❤ Make a Heart Healthy Dinner at Home for your Valentine with Ungraded Produce @ungradedproduce

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary box of goodness from Ungraded Produce in exchange for my honest review.

Did you know that February is Heart Healthy Month? Time to focus on keeping our hearts healthy through exercise and healthy eating habits. You know the saying..Happy Wife,Happy Life. Well this month, we’ve remixed that saying to ..A Healthy Husband and Wife leads to a Happier & Healthier Life. So I’ve partnered with Ungraded Produce to share a healthy husband and wife meal idea just in time for Valentine’s Day! ❤

Ungraded ProduceWho Are They?

They are a produce delivery service that provides customers with an easy way to fight against food waste. Fact: 1.2 million tons of food go to waste in NC each year! Founded in June 2015 by Courtney Bell, Ungraded Produce saw an opportunity to connect consumers with a supply of delicious but imperfect looking produce at 30-50% cheaper than supermarket alternatives!

■ What Do They Do?

Fact: 20% of the produce grown in the US gets left in the field or tossed for being “ugly”.

Ungraded Produce is working to fight these statistics by rescuing produce, packing/delivering it to the customer’s door and making an edible impact against food waste!

■ How Does It Work?

Fact: 40+ million Americans lack access to a convenient and affordable source of fresh produce.

With Ungraded Produce you get farm to door service when you get a subscription. Boxes ranges from 5-15 pounds and you have the option of weekly or biweekly delivery options. At any time you can cancel,pause or change products at any time!

*SobeSavvy Tip: New Customers SAVE $5 on your first box with promo code (HEALTHYNC)

Register at www.ungradedproduce.com

With your subscription, you are joining in the fight against food waste! Note: They deliver to most towns that border Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill only.

■ Why Should You Subscribe?

Make your health your wealth and priority this year. Treat yourself and family to affordable, easy, sustainable fresh fruits and vegetables. It is also very convenient to receive this special delivery right to my door! In my Large Mixed Produce Box, I received 15 lbs of FRUIT|honeydew melon, apples, tangerine mandarin oranges, bosc pears + VEGETABLEs|vidalia onions, spaghetti squash, poblano peppers, carrots, brocolli, tomatillios

■ How do I plan to use my box?

So far, I have made fresh juice from carrots and oranges in the morning!

My husband has entertained us with his Ungraded Produce juggling pre-dinner show…

…and together we have made a romantic dinner at home using all the unbelievable goodness from Ungraded Produce. Want to make a heart healthy dinner for your Valentine? ❤ Check out what we made using Ungraded Produce.

SANGRIA | Red wine in moderation is healthy right?! I added pears,apples,honeydew melon and voila..you are ready to raise a glass and toast to your Valentine.

DINNER | With the help of my friend Google, I mashed up a couple of recipes and came up with a delicious and healthy entreé to serve for our romantic dinner at home. First the sauce…

ITALIAN GREEN TOMATO SAUCE..inspired by this recipe>>here. After roasting the tomatillos, I added them to a blender to make a sauce to use for my spaghetti squash pasta.

SPAGHETTI SQUASH PRIMAVERA inspired by this recipe>>here. First let me say thank you to whomever came up with idea to put the directions on how to make spaghetti squash in the microwave right on the label! Such a time saver.

After washing, dicing, slicing, sauteing, seasoning the veggies, it was time to add the green tomato sauce, the parmesean cheese, the spaghetti squash and L-O-V-E ❤!

The table was set for a night and meal he’ll never forget. I took a cue from Johnny Gill and ..🎶 put on my red dress, slipped on some high heels, and some of that sweet perfume 🎶..and My, My, My our meal was so good tonight! We enjoyed our romantic dinner at home made with Ungraded Produce. I hope you are inspired to subscribe and make something healthy and special for your Valentine too! ❤

■ Do you plan to dine in or out for Valentine’s Day?

■ Have you used Ungraded Produce service before?

Let me know in the comments below. Thanks for reading! ❤

#VisitBrio for #ValentinesDay and enjoy delicious made-from scratch risotto dishes and more! @BrioItalian

Having spent time in Europe I realized quickly that risotto is to Italy what rice is to Asia! An Italian staple for centuries, risotto done right is now available at Brio Tuscan Grille for all! Located in Crabtree Valley Mall, this restaurant is a great place to enjoy lunch, bar bites, dinner or weekend brunch.

Per their press release, “It’s a Risotto Celebration” menu, available now until Sunday, March 25, 2018. This limited-time selection includes four chef-inspired risotto entrées, which all feature high-quality ingredients and are made from scratch. In addition, the menu includes three original cocktails, created to compliment BRIO’s new risotto dishes, and a decadent dessert.

The ‘It’s A Risotto Celebration’ Menu

I am a big fan of this restaurant because although a chain, it never feels like cookie cutter cuisine and this limited time only special should inspire you to make plans to dine there soon! We went at lunchtime and entered their bright and airy dining space. Only fresh good food comes out of their open kitchen and it shows. But before I get into how great the food is, let me tell you about their amazing cocktails!

Left to Right: Maple Bourbon Smash, Bulleit Rosa

There are three distinctive cocktails that are included on this special menu. My husband and I tried The Maple Bourbon Smash (Maker’s Mark, Monin Maple, lemon juice, rosemary simple syrup, dash of bitters, orange garnish) and Bulleit Rosa ( Bulleit Rye whiskey, lemon juice, simple syrup, 19 Crimes Red Blend, lemon twist garnish). They were the perfect start to what was to come.

Of their four risotto themed dishes, we had the following:

Shrimp Risotto & Broiled Lobster Tail: mushrooms, red peppers, asparagus, and basil

Sea Scallop Risotto: pan seared sea scallops, ratatouille vegetables, basil, and red peppers

Although hard to choose among four great dishes, we opted for the Sea Scallop Risotto and the Shrimp Risotto & Broiled Lobster Tail because we are seafood lovers. WOW is the word that comes to mind when speaking of these dishes. Risotto is all about the cooking method. Not cooked well enough and it is hard. Overcooking risotto and you end up with nothing but mush. Brio got it exactly right! The scallops were in a red sauce and the shrimp & lobster in a light oil sauce. We actually exchanged plates halfway through because neither of us could decide which one was best! Only YOU can be the judge, but the shrimp & lobster was my fave.

We ended lunch with the featured dessert, a molten chocolate cake with mascarpone cream, white chocolate raspberry gelato. It was as good as it looks too and wonderful to share with that special someone!

SobeSavvy Tip: BRIO Tuscan Grille’s tempting Valentine’s Day menu features this decadent dessert, along with enticing cocktails, delicious starters and entrees. This offer is available during lunch/dinner, Friday, Feb. 9 – Sunday, Feb.18.

Brio Tuscan Grille

4325 Glenwood Avenue

Raleigh, NC 27612

5 ways to Wine & Dine Your Valentine on #ValentinesDay @BrioItalian #myBrio NEW menu items

**DISCLAIMER** Thank you BRIO for sponsoring this post. Although the meal was on them, the opinions are 100% all me ! 

I have always loved BRIO Tuscan Grille for their high quality cuisine that has it’s foundation based on the cuisine from the Tuscany region of Italy. Having spent some time in Italy a few years back, I can attest that REAL Italian food is much more complex and nuanced than spaghetti & meatballs {although I like that dish also}. BRIO (means lively or full of life) has an atmosphere that I like to call casual elegance. Most of their ingredients are made in house, like their sauces, pasta, fresh whipped cream and baked bread.  

We sampled some dishes off of their limited time only “Flavorful Features” menu. Chef Mario, whom I met at the Raleigh, NC Crabtree Mall location, was very passionate and informative about the skill and love put into each dish. These recipes were created exclusively by the executive chefs at the company and lived up to the expectation of being flavorful!

In honor of the upcoming Valentine’s Day, I wanted to review these offerings in a unique way to assist our readers who are looking to impress their dates on that special night {or any other night of the week at BRIO’s Tuscan Grille.

Here are 5 ways to Wine &Dine your Valentine at BRIO’s ~

1. Order a unique cocktail, such as an Italian Mule.  If you love a classic mule cocktail, this one will not disappoint as it has a limomcello twist! Pucker Up!

2. If your date is wanting a light dinner or a healthier option, BRIO offers a variety of salads. Try this Kale Ceasar (the kale is marinated which gives the salad wonderful layers of flavor) or Grilled Salmon Salad (underneath those crispy shoestring potatoes lies a nice portion of salmon making this salad a meal all by itself).

3.Get a few appetizers that are not only great for sharing, but will allow you to feed your date!  We loved the Bruleed Parmesan Creme served with Balsamic roasted grapes and grilled ciabatta. Or spice things up with their Spicy Shrimp & Eggplant. You’re gonna want to put that black pepper cream sauce on everything! It’s that good. 

4. Seafood is a known aphrodisiac and BRIO offers a plethora of options for the seafood lover like Scallop Risotto and Crab Stuffed Shrimp and Lobster Tail.  The portion is sized to share but it is so fresh and delicious, you may not want to. The scallops were prepared to perfection and I appreciated the size as well as the taste. Loved the plating of their dishes as well. We eat with our eyes first they say. Just look how beautiful the lobster tail is! 

5. Impress your date by speaking Italian and ordering dolce {that is the Italian word for dessert !}. Try this Dolchino Trio: Creme Brulee, Caramel Mascarpone Cheesecake, Butterscotch Budino (which is Italian for pudding). This was a sweet ending to an amazing meal!

Make your reservations now because these flavorful features are only on the menu for a limited time thru 2/28/17. And for Valentine’s Day weekend,  Brio Tuscan Grille Crabtree Valley Mall is offering this two-course prix fixe menu special from 2/10/17 to 2/14/17:

If seafood isn’t your favorite, I highly recommend the Chicken Saltimboca. Three tender chicken breasts with provolone , fried sage, crispy pancetta and butternut squash risotto. Both tender and tasty , this entree is definitely not your average chicken dinner. 

Visit www.BrioItalian.com for a list of locations and to make reservations online.