If I had a dollar for every ‘back to school’ photo I saw on Facebook this week, I’d be pretty rich today. While I don’t have children, this time of year always reminds me of the importance of a well balanced lunch and healthy snacking. And by ‘this time of year’ I mean, all of the back to school photos that I have been seeing.
I like to pack a lunch to bring to the office every day and I try to include healthy foods that will keep me fueled throughout the day. I’m also really big on small snacks throughout the day so I try to find healthy options to avoid hitting up the vending machine. I like to snack on things like Greek yogurt, granola bars and Mini Babybel cheeses.
Not only are Mini Babybel cheeses healthy and delicious snacks, they also can provide your family with 5-6 grams of protein and 15-20% of their daily calcium needs. The other great thing about these little cheeses is that they have less than 80 calories! Perfect for healthy snacking!
I like to pack a Mini Babybel Light or Mozzarella along with my lunch for an added boost of protein. This Santa Fe Quinoa Salad is also a great way to incorporate whole grains and protein into your diet. It’s low in calories and will help keep you full all throughout the day.
What are some of your favorite ways to Snack and Little Bigger?
- 1½ cups quinoa (small disk-shaped seeds)*
- 1½ cups cooked black beans, rinsed if canned
- 1½ tablespoons red-wine vinegar
- 1½ cups cooked corn (cut from about 2 large ears)
- ¾ cup finely chopped green bell pepper
- 2 pickled jalapeño chilies, seeded and minced
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh coriander
- For dressing
- 5 tablespoons fresh lime juice, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1¼ teaspoons ground cumin, or to taste
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- In a bowl wash quinoa in at least 5 changes cold water, rubbing grains and letting them settle before pouring off most of water, until water runs clear and drain in a large fine sieve.
- In a saucepan of salted boiling water cook quinoa 10 minutes. Drain quinoa in sieve and rinse under cold water. Set sieve over a saucepan of boiling water (quinoa should not touch water) and steam quinoa, covered with a kitchen towel and lid, until fluffy and dry, about 10 minutes (check water level in kettle occasionally, adding water if necessary).
- While quinoa is cooking, in a small bowl toss beans with vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.
- Transfer quinoa to a large bowl and cool. Add beans, corn, bell pepper, jalapeños, and coriander and toss well.
- Make dressing: In a small bowl whisk together lime juice, salt, and cumin and add oil in a stream, whisking.
- Drizzle dressing over salad and toss well with salt and pepper to taste. Salad may be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Bring salad to room temperature before serving.
Disclaimer: While I was compensated for this post, all opinions expressed are my own.