Snacking as a meal is something many busy families can identify with while on the go. In fact, healthy snacking is part of most people’s diet and has been proven to be an effective method to help curb hunger and satisfy people from one meal to the next.
As a chef, I am on my feet 24/7 so I understand how easy it is to go for a bag of chips or candy to keep myself going. While that might fill me up for the moment, it’s important to choose more sustainable food to help keep my energy level on high for longer periods of time. It is possible to create quick and easy options for your family with dishes that are nutritious and taste good.
At Tempe Public Market Café, we place a focus on fresh vegetables and fruits. We actually have our own garden in front of the restaurant where we grow fresh ingredients on site that we try to incorporate right into our dishes. I am not suggesting you need your own garden to snack healthy, but adding more fruits and veggies to any meal helps keep the textures fresh and the nutrient level up!
Cauliflower has been a real game changer in the food industry recently. The reason people love it so much is because it is flexible in the flavors it can take on. Our Roasted Cauliflower dish at the café is a great idea for something quick and simple that can be easily snacked on by little ones. All you need is a metal pan and some good olive oil. You can choose smaller pieces, or florets, of cauliflower or opt for an entire head to then cut into smaller pieces. Simply drizzle the oil over the cauliflower, roast in the oven until it’s a nice golden brown and you have a base for a great snack. We like to add grapes, almond slices and serve it with a side of mashed potatoes and a green salad. The fresh veggies and almonds help turn snack time into a mini meal that can be shared and made in a matter of minutes!
Ceviche is a crowd pleaser anywhere you go. At Tempe Public Market Café, we serve ours vegan. This is a great snack to get in multiple veggies at once. We serve ours with pickled cauliflower, cucumber, baby heirloom tomatoes, avocado, shaved red onion and sweet potatoes. The great thing about this dish is you can swap out different ingredients for other items if you have a picky eater who does not like onions or tomatoes. The avocado adds healthy fat and the mix of other vegetables helps with that crunchy texture to keep your family coming back for more.
Pizza is always a yes on the menu. Instead of loading it with heavy, calorie high ingredients, opt for healthy toppings. Our Garden Pizza can be sliced small enough to snack on. We top ours with fresh basil, mushrooms, squash, bell pepper, broccolini, arugula, roasted garlic and our house made tomato sauce. It’s a rainbow of flavors.
It’s no surprise that diners now expect healthy, filling snack options on their favorite restaurants’ menus. We strive to find that balance of options for every person who walks through our doors. So next time you start reaching for that cookie, try some of these easy ideas above and I promise you won’t regret it.
Written by: Executive Chef Rene Andrade, Tempe Public Market Café
Executive Chef Rene Andrade is the lead over at Tempe Public Market Café as well as its sister location, Ghost Ranch. Andrade worked with Matt Carter at The Mission and The House Brasserie. Before coming to Ghost Ranch and Tempe Public Market Café he was with Beau MacMillan over at Elements as his sous chef. Both Andrade and his cousin, Executive Sous Chef Roberto Centeno, were brought over to help open Ghost Ranch and Tempe Public Market Café more than a year ago. Andrade hails from Nogales, Mexico and has been cooking since he was 13.