As we were first settling into our new life as a family of five, there was a lot of snack food consumption going on around here. Pretzels, granola bars, tortilla chips, crackers… I loaded our cupboards with quick and easy foods because well, they were quick and easy. I stuck with foods that weren’t awful, but I wouldn’t classify them as The World’s Healthiest Foods either.
Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do. We were fortunate to have friends and family bring us plenty of meals in those early weeks, but it’s possible there were afternoons where we had air popped popcorn and graham crackers smeared with almond butter for lunch.
These days, there is not an abundance of time for food prep. I know I’m not the only one who feels pressed for time, we’ve all got lives that are full whether you’ve got a baby on your hip or not. I will say though that I look back now and wonder what on EARTH I use to do with all my time. These days I’m washing my hair while simultaneously scrubbing the bathtub with the scouring pads I’ve strapped to the bottom of my feet. Or at least that’s what I tell myself I’m going to do once I’ve bounced, rocked and walked Kaz to sleep for the fifth time in one day.
I figured out long ago that in order to avoid processed, packaged snack attacks, you have to beat them to them to punch. I need salty, savory foods that are easy and ready to eat, but healthy too. So yeah, that means finding time to prep some good tasting vegetables to be eaten quickly and easily later. Set an intention and you will find the time you need. The bathtub? That can wait. My stomach is less patient.
Right now it’s roasted veggies to the rescue! Sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts roasted in coconut oil are current regulars around here now that it’s starting to cool down outside and I don’t mind turning up the heat inside. (That is, my oven. Not my furnace. I do not roast vegetables in my furnace.) With just a small time investment for prep, we’ll have future fast food for snacks and sides once the oven does its thing.
Two sweet potatoes,
plus two pounds of Brussels sprouts,
and a two month old who almost always wakes up juuuust before I’ve finished up my Brussels sprout trimming and slicing.
Yes, the same thing happened when I was making salsa. Welcome to the Department of Redundancy Department.
Pre-heat the oven to 375, dice up your potatoes and slice your sprouts, toss them all in a couple of tablespoons of melted coconut oil (or olive oil), salt to taste and bake until soft. I don’t set the timer, I just poke them both with a fork and flip them around with a spatula every 10 to 15 minutes until they are at the desired level of roasted-ness. (P.S., the Brussels sprouts were done first.)
While we’re waiting for our veggies to roast, we do fun stuff. Like practice holding up our head,
and smiling real big!
Before we know it, it’s snack time!
No protein for this snack (fail.), but at least it’s nutrient dense (win!) and plenty satisfying thanks to the coconut oil. Sometimes I sprinkle this dish with hemp seeds for protein but today I was out. I take my wins where I can get them. I’ll win at protein next time.
I love that I can cook both of these at the same time, and I especially like that these both hold up well as leftovers. This means that I can make a large quantity all at once and not worry about anything going to waste because it got mushy and gross overnight. Whether it’s an easy snack eaten cold straight from the fridge, reheated if you’ve got a minute, or as a quick already-made side dish for dinner, these guys never fail to disappear around here.
Having good choices readily available is my key to being able to more easily bypass less healthier options I might have laying around. Not buying those less healthier options in the first place makes it even easier, but let’s just take our wins where we can get them.