01/31/13

Gluten Free Brown Rice Spaghetti (seriously)

 I’m not celiac, but when I saw “gluten-free brown rice spaghetti” in the bulk aisle at Winco (I was buying regularly spaghetti for some a ragu I was planning to reheat for lunch) I knew I had to do a taste test.

gluten free spaghetti

gluten free spaghetti

Frankly, I’m more than a little suspicious about a lot of “gluten-free” products (probably from being forced to try so many “diabetic-friendly” products, growing up), but I’ll keep this review short and sweet, and avoid gilding the lily as much as possible…

Worthy of note – I come from an Italian family, and three generations of chefs…I know pasta. My Nona’s Sunday gravy recipe is the best pasta sauce that has ever graced this lowly earth. So, I felt well positioned for a straight-up, non-biased taste test.

Here we go…

This stuff is great.

Great.

gluten free spaghetti

The brown rice pasta (bottom) is noticeably darker than it’s wheat cousin, but the general “raw” feel and snap are the same.

I cooked both in identically salted, simmering water. The generic pasta (right) took its typical 10 minutes; the brown-rice version (left) required 15 minutes.

gluten free spaghetti

The slightly longer cooking time produced a perfect al-dente pasta that, on the “plain pasta taste test” actually had a pleasantly mild, nutty flavor, similar to whole-wheat pasta, but without the chewy, gummy mouth-feel that I hate about those products.

Blindfolded, with my nose pinched, I’m not sure I could have told you, consistency-wise, which was which, and (and I can’t believe I’m saying this)…I actually liked the taste of the gluten-free stuff a little better than the regular spaghetti.

gluten free spaghetti

It added a more noticeable (in a good way) layer of flavor to the sauced dish, than the regular pasta does.

Now, I’m sure you noticed that the price on the GF label is a bit more than twice the price of the old stand-by, but let’s be realistic here, okay…we’re talking about a fraction more than an additional thirteen cents per serving.

As I’m sure most celiac shoppers will tell you…big whoop!

So, I gotta give brown-rice spaghetti two thumbs up. I was very pleasantly surprised, and won’t hesitate to recommend it in the future. If you’re trying to maintain a gluten-free lifestyle (and, if you are, be sure to check out our Gluten-Free & Easy Meal Plan)…this is a really good product to add to your shopping list.

‘Course, you could put my Nona’s pasta sauce on an old army boot, and it’s going to be awesome…just sayin’…

Chef Perry

01/30/13

How to butterfly a turkey breast

Grilled Mango-Chutney Glazed Turkey Breast Butterflying any piece of meat will greatly decrease its cooking time; butterflying a turkey breast will cut the marinating and/or cooking time in half.

For next week’s menu plan, you’ll be cooking a whole turkey breast to use in three recipes over the course of the week. the first of which will be Grilled Mango-Chutney Glazed Turkey Breast. (pictured)

To speed up that process, you’ll want to butterfly the breast, first. This is the same process you would use to butterfly a chicken breast, boneless pork chop, etc.

We thought a little play-by-play might be helpful…

how to butterfly a turkey breast

Butterfly the turkey breast by placing the turkey skin side down on your cutting board.

how to butterfly a turkey breast

With your knife parallel to the board and half way up on the meat, place the palm of your hand carefully on top of the breast (keep those fingers out of the way!), and cut almost all the way through the breast horizontally, leaving 1-inch of meat, uncut, on the outside edge, like the spine of a book.

how to butterfly a turkey breast

Then open the breast up…like a book! The goal is to have the meat an even thickness.

(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!)

You can marinate and cook it like this, in a jiffy, or place some chilled seasoned butter, cheese, ham, veggies (whatever), in the middle, close it back and and seal the edges with egg white to do a cordon-bleu or Kiev presentation.

Enjoy!

-Chef Terry

01/30/13

Bad Food?

Hey peeps, the  hautemealz.com crew is going to start teaching a sort of “intro to home cooking” series of workshops for underprivileged kids and families.

For the sake of this question, assume we’re discussing people with a near-zero level of kitchen experience. I’m working on some themes for our “syllabus”, and I’d like you to answer one question for me, from the perspective of home cooking…

“What makes bad food/a bad meal?”

No rules, no guidelines, no “level of expertise” required. Read into that question anything you want, but PLEASE respond with something helpful. “Bad cooks”…is not helpful, lol.

We believe that, with the proper education, good , healthy meals can be prepared simply and on almost any budget, and that’s what we want to teach.

Thank you,

Chef Perry

01/29/13

Valentine’s Day Dinner: A Guide for Guys

Okay, so I’m not insinuating anything here…I’m sure that all the guys reading this are skillet-wielding Iron Chefs…but with Valentines Day coming up, maybe you know someone, who could use some tips…

NOTE: The management at hautemealz takes no responsibility for this post being forwarded to you…especially if it came from your wife or girlfriend…

That said, I’ve got a few tips on what to do (and not do) to create a “special dinner” to let your lady know how much she means to you…

Key points that I have found to be valuable:

  • A “special” dinner is one that she doesn’t have to do the dishes after.
  • If she has a favorite dish, make it. If you don’t know how…learn. She’s puts up with you…she’s worth it!
  • Portion control: bigger isn’t always better. a 16oz Porterhouse with all the trimmings isn’t necessary (unless you’re cooking for me). Think small and classy. Groaning, belching, and meat-sweats are for guy’s-night.
  • Dessert is key. You know it and I know it. If you don’t serve her favorite dessert, forget the whole dinner and just order a pizza.
  • Have a plan. With no plan there’s no attack. With no attack, there’s no victory!
power drill egg beater

Trust me…just don’t.

So…husbands and boyfriends… it’s time to man up.

Have a happy Valentine’s Day…enjoy a great dinner, an awesome dessert, and whatever happens from that point, is none of my business!

-Chef Perry

The Menu

Quick & Easy Stuffed Pork Chops
The Best Mashed Potatoes
Simple Lemon Broccoli
Chocolate Caramel “Beignets”

stuffed pork chops from hautemealz.com

4 servings    Active Time: 15 min    Total Time: 90 min

Ingredients

4 pork chops, 2 in thick
¼ cup brown sugar
1 pkg stuffing mix (pork)
¼ cup butter
1 Tbs olive oil
½ cup sweet onion, diced
¼  cup slivered almonds
¼ cup salt
1 Tbs Italian seasoning
1 ½ cup chicken broth
1 Tbs butter
1 Tbs minced garlic
½ cup diced celery
¼ cup chopped dates

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  1. Bring 2 quarts of water to a simmer. Add salt, brown sugar, and Italian seasoning. Stir until salt and sugar are completely dissolved. Cool to room temp. Cut a deep pocket into each pork chop, and add pork chops to brine. Refrigerate 6-8 hours.
  2. Melt 1 Tbs butter with 1 Tbs olive oil in skillet, add diced onion, garlic, and celery and sauté until softened. Add dates and almonds, stir and set aside.
  3. Cook the stuffing according to pkg. instructions, substituting the chicken broth for water. Once cooked, add onion/celery/crasins mixture into stuffing, and fluff. Allow to cool.
  4. Remove pork chops from brine, and rinse. Stuff each chop with 1/2 cup of stuffing, and place in greased baking dish. Pack any remaining stuffing around chops.
  5. Bake covered for 45 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes.

Best Mashed potatoes from hautemealz.com

4 servings     Active Time: 5 min     Total Time: 30 min

Ingredients

1 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
4 fluid ounces (1/4 cups) half-and-half
2 Tbs sweet cream butter, melted
2 ounce grated Asiago cheese
2 tablespoons fine sea salt
4 ounces (1/4 cup) chicken broth
1 clove garlic, crushed

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  1. Peel and dice potatoes, making sure all are relatively the same size. Place in a large saucepan, and cover with milk and broth (add more of each, in equal amounts to cover, if necessary.) Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and then reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Cook until potatoes fall apart when poked with a fork.
  2. Heat the butter and the garlic in a small saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Remove the potatoes from the heat and drain off extra fluid, reserving fluid. Mash potatoes and add the garlic-butter mixture and asiago cheese, add reserved fluid, as needed, and stir to reach desired consistency.
  4. Let stand for 5 minutes so that mixture thickens and then serve.

Lemon Broccoli from hautemealz.com

4 servings     Active Time: 5 min     Total Time: 10 min

Ingredients

4 cups broccoli florets
1 lemon, juiced
2 Tbs olive oil
Salt and black pepper, to taste

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  1. Steam broccoli. In a small bow, whisk together remaining ingredients
  2. When broccoli is cooked, but still firm, move to a bowl and toss with the lemon mixture. Serve immediately.

Beignets from hautemealz.com

This are about the “crazy-easiest” dessert recipe I’ve ever found. 3 ingredients, 5 minutes prep, 20 minutes in the oven, and you’ll be worshiped as a pastry god!

4 Servings    Active Time: 5 min    Total Time: 25 min

Ingredients

1 can (8oz) crescent dinner rolls
Powdered sugar
8 Milk Chocolate & Caramel SQUARES™
(see below for variations)

Ghirardelli Chocolate from hautemealz.com

  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Separate dough into 8 triangles.
  2. Place 1 chocolate/caramel square (or 1 tablespoon of chocolate chips) on wide end of each triangle. Roll up, starting at shortest side of triangle, rolling to opposite point. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Beignet in progress from hautemealz.com
  3. Bake at 350°F. for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Notes: The original recipe calls for using chips, I used my favorite: chocolate caramel squares, and it turned out awesome! Some possible variations:

  • Smores – Hershey bar squares and mini marshmallows.
  • Mr. Goodbar – 2 squares each
  • Nutella – 1 Tbs
  • Chocolate Orange – 1 section each
  • Choc. Covered macadamia nuts (2 each, chopped)

Another great dessert option is our Chocolate Peanut Butter Pot de Creme

Bon Appétit!

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At hautemealz.com, we’re all about helping busy families get back to the dinner table and share delicious, nutritious meals together, by helping you with the research, planning, and list-making that takes so much time…time that most of us just don’t have.

We create and personally test “real food” recipes for every night of the month, provide an easy-to-follow itemized grocery list for every week of the month, and offer constant support and training through our weekly newsletter, interactive blog, and social media sites…all for just $5.00 a month.

Classic, lighter-side, diabetic-friendly, and gluten-free menus available.

We make the plan, you make the meal!

01/28/13

Recipes for an Epic Superbowl Party

“Typically occurring in late January or early February, it is considered a de facto national holiday in the United States. On Super Bowl Sunday many people gather to watch the Super Bowl. Such gatherings are known for the large amount of food that is consumed by attendees.” Wikipedia

Okay, Super Bowl Sunday is coming up, and what better time to get our grub on?

Continue reading

01/25/13

You know you’re a foodie, when…

This one’s for all of our foodie friends, happy Friday!

You know you’re a foodie when…

You plan vacations based on the local restaurant scene.

You’ve stayed up till 2am reading…a cookbook.

You take notes at the movies during “food scenes”.

You carry around your own condiments…you know, just in case.

You have a 60″ Plasma TV and pay for cable…but the only channel you watch is Food Network.

You’ve used the term “food porn” in front of your mom.

It no longer seems strange to take pictures of what you eat.

You become obviously aroused at the mention of the word, “Tapas.”

You’ve woken your spouse up at 3am to read them a recipe.

Friends apologize when inviting you to fast food restaurants.

Dogs follow you because you smell like bacon.

Your 4 y/o won’t eat boxed mac & cheese, but begs for  foie gras, goat cheese, and caviar.

You have a specific menu planned for your own memorial service.

You never get invited to dinner because your friends are scared to cook for you.

You’ve rearranged food on someone else’s plate, to take a picture…

When the answer to any problem is to make dessert.

You’re on a first-name basis with the butcher at your favorite store, but you can’t remember your babysitter’s name.

You’ve registered for your wedding AND baby shower at WHOLE FOODS.

You have fantasized about being locked in a kitchen with Alton Brown

Okay, your turn…

01/22/13

A Letter to the Newly Diagnosed Type 2 Diabetic

More than 5,000 Americans are diagnosed with diabetes, every day.

Today’s guest post is from award-winning author and diabetes expert, Wil Dubois. Will is the author of Taming the Tiger: Your first year with diabetes, a first year survival guide, a recognized expert on the subject of diabetes, and a frequent contributor to the dLife website.

As the chef in charge of our Haute & Healthy Diabetic-Friendly meal plan, here at hautemealz.com, this post is especially important to me. I wish it had been around 15 years ago!

If you, or someone you know has been recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, please read and share this important information!

-Chef Perry

This article was originally posted at dLife.com and is shared with permission of both the author and publisher.

———————————————————–

A Letter to the Newly Diagnosed

What you need to know when first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes

By Wil Dubois

Welcome to the family! What? I’m the first to say that to you? Well, now that you’ve been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, you’re part of a HUGE family, and more people than you can imagine are facing the exact same challenges you are. In fact, more than 5,000 Americans were diagnosed with diabetes on the very same day you were. And the same thing is happening today. And 5,000 more will join us tomorrow.

Continue reading

01/21/13

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO US!

first-birthday-boys-cake-party
hautemealz.com signed up our first customer, (Thank you Mrs. Smith!) one year ago today!

We’ve come a long way, cooked a lot of great food, and met a lot of awesome folks along the way!

Here’s to many more years of amazing food made easy!

Thank you for making this a GREAT first year…

Chefs Perry, Terry, Chris, & Maryse

01/20/13

Thai Shrimp Boat Recipe

Tom Yum Thai Shrimp Boats

I’ve been playing with Tom Yum flavors ever since taking a Thai Cooking class last fall. I love the spicy-sour combination of the chili and kaffir lime.

Tom yum is a clear soup from Laos and Thailand, and is characterized by its distinct hot and sour flavors, with fragrant herbs generously used in the broth. The basic broth is made of stock and fresh ingredients such as lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, lime juice, fish sauce and crushed chili peppers.

5 (800x662)Commercial tom yum paste, as used in this recipe, is made by crushing all the herb ingredients and stir frying in oil. Seasoning and other preservative ingredients are then added. The paste is bottled or packaged, and sold around the world. It’s probably not quite as authentic as making if from scratch from the ingredients above, but it tastes great and it’s sure a lot simpler!

My favorite tom yum soup (tom yam thale) includes seafood, including shrimp, and I wanted to see if I could create a fun, healthy, “tapas style” dish that incorporated those flavors in a completely different way.

Very happy with these results.

Enjoy!

Chef Perry

Thai Shrimp Boats
Serves 2
1/2 lb large shrimp, cleaned and deviened
3in peice of lemongrass, crushed
1/2 cup Thai fish sauce
2 cups of water, as needed
salt and pepper to taste
6 whole romaine lettuce leaves (the smaller leaves inside a head of romaine), washed and trimmed
1 1/2 tsp Tom Yum soup paste
1/2 cup cilantro
1/2 cucumber, peeled
1/2 cup Jicama (or daikon radish*), matchsticks
1 lime, quartered

*If you like a little pepper heat, use the daikon radish, otherwise, stick to the cooler jicama, the consistency of the two is very similar.

Mise en Place

6 (800x530)Cut core off the end of the heat of romaine separating leaves. Wash, dry and place in a bag in fridge for at least an hour to get cold and crisp.

Slightly crush lemongrass with the flat edge of a cleaver, or with a rolling pin (this releases the flavors).

Chop cilantro, and peel, Tom Yum Thai Shrimp Boatsdeseed, and matchstick the cucumbers. Peel jicama (or daikon) and cut into matchsticks. Quarter lime.

Prepare the dish

Place a large plate or platter in the freezer to cool.

Combine lemongrass, fish sauce, and enough water to make about 1 1/2 inch in the bottom of a steam pot. Bring to a boil.

Tom Yum Thai Shrimp Boats

Place shrimp in a single layer in the bottom of the steam basket, and insert basket into the pot.

(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!)

Tom Yum Thai Shrimp Boats

Cover and steam 2-3 minutes until shrimp are just pink through (slightly undercooked, as they’ll continue to cook. Remove from heat, and remove shrimp from steam basket to a single layer on the chilled plate.

Tom Yum Thai Shrimp Boats

Set aside to cool, 2-3 minutes, then chop each shrimp into 2-3 pieces.

8 (800x487)

Lay your chilled lettuce leaf boats on serving dish and spread a very thin film of Tom Yum paste (to taste…it’s strong!) down the center of each.

9 (800x544)

Fill with shrimp, cilantro, cucumber, and jicama. Sprinkle with lime juice.

Serve immediately.

Thai Shrimp Boats

01/16/13

The Problem with Farm to Table

farm to tableOkay, I know that this title is going to bring some folks here lookin’ for a fight, so before you start sharpening your pitchforks and hurling your organic, fair-trade rotten tomatoes…let’s be clear: I love the farm-to-table concept.

I love my local farmer’s markets, and I take every opportunity to support my local artisan food purveyors; in part because I believe it’s the healthy and more socially responsible choice, but also because the food just tastes better!

However, my love and support for the ideal of farm-to-table does not negate that, in practice, the system is flawed.

Maybe a more fitting title would be “Farm to Table…the missing ingredient“, because the farm-to-table model leaves out a critical step…creating a gap that is not just important, but imperative to fill, for the system to work.

Functionally, the equation is actually “farm-to-KITCHEN-to-table” The kitchen is the bridge (or, unfortunately more often the gap) between the farm and the table.

Farmers-Market-foodsWhat good is fresh, organic, sustainable, fair-trade food, if the end-user (the home cook) doesn’t know what it is, or what to do with it, and so won’t buy it?

Side note: my definition of “cooking” is turning raw, unprocessed ingredients into a finished meal with a minimum of pre-made additions.

Part of the issue, I believe, is that foodies, farmers, and people who cook are often amazed at the extent to which other people don’t cook. When my wife, who did not grow up cooking, says to me, “I’m afraid to cook meat”, my eyes tend to glaze over…but she’s not alone. In fact, she’s not even in the minority!

farm to tableDon’t believe me? Test it.

Take a friend with you (and no cherry-pickin’ one of your foodie friends!) to large grocery store or farmer’s market, and see how many vegetables they can name without looking at the label. Then, if you need further convincing, ask they how’d they prepare the ones they did recognize.

This isn’t just about foodies loving good food, or hippies wanting to save the planet…this gap effects our country’s health, ecology, finances…the list goes on.

HEALTH

Fresh, unprocessed, (what we at hautemealz.com like to call “real”) food is better for us, and better for the environment. Everyone knows this.

(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!)

The number one most effective method of battling the proliferation of processed foods, obesity, diabetes, celiac disease, GMOs, corporate farming, yadda yadda yadda…is to shop, cook, and eat with as few steps as possible between the dirt and the plate. True healthcare begins in the kitchen, not the gym. Most of us know this.

It takes 10 minutes to grill a pork chop and some fresh veggies. Some of us know this.

grilled-pork-chops

However, just knowing the truth is only the first step in slowing our society’s descent into further slavery to the boxed, processed, artificially preserved, instant, easy-to-prepare corporate food masters.

groceryaisleconfusion_thumb

We must increase that knowledge and spread it around. Knowledge is power, and we’ve turned much of the power over to the fast-food corporations. If we don’t know how to cook, believe me, they’ll be more than happy to continue to make our lives “easier” by doing the “hard part”.

Why am I picturing Morlocks and Eloi?

These companies, btw, buy from the agri-conglomerates (or own them outright) many of them in other countries, and NOT from your local, small, organic, fair trade farms…perpetuating the spiral.

Which leads us to…

money_burningFINANCES

Where does a pervasive lack of basic cooking skills lead, from an economic standpoint?

Well, at the residential level, it leads to a reliance on instant, processed, or packaged foods or  eating in restaurants, which isn’t financially sustainable for the average family, unless it spirals down to, as it often does, the local drive though dollar menu.

Even then, we’re spending more than we think. The average cost of a “cheap” drive-thru meal here in Oregon, runs between $3-$4 per person. For a family of four “lite-eaters”, we’re looking at $12-$16 dollars. This is 20-30% more then we spend at our house, cooking quick, simple, healthy meals, often with enough left-overs for lunch the next day.

“Value Menu”…really?

fast food garbageOh, and we don’t toss a big bag full of cardboard, paper and plastic in the trash afterwards, either.

On a “broader” scale (pun intended) the nation’s health care tab stood at $2.7 trillion in 2011, the latest year available.

I don’t think I need to say anything more about that.

EDUCATION

This is the crux of this article. Laws, labeling, testing, etc., can all be good things, but they will never,  ever, replace the ability of the educated consumer to “vote with their checkbooks” by knowing what to buy, and how to prepare it for their families.

il_570xN.332591766We’re moving into a third and fourth generation of people raised without a grasp of basic cooking skills or confidence in the kitchen.

In her article, “Bring Back Home Economics in Schools!(Cooking Light, 2012) Hillary Dowdle refers to herself and her generation as “the ‘lost girls and boys’, saying, “Public health experts , nutritionists, and educators are beginning to realize that the lack of basic life skills, like cooking, presents a serious problem: Americans are growing up ignorant about the whats, whys, and hows of eating healthy.”

Basically, if no one cooked at home, today’s young people’s options are to (a) get a job in a “real food” restaurant kitchen (plan 2-3 years, minimum, before you actually cook anything), or spend thousands (or tens of thousands) on culinary school…which is a pretty deep commitment for someone who just wants to feed their kids a healthy dinner.

Where do most folks end up? Right back on the processed foods aisle, or in the drive-thru.

“(Food) is devalued generally in our education system . . . it’s more than just learning how to cook. It’s about food literacy, which means teaching children what foods to eat and why, how to understand food labeling information and how and why we need to prepare and cook food safely.” says Griffith University School of Education and Professional Studies Dean, Donna Pendergast.

This leads me to a personal soap box…

100years-HomeEc1949

In an article titled, “Compulsory home economics essential to fight childhood obesity“, the home economics advocate blog, HomeEcConnect, states: “We are losing basic survival skills.  Home Economics is essential for learning about the basics of growing, transporting, purchasing, preparing, nutritional values, cooking, presenting, enjoying, cleaning up and storage of food.  ‘Food literacy” is about learning food skills as a holistic concept.”

aubergines-etc-european-cooking-school-princeton-nj

Dr. Arya Sharma (Director of the Canadian Obesity Network) says “time to bring back home economics” because “the art of basic food preparation and meal planning may be a very real part of the obesity solution”.

Our kid’s need to learn to cook good food. Period.

Budget’s are tight, and school days are long, we know. Frankly, I don’t mind a computer doing my math, or my science, but I don’t want one cooking my food. If we’re going to cut something from the curriculum, let’s not make it the one thing that is at the core of our survival and well-being as a species, shall we?

If my daughter’s lack of proficiency in trigonometry means she might live longer than her parents…I’m okay with that.

Speaking of which daughter started learning to cook at three, now, at five, she is an adept omelet, salad, and sandwich maker, a savvy produce shopper, and could give Chef Gordon Ramsey a run for “kitchen tyrant.” She loves to cook, and is more adventurous and open in her eating than most adults I know.

But, not every child has the (sometimes) good fortune of having a father who’s a chef, who’s father was a chef, who’s father was a chef.

What do we do? We fill the gap!

While, in this author’s opinion, mandatory home economics classes, for both genders, are vital…what do we do to help those who are already out of school; folks who have jobs, and families, and bills, and budgets?

We started hautemealz.com, in part, to help fill this gap. We believe that to help people make responsible changes in planning, shopping and cooking, that those changes, to be effective and lasting, must SIMPLIFY their already too-busy lives, instead of further complicating them.

As our subscribers cook their way through their weekly menus, they learn basic cooking and nutrition techniques and skills, sometimes directly from short video clips, blogs posts, and Q & A, but mostly passively, though the hands-on process of actually preparing easy, non-threatening, nutritious recipes. They are introduced to new vegetables, healthier cuts of meat, etc, and soon have a grasp of what’s available, and what to do with it.

We believe that folks who are already spinning a lot of plates need to love it before they learn it, in other words, they need to prepare themselves a simple, delicious meal, before they need to learn why it’s good for them, and we hear this happening time after time from our subscribers.

We prepare a weekly shopping list of ingredients, organized by aisle, which saves them hours of planning and organizing, and we provide a color photo of each dish, so they know what they’re shooting for.

Mother and Daughter Making a Salad

We also encourage our readers to cook with their families, offering simple steps in the recipes that children of various ages can help with, and, hopefully, educating the next generation.

Lastly, we’re here for them. Professional and home cooks ready to answer their questions, provide options, and give tips and advice for exactly what they’re cooking.

That’s what we’re doing at SimplySmartDinnerPlans.com

Here are four things you can do to bridge the gap:

  • Learn to cook, and to cook healthier
  • Teach you kids, grandkids, or any kids to do the same
  • Become a regular customer of your local farmer’s market and independent food purveyor
  • Fight for mandatory food science classes in our public schools, and volunteer at an after-school program. (Those are your tax-dollars, you should have a say in how they’re spent!)

Bottom line: if we can help home-cooks prepare simple, affordable, healthy meals, in the time they have…we capture their attention, and can lead them towards a healthier, more responsible food lifestyle, one they will be explore with a sense of excitement, not guilt or frustration.

Become an advocate for people knowing their way around the kitchen, and you help bridge the gap between farm and table.

Let’s cook!

– Chef Perry