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Saving Dinner: The Menus, Recipes, and Shopping Lists to Bring Your Family Back to the Table Paperback – September 30, 2003

305 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“Knowing what’s for supper is the key to getting rid of the chaos. This is one of the most powerful tools out there to make it happen.”—Marla Cilley, the FlyLady, author of Sink Reflections

From the Inside Flap

Certified nutritionist Leanne Ely has a simple philosophy: ?Make it and they will come.? Dinner, that is. Take-out, opening a can, or microwave fare shouldn?t pass for a nice, healthy meal?and nothing can replace a family?s time together. Believe it or not, preparing dinner can be a stress-free endeavor. Even your time in the supermarket can be cut in half!

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. Efficiently divided by season, each section features six weeks of menus with delicious recipes, side dish suggestions, and an itemized grocery list that is organized by product (dairy, meat, produce) to make one-stop shopping a snap. Plus the book is packed with helpful hints and short cuts in the kitchen that make cooking easier and more fun.

From Big Basil Burgers and Salmon Carbonara to Crockpot Chili and Spicy Apricot Chicken, Saving Dinner will have your family coming back to the table?and back again for seconds!
Leanne Ely is considered the expert on family cooking and healthy eating. Between her popular ?Heart of a Woman? radio show in Southern California and her weekly ?Food for Thought? column on the ever-popular Web site, thousands of fans have already discovered Leanne?s secrets to easily prepared, well-balanced meals.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 301 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; 1 edition (September 30, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345464869
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345464866
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (305 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,397,340 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Leanne Ely is a certified nutritionist and the host of Her syndicated column, 'The Dinner Diva,' appears in 250 newspapers nationwide. She writes a popular 'Food for Thought' column on the ever-popular 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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

231 of 235 people found the following review helpful By Cindy on October 23, 2003
Format: Paperback
I recently ordered this book from and I have not been disappointed. From the Flylady website I knew that Leanne Ely has some of the most delicious recipes. My family has raved over most of the recipes that I received from Leanne through Flylady. The same holds true for the recipes that are in SAVING DINNER. The food I have prepared using this cookbook has been popular with my family. I love having the menus and shopping lists prepared for me. It saves me about thirty to forty minutes each week in meal planning preparation. I should add that these recipes take thirty minutes or less to prepare.
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143 of 148 people found the following review helpful By C. L. Chalk on April 5, 2004
Format: Paperback
Wow, what a book. I can't say enough good things about it. Eveything I have cooked has turned out well and gasp!, been eaten by my family. I love the fact that I don't have to agonize over what to cook for dinner -- we usually ate out is what happened.
The book is organized into seasons so you can take advantage of fresh veggies and fruits. I like the fact I can print the shopping lists off the internet.
After a couple of weeks of doing this, I had most of the staples on hand, so my shopping list is even smaller than before. An added plus is that I can now go to the grocery store and know EXACTLY what I need to get. No more "I might use this" only to have it languish in the depths of the pantry never to see the light of day again.
Leanne has gotten me back in the kitchen and LOVING it. I actually have told my husband, "No, I'd rather cook than eat out" (I can't believe I've actually said that), but that's how good these recipes are. I've tried things that I never thought would pass through my lips.
A real plus is that Ms. Ely is available by email to answer questions. She is sooooo nice.
I'd recommend this book to everyone.
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95 of 98 people found the following review helpful By Absurd Book Nerd on January 14, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I got myself this book as an early Christmas present. I can't believe the difference it has made in my life. We have gone from eating out and scrounging for dinner at least half the time to having a home cooked meal every night.
The menus are great and the shopping lists make it all so easy. I can take it and buy everything I need for the week.
My sons, the best of the picky eaters, are eating things I never dreamed they would eat. I am actually able to get the eat fish (something they never did before). When they discovered that I was using cod, they got all excited and said they were eating Captain Hook. I realized soon enough that it was their own little joke about codfish. So now, they look forward to their weekly serving of Capt'n Hook, LOL.
I can not say enough good things about this book. It is a must for any kitchen. Even if you don't use the menus and only use it for the recipes it is worth it(though I wouldn't pass up such a great time saver if I were you). The food is so good and it is easy to follow the directions.
I have already decided to buy one for my sister and my best friend. Everyone needs this cookbook.
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49 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Happy, well fed family :) on March 31, 2004
Format: Paperback
My grocery bills have dropped dramatically, my fussy four year old is eating salmon, and my husband asked for seconds of brussel sprouts!! This cookbook has replaced the rows of dusty cookbooks I never used. It is easy to use, the shopping lists save me hours of time. I recommend this book to every busy mother out there. At first I was leery of some of the recipes but decided to just go with it and see what happened, my family and I have been amazed at the things we love! Dropping a dress size without trying was another added bonus. Plus the recipes don't require a mass of pots and pans which makes clean up much simpler. Thank you so much Leanne Ely.
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55 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Kcorn TOP 500 REVIEWER on October 28, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you're as busy as I am, you don't have time to read a long review, so I'll keep this one short and focus on the reasons why you really need to have this one on hand:

1. The menus are family friendly, healthy and economical. There is a balance between vegetarian and maat-based recipes, reducing dependence on meat and reducing the costs for food. From Turkey Meat Loaf (the FIRST turkey meat loaf I ever liked) to Pea Soup, the recipes are tasty, kid friendly and yet sophisticated enough for adult palates.

2. There is a shopping list for EACH week, making trips to the grocery store quick and easy. Fresh ingredients are used and there are no recipes using foods with artificial preservatives, chemicals or artifical dyes.

3. The menus are arranged by season, which means you aren't going to waste money on a lot of items that are out of season or costly.

4. The author has helpful tips on nearly every page and even though I've been cooking for our family for years, I learned plenty of new info. That, in itself, made the book valuable to me since I now prepare even more nutritious meals for my family and I shop more wisely as well.

5. All the recipes are easy to prepare and fit into busy schedules. That's a definite plus!
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Mary Beth McCandless on October 23, 2003
Format: Paperback
I am so excited about this book. I have tried several of Leanne's menus/recipes from the website and have liked everything I've tried. I love that the book is divided into seasons and that the shopping lists to go with the menus can be downloaded from the internet (so you don't have to copy things out of the book.) The ideas for making some of the more sophisticated items more kid-friendly are great. I love that there is a real variety each week - not all casseroles or all slow cooker recipes - some soup (which is great for us since at least once a week we have a busy night out and a quicker meal is necessary). The tips included in the boxes beside the menus/recipes are great too. I also like that the side dishes, etc. are suggested. So many good nutritional facts included too. I will use this book over and over and I'm sure I'll include many notes in the margins to make the book even more useful next time around. Thanks, Leanne for a great idea done well!
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