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Eat Clean(er) This Thanksgiving

Stores now advertise holiday decorations and seasonal foods months in advance. The push to decorate, plan, and cook for the holidays can get overwhelming to the point that we cut corners. You know it will take 4 hours to baste and roast the Thanksgiving turkey, so why not use boxed mashed potatoes instead of peeling spuds all morning – or purchase a pre-made pie instead of baking from scratch?

But along with some popular pre-packaged Thanksgiving dishes come artificial colors, excessive amounts of sodium and other harmful additives. In order to aim for a cleaner Thanksgiving; we’ll show you some alternative recipes and semi-homemade options that will be sure to satisfy your guests.


Canned cranberry versus homemade cranberry sauce is an age-old Thanksgiving debate. Despite its nostalgic can-rings, the leading brand of canned jellied cranberry sauce contains 25 grams of carbs and a whopping 21 grams of sugar per ¼ cup serving. Keep in mind that while cranberries are naturally tart, the main ingredient in most canned options besides the fruit is high fructose corn syrup. We checked around and Stonewall Kitchen makes a nice Cranberry Relish that could serve as a better store-bought alternative.

Homemade variations are simple, usually comprised of just cranberries, sugar, and water. While still very sweet, homemade recipes contain much less sugar, try this 20-minute homemade cranberry sauce if you’re up for a change—or to incite further debate!  


Source: Huffington Post


What’s so bad about boxed stuffing, it’s just some bread and spices, right?

Not so fast. Every stuffing mix has added sugar. Nearly half the available products have BHA and BHT chemicals (preservatives to keep the oils from oxidizing and spoiling). One ½ cup serving of the leading stuffing brand contains 29% of your daily salt intake and includes ingredients like niacin, high fructose corn syrup, hydrolyzed soy protein, and monosodium glutamate.

Can’t say that sounds too appetizing, so here’s a clean, chemical-free recipe that won’t take you all day to prepare. French bread sounds a whole lot better than MSG!



It’s the grand finale, the quintessential conclusion to this epic November meal: pie. Making a pie by hand can be an all-day event, and grabbing one at the supermarket seems like a simpler option; same for picking up a pre-made crust and canned filling. Have you ever taken a look at what’s in those cans, though? It’s along the same lines as the jellied cranberry: high fructose corn syrup and modified food starch. Pumpkin pie filling is healthier than the cranberries, but still has added sugar syrup, which brings the total sugar per 1/3 cup serving to 17g.

Try your hand at a healthy (semi) homemade pie this season; we’d love to see the results. Here are a few recipes for pumpkin and apple pie to get you started. And if you’re hesitant to try and make your own crust, look for a Non-GMO, preservative-free option like Immaculate Baking offers.

HD-200911-r-classic-pumpkin-pie Photo Courtesy of

Enjoy your Thanksgiving without over-loading on sodium and sugar. Your dishes might even taste better—and your body will thank you for the changes. Be sure to share your favorite Turkey-Day dishes with us @GFMSimple!

Make the Most of Your Already Loved GFMS Meals

At Good Food Made Simple, our products are comprised of a few, simple ingredients, maintaining the purity of our promise. The benefit is not only freedom from unhealthy ingredients, but also the freedom to “dress up” these foundational foods. It could be any piece of food flair, from adding your favorite fruit to our oatmeal, to a touch of spices from your own cabinet when making our egg patties. It’s a total win-win for the body and the palate!

Although the list of creative food options limitless, see below for some of our favorites with awesome, and still totally healthy twists. Also, make sure to check out our Facebook page for more ways to Make the Most of Your Meal, and the chance to win a cooking class for two at Williams-Sonoma!

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Baked Mac & Cheese With Broccoli

Add minced onion, fresh broccoli florets, seasoned breadcrumbs, and salt and pepper to GFMS mac and cheese for some extra fiber and vitamins. Bake dish for 15 minutes after prepared.

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Banana-Nut Oatmeal

For a robust, flavorful, and whole hearty breakfast, add chopped up banana, walnuts, and cinnamon to an already healthy bowl of oatmeal.

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Low Calorie Bacon Avocado Breakfast Sandwich

Craving a delicious breakfast sandwich but don’t want all the added calories? Try adding 1/2 a yellow squash, 1/4 orange bell pepper, 2 slices of turkey bacon, 2 slices of avocado, and 1 tablespoon of hummus on thin sliced whole grain hamburger bun. Our friends at Food for Life Baking company make plenty of delicious options!

cheese and veg breakfast wrap

Pico de Gallo-Bathed Burrito

Dice up crisp tomatoes, seeded jalapeños, and white onion, then toss with freshly squeezed lime juice and salt to taste. Add in corn off the cob, and if you’re feeling adventurous, diced apple or mango! Spoon this homemade pico de gallo atop your favorite Good Food Made Simple burrito.

Any other ideas? Share with us below! And don’t forget to enter to win those Williams-Sonoma cooking classes!

Easing the Transition to Fall Cooking

As the weather gets colder and we start pulling out sweaters and boots, our cooking transitions from cool and refreshing, to hearty and savory dishes. Roasts and stews; pumpkin and cranberry; chai and hot chocolate; we all know these classic tastes of fall. However, there is more produce in season throughout September, October, and November than you might expect. No need to rely on canned or frozen fruits and veggies, there are plenty of fresh options readily available!


Butternut and acorn squashes are fall staples, but try a new variety this season like buttercup, sweet dumpling, delicata, or chayote.

Tip: Every part of the sweet dumpling squashes can be eaten, so the roots and leaves make great additions to stews.


Don’t think fall means that only apples are in season. Pick up some key limes, pineapples, persimmons, passion fruit, kumquats, and grapes for refreshing sides or desserts. More classic fall fruits like gooseberries, crab apples, cranberries and date plums can offer a tangy bite to your seasonal desserts.

Tip: Waking up to a warm bowl of Good Food Made Simple Vermont Maple Oatmeal gets a fall morning off on the right foot. Try sprinkling in some cranberries or crab apple slices before microwaving for a new take on the fall fave.

More Veggies:

Swiss Chard, bok choy, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, broccoli; fall veggies are hearty and wholesome. Sautée them, stew them, or stick them on the grill for one last barbecue! Make sure to give turnips a chance as well!

Photo courtesy of The Pioneer Woman: Sunday Night Stew

Enjoy your fall foods, and be sure to share your favorites with us @GFMSimple!

Staying Street (And Eat) Smart: A College Student’s Guide To Living Well

Most of us have either been through college, are in the throes of it, or will be there someday. For the folks among us who are “living the college dream” right now, we can sympathize with you in that it can be difficult to eat and live healthily.

Does any of this sound familiar?

  • “I’ve got eight tests this week, so I HAVE to stay up all night studying.”
  • “Food was so much better when my mom would just cook it for me… #lazystudentproblems”
  • “It’s 3:00 am and I just spent 8 hours in the library, all I want to do is plop in front of the TV with a pizza!”

Take from us a few tips on how to transform your habits while in college, so you’re able to enjoy a healthy lifestyle beyond the dorm days and into the future.

No Excuses

  • One of the most common excuses students tell themselves is that they have no time to cook up a healthy meal.
  • Keep a stock of GFMS burritos, like the buffalo style chicken entree burrito, in your freezer for a quick, all natural, and flavorful lunch meal! The time you save just may allow you to squeeze in a trip to the library… (Okay fine, a trip to the park!) Just be sure to read the ingredients and nutrition facts.

gfms buffalo style chicken burrito-01If You Don’t Snooze, You Lose  

  • Studies show that lack of sleep is a tremendous factor in weight gain, in other words, that infamous “freshman 15”. When we’re well rested, maintain a physically active routine, and eat nutrient rich foods, we’re more likely to eat fewer calories and, thus, to keep a consistent number on the scale.

Nobody’s Perfect

  • By focusing on just simply doing your best and not being perfect, you can make progress toward your goals to a healthier, better lifestyle
  • Have a breakfast, lunch, and a good dinner meal that will keep you full and not craving any of that (way too) late night pizza
  • Keep healthy food options in your living space so that it’s easier to curb cravings with nutritious snacks

bowl_turkeysausageEnjoy these simple guidelines to make the most out of your college years. School isn’t only for studying those textbooks – it’s also for life lessons, like how to stay healthy!

Popular Food Myths Debunked

Does watermelon really grow in your stomach if you swallow the seeds? Are you what you eat!? (Stay away from the nuts!)

Here’s a peek at a few popular food myths, and the rationales behind their faulty assertions.

Microwaving Food Destroys Nutrients

The microwave oven technology, which came onto the market in the late 1940s, received a lot of flack initially. However, the myth that microwaves suck nutrients from food is in fact false. High temperatures and long cook times are actually what tend to work away at the nutrients in your food, so the decreased cook time in a microwave is not doing your food the harm it’s been reputed to do.


A Gluten Free Diet is Good For Everyone

Only about 1% of the population suffers from gluten intolerance, and doctors recommend that those who don’t should continue to include whole grains into their meal plans as part of a balanced diet. Digestion and healthy cholesterol levels are just a couple of the benefits of whole grains, which naturally contain gluten – and are great for you!

Eggs Are Bad For Your Heart

Because eggs are high in cholesterol, they often get a bad reputation. However, due to their immense amounts of nutrients and protein, they in fact allow your body to produce less cholesterol. As long as you don’t have a preternatural susceptibility to heart disease, the results of eating eggs include extreme benefits for your body, your heart, and your health.

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Organic Food is Always Healthier

The “organic” label on foods does not necessarily mean that they’re any better than non-organic foods. Rather, it refers to exactly how those foods were grown or produced. In that sense, the nutrients of each are comparable, and what’s important is to make sure you’re eating well and being conscious of what you’re putting into your body.

Do any other food myths keep you up at night?


Smart Summer Eating Guide: How To Keep Your Meals Safe During The Year’s Hottest Season

Summer time is in full swing! At Good Food Made Simple, we love a nice picnic or barbecue. I mean, what’s not to appreciate about a warm, sunshiney forecast and some of the “coolest” foods out there? But as the weather gets warmer, there are more risks that come with outdoor eating and food prep. Leaving food out for too long at room temperature, for example, can cause all different kinds of harmful bacteria to grow.

As people who truly value eating, take from us these tips for how to eat safely during the summer season.

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1.    Keep Your Food Out of the “Danger Zone”

  • Keep hot food hot – at or above 140 °F
  • Keep cold food cold – at or below 40 °F
  • Never leave food out of refrigeration for over 2 hours
  • If the temperature is above 90 °F, food should not be left out for more than 1 hour

2.    Keep Cooking Safe

  •  Raw meat and poultry should always be cooked to a safe minimum internal temperature. (Check out the helpful thermostat illustration below for details!)
  • When roasting meat and poultry, use an oven temperature no lower than 325°F
  • If you aren’t serving hot food right away, keep it at 140 °F or above

3.    Storing Leftovers

  • Since bacteria can be reintroduced to food even AFTER it is safely cooked, leftovers must be kept in shallow containers for quick cooling and kept refrigerated at 40 °F or below within 2 hours

4.    Reheating for Re-eating

  • When you get those cravings for some delicious leftovers, you should reheat the food thoroughly to an internal temperature of 165 °F or until it is steaming hot.
  • If you are using the microwave to reheat the food, cover the dish and rotate so it heats evenly 

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Simplify Your Summer Palette

Summer: a time with lots to do and lots to eat! Considering all the beautiful produce and the seasonal warm weather snacks, no wonder it is such a unanimously popular season. But with all the fun to be had comes hidden dangers in some of our most treasured summer foods.

The perils of artificial dyes

While the FDA has not banned all food dyes, the remaining list of those approved by the FDA are constantly under speculation because of existing side effects other dyes are known to produce. Specifically, these dyes have been under speculation regarding the mental development of young children.

At Good Food Made Simple, we would never subject you to any of these artificial additives. Find more information on the strict ingredient exclusions we abide by here.

food dye

Did you know these fun summertime foods are often altered beyond their natural color?

  • Chocolate
    • Oftentimes chocolate products have added colorings to make them look more “chocolatey.” What’s more chocolatey than just plain chocolate?!
  • Macaroni & Cheese
    • Many mac and cheese brands have fluorescent-colored orange dyes that poorly emulate the color of cheddar cheese. Ours, of course, does not!
  • Juices
    • It’s no secret that sodas are often artificially colored. But what about fruit juices? It’s important to note what’s “fruit-flavored” and what’s actually fruit, as well as what summertime beverages have added dyes.


Natural dye alternatives

There are some great products on the market that utilize nature’s own resources to produce colorful foods. Likewise, when cooking at home it can be fun to experiment with already colorful foods in new and inventive ways to color-up the tabletop. Take these, for example:

  • Turmeric produces an orange-yellow dye
  • Elderberries are purple-blue
  • Black Carrots are peach-red
  • Saffron is yellow
  • Red Cabbage is blue
  • Carrot Oil is orange
  • Beets are reddish-purple

Keeping your summer colorful doesn’t have to mean keeping it artificial.

Tips For a Safe (But Fun) Independence Day


With a long weekend ahead of barbecues, beaching, picnics, fireworks and other fun outdoor activities, we at Good Food Made Simple want to remind you how important it is to keep healthy throughout the festivities. Here’s a quick list of some pointers on how to make sure you’re taking care of yourself amidst the Independence Day weekend hoopla.

Sun Safety

  • While sun bathing is a popular summertime activity, the sun’s rays can leave long lasting and harmful effects on our skin. Before heading out to the beach this weekend, be mindful of these tips to help keep your skin healthy and safe:
    • Use Plenty of Sunscreen: Always use a water-resistant sunscreen with minimum SPF 30 and apply thirty minutes before sun exposure. Don’t forget to reapply every two hours!
    • Cover Up: Although using sunscreen is a great idea for long days in the sun, go the extra mile and cover your head, face and eyes with hats and eyewear. In addition to sunscreen, these items give you more all-around protection for the entire day.
    • Plan Your Excursions Accordingly: The sun is strongest between 10AM and 4PM so try planning outdoor events for later in the day.  And if you cannot escape the sunshine, take shade breaks and get out of the sun for bits of time periodically throughout the day.
    • [Source]


  • Keeping yourself hydrated could be one of the most important things you can remember when going out into the heat. Our bodies are made up of so much water that it’s important we keep it replenished, especially when drinking alcohol! Avoid any prolonged dehydration issues by drinking six 6-8-ounce glasses of water a day, as well as one full glass of water between each alcoholic drink.

Healthy Party Foods

  • Remember to orient your cookouts and picnics around healthy foods.  Looking for ideas? Check out our blog post from Memorial Day Weekend featuring some fruity dessert ideas that will surely satisfy your sweet tooth, without going overboard on artificial sweeteners!

Firework Safety

  • Lastly, remember to enjoy the most festive of all activities this weekend by promoting safe and responsible use of fireworks.
    • Obey your local laws regarding the use of fireworks
    • Read cautionary labels before lighting them
    • Always have an adult around! (A responsible one…!)
    • Use fireworks in a clear area, and announce when you’re lighting them so people know to stay free of the space
    • Always have a bucket of water or water hose nearby. Juuuust in case!
    • [Source]

Happy Fourth of July!

Dad’s Day Breakfast 101

What better way to spend the holiday thanking your dad than cooking up a delicious breakfast with a few of his favorites! This Father’s Day, spend some time cooking for your dad (or even WITH your dad!) with these hearty, simple, and wholesome meal ideas.

Kick off this celebration of all things “dad” by giving an original breakfast meal a manly makeover. Instead of a Plain Jane egg dish, add some sliced, pan-grilled steak from your local butcher to create the perfect steak and eggs dish.

As always, we at Good Food Made Simple stress that knowing where your food comes from is important, so make sure to ask for your butcher’s recommendation when picking out your steak. Only the best for dad!


Another option (and this one’s our favorite, if we do say so ourselves!) is a nice, hearty breakfast sandwich on homemade wheat flour biscuits complete with one of our wholesome egg patties.

  • Start with an easy whole-wheat biscuit recipe, like this one.
  • Once you’ve got your biscuits cooking, throw some turkey bacon on the skillet.
    • Not only is turkey bacon lower in saturated fat, it’s also fewer calories than regular bacon.
  • Heat up your Good Food Made Simple egg patties.
    • They’re the perfect size for a biscuit sandwich, and the perfect serving of high-protein, low-sodium eggs to kick off a day full of activity.
  • Once your biscuits are done, add your egg patty, top it with bacon, and throw on a slice of cheddar cheese and some greens for color (we love the look and taste of a few loose arugula sprigs!)

Voila! A scrumptious, wholesome and protein-packed power play to get dad on his feet and celebrating what’s most important on this special day – HIM!


These recipes and food ideas will make for an unforgettable kick-start to this year’s Father’s Day. Check out an interview from last June with our co-founder George Gavris to hear about what meal he looks forward to on June 21st!


Fruity Dessert Ideas for a Pretty Sweet Memorial Day

Last Memorial Day Weekend, we posted a blog with some pointers on how to keep your spring and summer cookouts “clean.” This year, we’re following up with one of our favorite ideas from that blog post: the many ways, shapes, and forms that fruit can take to satisfy your summertime sweet tooth!

See below for some great picnic fundamentals, cookout necessities, and snack time must-haves – all starting with our favorite fruits.

From the Fridge

This great recipe for Raw Peanut Butter cookies (from food blogger Sweetest Kitchen) uses only four ingredients.

  • Almond Meal
  • Dates
  • Peanut Butter
  • Vanilla Extract

We love the way it keeps cookies simple! Instead of unnatural sweeteners, it calls for a cup of Medjool dates, which are a naturally sweet fruit. These cookies are simple to make, use clean ingredients, and are a great way to incorporate a serving of fruit into your Memorial Day dessert spread.


Cottage cheese and natural yogurts (with little to no added sweetener) make tried-and-true base dishes colorful with ripe, naturally scrumptious berries. Try a medley of the following for a patriotic (and probiotic!) feel:

  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Dried Cranberries
  • Blackberries

MAY GFMS blog - yogurt and berries

On the Grill

Wrapping a banana in tin foil and throwing it on the grate makes for a delicious, fruit-based dessert when you’re grilling. It’s yummy, fun, and satisfies your sweet tooth without an overload of artificial sugars!

  • Start off by peeling your banana
  • Slice it long-ways
  • Fill the center crevice with an ingredient of your choice, such as:
    • Peanut butter
    • 75% dark chocolate
    • Berries and honey
  • Wrap in tin foil
  • Throw it on the grill until the “fillings” are gooey!

Fresh peaches are also great on the grill. Slice them in half and keep them over the fire until they’re hot and soft, then enjoy a naturally super-sweet fruit prepared in true Memorial Day fashion!

May GFMS blog Grilled Peaches

Frozen Treats

Homemade popsicles are a classic warm-weather treat and make for a great way to monitor exactly how much sugar – and what kinds of sugar – are in your summer sweets. Try mixing and matching 100% fruit juices (that aren’t artificially colored). We recommend the combos below:

  • Orange + Pineapple
  • Watermelon + Lime
  • Pomegranate + Apple
  • White Grape + Cranberry

Another idea to make your popsicles a bit creamier is to puree fresh fruits in a blender, add some all-natural yogurt, and pour the mixture into either ice cube trays or popsicle trays. They’re easy to make, fun to eat and a low-sugar alternative to traditional creamy desserts like ice cream.

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Lastly, frozen grapes are one of the simplest ways to make fruit more fun, and make dessert a bit friendlier to your health! Other fresh fruits are great frozen, too, and maintain their natural sweetness really well. Try some of the following to mix it up:

  • Mango Strips
  • Cubed Cantaloupe
  • Peeled Bananas
  • Persimmon Pulp


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