30-Minute Dinner: Leveraging Unique Options is my way of making dinner preparation easy and exciting for the entire family. Dinner is one of the most common meals in most households worldwide. But, generally speaking, we think dinner preparation is the most complicated of the three typical times to enjoy a meal. Breakfast is the simplest, and lunches are somewhere in between. Therefore, coming up with creative new family dinners sounds difficult. Not to mention messy. Well, you can relax because I have the perfect answer to an easy no-fuss dinner.


What is Charcuterie

According to online sources, formally explained,

“charcuterie is a French term for a branch of cooking devoted to prepared meat products….” “Charcuterie is part of the garde manger chef‘s repertoire. Originally intended as a way to preserve meat before the advent of refrigeration, they are prepared today for their flavors derived from the preservation processes.”


Charcuterie is a fun, no-hassle way to serve an entire meal without cooking. In fact, you can serve up a grazing table for dinner one day and reassemble the leftovers into a container for tomorrow’s lunch(s). Genius right? — I know, that’s what I said!

Grazing Table

I will admit that while the prep work is super easy, it does take a bit of time, so be prepared to spend at least 30 minutes. But, it is all completely worth the effort to avoid cooking several meals. In addition, it allows for customization of individual plates cutting down on food waste. Finally, a well-planned charcuterie can offer a well-balanced meal with many healthy options.


Budget Friendly 30 Minute Dinner — Leveraging Unique Options

With soaring food prices, you don’t have to spend lots of money to make a great spread. There are many different food options that you can select to customize a charcuterie platter, board, or table. Use items that you already have in your pantry or refrigerator. A few ways to save, use simple ingredients like younger cheeses, including cheddar, spreadable cheeses, and less expensive fruits. My favorite items to add to budget boards include radishes, sweet peppers, pepperoni, baguettes (sliced), apples and oranges, cherry tomatoes, saltines, and almonds. Also, use fruits and vegetables that are in season, typically costing less. Finally, shop at farmer’s markets and budget stores like Aldi’s and Lidl.


Creativity Matters

Be creative; cold leftovers such as fried chicken, wings or strips, pizza, wraps, boiled eggs (halved), and frittata’s make tasty additions to charcuterie boards and grazing tables. There is nothing like raiding your refrigerator for various good eats to add. Also, presentation matters, so take your time assembling the components onto the board. You can find some great assembly tips online.

Charcuterie Board

On hot summer days, charcuterie is a perfect option for light, flavorful, refreshing meals. You can even make them a day or two ahead of time, saving you valuable time after a long work day. Customizing food boards to fit any situation, occasion, or meal, such as dinner, a baby shower, or even a holiday, is also a lot of fun.

Want more great quick and easy dinner options? click here.

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