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Dining Time-of-Day Problems

So here's the scoop. I work a second job four days a week that keeps me busy from 6-10:15. Even if I eat a light meal around 5:30, since I'm up and awake at 10:30 when I get home, I range from peckish to downright hungry at that time, especially when the weather is cold. I have to get to bed by midnight or so, since I'm up again at 5:45, so I need something quick and uncomplicated. and not too heavy.

I've been having a bowl of cereal or a bowl of soup, but am getting bored. Is there anything mildly more substantial that I can eat at that late hour that won't weigh me down when I'm trying to sleep? Ideas? Thank you.

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  1. I sometimes work till 9 and have a similar problem. Nuts, crackers and cheese, yogurt?

    2 Replies
    1. re: jadec

      I love this idea, but worry if I could restrain myself with the nuts and the cheese. :-) Yogurt and mixins sounds really nice.

      1. re: pinehurst

        If I'm hungry, and it's too close to my bedtime, I like a Go-gurt (squeezable yogurt) w/a banana and slice of buttered toast or a small bowl of plain greek yogurt w/fruit and granola. My mom usually snacks on a sliced apple w/a little cheese and a handful of pecans. She takes her snack to bed so that she isn't as tempted to go back for more.

    2. How about an egg dish like an asparagus & sun dried tomato frittata or a spinach and feta omelet? When you have time on the weekends (or whenever your day(s) off are) you can saute up a bunch of different vegetables and keep them in the fridge to throw into the fittata or omelet so you don't spend a lot of time cooking at night when you get home. What about salads? The variations there can be endless and shouldn't be too heavy before bedtime.

      1. scrambled eggs, throw out 1/2 the yolks to save some fat and feel lighter going to bed. Add it back in in the form of goat cheese about 30sec before you're through cooking the eggs. Fresh basil is nice too. Sprinkle w/ maldon salt and drizzle w/ blood orange flavored olive oil. ummm.

        2 Replies
        1. re: danna

          I like the ideas of eggs (both suggestions) but always worried about the "too heavy" bit. I always keep the "just whites" refrig. eggs in the house, so I could "cut" those into a real egg scramble. These are good ideas. Thank you. Something nice about a warm egg dish in cold weather, too.

          1. re: pinehurst

            On the egg idea, how about making a quiche and having some of that? We make a cauliflower onion version that is great nuked til we finish the pan. Easy breakfast or anytime.

        2. Maybe a bowl of hot oatmeal with a couple of mix-ins? Nuts, a scoop of nut butter, some dried fruit. It's similar to cereal, but would be warm and tasty.

          Or you could make a batch of veggie enchiladas on the weekend and heat one or two up when you get home.

          1 Reply
          1. re: gator28

            Of course, I will now be hitting the awful Taco Bell drive thru for some faux-Mex because you said "enchilada". But that is a great cooking idea for Sunday.

          2. What about a smoothie? Lighter end food and pre ground so a bit less possibly for your stomach to handle.

            I like popcorn personally though =)

            1. PB&J made with one slice of bread?

              1. i have class after work 2 nights a week, and i don't get home until around 9:30 PM, and i'm up again at 5:30 AM. i like to freeze low-fat yogurts, and they freeze to an italian ice like consistency. it's light, healthy, feels like ice-cream, and takes a little while to eat so it satisfies that noshing desire.

                1. I like to toast a piece of sourdough bread and then top it with a very thin slice of good cheddar or Swiss cheese. I often add a Claussen dill pickle spear on the side.

                  1. You can do a light pasta with veggies and/or meats. Not a huge bowl, but a nice one-dish combo of starch, veggies and protein. You can also cook up a batch of white rice earlier in the week and then do a quick fried rice dish with your choice of veggies and protein.

                    I like to do simple tacos as well. Just cube up some decent beef, throw it on a grill pan with some onions and maybe peppers, squeeze a little lime over it, and then put it inside a couple of tortillas with a little hot sauce, some cilantro and avocado/guacamole.

                    The key to keeping all three of these options light is portion control. Doing a small batch will keep you from overeating and feeling bloated, and since you are cooking, you are probably not going to want to do the whole thing again for seconds.

                    Keep some fruit on hand if you still want something afterward. Or, if you have willpower, buy/make some small desserts to satisfy the sweet tooth. A little ice cream, a two-bite brownie... For me, I need to put it in a dish or on a plate, then I can keep to a single serving. If I bring out the carton of ice cream and a spoon, I may eat the whole thing, if I dish a scoop into a bowl and then put the rest away, I will stick with the single scoop.

                    1. i work mostly nights and i just can't sleep if i eat before bed. i have trained myself to simply eat enough at 5:00. i get home closer to midnight, so don't want to be screwing around in the kitchen either, since i am back up at 7:00. i used to eat when i came home at night and since stopping this i have lost some weight.

                      if i am famished, i have a piece of flax toast with butter. that's it, lol.

                      1. Hi all

                        I am printing out this post and sticking it to my cupboard. I simply lack the willpower to do some of these things...like just a little ice cream, or just a smoothie. I do like the idea of toast, or an open face PBJ since it's easy and I'm pretty exhausted by that time...also the Claussen pickle idea...I love me some pickles. Thanks y'all!