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Help me have new new answers when husband complains that all we have are ingredients - and nothing to actually "eat"!

OK - So i mostly cook from scratch and have fully stocked pantry. And every week I buy fruit, veggies, meat, etc.... My husband's main complaint is that all we have are ingredients - and nothing to eat or snack on. And sometimes it is true!! I try to stay away from processed junk food, so we have little snack food. And after cooking throughout the day, I'm usually not in the mood to make something else. What do you all make/buy to snack on that can last a while? Last week I made some hummus and cut up some veggies to have. And we usually have fixins for some quick nachos. And if I have extra energy I will make some cookies. But other than that I am at a loss. I need some things that I can store that need little to prep and that aren't horrible for you! HELP!

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  1. Not new, but cheese is my favorite snack food! My fridge is filled with several varieties that we snack on. While dinner is being cooked, I bring out some cheese, pepperoni, olives, hot peppers and nuts for snacking.

    1 Reply
    1. re: choco_lab38

      Totally perfect! I seem to always have TOO many cheese (well, you can't really have too much c heese, can you?) in the fridge. I also make a tapenade in the FP of capers, oil packed sun dried tomatoes, kalamata olives (I buy them al at Costco so it's on hand and cheap), add a small minced clove of garlic and however much olive oil you want. Can be served on anything --- including my finger :)

    2. That is usually My complaint as well and I'm the one who plans the shopping list and menus. My suggestion is to make more food then you need for the meals you're cooking so that you will have some leftovers. Meats can be sliced for sandwiches, pasta dishes can nuked in a second or two.... Also, crackers, cheese, jarred salsas, carrots, celery, radishes can be brought into play as needed.

      1. - cheese with whole-grain crackers or crispbread
        - string cheese with a piece of fruit
        - spiced, roasted chickpeas or nuts...or make your own "snack mix"
        - roasted, in-shell pumpkin seeds
        - popcorn
        - slices of deli turkey or chicken
        - low- or nonfat Greek yogurt topped with fruit or whole-grain cereal
        - a bowl of whole-grain cereal makes a great snack
        - steamed edamame pods
        - think beyond hummus for bean dips - white bean, black bean, pinto bean, edamame - serve with raw veggies, baked tortilla or pita chips, rice crackers, or chips made from baked wonton wrappers
        - nut or seed butter with celery, carrots, apple or pear slices for dipping
        - bean & corn salad
        - quinoa salad

        1. Depends on what you like to snack on. Nuts are a favorite for me. Also, I have found that some cereals are good snack foods. There is a sweet version of Shredded Wheat that is quite good for snacking. If you want healthful, I suggest a bag of baby carrots.

          3 Replies
          1. re: sueatmo

            Sueatmo mentions shredded wheat....there are low-sodium Triscuits now..."Hint of Salt"---they are really great and filling..I know it's a processed cracker but it is made from shredded wheat. If that's not an option, you could always make your own pita chips from whole wheat pita pockets. Popcorn as someone already mentioned, so cheap and easy to make in the microwave without any fats if you so choose. I spray mine while hot with Bragg Liquid Aminos and then shake on some nutritional yeast--perfect! (for me, anyway)

            1. re: sueatmo

              Kelloggs chocolate mini wheats are better than candy!

              1. re: coll

                She said no processed junk, though.

                For something sweet, how about some homemade trail mix with some good quality chocolate chips?

            2. I cook from scratch as well; and still spend a lot of time working (cause its so much fun!). So I also cook and prepare things ahead of time to be able to come up with a meal for guests (or just my daughter and me) at a minute's notice. So in the ref or freezer:

              1. Tubs of homemade yogurt (ref; sauces, dessert, or breakfast).
              2. Sausages (ref; pre-nuked to remove excess oil)
              3. French carrot soup (freezer and ref)
              4. Cooked beans (freezer and ref; different preps)
              5. Lentil stews (freezer and ref)
              6. A healthy hearty homemade version of "jarred" pasta sauce (ref)
              7. Pre-cooked al dente pasta (ref)
              8. Usually a cut up roast chicken or two (ref)
              9. Fish (fillets and streaks, freezer)
              10. Tortillas (brought back from Mexico, Guatemala; freezer)
              11. Then, like you, I have on hand eggs, breads, cheeses, ground meat, canned tuna, canned corn, canned sardines, anchovies, caviar, smoked eel, rice, flour, polenta, masa harina, nori, aburage, bonito flakes, hondashi, potatoes, all types of fruit and vegetables, fish sauce, hoisin, toasted sesame oil, tomato paste, spices (including those to make curries), ginger, garlic, miso, tamarind, chiles ... you name it.

              With the above I can make at least 300 different quick and good pick up meals. My daughter just had: one egg beaten mixed with French carrot soup, finely cut up cooked gizzards, spagetti noodles - microwaved until the egg was cooked and topped with Asian scallions from the balcony. You can make quick pasta dishes, all manner of salads, omeletes, beans or lentils with rice, sandwiches (including toasted cheese in the press), latkes, cookies, cakes, crumbles, sushi, tacos, enchiladas, tamale pie, chicken pot pie, stir fries, curries, Mexican and Thai and Japanese dishes - including many soups, and much, much more.

              Much more - maybe in a following post.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                I'm falling over the chair laughing at your list.... You're such a showoff.
                OTOH.... that Is quite a lot of food for snacking. I think her DH would be very pleased if all that were in their pantry!

                1. re: Gio

                  Truth be told, Joe, I often don't want to really cook when dear friends are around for a short time. An old buddy, Nick, came down last weekend, from work he is doing in Bogota. He - an Englishman with a Colombian wife who now live(s) in Vermont - had only 36 hours in Cali before going back to Bogota. For dinner the first night (and after visiting his MIL) I made tom yam gaa (Thai chicken soup using the range of ingredients including frozen coconut milk and shredded roasted chicken) and a basmati rice. The second night I made an instant pasta dish using my jarred sauce, my pre-cooked pasta, and lots of the (precious!) grated Pecorino Romano carefully hoarded in the ref. The salad had multiple greens and tomato and red onion and a red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, olive oil, touch of sugar dressing; and dessert was yogurt, local blackberries, and honey! We had lots of time to talk. Dinners (and other meals) were good, with plenty of time to establish old ties [and not showoff].

                  Hugs, Joe!

                  1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                    Priceless Sam.... Food of the gods! OOO.

                  2. re: Gio

                    But, of course, I am a showoff! Always have been, always will be!