Is your New Year’s Resolution to Lose Weight? Here’s the Skinny on How We Can Help

At Intelligent Gourmet, our goal isn’t weight loss – it’s to help our clients eat clean, feel better, and, ok – yes, look better. That’s why we don’t focus on low-calorie or low-carb, because we look at food holistically. For example, nuts are high in fat, but they also help your brain work better with all those Omega-3s, which makes you feel good, emotionally and physically. Those low-fat cheese puffs and “Lean Cuisine” dinners don’t.

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But, your New Year’s Resolution is to lose weight. You already know weight loss is not about a diet, but a lifestyle change. And you know there are no quick fixes. But we know you’re impatient, you don’t have time to make that crazy “fat flush soup” every week (or whatever the latest diet fad is), and after the slew of Holiday demands, you’re tired.

Here’s how we can help.

Cleanse for body and mind: Try our Intelligent Gourmet Juice Cleanse for 3 days to re-balance your body chemistry and kick-start your new healthier lifestyle.

Ready-to-Eat Diet-friendly meals: We specialize in low glycemic, low carb, low sodium, gluten-free, and most importantly “clean” pre-packaged meals. Don’t have time to cook? Can’t quite bring yourself to control portion size when you’re in the kitchen? Let us do it for you.

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Extremely Healthy Recipes: Every week, we post recipes right here that are low-fat, low-calorie, often gluten-free, frequently raw/vegan/vegetarian, and always extremely healthful. Then we tell you why what you’re eating is so good. Sure, you can’t cook all the time, but why not make a weekend family event out of an old-fashioned sit-down dinner (then live off the healthy leftovers for the week)? Roast a turkey or a whole chicken, and cook up our green beans (with vitamins K & A), wild rice dressing (B vitamins), and sweet potatoes (Beta-carotene and Vitamin C). Your whole family will think this new “diet” you’re on is great!

Tips, Tricks, and Expert Insights: From suggestions as simple as “add spinach to everything – your morning eggs, your lunchtime sandwich, your tomato sauce at dinner” to lists of super-foods, to teaching you how you can heal your body through food – Follow my blog via email, follow us on Twitter and Pinterest, and “Like” us on Facebook for daily reminders on how you can eat better, feel better, live better.

Happy New Year! And, here’s to a New You!

An Intelligent Gourmet Thanksgiving: Smart Sides Part 1

Green Beans
A golden-brown turkey is a sight to see, but I confess – my favorite part of Thanksgiving is the side dishes: casseroles and stuffing, sweet potatoes, and mashed potatoes with gravy. This week, I’ll take two of my favorite unhealthy sides and teach you how to turn them into feel-good food.

Rich, creamy, and delicious, green bean casserole topped with fried onions is one of my guilty pleasures. Here’s our healthier version from the Intelligent Gourmet kitchen.

Feel-Good Green Bean Casserole
Makes 6-8 servings

1 ¼ lbs green beans
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
2 Tbs unsalted butter
10 oz Portobello mushrooms, sliced
3 large shallots, plus 3 Tb minced
1/3 cup plus 3 Tbs all-purpose flour (or favorite gluten-free flour)
1 cup fat free half-and-half
1 cup chicken stock
1 tsp soy sauce, preferably mushroom soy sauce
Canola oil for deep-frying
1 Tb garlic
5 sprigs fresh thyme

green bean casserole

Prep:

Preheat oven to 350 and lightly butter a deep 2 ½ quart baking dish. Trim the green beans and halve crosswise. Bring a saucepan of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the green beans and cook until tender, but crisp, about 4 minutes.

Drain and rinse under cold running water. Pat dry with paper towels and set aside. In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring, until they give off their juices and are browned, 6-7 minutes. Stir in the 3 Tbs minced shallots and garlic, and cook until softened, 2-3 minutes. Add the fresh thyme. Sprinkle with the 3 Tbs flour and stir well. Slowly stir in the half-and-half, stock and soy sauce, and then bring to a boil, stirring often. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring, until thickened (4-5 minutes). Pull out the sprigs of thyme, and stir in the green beans. Season with salt and pepper and transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish.*

*The casserole can be prepared to this point up to 1 day ahead, covered and refrigerated.)

Bake until the liquid is bubbling, about 20 minutes (or 30 minutes if it has been refrigerated).

Cut the remaining 3 shallots crosswise into slices 1/8th of an inch thick, and separate into rings. Place the remaining 1/3 cup flour in a small bowl. Toss the shallot rings in the flour to coat evenly, shaking off the excess. Roast in the oven until golden brown. Remove the casserole from the oven, scatter the roasted shallots on top, and serve.

Why it’s crazy-good for you:
Green beans are some of the healthiest veggies you can eat, packed with Vitamin K (helps with healing and calcium absorption), Vitamin C (boosts immune system), Manganese (relieves symptoms of osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, and PMS), and Vitamin A (guards against wrinkles and age spots).