Cheryle Finley: Top 10 ways to improve on snacking

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Posted: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 11:01 am

When it comes to snacking, I must admit, it's part of my everyday routine.

Chips, ice cream sandwiches, candy bars. Not the best choices. Is eating six miniature candy bars better than eating one regular size one? Can you drink a two-liter of soda and then brag in good conscience that you drank only one bottle that day?

When I saw a list of 10 foods that boost energy on everyday, I was happy to see food that I already know that would be perfect snack options. Here's the list.

1. Almonds. Containing magnesium and B vitamins, which help convert food to energy, almonds can help us avoid fatigue, lack of concentration and grouchiness. This has my name written all over it.

2. Air-popped popcorn. Avoid the slathering of butter, heavy sprinkling of salt and popping in oil and you have a healthy, high-fiber snack.

3. Peanut butter. Because it's dense in calories, look for no-sugar-added peanut butter. Enjoy it on your morning whole-wheat toast or as an afternoon snack cradled inside some celery.

4. Salmon. Aptly referred to as "brain food" because of its omega-3 fatty acids, eating salmon can improve your memory. Maybe this is what I need. I know it helps with memory, but I still have to remember to take it.

5. Bananas. This portable healthy snack promotes sustained energy and muscle function.

6. Kale. Skip the watery iceberg lettuce and boost your energy with kale. It's perfect as a side dish, added to soup or tossed with whole-wheat pasta.

7. Oatmeal. This high-fiber dish takes longer to digest, so one bowl in the morning should have you good to go until lunch.

8. Pistachios. Containing protein, fiber and heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, 25 of these nuts will give you a 100-calorie snack. They taste so much better than they look.

9. Hummus. This pulverized garbanzo bean mixture can be used as a dip or a mayonnaise substitute on a sandwich.

10. Greek yogurt. This provides twice the hunger-satisfying protein as regular yogurt. Mix in fruit and chopped nuts for an almost perfect snack. Be sure to choose the low- or non-fat versions.

These foods provide several great options for satisfying those afternoon hunger pangs, but they also have the added benefits of extra energy and improved memory. They might even add a pinch of extra likability to the already fabulous you.

I see the most popular size of baking dishes listed as both 13-by-9 inches and 9-by-13 inches. Which one is correct? Apparently, either one. Measurements are usually listed as width by height, so place a 13-by-9-inch pan on the counter, turn it 90 degrees and it's now a 9-by-13. I've always said 9-by-13, so I guess I've been looking at the pan this way.

I'm doing a freezer experiment with chicken. I've got chicken frozen in the package it came in, frozen in foil, and frozen in my Seal A Meal vacuum food storage system. I'll let you know which of the three options held up best.

Today is the first day that Taste of Home Cooking School tickets are on sale at The Joplin Globe. If you hesitate, you might be too late, and you don't want to miss this one-day-only event.

Combine salmon and pistachios for today's first recipe from, and you have a winner. Served over angel hair pasta or rice, this is a special dish your family and friends will rave about for days. Brian Ollenburger has been asking for a salmon recipe, and this is arguably the best one I've found. Not wanting to use white wine? Substitute chicken or vegetable stock and a splash or two of white wine vinegar.

Also from comes a kale salad recipe. It's definitely something different, but yummy. And the name certainly gets your attention.

Lastly, there's a dessert bar from "Five Star Senior Living Signature Recipes" that has just the right mixture of several of my favorite ingredients. Happy eating!


Salmon with pistachio basil butter

1/2 cup pistachios

10 to 15 basil leaves

3 or 4 cloves garlic

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

1 teaspoon lime juice

1/2 cup white wine

4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets

In a food processor, combine butter, nuts, garlic, basil and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper; refrigerate. Place salmon in buttered baking dish and cover with wine; season with salt and pepper. Bake at 400 degrees until opaque, about 10 minutes. Place 2 to 3 tablespoons of butter mixture on each piece of salmon. Continue baking 5 minutes more or until center is done. Yields 4 servings.


Massaged kale salad

1 bunch kale, stalks removed and discarded, thinly sliced

1 lemon, juiced

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt

2 teaspoons honey


1 small mango, diced (about 1 cup)

2 tablespoons toasted sunflower seeds

In a large serving bowl, add kale, half the lemon juice, a drizzle of oil and a little salt. Massage until the kale starts to soften and wilt, 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside. In a small bowl, whisk remaining lemon juice with honey and lots of pepper. Stream in 1/4 cup of oil while whisking until dressing forms and you like the taste. Pour dressing over the kale and add the mango and sunflower seeds. Toss and serve. Yields 4 servings.


Brandon's prize-winning  ooey gooey caramel  rocky road bar

2 cups flour

11/2 cups rolled oats

1 cup sugar

1 cup butter

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup chopped nuts

1 cup salted peanuts

1 cup caramel topping

3 cups marshmallows

1 cup milk chocolate chips

Mix first six ingredients until crumbly and stir in nuts. Set aside 1 cup of crumb mixture for topping.

Press remaining crumb mixture in a greased 9-by-13-inch baking pan and bake at 350 degrees until light brown, 5 to 10 minutes. Spread topping, peanuts, marshmallows, chips and reserved crumb mixture over hot crust and bake until marshmallows and chips are melted. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Go around edges with knife to loosen. Cut and serve. Makes 20 bars.

Address correspondence to Cheryle Finley, c/o The Joplin Globe, P.O. Box 7, Joplin, MO 64802.


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