Saturday, August 23, 2008

Low Carb Low Cal Snack

Because it can be so easy to slip into a food rut, I'm always looking for a new idea for an afternoon snack. It's also important that it be easy to put together, satisfying, and not too many calories. I discovered one the other day that I thought I would share. The thing about snacking is there are so many prefabbed things on the market now, that it's easy to mindlessly grab a box of crackers or bag of chips and be done with it when you're hitting that low point about 3 o'clock in the afternoon. But that kind of snack often isn't filling enough for me, and I find myself still wanting something 'else' which can lead to some unnecessary binging just in the hunting for something.

A few weeks ago while shopping my local grocer, I noticed a new line, well new to me, of low carb flour tortillas. I like tortillas and anything that's low carb I thought might also be low calorie so I checked the nutrition label. Yes, they were anywhere from 50 to 80 calories each, depending on the manufacturer, as opposed to the 'normal' calorie count of around 140 to 160 each. The first brand I discovered happened to be Mission flour tortillas but I've since come across others, many of them whole wheat.
Along with the tortillas, I bought a couple packages of deli pre-sliced cheeses: in this case, provolone and pepper jack. Now when it comes to cheese, I prefer the real deal. The lowest fat content of cheese I ever want to have is 2%. Anything lower, as in no-fat cheese, tastes more like the plastic it's wrapped in than anything that comes from a cow. And at 60-to-80 calories per slice for real cheese, well those numbers are agreeable to me, too.

Here's the snack. On one low carb tortilla I place a slice of cheese. Then I pop it into the microwave for about 15 seconds, until the edges of the cheese begin to melt and bubble a bit. Out of the oven I simply roll the tortilla up into a tube, the melting cheese makes it hold its shape. That's it. Now you can dip that in a couple tablespoons of salsa for another 15 calories or a dollop of low fat sour cream for about 20, or just have it plain. If you can 'afford' the calories, have two! I find them very satisfying and the protein and carb, (even low), combination seems to hold me until dinner. You could even get fancy by adding a lettuce slice in the roll-up after it's heated, for crunch.
If you have an idea for a good low calorie snack, add your suggestion in the comment box or send me an email. I think it's important to share encouraging words. We have different likes and dislikes, so undoubtedly something that works for one person might not be that good to another. But the more choices you have when 'searching' for low calorie ideas, the more likely you'll be to stay on track and reach your goal! Hang in there and don't get discouraged. You can do this!

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