Friday, October 3, 2014

Jerry's Gourmet elevates breakfast, AARP sends mixed messages

One of the restaurant-quality take-out dinners I picked up on Wednesday at Jerry's Gourmet & More in Englewood included braised escarole with beans, mushrooms and an extraordinary artichoke lasagna stuffed with sinfully rich ricotta cheese, top right. Taking a break from eggs, I reheated them for breakfast the next day with a baked sweet potato and leftover organic spinach.


The $8 cafeteria dining card I get for volunteering at a hospital in Englewood every Wednesday isn't the real payoff.

After I finish at 4 in the afternoon, I drive to Jerry's Gourmet & More at 410 S. Dean St., and go directly to the refrigerated case holding Meals To Go, restaurant-quality dinners that are regularly $7.99 each.

The fish, chicken, pork or beef dinners are reduced to $5.99 after 4 p.m., and usually include pasta or potatoes, vegetables and other items.

Meals To Go are reduced to $5.99 from $7.99 after 4 p.m., and I usually find a half-dozen to choose from. The discount is taken at the register.

Baked Grouper with Garlic and Herbs. The take-out dinners are a sane 12 ounces.

Chicken Parmigiana, Shrimp with Rice, Grilled Artichoke and Baby Bok Choy.

Luckily, the family member who had Chicken with Porcini Mushrooms didn't eat the escarole, mushrooms or artichoke lasagna.

On Wednesday, my dinner included sauteed spinach with leftover Icelandic haddock fillets in Roasted Green Salsa. The fish and spinach were from Costco Wholesale, the salsa from Whole Foods Market.

A recent breakfast included a wedge of smoked wild salmon-pesto frittata, top; mashed sweet potatoes with extra-virgin olive oil, right; and grilled tofu with a coating of spices. The smoked Alaskan salmon, pesto and tofu were from Costco.

Mixed signals on healthy eating

AARP is supposed to act in the best interests of seniors.

But AARP The Magazine sometimes sends mixed messages on healthy eating, as the editors do in the August/September 2014 issue.

Under the headline "Healthy You," an article on Pages 16-17 discusses "what really matters when it comes to diet and health."

When you turn the page, you're confronted with an AARP membership card discount offer for Denny's at breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Pictured are two "new" items: Red, White & Blue Slam and Tuscan Super Bird -- they look like heart attacks on a plate.

Both dishes include bacon packed with additives and preservatives. 

The Red, White & Blue Slam comes with two whole eggs, bacon, potatoes and a pancake with whipped cream.

The Tuscan Super Bird, a sandwich, includes melted cheese, bacon and fried potatoes.

I checked Denny's Web site for nutritional information on those items, including calories and sodium, but couldn't find those exact dishes. 

Denny's also has a 55+ menu, but AARP didn't show any of those meals in the magazine ad.

Better yet: Eat anywhere but Denny's.

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