Healthy snacks for NSPCC’s Big Board Game Day

It’s Big Board Game Day on Friday 27 May 2016, a chance for us all to unleash our inner board game demons while fundraising for the NSPCC.

Big Board Game Day Collage

Big Board Game Day is for absolutely everyone; whether you’re a Sore Loser, Rule Master, a Puzzled Player or The Lucky One. Taking part is so simple: all you need to do is get together with friends and family and play your favourite board games. It’s as easy as Connect Four! Visit www.nspcc.org.uk/boardgameday to find out more on how to get involved.

If you decide to take part, and I really hope you do, how about whipping up some tasty and healthy snacks for your games night? When the NSPCC asked if I’d contribute some snack ideas for Big Board Game Day, I couldn’t think of anything more appropriate. The tag line for my blog after all does state that it’s fun to play with your food!

In my eyes, finger foods are best for games snacks, but as I was keen to steer clear of the usual pizzas, sliders, creamy dips and crisps, I thought I’d have a go at a few healthy alternatives and tried them out on the family over a game of Trivial Pursuit.

So what did the family think? Well, the whole family games night was a big hit all round and we’ve repeated it several times since at the children’s insistence. This was a lovely surprise to be honest, as we don’t play board games very often and I thought the kids might find it a bit slow and dull in comparison to things like Minecraft or the latest apps on their tablets. It’s a brilliant way to bring everyone together for a night of laughter, silliness and light competition, while enjoying good food. And the food was good. During the course of the game, the dishes were wiped clean and I don’t think I’ve ever seen my youngest consume so many vegetables without the slightest need for cajoling.

On our gaming night menu we had: an avocado and pistachio dip, a spicy tomato dip, served with a huge assortment of raw veggies and a few tortilla chips…

green dip

spicy tomato dip

veggies

… griddled halloumi marinated in olive oil and herbes de Provence for an hour or so…

halloumi

… and finger-lickin’ chicken smothered in Cool Chile‘s Mexican buffalo sauce.

cool chile chicken

If you’d like to have a go at the dips, here are the recipes – both are inspired by recipes I recently came across in Alice Hart’s brilliant, The New Vegetarian.

Avocado dip with pistachios and sunflower seeds

1 large, ripe avocado
70g pistachio nuts, shelled and roughly chopped
35g sunflower seeds
juice of 1 lime
large handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped (plus more for garnish)
1 tsp garlic paste
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Halve the avocado, remove the stone and scoop out the flesh into a bowl.

Add the pistachios, sunflower seeds, lime juice, coriander, garlic paste and olive oil and mash it all together using a fork until you achieve the desired consistency. I like mine fairly chunky but you might like yours a little smoother.

You could of course do this in a food processor, but I rather like the low-tech approach, particularly as my food processor is packed away in a box somewhere until we move house!

Season to taste, garnish with a little chopped coriander, and enjoy with raw vegetables, bread sticks or tortilla chips. This is also delicious smothered liberally over toasted sour dough with a poached egg on top for a delicious weekend breakfast.

Spicy tomato dip

1 small red onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
400g can cherry tomatoes
2 tsp chipotle paste
1 tsp Balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper

Gently fry the red onion in the olive oil for around 10 minutes until very soft.

Stir in the tinned cherry tomatoes, chipotle paste and Balsamic vinegar and simmer gently for about 15 minutes, until reduced to a lovely thick consistency, making sure you stir regularly.

Season to taste and, again, enjoy with raw vegetables, bread sticks or tortilla chips.

If you’re based in Bristol, how about getting involved in Big Board Game Day with Chance & Counters, a cool new board game cafe that’s recently opened in the city? They’re organising all kinds of activities to help people fundraise on Friday – check out their JustGiving page here.

Disclosure: we were supplied with complimentary board games in order to write this blog post to help promote Big Board Game Day in aid of the NSPCC. As ever all views expressed are mine.

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