Thursday, May 8, 2014

Cooking Light's Dinnertime Survival Guide review + giveaway!



One of my all-time favorite food bloggers {and mom extraordinaire}, Sally, just released her "Cooking Light's Dinnertime Survival Guide"… and it's fabulous


Oh, and in case you were wondering if Sally is as cute, peppy and knowledgeable in person as she is in the pages of this cookbook? She is. But, of course, I had to try several of the recipes to make sure they were as awesome as the ones on her blog, Real Mom Nutrition. As you may recall, we have a bit of a mutual love-fest going on. She loves my make-ahead meals, and I love her RD expertise, coupled with her real life, simple solutions to getting dinner on the table, since she's a super busy mom like all of us. 


Deciding which recipe to try first was the hardest part. 


I ran a few by my kids, and we gave the "Black Bean Soup" {page 235} a whirl first. After all, it was Cinco de Mayo….


Gotta love those recipes that take mere minutes to make...


dump this in, dump that in… give it a stir...


add some veggie broth… pop the lid on….


and voila! Or, "ole!" might be more apropos in this case.


Yum. So easy, and everyone loved it. 


Next up? A few friends were raving about the "Peanut Butter-Coconut Chicken Fingers" {page 122). I like recipes that only have a few ingredients, and this one fit the bill. The outer coating is a mixture of panko breadcrumbs, unsweetened coconut and ginger.


And before you roll it in that crispy coating, you simply dip the chicken tenders into a blend of coconut milk, eggs, and in my case, almond butter.


I doubled the batch, knowing this was a meal that would reheat well. Oh, and I also baked them instead of sautéing or pan-frying them. To go this route, simply spray your rimmed baking sheet with your choice of cooking oil and bake them at 425 until cooked through, about 10 minutes, flipping them halfway.


Another winner!


Then tonight, I had a request, by my one child who is currently {and maybe forever} vegetarian, for a hearty meatless meal. It was a drizzly and gray spring day here in CT, so a perfect night to give the comforting "Curried Carrots and Lentils" {page 75} a test drive.


I usually have carrots in the fridge and lentils in the pantry, making this one of those great "what can I make for dinner with what I have on hand" recipes. I made a few modifications: three cloves of garlic {instead of one}, no ground red pepper {trying to keep it tame}, and smoked paprika instead of sweet paprika {which I highly recommend-- it gave the dish even more depth}.



Oh, and I used veggie broth instead of water, added a whole quart instead of 3 1/2 cups of water…and I added everything to the pot instead of taking things out and adding them back in {because I believe in shortcuts… and because I'm not very good at following directions on recipes}.


This is another one of those "bonus hour" dinners, where it's got to do its' thing for about a 1/2 hour…


and if I didn't have 1st grade reading homework to oversee, I might have used that cooking time to kick back and read a magazine. But it was nice to be able to offer my undivided attention tonight.




The verdict? My vegetarian-leaning son said it was "delicious!", my self-proclaimed "meatatarian" son said, "yum, it tastes like it has sausage in it" {thank you smoked paprika}, and my husband kept making cracks about us now having "Meatless Thursdays" but you'll note that all the bowls were basically licked clean... 


Oh, and I almost forgot to mention that yours truly has a mention in the cookbook too! Check out page 37 for one of my freezer tricks. 

And {drum roll}, as a thank you for being a part of her cookbook, Sally has given me a copy to share with one of my readers. To be entered to win, please leave a comment below letting me know why you need this book! For a second chance to win, "like" Real Mom Nutrition on Facebook, and leave me a comment letting me know you've done so! A lucky winner will be chosen on Monday, May 12, 2014 at 8am Eastern Time by random.org. May the most desperate mom win! {Just kidding.}

Please note: I was sent a complimentary copy of the book to review, but all opinions are my own. I wouldn't tell you it's great if I didn't really think so! 

19 comments:

  1. This is great. I became a mom for the first time 2 months ago. I love it. Having a child takes up a lot of extra time and anything I can do that can free me up to spend more time with my daughter is wonderful. I think that adding this book to my arsenal would be a huge help to realize that extra time. Hoping for more quality family time.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'd like this book because I'm tired of making the same old stuff!

    ReplyDelete
  3. AnonymousMay 09, 2014

    Who doesn't need "Dinnertime Survival Guide"?!. Looks awesome.
    Lauren Hagin

    ReplyDelete
  4. AnonymousMay 09, 2014

    I liked Real Mom Nutrition. Im looking forward to following her.
    Lauren Hagin

    ReplyDelete
  5. This book looks wonderful! I would love to get it for my son and daughter-in-law who are juggling job, law school and a 7-month-old. They are committed to eating healthy too. I also love your "Stocking Your Freezer in a Snap." Great stuff!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'd love some fresh new ideas for family meals - I struggle to find something that my 3, 5 and us adults can eat together. I "liked" the page on FB - I want to check this book out!

    ReplyDelete
  7. because I have been "dieting" since January and am in somewhat of a "recipe rut"! looking forward to something new to try.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I need this because I just accepted a full-time job, and I've been a SAHM for nearly 6 years. I will need all the help I can get! It's so easy to take short cuts, get take out, etc. that are not healthy but I want to keep feeding my family healthy meals to teach them the right lessons about food. Also liked on FB! Tx

    ReplyDelete
  9. I follow you both on Facebook and would love to win this cookbook! The recipes you mentioned sound great!

    ReplyDelete
  10. almost every night is a "meatless" night in my house due to my 10yr old vegetarian who calls all the culinary shots. Would love to try to this hearty looking stew!

    ReplyDelete
  11. AnonymousMay 10, 2014

    My favorite part about the above? " I made a few modifications: three cloves of garlic {instead of one}, no ground red pepper {trying to keep it tame}, and smoked paprika instead of sweet paprika {which I highly recommend-- it gave the dish even more depth}. Oh, and I used veggie broth instead of water, added a whole quart instead of 3 1/2 cups of water…and I added everything to the pot instead of taking things out and adding them back in {because I believe in shortcuts… and because I'm not very good at following directions on recipes}." Yes, just a FEW tweaks! :-) All of which I agree with BTW - We <3 smoked pap over here as well! Oh, the book ... Yes it sounds great - esp. because the make ahead meals that you taught me to make need a wake up call - Mommy's fallen off the dinners in the freezer wagon and it's becoming UGLY around here again... that reason enough to be entered in the drawing? Jane in 06820 :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. This looks amazing! I'm always looking for new, healthy and delicious recipes the whole family will enjoy!

    ReplyDelete
  13. all of the recipes you sampled sound wonderful! I would love to win this book (and would love to have my child enthusiastically try some new recipes!)

    ReplyDelete
  14. I love have everything is so colorful. I'm sure it taste as yummy as it is pretty!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As comment #14, according to random.org, you are the winner!! Please email me your mailing address {mealsinasnap-at-gmail-dot-com}

      Delete
  15. Julie OareMay 10, 2014

    I liked the real mom nutrition facebook page. Looking forward to following this great page.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I want this because I need some new ideas for things to cook for dinner.

    ReplyDelete
  17. AnonymousMay 11, 2014

    Looks like it's got a lot of quick, easy, healthy ideas! Which, I am always open to!! Holly Well

    ReplyDelete
  18. And the winner is….. {drum roll} #14 - Rachel Busby! Rachel, please email me your mailing address so we can get the book out to you. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do. - Eila {mealsinasnap - at - gmail - dot - com}

    ReplyDelete