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Need a cheap, easy & healthy snack for a large crowd

jcattles Dec 14, 2011 10:22 AM

I'd like to bring some goodies to work for my co-workers to snack on for the holidays. Right now I'm drawing a blank, my usual choices aren't going to work. I'll be setting the dish in a common area & we have about 100 or so employees who might be stopping by to get some. Peanuts or tree nuts are out of the question. I'd like something healthy so no cookies, cake, candy. Another lady will be bringing a vegi tray with dip. Another co-worker makes amazing salsa so that's a no also. I don't want to have to keep anything warm, a plug in is not anywhere near & an extension cord would be in the way. Oh & I don't want to spend a fortune or an entire day preparing it.

Some fun parameters huh?

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    adido RE: jcattles Dec 14, 2011 10:31 AM

    Herbed, spiced or truffled pop corn (you can bring dixie cups and a serving spoon for sanitary distribution)
    "gourmet" chex mix where you pick the flavor profile and mix-ins
    Homemade trail mix

    5 Replies
    1. re: adido
      jcattles RE: adido Dec 14, 2011 10:56 AM

      Chex mix is a great idea. I just googled it, who knew there were so many varieties? Crazy...

      I like the idea of the spiced popcorn too.


      1. re: jcattles
        adido RE: jcattles Dec 14, 2011 01:01 PM

        You're welcome. Have a great time.

        1. re: jcattles
          karykat RE: jcattles Dec 14, 2011 02:21 PM

          The popcorn was what came to my mind first too.

          Places here sell little combos of plain, cheesy and caramelly. Together they are positively addictive. In fact, that would make nice holiday gifts.

          I don't have a recipe for making the variants, but there must be millions.

          1. re: jcattles
            chowser RE: jcattles Dec 14, 2011 03:41 PM

            I love the chex mix ideas and wanted to add it would be nice if you put little servings in bags. That way people can take it with them and they won't be digging into a big bowl.

          2. re: adido
            sandylc RE: adido Dec 19, 2011 08:04 PM

            Re: Chex mix - you can get the cereals at Trader Joe's - better quality, less $$$$$

          3. monavano RE: jcattles Dec 14, 2011 03:51 PM

            Hummus with whole grain pita chips.
            Hummus= canned chickpeas (drained), tahini, lemon juice, evoo, salt. Additions include feta cheese and a jar of peeled red peppers/pimentos (I get thee at my Dollar Store).
            To keep it even healthier, I add water to think it out to my desired consistency, instead of more and more evoo.

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              Jeserf RE: jcattles Dec 14, 2011 04:38 PM

              what about a quinoa salad? I've made a large "tex-mex" quinoa salad with peppers, cilantro, corn, black beans, etc and it was a huge hit. It stays very well at room temperature because there's no cheese - I just made a dressing of lime juice and some oil

              1. l
                LisaPA RE: jcattles Dec 15, 2011 08:32 PM

                Baba ghanouj is super easy - same ingredients as hummus, just sub roasted eggplant for the chickpeas. Get several big eggplants, roast all at the same time, whiz flesh with tahini, lemon, garlic and a touch of parsley.

                Pasta salad with a vinaigrette would also be good - no worries about mayo.

                1. Harmy RE: jcattles Dec 15, 2011 08:37 PM

                  Mm. I think popcorn is a great idea because almost everyone knows what it is. Heaven forbid you work hard on hummus / baba ghanouj and some people be afraid to touch it.

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                    luciaannek RE: jcattles Dec 16, 2011 12:46 PM

                    I love citrus salads! Here's a link to two NYT videos on them.



                    I think they're very elegant and they make you look at citrus differently.

                    1. Emme RE: jcattles Dec 16, 2011 08:18 PM

                      i know you said no sweets, but i'd consider doing healthy mini muffins - savory or sweet. use cooked quinoa to up the protein; sub in some wheat germ; sub out some of the fat with a low or nonfat greek yogurt. add in some fibrous things... or do something seasonal like pumpkin. just a thought.

                      on the savory end, just do a few sheet trays of frittata. great served room temp. you can cut it into squares, petit four sized or larger, and moderate your expense by your filling choices. and you can use reduced fat milk and fewer egg yolks to moderate health factor.

                      1. e
                        ErnieD RE: jcattles Dec 16, 2011 08:57 PM

                        Roasted garbanzos? They're incredibly satisfying and you can spice however you like. Most of my versions build on cumin, but I think you could do almost anything, including a cinnamon base which would be holiday-ish.

                        1. e
                          ellaf RE: jcattles Dec 19, 2011 12:53 PM

                          a couple of crates of clementines.

                          1. goodhealthgourmet RE: jcattles Dec 19, 2011 05:49 PM

                            Ernie & Emme beat me to the spiced roasted chickpeas & frittata (respectively).

                            my other top choice would be firm polenta - cut into rounds, diamonds or squares - and topped with pesto, mushroom ragout or duxelles, sun-dried tomato & white bean dip, caponata, tapenade, herbed ricotta...

                            or dips with an assortment of homemade or store-bought baked chips:

                            1. r
                              Rhee RE: jcattles Dec 21, 2011 07:07 AM

                              Deviled eggs. Most people love them. Or small rounds or squares of bread with egg salad, tuna salad, ham salad, cheese, etc. on top. Sandwich squares of any type.

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