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TOP 500 REVIEWERon February 11, 2005
Making the adjustment to low carb has meant learning a whole new way to cook. Before I discovered this book, other recipes I've tried have been bland or required too much prep time.
Not this one. From the very first page, I was able to hit the ground running, since the book comes compete with WEEKLY shopping lists and recipes that take a short time to throw together but taste like they've taken all day to cook. We enjoyed Cube steaks with onion gravy, Thai Shrimp, Skillet Chicken Mediterranean and more.
Don't be scared by the "exotic" sounds of some of the recipes. This is family cooking, NOT something that you could only eat if you had the most refined of palates. If your kids aren't fish lovers, you might want to keep some simple alternatives on hand but on most nights, they should be able to eat the same menu as the "Low carbers".
ONE caveat - Some of the recipes are designed for a crockpot. I don't have one and I found it simple to adjust the cooking times. It was no big deal. But do keep in mind that at least one recipe a week is designed for a crockpot. Again, this wasn't a big deal to me, even without one.
In every other way, the book is perfect for our needs and we've branched out into newer, better recipes than before. Thanks, Leanne!
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on October 6, 2006
I bought this book along with Saving Dinner and Saving Dinner for the Holidays last year.

I LOVE the concept of having the weekly menu planned out as well as the grocery list put together and ready for shopping. We went through the entire book and I have to say, it really broadened our food horizons as we had been stuck in a rut for a long time with our regular foods. Also, the books really did eliminate a lot of stress by allowing me to know in advance "What's for dinner" and be ready to prepare it.

The only cons I can think of would be that the food is not exactly kid friendly, and you will need to be an open minded eater. If you have a lot of people with finicky preferences in your household, this may not be the book for you. Also, our grocery bill for two went up from about $75 a week to $125 because of the veggies and meats. Good, healthy quality food ingredients, but unfortunately, painful to the wallet.

That said, I have NEVER seen a low carb book out there that compares to this one, the food is good, the variety is there, and it takes the low carb lifestyle above and beyond "bunless burgers" and eggs and bacon.

Overall, I would recommend Leanne's Saving Dinner books. For the open minded foodie. Or for those weeks that you just want to not worry about dinner and the grocery list. These books are great to have and do offer a good variety of recipes to broaden horizons while removing some stress.
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on January 11, 2005
Leanne Ely has done it again! She provides great family friendly recipes that are healthy and yummy! You will never feel deprived eating like this. No hard-to-find high-priced ingredients here - it's real food for real people. Even those not interested in low-carb will benefit from this book. With each recipe, she provides serving suggestions for those who aren't giving up carbs. I highly recommed this book!
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on April 4, 2005
I've been faithfully using the original Saving Dinner for quite some time and purchased SDLC about 2 months ago. I love the low carb version equally but differently than the original. For starters, I thought going low carb was a fad. Little did I know the nutritional benefits! Second, these menus serve 4 instead of 6. Since it's just me and my 1 year old DD, I use 1 week of menus to last 2 weeks. It's great and I don't have so many leftovers that I feel like I'm eating the same thing all the time! Third, I've discovered I love soup. Who knew?!? I thought I was a soup-hater. Turns out I LOVE homemade soups and have a huge distaste for the canned stuff. Finally, I've learned to embrace new vegetables. This is a big deal for me. I'm 26 and only learned to love vegetables in my 20s. Now I'm expanding my horizons even more.

If you haven't checked out Leanne Ely's books, I encourage you to do so. Be adventurous! Try something new! If nothing else, learn how to plan a menu the way she does.
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on February 22, 2005
Any cookbook can throw a bunch of recipes at you. But no other I know of has thought up "what's for dinner" every night for a year -- and made it so incredibly painless! The shopping list for each week is available online, too. Just print out your current week, cross off what you already have in your kitchen, and buy what the lady says to (I even once gave the list to my DH and even he couldn't screw it up - no offense!). Bang! Everything you need for a week's worth of dinner is right there & ready to go. The only *minor* problem we have has is that in a 2-person household, fresh ingredients don't always get used up before they spoil; so you may have to juggle the order of the meals a bit. This book is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from a fulltime worker with an hour's commute each way because a healthy, tasty dinner is always at hand. Bon appetit!
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on September 20, 2005
I've tried maybe 10-15 of the recipes so far. Most have been big hits. No outrageous food items. Leanne Ely knows how to use combinations of spices that make your mouth sing! We are loving these recipes. Her explanations are also crystal clear so you have the feeling that you'll have success -- and you do. The plan of giving you a weekly shopping list is interesting. I don't do that each week, but it sure makes things easy going to the store (or pantry). The most wonderful thing about this book is that I don't have to cook 2 different meals for my family. I eat a moderate carb diet so I appreciate the lower carb count in the recipes, however, she gives ideas of what to add to the meal to round it out for family members who want that full-carb feeling. Ha! Each recipe has a nutritional analysis, too. I find this especially helpful as I'm not doing as much fat as the typical low-carb diet. I can tweak the recipes to lower the fat more easily than I could lower the carbs on a regular cookbook. (Ely's regular SAVING DINNER cookbook has tons more carbs but less fat.) I'm thrilled with what I'm finding in this book. My kids have given me unsolicited complements!!! That ranks!
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on March 8, 2007
I bought this book to replace a copy I borrowed from a friend and promptly wore out, because it was so handy. My husband is a very particular eater, and he hasn't liked most of the meals I've brought home from the meal prep places, like Super Suppers. But, he's enjoyed most of the meals I've made with Saving Dinner. And, with the menu and grocery list planned out by week, I don't spend the two hours menu planning and making up the grocery list. I even have had success with the crock-pot meals, which I haven't done well in the past with other recipes. (I do find that my slow cooker takes a lot less time than the recipe calls for, so I cut my cooking time by a couple of hours and use a meat thermometer to determine if it's done.)

The recipes are easy to make. The menus are grouped by season so that you can take advantage of produce at it's height. I find the book is most effective when you make every dish for the week, rather than pick and choose recipes. Then you can optimize the menu and grocery list. We've been pleasantly surprised when we do that even the dishes that we weren't too excited reading about have turned out to be tasty.

I may use this book to organize a meal planning night with friends once a month because I do miss that comaraderie you get at the meal prep places. It'll be interesting to see if that would be involved/easy or cost effective over the meal prep places.

Overall, this book is a huge timesaver, we may be able to use with friends to do some prep nights, has saved us money by keeping us out of the restaurants and drive-thru's, and we are around the dinner table more! It'd be a great gift for newlyweds. I wish I'd had something like YEARS ago!
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on February 18, 2007
I have about 30 Low Carb Cookbooks, and along with George Stella's two (which I love), this one is getting a LOT of use. One of the things I like about it is that you don't have to buy unusual items to make these guar gum, no flax seed, no whey protein powder, no things-you've-never-heard-of-and-don't-know-where-to-buy sort of ingredients. So far, only one recipe was mediocre (sauteed scallops on spinach). But the spiced pork chops tonight were great, and the bang-bang taco soup was easy and tasty. So was the Mediterranean Chicken. I think the shopping lists are an excellent idea, and I also like the idea of the seasonal menus (though I've been bouncing around from place to place in the book, making what sounds good and what's on sale at the supermarket.) Tomorrow's dinner? Chicken in Bourbon sauce. Can't wait.
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on April 4, 2005
I have a family of four with several picky eaters, and we have had great success with the Saving Dinner Low Carb menus. As a working mom ultra-stressed for time, this is an absolute time-saver, as I can just take the menu shopping list to the store with me. Most of the meals can be on the table in 20 min. tops, which is great when you are squeezing dinner between getting home from work and rushing off to cub scouts. I've been following her LC menus for a while on line, and have given these books as gifts for time-stressed friends. BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE (as they say)...since switching to Leanne's menus, not only do I SAVE TIME(planning, making lists, etc.) but I SAVE MONEY, and reduced our weekly shopping bill! Since many of the staples and meats repeat in the cycle, I can purchase economy size chicken breasts and pork chops and know that they will be used soon and not turn into prehistoric frozen wonders (i.e. wonder-what-it-was). There are weeks where all I need to purchase is, does that feel great!

All my fussy eaters have enjoyed the dinners, since it is easy to reduce or eliminate any spices that don't work for us. Best of all, we have expanded our horizons to new veggies, old veggies new styles, and multiple veggie meals. It's a pleasure having Leanne in my kitchen, she's like a member of the family!
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on April 3, 2005
I appreciate this cookbook (and I make space for only 5 cookbooks in my kitchen) because: (a) I work outside the home and have limited time to shop and plan, (b) I need to eat more sensibly and to lose weight, (c) the meals are tasty, and the (d) the shopping -- while perhaps a little expensive as you lay in the pantry and spices -- is laid out for me and saves me money. I notice at least 2 reviewers who didn't give it a chance -- GIVE IT A CHANCE, you won't be disappointed.
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