WRAL SmartShopper

WRAL SmartShopper

What's for dinner Thursday?

Posted July 3, 2014



Here's the place to share your meal ideas for the evening, post where you bought the ingredients frugally and even share a recipe if you would like. If you need some inspiration for your own dinner tonight, this may give you some helpful ideas.

What's on your menu tonight?




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  • RaleighFoodBlogger Jul 3, 2014

    Nanee Lion- I just wrote a huge reply, and it got deleted :-( But, the main gist was... baby steps! Don't feel like you have to go all healthy at once (unless your Doc says so).

    Add in a salad at each dinner, then start increasing the amount of veggies and real grains over the amount of meat and starches. And figure out what types of fruits that you each like... visit a Farmer's Market. And keep a huge bowl of them to snack on! And yes... cook more at home... which has become more and more easy to do in our home. Just last week from my favorite pizza place, there was a very long hair (that wasn't mine) all in my cheese. I have a hard time going out these days, which is probably a good thing in the end :-)

    Feel free to write me as well if you want any more tips/recipes :-) And if my DH (at 46) can do it, so can you both! He won't even do fast food any more... I think I've grossed him out too much (the more we know the better, I say!) lol!

  • nakabi Jul 3, 2014

    Nanee Lion- I second what Jdouglas said. Avoiding premade meals and processed foods is a great tip!!! I make pretty much everything from scratch and not only does it save money, but I can control the fat and sugar like jdouglas said.

    Tonight we are going to watch the fireworks so it's a simple meal tonight. Grilled cheese (harvarti, colby, and swiss), tomato, and spinach paninis on wholewheat rye (made several loaves over the weekend). Tomato basil soup using frozen tomatoes from last years garden. The kids don't like tomato soup so they will have curried chicken noodle soup that I made and froze back in February.

  • jdouglas13 Jul 3, 2014

    Nanee Lion, one other thought. Try to avoid as much as premade and processed food as possible. They are usually loaded with empty calories, fat, and tons of salt and sugar. Frozen dinners and dinner components including frozen "seasoned" veg combos, canned soup, bottled salad dressings are all on the "not so healthy" list. Makes things from scratch using fresh ingredients so you can control the fat, salt, and sugar.

    If you need any suggestions on how to make any from-scratch version of things, give me a shout. I'd be glad to help.

  • jdouglas13 Jul 3, 2014

    Dinner tonight is leftover mac & tuna salad and more sliced tomatoes. I sliced them, squeezed some fresh lemon juice, a tiny drizzle of evoo, and some lemon pepper. Let them sit, and they made their own delicious juice. So good!

    Plan B, if there is not enough M & T salad for both of us is salad for DW, M&C for me with sliced tomatoes and steamed broccoli.

    I was hoping to get out today for some of the great fruit deals to make a fruit salad, but the weather isn't looking so great and I just heard thunder, so Magnum bars if we want dessert.

  • Nanee Lion Jul 3, 2014

    Thanks so much my friends. Please keep your ideas coming as you think of something that will help us. It's hard to teach an "old dog" new tricks but got to do this for my Honey. Of course I can use the extra help for myself too.

  • jdouglas13 Jul 3, 2014

    Nanee Lion, I am so sorry about your husband. When my DW was diagnosed with some serious medical problems and we had to cut her cholesterol, I borrowed a bunch of cookbooks from the library to get a sense of how we needed to alter our diet, and then purchased a few that we liked the best and had the best recipes in it. There are also a couple of magazines that may be helpful - Prevention (also have cookbooks) and Diabetic cooking mags.

    My best cooking tip is to lose the butter and salt. No beverages that have any (or a lot of) calories. Make extra virgin olive oil and lemon your new best cooking friends. Think fresh and light when you cook. Broil, roast, and grill. No heavy sauces/gravy and deep frying. It's a different mindset, and food will seem strange at first, but even my DW, who is hardcore meat and potatoes, came to enjoy some of our new veggie-heavy cooking.

    Nakabi - what great tips on how to eat healthy! Thanks!

  • nakabi Jul 3, 2014

    Before bed I eat a small snack of string cheese or wasa krackers & peanut butter. (yes I do know how to spell lol) Calorie count is about 150. Total calories for the day is about 1350 which may not sound like a lot, but I stay full. The only thing I drink is my soy milk in the morning and then water the rest of the day. I make sure to drink at least 14 glasses of water to keep my system flushed. I do drink a cup of hot tea every night and that adds another 50 calories from the milk and sugar I put in it. The rare times we eat out, I always either drink water or unsweet tea. Some great places to get recipes are the cooking light magazine and online at

  • nakabi Jul 3, 2014

    If you must use dressing, instead of putting the dressing on the salad, dip the salad into the dressing. You end up using less. In place of dressing, I like to squeeze a little bit of fresh lemon juice and some sea salt and pepper. (total calories is about 300)
    I have another snack between lunch and supper of plain Greek yoghurt topped with berries or fruit and some quinoa flakes for some added crunch. (150 calories)
    Supper is grilled tilapia or steak, or chicken breast, mashed sweet potatoes, steamed green beans, and broccoli or asparagus. Make sure you fill your plate mostly of the veggies. Don't over cook them, but keep them crunchy. I cook mine until the colour just "pops" with a little bit of butter, garlic salt, and fresh herbs. Total calories for supper is normally about 500. Cont...

  • nakabi Jul 3, 2014

    For a snack before lunch, I will have a small handful of plain almonds or carrot sticks with a little bit of peanut butter. Again, protein, because it keeps you full.
    Lunch is almost always a huge salad full of everything! Spinach, kale, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, a little bit of walnuts, craisins (not too many because of all the sugar), onions, and some sort of protein. I like to use grilled salmon, tuna fish (canned in water, not oil), grilled chicken, left over steak, black beans, taco meat etc. Make sure if you are making tuna fish, watch how much mayo you use. I don't use any, but I know most people do. Occasionally I will mix guacamole with the tuna in place of the mayo. Much better for you. The problem with salads is the dressing people put on it. Watch how much you use. Cont...

  • Faye Prosser -WRAL Smart Shopper Jul 3, 2014

    Nanee Lion - In addition to the resources I posted about below, I also recommend this website: get the magazine and have made many of the recipes and enjoyed them. The website has a bunch of recipes and tips as well. I hope that helps a little. Sending lots of hugs your way. :-)