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With her clever wit and wisdom, certified nutritional consultant (CNC), Leanne Ely, is bringing people back to the dinner tables each evening. Leanne has a simple philosophy, “Make it and they will come.” She is author of the Saving Dinner series; Leanne also dishes out recipes and advice with her syndicated newspaper column, The Dinner Diva.

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Saving Dinner
by Leanne Ely, Certified Nutrition Counselor

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The heat is on... summer is bearing down in all her glory. Being outside can be unbearable, even if you're crazy like me and enjoy creating a garden in this heat.

7 Cool Dinners for Hot WeatherIf you feel more like a wilted lily than a perky petunia, it's time to hose down the kitchen and start assembling dinner, rather than cook it in the oven!

Here are my Top 7 Cool Dinners, mostly made from utilizing leftovers!

1) Nicoise Salad. Drain a can of tuna and toss together with a half a head of chopped Romaine lettuce, hard-boiled egg (also chopped), a cut-up tomato, olives (I like pitted Kalamatas, about 5, cut in half), previously cooked green beans (I use leftovers from the night before) and a good olive oil/balsamic vinaigrette dressing (make your own, 4:1). Great and satisfying salad!

2) Taco Salad. Take leftover taco meat, a can of black beans (drained), some leftover corn cut off of the cobs, lettuce, grated cheese, some olives, chopped cilantro, avocado, chopped tomato… and whatever else you like, all tossed together with the same above dressing. Put it all together in a bowl, tossed to mix, and serve it up, topping each plate with a handful of smashed tortilla chips. Yum!

3) Chinese Chicken Salad. Okay, we're using leftovers again! This time it is grilled chicken breast, cut into strips. Throw that into a bowl of lettuce (Romaine works great), with slivered almonds, a can of drained Mandarin oranges, some chopped cilantro, Chinese noodles (you know you save those from Chinese take-out!) and toss together with a bottled Asian salad dressing... just look at your grocery store's selection -- there are a bunch to choose from!

4) Shrimp Stir-Fry. Easy button... all you have ...    Continue

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