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My Favorite Healthy Snacks & Ways to Make Veggies Delicious

by Courtney on February 23, 2013

Hello, and happy Saturday to you all once again!

This morning, I have my second and final post as part of the GNCTotal Lean Challenge,” a 12-week lifestyle program that includes nutrition, meal plans, workouts and video instruction, and community support. In case you missed my previous post, you can view that HERE. Even though the challenge has been going strong for a few weeks now, anyone and everyone is still encouraged to join in anytime!

For each week of the challenge, one of us is asked to share a fun new workout, along with various tips, tricks, and resources for various aspects of health and wellness. Today’s post is going to focus on…

Healthy Snacks & Making Veggies Taste Delicious

First things first, let’s get to the veggies. Growing up, I didn’t really have much exposure to a huge variety of veggies. Favorites in our house, as I’m sure many others, were canned or frozen green beans, peas, and corn. Occasionally we’d have some beets or spinach, but at the time, all I could do was turn my nose up at them. Boy, how things change as we grow older!

These days? I love pretty much all veggies (except lima beans…still can’t get into those). But it didn’t start out that way. I had to learn certain ways to cook/prepare them to make them taste a way that I would enjoy them. So in addition to now eating them raw, here are two of my favorite ways to prepare them…

Roasted Veggies

For me, there’s not much better than preparing a big tray of fresh veggies and roasting them until they’re tender, crisp, and full of flavor. Sometimes, I’ll get a little creative with my seasonings, but most of the time I just stick with the basics:

Olive oil, salt, and pepper

Roasted brussels sprouts and butternut squash

Now for a long, long time, I actually did the craziest thing…I wouldn’t use the olive oil. This was when the idea of fats was a scary thing, and I would think, well, why the heck would I add more fats to my meal? Thank GOODNESS I found the light and am now a firm believer in adding plenty of healthy fats into my diet (they’re SO good for you!).

Plus, they make your veggies taste soooo much better. Just a little drizzle is all you need…don’t go drowning them in an EVOO bath or anything. Winking smile

Fresh roasted green beans and grape tomatoes

Veggies in Soups and Stews

I absolutely LOVE loading up my soups and stews with lots of vegetables. Not only does it add more bulk to your meal, but it provides so much extra flavor. A couple favorites of mine…

Low-Fat Crockpot Veggie Stew

Veggies & Noodles Soup

Spinach Lentil Soup

Easy Gazpacho

Lots of good stuff right there!

*****

For the second part of this post, I want to share some of my favorite healthy snack ideas to help keep you full in between meals.

  • A Greek yogurt with fresh berries
  • An apple or banana with nut butter (or with PB2, now available at GNC!)
  • A simple protein smoothie
  • A cup of fresh veggies with hummus
  • A hardboiled egg + fruit

What are some of YOUR favorite in-between meal snacks?!?

*****

And finally, as a part of this week’s Total Lean Challenge, may I present to you your Saturday Workout Plan.

TLC_SatWorkoutPlan

Time to work those muscles!

full body strength circuit

TLCpIcon

Questions for the Morning:

  • What are your favorite ways to eat/cook/prepare veggies?
  • What are some of your favorite healthy snack ideas?

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{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Claire @ Flake and Cake February 23, 2013 at 7:18 am

It is so funny how tastes change as we get older – I was never a massive fan of fruit or veggies and now they are some of my favourite foods. Spinach and beets are amazing but when I was younger I didn’t even try them! Roasting veggies makes them taste insane, nothing better in the cold. Fruit and nut butters are lovely too, you can’t beat apple and PB :)

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2 Ashley @ Life and Fitness February 23, 2013 at 7:20 am

My favorite way to prepare vegetables is to grill them, so good. My favorite snack is cottage cheese with fresh fruit mixed in. Also I’ve been eating crackers with hummus lately.

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3 Sarah @pickyrunner February 23, 2013 at 7:31 am

My favorite snack is most definitely carrots. No dressing just carrots, and lots of them. But my favorite veggie is green beans. What can I say? I like my veggies!

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4 Linz @ Itz Linz February 23, 2013 at 7:53 am

Roasting veggies is definitely my favorite way too!! So good!! I have an olive oil sprayer which lightly mists them which I like since it doesn’t down them in evoo!

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5 Katie @ Talk Less, Say More February 23, 2013 at 8:41 am

Growing up my dad never made us eat lima beans. He HATED them and would pick them out of frozen veggie mixes and always said he’d never make his kids eat something he wouldn’t eat either. HA!

One of my favorite snacks is a rice cake with a smear of peanut butter or a protein “frosting” – so good!

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6 Avery @ Southern Belle Living Well February 23, 2013 at 9:00 am

Roasted Veggies for sure. I feel like you can add a TON of flavor that way and make them super-exciting! Like Sarah @pickrunner, I’m a big carrots girl. Dipping then in salsa, or eating with a Laughing Cow wedge are both my favorites!

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7 Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries February 23, 2013 at 9:00 am

I’m so glad my taste for veggies has changed as I’ve gotten older! Like you, we pretty much stuck to the corn, green beans, and salads growing up. I hadn’t ever tried brussels sprouts up until a couple years ago, and now they’re one of my favorite veggies. :) I think exploring new veggies and figuring out different ways to prepare them is so key!

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8 Melanie @ Beautifully Nutty February 23, 2013 at 9:01 am

I love to roast my veggies or eat them raw!

My favorite snacks are pb and banana, broccoli and hummus, homemade trail mix, and LARABARS or homemade energy bites!

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9 Michelle @ Eat Move Balance February 23, 2013 at 9:03 am

Yes, roasted veggies are the best!! In fact, I just posted recently about trying CELERY roasted for the first time (it was suggested to me by another blogger, and I thought it sounded weird), and it turns out it’s delicious, too!!

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10 Sam @ Better With Sprinkles February 23, 2013 at 9:06 am

I was teh pickiest eater ever as a kid…you could not get me near a veggie that wasn’t corn or carrots. Thankfully, that’s changed quite a bit!
I actually prefer to steam broccoli and caulifower, but other than, roasting is the way to go. Or, I’ll make a tomato sauce and absolutely load it with veggies.

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11 Tara | Treble in the Kitchen February 23, 2013 at 9:07 am

I LOVE veggies that are roasted and steamed and just plain old veggies with dip or in a salad…I can’t get enough of them :) That gazpacho looks delish!

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12 Katie @ Baking and Swimming February 23, 2013 at 9:13 am

How do you make those cute workout boards?

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13 Courtney February 23, 2013 at 5:42 pm

I use picmonkey, which is online! :)

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14 michelle kim February 23, 2013 at 9:17 am

I love to use vegetables in soups, too (I have recently been LOVING cabbage in my soups). And with cabbage, I’ll cut it into quarters and steam them until they’re cooked through, and then use it to dip into hummus. I sometimes makes me mega gassy, but I think it tastes good and it’s worth it :P

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15 Lift, Sleep, Eat February 23, 2013 at 9:58 am

Roasted veggies are by far the best – i adore them; they’re literally like candy to me ahah!
I love greek yoghurt for a healthy go to snack – it never fails to satisfy me!

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16 Maureen @ Breaking Free & Finding Me February 23, 2013 at 10:01 am

I LOVE roasting veggies! that’s my fave :) I haven’t tried making homemade soup yet but I’m def going to have to!!

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17 Rebecca February 23, 2013 at 11:11 am

I have kind of a stupid question, but how long and what temp do you roast veggies at?

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18 Courtney February 23, 2013 at 5:42 pm

It actually depends for me – I try to keep things easy and just roast them at whatever temp I might be cooking something else at and then just watch and adjust the cook time as needed. But if there’s nothing else in the oven, then I’ll typically do about 400 degrees for about 20-30 minutes, checking halfway.

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19 Nicole @ Fruit 'N' Fitness February 23, 2013 at 11:31 am

I love snacking on raw veggies during the day, I also love roasting veggies and then eating them hot with a meal or putting them in the fridge to eat cold later. Some of my favorite roasted veggies are sweet potatoes, brussle sprouts and broccoli.

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20 Zoe February 23, 2013 at 11:43 am

As a vegetarian, I’ve definitely had to become creative with how I prepare my veggies, and roasted veggies is a staple of my diet! They’re a great addition to a spinach salad if you want something low-calorie but a little more satisfying. I know what you mean about being ‘scared’ of adding fats, but I find by adding EVOO and foods like avocado to my diet, I’m less likely to crave the bad fats! Great post :)

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21 Marielle February 23, 2013 at 11:48 am

Just like you, I never really liked vegetables growing up but I’m getting better at incorporating them into my meals. I love grilled veges and eating carrots and hummus!

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22 Ellie@Fit for the Soul February 23, 2013 at 1:13 pm

I’ve always loved vegetables, and I think it’s partly because I come from a Korean family and an abundance of veggies always makes it onto the dining table. :) So that’s my fave way of eating them, including roasting and grilling them. Although, I haven’t grilled any in a while since it takes more time and work to get the grill going :P

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23 Mikayla @ Thin and Strong February 23, 2013 at 2:04 pm

Thank you for reminding me about roasting my veggies. I’ve gotten a little addicted to using my Ziplock Zip n Steam bags because they are so easy and quick, but I like roasting veggies too and had forgotten how yummy they were until I saw your pics!

My favorite snacks are peanut butter and banana on toast, apples with peanut butter, and a hard boiled egg (or raw almonds) with any fruit I’m in the mood for at the moment. ;)

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24 Shel@PeachyPalate February 23, 2013 at 2:32 pm

I love roasting with coconut oil and or drizzling with melted coconut oil or butter when they’re done! I love cinnamon on roasted sweet potatoes, curry powder on cauliflower on celeriac and balsamic on eggplant and brussels! Favourite snack of the moment is pear, heated in a mug…sunbutter and cinnamon on top and a little soy yoghurt…though sweet potato with the same toppings is a firm favourite too!

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25 Andrea @Pencils and Pancakes February 23, 2013 at 3:53 pm

I’m obsessed with roasting veggies! Do it literally every day the pan I use never even makes it from the dish drain to the cupboard.

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26 katie @ skinnyminniemoves February 23, 2013 at 8:13 pm

nothing beats olive oil salt and pepper for some roasted veggies!

I also like putting mine on the forman grill!

favorite snacks are bananas, greek yogurt, cottage cheese, freeze dried fruit!

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27 Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl February 24, 2013 at 6:17 pm

Roasted veggies are the best! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…roasting makes everything better ;).

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28 Miss Polkadot February 24, 2013 at 6:55 pm

Quick stews and stir-fries have been my favourite vegetable preparation methods lately. They’re so comforting especially during the cold days – I wouldn’t want to go without them.
And yes, I’ve definitely gone the no-oil roasted vegetable way and it’s just wrong. Fat accents flavours :).

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29 Lisa March 20, 2013 at 12:11 pm

A little butter and seasoning make veggies delectable!
Lisa recently posted..The Wines

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30 Chet April 16, 2013 at 8:30 pm

I’m pretty satisfied with the Misto Olive Oil Mister I purchased last month. It uses less oil which has to be healthier and it helps you to save dollars also.
Chet recently posted..Chet

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31 wrinkle creams August 7, 2013 at 7:59 am

I appreciate, cause I found just what I was taking a look for.
You have ended my 4 day lengthy hunt! God Bless you man.
Have a great day. Bye
wrinkle creams recently posted..wrinkle creams

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32 Em October 1, 2013 at 11:33 am

Wow, I’m drooling so much right now! You’ve just inspired me to go and buy some veggies after work and just grill them all (I might have to share them with my flatmates though, sigh!). I found another site where people write what sort of snacks they prefer: http://www.realbuzz.com/forums/nutrition/368331-what-s-your-fave-healthy-snack/

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