• 28Dec

    My friends, Martha and Jeff, asked me several weeks ago if I wanted to do some volunteer work on Christmas. I said sure! We checked out a few different organizations and then it dawned on me… duh! We should deliver meals for Open Hand. I have done many Open Hand routes in the past. Delivering these meals is a very heartwarming experience. Getting that one-on-one contact with the clients is great and you really start to see how much they appreciate the food and service.

    So you might be wondering, what is Open Hand? Good question! Here is a little background on how Open Hand and Good Measure Meals work together as a social entrepreneurship:

    “In 2004 Good Measure Meals™ was launched by Atlanta nonprofit Open Hand. Good Measure Meals™ is part of a growing trend in the nonprofit world called social entrepreneurship. While GMM is a separate business unit, all profits generated by GMM go to support the work that Open hand does in the community: “helping people prevent or better manage chronic disease through Comprehensive Nutrition Care™, which combines home-delivered meals and nutrition education as a means to reinforce the connection between informed food choices and improved quality of life.” For more information about our parent organization, please visit the Open Hand website at www.projectopenhand.org.”

    We had great fun out there today. It was extra special because it is Christmas Eve.

    This is me holding one of the bags. This bag contains a complete lunch and dinner for two days.

    This is me holding one of the bags full of meals. Each client on our route got one of these bags. It contains a complete lunch and dinner for two days.

    This is Martha and I outside of one of the stops. Martha was the navigator. She is holding the very important route sheet that contains detailed instructions on where to go and what to do.

    This is Martha and I outside of one of the stops. Martha was the navigator. She is holding the very important route sheet that contains detailed instructions on where to go and what to do.

    This is Jeff holding one of the bags as we are waiting for the client to come to the door.

    This is Jeff holding one of the bags as we are waiting for the client to come to the door.

    This is Jeff and I outside another stop. This seemed to be some kind of nursing home.

    This is Jeff and I outside another stop. This seemed to be some kind of nursing home.

    One of the clients had a cooler outside for the meal to be placed in when they aren't home.

    One of the clients had a cooler outside for the meal to be placed in when they aren't home.

    We met a really nice couple at the last stop. They quickly invited us inside to chat. Lucky for us they agreed to have their picture taken.

    This is Ted and Caroline. Such a sweet couple! We really enjoyed visiting with them.

    This is Ted and Caroline. Such a sweet couple! We really enjoyed visiting with them.

    AND they even gave us a little gift… peanut brittle! It was so good. We enjoyed it on the drive home.

    Thank you Ted and Caroline! We loved the peanut brittle!

    Thank you Ted and Caroline! We loved the peanut brittle!

    I will be on vacation next week so my next post will be in the new year.

    Happy holidays to you all! I hope that you have a safe and merry holiday!

  • 23Dec

    I haven’t been able to get that silly knock-knock joke out of my head. I hope you know which one I’m talking about. I have nothing against bananas; I’ve just been eating oranges ALL morning.

    Oranges are in season right now. Juicy and sweet and well known for their high concentration of vitamin C. Oranges make a great low calorie snack. I was over at the Dekalb Farmers Market on Monday evening. Have you ever been? They have a ton of different types of oranges right now. I decided to try out a few different varieties. I picked 5 to sample: Satsuma Mandarin, Clementine, Hamlin, Minneolos and Navel. Here they are in order from my personal favorite to least favorite (but still very tasty and good!)

    I thought that these might be rotten because they were quite squishy. Not firm like a navel orange. Much to my surprise they were super sweet! Very easy to peel and pop in your mouth and no seeds.

    I thought that these might be rotten because they were quite squishy. Not firm like a navel orange. Much to my surprise they were super sweet! Very easy to peel and pop in your mouth and no seeds.

    These were very good and very sweet! Also very easy to peel and pop in your mouth.

    These were very good and very sweet! Also very easy to peel and pop in your mouth.

    I had never heard of this variety before. They were very juicy! It was harder to section out the segments - probably because they were so juicy. These would be great for making juice.

    I had never heard of this variety before. They were very juicy! These would be great for making juice. They had a nice sweetness and had a thicker peel.

    You really can't go wrong with a navel orange. These seem to be a very popular variety. No seeds and super sweet.

    You really can't go wrong with a navel orange. A very common variety. These were great - super sweet and no seeds.

    Another variety that I had never heard of before. These were very good just not as sweet and not as juicy as the other varieties.

    Another variety that I had never heard of before. These were very good just not as sweet and not as juicy as the other varieties.

    Oranges don’t have to just be for snacking. They are great decoration this time of year. Just place them in a fancy bowl. Your guests might even like to enjoy one or two.

    Also – don’t throw away the peel. Use them along with cinnamon sticks and whole cloves to make a festive hot apple cider.

    Boost your immune system and try some new varieties of oranges this holiday season!! Cheers.

  • 22Dec

    You will be seeing two innovative side dishes on the new Spring, Summer Good Measure Meals menu.

    Aren’t they darn good lookin?

    Aren’t they darn good lookin?

    Number one (pictured top left) is a blend of orzo, wild rice, roasted onions, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes and wild mushrooms mixed with savory seasonings.

    Number two (pictured bottom right) is a blend of toasted pearl couscous, red rice, red quinoa, roasted tomatoes, red and yellow bell peppers, orange and yellow carrots, petite peas, shallots, roasted garlic and basil.

    Both provide a generous amount of healthy nutrients combined with fantastic flavor. Which are you most excited for and why? Give us your feedback by leaving a comment on this post.

  • 21Dec

    Blueberries and ginger join together to make an incredible chutney that tops a seasoned grilled chicken breast. This is the newest recipe creation for the Spring Summer Good Measure Meals menu.

    Both ginger and blueberries have made health headlines over the years. Each one has great potential to protect from a variety of illness and cancers. Ginger is most well known for its anti-inflammatory ability and its power to ease nausea. Blueberries are packed full of antioxidants and have even been referred to as a “superfood”.

    Now on to the recipe. First I mixed the seasoning for the chicken breasts.

    Herbs and olive oil help boost the flavor of the grilled chicken.

    Herbs and olive oil help boost the flavor of the grilled chicken.

    Grilling the chicken breasts.

    Grilling the chicken breasts.

    Blueberries and ginger plus a variety of other ingredients are cooked together to make the special chutney.

    Blueberries and ginger plus a variety of other ingredients are cooked together to make the special chutney.

    This is the final result - grilled chicken topped with blueberry-ginger chutney

    This is the final result - grilled chicken topped with blueberry-ginger chutney

    Our executive sous chef, Justin, and manager of customer service, Phyllis highly approve!

    Our executive sous chef, Justin, and manager of customer service, Phyllis highly approve!

    Please let us know what you think by leaving a comment.

  • 18Dec

    All of this cold and wet weather has got me thinking about tropical beaches on an island. What would I eat for breakfast if I was on an island right now? Coconut, bananas and pineapples, of course!

    This was the inspiration for the newest breakfast bar idea for the 2010 Spring/Summer Good Measure menu.

    I’m calling it “Tropical island oatmeal breakfast bar made with banana, coconut, pineapple and sliced almonds”.

    Check out the pineapples, oats and bananas. The is just a small hint of coconut flavor.

    Check out the pineapples, oats and bananas. The is just a small hint of coconut flavor.

    Oats are an amazing and powerful little grain. They are loaded with soluable fiber. This is the type of fiber that helps lower LDL cholesterol, also known as ”bad” cholesterol. Soluable fiber appears to decrease the absorption of cholesterol in your intestines.

    Eating 1 1/2 cups of cooked oatmeal adds 6 grams of fiber. If you add fruit, such as bananas and pineapples you can add even more fiber. One 3 oz serving of this breakfast bar provides 7.5 grams of fiber! Cheers to oats, espicallially when combined and baked with such delicious ingredients.

    Our dietetic intern, Brooke, gives it a try. She highly approves!

    Our dietetic intern, Brooke, gives it a try. She highly approves!

  • 17Dec
    We tasted the Mock Mole Turkey Chili today. Everyone loved it!

    I made three different versions with slightly different ingredients and levels of spice.

    Different versions of the chili.

    We all agreed on the best one. Thank you so much Lorraine for this great recipe! I think it is going to be a really nice addition to the menu. I hope you all agree!

  • 16Dec

    Last month Good Measure Meals had our first annual “Your Meal in our Menu” recipe contest. We asked our customers to submit their favorite recipes. The winners received a free month of Good Measure Meals and their recipe featured in our menu.

    Lorraine Russell was our grand prize winner! Her winning recipe is Mock Mole Turkey Chili. We had the opportunity to taste this delicious chili during the final cook-off and judging event. One of the reasons why we picked this recipe was because it was so unique and we currently don’t have anything like it in the menu. Lorraine told us that she has been making this recipe ever since she lived in New Mexico and that she loves the flavors used in Southwestern and Mexican cooking.

    Today I am testing the recipe so that I can get the measurements exactly right. I also want our whole staff to taste the award winning chili tomorrow.

    Chopping some of the ingredients

    Chopping some of the ingredients

    This is the chili in the pot. Looks good!

    This is the chili in the pot. Looks good!

    I also made a vegetarian version. It was a simple substitution. I used soy vegetable crumbles to replace the ground turkey.

    I would like to take a moment and thank my sous chef, Little Luna Tuna. She was a huge help today!

    Thank you Little Luna Tuna for lending a helping paw.

    Thank you Little Luna Tuna for lending a helping paw.

    Tomorrow we will do a taste test with the staff to see what adjustments need to be made. I feel like I want to do the Cha-Cha right now! OLE!

    This is the final shot. The chili is topped with fat free sour cream, mexican cheese, and green onion.

    This is the final shot. The chili is topped with fat free sour cream, mexican cheese, and green onion.

    Let us know what you think. Are you excited for this new addition to the menu?
  • 15Dec

    It’s hard to think about warm weather food when it is in the 40’s and there is a forecast for snow. Welcome to my world. Sometimes I feel like a fashion designer, who is planning an outfit two seasons in advance. Here it is the middle of winter and I’m trying to think about the food that is enjoyable to eat in the spring and summer. Maybe it would help if I crank up the heat and dance around in my flip flops and beach hat? No, that just makes my feet sore and my heating bill sky rocket.

    Usually I start by identifying the “wintery” meals that are currently in the menu. You know – the stews, root vegetables and heartier meals. These I will archive for next winter. The goal is to change about 35-40% of the menu. I keep the “all time favorites” in the menu – like pot roast, lobster ravioli and vegetable lasagna. I like to flip through old magazines from the months of March through August and cookbooks too – this helps the ideas start to flow. Then I just start asking around – our chefs are a great source for awesome recipe ideas.

    Here is a preview of some recipes I have already tested for the upcoming menu:

    Asian meatloaf topped with a hoisin glaze over wasabi mashed potatoes. Sesame spinach with toasted sesame seeds.

    Chicken and feta tabbouleh salad with fresh mint, bulgur wheat and English cucumbers. Green leaf lettuce. Whole wheat pita pocket. Fresh melon salad.

    Cool Southwestern Chicken Pasta Salad Tossed with Whole Wheat Penne Pasta, Roasted Corn and Black Beans, Topped with Cheddar and Monterrey Jack Cheeses. Fat Free Sour Cream.

    Now this is how the blog is really going to come in handy! I want to know what YOU would like to eat this spring and summer. What do you want to see on the menu? Pretend like you are at the beach or at your family’s BBQ. What are some of your favorite summertime meals?

    Let me know your thoughts by posting a comment on our blog.  Can’t wait to hear from you.

  • 14Dec

    This is your opportunity to communicate with the lady who makes the menu happen. My hope is for this blog to become a fun way for us to interact. I’ll be sharing information about the menu, the recipes and healthy food in general. I will be inviting you to post your ideas for new menu items and to comment on a wide range of food and health related topics.

    You may be wondering, who is this lady that decides what I will be eating every day? Well, I’ve always loved food. In fact my first word was cookie! Seriously! I guess that means I was born with a sweet tooth. My mother taught me the importance of eating healthy early on. Growing up she always packed incredibly healthy lunches for me to take to school and served my family and a nice green side salad in addition to the main entrée at dinnertime. She was and still is a stellar role model! I decided I wanted to take my love for food and make it a career. I became a registered dietitian in 2006. A variety of experiences lead me from Northern Virginia to Atlanta and eventually here to Good Measure Meals.

    I’m open to hearing about what you want to eat and how do you want to eat it. Let’s work together to make the menu the best it can be! Cheers to good health and good food!