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(ARA) Another approach to healthy snacking on the road comes from Benita Wong, a culinary instructor at The Art Institute of Washington. She likes to refer to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Guide Pyramid.   

Wong suggests cut-up fruits and vegetables. Place small pieces of organic melon like watermelon, cantaloupe or honeydew in containers with tight-fitting lids. You can also add organic vegetables like green and red peppers, celery and carrots.   

Wong recommends packing pita bread, crackers and pretzels to go along with fruits and veggies, opting for plain or low-salt varieties. She also likes Kaiser, onion or whole-wheat rolls in lieu of white bread.   

Slices of vegetables go well with peanut butter, hummus or tomato salsa. Try the lower-sugar, lower-salt versions, or make them yourself. Here are two of Wong’s favorite recipes.   

Hummus (Chickpea Dip) 

Makes about 1½ cups 

  • 1 cup chickpeas, cooked or canned 
  • 1/4 cup tahini or sesame paste (can also add some peanut butter) 
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic, crushed (use more for a stronger taste) 
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (or water for a milder taste) 
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil to taste 
  • Salt to taste 
  • Cayenne pepper 

Puree the chickpeas, tahini paste, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil in a food processor or blender. If too thick, add a little lemon juice or water to adjust the consistency. Season with salt and cayenne pepper to taste. 

Tomato Salsa 

Makes about 2 cups 

  • 10 ounces fresh tomatoes 
  • 2 tablespoons fresh green chile peppers, such as jalapeño or serrano 
  • 3 tablespoons onion, minced 
  • 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped 
  • 1/2 tablespoon lime or lemon juice 
  • 1/2 to 1 tablespoon tomato juice 
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons tomato paste (add or subtract to make mixture thicker or thinner) 
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  1. Remove the core and dice the tomatoes into very small pieces. 
  2. Using rubber gloves, remove the stem end, seeds and ribs from the chiles. Chop the peppers into a small dice. (Use rubber gloves for this step to protect your hands from the hot oils that come from the chiles. When finished, wash your gloved hands and remove the gloves to continue making the salsa.) 
  3. Chop the onion into small dice. 
  4. Mix together the tomatoes, chiles, onions, cilantro and lime or lemon juice. Add tomato juice and/or tomato paste to adjust the consistency to a thick, chunky sauce. Add salt and season to taste.