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Last week I admitted that lunch is not a top priority with me.  I eat, just not anything that most would call a "real" meal.  I graze.  

Dinner though-always has been a planned meal.  Before psychologists said that family meals were important for kids, I was a proponent.  Now the kids are gone, more or less, and it's just hubby and me.  But dinner is still an important time for us.  

Now the two of us have always been at slightly different spectrums as to what constitutes dinner.  I make a three course meal:  protein, veggie and starch.  The few times my husband has made dinner in the past 29+ years, well, he thinks any meal means charring something in the red meat family on the grill and then eating half of it while he's cutting up portions.

This is probably why no one actually says-"hey is Steve cooking?  Then we'll be right over."  My son especially hates it when I prepare an entire meal and then let his dad man the BBQ.   "Mom, you know we'll be eating burnt carcinogens, right?"

I do my best to finish making dinner moments before he walks in the door-just to get it done and warming in the oven.  Our family history has enough pitfalls in it not to add my husband's idea of cooking to it.

Back to the subject of "Lite" ideas for pre-holiday meals.  This week we're obviously tackling dinner.

Go for the less caloric, higher fiber choices and then use healthy cooking methods. Since I'm here in SoCal, grilling isn't an issue-MOST OF THE TIME.  When it is I use a grill pan.  This works so well with everything-including very firm tofu.  Just remember to use your vent fan, spray your pan well and, unless you love scrubbing-stock up on baking soda.

Baking soda works really well at getting the remnants off you indoor grills without quite so much nail abuse.  Once the pan is cool and you slough off the easy "pieces", simply rinse in very hot water.  Leave a slight coating of the water on it and then pour a generous amount of the baking soda on and just let it sit overnight.  

Now the grill pans also work great with veggies, so if you have 2 you're set.

Besides grilling-there are other methods that help cut calories and still provide a tasty dinner.
We'll talk about them on Friday.

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