How to Hack the After School Snack

 

Every parent knows that their kids come home after school hungry and looking for something to eat. If left to their own devices they will usually grab the quickest and often worst option available. (Even when it’s hidden waaaay in the back of the cabinet.) Of course we would prefer for them to have something healthy and nutritious, but making that happen can be a challenge for busy families.
That’s why I’ve created my favorite after school “hack” meals. These snacks are quick, easy and keep my hangry high schooler satisfied until dinner. You can make them ahead and because they are all plant-based they’ll last all week in the refrigerator. Sometimes I’ll make them as a meal for myself, doubling the recipe so there’s plenty of leftovers. So put away those frozen chicken nuggets, chips and hot dogs; it’s time to get back to better basics!

Barley, Edamame and Broccoli “Stir Fry”

*(Spoiler alert, all of these recipes start with sautéed onion. It’s my absolute favorite ingredient and one of the few things I’ve learned to cook without hurting myself.)
This recipe is a hack stir fry. I actually boil the 10-minute barley (Trader Joes), Edamame and Broccoli all together. (Times vary so the edamame and broccoli go in after). Once everything is cooked I drain it, put it all in a big bowl and add butter, organic soy sauce, ground ginger and garlic. Then I add in the sautéed onion, stir and serve. 12 minutes and I’m done!
Whole Wheat Pasta with Sauteed Spinach and Cashews
So for this one I cook the pasta separately while I sautee the onion, spinach and cashew pieces. Once the pasta is cooked I add all the ingredients to the bowl and toss with olive oil. If you want you can also add some grated cheese. This recipe is so much better than the yellow boxed stuff.
Super Hacked Rice and Beans
Ok, this is my favorite; it’s such a hack job it’s criminal. First I sautee the onion, then once it’s translucent I add black beans and sweet corn. (I use canned because it’s quicker). Once that is warmed I add in some microwaved rice (Trader Joes Brown Rice, Organic) and top the pan with a mild salsa, just enough to add moisture.  Serve with corn chips and it’s done!Hope you enjoy these easy after school meals for your family. Eat well and cook with love!

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