• 09Oct

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

    notes from the kitchen

    The signs of fall are undeniable, from the cooler weather and leaves changing colors to pumpkin-flavored versions of just about everything! Good Measure Meals is marking the change of seasons by launching its fall/winter menu. You’ll still find many of your favorite meals, with the addition of seasonal vegetables and fall-inspired flavors. Here’s the inside scoop on some of our new items for autumn.

    It’s all about orange vegetables this season. High in vitamins A and C, fiber and potassium, nutritional powerhouses like butternut squash and sweet potatoes will help protect your eyes, support your immune system, regulate blood sugar and cholesterol levels, and promote heart health. Plus, beta-carotene, the pro-vitamin A pigment that gives these veggies their bright orange color, is a powerful antioxidant.

    You’ll find roasted butternut squash and oven roasted sweet potatoes on our fall/winter menu as tasty and nutritious side dishes at lunch and dinner. They also make appearances as main dishes in creamy Butternut Squash Ravioli and a returning favorite, Sweet Potato Spinach Burgers.
    sweet potatoes

    squash2

    Another seasonal vegetable to look for this fall are Brussels sprouts. Packed with fiber, vitamin C and folate, these cruciferous vegetables don’t deserve their bad rep! They’re delicious roasted, which is exactly how you’ll find them as a savory side dish to our lunch and dinner meals.

    brussels1
    Some breakfast staples also get a fresh fall makeover with the addition of cranberries, in season during Fall/Winter. From orange cranberry scones to cranberry maple sauce for dipping French toast sticks, you’ll get a perfect balance of sweet and tart flavors and a good source of vitamin C and fiber to power up your morning.
    cran2

    cran3
    Start the season off right and enjoy the fresh favors of fall with Good Measure Meals!

  • 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

  • 24Apr

    Today’s post is contributed by GMM’s beloved Customer Service Manager, Philip Neikro

    336040_10150888354297309_499730162_o Hi Everyone! I’m Philip Niekro, GMM’s Customer Service Manager. I was asked to write a little blog entry about my favorite GMM meal. I haven’t contributed to our blog in a while, and since I’ve just recently resumed my GMM meal plan, I thought I’d share a little bit about my experience with Good Measure Meals.

    I’ve been an off and on again GMM customer for over 5 years. I found out about this wonderful service back when I was looking to lose some weight and was at a point where I didn’t know what to do next. I had a friend who had just started working for this cool company that offered a fresh, calorie-controlled meal plan that, also, happened to be a fund raiser for a wonderful local non-profit called Open Hand.

    I gave Good Measure Meals a call and started picking up their 1700 Calorie, Healthy Selection, 7-day plan the very next Monday. I had never used a meal service like this before and was excited to try a new avenue to shed some pounds. I figured I’d at least give them a try. Needless to say, I ended up staying on the plan for almost 4 months and reached my goal of losing 30+ lbs! I was thrilled with my accomplishment and became one of GMM’s biggest fans.

    A couple of years later, I heard through that same friend that they were looking to hire a new customer service representative. I jumped at the chance! I got the job and was thrilled! I was going to be working for this great company that I had been recommending to all of my friends and, at the same time, help this awesome non-profit get medically appropriate meals to a group of people in Atlanta who would otherwise be in need.

    I’m now going on my 4th year here at RagnarGood Measure Meals and, still, to this day, have to pinch myself on occasion to remind myself that, yes, you do work for this amazing company. I get to talk to all of you wonderful customers, help you choose the right plan, find out what is working for you and what isn’t, find out what your favorite dishes are, answer questions about our service to new customers, and be an ear to those of you who might need a little support. Two years ago, I became GMM’s Manager of Customer Service and am excited to be able to help steer my team into an even better customer service department while being a part of the exciting things happening at GMM and Open Hand.

    And finally: What is my favorite GMM Meals? It has to be any kind of breakfast that contains Greek yogurt. I love the build-your-own parfait breakfasts the most. For some reason, interacting with your food that way is fun and feels like a treat.

    Good Measure Meals has helped me lose weight and get healthy. I’ve learned what a correct portion size of healthy prepared food looks like. GMM takes a part of that oh so difficult losing weight equation and does that work for me. I don’t have to worry about going to the grocery store, about what to buy or leave on the shelf, I don’t have to cook for a while, and I get to enjoy really tasty meals. By letting someone else take those duties away from me, I get to use my time and energy on the other part of the equation, ramping up my exercise and working to make other important decisions regarding my diet, i.e., late night snacking, emotional eating, etc.

    Currently, I’m looking to drop a little weight again. I’m back on GMM meals and am totally loving the new menu. I’m looking forward to reaching my goal weight again and enjoy the process at the same time.

    Interested in joining me? Come join the healthy meal plan train with me! Give me a call and I’ll get you started! Let’s do this together!

    Philip and his awesome team can be reached at 404-815-7695

  • 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!

  • 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

  • 10Sep

    Pumpkin Breakfast Bar2

    Happy September, folks!  We are not far off from the season of scented candles, scarves, pumpkins, and chai tea lattes…and you know what else that means…NEW GMM MENU!!! 

    There are two especially exciting times of the year over here at Good Measure Meals.  The first is in April, when the flowers start blooming and we draw people out of hibernation with our Spring/Summer menu.  The second is every October when we unleash our last 4 months of creativity in our Fall/Winter Menu.  Newsflash:  That’s next month!

    Over at GMM we are big fans of eating with the seasons.  Stews are best enjoyed during cold months, and chopped salads taste best when the sun is shining and the outdoors call our names with perfectly warm (and humid) weather.  Likewise, seasonal fruits and veggies taste fresher and more flavorful when we enjoy them in their respective seasons. Well, ladies and gentleman, we are amping up to give you reason to trade your summer favorites, for some fall/winter comforts.

    As always, our new menus are structured and based off of your feedback and the requests you submit throughout the current menu cycle. Each week, our chefs and dietitians pore over the comments you send us through our weekly Customer Feedback Survey. And through the weeks, we start to see trends in your tastes — the meals you love, and the items that aren’t your favorites. Together with your helpful thoughts and the expertise of our culinary team, we end up with an amazing collaboration for the development of our new menus!

    So now that Fall time is around the corner, you can expect some of those highly requested, delicious, and seasonal comfort foods – classic recipes with creative spins that are bound to leave your belly warm and taste buds jumping for joy.

    We snuck into the kitchen to grab a few pictures of some of the dishes our team is working on…

    If we share some pictures with you, can you keep the secret??  **shhhhh!**

    Cranberry Bean Fagioli Soup

    Cranberry Bean Fagioli Soup

    Lemon Pepper Tilapia with an Italian Wheatberry Pilaf

    Lemon Pepper Tilapia with an Italian Wheatberry Pilaf

    Roasted Turkey and Cranberry Sauce

    Roasted Turkey and Cranberry Sauce 

    What do you think?  We think its going to be a pretty great Fall/Winter 2013…

     

  • 07May

    In case you’ve missed it, one of the highlights of our new Spring/Summer menu is Roasted Red Pepper Hummus.  Until recently, I always bought this favorite of mine at the store and left the roasting of the peppers to the chefs at Sabra, Tribe, Athenos, or my local grocery.  Last Friday, that all changed.

    Our cooking demo at the Cancer Support Community Atlanta this month includes wholesome foods for brown bag lunches and highlights roasted red peppers as part of two recipes – a Quinoa Salad and Roasted Red Pepper Hummus.  So, at the end of last week, it was time to test the recipes AND for me to finally learn the “how to” of roasting red peppers.

    I’m embarrassed to say I can’t believe I didn’t try this sooner.  I wanted to eat up both peppers I roasted simply by themselves – they were fabulous!

    Want to try this for yourself?  Check out my steps below (and forgive my amateur photography…).  And stay tuned next week for the recipes from our demo.


    Step 1:   Preheat oven to 450° F.  Wash red bell pepper(s), cut in half, remove the seeds and stem, and place on a baking sheet with parchment paper, with inside of pepper facing down.  Brush the outside skin of each pepper with olive oil.


    Step 2:  Roast in oven for 15-20 minutes until the skins have darkened and peppers are tender. Remove from oven.


    Step 3:  Place the roasted peppers in a glass dish and cover to steam for 10-15 minutes.


    Step 4.   Peel skin away from peppers and you are ready to eat or use in recipes.

  • 27Jan

    Lamar Palmer, GMM’s Executive Chef, is currently focusing his attention on developing recipes for the new Spring/Summer GMM menu. Check out this video for a behind the scenes look at one of his latest creations. He is calling it ‘Fruitwood Smoked Chicken Salad’ and it is packed with nutritious and tasty ingredients.

    Do you have ideas for new menu items? Let us know!

  • 02Nov

    Halloween is over and many of you are left with Jack-o-lanterns and a pile of dried pumpkin seeds that you were planning on doing something with, but just haven’t gotten around to yet… am I right?

     As my favorite seasonal food, pumpkin makes its way into many of my holiday recipes and while most people would probably guess that this means pumpkin breads, pies and cookies- there are also many healthy ways to use this amazing food. Today I want to focus on pumpkin seeds. Many of you might have noticed that new GMM menu found a use for pumpkin seeds in one of our new Dinner Selections: Northern Italian Raviolis of Sage Pasta stuffed with Butternut Squash topped with Genoa Style Tomato Sauce. Fresh Spinach Salad with Carrots, Pumpkin Seeds and Multigrain Croutons with Balsamic Vinaigrette. Sound delicious? It is and also a great way to incorporate the nutrient packed pumpkin seed into a balanced meal! Great work Ashley!

    Pumpkin seeds are not edible when raw, but with a little olive oil and 20 minutes in the oven on low heat, you have a tasty and oh so healthy snack. The seeds are extremely high in both zinc and iron, both minerals needed in our daily diets. Zinc is an antioxidant mineral, which not only boosts the immune system, but also protects against prostate enlargement and cancer in the male population. Iron improves energy levels and is vital for healthy blood cells. Foods that contain high amounts of these minerals are particularly important for vegetarians, but also very beneficial to meat eaters, as the seeds also contain sterols, which help remove “bad” cholesterol, lowering LDL. As if these benefits weren’t enough to entice you to add pumpkin seeds into your diet, they also contain some Omega-3 fats (the healthy fat!), vitamin E, folate, and magnesium that can maintain heart health!

     Tips for Using Pumpkin Seeds: Always chew the seeds well to ensure maximum absorption of nutrients and think about adding seeds to salads, yogurt, muesli or cereal. You can also consider grounding the seeds and adding it to veggie, nut or bean burgers to increase your iron!

    How do you use pumpkin seeds?

  • 12Oct

    Hello everyone! You may have noticed that I have been MIA on the GMM Blog for the past few months.  I promise that this will change come November when we make it through the first rotation of the new Fall, Winter Menu.  All of my attention has been focused on working with our team of chefs to deliver the best GMM menu yet! It is amazing how much work goes into the launch of a new menu and I hope to spend some time in the coming months exposing everyone to all of the testing and analysis that has to be done before any recipe makes the menu and is turned over to the kitchen for mass production.  The days have been long, but I am extremely proud of our 2011 Fall, Winter menu and I am anxious to hear the feedback about our new meals. 

    All of the new recipes go through a product review. We critique taste, texture and appearance. This is a picture of me tasting a new menu item called, Beef and Vegetable Bolognese with Zucchini and Eggplant over Whole Wheat Pasta. Bon Appetite!

    Any stand outs for you all who read the blog? What are your favorite meals?

    If you want to see the new additions, the entire menu rotation is now up on www.goodmeasuremeals.com, so take a peak and tell me what you think!

    As always, I want to know what are customers are thinking.  We take feedback very seriously and are always looking to deliver the best possible product!  If there is something we can do to improve the meals, let us know. We want the menu to be YOUR menu. Feel free to use this blog as a forum to give feedback or email our customer service representatives at customerservice@goodmeasuremeals.com.

    Here’s to a great new menu and to balanced nutrition!