If you’re a Just Add Cooking subscriber, or you’ve even had a peek at our recipes, it’s pretty clear we have a serious emphasis on flavor and putting delicious meals on the table every night. But providing dinner to our customers is about more than ensuring it tastes good: we take very seriously the importance of a balanced meal with high-quality, locally-sourced ingredients from New England farms and vendors.
To that end, we’re happy to introduce Registered Dietitian Megan Gerber, who is rigorously evaluating Just Add Cooking meals for nutritional balance and helping us with a very exciting advancement for those with dietary restrictions. In fact, Megan was instrumental in assisting us with gluten-free designations for our recipes. Today, we asked Megan a few questions to give you a better sense of the nutritional evaluation that each Just Add Cooking recipe is undergoing.
JAC: Tell us a little about your background.
Megan: I got my dietetic degree at the University of Connecticut and live and work in Boston. My full-time job is as a Clinical Dietitian at Carney Hospital in Dorchester. On a personal note, I was diagnosed with Celiac disease two years ago, so I have a background in understanding food safety and dietary restrictions as well as general nutrition and am particularly passionate about the gluten-free designation process that we underwent when evaluating Just Add Cooking’s recipes.
JAC: What drew you to the Just Add Cooking approach?
Megan: Many people’s diets are deficient in fresh produce and whole foods. Just Add Cooking is a great solution to this issue. I love that they’re getting people back in the kitchen and cooking, making them aware of how to use ingredients and how to incorporate many fresh foods into their diets.
JAC: What’s the process you undergo in checking Just Add Cooking recipes for nutritional balance?
Megan: I combine my perspective on a balanced meal with the Just Add Cooking culinary team’s approach. The main goal for Just Add Cooking is bringing people together in the kitchen, helping them to cook for themselves as opposed to takeout or convenience fields, which is a huge step in the right direction health-wise. Just Add Cooking focuses on healthy, family-friendly meals.
When I look at the recipes, I combine the recommended daily values for the macronutrients in the dish with the My Plate example, which suggests that your plate should be ½ produce, ¼ grains and ¼ protein. My focus is on ensuring there are plenty of vegetables, produce and lean proteins in the meals and keeping an eye on fat and saturated fat contents.
Keep an eye out on the Just Add Cooking recipes for Megan’s commentary in the future, and check out our NEW Gluten-Free Recipes by looking for the green GF that appears in your meal planner!