Happy Hour: The One About Snack-Dinner

As part of my weight-loss goals, I’m having a piece of fruit and a green juice in the morning, a regular sized lunch, and something I call “snack dinner.”  Yes, I feel a bit like an old woman talking about having a snack for dinner, but here we are.  And right now, my favorite snack dinner is Cucumber-Shrimp Boats.

This recipe from Gym Hut is my favorite one because it’s the easiest.  I buy a couple of shrimp-skewers from our grocery store (you could also use frozen shrimp).  I make the Trader Joe’s microwave rice, and then add a little rice wine vinegar and salt for flavor.  I make a low-calorie spicy yogurt sauce for it.  And then I swap out the parsley for Furikake, a delicious seasoning blend.  And that’s it.

They also make a pretty fantastic appetizer.  These, some pot stickers, skewered chicken with a dipping sauce, and some edamame, and you have yourself a pretty stellar snack tray.

Can’t eat shellfish?  I’ve also tried this with leftover Kalbi skewers diced up.  It was great, and a good way to eat up the last of the leftovers.

It’s warming up in Spokane, so our air-conditioning is running all the time.  Thus, I am cold a lot.  I bought this Gap Ombre Sweatshirt on a lark, and I wear it way too much.  Enough that I probably needs a second one.

The washed-out ombre gives you the same impact as tie-dye in a more grown-up package.  It goes well with shorts, over workout clothes, or over a sleeveless dress.

Gap has some really affordable, stylish casual pieces right now.  I mean, there are a few things that will have you asking, “This is Gap?”  This swimsuit looks like Mara Hoffman’s last collection, and this ikat, linen top is just plain fabulous.

I hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable weekend.  See you Monday.




  1. J says:

    If you’re in the market for more sweatshirts, just a plug for the Athleta Sundown sweatshirts. Exceedingly soft and the perfect weight.

    June 4, 2021/Reply
  2. Jessica says:

    To anyone who feels destabilized by reference to weight loss goals and needs to hear it — ALL BODIES ARE OKAY.

    June 4, 2021/Reply
    • Gail says:

      Why does this feel like a criticism of people – Belle and myself included – who want to be our healthiest selves?

      June 4, 2021/Reply
      • E says:

        I didn’t take it that way, I just saw it as some reassurance since a lot of us are feeling the pressure to lose the COVID-15 (or in my case, 20). But I never got COVID and my body carried me through the pandemic, so I’m proud of it.

        June 7, 2021/Reply
    • Belle says:

      Talking about losing weight or wanting to improve your fitness is a real double edged sword. No one should let external factors push them to feel bad about their body or like their body is not okay. But what if you’re motivated by internal and medical factors?

      I don’t feel physically good at this weight, my cholesterol is up, I’m not as physically fit as I was, that I would like to try to lose this weight before I replace thousands of dollars of professional attire — is that not okay? Or that the doctor I’m seeing about fertility thinks it would be beneficial? Am I not allowed to say, I don’t feel my best at this weight, and I’d like to feel better? I gained this weight because I wasn’t looking after myself, and I want to change that.

      We’ve made talking about weight so toxic because we’ve all been put under the pressure of external factors, but my motivations are purely my own. I shouldn’t feel the need to justify a choice to eat healthier/less or workout or lose weight, just like I shouldn’t have to justify eating a cheeseburger and fries or choosing not to workout or choosing to be happy with my body as it is. I’m on a journey to take better care of my physical heath, something that was neglected over the last year, and I hope it results in some weight loss. If I eat better and workout and feel better, and I’m still this weight, then so be it.

      June 4, 2021/Reply
      • Nellie says:

        I didn’t view this as a call to defend or justify weight loss as a goal, just one for body positivity when there is a lot of pressure right now to lose the pandemic 15.

        Belle, I appreciate your elaboration on these factors for you as an illustration of how these journeys can be complex beyond a general “gaining weight is bad, losing weight is good”. WRT to fertility, if it’s causing you any grief, you (or others who are similarly situated) may want to push your doctor for evidence on how much emphasis to put on weight loss in your course of treatment. I was in fertility treatment and encouraged to lose weight from my obese BMI based on super-general data, opted not to do so, and still got pregnant and delivered a healthy baby a few months ago. Everyone’s body and factors are different, but IMO there’s a lot of pressure on TTC and pregnant folks to lose weight when I’m not convinced the data bears out its necessity in relation to the priority medical professionals put on it, at least in my experience. Tl;dr: don’t feel bullied by the medical establishment to lose weight without justification.

        June 5, 2021/Reply
      • Kmcm says:

        Sure, all bodies are ok, but just as we shouldn’t yield to societal pressure to be thin at all costs, we shouldn’t ignore our own comfort in our bodies because it doesn’t align with someone else’s perception of positivity. Belle has a right to pursue health and satisfaction with her appearance because *it’s what she wants*. You have a right to love your body and so do I.

        June 6, 2021/Reply
        • Jessica says:

          Virginia Sole-Smith has an excellent post about this:

          One of her assertions is that public discussions about pursuing thinness are deeply fatphobic. And that layering these with “I don’t begrudge you your right to exist in a fat body” is essentially the “but I have so many black friends” assertion that one isn’t racist.

          Active pursuit of weight loss is acknowledgment of thin privilege, which is … another expression of fatphobia. To paraphrase the article, it’s worth considering just how sure we are that wanting to “feel better in clothes” isn’t code for “get all my thin privilege back.”

          June 23, 2021/Reply
          • Belle says:

            There are many women struggling with unwanted weight gain due to the pandemic, women who want to lose it for reasons that are wholly their own. These women come in all sizes, they are not just women society deems thin. Sometimes it’s nice to know that it’s not just you who isn’t happy with the way you feel at that moment.

            June 23, 2021/Reply
  3. shanghai says:

    Mmmm. I like the shrimp boats. We make a similar thing we call “sushi roll-bowls.” Bed of white rice. Add a sprinkling of rice vinegar to make sushi rice. Peel and seed cucumber, and slice cucumber into half moons. Add smoked salmon on top, and a scoop of avocado. Top with furikake (the one we like has seaweed/nori strips plus toasted sesame seeds). Then shower with a little soy sauce, or mix mayo+sriracha to make some spicy mayo. Great summertime dinner.

    I like the ombre, too. The tie dye trend isn’t for me, but the ombre is nice and might have more staying power than tie dye!

    June 4, 2021/Reply
  4. Andrea says:

    Yes! Snack dinner is absolutely my jam. Every time I eat a snack plate it’s like I’m rediscovering one of the great joys of adulthood: doing whatever I damn well please. Sometimes I get to the end of my day and all I want is some vegan microwave Buffalo wings dipped in avocado-mustard mixture (don’t @ me until you try it-it’s crazy good).

    Some other favorites include:

    *Roasted veggies drizzled with hummus and sprinkled with salted pepitas
    *Walnut “chorizo” with egg in a baked tortilla cup
    *moroccan meatballs with spicy yogurt sauce/dip
    *tuna salad inside an avocado half or tuna salad with a few pretzel thins

    Can’t wait to try these shrimp boats! Thanks Belle 🙂

    June 4, 2021/Reply
  5. Susan Haven says:

    I am all about snack plates for lunch and/or dinner. Maybe it’s my inner toddler needing care. But these look so yummy!

    June 4, 2021/Reply
  6. Allie says:

    I’m a few days late to this post, but the sweatshirt link takes me to the seasoning. I’m probably going to buy the sweatshirt and want to make sure you get the affiliate credit! I’ll wait a couple days to see if you get a chance to update the link. Thank you!

    June 9, 2021/Reply