Sunday, May 27, 2012

snacking revamp, part two

Hi, I'm Larissa, the unrepentant night snacker. This is the second installment in my effort to save myself from myself.

For my next low calorie, high fiber, high flavor TV snack I give to you:

Crisp celery dipped in a wondrous elixir of soy sauce and Vietnamese chili sa-te paste.

Mmm mmm good: salty, spicy and crunchy. The trifecta of late night snacking excellence.

This magical Tia Chieu SA-TE chili paste is sold by the jar in a Vietnamese market near me (thank you, thank you, Kim), and you could probably find a similar kind in a market near you. Try as I might, I can't seem to find this brand online. But if you are really dedicated you can make your own. I saw a recipe for it here, but *snorty snort* I'm not about to try it. Because I'm all about buying it in a jar.

The soy sauce adds saltiness, and the chili paste has a wonderful spicy heat with garlicy sweetness that is just so completely yummy with the slightly bitter celery. I mix a small amount of soy sauce (like one or two tablespoons) with just a teaspoon of the paste. Then I cut washed celery into nice, thin 3-inch stalks and double dip to my heart's content. One tiny bowl of this sauce is enough to last through a whole night's worth of celery dipping. A little goes a long way.

I've actually consumed an entire head of celery this way in one sitting. To the point where Michael had to just laugh out loud at the intrusive crunch crunch crunch noises coming steadily from my chair. I'm sorry, Michael. Being healthy is sometimes loud.

This same magic chili paste is also delicious when added to a myriad of things like noodles, stir fry and ahi poke (oh my word, nommy nom nom), so it will do much more than just make your celery snacking dreams come true.

I was curious so I did a little research at my local Publix and came up with this Thai Kitchen paste, hoping it was a good alternative. OK, it is tasty, but not on the same sublime level as the other sauce.

(I confess I actually used the Thai Kitchen sauce instead of the Tia Chieu SA-TE to stage the celery photo. I figured you guys wouldn't know the difference and I wouldn't risk wasting any of the good stuff, which is running dangerously low at the moment.)


  1. I love to eat celery with a bowl full of buffalo wing sauce mixed with ranch. . . it's a pretty good snack.

  2. I'm joining Michael. But I'm trying to muffle my giggles. ;)

    BUT... did you know that digesting celery actually burns more calories than you consume eating it?! Keep eating it a head at a time, and soon you'll disappear!! ;)

  3. Jon and Jolie, ranch and buffalo sauce...mmmm. But naughty -- I don't allow myself ranch dressing at night. Although I could drink it by the gallon. And my nephew Andrew subsisted on it for most of his young life.

    Grandma G, really? That sounds too good to be true. But maybe I'll eat two heads tonight.

  4. AWESOME. you are stinkin hilarious! :)

    We never would have known about the sauce-staging switcheroo.

    And Gma G is right, more calories burned digesting than gained eating. woot!

  5. I am just like you...eating at night is my downfall. Sounds like you like the salty and I love the sweet. For your readers like me, I slice up a Granny Smith and make a mix of mostly cinnamon with a bit of sugar to dip. Like having pie, but as you pointed out, the fiber is great. I can eat a bunch of celery too but I will sometimes dip it in peanut butter, not the best choice but better than a lot of other choices. Good luck with the night time crazy cravings...I hear you, loud and clear.

  6. Hey, Rae (I like saying that, because it rhymes), for real about celery? Man. I'll slowly chip away at my fat layers with constant celery consumption! We won't talk about the fact that I cancelled out 100 celery stalks by eating 3 pieces of Sees candy last night about 11:30pm. Sigh.

    SusieQ, will you quit stealing the thunder from my next apple snack post? Sheesh. :-) I do like salty, but then I like some sweet to counteract that, then I need more see the death spiral there.

  7. This sounds tasty...might have to try it. Believe it or not, I actually carried chili paste down to Brazil with me in my suitcase. I've got my priorities.

  8. Robyn, glad to see your priorities are in order. Definitely try the paste with soy. Since it is straight chili paste you might want to add some other flavors. Do they have celery there?


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