11/27/14

Eating for Black Friday

Black-Friday-Phone-Deals

Consumers spent $59.1 billion on Black Friday last year. With so much up for grabs, shoppers make detailed timelines, store maps, and priority item plans for the big morning…but most don’t think to strengthen the one part of the equation that can make or break a successful shopping spree…themselves!

Planning a light, nutritious, easy-to-make breakfast, that will assure hours of energy and mental focus can be what separates the uber-shoppers from the wanna-bees on Friday morning!

Here are 5 ideas for Black Friday Breakfast that can give you the mental clarity and physical energy to elbow your way to the best deals, stay focused on your plan, and win that final sprint to the toy aisle! (Personally, I’ll be home sleeping off a turkey coma, but…best of luck to you!)

Much like preparing for a marathon, the secret to staying in black Friday fighting form is to eat a breakfast rich in high–quality carbs with some protein.

(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.)

Consider these winning morning meals…

(Oh, and each of these can be pre-made and packed along for you seriously…um…committed shoppers who will be in line the night before…)

BR73721. A whole–wheat bagel topped with nut butter and banana slices. Pack in a sandwich baggie, and you’re ready to go! If you’re going to be waiting in line for several hours, cut your finished bagel into quarters and eat one quarter per hour, finishing just before the doors open, to ensure that your energy stays peaked.

2. Scrambled eggs, sliced tomato and whole–wheat toast sandwich.

Egg_Tomato_Mozzarella_Basil_Sandwich

oatmeal3. Oatmeal topped with berries and nuts/seeds. This will stay warm for hours, in the bottom of your shopping bag. Be sure to bring a zip bag for the dirty bowl and spoon.

4. Yogurt with granola and fruit.

Cup-o-coffee-not_small5. AVOID COFFEE! I know, you hate me, but it’s a diuretic, and do you really want to put all this energy into the one Black Friday of the year, just to miss the last PlayStation, ’cause you were waiting in a mile-long line to pee? Reward yourself with a trip to your favorite java shack when the battle is over.

Remember to drink plenty of water the day before (but not for the three hours proceeding the store opening) and be sure to finish your breakfast at least 20 minutes before the shopping spree starts!

Happy Black Friday!

-Chef Perry

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08/17/13

5 ways to outsmart snack cravings

cravings

First of all let’s get one thing straight:

Struggling with food cravings doesn’t mean your weak…let’s kick that notion in the butt, straight off. Most often, the foods we crave are processed carbohydrates, which change the brain’s chemistry by increasing the level of serotonin, our feel-good neurochemical.

food-cravingsOur brain will remember how that food made you feel and create neural pathways that trigger addictive cravings when you experience a similar stimulus.

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02/18/13

Secret #8: 5 Tips for Perfect Pasta

Okay, it’s Day 8 of our 20-Day/20-Part series of meal planning blog posts titled “Tips, Tricks, and Secrets of Professional Chefs”. Last post, we talked about how  Brown is Beautiful!

Today, we’re gonna get our Italiano on, and look at Secret #8: Perfect Pasta!

Cacio e Pepe con Pollo (recipe link below)

Cacio e Pepe con Pollo (recipe link below)

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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.

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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.

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11/18/12

Highway Robbery! (Or…how to make your own breadcrumbs this year.)

I may have actually said a bad word at the grocery store today. I couldn’t help it…I was so shocked, it just slipped out, when I saw this…


Four and a half bucks for 13 OUNCES of breadcrumbs…BREADCRUMBS!

Breadcrumbs are dried bread, people! It takes roughly a loaf of fresh bread to make 13oz of the dry stuff. And that’s a loaf of cheap white or “wheat” bread…you know, like this:

That’s right, people are paying and extra $3.50 a bag to avoid the inconvenience of tossin’ slices of bread into a warm oven for a few minutes!

Have we completely lost our freakin’ minds???

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat you oven to 300. Lay you bread in a single layer on on your oven racks (remove from oven before pre-heating). Bake 10-15 minutes just just browned. You don’t want them dark, just get some of the moisture out of ’em.
  2. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
  3. If you like the little squares, dice each slice in a 1-inch grid…but it’s not really necessary, you can just tear it into chunks. (Oh, and if you’re using these for a coating, instead of making stuffing, just toss the chunks into your food processor and give ’em a pulse.)
  4. Store bread crumbs in an airtight container or food storage bag for up to two weeks at room temperature or 2 months in the freezer.

Congratulations, all that sweat and toil just paid off…you have breadcrumbs!

Seriously though, you can have a lot of fun with making your own. Try stuffing a mustard-coated pork loin with a dressing made with dark Russian rye bread sometime…it’s lovely. My wife likes me to use a nice 12-18 grain whole-wheat bread for stuffing hens (can you imagine what these bozos would charge for THOSE breadcrumbs?)

(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.)

Oh, and if you’re concerned about not having that overly-saged “spice packet”, toss this mixture for each loaf’s worth of finished breadcrumbs.

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed

Just think, with the money you saved on stuffing…you can make another pumpkin pie! Woo-Hoo!

Have a great Thanksgiving folks!

-Chef Perry

11/17/12

10 Thanksgiving Survival Tips

What we’re really talking about is a wonderful day set aside on the fourth Thursday of November when no one diets.

I mean, why else would they call it Thanksgiving? – Erma Bombeck



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Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, but it’s no secret that (especially for us foodies) it can bring with it a lot of kitchen chaos and performance anxiety. So many dishes, so many people, and so many “cherished family traditions” that must be upheld it’s would be well-nigh impossible to make it through the day without at least SOME drama.

So, if we can’t avoid the chaos, let’s at least try to get a rope on it, huh?

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11/13/12

“From Frazzled to Freedom” author shares six tips for organizing your pantry

Let me preface this post with an admission…I am a clutterer. (Hi…I’m Perry…)

While my on-again-off-again O.C.D. nature can keep my kitchen organized to near-military precision, everything else in my life often bears an uncanny resemblance to the living room in Sanford and Son.

That’s one reason I picked up a copy of Julie Starr Hook’s “From Frazzled to Freedom” at a recent trade show. I need help, and I can admit it.

This is, of course, not my first book on the subject of getting organized, but what I like about this one (enough to finish reading it, even) is that it’s not another self-righteous tome full of high-road theory (like “never touch the same piece of mail twice”…if I could do THAT, I wouldn’t need a book on getting organized, now would I???)

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11/6/12

Gluten Free Tip: Cross Contamination

If not everyone in your home is gluten free it can be easy to cross contaminate when using a butter knife to spread mayonnaise, mustard and other spread type foods and condiments.

Squeeze bottles are a great way to avoid this and an expensive solution to buying the “squeezable” versions off the grocery store shelf,  is to buy squeeze bottles from a dollar store, or online, and pour your own stuff in them.

Eat great, eat safe!

Chef Maryse

Gluten-free specialist Maryse L. Blake, CHC, is also the healthy lifestyle blogger of The Healthy Momma is a certified holistic health coach. Diagnosed with Celiac disease over 5 years ago, she thrives to simplify the process of eating gluten free without sacrificing taste or nutrition.

 

 

10/29/12

Preparing to cook when the power is out

Usually in emergency situations, the power goes out and your refrigerator, freezer, and oven become useless.

Stocking your kitchen with the right ingredients and equipment ensures that you’ll be able to prepare healthy meals even in times of crisis.

Fresh water is number one on the list. Keep a minimum of one gallon of water per person, per day, and an extra stash for pets. “If stored water was bottled at home, we recommend replacing it every 6 months, and if it was commercially bottled, it should be replaced each year,” says  the Red Cross.

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10/10/12

A Delicious Companion To Good Health: Olive Oil

Olive oil is produced by grinding whole olives and extracting the oil by mechanical or chemical means. It is commonly used in cooking throughout the world, but especially in the Mediterranean countries.

The olive tree is native to the Mediterranean basin; wild olives were collected by Neolithic peoples as early as the 8th millennium BC. The wild olive tree originated in Asia Minor in ancient Greece. Many ancient presses still exist in the Eastern Mediterranean region, and some dating to the Roman period are still in use today.

The first recorded oil extraction is known from the Hebrew Bible and took place during the Exodus from Egypt, during the 13th century BC.

During this time, the oil was derived through hand-squeezing the berries and stored in special containers under guard of the priests.

So what’s the difference between olive oil, virgin olive oil, and extra virgin olive oil?

Extra-virgin olive oil comes from virgin oil production only, contains no more than 0.8% acidity, and is judged to have a superior taste. Extra Virgin olive oil accounts for less than 10% of oil in many producing countries; the percentage is far higher in the Mediterranean countries (Greece: 80%, Italy: 45%, Spain 30%). It is used on salads, added at the table to soups and stews and for dipping.

Virgin olive oil comes from virgin oil production only, has an acidity less than 1.5%, and is judged to have a good taste.

Pure olive oil. Oils labeled as Pure olive oil or Olive oil are usually a blend of refined and virgin production oil.

Olive oil is a blend of virgin and refined production oil, of no more than 2% acidity. It commonly lacks a strong flavor.

Olive pomace oil is refined pomace olive oil often blended with some virgin oil. It is fit for consumption, but may not be described simply as olive oil. It has a more neutral flavor than pure or virgin olive oil, making it unfashionable among connoisseurs; however, it has the same fat composition as regular olive oil, giving it the same health benefits. It also has a high smoke point, and thus is widely used in restaurants as well as home cooking in some countries.

Good & good for you!

Highly favored as a cooking oil, and for use in a variety of classic dressings, olive oil is also touted in many quarters as a delicious companion to good health. Research on the health benefits of olive oil is impressive, as are the affects of a more Mediterranean-style diet.

Lowers “Bad” Cholesterol

The European Journal of Clinical Nutrition has published findings that indicate the introduction of olive oil into regular diet has demonstrated a reduction in LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol). This is significant because once LDL cholesterol has oxidized it often results in artery rigidity and accompanying heart disease.

Olive Oil in Cancer Prevention

In a comparison study at the University Hospital Germans Trias Pujol in Barcelona there seems to be an indication that the health benefits of olive oil may also be useful in the prevention or slowing of cancer cells.

The study provides evidence that a diet similar to the Mediterranean diet, rich in olive oil prevents colonic carcinogenesis reducing precancerous tissue which resulted in fewer tumors when compared to a controlled sample of rats ingesting foods containing other types of cooking oils.

Researchers at Oxford University in England have seen indications that olive oil may actually be as good for our digestive system as fresh fruit and vegetables in preventing or reducing the incidence of colon cancer.

The reasons behind this phenomena are still being considered, but it is believed that the olive oil may help regulate the bile acid in the stomach while increasing useful enzymes within the stomach that contribute to optimal colon health.

Olive Oil and Heart Health

The American Heart Association has also noted that consumption of olive oil has “clear health benefits”.

Olive Oil and Lower Blood Pressure

By substituting virgin olive oil for other fats within your diet, the Archives of Internal Medicine indicates a substantial reduction in drug dosage requirements for the management of high blood pressure. Initial findings indicate dosage reductions could be as high as 50%.

Additional Findings

Additional health benefits of olive oil may be found in a diet which explores the varied uses of olive oil in both food preparation as well as additional balanced meal choices. Combined, olive oil and appropriate food choice seem to enhance the overall health of those subscribing.

Final Word

While studies remain ongoing, it is encouraging to note that something that has long been noted for good taste may also be a link to positive health benefits and longevity of life. Using more olive oil as a replacement for less healthy fats and oils may be a healthy, and palatable change well worth considering.

BTW…here are a few of our favorite hautemealz.com recipes that incorporate this healthy, delicious, oil… Soba Noodles with Mushrooms & Kale, Grilled Ratatouille, Caprese Tomato Bites, and Easy Goat Cheese Naan.