Chef Lamar Palmer, the Executive Chef at Good Measure Meals, weighs in on healthy eating habits and how to make healthier substitutions in everyday menus.
For starters, what do you think constitutes a healthy diet?
Well balanced meals and portion control. Both of which are top priorities at GMM. It is important to control meal size and the makeup of the calories– You can easily do this by filling up at least one-half of a nine inch plate with plant-based foods, like beans, fruits and vegetables.
What about chocolate chip cookies? You’re going to say that I need to eliminate those from my “healthy diet,” aren’t you?
Giving up guilty pleasures leads to bingeing. Go ahead and eat your favorite treat once each week – just limit it to one or two cookies
At GMM, we can satisfy your occasional sweet tooth craving with homemade dishes. l like our raspberry pancakes with dark chocolate ganache or whole grain breakfast breads. The key is to incorporate this into the balanced nutrition for the day!
That sounds too good to be true. How exactly do you balance the nutrition of each day’s meals and still make them taste so good?
At GMM, we always look for ways to substitute healthy alternatives for ingredients in all of our recipes. For example, in our frittatas we substitute 2% milk for heavy cream and add some part-skim mozzarella cheese for extra creaminess.
To keep sodium levels as low as possible, we use other flavorings like fresh herbs and spices instead of salt. To sweeten foods, we use less processed sugars like honey, which also provides antioxidants.
OK, what new and interesting things can we look forward to on the GMM menu?
Some of the newer featured items in the Spring/Summer 2012 meals include greens like kale, Chinese broccoli and Swiss chard, which add that extra pizzazz to some of our dishes. We’ve also added a new hand-cut Chicken Gyro marinated in house with a homemade Tzatziki Sauce.
Wait - are there also health benefits to food prepared in-house?
Absolutely! Preparing our own meals allows us to have a fresher product without extra preservatives or cheap flavor enhancers and gives us control over fat and sodium levels in our meals.
Any last words of advice for us
Be creative! Play with your food! Add new flavors to the basics. Most people already have an idea of what they like, so it’s about experimentation. Food needs to be fun!
Good Measure Meals
Chef Lamar Palmer attended the Art Institute of Atlanta for his culinary training. He worked in fine dining before becoming a nationally known, highly regarded chef in the frozen hors d’oeuvres segment of the food industry.
He worked for HJ Heinz, Kabobs, and Appetizers USA, with Atlanta Foods International, Progressive Gourmet, Appetizers to Go, Northern Haserot, and dozens of convention centers and hotels, creating signature products for all. Chef Lamar is a specialist in New Product Development (NPD), product industrialization, and quality improvement. He has created some 2000 recipes in the last 7 years, ranging in cuisines from American such as Low Country, Cajun, Midwest, Southwest, and more, to Thai, Vietnamese, French, Mexican, Honduran, Moroccan, Turkish, English, African, Italian, Indonesian, Indian, and more.
Sources of pride for him are the authenticity of the food, layering of flavors, textural contrast, and the ability to develop refrigerated and frozen products that can be manufactured efficiently and consistently with existing equipment.