summer

Final Summer Snack Attack

Well, it’s official. With Labor Day weekend on the horizon, our last days of sweet, sweet summer are numbered. I mean you might as well be spending your weekends digging out those moth-eaten sweaters because once August is over, you know its time to hunker down in your home and watch the days get shorter. Not depressed yet? You should be. All that is standing between you and a pair of long underwear is a mere 2-3 months. So this is a call to all you ‘could-be-more-tan’ people – get out there and soak up the final days of summer.

There’s a very real possibility this coming weekend could be my final trip to the beach for the season. In that spirit, I give you my summer beach snacks! Pick up a bag of ice, clean out that cooler, and load it up with some delicious, refreshing and nutritious snacks. You will be all set for hours of leisure time without ever feeling pangs of guilt or hunger. These nom noms are perfect for the beach, pool, lake, river, swamp or local watering hole.

THR’s Healthy Summer Snack Attack

  • Aged White Cheddar Pirates Booty
  • Hummus with Sea Salt Pita Chips, Carrot Sticks and Cucumber Slices
  • Watermelon Slices (leave the rind on for easier eating)
  • Pineapple (take some toothpicks for clean hands)
  • Snyder’s of Hanover Mini Pretzels
  • Mini Babybel Cheese Wheels, Light or Original (wrapped in wax, safe unrefrigerated for 2-4 hours)
  • Raw, Unsalted Nuts
Image from google.com

Image from google.com

Summer Barley Bowl

THR is back! Not that it went anywhere, but I’m sure a one week hiatus left you all pretty worried. It’s been a busy week for yours truly, what with a trip home and a nonstop work schedule for the last couple of weeks. In case you were wondering what my trip looked like back to the Midwest – please just see below.

Photo Credit: Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LDN

Photo Credit: Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LDN

Yeah, all I ate was BBQ. If you’re ever in St. Louis be sure to hit up Pappy’s Smokehouse. This fine establishment opens at 11am and closes when they run out of succulent smoked meat – seriously. So when I returned from my long journey home, there was only one thing to do: reintroduce myself to plant foods. Thus was born this beautiful Summer Barley Bowl.

Temperatures are rising out there and cool, light foods are where it’s at! This is a dinner that won’t heat up your kitchen or weigh you down as the summer nights get longer. In an effort to think outside the rice bowl, I used an alternative whole grain – barley. Do not be intimidated by this lovely grain, it cooks up just like rice and turns out a meatier product than its step sister rice. Feel free to experiment with this recipe. Enjoy my dear readers!

Photo Credit: Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LDN

Photo Credit: Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LDN

Summer Barely Bowl

Serves 2

Lemon Yogurt
1 (6 oz) nonfat, plain Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 heaping tablespoon chopped chives
salt

Barley
3/4 cup dry quick-cooking barley
2 tablespoons fat-free ricotta
1 ounce light feta

1 can chickpeas, drained
Olive oil
Pepper

Toppings:
Pea shoots
2 tablespoon toasted slivered almonds
1 small avocado, sliced
1/2 English cucumber, sliced
Fresh parsley, chopped

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit

Combine lemon yogurt ingredients, cover and chill while you prepare the rest of the bowl components.

Photo Credit: Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LDN

Photo Credit: Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LDN

Place chickpeas in an 8×8 baking dish, drizzle with a little olive oil and season with pepper. Place in preheated oven and roast for ~30 minutes, stirring halfway through. Remove from oven and set aside.

Prepare quick-cooking barley according to directions. Once cooked, fold in feta and ricotta cheese.

Divide barley evenly between two bowls. Top with chickpeas, cucumber, pea shoots, almonds, avocado and parsley. Top with a dollop of yogurt and serve.