And you thought frozen grapes made me lazy! Ha! I can beat that!
Sometimes, in the summer, when I really cannot stand the thought of cooking, I have a night of “snacks for dinner.” I actually love doing this because, c’mon, it’s just like American tapas! And you can mix and match and keep it totally healthy. And? It’s even more awesome with wine … (oh, how I miss my wine…).
The key to “snacks for dinner” not turning into “cheetos in front of the TV” is that you have to plan out the food groups, and I always find it nice to still present it on the table for a sit-down meal. See? Not *quite* as lazy as I seem…
This was the “snacks for dinner” that I put together last week when my parents were in town. But you know who else it works well for? Kids. Because they can nibble on a little of everything.
I try to represent all the food groups with my snacks, and I also strive to get a lot of bold color (ie nutrition) in the mix. Here are some standbys that I try to include:
Carbs/Bread: Crackers, sliced baguette or pretzels. Dinner rolls or croissants also can work well here.
Fruit & veggies: Any kind of berry works well, grapes, sliced apples, cherries, baby carrots, pickles, cauliflower, for instance.
Meat/Protein: Nuts, smoked fish (perfect for summer!), thinly sliced prosciutto, sliced salamis or sausages, pepperonis all work well.
Dairy: SO MUCH CHEESE. Seriously. That one is a gimme. I love hard cheeses like shaved parmesan or Manchego, but brie or other soft cheese are great as well (oh… bleu cheese… you steal my heart).
Fat and randoms: I love olives! I don’t know what food group they fall into, but they are so good — especially warmed up. I also will peruse the deli counter for a good cold salad. Up there I have included a chicken & pasta salad from the grocer, but I’ve also been known to add a tuna salad or smoked fish spread for the baguette.
And how easy is that? You just put it out on the table and let people tear into it. And you know what you should have for dessert? One of these popsicle recipes! I would go for that brown butter dream, myself… Mmmmm….