Avoiding the snack black hole AND a delicious flavor combination

While the best way to avoid that ravenous I-could-eat-a-horse feeling that many of us somehow succumb to upon re-entry to the house after work is to eat a small meal or snack every 3-4 hours; there are times when this simply doesn’t work.  Like when you’re not allowed to eat on the job, or when you forget your lunch at home and you’re a stingy tight-fisted broke student just tryna get by. Luckily, I have a solution.

When this horrible affliction attacks, it’s best to keep your wits about you.  Instead of downing the first thing you see, which is somehow always chocolate chips or something else deliciously high in sugar or fat (but not too much of it because that would be bad), and realizing a few minutes later that that won’t fill you up, so going to chow down on something else, then following it up with yet another not-quite-a-full-snack item (but I really wanted 1.5 tablespoons of plain Chobani!); you must resist.  Be strong, and walk into the house with a plan.

Of course, this plan must be three things:

1. satisfying

2. nutritionally sound

3. delicious, complete with italics.

#1 is easy: all nutritionists know that protein, fiber, and fat are what keeps a person feeling full.  So to satisfy that requirement, we’ll just include these three nutrients.  #3 is pretty easy too, though it varies by person.  Me, I like a little somethin’ sweet every now and then, but with some nice umami flavor in there as well.  And texture – I’ve gotta have something nice and chewy, crunchy, or grainy to get that feeling like I’m truly treating myself to something wonderful.  My teeth have got to do some sinkin’ in.  #2…well, sometimes it’s not as easy to meet these requirements and keep the nutrition in check.  Unfortunately, a handful of chocolate chips, peanuts, and pretzels, though it satisfies #1 and #3 leaves a little something to be desired nutritionally.

Lucky for you, I have this problem solved.

Through the magic that is the weight loss team at Elmwood Fitness, I have recently been introduced to the La Tortilla Factory brand of low-carb, high-fiber tortillas and wraps that are actually made with whole grains (not just isolated fiber junk like chickory root and inulin)!  Obviously, I had to try the product so I purchased myself a 10-pack of the 50-calorie original whole wheat kind

My stroke of snacking genius didn’t come until later though, and it required me to break out of a very sticky rut: the peanut butter rut.  I have been reluctant to branch out to other nut butters when I love my Teddy Superchunky so darn much, but it had to be done.  So, after a tasting of Honeycrisp apples (shout out to Sophia!) with roasted almond butter at Fresh Market on St Charles, I decided to grab myself some fresh ground almond butter.

I also got some ginormous Comice pears because they were on sale.

So, here’s where the genius comes.  Instead of walking in the house and eating everything you’ve got, you know that you’re going to go in there and create the world’s most delicious, satisfying, post-work treat that will nourish both your soul and body!  How are you gonna do that, you ask?  Well, by using a classic format (pizza) to convey an incredible flavor combo (pear-almond-cinnamon)!  High fives all around.

Pear-Almond-Cinnamon Personal Snack Pizza

– 1 La Tortilla Factory Original Whole Wheat tortilla

– 1/4 comice pear (or any other pear) sliced super thin

– 2T roasted almond butter

– cinnamon to taste

– ginger to taste

BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING: heat a small skillet on medium.  No need for spray or grease or anything like that.

First, you’ll need to do your slicing, and make it beautiful.  This is, after all, a masterpiece of culinary genius and care must be taken to keep the slices even.  I won’t tell if you eat one.

Second, spread that almond butter on your tortilla.  The roasted flavor goes a long way, so as long as you’ve got enough to cover it, you’ll be fine.  Gobs and gobs (like the amount of peanut butter that is required for a PBJ) are not necessary.  Sprinkle the almond butter with cinnamon.

Arrange those gorgeous pear slices on top of your tortilla, sprinkle with a bit of ginger.  Pears and ginger love each other

Slide the whole deal into your hot pan.  You just want to keep it in there long enough for the tortilla to get a little bit crispy, so that when you cut it into slices you don’t get pear slices flopping in your lap as you go to take a bite.  The almond butter will get nice and melty, and you’ll smell the spices (especially the ginger) wafting through the air as it heats.

Try not to salivate on the pizza until it’s actually in your mouth, but just know this is way better than any half-assed snack thrown together in a hunger driven cabinet raid.

NUTRITION INFO

Calories 253, Fat 17.2g, Sat Fat 1g, Carb 23.7g, Fiber 11.3g,  Sugar 6.6g, Protein 12.2g

With sky-high fiber and protein, and a huge boost of healthy fats, this snack is an all-star option for packing in the nutrition.  Speaking from experience, I felt like I was getting a huge treat which kept me from even thinking of grabbing anything else to munch on between snack and dinner.  Instead of feeling kind of satisfied, I felt as though I had indulged in a wonderful treat!  This will be making many an appearance in the post-work snack rotation!

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