Archive | Healthy Snacks

Tomato and Avocado Toast with Balsamic Syrup

Avocado Toast



Hard to believe there was a time I didn’t like them.  When I was younger they seemed weirdly textured, even more weirdly colored, and devoid of taste.  At that time the avocado hadn’t achieved the status it has today, being used primarily for guacamole and not much else.  Even then, the guacamole served in most restaurants was slimy-not the chunky, complex versions of today.

I just finished reading several reviews of Gwyneth Paltrow’s new cookbook, It’s all Easy:  Delicious Weekday Recipes for the Super-Busy Home Cook.  Apparently, it’s a visually beautifully book with overly simple recipes-good for some, but not necessarily for experienced cooks.  Although I haven’t check it out firsthand, one particular reviewer stated they were disappointed to find  several pages  solely dedicated to making avocado toast.  Don’t get me wrong-I like Gwyneth more than the internet does on most days.  I own one of her previous cookbooks, It’s all Good, and I’ve even made a few things from it (it’s been a while, though); however, I acquired the book primarily for the stunning photography by Ditte Isager.

The real question is this:  Do we really need a recipe for avocado toast?

I make avocado toast a lot.  Like, A WHOLE LOT. It’s filling, good for you, and, as with eggs, it can be dressed up pretty nicely and stand in for any meal.    This variation elevates the toast by the addition of tomatoes and an easy to make balsamic syrup that can also be used with other dishes, such as grilled vegetables and salad dressings.

Just for laughs…a love letter to Gwyneth Paltrow’s luxurious cookbook sweaters


Tomato and Avocado Balsamic Toast


  • 2 pieces multigrain bread, toasted to preference
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Make the balsamic syrup: Heat the vinegar in a small saucepan over low heat until it is reduced to 3-4 Tablespoons. Keep an eye on it-once it starts reducing it cooks fast and I have burned it a time or two. Remove from heat and pour in a small bowl or dish to cool while you assemble your toast.

Layer each piece of toast with avocado and a pinch of red pepper. You can slice the avocado if you want it to be pretty, or simply mash and spread with a fork impatiently like me. Top with tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle the vinegar over the toast. Enjoy perfection!


Healthy Snack Series: Chocolate Chia Pudding with Coconut Cream

chocolate chia puddingLet’s wrap up this series with something decadent, shall we?

I’ve talked before about the benefits of chia seeds and why you should try to work them into your diet everyday.  I buy them in bulk and have sprinkled them on oatmeal, granola, and salads,  but this dessert? So rich, delicious and easy to make!  Just mix it up and forget about it while it thickens in the refrigerator.  The consistency is similar to tapioca pudding.  Using coconut cream as whipped cream keeps it vegan and gives it a rich coconut taste, but you can sub in regular whipped cream (homemade, please!  Sheesh!).  I use Trader Joe’s coconut cream in this recipe, but you could also use full fat coconut milk.  Just stick it in the fridge for a couple of hours and open in upside down to use only the solid part for whipped cream.  The great thing about TJ’s coconut cream is that it is so thick and solid, it doesn’t separate and you can use the entire can.

Makes 2 servings or 1 super-indulgent serving (I won’t tell!) Continue Reading →


Healthy Snack Series: Homemade Trail Mix

Trail MixHave you ever bought a bag of trail mix at a grocery or convenience store and picked out a particular nut you didn’t care for?  Or maybe it was so full of sugar that it wasn’t really the best snack option.

Don’t do that anymore.  Make it yourself.  Trail mix travels well, is a great snack in the afternoon, and is easy to personalize to include only the things you really like.

I keep a variety of dried fruit and nuts stored in Mason jars and you should consider it, too.  You may be surprised at how much you will use them once you keep a supply on hand.  Not only can you use them for the obvious-homemade granola and energy bars-but you can change up the types of nuts you use in savory dishes, as well.  I prefer to buy in bulk from Mom’s Organic Market and one of these days I will do a post on basic bulk kitchen staples you should consider stocking up. Continue Reading →


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