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Measure with Your Heart: Tasty Snacks and Lunches

On the Menu:
Brie and What To Do With It
Avocado Toast – Going Beyond the Guac
Cucumber and Versatility

Eating healthy-ish is hard, especially when eating better and losing weight is part of your new year’s resolution. I’ll get on the biggest health kick for a month then slowly sink back into my old habit of eating one-too-many freshly baked cookies. While I can’t promise everything I have to offer you is healthy per se, a good rule to remember is that everything is healthy in moderation. Turning away from the Cheeto Puffs for a hot minute by bringing my diet a bit more variety really helped my mental health while keeping me on track with a bi-monthly dip back into pilates and occasional circle back to the stationary bike.

Let’s chat about the snacks and little lunches that helped me through it.

Brie and What To Do With It
Who doesn’t love fancy cheese every once in a while? When charcuterie boards went viral on TikTok, I knew I had to get a scrumptious little bite of brie to broaden my food horizons. The trick is to get good quality brie from your local specialty market–and I mean it. Steer away from the $2-5 brie. It’s not going to taste right, just trust me, I tried it and binned it.

Once you get the cheese, you need the fixings. I’m talking about the good crackers that you would save for hosting the president for lunch. This is another area where you splurge. After the crackers, I usually eat my brie with apricot preserves. I thought it complimented the taste of the brie well, but if that’s not your jam, feel free to get experimental. Brie pairs extremely well with sweet fruits, so maybe a dollop of peach preserves, a handful of grapes, or dried cranberries and chopped pecans would be good options.

For more savory options that you can make into appetizers or guilty pleasures, cooked and cured meat complement brie well. For the classically minded, prosciutto, salami, and soppressata are traditionally found on brie-focused charcuterie boards. Simpler options include chicken, turkey, and beef. For more kick, spicy salamis like chorizo or Tuscan (Toscano) salami are great choices. However, Tuscan salami can be hard to find.

Luckily for us, plenty of grocery stores sell variety packs of pre-sliced charcuterie board meats, so the door is wide open for you to expand your flavor horizons.

Avocado Toast: Going Beyond the Guac
I think I ate avocado toast exactly the same way every week for an entire month, so I’d like to say my recipe is at least adequate.

Your choice of bread for the toast doesn’t require much thought. I personally prefer brioche, but regular white bread is fine. Make your toast however you would like.

Picking the perfect avocado is the hardest part. When picking one from the supermarket to use immediately or if you buy a pack of six like I do, sniffing out the ripest takes some care. Firstly, the avocado should not be firm. Try to pick one that has some give (but isn’t too squishy) and a dark complexion. The third marker of a ripe avocado is if the stem cap comes off easily and the inside it used to cover is green. If there is any resistance from the stem cap or there isn’t any green beneath it, leave it alone.

Once you have the perfect avocado, cut it open, dispose of the seed and scoop the flesh. Using a fork, mash the flesh and spoon it onto your toast. Usually, I sprinkle some everything bagel seasoning over the mash and if I need a little extra protein, I fry an egg to lay on top. Be mindful that everything bagel seasoning is very salty, so if you do fry an egg, I would omit the salt and go heavy on the pepper instead. A slice of tomato would add even more freshness and color. Alternatively, you can create an open-face sandwich by adding your favorite deli meat.

Pro Tip: If you want to pack your avocado to spread on the go, save the pit and once you have your mash packed, place the seed in the middle of the mash. It will keep the avocado mash from turning brown!

Cucumber and Versatility
Cucumbers are the easiest to make into a snack, drink, or meal. The most refreshing drink I ever had was chilled water infused with slices of fresh cucumber and lemon. Imagine pulling a pitcher of that out of your fridge!

If you aren’t looking to up your water game, the simplest snack to make with cucumbers involves minimal work on your part. Put sliced cucumber, baby carrots, and grape tomatoes in your to-go snack box for work or just out on a plate. Eat as-is for a tasty low-calorie snack or add some ranch dressing for a little extra fat and flavor.

For something a bit more meal-like, salads are the easiest way to go when it comes to incorporating cucumber. Lettuce of choice, shredded carrots, sliced cucumber, cherry tomatoes, meat of choice, and slices of avocado complete with a heavy drizzle of your favorite salad dressing make a yummy, creamy, and filling meal.

Family Food

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