Thursday, February 27, 2014

Game Night Salads

My husband's had a rough couple of weeks, filled with big, important decisions and some very deep personal matters--not to mention school and work. (Three cheers for burning the candle at both ends!) What better way to ease the pain than a family game night?

We don't have game nights very often. In fact, in the last four+ years of marriage, we've had only three family game nights.

  1. The first one included a deck of Hello Kitty playing cards, leftover from my college years, and an Andy Griffith Show DVD. While watching the show, we played a game that I had never played before ("Spades"), and I lost even worse than I lose when I go bowling. And I am not good bowler. 
  2. The second game night included a game of "Risk" and a batch of fresh mango salsa. We found out that I am much worse at playing "Risk" than I am at playing "Spades," believe it or not. And I also may have had a slight meltdown as a result of losing so horribly... Losing at a game I didn't even want to play in the first place. 
  3. The third game night happened last Friday. It involved my Valentine's gift--the gift of "Scrabble," which I actually find to be a funny gift since my husband swore for years he'd never play against his English teacher wife. I think my willingness to play (and epically lose) "Risk" last year helped my cause. (Hey, it's fun and educational.) And my husband is actually a worthy opponent. Except when he tries to invent new rules.

One element I have found completely essential to a successful game night (and many other events in life, too) is good food.

Game night food should be finger food, at least if you're planning to eat while you play. It's a good idea to eat while you're playing "Scrabble," by the way, because sometimes it takes a player some serious thought time before putting down his or her pieces on the board.

Since we generally eat healthier these days, and since lettuce and strawberries were conveniently on sale last week, we had mini taco salads and strawberries with dip. It was light and fresh and delicious. Lovely!

Taco Salad

Taco Salad is a beautiful thing for the simple fact that you can cater it to your personal preferences. On our taco salads, we put black beans, simple guacamole (1 avocado + 1 lime's worth of juice + 1 Tbs. of nonfat yogurt + salt), homemade corn salsa, cheese, green onions, and pickled jalapenos.

I made mini taco shells using small corn tortillas and a muffin tin. (You can google "make mini taco bowls" and get a bunch of different ways to do it. I think this website is the most helpful. We used method #5. Also, I would recommend using small flour tortillas like she does in the tutorial because the corn tortillas we had on hand kept cracking.)

Leftovers also make a great lunch the next day. Just use Fritos if you run out of shells!

Fruit Dip

Ok, the best ever fruit dip is actually a package of softened cream cheese whipped with a jar of marshmallow fluff. But if you're watching your waste line, well, at least not wanting to witness the expansion of said waist line... and you can't control yourself around the best ever fruit dip... I'd make a different kind. So I did.

I basically made this recipe, but I grabbed a single-serve container of plain Greek yogurt (I had a coupon for a free one!) and added about a Tbs. of honey. To make clean-up easy, I didn't even put it in a different container. So my strawberries and dip was not pretty...

But it tasted pretty good.

Again, it's not a prize-winning recipe in my book. It would stifle a craving, though. And stave off the five pounds I would certainly have otherwise gained last Friday night, because I can literally eat the best ever fruit dip with a spoon. And have done so several times. (UPDATE: If you want a healthier SUPER YUMMY fruit dip, try this recipe for Caramel Yogurt Dip.)

>>If you want a list of other healthy game night finger foods, try this list here.

Until next time,

P.S. I won!