• 18Sep

    notes from the kitchen

    When it comes to food, sometimes it feels like a choice between what tastes good and what we know is good for us. With Good Measure Meals, you don’t have to sacrifice flavor OR your health goals. Check out these healthy, fresh and still-delicious takes on classic comfort-food favorites, featured in next week’s menu!

    Asian-Inspired Turkey and Chicken Meatloaf, with Wasabi Mashed Potatoes and Edamame Succotash

    Asian Meatloaf_crop_editYour mom’s meatloaf and mashed potatoes, only better! Made with turkey and chicken instead of beef, this meatloaf is lower in fat but still high in protein, moist, and full of flavor! The kick from the wasabi means you won’t miss all the butter and whole milk that typically make mashed potatoes loaded with artery-clogging saturated fat. Even traditional succotash gets a healthy makeover thanks to the addition of edamame, or soybeans, which are full of fiber and a great plant source of complete protein. Eat up!

    Cheese Lasagna with Marinara Sauce served with a side of Zucchini and an Oat Bran Roll with Smart Balance Spread

    Zucchini on the wooden tablePortion control is key to creating a lighter and leaner version of this Italian favorite. Marinara sauce is an excellent source of the carotenoid lycopene, a potent antioxidant that offers protection against many cancers and is actually better absorbed when cooked and consumed with some fat (thanks, cheese!).
    The dinner rolls gets a boost of healthful soluble fiber from oat bran, which can help lower “bad” cholesterol, stabilize blood sugar, and promote regular bowel movements. Rounding out the meal is zucchini—a good source of potassium and vitamin C. High in water and low in calories, it will fill you up without weighing you down.

    Buon appetito!



    Today’s post was contributed by Alissa Palladino, RD, LD.

  • 29Apr

    Today’s post is contributed by Good Measure Meals Research and Development Chef, Catherine Izzo

    When we are planning a new menu, the first place that we look for inspiration is the feedback from our customer surveys. By analyzing the scores and reading all of the open-ended comments, we can clearly see which meals are customer favorites and what they would like to see more of.

    One of the distinct favorites from the menu that most customers wanted to see more of is our oven-fried chicken, which is marinated in buttermilk and herbs, coated in corn flakes and a little bit of Parmesan then baked until brown and crunchy.

    GMM Oven "Fried" Chicken

    GMM Oven “Fried” Chicken

    So, this got me thinking; how can I use the oven fried chicken more often without having the same meal twice in a menu cycle?

    Of course, the first thing that popped into this Italian’s head was one of my favorite comfort food recipes: Chicken Parmesan. So, we got to work on developing a meal that would still be as comforting, but would fit into our strict nutritional profile.

    The result is one my new favorite meals on the menu: the Chicken Parmesan with Whole Wheat Spaghetti and a side of Asparagus (coming up for dinner on Wednesday, May 14)!

    But it is so very hard to pick just one favorite meal from the GMM menus!

    From the Healthy Selection menu, I also love the Moroccan Chicken with Orange Couscous and Baby Spinach Salad (next Tuesday, May 6!), and the Kung Pao Chicken with the Thai Pineapple Rice (Friday, May 30). Of course, the Vegetarian menu also has great new items like the Mexican Vegetarian Rice Bowl (Monday, May 12), and the Sweet Potato Burger with Lemon Basil Spread served with the Cannellini Bean Salad (Monday, May 26).

    I could go on, but we would like to hear from you! Which are your new favorites?

    GMM Moroccan Chicken with Orange Couscous and Baby Spinach Salad with Toasted Almonds, Dates and Cumin Lime Dressing

    GMM Moroccan Chicken with Orange Couscous and Baby Spinach Salad with Toasted Almonds, Dates and Cumin Lime Dressing

  • 10Apr

    Have you been tuning in to our Atlanta and Company segments the last couple of weeks?

    Rachel Stroud, our GMM Registered Dietitian and Community Wellness Rep, has been joining host Rashan Ali to discuss some really important keys to weight-loss success. She will continue this series each week for the next few weeks, so make sure to tune in at 12:30 each Wednesday for some informed discussion (and a special FLASH SALE discount!!).

    photo 1

    Hopefully you’ve already made the pledge to yourself to Commit to Lean in 2014 and are on your way toward meeting your health goals this year. If you are, you know that the process of re-learning portion control and creating those engrained healthy habits takes a while.

    The complicated part is that so many diets out there make weight loss about less, less, less. Less calories, less food equals MORE WEIGHT LOSS.

    But for real weight loss that lasts, we need to replace the idea of “less” with the concept of balance and of sustainability. Repeat that to yourself: balance and sustainability. Balance and sustainability.

    rachel scary childhood meals

    Energy Balance is the simplest equation we have for achieving weight loss or weight maintenance. Our body takes in energy through food and beverages, and we put energy out through basic survival, activities of daily life, and planned exercise. If we want to lose weight, we have to put out more energy than we’re taking in.

    The calories you personally need each day for basic survival is called your Basil Metabolic Rate. It’s the number of calories your body need to function if you simply laid in bed all day. Those calories are the energy necessary for your heart to pump, your lungs to expand, and your lean muscles to be fueled.

    Now, IF, in the name of quick weight loss, you eat LESS than your body’s Basil Metabolic Rate, your body will enter “Starvation Mode.” Starvation mode changes the way the body processes nutrients so it stores our fat (gasp!) and breaks down muscle for the energy it needs instead.

    Now here’s the real kicker: fueling our muscles with oxygen and energy is a significant part of our metabolic rate, so let’s say your body breaks down muscle to fuel itself during your diet regimen of drastic calorie-cutting. In the process, you’ve lessened the amount of calories your body needs in a day. This means that instead of functioning at your normal (for example) 1700 calories necessary per day, your body has dropped and acclamated to functioning on (for example) 1000 calories per day.

    Now let’s say you go back to consuming the amount of calories you used to at your former Basil Metabolic Rate, or what you used to consider “normal” before severely cutting your calories. At that point it is going to be harder to continue to lose weight and to keep the weight you have lost off, because during the “starvation mode” period you have decreased your metabolism by decreasing your muscle mass.

    Make sense?

    The moral of the story is: the only way to increase your metabolism (so that you can actually burn away that FAT) is to build more muscle. This raises your metabolism and the amount of calories you burn in a day, despite your physical activity. Very low calorie diets shoot down your metabolism and cause you to lose muscle.

    Unless you want to continue cutting away calories and restricting your access to food for the rest of your life, losing weight the healthy and sustainable way means keeping your muscle and your metabolism and burning away your fat with a balance of nutrition and calorie intake that works for your exercise level and Basal Metabolic needs.

    Ever heard a weight loss plan tell you that you need to eat to lose weight? We just did.

    Tune in each week at 12:30 p.m. on Atlanta and Company to hear the discussion continue with Rachel and Rashan about healthy weight loss.

    And if you’re curious about how many calories YOU need per day, fill out your info in the Calorie Calculator tool at the bottom of the homepage of our website, or schedule a Med Gem appointment with one of our dietitians to find out your exact Basal Metabolic Rate!

    photo 7

  • 02Apr

    Today’s post is contributed by GMM Senior Vice President, Jess White.

    I’ll be the first to admit that I am not a writer. I can talk all day long, but when it comes to putting pen to paper, or rather fingers to the keyboard, I can’t ever seem to think of the right way to kick start the conversation!

    That being said, give me the opportunity to write about food, and I could pen a short novella in a matter of minutes.

    I should start off by dedicating this blog entry to the launch of our 2014 Spring/Summer Good Measure Meals Menu. In all honesty, it inspired me to write, to share, and to introduce you all to the things I love about our food. Yes, I may be a bit biased… after all, I live for this organization, our food and most of all, our mission to serve.

    If you’ve ever been to the Open Hand website, you’ll see our tagline front and center…“It’s About More.” Everything we do here has a deeper meaning, and so I thought I would share some of the new menu items and provide you with the insight behind why we’re excited to bring them to your table!

    Jess’ Top Three New GMM Dishes:

    1. Turkey Barley Stuffed Pepper- If you’ve ever been on our vegetarian meal plan, you might have had our lentil stuffed pepper, an old favorite of mine. This season, we’re introducing a new Healthy Selection version combining a lean ground turkey with barley, a grain that when consumed whole can help regulate blood sugar for up to 10 hours. As a bonus, barley contains 8 of the 13 essential amino acids! Not only is this is tastiest stuffed pepper that I have ever tasted, it will do your body good!

    peppers barley turkey stuffed pepp

    2. I didn’t think that I could possibly enjoy our Crab Cake lunch any more, but then our amazing menu development team decided to add in a fresh summertime salad to add some seasonal flare. Instead of your normal greens, we’re using Kale as our base, which is high in Vitamin A, C and K, and shown to be essential (along with other leafy greens) for preventing age-related macular degeneration. Tossed in a light vinaigrette and sprinkled with almonds and dried apricots, you have a tasty treat that is also easy on the eyes!

    almonds kale apricots

    3. Speaking of salads, our RD/Chefs put together another spring sensation, our New GMM Asian Chicken Salad with baby spinach, mandarin oranges, carrots, toasted almonds and a sesame vinaigrette. This salad is already a crowd pleaser. Not only is it packed full of taste and color, but it also contains Folate, vitamin C, K, and A. Add a little lean protein from the chicken and nuts, and you’ve got yourself a perfectly balanced meal that is simply scrum-diddily-YUMcious!

    chick salad up close

    Well, there you have it folks, a little behind-the-scenes tour of what to expect from the new Spring/Summer menu from Good Measure Meals. There are many more healthy and delectable entrees, so be sure to check out our menus online at www.goodmeasuremeals.com. Remember, you are the reason that we do what we do, so let us know what you like, what you want to see more of, and how we can continue to impress you!

    Bon appetit!

  • 27Aug

    Contributed by GMM Registered Dietitian, Laura Delfausse

    So I am a vegetarian.

    No, I don’t mind if you eat that Philly Cheesesteak in front of me; no, I don’t miss bacon; and yes, I get plenty of protein. I do own a juicer (though admittedly I’ve only used it twice), I try to buy organic when it is feasible, and…sometimes…I do wear leather shoes.  The point I am trying to make is that we like to affix labels to people based on our own lifestyle choices. And in my experience, some people fit these stereotypes to a “T,” but most of us do not, and so these labels can be very damaging.

    Take the vegetarian diet, for example. There are so many health benefits to meatless meals, but so many people hesitate to try vegetarianism because they are afraid of meat substitutes or because they think it is impossible to get all of the nutrients they need (even though many cultures have sustained themselves for a millennium on vegetarian diets!).

    GMM Vegetarian Pesto Garbanzo Bean Salad with Mixed Greens

    GMM Vegetarian Pesto Garbanzo Bean Salad with Mixed Greens

    I would never suggest that anyone go vegetarian unless they wanted to, but Americans as a general population eat way too much meat, and this is often because our portion sizes are way out of control.  Cutting back on meat consumption may not be such a bad idea after all.  John’s Hopkins University even started a ‘Meatless Mondays’ campaign with the simple concept of eliminating meat and high fat dairy products on Mondays only.  It’s a wellness-promoting campaign aimed at reducing the intake of saturated fats, which are the heart-clogging fats found mostly in animal products.  According to the University’s research, by cutting out meat and high-fat dairy products for just one day, a person can reduce their overall intake of saturated fats by 15-pecent! That’s a pretty significant amount, and considering heart disease is the number one killer in the U.S., this is something that we should all consider.

    Long story short, don’t be afraid to try a meatless meal every once in a while!  Especially with Good Measure Meals, which has a wide and delicious variety of vegetarian meals to keep newcomer, temporary, and even seasoned vegetarians excited and satisfied.

    GMM Lemongrass Tofu with Edamame Risotto and Ginger-glazed Carrots

    GMM Lemongrass Tofu with Edamame Risotto and Ginger-glazed Carrots

    Chances are even good that you already incorporate meatless meals into your diet from time to time, but this may not be a conscious decision on your part.  My recommendation is to step out of the box a little and make a conscious decision to reduce your saturated fat intake regularly.  You will probably even discover some new foods that you really like (GMM’s Thursday Quinoa Loaf dinner this week with Cheesy Whole Wheat Penne and a side of Green Beans, for instance) and that’s a win-win situation in my book!

  • 05Aug

    Contributed by Good Measure Meals Registered Dietitian, Joy Goetz

    1363010941_peaches_fruit_wallpaperAugust is National Peach Month. As a huge fan of this fruit and a resident of the Peach State, I think it’s fitting to devote at least a blog post to this decadent summer treat.

    Every summer, when my family made our annual trip to North Georgia from South Florida, my mom insisted on stopping at the peach orchards and loading down the car with bushels of peaches. We all thought she was crazy, but no one complained when we were enjoying sweet, juicy peaches for weeks after we returned. My appreciation for this fruit has only deepened with time, as I become a more adventurous cook and eater. Sweet, savory, fresh or cooked…the peach is a wonderfully versatile fruit, and an easy way to jazz up just about anything. Some of my favorite quick and easy peach recipe ideas:

    • Peach salsa (peaches + tomatoes + Vidalia onion + bell pepper + cilantro = a low-calorie summertime favorite)
    • Peaches and cream (by cream, I mean yogurt or fro-yo). My current favorite breakfast is Atlanta Fresh ginger peach Greek yogurt, sliced fresh peaches and ginger granola. Now that’s a way to start the day!
    • Grilled peach slices on arugula salad with goat cheese, pecans and white balsamic vinaigrette. (My own creation based on this recipe.)
    • Peach cobbler. For a quick, easy and healthy version of this summer favorite, simply slice a few peaches, drizzle with a touch of honey, top with your favorite granola and bake at 350 until warm and bubbly. There’s really no set recipe-it comes out great whether you’re making a single serving or enough for a family reunion.)

    When shopping for fresh peaches, choose peaches that are on the firmer side-they travel better- and allow them to ripen in a paper bag at room temperature. Peaches are ripe when they are fragrant and yield to gentle pressure.

    I hope you’re enjoying peach season as much as I am. Check out GMM meals featuring peaches: Peaches and Cream Oatmeal topped with Walnuts, served with Turkey Sausage, and a Fresh Orange; Zucchini Frittata, with Oven Roasted Sweet Potatoes, and Peach Crisp;  and Whole Wheat Buttermilk Pancakes with Peach Sauce and a side of Scrambled Eggs and Egg Whites.


  • 09Jul

    Contributed by Good Measure Meals Registered Dietitian, Callie O’Steen

    Although many kids sing this as a funny song in the lunch line at summer camp, there are healthy truths in these words. Beans are commonly known as a superfood. But why? Let’s take a look into why beans were voted best all-around in food school, shall we?

    Beans Go Global

    Beans1 As a dietary staple for centuries upon centuries, beans have become a prominent ingredient in many cultural cuisines. With such variety, flavor, and texture, certain geographical areas are known for certain legumes. You’ve got Central America and the Caribbean dishing out delicious meals with Black beans, the White beans featured in French recipes, and of course Garbanzo beans (chick peas) prepared in the Middle East. And who could forget the Jelly Bean of California! Just kidding. Totally not a real bean.

    Through the ages, beans have been a hot commodity because they’re so easy to grow and store. They’re also very cheap and pretty portable. Back in the day, many sailor’s diets were comprised of beans… hence the Navy bean. Clever, right?

    It’s a vegetable! It’s a protein! No, it’s a bean!

    Did you know that beans are both a veggie and a protein? Beans are a great source of fiber and protein, and on top of that, they’re low in calories and fat! Cough, cough, Superfood. Studies have shown that the soluble, heart-healthy fiber found in these little nutra-heros may help reduce the bad cholesterol in your body. And incorporating beans into your daily eats can increase your overall diet quality! They also serve as a great low-fat protein alternative to typical meat sources high in saturated fat.

    Whenever I tell someone that I love beans… their nose instantly turns up and they picture a very stinky Dietitian.  However, there are ways to boot the poot! Beans contain a complex carbohydrate called Oligosaccharides. This is the smelly culprit that scares away potential bean lovers. Our bodies lack enzymes to appropriately digest this nutrient, which leads to its odorous escape as gas. But by soaking dried beans before preparation, some of the oligosaccharides will leach out of the bean and into the water, thus making it easier to digest! Also, research has shown that this doesn’t interfere with the bean’s nutritive content… win, win!


    Craving those heart-healthy beans now? You’re in luck! This week’s GMM menu is featuring a tasty three bean salad on Thursday at lunch! Also, don’t forget to share the food love… try this week’s lentils and peas too! They are the bean’s favorite cousins!


  • 02Jul

    Contributed by Good Measure Meals Community Wellness Representative and Registered Dietitian, Rachel Stroud

    There are few things that thrill me as much as travel.  The unfamiliar sights, sounds, smells, and flavors make the world feel fresh and exciting and altogether new.  It releases me from my very southern life into a place that feels rich with history and culture, and tastes much more exotic than my usual BBQ, sweet tea, and Starbucks.Rachel travels to Switzerland

    This summer I had a fantastic opportunity to visit family in Switzerland.  Unlike many European countries that hold fast to their own heritage, Switzerland is a bit of a melting pot, much like our own culture.  It has a few things that are quintessentially Swiss, but most of the country is steeped in the influences of its neighboring cultural powerhouses.  In the Northwest you’ll find German schnitzels and starchy veggies. In the South you’ll find colorful produce, fish, and pasta like its Italian neighbors just over the mountains.  In the West you’ll find the rich, simple, sophisticated flavors of its French heritage.

    It will come as no surprise that when I travel, besides documenting the experience with way too many pictures, my #1 priority is experiencing the food. I love to taste the things that are native to an area, as well as their own interpretations of “international.” WARNING: Don’t order a hamburger in Switzerland expecting it to taste like Wendy’s — you will be deeply disappointed. But if you can free your mind of all your preconceived notions, you will be astounded by the unique texture and flavor of the beef produced by the cattle that graze on the lush green hills of the countryside, traditional bells hung around their necks, and you will be all the luckier for the experience.

    Variety of Swiss Foods from Travels

    Because of my deep appreciation for the food of other cultures and the stories the food tells of its native people and history, one of my great respects for the menu and culinary dietitians at Good Measure Meals is the value placed on the greatest hits of other cultures.  GMM has a wide variety of cultures represented in our meal plans, because true foodies know that each food culture has its treasures.

    Notice some highlights of this week’s menu:

    Chicken Mole with Arroz Verde, made with Spinach, Cilantro, Poblanos and Brown Rice; plus a side of Carrots

    Beef Bolognese over Whole Wheat Spaghetti, and a side of Roasted Brussels Sprouts

    Red Peanut Chicken and Vegetable Curry with Brown Rice and Spinach

    Shrimp and Grits topped with Stewed Okra and Tomatoes, with a side of Blackberry Cobbler

    Enjoy this week’s world tour, compliments of GMM.

    Scenic Switzerland

  • 25Jun

    What’s the first thing a person thinks about when he or she thinks about summer?

    Vacation. True.

    And you know what’s right up there on the summertime “must do” list? Good Measure Meals. Surprised? Well here’s a little logic to help with the word-association whenever someone mentions summertime again.

    1) When’s the one time in the entire year that you really want to look good? Hint: Skirts, dresses, tank tops…bathing suits… Exactly. Summer. Get that arm flab outta here.

    2) Looking good is not magic. It takes a lot of focus and planning. But what is actually magical is that Good Measure Meals does a lot of the focus and planning work for you. GMM can’t make you exercise, but it can take ALL of the guesswork out of what you should be eating each day to help you reach your best Summertime shape.Time to Get Fit for the Summer!

    - We have well-balanced and portion-controlled meals that are designed to meet specific nutritional guidelines from meal to meal and from day to day.

    - Since we organize by calorie count, you can keep better track of your progress toward weight loss (or weight gain, if you’re trying to build muscle like our summer fitness expert, Thomas Murphy) than you could by yourself.

    3) The summer variety on our menus keeps your taste buds interested with all your favorite dishes of the season. Buffalo Chicken Sandwich; Carolina Style BBQ Pulled Chicken with Chow Chow relish, Field Peas, and Banana Pudding; Crab Cake Sandwich with Jalapeno Aioli Spread; Cilantro Lime Shrimp over Quinoa and Black Bean Salad; Vegetarian and Beef Fajitas with Onions, Portobello Mushrooms and Peppers; Southern Style Oven “Fried” Chicken with BBQ Beans and Collard Greens, fresh green salads and so so so much more!

    PGMM Spring/Summer 2013 Mealslus, our meals are easily portable for all your summer travels to the pool, beach, mountains, lake (OK maybe that’s us projecting OUR ideal summer vacation schedule).

    4) Speaking of traveling, Good Measure Meals is super flexible for your summer schedule. If you can’t pack your meals in a cooler and take them with you (ideal scenario, obviously), just give us a call before 4 p.m. on Thursdays to put your deliveries on hold for the next week while you scurry over to Europe or to Cancun or to the Hamptons, or wherever else all you awesome world-traveling jet-setters choose to summer. We’ll just set you a restart date so that directly upon your return home, you can expect to resume picking up your meals and extend the mental vacation by not worrying about meal planning for the next long while.

    Summer is upon us, and we can’t wait…especially since Good Measure Meals is here to help make this the best season yet!

  • 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.