Saving Dinner

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  • Edition: Original
  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 2009-08-25
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books
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Full of practical tips on simple, healthy meal planning, "Saving Dinner" is the ideal solution for today's busy parents who would love to have their family sitting around the dinner table once again--sharing stories along with a nutritious meal.

Author Biography

Leanne Ely is a certified nutritionist and the host of SavingDinner.com. Her syndicated column, “The Dinner Diva,” appears in 250 newspapers nationwide. She writes a popular “Food for Thought” column on the ever-popular FlyLady.net website, and hosts “The Dinner Diva” radio show on Blog Talk Radio. Ely also writes her own e-zine, Healthy Foods and is the author of several books, including the recent Body Clutter, which was a New York Times bestseller. She lives in North Carolina with her two teenage children.



As the weather starts to change, the welcome relief from the heat begins to take hold and paint the leaves of the trees autumnal colors. With crisp fall weather, warm comfort foods begin to play into these coming weeks. The rich, glorious flavors of fall are showcased in this first set of menus with rich stews, thick soups, and recipes featuring delicious winter squashes.

Week One

Day One: Apple Chicken

Day Two: Roast Beef Picante

Day Three: Beany Burritos

Day Four: Moroccan Fish Tangine

Day Five: Italian Turkey Meat Loaf

Day Six: Crock Pea Soup

Shopping List


6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

11Ú2 pounds boneless sirloin roast

6 whitefish fillets

1/2 package Italian turkey sausages

1/2 pound ground turkey

1 ham bone


vegetable oil

olive oil

cider vinegar

dry white wine

Worcestershire sauce


1 lime

2-3 lemons

4 Granny Smith apples

3 pounds onions (keep on hand)

garlic (you'll need 7 cloves)

3 tomatoes

2 bell peppers

1 bunch carrots

celery (you'll need 1 stalk)

1 small jalape-o pepper

1 small bunch parsley

1 bunch cilantro

1 bunch green onions

**russet potatoes (1 meal)

**butternut squash (2 meals)

**broccoli (2 meals)

**kale (2 meals)

**spinach (I like baby spinach) (2 meals)

**baby carrots (2 meals)

**sweet potatoes (1 meal)

**2-3 heads lettuce (not Iceberg)

Canned Goods

1 28-ounce jar spaghetti sauce

1 14-ounce can chicken broth

1 14-ounce can beef broth

1 jar salsa (your favorite)

1 small can tomato puree (you'll need 3 tablespoons)

1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes with Italian herbs

1 15-ounce can pinto beans

1 15-ounce can black beans


1 envelope taco seasoning (low sodium is a good option)


ground cumin

bay leaves


Dairy/Dairy Case

eggs (you'll need 1)

Parmesan cheese (you'll need 1/3 cup, grated)

**sour cream (I use low fat)

Dry Goods

brown sugar (you'll need 1/3 cup)

sugar (you'll need 2 teaspoons)

cornstarch (you'll need 4 tablespoons)

oats (you'll need 1/2 cup)

flour (you'll need 1/3 cup)

1 pound split peas

**brown rice (2 meals)

**pasta (1 meal)


6 flour tortillas (whole wheat, if available)

**whole-grain rolls (1 meal)

Apple Chicken

Serves 6

1 1/4 teaspoons vegetable oil

6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

4 Granny Smith apples, cored and sliced into 1/2-inch wedges

3/4 cup dry white wine

3/4 cup chicken broth

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup cider vinegar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet. Add chicken and brown on all sides. Add apple slices, saute 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 1Ú2 the wine and chicken broth, reduce heat, cover, and simmer 10 minutes. Mix remaining wine and broth together with remaining ingredients; add to skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until sauce thickens.


161 Calories; 2g Fat (15.5% calories from fat); 7g Protein; 24g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 16mg Cholesterol; 246mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1/2 Grain (Starch); 1 Lean Meat; 1/2 Fruit; 0 Fat;

1/2 Other Carbohydrates.

Serving Suggestions: Baked potatoes, baked butternut squash, and steamed broccoli.

Roast Beef Picante

Serves 6 (w

Excerpted from Saving Dinner: The Menus, Recipes, and Shopping Lists to Bring Your Family Back to the Table by Leanne Ely
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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