• 26Nov

    Contributed by Atlanta-based Registered Dietitian Joanna Skinner

     

    This week, the folks at Good Measure gave me three meals to try:  Walnut and Spinach Bake with Ricotta Cheese over Brown Rice Pilaf with a side of Sugar Snap Peas; Spinach and Ricotta Bake over Seasoned Brown Rice with Carrots and Parsnips; and Pad Thai with Tofu and Bean Sprouts with Asian Bok Choy.

    GMM Chicken Pad Thai, Shown with a side of Broccoli Rabe

    The spinach-ricotta bake is a solid dish, and it would be equally at home as part of a savory breakfast as it is as a lunch/dinner entrée with rice and veggies.  However, the standout meal for me was Good Measure’s long-popular pad Thai.  It’s easy to see why this is one of the most successful meals on the GMM menu—the pad Thai itself rivals many restaurants’ versions, and the bok choy was, like most of the other vegetables I’ve eaten as part of Good Measure meals, perfectly cooked.

    Bok choy is a particularly good vegetable to highlight this time of year, because it’s in season in Georgia right now.  If you visit a local farmer’s market, there’s a good chance you’ll see this pleasantly bitter leafy green among the sweet potatoes, turnips, and butternut squash.  One of my favorite recipes appears below this post.

    A member of the cabbage family, bok choy (sometimes spelled pak choi) is a good source of vitamin C, calcium, folate, beta carotene, and fiber.  Other dark green leafy vegetables also supply vitamin A, calcium, folate, fiber and other nutrients.  All green leafy vegetables are considered non-starchy, so they’re great for anyone watching his or her blood sugar.

    If you don’t currently order Good Measure Meals, or if you order a few meals each week and do your own cooking as well, I encourage you to sample a range of dark green vegetables this fall.  Kale is an especially popular and versatile green, working well as a gently sautéed side dish, as a substantial addition to vegetable soup (chop it well), as a roasted substitute for potato chips, or, for the slightly more adventurous eaters, as part of a massaged (raw) kale salad.  The recipe for a seasonal kale salad I especially like can be found here (scroll down to the salad recipe under “Special Package Dinner”): https://www.moorefarmsandfriends.com/store/pc/viewContent.asp?idpage=234.

    Collards are a staple in the South, but many of us are most familiar with greens that have been boiled for hours, probably with some ham or a smoked turkey leg added for flavor.  While that kind of recipe has its place, for vegetarians or those looking for a somewhat healthier take on the recipe, turn here: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/claire-robinson/smoky-collard-greens-recipe/index.html.  Using smoked paprika instead of smoked turkey or ham helps reduce the sodium and fat in the dish while still giving the greens a good, smoky flavor.   Also, note that you don’t need to cook the greens for hours to make them edible; 30-45 minutes in low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth will do the trick AND help the greens hold on to their nutrients.

    Mild dark greens such as spinach and Swiss chard offer the same health benefits as the other greens described here, so if you prefer a milder flavor, you have other delicious options.

    With so many possibilities, why not give a bowl of leafy green veggies a place on the table this holiday season?

    Sauteed Greens make for the base of a delicious and healthy winter meal

    Sautéed Sesame Bok Choy

    Serves 2

    Ingredients:

    1 large head baby bok choy, washed thoroughly and chopped into large pieces (including the white stalk)

    2 tsp sesame oil

    1 tbsp sesame seeds

    2 garlic cloves, minced

    2 tsp fresh ginger, minced

    2 tsp rice vinegar

    1 tsp low-sodium soy sauce

    Instructions:

    Heat the oil in a skillet.  Add the sesame seeds, garlic, and ginger, and sauté for 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant.  Add the stalk of the bok choy first, stirring it occasionally to coat it with oil.
    When it starts to soften (3-5 minutes), add the green leaves.  Cook just until the leaves begin to wilt.  Remove from heat, and stir in the rice vinegar and soy sauce.  Serve with your choice of protein and grain.

  • 21Nov

    Happy Thanksgiving to all our friends! In the spirit of the holiday, we asked the GMM staff what they’re thankful for this year. We’ll let the answers speak for themselves.

     

    Katherine: Since starting at GMM this spring, I’ve been so thankful for our customers’ honesty through the year about their favorite parts of the menu and their suggestions/ideas for improvement. And more than that, I’m thankful to be part of a team that actually listens to the customer and makes the changes needed to put out the best product possible.

    Sule: I am thankful for being part of a team whose success is directly tied to providing a product that improves the health of our overall community. I am also thankful that our customers are taking an active interest in making healthy lifestyle choices not only for themselves, but also knowingly do so to help people in need they may never meet.  True “Health Care” happens when all of us help each  other, not just an individual feeling better or one entity being profitable.

    Philip: This year, I am thankful for family.  Not only does this include my immediate household, but my family here at Open Hand/Good Measure Meals.  Coming to work every day is such a  pleasure.  I thoroughly enjoy working with like-minded people who are committed to helping others achieve their fitness and health goals.   I am thankful that I get to help others.

    David: I am thankful for customers that give us great feedback about our meal plans. I am also thankful for our OH/GMM staff that listens and works together to accommodate needed changes.

    Jess: I am thankful for our amazing team of passionate health nuts!  Everyone has their own unique reason for driving our mission and it makes my job so enjoyable and rewarding!  I am also thankful to have a job that allows me to positively impact the health of our community through helping each and every one of our customers pursue their health and wellness goals.

    Judi: I am thankful for the incredible opportunity I have to affect so many lives in a positive way just by working for Open Hand and Good Measure Meals.  It is a way to connect to people in our  community who were invisible to me before I started working here.

    Harmony: I am very thankful that we have customers who not only care about themselves, but care about others. Our customers are aware that we give back to Open Hand, and they still give extra donations when ordering. I am thankful to work with a group of people whose commitment to health and wellness is outstanding! And I am thankful to work with such a great team in customer service!  We, as a team, take pride in what we do, and we have so much fun in the process!  From teamwork to problem solving, it’s always a good day at Good Measure Meals!

  • 20Nov

    Thanksgiving leftovers. We all have them (if we’re lucky), but we don’t always want to eat the same meal ten times in succession.

    Leftovers at work! Leftovers at home! Leftovers coming out of our ears!

     

    Fortunately our resident chefs and dietitians have put together some winning recipes for how to retool your leftovers into completely different and altogether delicious dishes. Happy cooking and bon appetit!

     

    Turkey Omelet

    Organic canola oil

    ½ small onion, chopped

    ½ small red bell pepper, chopped

    ½ cup leftover cooked turkey breast, shredded

    ¼ cup shredded cheese

    2 eggs + 1 egg white, beaten

    2 Tbsp skim milk

    1/2 avocado, sliced

    Salt & pepper, to taste

    Saute onion and bell pepper in 1-2 tsp oil over medium heat until tender.  Add in leftover turkey until warm.  Remove vegetables and turkey from pan.  Beat eggs and milk together and season with salt and pepper.  Pour into pan and cook until no longer runny. Place turkey, vegetables and cheese on ½ of omelet.  Fold in half, top with avocado and serve.

    Sweet Potato Pancakes

    1 ¾ cup leftover mashed sweet potatoes

    ½ cup whole wheat flour (add more if needed until you reach desired thickness)

    1 egg or 2 egg whites, beaten

    Organic canola oil

    Mix all ingredients well.  Heat a small amount of oil over low-medium heat in a nonstick skillet.  Pour 1/3 cup batter into pan and spread slightly to make pancake. Cook until lightly brown on one side about 2-3 minutes, then flip and brown on other side.  Top with crushed pecans and a drizzle of 100% maple syrup. Makes 6 small pancakes.

     

    Turkey Salad

    2 cups cooked turkey breast, shredded

    ¼ cup dried cranberries

    ¼ cup pecans

    ¼ cup celery, diced

    ¼ cup plain 0% fat Greek yogurt

    2 Tbsp light mayo

    ½ Tbsp honey

    ¼ tsp salt

    1/8 tsp pepper

    ¾ tsp dried tarragon (or 1 ½ tsp fresh)

    Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.  Serve on a bed of lettuce with whole grain crackers and fruit.

     

    Turkey Brunswick Stew

    1-28oz can peeled stewed tomatoes

    1 cup frozen sweet corn, thawed

    1 cup frozen lima beans, thawed

    1 ½ cups leftover diced new potatoes

    1 ½ cups leftover shredded turkey breast

    ½ cup BBQ sauce

    1 cup water

    1 small onion, chopped

    ½ bell pepper, chopped

    Place tomatoes, corn, lima beans, turkey, potatoes, BBQ sauce and water in pot and heat over medium-low heat.  Saute bell pepper and onion in nonstick skillet.  Add pepper and onion to soup.  Simmer on low 30 minutes and serve.

  • 16Nov

    We polled the GMM office staff for their favorite Thanksgiving foods…and we came up with a pretty decent spread! What will be on your table on Thursday?

    Q: What is your all-time favorite Thanksgiving dish/side/piece de resistance?

    A: Judi: Stuffing recipe that is now being prepared by the fourth generation of my family. Still chop the ingredients in a wooden bowl by hand.

    Bethany: Mashed potatoes topped with my grandmother’s homemade egg noodles. It’s a lot of carbs, but delicious comfort food!

    Katherine: I love all the traditional green bean/broccoli casseroles so much, but when my grandma started bringing roasted brussels sprouts, it changed my Thanksgiving world. YUM!

    Ashley: Sweet baked potatoes topped with candied pecans. My mom has been making this at Thanksgiving for years. She is particular about choosing the darkest Red Garnet sweet potatoes.

    Philip: Anything with beets or brussels sprouts!!

    Jess: We have a family recipe for a pumpkin dip with cranberry and orange – delicious! Served with pecan crackers…yum….

    David: I’m Southern – cornbread dressing with gravy! Also sweet potato casserole with pecans.

    GMM staff are fans of good cooking - as exhibited at Food Day 2012 in October.

  • 14Nov

    With Thanksgiving around the corner, now is the time to consider what your diet next week might look like. You CAN plan ahead and have a week of healthy nutrition and balanced meals each day. A little thought goes a long way. Contact GMM if you have any questions or need any help prioritizing your diet during the holidays.

    Mindful eating to me means taking the time to making healthy eating a priority.

    It’s not just about being mindful in the moment, but purposefully taking an hour or two each weekend to plan my upcoming week along with what I will eat when.

    When I do this, I eat well and generally feel well about what I’m eating.  The weeks I don’t plan well or grocery shop, I am victim to more mindless eating and grabbing the easiest thing to eat out of sheer convenience or necessity.

    Planning for me is the key to mindful eating.

    - Bethany Smith, RD, CSO, LD, GMM Community Wellness Representative

     

    Bethany, making a healthy vinaigrette for a GMM cooking demonstration.

  • 08Nov

    A good mantra to pass along:

    “FOOD is neither my friend nor foe.

    FOOD provides the FUEL for the quality of life I WANT for myself and enables me to support my family.

    I must choose FOOD wisely to enable me to be my daily best.”

    - Coach Sule

    GMM Sales Rep, Sule Welch

  • 05Nov

    Contributed by Atlanta-based Registered Dietitian Joanna Skinner

     

    As a dietitian who did her food service internship with Good Measure Meals in 2010 (no longer affiliated with GMM or Open Hand), I jumped at the recent opportunity to try a few of the meals from the current product line and give you my review.

    I’m a vegetarian, and I have a hearty appetite, so I like meals that are both creative and filling.  The meals I tried were the White Bean Puttanesca over Mozzarella and Swiss Polenta with Asparagus; Teriyaki Vegetable Stir Fry with Broccoli, Scallions, Bell Peppers, Carrots, and Ginger Root with Tofu and Udon Noodles; and Vegetarian Burgundy over Egg Noodles with Green Bean Casserole.

    First, my compliments to the kitchen for the crispness of the asparagus and the green beans in the green bean casserole.  They were perfectly cooked, not raw and not cooked to the greenish-brown mush we so often see.  By serving the vegetables crisp-tender, they retain more of their nutrients.

    The meals were large and definitely filling, without being loaded with sodium and preservatives found so often in the average frozen meal. And in case you’re diabetic or pre-diabetic, the meals are consistent in carbohydrates from one day to the next as well as high in fiber, so your blood sugar is less likely to spike.

    GMM Kale and Cannellini Bean Soup with Cornbread

     

    For a vegetarian who’s not really experienced in the kitchen, it can be hard to meet nutrition needs in a healthy way.  Those of us who eat eggs and dairy may be tempted to rely too heavily on those foods for protein, when truthfully, eating a combination of beans, nuts, grains—and if we’re so inclined, soy, whey, and wheat-based proteins—will help us get more than enough protein. Throughout the week, Good Measure Meals offers a combination of these healthy proteins without relying on heavily processed (and high sodium) veggie burgers.  For example, the teriyaki stir fry contains tofu as its main source of protein, while the white bean puttanesca’s protein comes from a combination of navy beans and polenta.

    You can get plenty of protein with GMM, but what about the other nutrients?  Besides having consistent carbohydrates, they’re low in sodium, saturated fat, and cholesterol.  Even better, throughout the week the meals include a rainbow of fruits and vegetables, which in addition to giving you a healthy dose of fiber, provide you with a variety of necessary vitamins and minerals to keep you going.

    Healthy and filling—Good Measure’s vegetarian meals passed this dietitian’s test.  Happy eating!

    GMM Spinach Artichoke Frittata and Breakfast Bread