the dip is too thick for you, add cream a bit at a time to thin it.

     

    Oreo Cookie Butter

    Biscoff Cupcake & Frosting

    [6] Make cookie spread gifts and party favors (photo courtesy The Cottage Market). [7] Consider double-cookie-spread cupcakes. Sweet As A Cookie went all the way and created this recipe with Biscoff spread in both.

     
    3. BLEND in your choice of mix-ins. Put in a jar in the fridge. To serve, bring to room temperature spreadability.

    We couldn’t sign off without showing you this Biscoff Cheesecake.

      

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    GIFT OF THE DAY: Chukar Cherries Snack Packs

    Chukar Cherries Snack Pack

    Cherry Cluster

    [1] Grab-and-go cherry and nut mixes for the person who wants—or should want—better-for-you snacks (photo courtesy Chukar). [2] Cherries on the branch (photo courtesy 2020site.org).

     

    If you want to gift someone a better-for-you sweet treat, we recommend these grab-and-go bags of Triple Cherry Nut Mix from Pacific Northwest cherry specialist, Chukar Cherries.

    There’s no sugar added; just the national sweetness of dried Bing, Rainier and tart cherries mixed with heart-healthy pistachios and almonds.

    A cloth sack with 12 bags of Triple Cherry Nut Mix is $39.95 Get yours here.

    There are many other treats at Chukar.com.
     
    FUN CHERRY FACTS

    Cherry pits have been found in Stone Age caves. Perhaps our earliest ancestors, when not busy trying to run down wooly mammoths, also had an appreciation for the cherry and benefitted its antioxidant properties, including an abundance of vitamins A, B, and C. Perhaps they even enjoyed it with freshly spear-hunted boar or wild fowl.

    Their descendants—us—have been known to particularly enjoy cherries with duck and pork dishes, and snack as often as we can on the cherries, fresh or dried.

    Russians traditionally sweeten their tea with cherry preserves.

    Germans distill cherries into brandy (Kirschwasser).

    Iranians mix it into rice.

    Many nationalities use cherries in cakes and pies, over ice cream, tossed into salads, skewered as a cocktail garnish, sprinkled over soft cheese, garnish on pancakes, in the center of an indulgent chocolate bonbon, and of course, to make jams and preserves, salsas and relishes.

    Then, there are drinkable cherries, from juice to liqueur to wine (cherry fruit wine).

    The question isn’t what you can do with cherries—but what you can’t.

     
    WHERE DID CHERRIES COME FROM?

    The ancestors of today’s domesticated cherry trees originated in the Caucasus Mountains, which extend from southeastern Europe into Eastern Asia, between the Black and the Caspian Seas. They run through modern-day Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, Russia and Turkey.

    Cherries slowly spread through the Mediterranean and then headed north, but didn’t become widespread in Europe and Britain until the 15th century. By the 17th century, cherries were so popular that English emigrants brought stock to plant orchards in America, along with apples, peaches, pears and plums.

    Here’s more about cherries and the different types of cherries.

     
      

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    TOP PICK OF THE WEEK & GIFT OF THE DAY: SuperSeedz Gourmet Pumpkin Seeds

    Superseedz Super Spicy

    Polenta With Pumpkin Seeds

    Spaghetti With Pumpkin Seeds

    [1] SuperSeedz is made in nine flavors, from sweet to savory to hot and spicy (photo SuperSeedz). [2] In addition to snacking, SuperSeedz make delicious garnishes and mix-ins; here, mixed into a vegetable garnish for polenta. Here’s the recipe for the polenta and the spaghetti from Taste With The Eyes. [3] Add some Tomato Italiano SuperSeedz—or Curious Curry or Somewhat Spicy—to your favorite pasta.

     

    Over the past 12 years of nibbling, we’ve had lots of Top Picks Of The Week. All are wonderful foods, but some become part of our everyday lives—because they’re what we usually eat.

    SuperSeedz, gourmet shelled pumpkin seeds that we first discovered in 2007, is one of those.

    A better-for-you, nutritious, fiber-filled and very flavorful, crunchy snack, we also love it as a garnish.

    At $4.99, the five-ounce bags make really nice Thanksgiving favors and stocking stuffers, and are great for everyday grab-and-go.

    SuperSeedz are non-GMO verified, cholesterol- and trans-fat free, gluten-free, vegan and allergen friendly.

    Each one-ounce serving has 7 grams of protein and a good hit of iron and zinc.

    In nine flavors, sweet, savory and hot, there’s a choice for everything.

    SAVORY SUPERSEEDZ

  • Curious Curry: beloved even by non-curry lovers.
  • Really Naked: totally plain.
  • Tomato Italiano: tomato, basil, garlic, onion, oregano, pepper, sea salt (the company calls it “bruschetta on a pumpkin seed).
  • Sea Salt: the original.
  • Somewhat Spicy: a just-enough-spice blend of aged cayenne pepper, garlic, sea salt.
  • Super Spicy: black pepper, cayenne, garlic, habanero, red crushed pepper, sea salt (be warned, it’s hot).
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    Beyond Snacking…

    As A Garnish, Use Them On:

  • Dips, including hummus
  • Eggs
  • Fresh cheeses (cottage cheese, goat cheese, ricotta)
  • Grains and grain bowls, polenta
  • Grilled chicken and fish
  • Indian and Tex Mex dishes
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Pasta and pizza
  • Salads
  • Soups
  • Vegetables (especially green beans and winter squash)
  •  
    As A Mix-In To:

  • Breads and corn muffins
  • Dips
  • Rice and other grain dishes
  •  
    SWEET SUPERSEEDZ

  • Cinnamon & Sugar, like cinnamon toast without the toast.
  • Coco Joe, following the trend of salted chocolate.
  • Maple Sugar & Sea Salt, new and noteworthy.
  •  

    Beyond Snacking…

    As A Garnish On:

  • Cake and cupcake frosting
  • Cold and hot cereal and granola
  • Fresh cheeses (cottage cheese, goat cheese, ricotta)
  • Fruit salad
  • Ice cream
  • Pancakes and waffles
  • Puddings and mousse
  • Yogurt
  •  
    As A Mix-In To:

  • Carrot and zucchini cakes/breads
  • Chocolate bark
  • Cookie and brownie batter
  • Ice cream
  • Muffins
  • Trail mix
  •  

    Superseedz Snack

    Superseedz Tomato Italiano

    [4] Fill up a bowl for snacking. [5] Sprinkle Tomato Italiano on pasta, pizza or polenta. Or roll a log of goat cheese in it (photos courtesy SuperSeedz).

     

      

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