This portable, affordable protein is a must-eat for anyone looking to lose a few. Why? Canned tuna is a prime source of a specific omega-3 fatty acid, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which has been shown to "turn off" fat genes in the abdomen, preventing belly fat cells from growing larger. To keep calories to a minimum, skip the mayo and instead add a few cranks of ground pepper, a splash of balsamic vinegar and serve the fish over a bed of greens—super filling, yet low-cal.
Known for being a cheap staple, rice and beans is a classic lazy person’s meal that’s also good for you! Brown rice is packed with hardy nutrients and can be made in large batches to last for a few days worth of meals. If you don’t have the time to cook rice on the stove, opt for using instant. Although the texture will be different, this is still a healthier option for the time-crunched than processed foods and breads. Beans make a killer counterpart to rice as they are incredibly cheap and will keep you full for hours. Black beans, kidney beans, chickpeas or black-eyed peas are all quality options and are easy because you can buy them in a can. Make sure to rinse them well before using. Check out this White Bean Wild Rice Hash or this Cilantro, Lime and Black Bean Rice for either a side dish or a main course, and see Easy Ways to Spruce Up Classic Rice and Beans for more help to those feeling lackadaisical.
Eating a snack between meals helps curb your hunger so that you don't inhale your dinner when you finally sit down to eat a meal. Snacking can also help you get in all the nutrients you need. On the flip side, grazing all day-particularly on foods with little nutritional value-may result in eating too much. It's a great idea to shop for snacks at the grocery store and pack them for work so you are prepared when hunger strikes. Many of these are also great on-the-go snack options.
There are an abundance of pleasant palates that vegetarian snacks can placate, so the selection below is but a small sample. These recipes focus on collations that fit the needs of most vegetarians, however, these recipes are NOT vegan. For more options that DO meet the dietary restrictions for vegans, as well as more recommended vegetarian recipes, check out our vegan recipe page, and find additional ideas for vegetarian plates (that are not vegan) on our vegetarian recipe pages.
I don’t use nutritional yeast any more. It’s like $20 a bag full here in Tasmania (that’s IF you can find it in the first place). I made a tapioca based cheese and it sat in the fridge as Steve wasn’t keen on it but then in my “waste not want not” phase, I decided to throw it into a batch of bechamel and again, it was amazing. Sometimes it’s not the product that is wonderful but how you can use it that matters. We can’t get Follow your heart products here (heck, we don’t even have Earth Balance!) but I have found several interesting starch based egg replacement products on the net (recipes for how to make). The best vegan quiche we ever made was based on chickpea flour so I guess it really is horses for courses.
For a savory snack under 60 calories, spread 1 tablespoon of low-fat cream cheese onto a slice of smoked salmon (lox) and roll it up. This salmon pinwheel is high in protein and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, though the salt used to cure the salmon boosts the sodium content. Use a little less cream cheese and you can have two pinwheels for under 100 calories.
"Diet-friendly snacking doesn't necessarily have to be low-fat," says McLachlan. What's more important: Portion size. A homemade trail mix of walnuts, mini chocolate chips, and raisins is a snack that's satisfying (thanks to the sweetness and fat) and healthy for a dieter if portion sizes are kept in check. "Mix a palm full of walnuts with a pinch of chocolate chips and a pinch of raisins — it's not always realistic to measure," says McLachlan.
But first, a bit of definition: "Free foods," in my opinion, are those that have 25 calories or less per reasonable serving. "Almost free foods" have 25 to 60 calories per reasonable serving. Portion control is key here. While 2 cups of popped, 94% fat-free microwave popcorn may contain only 40 calories, if you eat the entire bag you'll end up with closer to 200 calories -- definitely not an "almost free" food situation.
That same vegan nacho cheese sauce makes for a serious plate of nachos. We use freshly fried tortilla wedges (they're sturdier than store-bought chips) as the base for vegan refried beans and chili, Roasted-Tomato Salsa, guacamole, and tons of fresh and pickled veggies. Layering the chips and toppings for even coverage is a little extra work, but it's worth it for the many more balanced bites you'll get.
Healthy choices start in the grocery store. For me, I like to pretend that I do all of my shopping at Whole Foods. It’s basically a dreamland for anyone, but especially plant based vegans and is probably my favorite place, ever. I feel healthier just by being there!! I don’t buy all of my groceries from there quite yet – only the special superfood or vegan items I can’t find anywhere else, along with the 10 other things I didn’t plan on buying, but had to have. Must be the abundance of organic everything and fancy gourmet goodies that are actually vegan! Anyone else?!!! I know you’re obsessed too..
These cookies are so guilt-free you can even eat them in the a.m. Combine almonds, walnuts, flax and a few other good-for-you ingredients to form bite-size bowls you can fill with almond milk, Greek yogurt or seasonal berries. Pop one in your mouth for just 184 calories — and feel your hunger melt away. Photo and recipe: Alexa Schirm / Life by Daily Burn
“Crackers do not stave off hunger well,” Culbertson says. Low in fiber and high in sodium, this snack does not provide the energy boost most people are looking for during the afternoon, and you’re not likely to feel satisfied. (However, some crackers are high in fiber and low in sodium; and topping them with low-fat cheese takes them from a bad snack to a healthy one.) And if they’re not single-serving packages, Culbertson says, it's easy to eat too many.