I’ve discovered that the three meals a day norm isn’t always working for me and my family. During the past two years, we’ve been eating one larger meal a day supplemented with smaller snack like mini meals.
Finger foods, soups and small plate dishes are what we have come to enjoy. A little of this, and a little of that, fits our appetites many days. So I stock our pantry and fridge accordingly.
Homemade chicken soup never fails to please my family. I've made it probably more than any other soup these past two years.
Salads packed into individual mason jars have been a staple. Greens, fruits, nuts, cheese are favorite items. Sometimes I add chicken to the salads. I prepare a few of these to nosh on during the week.
And grazing plates with fruit, cheese, veggies, bread, nuts and crackers, have served as a many a meal. During warm weather when we visit the farmers market, I can pretty much cobble together a meal from what’s offered there.
Over the years I’ve learned to meal prep and package serving portions into containers which can go into the fridge or freezer. These meals have literally saved me enormous amounts of time and money. My philosophy is if I have to be in the kitchen cooking, then it makes sense to cook a few dishes ahead for days when I don't feel like or have time to cook from scratch.
I love when I stumble across something with ingredients I have on hand. These chocolate dipped banana rollups have been an unexpected treat. Using tortillas from my freezer and perfectly ripe bananas, dessert was a snap. Also had a jar of Nosh Nut butter which added some protein to these treats!
Chocolate Dipped Banana Rollups
- 4 Multigrain tortillas
- 4 bananas
- ½ cup natural almond butter softened
- ¼ cup dried cherries finely chopped
- ½ cup granola
- ½ cup dark chocolate finely chopped
- 2 tsp. coconut oil
- 3 Tbsp. pistachios finely chopped
- 3 Tbsp. toasted unsweetened coconut finely chopped
- 3 Tbsp. granola
- Lay your tortillas out and cover one side of each with almond butter. Divide the dried cranberries and granola between the four wraps, then place the banana at the edge of the tortilla laying across the width of the wrap. Starting at one end, wrap the banana up along the length of the tortilla. Continue with the remaining wraps.
- Cut the wraps in half to yield two "pops", then insert a popsicle stick into the un-cut (the jagged open) end of the banana. Place the pops on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and freeze for an hour.
- Meanwhile, mix the chocolate and coconut oil in a microwave safe dish and microwave on 50% power in 30 second intervals until fully melted, stirring every 30 seconds.
- Dip the pops into the chocolate cut side down and then without turning it up right (unless you like streaks) place it over another bowl to sprinkle the chocolate with granola, pistachios and cranberries.
- Enjoy right away or put the roll-ups back into the freezer to pull out to eat throughout the week. Ours never made it into the freezer!
Need more suggestions on snacking as a meal? Check out this link: How to Turn Snacks into a Meal
Pat Bennett is the founder and President of Pat's Granola, a Cleveland based food and collaborative lifestyle brand. Pat's Granola is sold online at www.patsgranola.com and is also available at select Northeast Ohio businesses including:
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