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

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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  1. 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

      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

        You're welcome. Have a great time.

        1. re: jcattles

          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

            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

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

          3. 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.

            1. 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. 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. 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.

                  1. 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. 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. 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. a couple of crates of clementines.

                          1. 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. 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.