• 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!

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 21Mar

    If you had a chance to watch Atlanta & Company on 11 Alive this morning, you may have seen me talking about adding variety with veggies!

    If you are on Good Measure Meals, consider adding these vegetables for variety or making the recipes on days you don’t eat the meals.  If you are not a Good Measure Meals customer, consider using our meals as a way to introduce yourself to new foods!

    Bon Appetit!

    Arugula with Lemon Vinaigrette

    1 clove garlic, minced

    2-3 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

    6 Tbsp Extra virgin olive oil

    ¼ tsp salt

    Freshly grated black pepper

    1 package of baby arugula

    Freshly grated parmesan cheese

    Place the first five ingredients in a jar with a lid.  Tighten lid and shake vigorously to mix well.  Place arugula in a large bowl and toss lightly with dressing.  Top with freshly grated parmesan cheese.  Fresh sliced pears make a nice addition as well.

    Roasted Peeled Beets

    1 bunch of beets

    Extra virgin olive oil

    Freshly grated pepper

    Salt

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Wash beets and cut stems to remove the greens.  Using a vegetable peeler, peel beets then cut into 4-8 cubes, depending on the size of the beets.  Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Spread out in a single layer on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, and bake for 20-30 minutes, until caramelized and tender.    Be sure to not crowd the beets to allow proper roasting.  Beets can also be roasted whole.  Try this simple recipe as well!

    Sauteed Broccolini

    1 bunch broccolini

    ½ teaspoon salt

    2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

    ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

    Blanch the broccolini in boiling salted water for 2 minutes.  Drain immediately and place in a bowl of ice water.  Heat olive oil on low-medium heat in a saute pan.  Drain the broccolini and add to the pan and saute for 2 minutes.  Add the salt and pepper, and toss well before serving.

    Kale Chips

    1 bag of cut kale

    Olive oil

    Salt

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Toss kale pieces in olive oil until coated.  Spread out in single layer on parchment paper-lined baking sheet, sprinkle with salt and bake 8-10 minutes until edges are brown and crispy.

    Spaghetti Squash

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Wash outside of squash.  Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise with a large knife.  Scrape out the seeds and pulp with a spoon.  Place each half cut-side down in a baking dish with 1-2 Tbsp of water. Bake for about 30 minutes or until knife can easily cut through the squash.  Remove from oven to cool.  Using a fork, shred the strands of spaghetti squash.   Use in place of spaghetti noodles in recipes or serve as a side dish tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper.

  • 04Jan

    What are your resolutions? Or do you even make any? According to Wiki, a study in 2007 by a man named Richard Wisemen from the University of Bristol (UK) showed that 78% of those who set New Year resolutions fail.

    This statistic should not surprise anyone – as most of us have been part of the 78% at least one time.

    This year, I’m resolving to continue my 2011 adventure with new foods – a resolution I know I can keep. I’m exploring foods I’ve never tried, and preparing foods I thought I didn’t like in new ways.

    How did this all start?

    As some of you may know, my colleague Ashley and I do cooking demos for the Cancer Support Community here in Atlanta.  Ashley – a self-described “foodie” – has broadened my horizons immensely in the very brief six month period that I’ve been working with her.

    In my short time with Good Measure Meals, I’ve been amazed to learn how many foods existed that I had never tasted or thought I didn’t like- and I mean REAL,WHOLE foods – not foods manufactured in factories that you buy in a box (although there are many of those I have yet to taste as well).

    I have been and continue to be genuinely surprised by the foods that I’ve (re-)discovered!   I thought I hated Brussels sprouts, but the truth is that I just hate them boiled (LOVE them roasted!).   I found that parsnips have a unique flavor all their own.

    Fresh ripe pears are crisp and sweet (I only ever ate canned pears as a child and wrote them off years ago).  And up until last weekend, I thought I didn’t like kale until a friend made it into a salad (wait, to quote her, “massaged” the kale) with goat cheese and pomegranate seeds for New Year’s Eve – yum!

    Are you ready to broaden your own food horizons but not sure where to start?  As a food explorer myself, here are my suggestions for 12 fruits and vegetables to try (or re-try) in honor of 2012!

    1.  Kumquats – I first had this tart citrusy fruit at the Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle a few years ago.  They look like mini oval oranges.  Be sure to eat the entire fruit – skin and all.  I saw some at Kroger in Atlanta yesterday so know they are available locally.

    2.  Parsnips – I first tasted parsnips this fall in a roasted fall vegetable medley with carrots and winter squash.  At the local market, they look like large white carrots.  The taste?  They have a ‘bite’.  Try them and see for yourself!

    3.  Kale – If you’ve tried our Good Measure Meals Hearty Chicken Sausage Soup with Kale and White Cannellini Beans, then you have eaten kale!  If you want to prepare it in an entirely different way, try making kale chips or using it raw in a salad.  To learn more, check out my colleague Diana Dyer’s blog, 365 days of kale.

    4.  Star fruit – Star fruit (or carambola) is a juicy tropical fruit grown throughout Southeast Asia, Australia, South America, Hawaii and Florida.  It’s a good choice during the winter when they’re readily available.  Star fruit are low-cal (only 30 calories per fruit) and make a great conversation piece when added to a fruit salad.  The taste is difficult to describe, but the texture is sort of like a grape.

    5.  Turnips – The root of turnip greens is on my 2012 ’to do’ list.  Not knowing how to prepare them myself, I consulted Ashley, who suggests pan-sautéing them.  Check out the Vegan Coach to learn more on prep.

    6.  Anasazi Beans – Named after the cliff dwellers of the Southwestern US, this bean is believed to be 1500 years old.  If you ate this week’s Good Measure Meals dinner last night with Southwestern Chili Lime Tilapia aside Seasoned Anasazi Beans and Sweet Corn, then you’ve had Anasazi beans!

    7.  Broccolini – I first experience with broccolini was at Alligator Soul in Savannah this fall.  Due to my ongoing aversion to broccoli (long story), I asked the waitress if she could sub asparagus for broccolini, assuming it was ‘baby’ broccoli – same flavor, just smaller.  Thank God broccolini was my only option that night– it’s fantastic!  To me, it tasted much more like asparagus than broccoli.  Delish!

    8.  Arugula – Up until this fall, I had always had arugula as a part of a mixed greens salad – never alone – but I’m now an arugula salad lover.  My favorite way to enjoy is simply to toss the greens with a dash of olive oil, lemon juice, pepper, salt and freshly grated parmesan.  Sliced fresh pears make a nice addition as well (thanks Ashley!).   On Good Measure Meals right now?  Arugula pops up in next week’s menu (Chickpea Salad and Bulgur Salad with Golden Raisins, Arugula, Pecans, Herbs and Spices on Saturday).

    9.  Rutabagas – Like turnips, this one has been added my list to try in 2012.  Rutabagas are root vegetables that originated as a cross between the cabbage and the turnip.  I think I’ll try mine sautéed with caramelized onions.

    10.  Persimmon – This fruit resembles a tomato, but tastes quite different.  Not sure how to eat?  Check out Five Ways to Eat Persimmons.

    11.  Figs – If you are like me, I wouldn’t know where to start with a fig.  I’ve tasted figs in recipes made by other people, but never ate a fresh or dried fig by itself.   Did you know figs are on the GMM menu?  If you’ve had our Provencal Chicken flavored with Lemon, Herbs, Sundried Tomatoes and Dried Figs, you’ve had figs!

    12.  Lentils – ohhh…my favorite bean.  Lentils require no soaking overnight, making them a quick and easy solution for meals.  Use them in stews, soups or add them to rice and vegetable dishes for more fiber and flavor or if you don’t want to cook them, try our Good Measure Meals lentil stuffing on the fall/winter menu!  As a bonus, lentils won’t hurt your wallet either.  Check out one of my favorite lentil dishes: Warm Lentil Salad (try substituting turkey or chicken sausage – it’s delish)!

    I hope my mom is sitting down when she reads this.  The girl who once only ate canned green beans, potatoes and corn now eats her vegetables, and can’t wait to try more.

  • 14Sep
    To Our Amazing FedEx Volunteers!

     On September 13, 2011 something amazing transpired on the Open Hand/Good Measure Meals campus.  Over 120 volunteers from FedEx flooded our midtown home and worked relentlessly to help us meet our mission and at the same time spruce up the place a bit.  From prepping and packing Open Hand meals, to helping with maintenance needs, Open Hand welcomed the amazing work that these individuals put forth.  For Good Measure, we were lucky to secure a small group of highly motivation and might I add skilled volunteers, who- in a minimal amount of time- beautified our building!

    If you have the opportunity to visit the Good Measure Offices, you will now find new flower beds alongside some Kale and trimmed foliage that has our entire staff delighted! It is amazing what a committed group of individuals can do when given a cause!  What a fine display of selfless philanthropy!

    From our family to yours, we thank you FedEx!