A Recipe from the Heart

Nutrition Manager, Sarah Huber sharing a lentil taco recipe at North United Methodist Church during a CARE Mobile distribution.

Nutrition Manager and RDN, Sarah Huber, shared a tasty lentil taco recipe with CARE shoppers last weekend. Did you know, lentils are an easy way to incorporate heart healthy protein into your diet? Sarah often shares recipes with clients to show how using items from the pantry, families can make and eat healthy meals together.

We wanted to share a few stories with you, on the difference you are making to ensure Hoosier families have access to healthy, nutritious foods:

On Thursday at Christ Our King, I noticed a father and his adolescent son who had just gone through the line. They were pushing a cart FULL of great food, and they were making a beeline straight to my demo table. “I heard you have recipes over here,” the dad said to me. I confirmed and explained that it was a recipe for lentil tacos and they were welcome to try a sample – both happily agreed. While the dad was looking over the recipe, he said, “This is so great. We just got a bunch of lentils from the line, and we didn’t know what we were going to do with them!” The father seemed so proud that he was going to be able to provide a tasty meal for his son with the food and recipe he had received from the CARE Mobile.

On Saturday at North United Methodist Church, I had samples and recipes out at the registration table. An elderly gentleman came over to see what I had, and was delighted at the opportunity to try a sample. He repeated how much he enjoyed the lentil tacos, so I offered him another sample. “I better not eat too much all at once,” he said. “I haven’t eaten anything in several days.” Shocked, I asked why. He explained that he has been making sure his grandkids are taken care of first. “I’m broke. I get paid on the third of the month, and I’m broke on the third of the month. But I’m here, and I’m happy.” He was so sweet and grateful for the assistance he could receive at CARE, and I think he just really needed his story to be heard by someone. I was humbled to be able to hear his story over something as simple as a recipe and a sample. Food does more than just nourish the body – it is a social connection, a cultural experience, and a matter of dignity.

Several other shoppers who stopped by to try a sample on Saturday shared with me that they were trying to eat more meatless meals, so they were very excited to have a new recipe to try! One gentleman who came over shared with me that he is a veteran who faces some mental health challenges. However, he absolutely LOVES to cook and he told me stories about his days as a dishwasher in a commercial kitchen. He never thought he had the skills to be a chef, but his love of cooking grew as he learned to pick out various flavors and spices in the dishes served. He told me about all of the spices he wants to cook with when he has a little more money to afford them, and how lentils are a great way to experiment with different flavors. It was such a fun conversation, and I could tell it brought back so many positive food memories for him.