06/28/14

Check out our new Meatless Meal Plan…for free!

Hey. we’re trying out a brand new “meat free” meal plan this week, and we’d love to share it with you and get your feedback!

Here’s what’s on Chef Terry’s amazing meatless menu this week:

~ Curried Egg Salad Wraps with Spinach and Mushroom Salad
~ Pasta with Mushroom Ragú, and Pear, Walnut, & Blue Cheese Salad
~ Sautéed Zucchini with Garbanzo Beans
~ Skillet Eggs with Squash
~ Mushroom & Spinach Tart with Asparagus & Zucchini Crudite
~ Gracie’s Scramboli and Cheesy Toast
~ Red Pepper Pizza and Simple Caesar Salad

Mushroom Spinach Tart

Mushroom & Spinach Tart

Here are the three serving-sizes from our most popular plan, the “Lighter Side”… just click the link to open the meal plan PDF, then print or save it!

Remember, our custom shopping list allows you to quickly and easily shop for any number of this week’s dinners without having to recalculate and reorganize your whole list…try 3, 5, or even all 7 of this week’s delicious dinners!

Please try them out and let us know what you think. If the menu garners enough interest, we’ll add a “meatless” category to our regular rotation, and maybe even create a whole new weekly plan!

Please feel free to share with your friends and family!

Thanks,

-Chef Perry
SimplySmartDinnerPlans.com

 

 

 

 

02/8/14

Independent Living Cooking Classes

ILP1It’s official!

As part of our expanding Outreach Program, hautemealz.com will be partnering with Impact NW’s Independent Living Program to teach an ongoing series of basic home cooking classes for teens coming out of the foster-care system to live on their own. We’ll fund a portion of these classes from our outreach budget (thank you hautemealz subscribers!) and special cooking fundraisers.

We really want to hit the ground running, and build on the class we held last week, with a second and possibly third class in February.

20140130_171443We’re starting from scratch, so our first goal is to equip 10-12 portable cooking stations with a table, syllabus, burners, pans, pots, and various basic cooking implements.

We can’t tell you how excited we are to build a relationship with these amazing kids, while giving them the tools they need to prosper on their own!

Here’s what the program coordinator told us, following the first class:

“You did a fantastic job with the youth, who really benefited from the experience. I saw self confidence grow in individuals who didn’t have any before. They are excited about signing up for future sessions and we could not be more pleased!”

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Experts estimate that 45 percent of youth leaving foster care become homeless within a year.

Young people who have spent their lives in foster care often struggle when they leave the system. Impact NW’s Independent Living Program (ILP) helps foster care youth ages 14-21 gain the skills they need to successfully transition out of foster care and into adulthood.  They work with participants to set and reach attainable goals through one-on-one meetings, weekly job readiness classes, and social and skill-building activities and events.

ILP2 Each year, ILP ensures a happy, healthy, independent adulthood for more than 60 vulnerable young adults.

Hautemealz is excited and honored to be a part of this program by hosting this ongoing series of “Kitchen Skills” courses for the youth of the ILP.

ILP4These will not be classes that focus on a career in the culinary arts, but instead it will cover the primary skills and techniques required to plan, shop for, and cook healthy, affordable meals at home, using basic cooking equipment that these young people are likely to have available starting out on their own.

We believe that the ability to cook for oneself is a set of basic skills needed by  everyone, and that the confidence and independence that comes along with these skills will transfer into all other areas of these kids lives. In other words, when they learn that they can cook for themselves, they learn that they can do anything else they want to do in life.

We also want to make sure that Impact Northwest can continue to focus it’s time and resources on the important programs that are already in place, without having to divert monies from those, to our classes. We will have several opportunities in the future for people like yourself to help, including one-time activities, cooking events, and student sponsorships in the program. (There is no cost to the students to participate, nor does hautemealz receive any compensation. Sponsorships would be used for ingredients and materials that each student uses throughout the course of the classes.)

There are three ways you can help us change these kid’s lives for the better: Individual Sponsorships

Please consider sponsoring a student (or two…or ten…) for an entire series of six classes. Total cost per student, per class is around $40.00, so full sponsorship in the program would be just $240.00 per student.

Besides the satisfaction of knowing that you’re helping these kids learn life-changing skills, we also want you to know that we’ll be promoting the heck out of each of our sponsors in all of our literature, social media avenues, and live events! Payments will be made to Impact NW specifically for our program. Impact NW is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and will provide receipts for these donations.

Equipment/Ingredient Donations

Most of these students will come to their first class with nothing in the way of cooking gear. If your company has branded cooking hardware (measuring spoons, spatulas, knives, aprons, spices, etc.,) we would love to get it into the kid’s hands. We will also have a lot of quizzes and educational games throughout the course, and if you have small cooking-related items that we can add to the prize box, that will be an ongoing need, as well.

One Time Gifts

Every dollar helps, and is greatly appreciated. If you would like to make a donation to our Independent Cooking Program, payments can be made to Impact NW specifically for our program. Impact NW is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and can provide receipts for these donations.

Thank you very much for your consideration and generosity. We look forward to partnering with you to inspire our next generation toward a healthier, happier, more independent life!

SimplySmartDinnerPlans.com

Perhaps the simplest way to contribute to our outreach programs, on an ongoing basis, is to subscribe to our SimplySmartDinnerPlans service.

Our dinner plans are 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 $10.00 a month.

A large portion of this subscription income goes directly towards supporting our outreach programs.

So, you get great recipes for delicious meals, while helping kids learn to cook the same for themselves…that’s what we call a Win-Win!

If you have any questions, please comment below, or contact us at hautemealz@gmail.com

Thank you all!

Chefs Perry, Terry, & Chris SimplySmartDinnerPlans.com

05/7/13

Mother’s Day Dinner Menu & Shopping List

Mothers Day MenuMother’s Day is just around the corner, and what better way of telling Mom how awesome she is, than with a fantastic dinner in her honor? (and doing the dishes afterwards, of course…)

We’ve put together step-by-step, fully illustrated recipes for some of our favorite hautemealz.com dishes, along with an easy-to-shop itemized grocery shopping list, so that you can focus on honoring Mom with a gourmet meal, and let us take care of the planning!Green Bean Bundles

Oh, and be sure to drop your email address into the “Subscribe” window to your right, and keep up with all of the latest nutritious, delicious recipes here on the hautemealz.com blog!

Here’s to you, Moms…Happy Mother’s Day!Chocolate Peanut Butter Pudding Pot de Creme

-Chef Perry
www.hautemealz.com

(Just click on the menu to download the PDF file…)

Mothers Day Menu and shopping list

05/2/13

Give the Gift of Hautemealz…for FREE!

First of all, a big Thank You to Hautemealz.com Meal Plan subscriber, Kelsey S., for this brilliant idea!

  • Are you currently subscribed to a hautemealz.com Meal Plan?
  • Do you wish there was a way you could share with others how much you love saving time, while serving delicious, nutritious, and easy to prepare dinners to your family?
  • Without asking them to sign up and pay first?

Now you can!

If you are a current hautemealz.com subscriber, use the form below to sign up a friend or family member for a FREE MONTH (that’s four weekly meal plans and grocery lists) of hautmealz.com!

Mother and Daughter Making a Salad

Once we confirm their interest*, recipients will receive the current weekly menus, in the category of their choice (Classic, Lighter-Side, Diabetic-Friendly, or Gluten Free), for the next four weeks.

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Recipients are eligible for one (1) gift subscription, and current subscribers may send up to four (4) gift subscriptions in a 30-day period**

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*Every gift subscription request will be personally verified with the potential recipient via email, and they must OPT IN by email confirmation, before any menus are sent.

To avoid spamming anyone, potential recipients will receive only ONE email to confirm. PLEASE let your gift recipient know that you’re signing them up…no surprise gifts, please!

**Any gift recipient who signs up for a hautemealz.com meal plan, during their free month, will no longer count towards this total.

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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

12/19/12

Happy Sangria Day! Here’s our favorite…

Heyya hauties!

Happy National Sangria Day!

Here’s a little something from Chef Terry’s archives! A couple years back, we threw a Greek Easter feast with a dozen or so friends, and Terry made of a batch of his Sangue Rosso Sangria to compliment the grilled lamb, dolmadakia, and all the other Greek goodies.

Ir was, to say the least, very well recieved. By far the best sangria I’ve ever had!

Terry’s Sangue Rosso Sangria

1 bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon
1/4 Cup Kirshe Wasser (cherry brandy)
1/4 Cup Limoncello (lemon liqueur)
2 Oranges, sliced
1 Green apple, sliced
2 Tbs. Sugar
1 1/2 Cup Club soda

Combine (stir to dissolve the sugar) wine, liquors, fruit and sugar in a container and chill for at least 2 hours up to 24.

Add club soda just before serving. Serve over ice.

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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11/6/12

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.

 

 

08/10/12

The Crawdaddy Cookbook

The Crawdaddy Cookbook is a free gift from hautemealz.com to our friends in the Tualatin Chamber of Commerce, all the attendees of the Tualatin Crawfish Festival, and to all of our fellow lovers of crawdads everwhere!

Click on the cover to download the PDF eBook

Inside, you’ll find a Crawdad F.A.Q., prep, cooking and shelling suggestions, Nutrition information on crawfish, and a bunch of delicious crawdad recipes from right in our own backyard, and around the world. Recipes like…

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07/24/12

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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