Take advantage of the latest hot product at the grocery store – naan. The flatbread, most commonly associated with the cooking of India, is enjoying newfound popularity at the grocery store. Readily available in pre-packaged form, the tear-dropped shape bread comes in flavors such as whole wheat and garlic. Like Boboli before it, naan is the trendiest way to put a new spin on pizza – a blank canvas for whatever the creative cook can dream up.
Dress it up with any combination of ingredients and blanket the whole mixture with cheese or use naan as a platform to showcase melted cheese, much like a grilled cheese sandwich. Try pepper jack, Monterey Jack, provolone or mozzarella combined with other favorites such as Parmesan and Asiago.
In Indian and Central Asian cooking, flatbreads are as common as biscuits and cornbread in the South. Traditionally, naan is baked in a small dried clay oven where a hot fire heats the inside walls. The dough is thrown against the walls where it sticks and bakes. The experienced baker chooses just the right moment to pull it out of the oven – when it’s browned and bubbly – and before it slides onto the ground. The main difference between naan and other flatbreads is in the cooking: a skillet instead of an oven. In some countries, yogurt is added to the flour in naan to soften the texture of the final product.
Although you can serve naan plain, cooks have found a way to pair the ethnic food with a gourmet taste of America, similar to the upscale taco craze. You’ll find naan topped with everything from barbecued chicken and smoked Gouda, to roasted vegetables and Gruyere, to smoked salmon and cream cheese.
Because few of us have a tandoori oven in the backyard, you can slide the naan onto a grill, or you can pop it in the oven. It’s delicious any way you do it.
Need a little inspiration on what to eat for snacks throughout the day, or even at night? Here are few ideas to get your brain going.
If you like it COLD
Try some KEFIR, a yogurt drink. It comes in several flavors, plus a plain version. Drink it by itself (it’s like a thin milkshake) or use it as the base for your shakes. Add strawberries and a little bit of honey. You will have a tasty protein shake that is full probiotics and vitamin C.
Freeze some fresh blueberries. You can even top them with a little light or fat-free whipped cream. Blueberries are a great source of vitamin C and fiber.
As an alternative to ice cream, how about putting yogurt (or a homemade smoothie) into an ice cube tray and freezing it. The cubes will get “slushy”.
If you like it SALTY
Grab a hard pretzel, twist or stick. These are a better choice then potato chips. Have a few with some peanut butter or some dark chocolate.
Experiment with different crackers. Look for a brand called “Mary’s Gone Crackers”. Their stuff is amazing, and is whole grain, no gluten, no trans fats. Very different flavor and EXTREMELY crunchy. Wasa is another brand to try. Hummus, Laughing Cow, or lowfat cream cheese are great spreads to put on these.
Make a quick quesadilla. Use a corn or flour tortilla (corn is lower in fat) and sprinkle with a shredded cheese blend, like Mexican or cheddar jack. Microwave for about 12 seconds. Roll up and eat. Dip in salsa if you like! These are great for breakfast, too, especially if you add a scrambled egg.
Popcorn!! I think pan popped is the best, but use as little oil as possible. The microwave versions are so dang tricky with their labels it’s exhausting to find one that is actually low fat AND has good taste. Regardless, be creative with what you sprinkle on the popcorn. It doesn’t have to be salt. Try pepper or chili powder. How about cinnamon?
If you like it SWEET
Get some Greek Yogurt, I like Façe. But Dannon, Stonyfield, or Brown Cow are great, also. Use plain or vanilla and add your own fruit, maybe even a little honey. These tend to be good sources of protein and are good for the evening snack.
There is nothing wrong with DARK chocolate. A little bit goes a long way. Get some that is 70% or higher in cacao. Dark chocolate is high in antioxidants and lower in sugar than regular chocolate. Also great with a few roasted almonds.
Have you tried figs? Get them fresh or dried. They are sticky and sweet and high in fiber. They go great with cheese, honey, yogurt, and chocolate. Pick your combo!
Do you have some great snack ideas to share? Please post them here or on the Rudog fanpage.
Incorporating lots of salads into the daily eating plan is a great way to add some bulk, some vitamins, and some color, but it’s easy to get caught up in the same old salad bag routine which just becomes boring. Spice it up a little bit for some variety and interest. This little “recipe” is a super easy way to add some protein, fiber and flavor with VERY LITTLE fat.
Take a mixed green salad bag and add the following:
1 cup of canned black beans (you can warm these before adding)
1 cup of canned mexican style corn
Crunchy tortilla strips…I like blue ones….to sprinkle on top
Salsa or pico de gallo
Lime juice from a fresh lime
You could always top with grilled chicken breast or fish, but this is great as is. You could also top with sliced jicama for additional crunch, in place of the tortilla strips.
See how to find in regular food the nutrients we typically obtain from supplementation. See some of the most nutrient-dense foods you can have in your kitchen, and know how they can promote your muscle gains.