A foodie's quest to turn up the heat through strength and conditioning with whole food and a hungry mind.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Easy and Heart Healthy Meals for Friends

What a weekend! The weather was great, Kelley and I had an awesome time together, and our turtle, Hector, has a new home.
Hector getting a feel for his new home...

He paced the perimeter from one end to the other the entire day, but he seems to be pretty happy. Maybe it’s just me, be his colors even look more vibrant now that he’s out of that plastic storage box. We found a few grubs, beetles, and worms that he quickly gulped down to support his post hibernation energy requirements. Plus, I was nice enough to share a bit of papaya, sweet potato, butternut squash, and jicama for him to snack on; he’s one well-fed turtle!
Papaya halved with seeds exposed; these have a peppery flavor that goes great on salad....I saved some for Hector

Kelley had her own big project to tackle after Hector’s home, and she spent all day Sunday working on the front garden; she has the sunburn to prove it! Her work is always high quality and it shows in Hector’s home, the garden, and our entire yard. I help lift and move things for her, but the rest is all her.  If I didn't cook for us, I wouldn't have much to offer!

It was great spending time outside in the gorgeous weather with my beautiful wife, and although I mentioned time in the kitchen would be reduced, I ended up cooking a work lunch for each day. I even prepared 4 meals for our friend at work; he seems to really enjoy my cooking, and I enjoy providing food to someone who’s appreciative.

For the past 3 weeks I have been preparing extra meals for our work friend, and it’s amazing to think he started out having never heard of quinoa. After first telling him the type of food I cook, he was on Wikipedia searching for an explanation of the complete protein seed that cooks like a grain.

A typical meal for our friend would be a trip to the work cafeteria for something like pizza or nachos in a Styrofoam box. Now, instead of the typical fast food fare, he’ll have organic red quinoa with mixed veggies, split green pea soup puree with broccoli and cauliflower, steamed beans and veggies with an organic jersey sweet potato, and a mix of steamed veggies with beans a flaked salmon. My .02…..Food should be savored and enjoyed, not something consumed from the cafeteria just to fill your stomach.

These meals will provide heart-healthy nutrients and flavor for our friend; hopefully he will notice how much better he feels after including more of the meals I prepare in place of café foods. The recipes are easy to prepare (see links to recipes below), which helped save time this weekend.I even had time to embark on other recipes I wanted to try and will save these for another post this week.
Red Quinoa is easy to prepare and full of vital nutrients to fuel your body right!

This link lists lentils, but split peas can be swapped 1:1

Steamed veggies with salmon
Just steam your favorite frozen mixed veggies (I used a mix of broccoli, corn, red peppers, onions, red and white beans, and canned salmon) and season as you please. I used Drew’s Smoked Tomato Dressing to toss everything together; a little goes a long way!
Split Green Pea Puree topped with Arugula...I love this spicy leaf!

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Are you known for being the “weird”, healthy person at your job or home? Has anyone ever approached you to prepare a few meals or to help answer their food matters? If not, would you do this if asked to?

I like seeing someone choose to eat healthier by choice, and it feels great helping to provide a means to do so.

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