• 27Mar

    Today’s post is contributed by GMM Community Nutrition Educator/Culinary Specialist, Ashley Van Cise.

    Adding a variety of color to my plate is one way that I keep myself on a healthy eating track. By choosing color, I know I’m eating an assortment of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals.

    Pictured here are foods that I’ve made at home, highlighting some of my attempts to add color to my own plate. I’ve called out the phytochemicals that correlate to the color and the potential health benefits of each one.

    cherry tomato and basil pasta salad
    Cherry Tomato and Basil Pasta Salad – check out the bright red and yellow tomatoes. These tomatoes have concentrated amounts of lycopene which have been studied for their ability to protect against heart disease and cancer.

    blueberry oat
    Blueberry Oat Bran Muffins – focus your eye on the blueberries in these muffins. Their blue/purple color comes from a type of flavonoid called anthocyanins, which can act like antioxidants, reduce inflammation and combat against cancer cells.

    Black Bean Chili with Sweet Potatoes and Swiss Chard
    Black Bean Chili with Sweet Potatoes and Swiss Chard – Notice the orange going on here. Sweet potatoes are high in beta carotene which is a type of carotenoid that may protect against heart disease. The beans also contain flavonoids that can decrease inflammation and protect against heart disease, stroke and cancer.

    Roasted BBQ Chicken, Quinoa Pilaf and Arugula Salad with Radish and Carrots
    Roasted BBQ Chicken, Quinoa Pilaf and Arugula Salad with Radish and Carrots – There are a several healthy things going on in this picture. First, let me highlight the arugula which contains lutein, a type of carotenoid that can work to maintain healthy vision and protect eyes from cataracts and macular degeneration. Also notice the red radish, these contain anthocyanins, which I mentioned when discussing the blueberries found in the Oat Bran Muffins.

    Grilled Vegetables topped with Fresh Basil
    Grilled Vegetables topped with Fresh Basil – Check out those onions. Even though onions are white, they are high in a flavonoid called quercetin which works as an antioxidant to decrease inflammation and protect the body against heart disease, stroke and certain types of cancer.

    The way phytochemicals work and the optimum amounts for consuming are still being researched. Your goals should be to incorporate 5-9 servings of colorful fruits and veggies daily.

    What is the most colorful food on your plate today?

  • 20Mar

    Today’s post is contributed by GMM Marketing and Tradeshow Coordinator, Camille Johnson

    Let’s face it. Most of us are creatures of habit.

    I plead the fifth.

    I happen to be one of those people who doesn’t mind eating the same lunch five days in a row. When you find healthy recipes that are affordable to make and don’t take much time, it’s easy to repeat!

    But working at Good Measure Meals has allowed me the opportunity to try different types of food while simultaneously eliminating that “intimidating factor” attached to some health-promoting foods.

    One of those amazing discoveries is Farro, a hearty ancient grain with a nutty flavor.

    After I tried Farro on GMM’s menu, I decided I wanted to try and cook it on my own. I bought some of my favorite chicken stock (I always purchase reduced sodium), a bundle of kale, fresh garlic, & a huge onion.

    After cooking the Farro in the chicken stock and then sautéing the kale, onion, and garlic separately (using Extra Virgin Olive Oil), I thought “why not combine these together?” I’m glad I did! It was delicious, and it has even become one of my meals of habit lately, since it’s easy and satisfying.

    GMM isn’t only a great tool for weight-loss or convenience, but also a great way to inspire people to put on that apron and try something new!

    What new foods have you incorporated into your cooking routine lately? Share in the comments, and let’s inspire each other!

    Kale Farro Salad

    photo via a similar recipe on Bon Apetit Magazine

  • 10Mar

    Today’s post is contributed by GMM Registered Dietitian and Community Wellness Rep, Rachel Stroud

    It is safe to say that cooking is the most therapeutic thing in the world to me. Except for possibly grocery shopping.

    rachel with juiceAfter a long day of working, juggling schedules, clients, and partners – my mind racing every which way at any possible moment – I ache for my kitchen. Everything feels still there. The colors of fresh fruits and veggies. The sound of sizzling oil in a pan. The feeling of running a sharp knife through an onion and tossing it into a hot pan, the accumulating scent of savory flavor filling the kitchen air. It’s like a warm cozy blanket for my senses.

    I’d love to tell you that I spend hours each night standing over the stove, tossing spices and presenting beautiful meals to my fiancée and closest friends. But let’s be honest, I don’t.
    It might happen once every couple weeks. Twice on a good week.

    Most of the time, I’m dashing into the house, whipping open the refrigerator and hoping that some reheatable gourmet meal is magically waiting for me to toss it in the microwave and save me from having to figure out something quick, healthy, and low maintenance to make in 2 minutes.
    (Side note: Good Measure Meals is perfect in those sorts of situations. See what I did there??)

    But on weeks where I don’t have GMM to be my saving-grace-magic-dinner-fairy, my go-to meals are what I call “bowls,” or at least that’s what they have been dubbed by those I most commonly feed.

    These “bowls” are healthy meals I can whip up in about 10-20 minutes, toss in a bowl, and call it a night. Here’s how the Bowl magic happens:

    1) Starch – Pick a starch, any starch. Rice, quinoa, cous cous, faro, and potatoes are my most frequent go-to’s. My ideal situation is when I happen to make a grain earlier in the week and have the forethought to make a double batch so that I have some handy leftovers.

    2) Protein – Chicken, lean beef, ground turkey, or my very favorite: a poached egg with runny yolk. If you’re low on meat/eggs, go for quinoa, our favorite handy-dandy grain-like starch that contains all your essential amino acids. Or, plop a hefty spoonful of your favorite beans on top. The protein options are plentiful. And don’t forget about cheese! Let’s be honest, cheese makes everything better. Just make sure to think about using cheese as a seasoning rather than a main attraction to keep those portion sizes in check.

    3) Veggie – Veggies, galore! Toss them in a pan with oil to sauté, or spread them on parchment in a 400 degree oven for that roasted flavor. Shoot for a couple colors in your bowl. In a pinch, salsa will work for some of those veggie effects, but opt for freshly prepared when you can. Kale, spinach, onions, peppers, brussels sprouts, tomatoes, broccoli, and avocado are my mainstays.

    4) MISC – sometimes I like toasted nuts or herbs in my bowl as well for a zing. Lest you think I plan these things out with great forethought, typically I just grab whatever I have leftover or is about to spoil: garlic, parsley, cilantro, rosemary, and thyme give a little extra flavor and look like the finishing touch on your mound of delicious and nutritious bowl ingredients.

    Voila! Did you know healthy could be that easy? AND tasty?! “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right” is the 2014 theme for National Nutrition Month this March (that’s now!). Healthy meals should taste delicious, and the good news is that you don’t have to take hours of slaving over a stove to prepare them (especially when you order GMM!).

    Some of my go-to bowl combinations are:
    • Quinoa (or brown rice), black beans, feta cheese, salsa, avocado
    • Quinoa, onion, sweet potato, kale, pesto, toasted pecans, avocado, goat cheese (compliments of my own rendition of this Real Simple recipe)
    • Roasted Yukon Gold Potatoes, kale, white cheddar, scrambeled eggs, cherry tomatoes, parsley
    • Faro, brussel sprouts, dried cranberries, toasted pecans, dash of balsamic vinegar & maple syrup, avocado, topped with a poached egg (my spin on this Cookie&Kate recipe)

    Bowl1

    Farro, Brussel Sprouts, Cranberries, Avocado, toasted Pecans, Goat Cheese

    Bowl2

    Quinoa, Turkey Sausage, Kale, Cherry Tomatoes, and Avocado topped with a Poached Egg

    Bowl3

    Roasted Yukon Gold & Sweet Potatoes, Kale, Avocado, and White Cheddar topped with a Poached Egg

    Bowl4

    Roasted Yukon Gold Potatos, scrambled Eggs, Spinach, Green Onions, Cherry Tomatoes, Parsley

  • 04Mar

    It’s National Nutrition Month, so naturally, our dietitians are all in a tizzy with ideas and cooking demonstrations and classes and new recipes to share.

    Spoiler alert: I’m not actually a dietitian (although I certainly appreciate the hard work they all do – AND their genius recipe ideas). But I do like to cook, and I love experimenting with healthy recipes.

    To be fair, some of these experiments haven’t been the best ideas. For example, even though avocado is a healthy fat, it does not quite translate to a fat-replacement in a brownie recipe (sorry Gray!).

    kat cook collage

    Memory lane montage from some culinary escapades through the years…

    But then again, some of my experiments have turned out to be real winners. My shining example is my favorite, easiest-to-make, Katherine-Original-Recipe for Garlicky Raw Kale Salad.

    “Oh my gosh, another kale recipe.” – I can hear all those silent judgey voices in your heads right now.

    You’ve had the sautéed kale with raisins and nuts and balsamic; the sautéed kale with soy and garlic. Fair enough. You’ve tried some kale recipes.

    But have you tried this one? Because this one literally only requires 5 minutes of your time and ingredients you probably already have in the house. (And it can be winged without measuring utensils – see below – and tweaked to your tastes.)

    And in case you’re on the fence about another kale recipe (“it’s so bitter” “it’s too tough” “it’s too fad-ish” “just…no” – I still hear your head-voices), let me just tell you that Katherine’s Garlicky Raw Kale Salad has kind of become a “thing” around Atlanta, and it’s converted some pretty tough critics, too.

    Basically, this whole thing started from a rip-off of Whole Foods’ Raw Garlicky Kale Salad, which I love so much.

    “Surely this can’t be too hard to make,” I thought to myself one day, after realizing I’d purchased the salad three days in a row for dinner and needed to have an intervention with myself and my wallet.

    So I tooled around in the kitchen one afternoon, and below is the result. And I must say…I think mine’s better than Whole Foods’. Less dressing-y and way tastier.

    I’ve taken this recipe to multiple potlucks over the course of the last two years (because it is SO easy, but it still sounds gourmet). After each party, at least one person asks for the recipe and then tells me later that they’ve remade the recipe for another party of their own (and had someone from their party ask them for the recipe)! Basically, this salad has started its own pyramid scheme of nutritious delight.

    Here’s how it works…(and keep in mind this is all approximations – Play it loose! Play it by ear!)

    You’ll need:
    Kale: I used one bag of pre-chopped kale, but I’ve also used the leaves off of 1-2 bunches before
    Garlic: I used about 1 Tbs of the pre-minced garlic here, but I’ve also used 2-4 cloves of fresh minced garlic, too.
    Hummus: ¾ of a container of Garlic, Plain, or another flavor of your favorite hummus brand.
    Lemon Juice: I used about 1 Tbs. of the kind in the plastic lemon. But I highly recommend using the equivalent (or more if you like) of fresh-squeezed juice from a real lemon. (If you have the time, that is.)
    Parmesan Cheese: Start with ¼ cup and work up to 1/3 cup if you feel you need a little more.
    Red Pepper Flakes: Adds a hidden surprise kick! Sprinkle to taste. 1 Tsp added a good amount of spice to this mix below.
    Salt/Pepper: to taste. I don’t often add, because the lemon juice takes care of the “zip” I’m looking for.

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    Kale

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    Add the hummus in, and stir-stir-stir-stir. Then stir some more. Don’t give up – it takes a good while to incorporate. This is the longest step of the recipe!

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    Voila!

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    Minced Garlic

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    Lemon Juice

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    Red Pepper Flakes and Parmesan Cheese

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    *This ended up being a spicy batch! Add Red Pepper Flakes to your specific tastes.*

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    Parmesan Cheese

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    (Added a little extra hummus at the end!)

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