Healthy Snacks for Friends

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Hello, how’re you doing? Today I want to talk about food and friends. Is there a more epic combination? I think not..

I love having a quiet night in with friends. Just sitting around, having a nice drink and talking about anything and everything is something I prefer over going to a dark sweaty club. Don’t get me wrong, I also love going dancing, but all the hassle that comes with it, constantly fighting for space, shouting at each other and buying overpriced drinks has just seemed like such an effort lately. And I noticed that the nights I enjoyed the most are usually the ones where you actually spend time with the people you’re with.

Anyways, quiet nights are usually accompanied by snacks being offered in a visually appealing way just sitting there. Usually I can withstand sugary snacks quite well, but after a few drinks and with the snacks just so ready for grabs I find it very hard not to indulge…

So I’ve recently tried to make some food myself, so that we can still have that satisfaction of snacking but without the guilty conscience. Here is what I made when I went to watch footie at my friends house last week:

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Now I’m not sure if you’re interested in this, but I always like to find a recipe for a nice meal I see on a blog. So now – get ready – I’m gonna write down how I did this.

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This is a Crustless Veggie Quiche. YAY! Super easy to make, pretty quick and I usually just throw any veggies I have left in there. But when I have other people eating it, I try to (and please don’t laugh at me for this) colour-coordinate my veggies. So here I was going for a summer-y green kinda vibe… So here goes nothing:

Crustless Veggie Quiche

You will need:

1 yellow onion, cut into half-moons

4 cups of veggies (I used baby spinach, sun-dried tomatoes and spring onions)

70 g Feta Cheese

8 large Eggs

I prefer to cut all the veggies before I start actually start making the dish. Maybe that’s because for me, cutting veggies is like meditating. Is that strange? Please tell me you feel the same way… I probably enjoy doing the mise-en-place more than the actual cooking…

Anywho… You will need to chop up your veggies, however big you like the chunks in your Quiche/ Frittata to be. The only thing I would advise is cutting the onion into half-moons so you can use them as a crust – layer at the bottom of your Quiche.

So grease up your tin, place the onions kinda evenly on the bottom and put the spinach and tomatoes on top. Then I stirred the eggs with a fork, working in all the spices I wanted (I used salt, pepper, cayenne, basil and oregano) until it’s kind of a smooth mixture and just pour it into the tin. Now I took my diced feta cheese and sprinkled it all over the tin.

Now all that is left tot do is pop the whole thing in the oven for about 30-40 minutes at 180°C. Every oven is different though, so be sure to check your Quiche every few minutes after the first 30 to make sure it doesn’t burn.

Let the whole thing cool down, and sprinkle with whatever fresh herbs you have on hand. In this case I used spring onion, which added that bit of spice perfectly, but I have also made this with fresh basil or cilantro. So get creative and let me know what you decide on!

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Now this is a buckwheat salad, that literally only takes minutes to throw together. I love eating a salad, especially in the summer, but when I have a full day of work, simple greens just don’t give me enough energy… So I just add some grains in there to make it more filling. Obviously, you can just use your go-to choices of couscous, rice or quinoa, but recently I have been loving buckwheat grains, that are just that little bit more grainy… So here goes nothing:

Mediterranean Buckwheat Salad

So because I like to use everything in my kitchen and don’t believe in throwing things away that just looked good for that one photo, I used a lot of the same ingredients from the Quiche. Also, I think it’s a waste of money and if you’re on a budget, you can’t buy different expensive foods for every meal… Here is what I used:

250 g buckwheat

1 yellow ball pepper

50 g cucumber

30 g sun-dried tomatoes

30 g walnuts

80 g feta cheese

2 spring onions

1 lime

Firstly, you need to cook the buckwheat. It basically works like cooking rice and if you’re like me, and you like a bit of crunch in grains (UGH, none of that gooey stuff for me!) it only takes about 10 minutes in boiling water…

Once again, chop everything (except the lime) into the size you prefer in your salad- I tend to do quite small cubes, because I just like that consistency. But feel free to make this idea your own and tell me how you did it in the comments!

Combine everything with the juice of the lime, some soy sauce, salt and pepper, some olive oil if you like… Seriously, just go to town with the flavours you like! The only thing I would recommend you definitely use is the lime, because it just adds a very nice layer to the grains-and-veg in this salad.

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For the snacking in between, I made some beetroot houmous and fresh salsa.

The beetroot houmous is so simple, you’ll ask yourself why you don’t have more pink, creamy goodness in your life…

Beetroot Houmous

1 big cooked beet

1 can of chickpeas (mostly drained, but leave about 3-4 tbsp of the fluid)

juice of 1 lemon

2 tbsp tahini

2 cloves of garlic (minced)

6 tbsp olive oil

salt & pepper to taste

Blend all the ingredients except the olive oil until it’s a smooth mixture. Then gradually pour in the oil while stirring. Leave the blender on until the oil has completely blended in with the mixture. Fill into a glass jar and store in the fridge for up to a week.

And the salsa is, if possible, even less complicated and you can decide how hot you want it individually.

Easy Salsa

250g onions

500g tomatoes (I used mostly fresh ones, but threw in a couple of sun-dried tomatoes)

1 chili

You need to chop everything into even cubes. With the chili you can decide how hot you want to make your salsa. The seeds are the hottest part, so if you’re not that into spicy food, just leave them out.

Then roast the onions in olive oil. Put the tomatoes into the pan when it gets too hot, the liquid will deglaze the onions. Season to taste with salt, pepper, cayenne and whatever else you have on hand and like to put into your salsa. Let the mixture simmer on low heat for about 20-30 minutes.

Transfer to a glass jar, leave it open until the mixture is cooled down and then store it in the fridge for up to a week.

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Finally, I wanted to indulge my sweet tooth with these berry pancake stacks, that are super quick to whip up.

Mini Pancake Stacks with Berries

I used this Jamie Oliver pancake recipe, but used 4 eggs and a little more flour and baking powder and made dollops of about half a tablespoon instead of full sized pancakes. Then I stacked three of the mini pancakes, some mint and a berry with a toothpick.

Now be sure to put the berry on top of the stack and stab the  toothpick through from the top. If you try to slide it over the toothpick later, it will dye the the wood red. It still works, just doesn’t look as pretty. (Let’s play a game: can you spot my first two ones where that exact thing happened?)

We added a little drizzle of honey when eating them, because they are quite dry otherwise. You could also add more fruit, jam, joghurt or whipped cream depending on how healthy you need them to be… If you have any other ideas, please let me know, cause I will definitely be making these again and always like to switch things up!

Hope you liked the recipes and please tell me if you try them or have any requests.

Love, H.

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