Meal Plan; 11 – 15 October

This past Saturday, I had a wonderful date night and concert with my even more awesome wife. It was our last 2021 concert, although we might squeeze in another concert if the right band comes up on our music radar.

It was none other than my favorite band, NEEDTOBREATHE, that performed at extremely cool venue Pier 17 in Manhattan. Pier 17 is a rooftop and outdoor venue, and can probably host 3000-3500 people standing up, and a little less if they have a seated arrangement.

NEEDTOBREATHE tour poster with autographs

We are very impressed with Pier 17 and it is by far one of the best NYC venues we have visited. Very clean, easily accessible, ok food, and great drinks selection. Staff are friendly and even hand out free ponchos in case it rains.

NEEDTOBREATHE played for two hours and a bit, entertaining the audience with their best tracks. We gently swayed along to the rhythm and laughed at the stories they told their followers. The band is not huge and it was an intimate concert with real fans. Great atmosphere, superb backdrop with the Manhattan and Brooklyn skylines.

It was our first ever concert with NEEDTOBREATHE, but not our last.

Medical Check-up

I had a “date” with my doctor last week too. She wants to check my blood on a regular basis, just to make sure that all my levels are good, and adjust any medication if needs be.

I dread these visits as I always anticipate something bad coming up. Going for a medical check-up was only something I did in the past if I needed to. If I had bad chest congestion, swollen throat, or some other illness that needed antibiotics.

Now I have to go every six months, get my blood drawn, and then be reviewed by my doctor.

Everything was great and all my vitals and numbers are excellent – her words not mine.

Well, she wants me to visit a dermatologist to get some little thing ‘frozen off my left ear. Apparently one can get skin cancer on the ears!

It seems like scenes from ‘Final Destination’ where death is eagerly trying to find ways to reclaim my soul. He missed out during my heart failure while recovering in ICU, potential high cholesterol and diabetes, and now a little threat of skin cancer.

Dude! stay the f*ck away! I’m not interested in a date!

Talking about food

Last week I was invited to speak on a local radio show about my life and cooking adventure. I have not been on a radio show since 1994 when I visited a friend in the state of Washington. he worked as a DJ and invited me on – probably not scheduled and likely not approved by the management. But, we had fun for a few minutes.

A couple of months ago, a local businessman (my butcher) reaches out to me to see if I would be interested in participating in his weekly radio show. He is very interested in my story and my adventure in creating healthier food that has helped me fully recover from heart failure.

It’s a little daunting at first to put on the headphones and start talking, especially when you know the radio station reaches more than 2 million listeners across Hudson Valley and all the way down to Manhattan.

We spoke about food, the road to recovery, shopping local, visiting farmer markets, and of course, shared a few recipes. I will share the recordings once they are released.

Time to get cooking

Sunday is my great cooking day. I get my meal plan ready, go shopping, prepare ingredients, and cook for several hours while listening to awesome music on my Demerbox. Something tells me that I’ll be listening to NEEDTOBREATHE when I cook today.

Last week’s smoked Mac ‘n Cheese – spontaneous cooking can be dangerous

When possible, I always buy my produce at the local farmers’ market. You get great quality vegetables and it is cheap. You can easily walk away with a few bags of goods for less than $30. The taste and quantities are so much better than the supermarkets.

Today I’ll be making pizza for the kids using 00 flour from King Arthur Flour. It is meant to be specifically for baking ‘real’ pizza. I’m sure it’ll be nice, although the dough has to rise for 12-24 hours.

I’ll also be making a few much healthier school lunches with vegetables, chicken, and salmon. Let’s see how the kids like them.

The menu this week contains chicken, catfish, and soups. A few nice and healthy dishes for the family on the weekly meal plan.

Fire up the Traeger. Ready your Dutch oven. Go shopping, and let’s start cooking—another Sunday in the Kitchen with music on the magical Demerbox and wonderful aromas filling the room.

WeekdaySnacks n’ BreakfastsLunchDinner
MondayFruit cupsNeapolitan pizza with tomato and mozzarella Chicken thighs with roasted sweet potatoes
TuesdayBrowniesSnack box with boiled egg, grape tomatoes, crackers, and turkey slicesCatfish fillets with roasted peppers, rice, and Romanesco sauce
WednesdayVeggie sticksTomato, cucumber, blackens, and chicken saladCream of Chicken & Wild Rice soup
ThursdayCrackersEgg salad on a nice oat bunTomato soup with homemade croutons.
FridayVeggie sticksGrilled salmon fillet with lettuce, cucumber, and tomatoesMeat galore on the Traeger

One day, I might get so organized that I will link the meals below to my recipes. We can only live in hope!

Have a fantastic week, my friends. I hope you enjoy these meal plans. It is so much easier to make food in advance, although you need to invest several hours during the weekend to prepare the meals.

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