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Dinner Date Night at Pei Wei (That WON’T Wreck Your New Year’s Resolutions)

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Pei Wei Asian Diner. All opinions are 100% mine.

 photo 1029d01a-8b80-45c8-8e25-2fe1b5556032_zps6fc4b326.jpgI’m always encouraging moms and dads to keep up their date nights. However, if dinner out at a restaurant is your go-to date with your spouse and your new year’s resolution is to eat healthier, you may have put date night on pause. The good news is that you can still eat healthy at a restaurant and enjoy the company of your spouse or significant other without feeling guilty about the food.

Pei Wei Asian Diner is on your side with healthy restaurant food options! Pei Wei’s reFresh in the new year means they will keep inventing new menu items this year and have introduced a new small size entrée. Let’s talk about that for a second.

Making a smaller than regular portion is basically the opposite of what many restaurants do. In our American dining culture, we’re used to restaurants offering “super size”, “mega”, “extra large,” and “jumbo” portion sizes. The restaurants try to get us to increase our portion size and many of us do, because the food looks and tastes so good! Then we over eat because we have too much food in front of us. Does this sound familiar?

Pei Wei now has 2 sizes: regular and small. You can order a reasonable portion size and know that you’re eating fresh ingredients. Here is the difference between the two portion sizes of the same meal:

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Your budget won’t be hurting from this dinner date night either, since the fresh wok’d entrees start at $6.39.

New Dishes at Pei Wei

If you want to look at the Pei Wei menu before you plan a date night there for you and your spouse, check out all the meals online. Explore the Pei Wei Asian Diner menu .

Plus, they just keep releasing new exciting flavor combinations that offer lots of fresh options. The newest addition to the Pei Wei menu is the Thai lime & chile flavor. You pick your meat (shrimp, chicken, steak, or even tofu for vegetarians), and if you want it with white or brown rice, and they make your dishes to order using hand-cut veggies. If you really want to step up your fresh healthy eating, you can get the Thai lime and chile as a salad too!

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The new flavor includes Fresno chilies. In case you haven’t heard of that variety of pepper before, they have a medium hotness rating (the Scoville heat rating is 2,500 – 10,000, or about as spicy as a jalapeno pepper or Tabasco sauce).

If you’re a spicy food fan but your spouse isn’t, Pei Wei is perfect because they can choose their own flavor and still get the same fresh ingredients made to order (even if they are a little less on the spicy side!). The new ginger orange edamame, wok roasted vegetable salad, or Szechuan green beans may be the perfect choice. And you know I love that Pei Wei offers gluten free meals and lots of vegetarian options.

If you want to check out Pei Wei online, here they are:

What are you waiting for? Grab your calendar and schedule your next dinner date night at Pei Wei! Go ahead – dinner at Pei Wei won’t wreck your new year’s resolutions! Which dish are you going to try? Are you spicy and ready to go for the Thai lime & chile?

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Christmas Dinner Just Got Easier with Real Organic Food in Tetra Pak® Cartons!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Carton Smart. All opinions are 100% mine.

Pacific Foods real food cartonsHoliday dinners can be a huge production with all the family-favorite dishes that have to be made at the same time for one enormous savory meal! For many of us who have food allergies to cook around, finding ingredients for our favorite holiday meals is not just difficult, but close to impossible. I’ve got great news! Christmas dinner just got easier with real organic food in Tetra Pak® cartons from Pacific Foods.

Food Allergies and Holiday Cooking

When Tetra Pak® contacted me to check out their foods in cartons, I first went to their website pacificfoods.com to see what the ingredients were.

Since I have to prepare meals with 2 family members’ food allergies in mind, I have to cook with foods that have no dairy, no soy, and no gluten. Finding cranberry sauce that didn’t have any of those 3 ingredients in the store at Thanksgiving was impossible. I was so surprised to find that the popular brands and store brands both were full of chemicals and ingredients my family can’t eat.

I was happy to see that the Pacific Foods organic jellied cranberry sauce was gluten free, dairy free, and soy free. not only that, but it also only contains real food! The three ingredients are organic cranberries, organic cane sugar, and water. See – all real food!

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Another item that gives me trouble for holiday meals is gravy. Prepared gravies in cans and even packaged gravy mixes from the grocery store are all full of gluten, soy ingredients, or dairy. Most even have all three of those common food allergens. Unfortunately, that means that unless I’m making gravy from scratch with drippings from a turkey, we’re out of luck for gravy. Even chicken stock purchased in the store often has chemicals or food allergens (even “natural flavor” can contain dairy or soy).

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The Pacific Foods organic simply stock chicken (unsalted) has no allergens! Now, I’ll be able to use the chicken stock not only for making holiday gravy, but also as a real food base for chicken soups, for baking chicken breasts, and for crockpot dinners.

Pacific Foods real food cartons

You can start switching over the ingredients you normally use to real foods in cartons now, just in time for your holiday dishes. They have broths, sauces, cranberry sauce, pumpkin puree for your pumpkin pie, wild rice soup, macaroni and cheese, and more.

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You can also bulk up your pantry because these foods in the Tetra Pak® cartons have no preservatives, no chemicals, and you don’t even have to refrigerate them. The expiration dates on the items I got to try from Pacific Foods were all far in the future (2014 and 2015) even though they have no preservatives!

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Become Carton Smart and be good to the earth! The cartons create less waste than aluminum cans (1/3 less) and the squared off shape uses space efficiently in your pantry. In fact, if you’re bulking up your pantry stockpile, carton foods are perfect because of their long shelf life.

You can Tweet @CartonSmart with your ideas about how to incorporate carton food ingredients into your holiday cooking and use the #CartonSmart hashtag. Follow #CartonSmart on Pinterest and check out their smart Christmas cooking board for holiday recipes.

Are these cartons from Pacific Foods going to be lifesavers for your family’s food allergies?

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Kitchen Tip: Make a Crockpot Dinner the Night Before

Using a crockpot to cook your dinner all day while you’re busy or at work is a great time saver! However, what if you don’t have time to cut up the food, add the ingredients to the crockpot and otherwise put together the meal in the morning? Do it the night before!

Kitchen Tip: Make a Crockpot Dinner the Night Before

A great way to take advantage of your crockpot is to make your meal the evening before. Add all ingredients to the crockpot and make sure it is ready to cook. Then take the insert (this is the part of the crockpot that the food goes into; usually they have small handles to lift them out of the crockpot), put the lid on it and put it in the refrigerator. In the morning, remove it from the fridge, set it back into the crockpot, and turn on to cook all day.

Presto! A wonderful low-maintenance meal that took zero minutes out of your already busy morning to prepare. Happy crockpot cooking!

We originally published Kitchen Tip: Make a Crockpot Dinner the Night Before on Home Ever After on June 17, 2008.

Pei Wei Wraps Make a Fresh Dinner for Out of Town Holiday Guests

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of PeiWei. All opinions are 100% mine.

If you have out of town holiday guests coming this Christmas season, it can make getting dinner ready on busy nights even more stressful. Let Pei Wei® Asian Diner make your night easier by preparing a fresh dinner for you! You can bring home their new Sriracha Pineapple Pork Lettuce wraps and delicious entrees for a fresh ready-made dinner your friends and relatives are sure to love.

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Bring Home the New Lettuce Wraps

Pei Wei®’s sriracha pineapple pork lettuce wraps are the newest addition to their yummy appetizers, but you can also choose from Thai chicken, Korean steak, and traditional chicken wraps. (Explore the full Pei Wei Asian Diner menu here.) The brand new sriracha pineapple pork lettuce wraps have red peppers, green peppers, pineapple, and red onions inside with delicious wok-seared pork.

Moms will like that Pei Wei® uses fresh hand-cut veggies and has over 35 to choose from when you build your own meal just to your liking (and the liking of any picky kids or particular out-of-town relatives!).

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Even for a quick lunch while out doing holiday shopping with the family, Pei Wei® is a casual restaurant that will get your made-to-order meal ready for you fast, even if you have food allergies. Did you know that they have gluten free and vegetarian foods on the menu for those of us who can’t have wheat or dairy? This is especially helpful for us moms who find restaurant food for our food allergy-laden kids (or ourselves) challenging.

Put Pei Wei® on your meal plan during this busy holiday season and pick up appetizers and entrees from their super easy to-go service! Want to keep up with all their news and deals? Like Pei Wei on Facebook, Follow Pei Wei on Twitter, or Follow Pei Wei on Pinterest!

Are you anxious to try this new Asian-inspired dish on your dinner table this December? When are you planning your Pei Wei takeout night: on a Saturday night after Christmas shopping, a week night after gymnastics practice, or on a busy traffic-filled commute night?

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{Recipes} Creamy Mushroom Soup Recipe

Creamy Mushroom Soup Recipe

Recipe: Creamy Mushroom Soup

Perfect for lunch or as a delicious appetizer at dinner,  this Creamy Mushroom Soup recipe was whipped up for Home Ever After readers by the fantastic chefs  at Kraft Foods.  Plus, at only 90 calories per serving, you can incorporate this delicious soup into your New Year’s resolution diet to get you healthy and slimmed down.

Prep Time: 15 min. | Cook Time: 30 min. | Total Time: 45 min. | Makes: 10 1-cup servings

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1-1/2 lb.  sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks  celery, chopped
  • 1/2 lb. baking potatoes (about 2), peeled, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 2 cups)
  • 1 qt.  (4 cups) water
  • 1 can (14-1/2 oz.) chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp.  pepper
  • 4 oz. (1/2 of 8-oz. pkg.) Philadelphia Neufchatel Cheese, cubed
  • 1/4 cup  chopped fresh parsley

Directions

  1. Melt butter in large skillet on medium heat.
  2. Add mushrooms, onions and celery; cook 6 to 8 min. or until onions and celery are crisp-tender, stirring occasionally.
  3. Reserve 1 cup vegetable mixture.
  4. Add next 5 ingredients to vegetable mixture remaining in skillet; stir.
  5. Bring to boil; simmer on medium-low heat 15 min. or until potatoes are tender.
  6. Add 1/3 of the potato mixture to blender; blend until smooth.
  7. Pour into large saucepan.
  8. Repeat with remaining potato mixture.
  9. Whisk in Neufchatel; cook and stir 2 min. or until melted.
  10. Stir in reserved vegetable mixture and parsley.

Nutritional Information

Nutrition Information Per Serving: Calories 90, Total fat 5 g, Saturated fat 3 g, Cholesterol 15 mg, Sodium 210 mg, Carbohydrate 8 g,  Dietary fiber 1 g, Sugars 2 g, Protein 4 g, Vitamin A 6 % DV, Vitamin C 10 % DV, Calcium 2 % DV, Iron 4 % DV, Diet Exchange 1/2 Starch + 1 Fat

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Read more of our easy recipes before you go.  Recipe: Creamy Mushroom Soup is from Home Ever After and we originally posted it on January 5, 2011. Disclosure about my relationship with Kraft Foods is here