“What movie is playing in the refrigerator?” whispered Annie as she put her arms around LJ.

He leaned over his shoulder and kissed her, “not one I am interested in watching. I am hungry, but there does not seem to be anything in here that is enticing. The leftover lo-mien from two nights ago isn’t appealing, and I am tired of tuna.”

“Okay, I get the message and the challenge. Sounds like we need to produce some new satisfying snacks for you that also taste good.”

“Exactly, but I do not want to add another hour on our meal-prep Sunday afternoon making snacks for the coming week, so how about we create mini-meals we can grab and eat or takes minutes to assemble, said LJ.

“Got it,” Ann handed him celery and bell pepper. “Do you mind cutting these up? We are going to whip up a Five Minute Chopped Chickpea Salad. While we are eating, we can talk about other recipes ideas.”

LJ set the cutting board on the counter and began rinsing the veggies.

Annie stopped him, “sweetheart,  the veggies and fruit are washed before going into the fridge. It’s another way to save time and makes Sunday meal prep easy.”

“Right,” he muttered and began slicing the celery.

Five minutes later, they were enjoying the salad.

“The lemon juice and feta cheese bring the tang to this salad, and the olive oil smooths them out,” said Annie. “What do you think?”

LJ nodded, “the crunchy celery and bell pepper are satisfying, and the chickpeas and other ingredients give it an interesting texture and taste, so yes, I would say this is a winner. Not to mention it only took minutes to make.”

“Yes, the key to appealing, healthy refrigerator snacks is to wash and prep ingredients, so when you’re looking in the fridge, all you need is your imagination to create delicious meals. Here is a list of staples we should keep in the fridge:

  • Lettuce, Kale, Spinach, Parsley
  • Tomatoes, Lemons, Apples, Oranges, Bananas
  • Avocado, Corn, Celery, Carrots, Cauliflower, Broccoli
  • Cooked beans, Garbanzo, and Black
  • Cooked Quinoa and Oats,
  • Onions, variety
  • Eggs, Greek Yogurt, Feta, Cheddar, Cottage Cheese
  • Whole grain or gluten-free bread, Cooked Whole wheat pasta

“This is an impressive list,” smiled LJ. “We don’t have to buy large quantities, just enough for a week.  For example, with some of these staples, we could make an Easy Homemade Hummus, which goes well as a dip for carrots and celery or spread on pita bread. What I am looking for, though, are grab-and-go snacks, and you know something that is made and ready to be eaten.”

Annie pulled out her laptop, “okay, how about this Make-Ahead Mini-Parfait? “It includes your favorite fruit on the bottom, topped with honey and followed by Greek Yogurt. Or how about this Fresh Tomato, Spinach Pasta Salad? You put the balsamic salad dressing on the bottom of the jar and shake it up when you’re ready to eat. The mini parfait is in a four-ounce mason jar, and the spinach pasta salad is in a twelve-ounce. Here is another snack you might like, Overnight Oats. These oats are soaked overnight, usually in plant-based milk, which gives them a creamy texture. Because they are eaten cold, they make a great year-round morning or mid-day snack. And you can top them with nuts, fruit, or coconut for a high-fiber meal. This Cauliflower Tortilla recipe takes forty minutes to make, but the results are well worth the effort. They are gluten-free, nutritiously dense, low carb, and taste good, especially when you add vegan cheese and eat them like a quesadilla. Plus, they keep in the refrigerator for up to seven days.”

LJ leaned back in his chair, “things are looking up already. I have a lot on my plate, but I’m hungry for success. Let’s start cooking.”

Annie and LJ are a fictional couple. Their storyline promotes healthy eating and earth-friendly practices.



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