Snacks for a Heart-Healthy Meal?

In March I wrote about the emergence of sheet pan meals. A similar trend has been the rise of snack trays for dinner—and even for breakfast!

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Cooking Light has offered many ideas for snack dinners on Instagram, which simply amount to collecting ingredients from your pantry and fridge and arranging them on a tray—lean meats and low-fat cheeses, vegetables, fruit, nuts, olives, crackers, condiments and more.

CL also shared a photo on Instagram from Barbe Brown Morris, a food stylist and recipe developer, who posted a gorgeous breakfast assortment on her page. The arrangement of asparagus spears, grape tomatoes, avocado, sliced cucumbers, folds of lox and prosciutto, and sliced bagels definitely contrasted with typical breakfast fare of cereal and pancakes.

This technique lends itself well to the Mediterranean Diet, which features fruit, vegetables, legumes, fish and poultry, and whole grains. You’re only limited by the contents of your kitchen and your own creativity.

Snack tray photos often capture my attention on social media. I get excited just thinking about the combinations I could put together for breakfast—sliced hard-boiled eggs, smoked salmon, whole wheat bagel slices, tomato slices, seasonal fresh fruit and whatever else strikes my fancy. For dinner, maybe grilled chicken slices, olives, broccoli and cauliflower flowerets, hummus for dipping, reduced-fat cheese, a variety of olives, mixed greens, grapes and bruschetta.

I think two things appeal to me—the unexpected juxtaposition of a variety of foods that we may not usually consider eating together and the vibrant assortment of colorful foods.

I can’t wait to try this soon.

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