Giveaway Day!

Giveaway Day!

Food For Thought
Giveaway Day!

by Leanne Ely, CNC

You already know how much time, effort and money our Menu-Mailer subscription saves you. Well, we’ve stumbled upon something new that we think you will absolutely LOVE! How about a subscription tailored for new parents. Interested? We thought so!

With a subscription to Citrus Lane, you’ll receive a monthly box filled with 4-5 healthy and delightful baby products recommended and reviewed by real moms. Think of it as a care package for parents! The goodies inside will be customized to the age of your child. Citrus Lane is dedicated to helping parents discover the best baby products on the market. Sometimes it’s an undiscovered gem that catches their eye. Other times, it’s a tried-and-true parent favorite. Either way, they are always looking for that certain something – a wow-factor that makes them say, “Ah-ha! Now this is something every parent should know about!”

Today we are giving away one three-month subscription to Citrus Lane (approximate retail value $150). If you are a new parent, expecting a new bundle of joy or know somebody who is expecting, you don’t want to miss this opportunity!
You can enter one of three ways:
1.     Leave a comment on the Saving Dinner blog post stating that you are interested in winning a Citrus Lane subscription.
2.     Leave a comment on the Saving Dinner Facebook page stating that you are interested in winning a Citrus Lane subscription.
3.     Send an email to giveaways@savingdinner.com stating that you are interested in winning a Citrus Lane subscription.

If you want to know more about our awesome friends over at Citrus Lane, head over to their website at http://www.citruslane.com/ and check them out on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/CitrusLaneKids

The contest ends tonight at 11:59pm EST, so enter now before it’s too late! Good Luck!

Keeping Your Kitchen Green

Keeping Your Kitchen Green

Food For Thought
Keeping Your Kitchen Green

by Leanne Ely, CNC

Recycling and repurposing what we have is not only a smart economical move, it’s green and good for the environment. Most of the time it’s plastic and paper that we recycle, but if you open up your refrigerator you’ll find plenty in there that can be used for another meal. This is the ultimate in recycling; taking leftovers and giving them new life in the form of a meal makeover.

We are all guilty of throwing away food from time to time. But honestly, we can do better than throwing away half our leftovers.

How?

First, be aware of the food you have. Maybe keep a little magnetized dry erase board on the refrigerator door so you can jot down the leftovers that you’ve put in it through the week (don’t forget to date them, too).Second, don’t let leftovers exist beyond the 4 day mark. At that point they’re primed for cooties! And the third point of course, is to actually eat your leftovers.

Sometimes ample leftovers put you in the place of dread–no one wants to eat the same meal three days in a row. However, I’ve purposefully cooked “extra” just to get the leftovers. This is my “go to” guide for leftover proteins:

1) Leftover roast chicken, roast beef or pork? Shred it up and make it into a burrito (just add some canned black beans and salsa).

2) Grilled meat, chicken or fish? Make it into a main course salad, repurpose it as a sandwich or use it as your protein source for a new pasta dish.

Awareness empowers; make a plan for all your food, leaving no morsel wasted!

Want to stretch one pathetic chicken into 3 meals? Check out my Rubber Chicken! Want to stretch your clothing budget? Be sure to check out our thredUP giveaway!

Extreme Makeover – Lunchbox Edition

Extreme Makeover – Lunchbox Edition

Dinner Diva
Extreme Makeover – Lunchbox Edition

By Leanne Ely, CNC

When packing a lunch for your kids to take to school, don’t even mention the word “lunchable” or I’ll cringe. I don’t care how easy it is to buy a pre-made and pre-packed lunch like that. I promise that all the junk, sugar, and fat you can find in those won’t make them worth it. So ditch the Lunchables.

It’s time for a makeover! And after those Lunchables, I want you to dispose of any fruit roll-ups, fruit gushers, and any other gummy fruit snack. Get rid of the Trix yogurt, I don’t care how often the commercial tries to convince you that “Trix are for kids.” And please, no bologna sandwiches on white bread. If I don’t even know everything they put in that so-called “meat” then it’s something that should be left untouched. And as far as chips are concerned, we should all know better with all those saturated oils.

So what should you put in your children’s lunch? Easy, I’ll give you a list of substitutes for all the items that I dismissed.

1. Instead of all those over-processed gummy fruit snacks, give your kids real fruit! Throw in a banana or some berries. Whatever fruit is in season and on sale in the store! That’ll stock your kid’s belly full of antioxidants and natural sugars that’ll quench the sweet tooth.

2. Trix yogurt is more of a trick than a treat. It’s only full of artificial food coloring, sugar, and artificial flavors. All of which are going to keep your child craving other artificial and sugary foods and make them more lazy and lethargic instead of energetic and happy the way kids are supposed to be. So grab the natural yogurts. It’s easy to tell them apart because they’ll have labels like “real fruit” attached to them. Always double-check the ingredients to confirm that, however.

3. And when you pack a sandwich, avoid white bread and mystery meats. Look for breads that aren’t bleached. I wrote an article on how to pick the right bread if you want to look that up for a more detailed guide. Also, use meat that doesn’t have any additives. How do you know if it has additives? The same way you know anything does, check the ingredients! I can’t stress enough how important it is to know what you’re consuming instead of blindly picking something off the shelf.

4. An easy substitute for chips would be whole grain crackers (again, check ingredients), or veggies! Even if you do opt for the crackers, I would include some sort of vegetable regardless. Your children are going to keep growing and developing all the way through high school and are always needing antioxidants and the vitamins found in vegetables. Don’t forget to keep it fun and colorful!

So there you go! Always remember that there is a healthy substitute for any nutritionally lacking lunchbox item.

Don’t go yet! We have got an awesome giveaway for you today. If you want something cute, economical, cute, green. . .oh, and did I say CUTE to store all of these yummy lunch goodies in, then you need to check out Pouchie Bags at http://www.pouchiebag.com. Once you’ve seen them, you’ll realize that you must have them, and we’re giving away one set to one of our lucky readers today! Simply go to the Pouchie Bags Facebook page, then come back and tell us that you “Liked” them and why you MUST have your own set of Pouchie Bags! You can leave your comment on our FB page, blog post, or email at giveaway@savingdinner.com. We’ll pick a lucky winner at the end of the day, and we’re shutting ‘er down at midnight EST tonight, so don’t wait!

Simple Techniques for Perfect Food Pairings

Simple Techniques for Perfect Food Pairings

Healthy Foods
Simple Techniques for Perfect Food Pairings

by Leanne Ely, CNC

 

There is nothing quite as satisfying as finding a good match. Sure, I’m as happy as the next person when a friend finds their soul mate, but I’m talking about food here. There are as many different food pairings out there with just as many complimentary qualities or disagreements as there are in real relationships. The upside is: we don’t have to deal with any drama when handling food, LOL.

So how do we learn what makes a good culinary match? Recipes automatically do this kind of matchmaking for you, but if you’re really feeling daring, get in touch with those science lab roots engrained in school and start experimenting! Trial and error is such a basic part of life, especially in the kitchen.

One of my favorite foods to pair with is chicken. Mild tasting poultry is a virtual foil for anything you want to do and can go with just about anything. You can use all sorts of fruit, just about every spice and different juices to be used for marinades, barbeque sauces, salsa – everything! Chicken goes great with citrus and spicy combinations (Garlic Lime Chicken anyone?), sweet and tangy (like a mango salsa), maybe even a little Hawaiian (barbeque sauce and pineapple for example). Really, you can rarely go wrong when experimenting with chicken.

Another category of food that is just as versatile as chicken: a wide variety of produce. Fruits and veggies can participate in almost every flavor. They can be sweet, spicy, bitter, sour, and tangy with endless recipes and endless possibilities. Eaten raw or cooked, by themselves or complimenting another item, veggies offer a match made in heaven.

My challenge to you: stop being afraid of cooking without a recipe and don’t underestimate your creativity. Experiment!

P.S. Freeze Right There! Today is the last day to enter our >>Feed Your Freezer Sweepstakes<<! The freezer door closes and locks for good at 11:59 EST tonight. . .so >>enter now<< before time runs out!

Saving Dinner & a Movie Contest

Lights… Camera… ACTION!!!

Saving Dinner & a Movie Contest

Enter to win today!

Enter to win a 12-month Menu-Mailer Premium Membership ($167) PLUS a year subscription to Netflix.

Simply visit our Facebook fan page and upload a picture of your family enjoying a Saving Dinner Recipe. Be sure to include the following in the description:

  • Recipe – (just the name of the recipe)
  • Source – (must be from a Saving Dinner menu, ebook, book, or article)
  • Name – (your name – you can tag yourself in the photo if you’d like – this is a great way to let your friends and family know it’s posted and for them to come and vote)

Next, SHARE SHARE SHARE! Post a link to your profile and invite everyone to come vote on your picture. The winner will be chosen based on the number of “likes” to their photo and comments.

Contest ends Tuesday, November 9th at midnight est so post today! 🙂

Good luck!! And be sure and invite your friends and family to come vote for your picture!!