Healthy snack recipes

Hummus

Hummus (Credit: AP)

Snacking doesn't have to be a total pig-out. You can choose healthy high-fiber options, such as hummus or tofu chili to dig into.

HUMMUS

1 (16-ounce) can organic chickpeas

3 to 5 tablespoons lemon juice (adjust to your taste)

1 1/2 tablespoons tahini

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1. Drain chickpeas and set aside 1/4 cup of the liquid.

2. Combine all ingredients except reserved liquid in a blender or food processor. Add the reserved liquid. Blend on low speed until hummus is thoroughly mixed and smooth.

3. Drizzle olive oil over top and stir. Place in serving bowl, and create a shallow well in center of the hummus.

TOFU CHILI

Chili is easy to prepare, and it doesn't have to be loaded with cholesterol or fat.

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

1 (14-ounce) package firm or extra-firm tofu

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion chopped

1 carrot chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 red bell pepper chopped

1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes

1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 cup chopped fresh kale or 1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped kale, defrosted and drained

1/2 cup sliced black olives (optional)

1. In a medium bowl, mix together the chili powder, cumin, paprika, oregano, salt and sugar, and set aside. Crumble the tofu into the bowl of spices and stir until the tofu is thoroughly coated with the spices. Set aside.

2. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot and garlic, and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add red bell pepper and cook, stirring for 5 minutes. Add reserved tofu and cook, stirring for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, black beans, kale and olives, if using.

3. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until the kale is tender, 2 to 7 minutes. Season to taste, then serve. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

SESAME CHICKEN BITES

A delicious twist on chicken fingers.

3 chicken breast halves

1/4 cup tahini

2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil (more if your tahini is thick)

2 to 3 tablespoons lite soy sauce

1 teaspoon sugar or honey

2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger

1/2 tablespoon hot chili oil

1 tablespoon vinegar

1 finely chopped scallion

Sesame seeds for garnish

Seeded, sliced cucumber for garnish

1. Bring a large pot (8 to 12 cups) of salted water to a boil. Add 3 bone-in or boneless chicken breast halves. Cook 6 to 10 minutes, or until no longer pink. Remove from water and cool. Once cool, remove bones, if any, and shred.

2. In a medium bowl, combine tahini, toasted sesame oil, soy sauce, sugar or honey, ginger, hot chili oil, vinegar and chopped scallion.

3. Toss chicken with sauce in bowl. Serve at room temperature topped with a hearty sprinkling of sesame seeds and/or seeded and sliced fresh cucumber. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

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