I’ve been trying some new snack ideas out lately. When healthy, plant-based eating starts to seem very boring and complicated, it makes me feel trapped and restricted. And then the evil little voice in my head tells me to go get vegan chocolate chip cookies and vegan mac ‘n’ cheese from Red Velvet Cafe because who is going to know? *I* will know, and my body will know when I feel like I have cement in my stomach when I am on my yoga mat. Not worth it! I know that many diet gurus (and even Ayurveda!) will tell you that snacking is bad when you are trying to lose weight. I’ve tried it both ways, and I stick to what my Eating Disorders Specialist Registered Dietitian told me and I have my snacks. Otherwise, I am an angry hungry vegan and I want to ATTACK. End of story.
Clearly, the ideal snacks are fresh fruits and veggies. Sometimes that is exactly what I want, and sometimes it seems like The Ghost Of Bad Dieting Past is visiting me and shoving carrot sticks in my face. No bueno. Since this is all about progress, not perfection, I need to have alternate snacks to nosh on when I am in the mood for something more substantial.
Here’s my new snack action—take it for what it’s worth!
1. Edward and Sons Rice Crackers
I hate rice cakes. They make me think of dieting and starving and they make me mad. These are, well, technically similar to rice cakes but very crunchy and with flavor. There are several different kinds—some are vegan and some aren’t, so read the labels. Also, some have oil and some don’t. I mainly buy the Tamari Sesame and the Tamari Seaweed. These are the same people who make the Chreeze sauce that I mentioned in my E2 cheese post. I think these might be mentioned in the E2 book as well.
2. Oskri Quinoa Bars
Due to the sesame seed content, this is one of those things that skirts the line as far as E2 is concerned. But there’s no added oil, and they are sweetened with brown rice syrup and date syrup. And they are sooooo crunchy! Yum! I’ve been experimenting with making homemade “granola” bars without oil and refined sugars, but my experiments have either been awful or waaaay too tasty. I like things to be in the middle: tasty enough that I am not pissed off that I have to eat this crap but not so tasty that I want to eat the entire batch, now. Until I can find the perfect recipe, I have these very crunchy Oskri bars. I usually eat them with an apple or a glass of unsweetened almond milk and they hit the spot.
3. Zen Bakery Peanut Butter Carob Chip Cookies
I get these in the refrigerated bakery section of my favorite Whole Foods. They are more like a severely healthy muffin than a cookie, honestly. But they taste good and fill me up, especially if I have a long time between when I leave work and dinner. I like to warm them up and have them with almond milk. And anything Zen is always A-OK with me!
4. La Reina Baked Tortilla Chips with Salsa and/or Vegan Queso
La Reina is the only tortilla chip that I can find that does not use oil. Guiltless Gourmet has started using oil so I leave those alone now—they used to be my old stand by. I don’t eat this very frequently since my body doesn’t like corn (no matter what Ayurveda says about it being good for Kapha dosha) but when I do, I really enjoy it. If you are not able to get this where you live, you can bake your own chips at home. Set oven at 350 degrees and put the tortillas directly on the rack. You have to flip them several times until they are crispy. I can never remember exactly how long it takes! Probably depends on your oven.
5. White Bean Artichoke Dip
I really get sick of hummus really fast. When I first started exploring vegetarian eating in the late 80′s, early 90′s, that was frequently all there was to eat. Hummus and lentils. Lentils and hummus. Hummus with a side of lentils and…rice cakes! Needless to say, I still sometimes associate hummus with deprivation and struggle. And I just can’t be down with the new Cedar’s fat free hummus. It tastes like…beany snot. Sorry. So I came up with this instead, and for some reason I like it much, much more.
Mo’s Engine 2 White Bean Artichoke Dip
1 can drained, rinsed Cannelini beans
1 can drained, rinsed Artichoke hearts (set aside the water to use to thin the dip)
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 tsp salt
1 dash cayenne pepper
Put everything in the Vitamix or food processor except for the artichoke water and the lemon. Squeeze the lemon (really get all of that juice out) into the mixture and then blend until it’s smooth. If you’re really motivated, you can add some grated lemon zest, too. Use the artichoke water to thin the dip as needed. Chill overnight to let the flavors marry and then eat up! Great with crackers, tortilla chips or (gasp) veggies. I had it last night with celery sticks as a side for my veggie burger.
6. Amande Almond Milk Yogurt
I think I heard Rip mention these when I heard him speak here in Vegas. These are almond milk yogurts that are sweetened with fruit juice instead of refined sugar. I have a serious problem with refined sugar (it makes me act like a junkie) so I avoid it. It also makes PCOS way, way worse. It is not my friend.
Happy E2 snacking!