Introducing our new “haute & healthy” diabetic-friendly menu plan!

Diabetes is not the end of your life…nor is it the end of enjoying good food!

As a borderline-diabetic, with a long family history of the disease, I personally develop,  test, and follow the recipes for the haute & healthy menu.

Each recipe is designed to help maintain acceptable blood-sugar levels, encourage weight-loss (two key elements in diabetes management), and provide a delicious, nutritious, and sustainable eating lifestyle.

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Garam Masala Pork Chops with Mint Yogurt and Spiced Couscous

hautemealz.com friend and food blogger, Michelle, over at FoodPassionista  saw the photo of this dish on our Facebook page, and kindly asked us for the recipe.

As it was easily my favorite dish from last week (cooked in a campground, no less), I thought, “Why not?”

So, Michelle…and all you other awesome people…enjoy!

– Perry

PS – A few slices of salted and peppered zuke and yellow squash, flash-grilled alongside the pork chops, would be a tasty addition to this meal!

PPS – Just a reminder, you could be getting delicious, nutritious recipes, just like this one, for every night of the week…at less than the cost of a happy meal each month! Sign up here! – P


Dinner 6

Garam Masala Pork Chops with Mint Yogurt; Spiced Couscous

Garam Masala Pork Chops with Mint Yogurt (6a)

It’s worth seeking out garam masala if you can. This blend of spices is available at many large grocery stores, as well as Asian specialty stores. If you can’t find it, you can use curry powder instead.

Yield: 4 servings                 
Active Time: 10 min.  
Total Time: 8 hr. 10 min. (incl. marinating)

  • 4 6-oz. lean pork loin chops
  • 4 tbsp. garam masala spices*
  • 1/2 cup Greek style yogurt
  • 10 fresh mint leaves

Trim pork chops of excess fat. Rub garam masala into chops (both sides).

Place on a plate, cover and refrigerate for 6-8 hours, to allow flavors to penetrate.

Chop the mint and stir into the yogurt and refrigerate for the same period as the pork chops.

Preheat broiler. Spray broiler rack with nonstick cooking spray. Broil chops for about 5 minutes each side. Alternately, grill chops over direct heat until well marked on both sides, move to indirect heat, cover loosely in foil, and cook until internal temp reaches 145F. Remove from heat and allow to rest 3 minutes.

Serve with mint yogurt.

 Note: *Garam Masala is available in specialty stores and many larger grocery stores. You can use curry powder instead if you wish, or you could even make your own garam masala with this recipe.

 Spiced Couscous (6b)

Yield: 4 servings                  
Active Time: 10 min.  
Total Time: 15 min.

  • 1 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 4 tsp. raisins
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 pinches cayenne pepper (opt)
  • 2 pinches salt
  • 2/3 cup couscous
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp. sesame seeds

Nutritional facts for this meal

In a medium saucepan bring the broth, raisins, olive oil, cumin, cayenne and salt to a boil. Stir in the couscous, bring back to a boil, cover and remove from the heat. Set aside for 5 minutes.

Juice the lemon and stir into the couscous with the sesame seeds.



Lovely leftovers make beautiful breakfasts

Raised as I was, in a somewhat grim financial environment, we didn’t save our leftovers and food scraps to be conscious of our “carbon footprint”, or to make a  social/political statement…we saved our leftovers and food scraps because it might be all we had to eat the next day.

On of the greatest food inventions that my Italian ancestors gave the world was the frittata. Wikipedia says this about it:

“Frittata is an egg-based dish similar to an omelet or quiche, enriched with additional ingredients such as meats, cheeses, vegetables or pasta. It may be flavored with herbs. and such  ingredients are combined with the beaten egg mixture while the eggs are still raw rather than being laid over the mostly-cooked egg mixture before it is folded, as in a conventional omelet.”

Frittata’s are the perfect foil for food scraps and leftovers, and may be the single greatest “choose your own adventure” food, there is!

I grew up on frittatas, often with some pretty bizarre combinations of ingredients, and I can tell you this…you really can toss just about anything with eggs and a few complimentary ingredients, and create something unique and wonderful.

For me, they’re a trip back to pop’s kitchen, they’re comfort food. I love ’em.

So…for our hautemealz.com subscribers, I have great news…your weekly menu plans are an IDEAL ingredient provider for an almost unlimited variety of these  tasty breakfast dishes, and all those little odds, ends, and extra ounces here and there should be finding there way to a special corner of your fridge!

I took a look at next week’s menu, just as an example, and here are some ingredients you may find yourself with a few leftovers of:

click to enlarge

Again, these are just examples from a single week’s menu plan, so your ingredients (and possibilities) are going to be new every week.

Want to take the hassle out of meal planning? For super-simple, healthy and delicious dinner recipes, check out our FREE weekly meal plans and shopping lists!  Your free membership helps us teach as-risk youth valuable life skills!

Based on this list, here are a few frittata adventures that sprung to mind:

The Bruschetta: Bacon, Roma tomatoes, sweet onion, fresh basil leaves, fresh garlic, French Bread (cubed and toasted in butter), and Asiago cheese.

The Farmer’s: ground beef, cremini mushrooms, jalapeno pepper, fresh rosemary leaves, fresh garlic, and sour cream.

The Souk: pork loin chops (diced), Kalamata olives, sweet potatoes, mint leaves, raisins, and sesame seeds.

The Hoagie: deli-sliced turkey, Roma tomatoes, red onion, Italian parsley, fresh thyme, cheddar cheese, and avocado.

Wow…now I’m all hungry!

Okay, so once you’ve decided on the what, here’s the how…it’s pretty easy:

Mix the eggs with some salt and pepper in a bowl until well mixed. Add a splash of milk for taste and consistency. In a second bowl, toss veggies, herbs and spices, and meats together, set aside.

Heat oil or butter in a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Spread it around, then add the egg mixture.

Preheat the oven broiler to high.

Sprinkle any cheeses, as well as your bowl of goodies into the egg mixture. Stir the mixture gently once, and then cook for five minutes, or until it just starts to brown on bottom (use a spatula to lift the edge and peek). Don’t get it too brown, ’cause it’s going to keep cooking in the oven. Don’t worry if it’s still a little runny on top.

Pop the skillet in the oven and broil for a few minutes, watching closely, until the top just starts to brown and bubble.

Pull the skillet out of the oven with an oven mitt. Careful! The skillet handle will be very hot! (If I had a dollar for every time I’ve forgotten that dang oven mitt!) Also, it’s going to be an unconscious response to grab that handle a minute later, when your brain has forgotten that you’ve just pulled it from the oven…

Tip: Leave the oven mitt, or kitchen towel, draped over the handle, just in case.

Pretty easy, huh?

Slice, top each piece with a helping of your fresh toppings, and serve with toast, or as is!


Brazilian Limeade

Keeping with our current theme of beating the heat. Today, I’m at our annual church camp-out, where I’m busy cooking, eating, and throwing pine-cones at small children to keep them away from my favorite little pool of water in the nearby creek.

It’s slightly cooler here than at home, but the weather (and the company) still require that measures be taken to maintain my cool.

Here’s one of my all-time favorite beverages to sip in camp…

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Eating through the dog days

It’s hot here, well…hot for Oregon (yes, yes, I know it’s WAY hotter where you are…) Sticky and muggy are a combination that drives me away from the kitchen, my family, clothes…anything that generates heat.

In weather like this, I turn to cold cuts, anti-pasti, and light sandwiches for dinner, accompanied by several gallons of iced tea and the occasional wheat-soda. Here are three favorite recipes (and websites) I’ve found to help beat the heat, while still enjoying some great food…

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Golden Potato Fans with Gorgonzola Dipping Sauce

Found these on another pin and they looked so delicious that I had to try them myself. We modified the recipe a bit (or course) and I’ll tell you what…this is one of the best things I’ve ever tasted! This technique makes a beautiful presentation, and would be a fun little appetizer if done with baby golds or reds, served over a schmear of the sauce.

I tried both peeled and unpeeled, and both were great (I liked the unpeeled just a bit better.) I’ve combined the pictures of both for this post.

So simple…just wash and peel (or not) your potatoes, I used Yukon Golds because that’s what I had in the basket, but russets might turn out even better.

Slice each potato, width-wise, almost all the way through, every 1/4-1/2 inch.

Preheat your oven to 425F

Combine (for each potato) a tsp. of olive oil, a Tbsp. of butter, some sea salt, garlic, and fresh pepper (to taste) in a measuring cup and nuke until melted. Stir well, and drizzle 1/2 of the mixture over top of the potato, making sure to get some of the goodness down into those crevices, and then bake @ 425F for about 60 minutes.

Check them at 45 minutes and if the tops start getting too brown, tent them loosely with a small piece of foil.

TIP: If you’re watching your fat intake, reverse the proportions of butter to olive oil, or omit the butter altogether.  Also, next time I’m going to add some very thin slices of fresh garlic clove, 1-2 between each slice.

Remove them from the oven, let rest about 5 minutes, then drizzle with remaining compound butter.

Serve with ketchup, or (my favorite) a chilled bleu cheese dressing, or a fresh Gorgonzola Dipping Sauce (see recipe below).

Seriously, you gotta try this…so easy, and SO good!

Chef Perry

Gorgonzola Dipping Sauce

1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sour cream (I like Mexican-style Crema)
2 oz crumbly Gorgonzola or Bleu Cheese (not creamy)
1 Tbsp. freshly grated Asiago
Dash kosher salt
Dash freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley (opt)


Bring the heavy cream to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.

Off the heat, add the Gorgonzola, Asiago, salt, pepper, and parsley. Whisk rapidly until the cheeses melts.

Allow to chill before serving, stirring occasionally.


Tickets available for the Portland Street of Dreams

Who wants tickets to the Street of Dreams?

This year’s event will be held at The Vineyard in West Linn, high above the Willamette River. The event runs July 28 – August 26th.

The next 5 people who sign up for one of our hautemealz.com menu programs (regular, lighter-side, or diabetic-friendly), or refer someone who signs up, will receive 2 tickets (each) to the 2012 Portland Street of dreams.

That’s a $30 value…or the equivalent of 6 months of hautemealz.com membership!

I just toured the neighborhood yesterday, and it is beautiful. Here’s the link to join, act fast…when they’re gone, they’re gone!



Easy slow-cooker brown rice

Next week’s Stuffed Chard with Fresh Marinara, calls for brown rice as part of the stuffing. While much more filling and nutritious than white rice, it also tends to take quite a bit longer to prepare.

If you need to “hit the door eating” this week, save yourself some time by letting your slow-cooker do the work while you’re away. The rice will be ready and waiting for you when you get home!

Slow Cooker Brown Rice
Yield: 4 cups cooked rice
Active Time: 5 min.
Total Time: 8 hr. 5 min.

  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 4 cups chicken broth*
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • salt, to taste

Rub crock-pot/slow cooker lightly with butter. Pour in rice, water and salt. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.

Season with salt, if needed, before serving.

 *Chicken broth can be replaced with beef, seafood, vegetable broth, or water, depending on the entrée. When turned off, crockpot/slow cooker will keep rice warm for serving 2 to 3 hours.

(By the way, if you’re enjoying this article, you may want to subscribe to our free newsletter; we’ll send seven amazing dinner recipes and a shopping list to your inbox each week. Plus, you’ll be helping us teach nutrition, shopping, and hands-on cooking classes to at-risk teens!)


Substituting ingredients via Gourmet Sleuth

Heyya hauties… ever come across an ingredient that you’re unfamiliar with, or just plain can’t find?

We do our best to offer simple substitutions to lesser-known items in your hautemealz.com menus, but just in case we miss something, Gourmet Sleuth is a FANTASTIC resource for both definitions and substitutions for thousands of ingredients!

Make sure to bookmark this site!

– Chef Perry


Crispy Grilled Chicken and Tomatoes with Strawberry-Spinach Salad

Here’s a freebie for you…my favorite recipe from this week’s hautemealz.com menu…Crispy Grilled Chicken and Tomatoes with Strawberry-Spinach Salad.



Crispy Grilled Chicken and Tomatoes

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