06/14/13

Q & A: The Healthy Foodie

Angel asks:

Q: Regarding dieting, healthy eating, and shopping…I’m curious if you find special challenges on this endeavor since your a chef or if your knowledge of food helps.

I’m not a chef, but I do love food and my knowledge of nutrition has been very slowly expanding since I had my son. I find myself often wishing I knew more about the taste dynamic of different herbs, spices and foods that would help me to come up with more tasty versions of healthy dishes. Any tips?

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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

01/22/13

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.

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09/28/12

Suddenly Celiac

I remember the day as clearly as if it were yesterday, at 37 I was suddenly celiac.

What now? I asked my doctor, as she handed me a list of all the things I could no longer eat.

Later, as I stood there at the grocery store with my long list of “can’t haves” in hand, I felt overwhelming sense that I would never eat real food again begin to creep over me…but hey, I have a love affair with food…what was this but an opportunity to learn how to love something new?

Yes it’s Celiac, yes, it’s a lifelong condition for which there is one cure…a gluten free diet, but that doesn’t mean the end to yummy food!

Thus begin my journey down the great, and glorious, and sometimes downright hilarious road of gluten free cuisine! There are things I had to learn how to do differently, of course.

First lesson?  You can’t make an apple taste like an orange no matter how hard you try, and the same theory applies to gluten free recipes.

Once you accept this and stop trying to make the perfect French bread that taste just like regular French bread (but without any of the regular ingredients) then, and only then, can you embrace the joys of eating gluten free.

So my journey has led me here now, to a place where, as a certified holistic health coach, I can help others faced with the daunting task of completely changing their way of eating.

I’m looking forward to working with Hautemealz.com and creating their weekly gluten-free menu plans.

I believe in what hautemealz.com doing. I’ve been on the receiving end of “Mom, what’s for dinner?”… (without a clue for an answer) way more times than I would like to admit!

Our Gluten Free & Easy menus are designed to take the guess work out of planning and preparing GF meals. Relax while you shop for products and brands that I have personally researched and verified to be gluten free!

Ever have a question about a recipe or an ingredient…we’re here for you!

So, check out our menu plans, download a free week, and give it a try. With our better-than-money-back promise, what have you got to lose?

And I promise you, I promise you… there will be gluten free French bread here no matter how many attempts it takes me to get right!

I look forward to sharing many wonderful meals with you,

-Maryse

Maryse Blake, CHC

 “A recipe for every night of the month, a shopping list for every week of the month, all for just $5.00 a month! That’s hautemealz.com!”

03/13/12

Honey Baked Ham with Roasted New Potatoes & Green Beans

Last night’s test dinner turned out very nice: Honey Baked Ham with Roasted New Potatoes & Green Beans.

We’ll have Toasted Ham and Gruyere Sandwiches, and then Tuscan 12 Bean Soup, later in the week with the leftovers.

3 for 1, baby! (And the ham was on sale!)

(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!)

Honey Baked Ham with Roasted New Potatoes & Green Beans

Honey Baked Ham

4 servings           Active Time: 10 min        Total Time: 3 hr 25 min

(+ leftovers for additional menu plan meal)


  • 5 lbs bone-in ham
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place ham on a rack in a foil lined roasting pan. Bake the rounded side up for one hour.
  3. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, mix all ingredients together. Stir until it forms a nice thick glaze.
  4. Rub on half of the glaze and bake for 30 minutes more. Flip the ham over and rub on remaining glaze and bake for 1 hour more. Remove from oven and allow the ham to rest for at least 30 minutes before serving.


Roasted New Potatoes & Green Beans

Active Time: 15 minutes


  • 1 ½ lbs new potatoes, halved
  •  8 ounces green beans, trimmed
  • 5 tsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper, more to taste
  • 2 Tbs white-wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbs Dijon mustard
  • 3 Tbs crumbled Gorgonzola
  • 2 Tbs finely chopped scallion greens

  1. Position rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 450°F.
  2. Toss potatoes and green beans in a large bowl with 2 tsp oil, salt and pepper. Spread evenly on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast, stirring once or twice, until the potatoes are tender and golden and the green beans are tender and browned in spots, 25 to 35 minutes.
  3. Whisk the remaining 3 tsp oil, vinegar and mustard in a large bowl. Stir in cheese and scallion greens.
  4. When the vegetables are done, toss with the dressing in the bowl. Serve warm.
03/7/12

Can I afford to eat healthy?

Michelle contacted me online, with some concerns about staying within her budget while trying to eat healthier.

A recent trip to the grocery store had left her a little breathless…and led to the ensuing conversation…

Hi Perry, I’ve been reading these articles on how to start eating healthy. Pretty much all of them say to shop the perimeter of the store. I decided to take it for a spin and see how it went by just walking around and comparing prices.

My results: Holy Cow! I will be broke in one week!

Does anyone have any suggestions on how I can achieve eating healthier, feed my family, and still have any money left? –M

————–

Hi Michelle! Forgive me for answering your question with a questions, but what store are you going to? That makes a huge difference. My local Winco is easily 1/2 the price of our Albertsons, and about 1/3 of Haggen. It also has a lot to do with how you cook, and how you organize your weekly menu to use bulk items, seasonal sales, and family-packs.

There’s an article I posted a while back, with many of these tips, in more detail – “Confessions of a Grocery Ninja.”

If you don’t mind sharing your ballpark grocery budget, I can give you some more detailed healthy shopping tips. I have some general tips, here, on some seasonal sales items to watch for this month, as well. – P

————–

Thank you very much for the links! I will be using those as a starter point.

I’ve been going mostly to Walmart until they get our local Publix Supermarket back up.

I have to admit, I’m horrible at planning and usually wing it when it comes to meals. I am in the process of learning (not very well I might add) how to plan for the week. I try to set aside $100-$150 a week for groceries though if my husband goes with me, he usually stocks the buggy full of snack food and not actually anything I can cook, so I have to go back to the store again.

Any tips would be appreciated and I will definitely check out those links more thoroughly.

Thanks again! – M

————–

Excellent! Okay, so if your local Walmart’s prices there are anything like they are here in Oregon, you should have no trouble eating healthy, or at least, healthier, on $150/week.

Also, it’s very hard to comparison shop between stores, if you don’t have a grocery plan. You’ll have a much better idea of what’s a good deal, intuitively, and what isn’t, in a couple of months.

So…

1. You gotta have a plan. Going shopping without a plan (and a list) will add anywhere from 25% – 100% to your grocery receipt. To get an idea of what I’m talking about, download one of the sample menu from our site, it’s free, and includes complete week of dinner menus and an itemized grocery list.

To save even more, go up one level (if there are two of you, shop for 4 serving, if 4, shop for 6 serving), as it will give you great leftovers for lunch the next day, WAY cheaper that buying additional lunch groceries. We offer menus in all three, but I think the samples are all 4-serving.

2. Eat a healthy meal, right before you go to the store (never, never shop hungry), and budget one “freebie” that’s not on the list, but looks good to you.

Two reasons: 1-Deprivation sucks, and even a semi-healthy goodie to reward your sticking to the plan, it better than the eventual binge. 2-You might trade that 1 freebie a half dozen times as you go through the store, but whatever you end up with…you’re REALLY going to enjoy.

It’s pretty amazing, actually, what happens when you have to trade a whole bunch of “good” for a little bit of “the best.”

3. Unless it would drive you absolutely barking mad, don’t plan something completely different every night. If you look at the sample menu, you’ll see that we pick a “main protein” say, boneless chicken breasts, or boneless picnic pork ribs, ground turkey, etc, and we use that ingredient in 3-4 (very different) recipes over the course of the week. This allows you to save a LOT of $$$ by buying your most expensive ingredient (the meat) in bulk or “family packs”.

Then, fill in the other three days with meats that are on sale, or in the markdown bin. Recipes are much more versatile than people think. Ground beef can almost always be swapped out for ground pork, or turkey. Most chicken recipes work just as well with a white-fleshed fish (and vice versa).

Don’t be afraid to ask your butcher when the best time to hit the markdown bin is, and what to watch for, either. He WANTS to sell off all that stuff, and often, in our ‘TV dinner world” appreciates someone acknowledging his expertise.

Also, don’t be afraid that meat. Typically, being in the markdown bin has nothing to do with food age, and everything to do with a big new meat order coming in, and no where for him to put it.

Just take a look at it and make sure it still looks good. Remember what Tommy Smothers said, “Red meat isn’t bad for you. Now, “blue-green” meat? THAT’S bad for you!”

4.  Go shopping when hubby can’t, period (but bring him home 1 favorite snack, too). You’re trying to steer this ship in a new direction, and the last thing you need, no matter how much ya love the guy, is a saboteur aboard when you’re stocking the galley!

5. (RE: budgeting) Photocopy your receipts, and use a highlighter to mark the items that pretty typically end up in your cart. Next week, if you try a different store, you can take that receipt with you, and quickly compare prices.

Okay, that’s a quick overview of what we try to teach our subscribers. If you have any more questions, keep ’em coming! – P

————–

Thanks a million for the rundown, and I will definitely not be taking my hubby from now on!

I jumped over to your site after I read your links. You do great work. Very informative and easy to understand for cooking challenged people as myself.

I will definitely be coming back again and again to your site. (Not meaning to sound stalker-ish, lol)

-Michelle

Newly informed and ready to take a whack at planning meals the right way!

————–

Michelle, you can do it! Let us know how your next trip goes!

-Perry

02/26/12

Volume 1: Issue 4

The “Amazing Meals Made Easy” system for the busy food lover!

Week of February 26, 2012

For all of our new folks, welcome to the hautemealz.com eNewsletter! For the rest of you…how about that Polpette Di Carne last week, eh? We received some very nice email comments on that one…glad you liked it! (It was my favorite too!)

This week was another tough call as to which dinner was my favorite. The Stromboli was awesome, but so was the Chicken BLT Salad (I loved that avocado dressing!) Guess it’s a good thing I got to have them both!

Couple of things to keep an eye out for, this week

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01/2/12

Spam Musubi

Spam Musubi

Let’s talk about how to make spam musubi. This would be a great recipe to add as an appetizer or side-dish to a SimplySmartDinnerPlans meal plan!

This is one of my new favorites from our recent trip to Kauai. Had spam musubi and loco-moco at a local cafe with our friend’s the Shores. So good!

Now, I really like Spam, so I might be a little biased, but even if you think you don’t like Spam, don’t prejudge this dish. It has a very unique, mild flavor that is far greater than the sum of its parts.

The musubi we had there wasn’t fried first, nor did it have the furikake seasonings, both of which take this dish to the next level. Thanks to my buddy Dane Shores for the Spam care-package from the Islands…the Black Pepper Spam was, by far, my favorite for musubi…

spam

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASpam musubi molds are available cheap from Amazon.com (really, about a buck!), or you can do what I did this time (my order hasn’t arrived yet) and make a redneck musubi mold by cutting out the bottom of your Spam can. Be very careful, these cans are sharp when you cut them!

Spam Musubi

1 can of Black Pepper Spam
4 sheets of nori, cut in half
3 cups of cooked sushi rice (instructions below)
For Rice:
1 1/2 cup sushi rice, dry
2 tbs. rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons furikake seasoning
1 1/2 cups water
1 Tbs sugar
1 tsp salt
1/4 C mirin

Rinse your rice and cook according to package directions. Halfway through, add mirin, vinegar, and furikake seasoning. Mix well, and finish cooking. Set aside to cool slightly.

MY KITCHEN Outreach ProgramBy 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.

 

Remove your Spam from the can and turn it on it’s side to slice into 8 equal pieces. Heat up a non-stick frying pan on medium-high heat and add your slices of Spam, cooking and turning until your desired level of crispiness.

Spam Musubi Recipe

Optionally, once the Spam is crispy, you can glaze it with a little teriyaki sauce.

Spam Musubi Recipe

Put the Spam on a plate to cool.

Place your half sheet of nori down on a cutting board, shiny side down and put your Spam can or musubi maker in the middle of the sheet. Scoop a generous amount of rice into the mold and pack it down. You want the rice to be compressed.

Spam Musubi Recipe

Add a slice of Spam and another layer of rice, making sure you are packing it down as you go.

Spam Musubi Recipe

Use a spoon (or your musubi handle), press down on the rice and use your other hand to pull the mold up and release the musubi.

Spam Musubi Recipe

Wrap the nori around the rice, sealing the edges with a bit of water.

Spam Musubi Recipe

Spam musubi are “make and eat” kind of snacks, so serve them immediately to enjoy the crunch of the nori.
Repeat until full.

Sushi Rice

Ignore the directions on the bag that the rice came from and rinse the rice only 3-5 times. The water does NOT have to run clear. Place rice to drain in a strainer.

Drain for one hour in the winter, 30 min in the summer. (Sounds strange, but is true). While rice is draining, combine vinegar,sugar, salt and mirin together in a bowl and mix well.

Put water and furikake seasoning in a medium pot, add rice.

Bring quickly to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cover the pot and DON’T touch it until the end, NO PEEKING. Cook for 15 minutes before removing the pot from the heat but keep the lid CLOSED.

Let rice rest for 10 min and then remove the cover.

Place in a glass dish to cool and lightly fan the rice while adding the vinegar mixture. Mix rice gently, careful not to break it.

Sushi rice is best used at body temperature.