Best Dinner Ever – The Snack Board
Here it comes… The fastest, easiest, and most likely, healthiest thing you will eat for dinner during the next 3 weeks. It’s something everyone will eat, and anyone can do. And if you happen to be snowed in (ahem…) you probably already have what you need. It’s called a snack board, and it’s the answer to your prayers for making dinner on what are without a doubt the busiest nights of the year.
People love to snack. We are grazers at heart. No one wants to be confined to a chair. It is so much more fun to peruse the options and poke at things with a toothpick. Even as grown-ups we don’t want to have to eat what we’re served. We want options.
Depending on who you are feeding, you can tailor this to be vegan, gluten-free, or paleo friendly. Kids will love it. Everything is cut up, finger friendly, and there is some dipping and dunking they can do. Even the most notoriously picky eaters will find something they are interested in, because, hey, you snuck it in there, and… it takes the clean-your-plate pressure away.
This is not a cheese plate and it’s not an appetizer. It’s a happy hour that never ends. No matter what your kitchen skill level, you can do this. Cooking is not required, but warming some of the things you put out is always a nice touch. Warm soup, served in small cups you can sip from (like the ones used for traditional Chinese tea) is especially nice given the fact that it is so cold right now. You can pull everything together in 15 minutes or less, so what are you waiting for? Go, go, go! We’re having a party for dinner tonight. Everyone’s invited!
- Grab a board if you have one, or use a large plate or platter. You can also use multiple smaller plates.
- Check your fridge. Raid your pantry.
- Add veggies and some sliced fruit.
- Slice a baguette of bread, or some small rolls or buns. Add crackers or veggie chips.
- Put in dippable options.
- Slice a hard boiled egg or two.
- Warm the bread, heat the olives. Add a small jar of honey or some warmed preserves. And don’t forget the cocktail napkins, toothpicks, and maybe some smallish plates.
Here are some ideas to get you started…
- sliced ham, turkey, or beef
- rotisserie chicken or slices of any cooked meat
- frozen meatballs
- fully cooked sausages
- chilled, cooked, and peeled shrimp
- carrot, celery, or cucumber
- bell pepper
- any pickled vegetable
- sliced apple or pear
- dried apricots, figs
- mandarin orange segments
- Greek yogurt dip
- Ranch, or any other, dressing
- Sweet potato chips, or other baked veggie chips
- Nuts, plain, spiced or roasted and seasoned
Go now, and get creative with what you have on hand. If you want to read more about snack boards, there was a great post on thekitchn.com with some additional ideas. Also, my German best-friend- ever told me this is an awful lot like the German evening bread custom called Abendbrot. No wonder I like her so much.