Hautemealz gives subscribers plenty of meal choices
A Oregon-based company has devised a creative and healthful answer to that daily question, “What’s for dinner?”
Hautemealz (pronounce “hot meals”) is a weekly subscription-based recipe and meal planning service that lets subscribers choose from one of four menus: traditional, lighter, diabetic-friendly or gluten free. The company emails a weekly meal plan and shopping list, organized to correspond to the grocery store aisles, with corresponding nutrition information and “serving size” math for a choice of two, four or six portions.
Chef Perry Perkins believes this system will save at least $5, the cost of a monthly subscription, in grocery bills since most families find they all but eliminate the waste that occurs when shopping without a clear plan.
Their personal touch extends to the company’s mission: They aim to donate 30 percent of their profits to charity. Already, the team provides its cooking expertise to organizations such as Father’s Heart Street Ministry, Impact Northwest and the charity auction organized by Amy Roloff, of “Little People Big World” fame.
“That’s what I love the most … seeing the light in people’s eyes when we feed them,” says Perkins, acknowledging that growing up in a food insecure household helps drive this interest.
This is my favorite kind of new recipe…one where you open up the ‘fridge door, and go, “Hmmm…”
So, I had some leftover pico de gallo from the flank steak saladlast weekend, and a couple of bratwurst left over from those bratwurst pretzel sliders, and somewhere between the fridge and the table, they turned into this…
Looking for something new for your meatless Monday?
Check out these Flax Wraps with Hummus from my old buddy, Amy Sedgwick!
Not only does this recipe look delicious, it’s also a heart-healthy powerhouse…
Flaxseed was cultivated in Babylon as early as 3000 BC. In the 8th century, King Charlemagne believed so strongly in the health benefits of flaxseed that he passed laws requiring his subjects to consume it.
Flax seeds contain high levels of dietary fiber as well as lignans, an abundance of micronutrients and omega-3 fatty acids. Studies have shown that flax seeds may lower cholesterol levels, and initial studies suggest that flax seeds taken in the diet may benefit individuals with certain types of breast and prostate cancers. Flax may also lessen the severity of diabetes by stabilizing blood-sugar levels.
Chickpeas (also known as “garbanzo beans”) are one of the earliest cultivated legumes (7,500-year-old remains have been found in the Middle East), and are a helpful source of zinc, folate and protein. Chickpeas are low in fat (and most of that is polyunsaturated), and recent studies have also shown that they, too, can assist in lowering of cholesterol in the bloodstream.
Tonight’s test recipe for next week’s meal plan, “Bratwurst Pretzel Sliders with Maple-Mustard Caramelized Onions” was so freakin’ amazing that I’m just going to give ya’all the recipe right now.
If you can’t find pretzel rolls (I get mine at Costco), regular slider buns will work too. Heck, I might even be able to sweet talk Chef Terry into givin’ up his pretzel roll recipe, in case you want to make them yourself!
-Chef Perry www.hautemealz.com
Bratwurst Pretzel Sliders with Maple-Mustard Caramelized Onions Serves 2 2 bratwurst, pan cooked until browned (I like Johnsonville Original) 4 pretzel rolls, split and warmed in a foil pouch 1 large sweet onion, halved and sliced thin 1 tbs. butter 1 tbs. oil 1 tsp. sugar Dash of salt 2 Tbs.El Diablo Jalapeno Mustard 4 Tbs. pure maple syrup(or more, to taste…Vermont is the best)
Cook brats and set aside, covered, to stay warm.
Heat oil and butter in your pan over medium heat and saute your onions with sugar and salt, until golden and sticky (about 30 minutes). See this poston the hautemealz.com blog for specific instructions on caramelizing onions.
While THAT loveliness is happening, combine the mustard and maple syrup (trust me), and warm the split rolls – wrap them in foil and pop them in a 250F oven.
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When onions are done, add the maple-mustard combo and reduce heat to low, stirring well and allowing to thicken slightly.
Slice brats on a thick bias, to get at least 6 pieces per brat.
Schmear some of the mustard/maple/onion sauce on the bottom of each bun, cover with 3-4 slices of brat, and add the top bun.
Eat them as-is or (for best results) wrap the in foil and place in the oven for a few minutes for all of the flavors to combine.
Great with fries and a crispy salad with vinaigrette.
Admit it: making kids eat vegetables is one of the hardest parts of dinner time.
From Caesar salad to all-veggie stews and dishes, the dinner table will become a riot zone once kids started to drop their forks and refrain from eating those healthy veggies. However, forcing greens in their mouths is never the solution.
Sneaking considerable amounts of veggies in your daily meals is the general solution, but it takes skill, experimentation, and patience to pull this off. Here are some tips:
1. Start small
To slowly desensitize their palate for fast food, start by sneaking inconspicuous amounts of veggies in your favorite dishes.
For instance, instead of going all meat with your flame-grilled burgers, why not start mixing in some very finely chopped carrots, onions, and celery into the patty mixture, then increase the amount little by little?
Also, you can side your steaks with buttered veggies in small portions. However, the real trick in making them eat small amount of veggies is not guarding them while eating. You can leave the meal on the table, sit in front of the computer, and play online bingo at FoxyBingo while pretending you aren’t observing them.
You’ll be surprised how they will outgrow their distaste for veggies little by little.
2. Use them as alternatives
If your kids became accustomed to Big Mac and large orders of French fries, now is the right time to offer them some alternatives.
You can serve patties with veggie extenders or go full vegan by cooking meat-free burgers. Instead of French fries, you can season potato wedges and coat them, then bake them for oil-free wedges.
Pain de campagne (“country bread” in French), is typically a large round loaf (“miche”) made from either natural leavening or bakers yeast. Most traditional versions of this bread are made with a combination of white flour with whole wheat flour and/or rye flour, water, leavening and salt.
For centuries, French villages had communal ovens where the townsfolk would bring their dough to be baked, and the miches weighed from four to as much as twelve pounds. Such large loaves would feed a family for days or weeks, until the next baking day.
Cooking for little ones (and not so little ones) often presents some unique challenges.
While, obviously, you want to provide them with nutritious meals, it can be a pain in your….patience…to get them to eat the foods that are best for their growing bodies. We’re all probably well aware of the food plate and the number of servings our children need of healthy grains, proteins, fruits, vegetables, and calcium products.
Getting them to eat these nourishing foods…well, that’s another matter altogether, isn’t it?
Here’s the good news when cooking for children: you do not need to incorporate all the important nutrients into every dinner. This is not Chopped, and the judges won’t send you home for not using all of the ingredients.
If the dinner table has become a battle ground, if the kids are marching to the table, already prepared for war…go guerilla on them! Avoid pitched battles and sneak those healthy foods behind enemy lines when they least expect them.
Let’s face it…raw cucumbers, thinly sliced and sprinkled with salt, are freakin’ awesome, and make a much healthier snack than potato chips! But don’t just chuck a bowl of them in their face like a hand grenade…just set them out of the table, let them see you nibbling a couple yourself, and their own natural curiosity will eventually spring the trap.
Jungle warfare, baby!
The same holds true for melon and cantaloupes. These make excellent snacks and are a much-needed fruit in these important diets for little ones.
Here’s another biggie: If they don’t like apple slices…DON’T GIVE THEM APPLE SLICES! How hard is that? I don’t care if YOU love apple slices, if you do…great, YOU eat them. Give them some options. The goal here is not notches on your rifle-stock, it’s winning the war, long term!
MESS HALL FARE
There’s an old saying that an army marches on its stomach, and many a war has been lost not to bad planning, or bad soldiers, but to a lack of good food.
By the way, if you’re enjoying this recipe, please subscribe to our free newsletter! We’ll send seven amazing dinner recipes and a shopping list to your inbox each Friday.
Plus, you’ll be helping us teach nutrition, shopping, and hands-on cooking classes to at-risk kids, in our MY KITCHEN Outreach Program.
Bad attitudes, lack of motivation, poor school performance…all of these “symptoms” have been tied to a lack of proper nutrition.
Regardless of what we think we can or can’t cook, the reality is that our kids cannot live on macaroni and cheese alone. It’s been tried and tested and failed miserably.
Try mixing things up whenever you can while keeping meals kid friendly. It is important that you try to introduce whole grains, proteins, and vegetables whenever possible at meal times around your home. Remember the “2 out of 3” rule:
Kids (and many adults) are quicker to accept a new dish if at least 2 out of every 3 ingredients are familiar favorites. Their favorite peanut-butter and jelly can be a Trojan Horse for whole-grain bread or crackers. Shredded cauliflower, carrots, or broccoli virtually disappear inspaghetti sauce. Land mine that home-cooked macaroni with cheese sauce (not that glowing-orange powdered junk) with fresh cooked peas and carrots.
You get the idea!
Cooking healthier meals for kids is now easier than ever before. Fresh fruits and vegetables are best whenever possible. However, if you cannot manage fresh, or frozen, at least avoid “canned with syrup” (swimming in sugary tooth-rotting sweetness) whenever possible. Frozen is far preferable to canned when it comes to both fruit and vegetables, as there are often fewer additives.
Turn their ration of milk into dessert (and get a healthy dessert at the same time) by mixing it into a frozen fruit, like ourBlueberry Slush.
TRAIN THE TROOPS
Encourage your children to try new things rather than cooking the same few meals over and over again that you know they are likely to eat. This prevents two things from happening. First of all, it helps you not to get bored when cooking for your children.
Second, it allows your children to try new flavors and textures and form opinions about them. By trying new things they will learn not only about the things they dislike but also the foods they really enjoy.
Kids tastes change over time. It’s frustrating, I know, to spend time and money preparing a meal only to have your child push the plate away and say “Yuck.”