I am constantly asking this question, “what do I want to eat?” The absolute best strategy to avoid eating junk food and other foods I’m not supposed to eat is not to buy them in the first place. Junk food is only allowed in the house if the craving is just so bad I can’t stop wanting it (like today with some Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies…). These exceptions, however, are few and far between…they are exceptions after all! And since I try to stick to produce, whole grains and lean proteins, sometimes it is hard to find food to eat that won’t take me a half hour to prepare…and you know what, nobody wants to eat a salad for every single meal. Dinner is not a big deal. When work is not too hectic and time permits, I enjoy making an effort and treating dinner like a fun culinary experiment. Breakfast is easier because I keep it simple. Green tea and a piece of fruit, juice or a smoothie. So really, lunch is the problem child of meal preparation. Middle child syndrome, I guess. Sometimes I’ll have soup. Once in a while it’ll be homemade, more often it will be from a can, like my favorite: Amy’s Chunky Vegetable. Other times, I’ll have a hummus and veggie wrap or a salad. But yesterday, I was out of hummus, wraps and greens, and I was too hungry for soup.
So, I assessed what I had in the fridge and pantry and tried to put together something that would taste good and last all afternoon, since I knew I was in store for a long work day. I think I’m going to call the result Super Yogurt.
Most of the things that were in my kitchen were things that I normally use as minor ingredients: yogurt, almonds, chia seeds. Nothing that really struck me as a meal. But then I thought about the bananas on the counter, and how they would go with all of those things, and lo, Super Yogurt was born.
I have been really into chia seeds lately. The Internet tells me that “superfoods” are not a real thing, but rather a marketing ploy by the food industry. I can kind of buy that. Big Agro is a huge industry, I bet they pay a lot of money for marketing. But even still, it makes sense to me that pound for pound, some foods are more impressive than others in terms of their quantity of good assets in a small quantity of food. Blueberries are a fine example. So are avocados. Greek yogurt even. Chia seeds though, are the Mighty Mouse, Rescue Rangers of the food world. There is a rumor that when you eat them, they expand in your stomach to make you feel fuller. That rumor seems to be unsubstantiated, but they are still pretty impressive. They have tons of omegas 3 and 6, plus fiber and protein. That’s like all the things, basically!
So, I’ve been trying to stick them into meals wherever I can. Their only flaw is that I can’t always think of uses for them. So yesterday when I saw the yogurt, I felt like the world’s most successful matchmaker. Unfortunately, a big bowl of plain Greek yogurt is not exactly delicious. But when you put enough things into it, it can get there.
Serves 1 – 2 (I was full about 3/4 of the way through)
Prep Time: Five minutes (including toasting the almonds.)
- 1 Cup 0% Plain Greek Yogurt (Vanilla would be great, too)
- 2 Sliced Bananas
- 2 Tablespoons Toasted Sliced Almonds
- 1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds
- 1 Tablespoon Honey
Not a lot of instructions to this one. Simply put the yogurt in a bowl, put all the other things on top of it, and stir!
This concoction was insanely filling, and even better, it kept me full for hours. I mean, HOURS…like I was still not hungry yet when it was time to eat dinner. And usually, I get the urge to snack in the middle of the afternoon. But this is a really dense dish, so I ate it slowly and the snacking urge never came. The recipe could easily be halved or shared, but I wasn’t really thinking about that when I made it. I just knew I had a little individual container of yogurt and needed stuff to put in it. Two bananas may seem excessive, but I tried it with just one and it was too…yogurt-y. I think next time I try this, which will be soon, I might use pineapple because it’s sweeter and will cut the sourness of the yogurt a little better. But, on the other hand, bananas are probably more filling. Also, the banana-almond-honey combo was great.
So that’s it. Super Yogurt. Easy. Tasty. Filling. Nutritious. All the elements to a good lunch. And I am always on the lookout for good lunch options!