If you’ve found yourself stocking up on appetizers, tubs of hummus and gourmet cheeses even when you don’t have a party planned, you might be part of the growing snack-for-dinner lifestyle. As many as 94% of Americans have a snack each day with snacking accounting for up to 50% of all eating occasions. This means snacks are sometimes turning into meals. The food industry is keen to this, increasing the amount of ready-made snacks and meals (some of them healthy, some of them not) in grocery stores and beyond.
As the line between meals and snacks becomes blurred, here are some ways to follow the snack-for-dinner trend and still meet your weight-loss goals:
The following six snack-dinners can be pared down for one or multiplied for many. Serve family-style with small plates, and watch the serving sizes:
Start with toasted, sprouted whole-grain bread or high-fiber crispbread as a base, then layer mashed avocado, lightly smoked salmon, baby spinach or arugula, a drizzle of olive oil and crushed pistachios atop. Arrange these toasts on a board. Add broiled grapefruit segments for a sweet, tart surprise.
Top creamy hummus with a light drizzle of olive oil and fresh parsley and serve it with warm whole-grain pita bread, olives, marinated artichokes, roasted red peppers and crisp endive. Add thin slices of prosciutto to the platter or wrap it around chunks of cantaloupe.
In a small bowl, swirl homemade or store-bought pesto into plain Greek yogurt for a savory dip. Surround the bowl with fresh radishes, broccoli and cauliflower, plus cucumber and carrot slices for scooping. Wrap fresh asparagus with roasted turkey slices paired with apricot preserves for added flavor. Stack fresh pear slices with cheddar, a drizzle of honey and sprinkle of toasted walnuts for a sweet and crunchy treat.
Anchor the board with peppadew peppers stuffed with feta. Keep the vegetable power going with roasted eggplant, sweet onions and mushrooms drizzled with aged balsamic vinegar. Include an olive tapenade, small bunches of fresh basil and marinated mini mozzarella balls with hearty, whole-grain bread. Add small amounts of natural deli meats and smoked almonds.
READ MORE > 6 SNACK HACKS FOR WEIGHT-LOSS SUCCESS
SPICE IS NICE
Serve smoky black bean dip, chunky guacamole and fresh salsa with cool and crunchy jicama and red pepper sticks. Pump up the protein and fiber with mini mounds of toasted pumpkin seeds. Add a sweet, spicy twist with fresh mango slices spritzed with lime juice, chili powder and small chunks of dark chocolate.
Stack spicy tuna and brown rice salmon sushi rolls between piles of steamed, edamame, cool cucumber salad and sheets of wasabi seaweed for crunch. Add fresh or candied kumquats or sweet mandarin oranges for a citrusy, sweet finish.