Food & Nutrition

8 Healthy No-Cook Meals That Are Actually Just a Lot of Snacks

Of course, you can use real or mini bagels instead of chips. Vegans: Skip the salmon and use tofu-based cream cheese.

3. Yogurt bowl

Dietitian, personal trainer, and wellness coach Maxine Yeung, M.S. R.D. C.P.T., tells SELF that she likes to make yogurt “sundaes” for no-cook meals when she’s hungry and craving something sweet. Top plain yogurt with a spoonful of nut butter (like almond) and a sliced banana, along with chopped walnuts or almonds.

Harbstreet prefers to top her yogurt with a hearty muesli full of oats, nuts, seeds, and dried fruit, plus a handful of fresh fruit, while Hartley goes for a combo of granola, fresh fruit, and nuts. Drizzle with honey or maple syrup for extra sweetness.

4. Mezze-style platter

For a vegetarian-friendly spread, try a Mediterranean-inspired smorgasbord, starting with chips and dip. Yeung likes to pair whole wheat pita chips (or pita bread) with hummus or another kind of bean dip. You could also do premade baba ganoush and tzatziki, or a scoop of plain Greek yogurt drizzled with olive oil.

Then add veggies galore. For fresh dipping vegetables, Harbstreet likes grape tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, broccoli florets, bell pepper strips, and carrots. You could also use jarred veggies like roasted red peppers and artichoke hearts. Other additions: olives, feta cheese, goat cheese, or crispy chickpeas.

5. Nut-butter dippers

Nut and seed butters (peanut, almond, cashew, sunflower seed) are natural snack-meal stars because they work as tasty and filling dips/spreads for so many snack foods: Crackers, pretzels, rice cakes, mini bagels, veggie sticks (celery and carrot), sliced fruit (apples, pears, bananas), et cetera.

Yeung loves doing everything-seasoned pretzel crisps with peanut butter (plus fruit and veggies). Yasi Ansari, M.S., R.D., C.S.S.D., national media spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and assistant director of Performance Nutrition for UC Berkeley Athletics, tells SELF she does almond butter on toast with jam (plus soy milk). Hartley goes for sliced-up frozen waffles or muffins with almond butter and fruit.

6. Tuna platter

Protein-rich cans and pouches of tuna fish (or salmon) are perfect for elevating snacks into legit no-cook meals, Harbstreet says. Yeung suggests adding a little pepper and olive oil for flavor and spreading onto hearty crackers. (Other flavor boosters: lemon juice, garlic powder, balsamic, or hot sauce.)

Ansari tops her tuna and crackers with a sliced avocado or guacamole. Scritchfield pairs hers with chopped veggies and a little cup of salad dressing (ranch, Italian) for a quick dip.

7. Souped-up cereal

A bowl of cereal with milk is delicious on its own, but it’s really more of a snack situation. Topping generously with yummy and nutritious toppings makes it a filling breakfast—or breakfast-for-dinner, as it sometimes is at Scritchfield’s house.

Scritchfield likes adding nuts or seeds (slivered almonds, chopped pecans, roasted sunflower seeds) and fresh or dried fruit (sliced strawberries, raisins, dried cranberries) to bowls of Cheerios or Frosted Mini Wheats with 2% milk. (If you’re doing a plant-based milk, go for protein-rich soy or pea.)

8. Smoothie

Okay, so if you think about it, most smoothies are really just a bunch of different snack foods (like fruit, dairy, and nuts) that you throw into a blender.

For a filling and energizing breakfast, Ansari likes to blend kefir with banana, berries, granola, and nut butter. You can use whatever fresh or frozen fruit you like, and feel free to sub in yogurt, cottage cheese, or milk for the kefir; whole nuts for the nut butter; and muesli (or plain oats) for the granola. For more ideas, check out a whole bunch of satisfying smoothie recipes here.


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