You get home, throw your things on the couch, and go to the kitchen for a well-deserved snack after a day of exhausting work. But low and behold, the house is empty, and so is the pantry. There is not a granola bar or Capri Sun in sight.
Whether you’re a hungry high schooler, lazy college student or a regular working person who doesn’t want to put any serious effort into making yourself food, this is a familiar struggle.
Here are eight simple snacks you can scrounge together in moments of crisis that taste like you actually tried.
1. Spiced Popcorn
Popcorn doesn’t just have to have “classic movie theater butter” on it. Step up your popcorn game without breaking a sweat. Pop those kernels (stove popped or air popped are healthier methods but, hey, no judgment) and liven up that boring corn with some spices, herbs, and lemon juice. Shake up the bag to mix the spices and shake up your afternoon snack.
2. Homemade Pita Chips
Pita chips are the perfect snack – both healthy, yet filling. But you don’t need a crinkly bag to satisfy your craving for chips, all you need is some plain pita bread. Toss those pita pockets with olive oil and grated parmesan, and then toast the pockets. When finished, you’ll have perfectly seasoned, homemade pita chips to be proud of.
3. Garlic Crostini
For an Italian twist on your homemade chips, go for some homemade garlic crostini. Grab a baguette, loaf of country bread or Italian bread and slice. Then smother those slices in garlic and olive oil. Don’t hold back on the smothering. Toast and there you have it! Some crispy, garlic crostini to make your struggle feel fancy.
4. Stuffed Crescent Rolls
If you have a tube of crescent rolls that you’re pretty sure haven’t expired and cheese sticks or shredded cheese, then you have the makings of stuffed crescent rolls. Pop that tube, separate, and stuff the dough with as much cheese as humanly possible.
Bonus points for having literally anything else to stuff inside; i.e., turkey bacon, deli meat, and any vegetables you can add.
5. Upgraded Apple Slices
Ever seen those beautiful portraits of sliced cheese and apple platters? Yeah, this is not that. But it’s the struggle version. Take a little bit of cheese – sliced, shredded, sticks, whatever you have – and microwave it for a few seconds just to get it warm and malleable.
Slice up an apple (kudos on having an apple in your apartment) and drape the warmed cheese on top. Now we’re feeling fancy.
6. Trail Mix
It’s like you just swung by Trader Joe’s and got a quick snack! Only you’re starving, broke and cannot muster up the energy to drive to Trader Joe’s. Trail mix is a very open ended snack that can have anything you want in it.
Some straightforward examples of trail mix ingredients; raisins, peanuts, sunflower seeds, shredded coconut and any chocolate you can find. Baking chocolate counts and drizzling microwaved Nutella on top definitely counts.
7. Toasted Chickpeas
If you have a can of chickpeas that you’ve meant to incorporate into a salad when you eventually buy lettuce, use them instead to make a quick snack. Toss the can into a frying pan with olive oil and seasoning – curry powder is amazing if you have it around – and in minutes, you’ll have a crunchy snack that tastes like real food.
8. Yogurt Dip
Plain yogurt isn’t going to cut it, and cut up veggies or crackers on their own are bland as bland can be. But turning that yogurt into a fancy dip with some lemon zest (or juice, if you don’t zest), horseradish sauce and chopped garlic will have you dying to dip anything you can into your creation.