… aka an incredible meat-and-cheese plate. Created in partnership with Atkins.
“I live for a good meat and cheese situation.”
Same, girl. So much same.
… This is how my sister wrapped up one of our typical Sunday night see-ster catch-ups the other day, wherein food tends to creep into the close of our conversation, as it does.
I love a good lazy night in with Netflix and a couch sprawl — in cozy sweats, of course.
What could be better?
… Doing it with a massive cheese plate in your lap — that’s what.
There’s a lot to love about this simple spread: It’s easy, cost-effective, and without much clean-up or those agonizing microwave minutes.
When I was younger (and for most of my adult life, admittedly), I knew next-to-nothing about antipasto pairings, cheese differentiators, cured meats and the like.
Cheese used to be a singular food in my mind — like, cheese was just cheese.
Over the last few months, though — ever since I started to become more mindful of my net carb intake, these spreads have become my favorite little Sunday night solo dinner “indulgence.”
I’m going to share exactly how to replicate this low-carb masterpiece below; but first, let’s backtrack…
Earlier this year:
Do you remember when I read and wrote a book review of Atkins’ newest lifestyle book, “Atkins: Eat Right, Not Less?”
Initially, I thought it was going to be a no-carbs-allowed cookbook type-of-read and, well, boring. To be honest.
It was quite the contrary, though — and I actually highlighted my way through it.
I didn’t get into this in my last post, but there’s an entire section devoted to cheese, hence today’s post; but first, I want to tell you about an exciting partnership I’m continuing with Atkins — and more importantly, the giveaway we’re hosting for you.
(Learn how to make this meat and cheese plate by scrolling below)
Here’s the deets:
I’m creating three posts dedicated to living a healthier, accessible, more goal-driven lifestyle — using Atkins’ low-carb lifestyle as a general guidepost.
And I should clarify up-front: I am not “doing” Atkins.
I’m not “on” any type of diet — and I don’t “diet” very well.
Atkins, as I’ve learned, is a more like a carb-conscious lifestyle.
Ever since I read the book, I’ve just become more aware of my carb consumption (holy sh*t it was high, more on that in my last post, though); and of certain lifestyle changes I could make to more effectively reach my own personal wellness goals.
The first is all about this insta-worthy charcuterie (a low-carb meal that I’ve been making for myself regularly — and why).
For the second and third, though, I want you guys to tell me what you want me to research/write about specifically.
It can be anything — healthy snacks for traveling, foods to eat before vs after a workout… As open-ended as meal prep help, weight loss and even “how/where would I even start?” works too.
In addition, I’m hosting the giveaway on Instagram to get more familiar with your content questions, suggestions and ideas.
To enter, simply comment here with an idea about a wellness- or nutrition-related question or topic you’d like me to write about — that’s all. A few words are fine, nothing crazy!
Logistically, a few more things… (The “fine print,” if you will.)
- You can enter twice by leaving two separate comments with your question/ideas.
- This is open to residents of the USA/Canada only, sorry!
- You have to be following both me, @halliekwilson, and @atkinsnutritionals on Insta, too.
- Entry period ends Friday, May 11, at 11:59 CST
- Five winners will be chosen at random on to snag a copy of “Atkins: Eat Right, Not Less.”
- Blog post topics will be voted on after I narrow your questions and the emergent topics/ideas.
Alternatively/if you don’t want to enter the giveaway but still want to make a suggestion, leave your thoughts in the comments below or send me an e-mail.
I’m excited about this one — and eager to tailor it to what you want from the partnership as much as possible. I hope you guys are too.
Lastly, let’s get back to the ‘gram-worthy task at-hand — and how simple it is for you to recreate.
How to build the perfect meat & cheese board
Like I said, I’ve really come to love a cheese plate (and I order a lot of my fixins’ from Foxtrot Delivery Market — if you’re in Chicago, you have to check them out. They deliver everything from wine and cheese to gifts and home essentials. This link gets you a discount on your first order).
I know an impressive spread may be difficult to re-imagine, but it really is easy to make.
The trick to a well-balanced antipasto platter is abundance — lots of fresh, colorful food.
For starters, here are some low-carb accoutrements to consider — I’d suggest selecting 1-2 from each category to start.
- Cold cured meats e.g. prosciutto, ham, , pepperoni, turkey — and FYI, whenever possible, try to select nitrite- and nitrate-free deli meats (and again for my local ladies, most of these I order through Foxtrot Delivery Market)
- Hard and soft cheese e.g.. feta, brie, camembert, goat cheese, blue cheese, mini mozzarella balls (bocconcini), cheddar, provolone
- Nuts: Almonds, macadamias, pistachios, walnuts
- Olives and small marinated vegetables, like pickles, peppers, or artichokes
- Fresh berries – strawberries, blueberries, blackberries or raspberries are your best low-carb fruit options because low-sugar fruits rich in antioxidants decrease inflammation and help keep your carb and sugar intake in check, preventing insulin spikes that affect mood and cravings.
- Veggie sticks, like cucumber, asparagus, peppers and celery
If you want to add carbs or a crunch to the mix, do it! Atkins’ just suggests selecting high-fiber, whole grain crackers to help keep your net carb count down.
While I made this particular spread for a group of girlfriends the other night, remember to keep your portion sizes in-check if you’re dining solo.
I know you know, but be sure to read the labels.
I also used dried fruit (lemons) and rosemary as garnish, but know that fixtures like these (and the dark chocolate) can be packed with sugar, so as you know… Everything in moderation.
In my previous blog post, I touched on how Atkins explains the “Hidden Sugar Effect” – foods that you think are healthy that actually turn into sugar when digested. You don’t see the sugars, but your body does.
A few other festive ideas:
- Use mini bowls to create a few “unique areas.”
- Scatter/space out similar items throughout the board to create contrast.
- Finish by scattering nuts and berries across the board to cover as much of it as you can.
- Light some candles, set the table — or seat on the couch, lol — with a textured, colorful towel or two.
Bon appetit, babes! I’d love to see your finished products, too, so send ’em my way on Instagram or e-mail; whatever works!
Iron & Honey Photography
Created in partnership with Atkins