How to Plan a Weekly Family Meal
Welcome back! This week, we are continuing the journey of Family Meal Month to encourage and support you all to eat more meals at home together. We have the menu down thanks to last week’s post, so now we have to gather everyone together to eat! It can be very difficult to get everyone in the family with differing schedules to sit down and eat at home together every night. So, we start small with baby steps and work our way to the regular scheduled family meal night.
We start with one night a week. There are 7 nights in a week. That’s seven opportunities to get everyone together and eating at home. Say it’s every Monday night after the family gets home from work and school, extracurriculars are over, and it’s time to relax a little (this is where the easy recipe comes in from last week’s post). Establish it! Write it on the whiteboard, in the kids’ agendas, and put it in the husband’s work calendar. Remind everyone as often as possible until it becomes ingrained in their heads that Monday night is family night. This night is excluded from all plans outside the family. Sorry kids, no sleepover at Cindy’s after school on Mondays. Sorry Richard, the boys and the golf clubs can wait until Tuesday night. And for goodness sake Janet, you can finish your crossword puzzles after dinner is over.
If you are like me and have a hard time remembering, committing, or following through with scheduled things like this, then follow my lead. First, grab an oven mitt. I know you have one (okay, if you don’t have one, pick a dish towel or something similar). Now raise this mitt, and repeat after me: "I promise, nay, commit, to do my very best to make ____ night family meal night every week until it becomes a habit for all of us. " This month is the perfect month to create new traditions and experiences - just in time to gear up for all the Fall Holidays coming up soon!
Thanks for raising a Mitt to Commit to this cause that we feel very passionately about. We hope that these posts have inspired you and that your family connects and creates memories over delicious foods. As always, thank you for joining us at The Spinato’s Family Table! Alla Salute!
Recipes for the Modern Family
It’s 2019 people. Things are different. Everything around us is evolving and adapting to the times as it races by us. Everything down to the family dinner table is different across households, and that’s the beautifully unique thing about it! The modern family looks different from household to household, and we celebrate that here at Spinato’s. This month is Family Meal Month, where, despite how different your family dinner table may look than the next, everyone is encouraged to and supported in eating more meals at home with family. We know this can be difficult these days, so we want to support and help you achieve this goal! Here are a few recipes for the modern family, courtesy of Spinato’s!
When I was drafting this blog, I thought to myself, how would I like a recipe classified if I were looking to eat meals at home? Then I remembered that I can’t cook to save my life, so I needed a recipe that basically did all the leg work for me. And I know I can’t be the only one out there with a clear forte away from a stove. So, allow me to present three recipes of varying difficulty to suit every home cook’s needs. Let’s dig in.
Easy: This is what I’m talking about, easy peasy lemon squeezy. For those nights you just don’t have the energy or skill set to cook a five course meal, Spinato’s extends our Broccoli Crust Pizzas. These guys really are the full package, especially for a family setting.
- Everyone loves pizza
- The crust is made with real broccoli, so you all are getting a dose of veggies in every bite
- Fast and easy to bake, 15 minutes or less
- They are customizable! You can add toppings, sides, or anything else you might want
A dinner like this will make it easy to get the family around the table together, and happy eaters make for happy conversation, connection, and memories that will last a lifetime.
Medium: Okay, I can handle medium I think. Just give myself some extra time for when I burn something, because I will burn something. Spinato’s makes unmatched sauces that can be used on pastas, as dips, on pizzas, sandwiches, and nearly anything you can imagine. Pick your favorite pasta, pick one of our three amazing sauces, and start cooking! My favorite combination is penne pasta with the vodka cream sauce. Mmm mmm mmm. There’s also spaghetti with Marinara, or a pizza with tomato basil as its base. Whatever combination you choose, it’s bound to be delicious and bring the family together. It’s always fun to try different combinations, so why not use all three sauces on three different pastas or pizzas throughout the week and see which one takes the cake to the family!
Almost hard: Make a feast! This is for the bigger families, the dinner party hosts, or those who just like to have options! Very soon, our a la carte Broccoli Crusts will be available to buy at grocers, and that gives you the perfect healthy, hearty, and delicious base to make your very own pizzas at home! This is fun to do as a family activity, where everyone gets their own Broccoli Crust to make a pizza however they like! We’ve got sauces to get the base nice and prepped for cheese and toppings, and you create the rest! While pizzas are being dressed, you can also have pasta cooking on the stove and sauces heated and ready to serve. Now you have Broccoli Crust pizza and pasta to serve up to your hungry families.
There you have it folks. Now you don’t have the excuse of not knowing what or being able to cook for Family Meals Month - I just gave you three of varying levels. You got this! As the month continues, we will keep talking about how to have a successful September and eat more dinners together at home. Thanks as always for joining us at The Spinato’s Family Table! Alla Salute!
We're a "Best Place to Eat!"
We are honored to be listed as a "Best Place to Eat" as seen in Flightnetwork's article -Best Places to Eat: Getting to Know the Foods of Phoenix! This fun article lists 7 restaurants in Phoenix that really capture the Arizona essence and are must-go-to's for visitors, new residents, and locals who simply have never been! We are so excited to be featured and listed as one of the coolest spots to eat in Phoenix! Check out our little cameo!
Thanks so much to FlightNetwork as well as our family members (immediate and extended - that's you!) for helping Spinato's to achieve the dream of great company over even better food. We can't wait to see you soon. Alla Salute!
Spinato’s Secrets: Skip the Wait
It's not called a Secret Sauce Society for nothing.
The newsletter -that I know you’re signed up for, right?- comes with special deals, coupons, and insider information that is NOT available to the general public. That’s why it’s a Secret Sauce Society Newsletter (we couldn’t find a good word for newsletter that started with an “S” for the alliteration, okay. We tried). But we want to share some more saucy secrets with you. That’s why we’re starting this little inner-blog series to give you a little insider look at the inner workings of Spinato’s!
The first secret we are going to uncover for you is how to skip the wait! Now, we all know that Spinato’s is a first-come first-serve basis - no reservations required. Because of this, our wait time can build up around rushes, and can even vary by the time you call to ask what the wait is, and the time you arrive to put a name on the list. This can be frustrating when you’re hangry! So when do you come in to eat if you don’t want to have 14 people ahead of you on the list. It’s all about the timing.
If you want a restaurant that’s more or less to yourself, I’d suggest coming in between 2pm and 3pm. This is the time that servers use to clean up after the lunch rush, and get ready for the dinner rush. Which means, you will have a server who isn’t juggling 6 tables, just you and 1 or 2 others. Nice! AND, because these servers still have side work to accomplish, you don’t have to be afraid of the lingering server who checks on you every 2 minutes because they have nothing else to do. It’s the perfect balance for a slow, calm, and relaxing service.
If you want a popping restaurant that is full, but not quite on a big wait yet, 4-5 is your window. If you’re in a social mood, ready to be out and about with the world, but still have yourself in a seat and fed quickly, see you at 4pm! If you get to the 6pm and beyond window, that’s when everyone else is getting dinner too. You’ll be looking at a bit of a wait.
At any rate and at any time you come in, the wait (however long or short it is) is always worth it. As soon as that first bite of ‘za hits your tummy, all worries and frustrations are gone with the wind! We hope this little tid-bit of insider information helps you get yourself and your families fed and happy! For us, that’s the art of pizza.
As always, thanks for joining us at The Spinato’s Family Table! Alla Salute!
Lunch: The Most Important Meal of the Day - Benefits of Eating a Large Lunch
It has been ingrained in our brains that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, that eating a big, healthy breakfast sets up your day for success, and even that breakfast should be the biggest meal of your day! Yeah, yeah, yeah. We’ve heard it all before. I am here, ladies and gents, to tell you that it is not breakfast that should be capturing your attention and tummies, but lunch. I am here to tell you that lunch is the most important meal of the day - and here’s why.
There are many diets out there that range from caloric intake to keto and paleo. Diets are always trending, and it’s up to us to stay on top of each trend and decide if we feel it is a good fit for our lifestyles. Or you could be like me, and just not diet at all! (Don’t be like me people, I get winded after a flight of stairs). One of these diets has to do with the time of day that you eat, and how much you eat during each time frame. This isn’t a foreign concept of course, but if we apply it to different areas of our 24 hour days, let’s see what the results might be.
According to a study published in the International Journal of Obesity, people who ate the majority of their calories before 3 p.m. lost more weight than those who ate the majority of their calories after 3 p.m. In layman’s terms, this means that people who made breakfast and lunch their biggest meals of the day lost more weight than those who made dinner their biggest meal of the day. Weight loss is a main benefit of eating a large lunch, but it is not the only one! I consulted the help of EmpowHer to find out some other benefits of eating a larger lunch; let’s find out!
Because of the larger caloric intake throughout the day rather than at the end of the day, your body has more fuel to keep it energized and functioning. It also helps to build a higher metabolism! By not skipping lunch and taking in the majority of your calories before 3 p.m. you build your body’s metabolism and keep it functioning healthily throughout the whole day, rather than letting the majority of your food sit in your stomach at the end of your day when physical activity lowers. And lastly, forming this new habit with healthy foods can help suppress unhealthy cravings. New habits replace old ones eventually!
There are lots of benefits to eating a larger lunch, and we hope that you spend some of those lunch hours with us, whether it be in one of our restaurants enjoying the Spinato’s Experience, or at home creating your own experience with our retail frozen Broccoli Crust Pizzas. As always, we are so happy you joined us here at The Spinato’s Family Table. Alla Salute!
Images: The Family Table - The New York Times
Back to School with Spinato’s
Parents love it. Kids dread it. You know what time it is. Back to school time! This time of year always comes with a multitude of challenges and opportunities. Lots of exciting and new things happen around back-to-school time. Well, fear not, families. Because The Spinato’s Family Table has you covered on how to successfully bring in the new school year! Let’s dive right in.
What to do what to do. Kids are back in school and you’re back to the grind of the mundane. Get them up, dressed, to school, then get them home, fed, and spend time together before homework and bedtime. There’s a lot to do in only 24 hours! I won’t assume how much sleep we’re all getting a night, but let’s all make it a goal to get our 7-8 hours in for health reasons. That only leaves us with so much time in a day to get everything done! But don’t worry. We are here to take at least one thing off your plate (literally)! Dinner can be the most challenging part of anyone’s day, especially with young children. We want to give you back some of that precious time that we all cherish to ourselves and with our families. Spinato’s has the answer!
You’re running around all day, trying to get things done. Maybe you worked an 8-hour day, maybe you ran errands and paid the bills and cleaned. Whatever you did today, you did it hard. Now the kids are coming home from school and they are starting to get hungry for dinner, But you’re exhausted! You want to give your family a healthy meal, but you’re also not trying to break another sweat today. We have the solution for you. Spinato’s frozen pizzas are the perfect Monday night dinner for the family. You have picky eaters you say? HA! We laugh at the thought that our delicious pizzas in several flavors could disappoint anybody. We got 3 cheese, tomato basil, margherita, primavera, and mediterranean options that will suit anyone’s preferences.
Oh wait, you have celiac members in the house? Again, we got you. Our broccoli crust pizzas are always gluten-free, AND, the broccoli crust makes for a crispier and more nutritious crust than any other gluten-free or plant-based crusts. Your kids win, your health wins, and parent, you win. Kids will love it and you for making Monday night pizza night! Guilt-free, too! Congrats!
Back to school is going to be a breeze. Your kids are going to excel and enjoy the year, all while being fueled by delicious and healthy food that you are providing for them. Parent of the year! As always, thanks for joining us at The Spinato’s Family Table. Until next time, alla salute!
School of Brocc:
Kids Really Do Say the Darndest Things at DGM
A tale as old as time, getting kids to eat veggies - let alone like them - is a challenge for perhaps every parent on the planet. We have already broken the system with our Broccoli Crust Pizzas, loading veggies in our delicious pizza pies. But, not everyone knows about our innovative breakthrough, say, kids. So, we have put together a fun little experiment to put our pizzas to the ultimate kid test. Welcome to the School of Brocc, where we take our Broccoli Crust Pizzas to a school and throw the kids a pizza party with a healthy twist. Staying true to our Arizona roots, we chose a small, local school in a neighboring city to our Spinato’s HQ to hold our little experiment, and invited our local Channel 3 News to come hang out with us. We wanted to share this super fun and enlightening experience with all of you at The Spinato’s Family Table!
Desert Garden Montessori is a small, local school that emphasizes the ideals of health and well-being. These kids even wash their own dishes at school! A garden a chicken coop provide organic produce that the school kitchen uses every day in cooking meals for the kids. We chose DGM because the unique curriculum and setting of this school gave us a really great opportunity to dive in and get in the field with these kids to do a little R&D (and have tons of fun at a pizza party at the same time)! We got there early to work with the amazing staff to get everything set up and ready for our little taste test.
Channel 3 News showed up just in time as the pizzas were being pulled out of the oven. We sat the kids down and fed them each an initial slice to let them taste, and then we asked them what they thought! And, you guessed it, turns out that kids LOVE pizza! We panned the scenic picnic tables that we were all sitting at to see the expressions on the kids’ faces as they had their first bites. Each of them smiling and barely having time to answer our questions between chomps, each response was positive and something along the line of “yummy!” Then, after the kids had downed a couple pies, we gave them the big reveal… it’s made with BROCCOLI!!! Some kids’ jaws literally dropped (it’s true, we have on film - Channel 3 local news check it out), some squealed in confusion and shock, and others kept chomping away at their slices unbothered. We kept pumping out pizzas, the kids kept eating, and the adults talked business with the news guys. I myself was too busy having a pizza party with our Broccoli Crust Pizzas!
We had a blast at Desert Garden Montessori giving these kids a healthy pizza party, and we can’t wait to keep doing fun events like this around the nation as the love of Spinato’s broccoli Crust Pizzas grows. We hope you enjoyed reading about our School of Brocc Party. Keep an eye out for pics, videos, and coverage on this super fun event on our socials. As always, thanks for joining us at The Spinato’s Family Table! Alla Salute!