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MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: Daniel Ebron On Home Cooking And Healthy Living

Here at Human 2.0, we are advocates of growing and cooking your own food. There are many health benefits to doing that, from knowing exactly what you are eating, to building healthy habits, to encouraging family bonding, to connecting you better to the planet and reminding you of human’s impact on it, etc. etc.

We also get excited when our members share recipes that they’ve tried.

One of our very first members Daniel Ebron tells us what made him interested in cooking and he shares a few recipes that he has really enjoyed. Why not give them a try?

For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved cooking. The only thing that I love more is eating. When I first started cooking, flavour always came first, so I was making food that wasn’t necessarily good for me.

It was only recently that I really embraced healthy eating. A couple of years ago, I was going into my first year as a university student-athlete. I knew that I was going to have to change my diet if I wanted to bring my game up to the next level. I still ate like crap on occasion, but not as often as I used to. Fast forward to current day, I am now no longer playing football. Since I stopped, I have had to really watch what I eat. One thing I learned over the past few years is that exercise will NOT counteract a bad diet.

What helped me embrace healthy eating was developing an appreciation for fresh food. However, eating healthy was not always easy because I still had the cravings for junk food. That’s when I started to put more time and energy into finding recipes that use high quality ingredients, without sacrificing flavour. I figured I might as well put some of that built-up competitive energy to use, and now cooking has become my obsession. I cannot wait to share what I find.

Here are some recipes that I’ve tried and loved!

Cajun Chicken Bowl

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1162644/spicy-cajun-chicken-quinoa

Things to Mention:

  1. Use a ½ cup of quinoa and 1 cup of chicken stock.
  2. If you don’t have dried apricots lying around, raisins or dried cranberries will be just fine.
  3. You will get more satisfaction out of making your own cajun spice mix rather than using a premixed package spice mix. http://allrecipes.com/recipe/149221/cajun-spice-mix/
  4. Don’t be afraid to add more vegetables to the dish. Try pan frying some bell peppers and carrots with the onions.

Kid Friendly: Yes
Gluten Free: Yes
Vegetarian: No
Dairy Free: Yes
Paleo: No
Vegan: No

Chipotle-Mango BBQ Chicken Kebabs

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/guy-fieri/chipotle-mango-bbq-chicken-recipe-1948356

Things to Mention:

  1. Use chicken breasts instead of chicken thighs. The thighs contain more fat than the breasts do.
  2. You can replace the chipotle peppers with fresh jalapeno, and the adobo sauce with a tablespoon of your favourite hot sauce.
  3. Cut the chicken into cubes and marinate in a ziploc bag for at least 6 hours.
  4. Soak the kebab sticks in warm water for a minimum of 30 minutes, this will prevent the wood from burning off in the BBQ.
  5. Cook on the grill for 15-20 minutes, basting and turning every 5 minutes. (Use half of the simmered BBQ sauce to baste, you do not want to contaminate the entire sauce with raw chicken.)
  6. Serve with side of choice, and drizzle more of the BBQ sauce to your liking.

https://www.babble.com/babble-voices/healthier-side-dishes-for-your-summer-fathers-day-bbq/  This link is full of healthier bbq side dishes.

Moroccan Inspired Meatball Stew

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 pound meat (beef, chicken, lamb, etc)
  • 1 ½ Tbsp cinnamon
  • Olive oil to coat bottom of pan and pot
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 2 broccoli stems (the stump you would usually cut off)
  • 1 zucchini
  • One 800g can of diced tomatoes
  • ¼ cup water
  • One 500g can of chickpeas
  • One 500g can of black beans
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • Handful of chopped cilantro
  • Handful of spinach
  • 3 Tbsp of Ras El Hanout Spice (or to taste)
  • Salt and pepper (To taste)

Ingredients for Ras El Hanout Spice

Instructions

  1. Heat a pan to medium heat with olive oil and prepare the meatballs. Mix the cinnamon with the ground meat of your choosing, and form into small meatballs. Should make about 14-16 meatballs (don’t worry about meatballs lacking flavour, it will absorbed all the flavour from the stew, also the meat balls won’t fall apart when frying. But if you are worried about that, add 1 egg and ⅓ cup of breadcrumbs to the meat). Fry in the pan for 8 minutes until evenly browned. Remove from pan and set aside on paper towel to get rid of excess oil.
  2. Dice the onion and garlic. Add to a pot with olive oil on medium heat. Coat the onions and garlic in the oil by stirring. Cover, and let the onion and garlic sweat for about 10 minutes, stirring after 5 minutes.
  3. Chop the pepper, zucchini and broccoli stems into strips and add to the onions and garlic. Stir for 5 minutes to soften.
  4. Add canned tomatoes, water, chickpeas, beans, cilantro, and spinach to the vegetables and stir until well mixed. Add spice mix, honey, and stir until combined (add more of the spice mix if you desire).
  5. Add meatballs to the stew and stir. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.  After the 10 minutes, stir, then cover for another 5 minutes before serving.
  6. Serve with fried/poached egg on top and chopped roasted almonds.

Spotify playlist recommendation: The soundtrack from the movie “Chef”

Kid Friendly: Yes (add less of the spicy spices if they are not fans of heat)
Gluten Free: Yes (use gluten free bread crumbs if you end up using breadcrumbs)
Vegetarian: No
Dairy Free: Yes
Paleo: No
Vegan: No

Chorizo and Chickpeas

Image source: http://www.deliciousmagazine.co.uk/recipes/john-whaites-chorizo-and-chickpeas-braised-in-cider/

Ingredients

-1 jar fire roasted peppers

-2 links of dried chorizo sausage

-1 800 g can of chickpeas

-In a pan and medium heat, toss the peppers, chorizo (you will need to chop this up into slices) and chickpeas (washed thoroughly) and serve warm.

-Serve with cilantro and a blob of sour cream or avocado.

Kid Friendly: Yes
Gluten Free: Yes
Vegetarian: No
Dairy Free: Yes; the sour cream is optional
Paleo: No
Vegan: No

Shrimp and Corn w/Zucchini Noodles in a Creamy Avocado Sauce

http://inspiralized.com/creamy-avocado-zucchini-pasta-with-charred-corn-and-spicy-shrimp/

  • You will need a spiralizer. If you do not have one, use whatever pasta noodles you desire.
  • I recommend using a full bag of frozen, de-shelled shrimp if serving more than two people. Adjust spices accordingly.
  • Run the frozen shrimp under cold water if you forget to take it out of the freezer to thaw. Do NOT run it under hot water, this will cook the shrimp.
  • Use at least 3 medium sized zucchinis.
  • Use half a bag of frozen corn. This will help cut down time if you are in a rush.
  • You may need to double the avocado sauce to serve a bigger crowd.

Spotify Playlist: The Cookout