We Have to Eat, Too

In the past, H2o Dreams has focused mainly on instruction and education. But we’ve gotta eat sometimes, right? We’re spending much of our day broiled in thought behind the computer or getting on the water to keep our creativity and passion fresh… so we’re hungry. And at H2o Dreams, when we get really hungry, we sometimes get angry and when those two forces collide we encounter a force we affectionately refer to as hanger.

Hanger noun ˈhaŋ gər

  1. A physical and emotional condition brought about by extreme depletion of food energy that causes an individual to display signs of hostility, standoffishness, anger.
    1. Symptoms include inability to make conversation, decisions and general sentiments of irritation and resentment

We are large perpetrators of this terrible and undue condition called hanger at H2o Dreams, and it can only be prevented by taking important steps in meal planning. It is because of the fragility of us all under the cruel star of hanger that we bring to you our weekly photo report, What’s Cookin’. Dirtbags have to eat, too.

We’re spending the day in the office today but catching up with a friend for an evening paddle. In light of the onset of a new chapter, I have also taken up running again after a (muffled admission of time off) long sabbatical from general fitness. That said, we’ve got to stay on top of what we’re eating as a team invested in health and responsibility. We bring to you one of the easiest meals you will ever make, and probably already have.


My new obsession is dried beans, legumes, and lentils. These babies are packed with nutrients usually buried in high sodium and preservatives in the canned versions PLUS they’re cheap and cut down on waste. That’s my favorite part. Right now, I’ve got some red kidney beans soaking so they’ll be nice and tender for a jump in a warm pan tonight… we’re bringing the lentils along for the ride, too. These tiny food friends come in a variety of colors (red, green and brown) but I can usually only find green lentils and normally only in the “international” aisle at a regular grocery store. For inquiring minds, there’s a general store in the Huntersville area that will satiate your every lentil need if you’re looking for variety. Don’t forget your avocados, either. Avocados are packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory qualities, which we need a lot of as paddlers with pesky and sometimes recurring injuries or pain.

Also, note our cilantro! This is a bushel that I bought at the store on Saturday, and I think it looks even better than when I bought it. The trick is sticking it in a jar with some water for the stems and covering it with a plastic bag before putting it in the fridge. You might have to change the water every few days, but that handful of cilantro that I usually had to throw away from wilt and browning after just one use can now last us weeks if I remember to keep an eye on it. Try adding it to your morning scramble or even your lunch time salad for a spruce up.

I won’t bore you with a simple recipe because I seldom follow the instructions to a T, anyway. Here’s a few pointers for yummy, quick, and satisfying wraps:

  • Lentils get boiled much like rice. I like to add some chicken or vegetable stock to the pot to bring out some more flavor while the lentils cook.
  • After the beans soak, it’s important to rinse. Sometimes little stones get caught up in the bag and nobody wants to be chowing down on some dinner and crunch down on a pebble.
  • Toss the beans and lentils together after sautéing some garlic & onion. Add cumin, cayenne, or some red pepper flakes for some punch.
    • If you don’t know about cooking with coconut oil, you should. It’s got one of the higher smoke points making it an all around healthier option for you. Don’t worry about the fact that it comes from coconuts… you won’t notice a thing.
    • We’ve even used lettuce and cabbage leaves in the past in place of wheat or corn tortillas. If you’re wheat and/or gluten free (we dabble), the beans and lentils stand alone great with whatever add ins you prefer. We’ve done everything from sweet potatoes to corn, tomatoes, peppers, and plain greek yogurt in place of sour cream.

I know I’m new at this, but I promise I’ve got more up my sleeve than rehydrated beans and tortillas. Stay tuned weekly to see what we’re cooking and filling up on… we hope to keep you healthy, happy, and hanger free both on and off the river!