• 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

  • 05Mar

    Contributed by GMM Registered Dietitian, Joy Goetz

    One interesting food trend that has accompanied the Paleo diet and the gluten-free craze is the re-emergence of ancient grains. Quinoa*, kamut, spelt, emmer, einkorn, and amaranth are no longer confined to food history classes. These grains that nurtured our ancestors are gaining popularity among chefs, foodies and health-conscious consumers from coast to coast. While most people have never heard of emmer (I hadn’t before listening to a continuing education webinar last week), chances are you have seen it labeled by its other name: “farro.”

    Farro is the Italian name for emmer, where it has long been used in soups, salads, side dishes and risotto. In fact, it was a dietary staple for ancient Romans. Its chewy texture and rich, nutty flavor makes it an interesting alternative to rice or other grains. As an added bonus, farro retains its texture well and doesn’t get mushy when overcooked or reheated.

    I would eat farro just because it is so delicious, but it is a nutrition powerhouse as well. Bonus!

    It is higher in fiber and protein than commercial wheat and is a great source of magnesium and B-vitamins, which are needed for the body to turn the food that we eat into useable energy.  As a type of wheat, farro contains some gluten, and is not recommended for those with celiac disease or gluten allergies. To get the best nutritional bang for your buck, look on the food label for “whole farro,” not “pearled farro,” which has had bran removed and is not a true whole grain.
    Good Measure Meals uses farro in several dishes including farroto (farro risotto), farro and bean salad, and farro breakfast cereal.  Be on the lookout for farro bean salad this week (Friday’s lunch!), and let us know what you think!

     

    *Although quinoa has many grain-like properties, its true horticultural classification is a chenopod

    Links:

    Whole Grain council http://wholegrainscouncil.org/whole-grains-101/whole-grains-a-to-z

    Clemson University Chef and Child Foundation’s Ingredient of the Month publication http://www.clemson.edu/cafls/cuchefs/files/farro.pdf

  • 31Jan

    Thanks to my job at Good Measure Meals, I found a new love. Who knew when I took this job a little more than a year ago that I would be introduced to so many foods I had yet to try? Let me tell you about my latest discovery. Farro is an ancient grain grown in Italy (as I envision it, flourishing along the Tuscan hillsides). It’s nutty, hearty and a great substitute for orzo pasta or brown rice. Farro arrived on the Good Measure Meals menu in the past year. I was excited to try a new grain (well, new to me) and even more excited to find out we were adding it to our menu in the form of a farrotto (aka farro risotto).

    You mean to tell me Good Measure Meals is serving up a whole grain version of one of my favorite, indulgent Italian dishes? What could be better?

    The farro based risotto is absolutely one of my favorite menu items. We also serve up a farro hot cereal – as an alternative to oatmeal. I can’t say I enjoy it as much in the cereal form, but it is a creative way to add variety at breakfast.

    So to continue my journey with farro, I decided to give it a try in my own kitchen. A quick search for farro online guided me to Farro and Roasted Butternut Squash.

    I modified it a bit by substituting sweet potatoes for butternut squash and olive oil for walnut oil. In one word: A-Maz-Ing.

    If farro is something you haven’t tried, give it a try via our menu at Good Measure Meals, or create an adventure in your own kitchen. You won’t be disappointed.

     

    By: Bethany Smith

    Community Health Representative

    Registered Dietitian, Licensed Dietitian, Certified Specialist in Oncology Nutrition, Certified in Adult Weight Management

    Bethany earned her bachelor’s degree in Health & Sports Studies from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, relocated to Georgia to complete a Dietetic Internship at Georgia State University, and became a Registered & Licensed Dietitian in 1998.  Over the past 13 years, she has spent her career working in diabetes education, oncology and healthcare management.  She enjoys coaching individuals who have eating challenges during cancer treatments, counseling adults who want to lose or gain weight and educating those who want to eat healthier to reduce their risk of disease.   Bethany enjoys public speaking and educating fellow dietitians and is also a former speaker for the pharmaceutical company Digestive Care, Inc. where she educated oncology healthcare professionals throughout the Southeastern US, Michigan and Ohio.  She currently provides nutrition education to the Atlanta community and beyond by writing three weekly blogs, including the blog at Good Measure Meals.  In 2009, she was recognized as Outstanding Dietitian of the Year by the Georgia Dietetic Association for her achievements and contributions to her profession.   Bethany enjoys staying active through a local boot camp, training for races with friends, traveling, playing tennis and taking long walks and hikes with her dog.

     

     

  • 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

  • 01Oct

    Today’s post has been contributed by Registered Dietitian Chef, Catherine Izzo

    I am one of the luckiest people on the planet. I have been blessed with the opportunity to make a living doing what I love: playing with food.

    As a research and development chef, I spend most of my time perfecting and creating recipes for Good Measure Meals. But it doesn’t stop there! I am also a Registered Dietitian, so I make sure that the recipes I create are healthy and made up of the best ingredients possible. So, my days are filled with a combination of creativity and science, which is both challenging and really fun!

    I am so excited to announce our NEW Fall/Winter menu launches this week! Believe it or not, we started working on this new menu all the way back in April!

    The first step with every menu launch is considering the feedback from our customers. Many of our customers fill out a weekly feedback survey, call or write to our customer service team, and speak to us at our events. We take every opinion our customers submit and use it to help shape the new menu. It helps us to decide what favorites to keep, like the Carolina Style BBQ chicken with Chow Chow, Field Peas and Banana Pudding, and what old favorites to bring back, like Brunswick Stew and Cranberry Glazed Turkey Meatloaf.

    Turkey Shepherds Pie

    Turkey Shepherds Pie

    Carrot Ginger Soup

    Carrot Ginger Soup

    We also love to incorporate seasonal vegetables including roasted butternut squash and a new breakfast Pumpkin Bread. We often hear from customers that they love being exposed to new ingredients that they have never tried before, so we have incorporated some heritage grains that may be new to some, such as Farro, Quinoa, and Wheat Berries.

    And of course, no fall menu is complete without a few (healthier versions) of comfort foods. Some new concepts to look forward to are Turkey Shepherd’s Pie topped with Mashed Cauliflower, Carrot Ginger Soup with a Greek Yogurt Lemon Basil Garnish, Roasted Turkey with a tart House-made Cranberry Sauce, and Sweet Potato Casserole.

    Now, as exhilarating it is to launch this new menu, it is already time to start planning the Spring/Summer menu for 2014. As I go back to the drawing board, I look forward to hearing more about what you think about the new menu this Fall. Always keep in mind that even if you don’t see the results right away, your opinion really truly matters to us and helps guide the menu planning process. Bon Appétit!

  • 17Sep

    Today’s post is contributed by GMM Registered Dietitian, Callie O’Steen

    Farro grains

    Now that school is back in session and our brains are back from summer vacation, I thought I’d give y’all a quick pop quiz! (I’ll pretend I didn’t just hear the grumbles from the peanut gallery) It’ll be fun, I promise! I’ll hide the fact that it’s a quiz and we’ll kindly call it a game… sneaky, eh?

    Seeing as September is Whole Grain month, let’s talk about the benefits of these dietitian approved edibles. And be prepared… I’ll be asking a few questions along the way :)

    Grains 101

    As a staple crop for almost all nations, grains are an essential portion of our daily diets. Some of the more commonly eaten grains are oats, rice, corn, and wheat. Many of our favorite foods are also products of grain mixtures like cereals, pretzels, and noodles.

    Are you ready to play the Grain Game?! First quiz question:

    Question 1: What are some local grains grown here in Georgia?

    Georgia famers are producers of oats, corn, barley, sorghum, and wheat. Also, we rank 2nd in the US for rye production. Bonus points if you knew that!

    Whole vs. Refined vs. Enriched

    Whole: For something to be considered a whole grain it must contain the whole kernel of the grain. Kernel = bran + germ + endosperm. Whole grains contain important nutrients such as fiber, iron, magnesium, B vitamins, and others that are stored in the bran and germ.

    Refined: The grain goes through a process of milling to make the grain softer and produces a finer texture. However, this strips the kernel of the bran and germ and thus strips the grain of some of the naturally occurring nutrients.

    Enriched: This is nutritionally a step in between whole and refined grains. The enrichment process aims to put back what refining took out. So iron, magnesium, thiamin, niacin, and other B vitamins are added back during this process.

    Question 2: What nutrient is still lacking in enriched grains?

    Fiber! Which leads us into the health benefits of eating the WHOLE grain.

    Good Grains

    Science has shown that including whole grains into your healthy diet may decrease your risk of developing chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. Fiber can help manage weight by keeping us full, B vitamins aid in metabolism, and iron helps transport oxygen in our bodies. The USDA recommends making half your grains whole grains.

    So think plain grains: wheat berries, barley, bulgur, farro, millet, brown rice, amaranth, oats, whole wheat.

    Don’t know how to prepare whole grains? No problem! Let Good Measure Meals do it for you! Be on the lookout for this week’s Tuna Wheat Berry Salad, Turkey Pasta Primavera with Whole Wheat Pasta, and Whole Grain Cherry Walnut Bread!

    Ok y’all, last question…

    Question 3: What’s your favorite whole grain item on our menu?

    I’ll let you in on my new favorite: Our Whole Grain Pumpkin Bread soon to be featured in our NEW Fall/Winter menu starting at the end of THIS month! Stay Tuned…

    Farro, Farro

     

    Helpful Resources:

    http://www.gwinnett.k12.ga.us/schooldom/WalnutGroveES/web-schooltemplate.nsf/3476D5D2E795A675852579DC006C0631/$file/FactSheet_GA_Grains.pdf

    http://www.nutrition411.com/component/k2/item/536-understanding-whole-grains

    http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/grains-why.html

  • 09Oct

    Part two in our series, “Why in the world do we want our customers to eat these things?”

    Following are two more food items included in this week’s meals.  We thought you might like to know what nutritional value they bring to our new Fall/Winter 2012 menu.

    Flaxseed

    Flaxseed was cultivated in Babylon as early as 3000BC.  Not only can it add a tasty nutty flavor to some dishes, but it has quite a healthy reputation based on these three ingredients:  Omega 3 essential fatty acids which have heart-healthy effects;  Lignans, which have antioxidant qualities; and Fiber – both soluble and insoluble types.  GMM uses flaxseed in many of our baked goods
    and other recipes.

    Farro

    Farro is a non-hybridized wheat kernel that has been grown and used in Italy for centuries. We call it “spelt.”  Farro has a firm, chewy texture and a deliciously nutty flavor and can be used to make soups, salads, desserts and baked goods.
    Farro has twice the fiber and protein than modern wheat and is rich in magnesium and vitamins A, B, C and E. It is also easily digested and low in gluten.

  • 13Apr

    By Julie Shipkoski, MS, RD, LD, Food Services Manager

    After six months of dedicated research and development of over 100 new recipes, the first delivery of our new Spring/Summer Vegetarian Menu reached our customers on April 2, 2012.  Over 40% of the five week cycle of menus includes entirely new meals featuring delicious new entrées and side dishes.  As well, many of the existing meals also received makeovers through new combinations of foods. Overall, we’re excited about the incorporation of a broader variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and plant based proteins.

    We’re especially excited about the introduction of seitan to the menu.  In response to customer feedback, one of our primary goals in developing the new vegetarian menu was to develop replacements for all of the highly processed vegetarian meat substitutes in the menu, including Quorn.

    We prefer to prepare our meals from scratch, as much as possible, and to avoid highly processed foods to control the quality and the nutritional value of our products. For this reason and our commitment to deliver 100% customer satisfaction, our search began for a more natural source of protein that would still satisfy former omnivores’ cravings for their favorite comfort foods.

    Fortunately, our Executive Chef has extensive experience in this area as he’s developed numerous successful vegetarian products using textured wheat protein, more commonly referred to as seitan.

    Chief among seitan’s many functional benefits are its outstanding fibrous structure that replicates the look and texture of meat. It also has a neutral flavor profile with no aftertaste, and, thus requires less flavoring than traditional textured proteins and contains much less sodium.  Most important of all, it doesn’t contain a list of industrial-sounding ingredients like many other highly processed vegetarian meat substitutes.

    Seitan is a natural source of protein you can feel good about eating.  The same can be said for tofu in the menu.  In fact, if you had hours of time to kill, you could make seitan or tofu at home without any industrial chemicals or industrial processing methods.

    But why do that when we can do all the work for you?

    Here’s a preview of a few of the new Spring/Summer dishes containing seitan:

    · Maryland Style Veggie Cakes with Orzo Salad and Edamame Succotash

    · Vegetarian Jap Chae with Sweet Potato Noodles, and Snow Peas

    · Veggie Burger on a Whole Wheat Bun with Lettuce and Jalapeño Aioli served with Three Bean Salad

    · Kale, Cannellini Bean, and Seitan Soup served with Corny Cornbread and Smart Balance Spread

    While seitan is an excellent source of protein, we believe the best way to adequately meet your nutritional needs is to provide a wide variety of foods including fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, lentils, low-fat dairy, eggs, nuts and vegetable protein.

    In addition to lentils and bean sprouts, I bet you would never guess that we have 16 different varieties of beans and six varieties of peas on the menu ranging from traditional favorites such as kidney beans, lima beans, pinto beans, chickpeas and black-eyed peas to regional and heirloom varieties including edamame, cranberry beans, Anasazi beans, black turtle beans, and pigeon peas!

    Even better, all our beans, peas and lentils are purchased dried or frozen, never canned, allowing us maximum control over the quality of our ingredients, flavor profiles of our food and sodium content of our meals.

    Other new menu items on the Spring/Summer Vegetarian Menu:

    • 11 new starches including two new varieties of grains, farro cooked in the style of risotto and kamut cooked in the style of oatmeal with golden figs
    • Many new vegetable side dishes including Swiss Chard, Kale, Bok Choy, Mashed Parsnips, Chinese Broccoli, Snow Peas, Edamame Stir Fry, Green Pea Salad, and Moroccan Eggplant and Chickpeas
    • Fresh fruits including Cantaloupe, Pineapple, Melon Soup, Mango and Black Bean Salsa
    • 10 new egg dishes including Scrambled Eggs and Egg Whites, Egg White Omelets and Patties, Broccoli and Cauliflower Frittata, and Tomato Frittata
    • House-made, whole grain pancakes in 4 varieties including date, sweet potato, blueberry, and, my personal favorite, raspberry served with Chocolate Ganache
    • Greek Yogurt also makes its long awaited debut on the menu as a side dish at breakfast, as the main feature of our Breakfast Parfait, and as an ingredient in our Melon Soup. It’s also used as an ingredient in our Tzatziki Sauce served over Moroccan Vegetable Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms accompanied by Couscous Salad and Pita Bread.

    We hope you’ll enjoy all these new dishes and more as we begin working on the Fall/Winter 2012 menu. As always, please send us your feedback and requests so we can fulfill your culinary desires.