picture of cream cheese

pretty much good on everything

“Quick and easy” is one of those phrases like “no strings attached” or “satisfaction guaranteed” – often said, infrequently meant. This is especially true when it comes to food blogs. I’ve run across countless recipes that claim to be “quick and easy,” only to find out that they really mean “quick and easy…if you have a food processor, a high-powered blender, four different kinds of knives, two ovens, and you’ve already done your grocery shopping for the week.” Smoothies are the classic example of this. Delicious? Yes. Quickly made? Yes. But easy? With all that chopping and blending and trying to avoid cutting my fingers while washing out the blender? Not so much. Add “gluten free” and you end up with a tough search for a truly quick and easy snack.

 

But because you readers are so awesome and involved and often quite funny and informative, I’ve done the tough search for you.

First up are these strawberry and cream cheese bites from BlogHer blogger Michelle Maskaly. There are roughly four steps to making these delicious summer treats:

  • Cut a strawberry into three bites – one slice a bit below the stem and one at the bottom where it starts to get narrower
  • Spread cream cheese on each bite
  • Smoosh them back together into one strawberry with two layers of cream cheese
  • Eat about twenty and fall asleep in the sun

Next up is a list of 30 gluten free snacks from Gluten Free Mommy. Many of them are old stand-bys (dried fruit and nuts, popcorn) and some of them are kind of complicated (my eyes go cross when I read the words “double-boiler”) but some of them are pretty inventive. My personal favorite? Frozen grapes. I thought I was I the only person who did this, but apparently my secret is out. Might as well let you in on another one while we’re at it – frozen peas. Laugh if you will, but try them. You’ll see.

EatingWell has an awesome “recipe” for Cottage Cheese Veggie Dip. It’s about three steps long. Think you can keep track?

  • Shake some lemon pepper into a bowl of cottage cheese (my sister is, as we speak, confirming from the kitchen that lemon juice will work too)
  • Dip some crunch veggies into the “dip.” We’re using snow peas and carrots, but celery or peppers would work great
  • Consume

Finally, one of my own personal stand-by’s is avocado, eaten one of two ways:

  • Cut in two, pitted, salted, and eaten straight from the peel with a fork (bonus points for minimal dish-washing)
  • Mashed up in a bowl with about two squirts of lemon juice, one of lime, a dash of cayenne, and chopped cilantro if I’m feeling fancy.

And yes, I eat this straight from the bowl, and you can, too. If anyone asks you why you’re eating straight guacamole, inform them that it’s “avocado salad.”

The best thing about “recipes” like these is that they’re really just creative thinking. Everyone’s played the “what if I dipped this food into this food?” game, and sometimes the results can surprise you!

What about you? What are your favorite quick snacks? Invented any particularly delicious combos (or trios, or quatros)?