• 19Jun

    Today’s blog post in the series, “What are your favorite summer fruits and veggies?” was contributed by Harmony Blackwell, Good Measure Meals Customer Service Representative.

    harmonyHailing from Pittsburgh, Penn., I have a love for all the different seasons of the year. However, summer might just be my favorite.

    I don’t know about you, but I find that when it gets really hot, I don’t think about cooked food as often, especially in the morning. Personally, I love juicing fruits and veggies into tasty drinks, and also making smoothies and fruit salads. I love the light and fresh tastes of fruit during the hot months, and I even have a few recipes I’d like to share that I’ve developed over the years that are particularly yummy. Hope you enjoy them (and enjoy the process of making them) as much as I do!

    Tropical Apple-Ginger-Beet-Cilantro Fruit Juice/Smoothie Recipe:
    The colors and the aromatic scents of certain fruits and vegetables are what inspire me in the kitchen.

    For instance, one of my juice recipes calls for a carrot, a piece of ginger, a Fuji apple, a bunch of cilantro and a small beet. First of all, I love ginger, the spicier the better – can’t you just taste it now? The scent of the apple juices and ginger combined are divine, and when I add the fragrant cilantro at the end, I feel like I’m in a tropical land! (Side note – It’s kind-of like how I feel when I’m eating the Good Measure Meals Cilantro Lime Shrimp – oh my goodness, so good! But let’s re-focus…)

    Anyway, the end result is a wonderful (very colorful) combination of nutritious fruits and vegetables high in vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber and a rich supply of antioxidants.

    Apple, Ginger, Beet, Cilantro juice! Spicy, sweet, flavorful and delicious.

    Apple, Ginger, Beet, Cilantro juice! Spicy, sweet, flavorful and delicious.

    By the way, here’s a little beet trivia for you: Beets are an ancient, pre-historic food that grew naturally along the coastlines of North Africa, Asia, and Europe. Originally, since the beet itself is a root, people ate only beet greens. It’s been reported that by the 19th century the natural sweetness of beets came to be appreciated and beets began to be used as a source of sugar.

    Avocado Fruit Salad Recipe:
    Fruit salads are just the best to eat while chilling out by the pool on a sunny afternoon, am I right??

    My sister, Vision, recently turned me on to her Avocado Fruit Salad (yes, you read that right), and it is AWESOME! When I first heard about it, I skeptically thought, “Avocado — hmmm, I would never think that would work in a fruit salad.” But it turns out that avocado actually works beautifully alongside the other fruits!

    Salad Ingredients

    The original recipe calls for: Avocado, Fuji apples, raisins, and fresh-squeezed orange juice (or a little lime juice to help keep the fruit fresh/bright); however you can add any fruits you like. When I made the recipe, I decided to venture out and add blueberries to the recipe, which I really enjoyed. Cherries, sliced plums, or chopped up peaches would be tasty in this salad, too. And I recently read that some antioxidants are often better absorbed when paired with a healthy fat, which avocados have in abundance!

    Cutting Board N Fruit_edit

    Avocado Fruit Salad

    Avocado Fruit Salad

    So here’s to some tasty poolside snacking this season!

    What sorts of fresh foods or snacks do you pack to help beat the heat during the summertime in Hotlanta?

  • 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?

  • 18Jun

    Contributed by Ashley Ritchie, GMM Registered Dietitian, Culinary Specialist, and Community Nutrition Educator

    Red Peanut Chicken and Vegetable Curry, Buffalo Chicken Sandwich with Blue Cheese Spread, Tandori Chicken with Indian Style Potatoes, Crab Cake Sandwich with Jalapeno Aioli — all of these meals have a little something in common. In a word…spice!

    Spices!And if you’re a current customer, you may have noticed that these new additions to the new 2013 spring/summer menu are slightly spicier in flavor than our previous menus have featured. The Good Measure Meals menu development team thought long and hard about introducing spicier flavors to the new menu, since we normally play it very safe when it comes to heat. Typically, it’s simply easier for you to add the amount of heat that suits your taste with ingredients like hot sauce than it is to tone down the heat. But there were some compelling reasons why we spiced things up a bit:

    1) Customer requests: You asked for it. Yes, our GMM customers strongly influence our seasonal menus, and many of you have let us know that you’d be up for a little more spice. This information is very valuable to new menu development, and we use it extensively to help shape each new launch — including decisions on whether to add flavor through the use of spices and heat.

    Chipotle Sliced Flank Steak with brown rice and pigeon peas, and a side of southwestern corn with poblanos and red pepper

    Chipotle Sliced Flank Steak with brown rice and pigeon peas, and a side of southwestern corn with poblanos and red pepper

    2) Add flavor without adding salt: Our chefs and dietitians collaborate to create menus that are not only delicious, but also incorporate a wide variety of healthy ingredients that follow nutrition recommendations promoted by the US Dietary Guidelines and the American Diabetes Association. These guidelines place importance on reducing daily sodium intake to less than 2,300 milligrams (mg) and further reducing intake to 1,500 mg among persons who are 51 and older and those of any age who are African American or have hypertension, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease. What is one way to add flavor without adding salt? Increase herbs and spices!

    3) Add antioxidants: Yes, spices contain disease-preventing antioxidants, and some are nutritional powerhouses. By consuming antioxidant-rich foods, it’s believed the body obtains protective benefits ranging from the fending off of age-related wrinkles to the prevention of chronic illnesses such as heart disease and cancer.

    Want to learn more about the health benefits of spices? Check out these articles from Today’s Dietitian and WebMD.

    We hope that you are enjoying these new additions to the menu. Please take a few minutes and let us know what you think, by emailing our customer service department customerservice@goodmeasuremeals.com.

  • 17Mar

     

    Roasting is a cooking technique that was discussed in great detail during Basic Cooking Techniques IV, a class that is part of the chef’s training curriculum at The Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts. We experimented with this dry heat cooking method by roasting different vegetables including carrots, parsnips, potatoes, peppers, shallots, butternut squash and GARLIC.

    Garlic is one of my favorite foods to roast. The flavors become mellow and sweet. It tastes much different than garlic in its raw form.

    Roasted garlic is very easy to prepare:

    1. Preheat your oven to 325°F . Slice off enough of the top of the head of garlic to expose the cloves. (Above, you’ll see a picture of our roasted garlic from class. My group sliced the root end. It is actually better to slice off the opposite end. The cloves will stay intact to the root and not fall apart. Sliced either way, you’ll end up with a mellow, sweet, beautiful flavor.)

    2. Place garlic onto a piece of aluminum foil and drizzle the cut end with a touch of olive oil. Close up the foil, place on a baking tray and cook for approximately 45 minutes to an hour or until the garlic has softened and become golden brown.

    3. Once done, you can add the roasted garlic to soups, sauces, vinaigrette, salads, cheese platters, hummus, sandwiches, pizza, chicken, meats and pastas. The options are endless. Simply leave the garlic whole presented on a platter, squeeze it out of the skins, or if you want to keep the cloves whole, just gently peel off the skins.

    During class, we ate the roasted garlic by itself. As I tasted its goodness, I began thinking about all of the amazing health supportive properties of garlic. It is rich in dozens of powerful sulfur-containing compounds. These well-studied sulfur compounds have been shown to function as antioxidants. In addition, many may provide us with anti-inflammatory benefits, cardiovascular benefits, protection from cancer, antibacterial and antiviral benefits. Additionally, garlic is an excellent source of manganese, a very good source of vitamin B6 and vitamin C, and a good source of thiamin (vitamin B1), phosphorus, selenium, calcium, and copper. For an in-depth nutritional profile and information about some of these studies of garlic, click here.

    While we are on the subject of garlic, it’s important to select fresh garlic and store it so that it will yield the best flavor. To do this, follow these easy tips:

    • Purchase garlic that is plump and has unbroken skin. Gently squeeze the raw garlic bulb between your fingers to check that it feels firm and is not damp.
    • Avoid garlic that is soft, shriveled, moldy, or that has begun to sprout. These may be indications of decay that will cause inferior flavor and texture.
    • Size is often not an indication of quality.
    • Fresh garlic is available in the market throughout the year.
    • Store fresh garlic in either an uncovered or a loosely covered container in a cool, dark place away from exposure to heat and sunlight. This will help maintain its maximum freshness and help prevent sprouting, which causes a bitter flavor.
    • It is not necessary to refrigerate garlic.

    I invite you to enjoy the flavors and health benefits of garlic in the Good Measure Menu, as well as in recipes that you prepare at home.  Just remember to brush your teeth afterwards! :)

  • 29Aug

    Ashley (the foodie) and myself (the former oncology dietitian) have partnered up to provide cooking demos for Cancer Support Community Atlanta (CSCA) twice monthly.   Our first event at CSCA is this Thursday, September 1st from 6:30-8pm.  If you are a cancer survivor, or a caregiver for someone fighting cancer, come join us from 6:30 to 8 pm to “Flavor your World with Homemade Vinaigrettes.”

    Now you may be wondering, “Why salad dressings?”

    Vinaigrettes can be quite versatile and can instantly change the flavor of any food you are eating.   Taste changes are quite common during and after cancer treatment, and cancer treatment can create fatigue that limits the ability to prepare food.  Vinaigrettes can be a quick and easy way to change flavor of many different foods and Ashley will show us how it’s done!

    Last Friday, we (Ashley and myself) kicked off our new partnership with CSCA the by serving up ”Antioxidant Rich Desserts” to many members of the team of oncology caregivers at Northside Hospital.

    Our Own Bethany & Ashley Serving up Antioxidant Rich Desserts to CSCA

    Serving Up Dark Chocolate Bark with pistachios, dried cherries and ginger; Chocolate Date Balls and Bananas with Chocolate Hummus

    We look forward to be a part of this great community partnership.  Come join us!

  • 14Feb


    Valentine’s Day is great for an excuse to eat chocolate, but it is also a great excuse to promote the amazing heart health benefits of red fruits and vegetables.

    This category of red fruits and vegetables includes – tomatoes, watermelon, red cabbage, red leaf lettuce, red apples, raspberries, red swiss chard, red grapes, red potatoes, red onion, strawberries, beets, blood oranges, red peppers, cherries, cranberries, papaya, red grapefruit, pomegranates, radicchio, radishes, red chili peppers, red pears, rhubarb, and many more.

    Lycopene, which makes up the red pigment, is the most well know compound within this category of produce. That is because big food companies that sell canned tomato, spaghetti sauce, pizza sauce and even ketchup like to market its powerful antioxidant benefits. It is a really good selling point because lycopene does some amazing stuff like: maintaining a healthy blood pressure, lowering LDL cholesterol (or “bad” cholesterol), and reducing the risk for several types of cancers. Lycopene is fat-soluble. That means that it is best absorbed when eaten with a source of fat. So when you eat a big salad with red bell peppers, red onions, red leaf lettuce, and radishes make sure you top it with a salad dressing that contains a heart healthy monounsaturated fat, like olive oil, canola oil or even avocado.

    This red group of fruits and vegetables have other important compounds called anthocyanins, ellagic acid, quercetin, and hesperidin. Don’t worry about remembering or even pronouncing these scientific sounding names. All you need to know is that these antioxidants work together to provide many of the same benefits as lycopene like reducing the risk of prostate cancer and other cancers, lowering blood pressure, reducing tumor growth, reducing LDL cholesterol levels, protecting our cells from damage by scavenging for harmful free-radicals, and supporting joint tissue in cases of arthritis.

    So after you eat that chocolate today, think about ways that you can increase your consumption of red fruits and vegetables. Here are a few ideas:

    Breakfast
    Add fresh strawberries, raspberries to cereal or oatmeal
    Make an omelet with tomatoes and red bell peppers and include a side of roasted redskinned potaotes.
    Fruit salad that includes papaya, watermelon or red apples

    Lunch/Dinner
    Add sliced tomato and red lettuce leaves to your sandwich
    Top salads with roasted beets, fresh radishes or radicchio.
    Add red bell peppers and red cabbage to a stir-fry

    Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

  • 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.