Butcher Block Dinners

I thought I’d share this because it’s a huge part of our family……we eat butcher block dinners almost 5 nights a week.

Butcher Block Dinners via lilblueboo.com

I buy veggies in large quantities from Costco and we chop them up every night into finger food. Veggies vary by season but they typically include a variation of the following: celery, cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, and broccoli.  We sample cheese, fruit and crackers too. On the weekends I’ll add in a few sushi rolls. I use large platters that I get from the 99 cent store….and everyone gets their own platter because each plate is usually a little different:

(Note: Boo is a little picky at times…..so she might get a chicken tender thrown in……or a few pieces of hamburger.)

Butcher Block Dinners (99 cent platters) via lilblueboo.com

 

Each platter gets a small bowl of homemade ranch dip (sometimes Hidden Valley Dip mix or the all natural alternative). And we always include chicken….chopped up into tiny pieces (a habit I picked up from my mother-in-law Gale)…..and it’s eaten almost like a little concoction:

Butcher Block Dinners (yum) via lilblueboo.com

 

I cook the chicken on my Cuisinart Griddler….because it’s quick and easy to clean up. I usually cook enough chicken for 2 days and it’s seasoned with coarse garlic salt and pepper. I love that it’s just a little bit crunchy:

Butcher Block Dinners (griddler) via lilblueboo.com

 

Reasons why we love it:

1. It’s healthy.
2 Little planning involved.
3. Super filling.
4. Easy to mix it up with variety.
5. We never waste food because we cut up what’s going to go bad before it can.
6. We can prep ahead if needed.
7. If Mr. LBB is running late…..I just pop his platter in the fridge.
8. Each platter can be tailored for each family member. Mr. LBB loves tomatoes, I love cucumbers, Boo loves water crackers……

Sometimes we eat at the table and sometimes around the coffee table while watching a movie…..it’s easy to set out and easy to clean up.

 

Update: After seeing a few of the comments I wanted to mention that we also add bits of steak, random prepared salads from the deli and even chicken tenders too. It’s a good way to mix in leftovers with veggies!

 

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Comments

  1. 1
    Melissa says:

    Love this! My husband gets home from work at odd times and usually different times each day, this would be so easy to just pull out of the fridge and have ready so he doesn’t have to wait for me to cook something :)
    I’m thinking cut up steak too

    Thanks for the idea!

  2. 2
    Heather says:

    We do dinners like this too, but we call them Snicky-Snack Dinners! It’s usually our Sunday Night I-Don’t-Want-To-Think meal.

  3. 3
    Taylor says:

    i told my husband about your instagrams with these and i want to make it every night… reason #8 its hot as hell (still) here in houston and i want something cold every meal. all i want to eat is smoothies and salads haha! but my husband was like well thahs cool for a snack before dinner but where is the real food haha- what the heck? i told him maybe i could cut up steak and some potatoes on his platter :)

  4. 4
    Adriana M. says:

    Also our dinner most nights. Fast, easy and flexible. I sometimes do theme platters like Mexican with black beans, fajita chicke, peppers tomatoes and avocado dip. Or Italian with cold pasta along with tomatoes peppers and garlic dip. But always on the platters arranged around a dip because that is how my kids prefer dinner. And I prefer the easy prep/cleanup! :)

  5. 5
    rebecca keppel says:

    We did this all summer on fridays for lunch and called it snacky lunch. it was always a kid favorite. i dont know why I havent done it for dinner??? Guess that’s what we are doing this week!

  6. 6
    Anna says:

    Oh my gosh thank you for posting this! I have one in kindergarten, a 3 yo, and a 6 month old. I have barely had time to think let alone prepare healthy meals. I’ve been quite stresses out about it, actually. I am going to start using this idea for dinner at least two nights a week. Thanks for the idea! Now if I could just make lunch this easy…

  7. 7
    Betsy C. says:

    What a wonderful meal option for busy families (or even not so busy ones). It seems like a very european way to eat (we’re living in Spain right now and many Spaniards will eat a simple main dish like grilled chicken, beef or fish with plenty of little dishes…olives, cheese, chopped salad, bread crackers, etc. I can’t wait to try it out!

  8. 8
    Susan says:

    I love this idea! So easy and healthy.

  9. 9
    christina says:

    we do something similar but we call them garden dinners. we all head out to the garden and literally pick our dinner. we wash it off at the hose and bring our cups of dip with us. most of the tiime i bring some hard boiled eggs and fruit out too. we all love doing us. your right, it is so healthy…and fun!

  10. 10
    kiki says:

    you are a genius. i love this idea! My life has just changed.

  11. 11
    Sydney says:

    Yum! Now I’m hungry! My mom used to do “salad suppers” where she made tuna salad, no-lettuce salad (lots of veggies, usually some kind of bean and cubed cheese) and we always had a dinner roll which was a treat since she wasn’t a bread person. I LOVED it! I’ve always fed my babies that way with lots of different whole foods chopped on a plate and should do it for us too. Thanks for the idea!

  12. 12

    Ohhhhh that looks so delish! Now I am starving :)

  13. 13
    Blair says:

    This is great for us singletons too!

  14. 14

    We love to have a platter of veggies and fruit with every meal. My girls love it.

  15. 15
    Ruth Orozco says:

    I loved eating in Norway for this very reason. They cooked one meal a day, and they would bring out a similar spread like this at least four other times throughout the day.
    A great way to introduce my little ones to new veggies, too. Thanks!!

  16. 16
    Amie says:

    What an awesome idea! I MUST try this!

  17. 17
    Brenda L.W. says:

    This is brilliant! My husband and I have been together almost 30 yrs. and even though I love to cook there are times when I’d rather not . This is perfect. Cook the meat ahead and freeze it, then pull it out on those nights I want to be easy and quick. Thanks!!

  18. 18
    Julia says:

    We had these growing up. When my dad was in charge of dinner he would make them with cheese, crackers, and deli meat and call them “fun plates”. Thanks for the fun memory. :-)

  19. 19
    Nancy says:

    We did a version of this on special occasions growing up and called it “party plate.” I now do it with my grandchildren as a treat and they love it!

  20. 20
    Amy says:

    That is a ton of celery!

  21. 21
    Bron says:

    Yum!!!!! I still find your very yellow cheese bizarre though! ;) these are peppers fav meals and cooper loves it to as he can do it himself. Thanks for some more inspiration!

  22. 22
    Susan Irene says:

    When our boys were young,we did the same and called them “snack lunches” and added interesting cheeses and things for the boys to try. My son, now father of 3 boys, stopped by and said “Snack lunch (which his Dad and I were having) I remember how fun those were”. So remember those little things you do with your children grow into fond memories and traditions to pass down.

  23. 23
    wendy says:

    What is your recipe for cooking/grilling the chicken on your Cuisinart? I have the same one and have never used it that way but want to try it. Any tips?

  24. 24
    Autumn says:

    Looks awesome! Great idea, thanks!

  25. 25
    S10 says:

    Hor deuvres for dinner. If your at Cosco might as welll purchase one of their delicious $5 roasted chickens??I would add a few shrimp cocktail too. Perhaps cocktail sausages, hebrew Salami, peperoni for the kids. I would switch up the dips too and make some warm dips (spinach, artichoke, crab, bean, cheese) in the winter and cold dips (ranch, humus, salsa (tomato, peach or mango), cucumber,yogurt, bacon horseradish,onion, bruchetta,veggie) in warm seasons. All kinds of olives, pickles and marinated mushrooms,artichokes etc. Pita bread or chips. Oh, and to make things very simple Cosco has veggie trays premade and. Reasonably priced. So many variations! Oh, sugar pea pods too!