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83: Tasty and Easy to Make Man Meals

Aug 03, 2021

The food you eat is a critical component of health. But talking about nutrition and making a nutritious meal are two different things. That's why for the next four weeks, we are going to make a new recipe from nutritionist Theresa Dvorak and then review it on the following episode. The criteria: easy to make, tasty, nutritious, and enough leftovers for a few more meals you eat later in the week.

Episode Transcript

This week's recipe is easy Thai red curry. If you make it, tell us how it was and post your pictures on our Facebook page.

This content was originally created for audio. Some elements such as tone, sound effects, and music can be hard to translate to text. As such, the following is a summary of the episode and has been edited for clarity. For the full experience, we encourage you to subscribe and listen— it's more fun that way.

Scot: Hey, guys. It's Scot from "Who Cares About Men's Health." Before we get to the episode, I would love it if you would make some of these meals with us and let us know what you think. Were they easy? Were they hard? Were they tasty? If you'd like to participate and get the recipe from this week, you can go to Check out the recipe and if you do make it, post on the Facebook page what you thought and any pictures you take. And now, the episode.

Today, we're going to learn about easy-to-make-all-at-one-time man meals that you can eat all week, and maybe we'll even learn a thing or two about nutrition along the way.

This is "Who Cares About Men's Health," providing information, inspiration, and a different interpretation about men's health. Today's crew, we've got a big crew here today. With me, the man who brings the MD, my co-host, Dr. Troy Madsen.

Troy: Hey, Scot.

Scot: I'm Scot Singpiel. I bring the BS and ask the dumb questions so you don't have to. We've got Producer Mitch in the mix.

Mitch: Hey there.

Scot: All right. Our guest today, we're really excited about this, from University of Utah's College of Health Department of Nutrition and Integrative Physiology . . . did I say that right? I said that right. That was the Olympics for my mouth right there. Registered dietri- . . .

Troy: See?

Theresa: Fail. You stumbled on the podium.

Troy: Yeah. You just tripped at the finish line, Scot.

Scot: Registered dietitian, Theresa Dvorak, she's got a stack of tasty recipes for us today. How are you doing?

Theresa: I'm well. Thanks for having me.

Scot: All right. And also, we've got our all-around baller, shot caller. He's got a PhD in eatology. His name is Thunder Jalili.

Thunder: Hi, Scot and everyone. Glad to be here.

Scot: All right. Hey, Troy, I got a question for you. So we're talking about these kind of meals that you can make on a Sunday and then eat for the rest of the week that are going to be nutritious and easy to make. I don't know what to call them, so I just went with easy-to-make-all-at-one-time man meals.

Troy: Yeah. That's a good, long name.

Scot: If you come up with something better, I'm more than willing to hear it. No problem.

Troy, I have a question for you. When do you make bad eating decisions? Is there kind of a time you make bad eating decisions?

Troy: I make horrible eating decisions after night shifts, no doubt about it. So when I'm tired, I always make bad eating decisions. I make bad eating decisions if I get home at like 2:00 in the morning from a shift. So I think sleep deprivation is the theme there for me.

Scot: Yeah. How about you, Mitch? Bad eating decisions, when do they happen?

Mitch: I make them a lot when I'm driving around. For some reason or another, I cannot . . . just old habits, whatever, I always like to go to the Maverick, get myself a drink. And then there's always a weird candy or there's . . . I have a soft spot for roller food as terrible as that sounds. That's when I make the worst decisions, is when I'm getting gas or stopping by somewhere.

Troy: So just to clarify, roller food, we're talking the stuff that's been on the rollers for a day or two, right?

Scot: Oh, that's what he's talking about.

Troy: That's what I assume he means by roller food, like the hotdog . . .

Theresa: Yeah, the hotdogs, the corn dogs.

Troy: The taquito that's caramelized from . . .

Mitch: Oh, man, get a pair of those taquitos.

Theresa: I think it's past caramelized.

Thunder: Been rolling for several weeks.

Mitch: I know. I'm feeling a lot of shade right now and I . . .

Theresa: Sorry. No shade.

Troy: Mitch, we've all been there, but it's . . .

Scot: Hey, Thunder. When do you make bad eating decisions?

Thunder: My bad eating decisions are made during times of desperation. When I'm coming home from work, there's nothing prepared for dinner, and I'm just desperate, and I just need something.

Scot: Yeah, boom. That's exactly me too. I will make a good eating decision if I can go to the fridge and pull something out regardless of what it is. So that is kind of the whole premise of today, is to have these meals that are just ready to go.

How often is it that maybe there's nothing in the fridge or when lunch rolls around, if you're working from home, you're just kind of too lazy to make something, so you just grab the easy stuff, the chips, whatever? Or you don't have anything to pack when you go to work, so you hit a fast food joint for lunch. Those are all those situations where if you could have something that's nutritious and easy, then you make better decisions.

So Theresa Dvorak, she's a registered dietitian, and we're going to be doing a series for the next few episodes where she is going to bring us some of these great man meals. We're all going to make them. You all in for that?

Thunder: Yeah.

Mitch: Absolutely.

Troy: I'm up for it, yeah. Let's do it.

Scot: We're going to make them on a Sunday. And then the following week, we will review them and we'll let her know what we think of her recipes.

Thunder: It's a lot of pressure.

Scot: Yeah.

Troy: This is pressure, yeah.

Scot: Before we get going, Theresa, you had some questions you kind of wanted to ask us to determine maybe what recipes you might offer up.

Theresa: Yeah. Thanks. So this is really great and this is very common, the stuff that we hear, "I'm tired," "I'm driving," "I need quick, convenient," "I want something yummy and I don't really want to have to work for it." So this is awesome and not unusual. So all of you are very, in this regard at least, normal. I can't speak to everything, but regarding your food choice it's normal.

Troy: The one thing we do check the normal box.

Theresa: Right. I guess what I also wanted to know as we're kind of picking recipes . . . yes, I have a recipe for today, but as we're looking at the next several weeks, what do you guys want to try to make or learn to make? Is there a cuisine that you're really interested in? What intimidates you in the kitchen?

Troy: I'm just going to start here and just say the kitchen itself intimidates me.

Scot: Really?

Troy: My idea of cooking is opening a box of pancake mix. It requires nothing but water, and that is what I cook, and that is about the only thing I cook. So you're starting pretty . . . I'm setting the bar pretty low here in terms of anything that requires mixing together and cooking it is a stretch for me.

Thunder: think the bar is actually on the floor, Troy.

Troy: It's in the basement. Yeah, it is.

Theresa: All right.

Mitch: So, for me, the big thing is that, in our household, we eat pretty healthy. Jonathan makes all these delicious salads, but I'm not a salad person. And I think when I was first thinking about this idea, it was like, "I'm terrible. I love my junk food. I love my salty stuff. I love my tacos."

And so, especially when I'm trying to eat healthier, when I'm trying to lose a little bit of weight, which I'm trying to lose a bit of the COVID right now, it's hard because it seems like it's always, "Ugh, another salad. Ugh, another salad." I don't know what to do, right? I feel pretty confident in the kitchen, but I don't have the imagination, I guess, to make something tasty, fun, and healthy, and have it not be a pile of vegetables.

Thunder: What intimidates me, if you want to know, is actually things that require a lot chopping and cutting and processing because I always feel like I'm pressed for time. So that's the big hump that I have to try to get over when I want to sit down and cook.

Scot: Theresa, I'll tell you I have had a habit of making meals in advance, but I have a very small kind of group of meals, like beans, rice, and chicken. I ate that every day for lunch for years. Kind of gotten tired of it. I really didn't spice it up or anything like that.

I like spaghetti a lot, so I'd make that in bulk and eat it a lot. I'm not too intimidated in the kitchen, but I think time is kind of a thing. I'm willing to invest some time, but I'd like to be able to make it and then pop it in the fridge and have it for the rest of the week, or pop a couple in the freezer, have it later in the week. So that's what I'm looking for. I'm looking for stuff with flavor too.

Theresa: Awesome. That's something that . . . I love the flavor piece and the junk food that Mitch is talking about and late night opening the fridge of Troy. You want something quick and easy, but it also has to taste good, right? It can't just be this what we often think as pile of vegetables that's good for you, that is just kind of bland and doesn't have a lot of flavor. That's hopefully what I'm bringing to the recipes and to this, is that it can be healthy, but it can be super yummy and really tasty too, and we shouldn't have to sacrifice deliciousness for health.

Scot: And easy to make too.

Theresa: And easy to make, yes, indeed. So I get the time and I think when we're thinking about these big batch meals, we're kind of paying it forward, that we're putting in some time on the weekend or a day during the week where you've got some extra time, and then you've got it in the fridge. You've got extra portions that you can repurpose different ways, or just pull out and either eat cold or pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds, a minute, something like that.

So that all sounds awesome. Are there any significant either dislikes or allergies that I need to be aware of with these? My husband hates mushrooms and olives for that matter. I don't remember what it was. It was something. It literally makes him gag. So I try not to make lots of those kinds of things at home. Are there foods that you guys are like, "Anything but that, please"?

Thunder: Organ meats.

Theresa: Organ meat. Got it. No liver. Done.

Troy: Heart, liver, intestines, stomach, brain, tongue.

Theresa: No problem.

Troy: I don't want to make our listeners be vegetarians, but I am vegetarian, so that's kind of my one limitation on foods. I'm pretty open, otherwise.

Mitch: It's iceberg lettuce. It's that super crunchy head of lettuce, that terrible whatever. I get a weird sensation in my mouth. I cannot do it. It feels like my jaw is cold. I cannot do iceberg lettuce.

Theresa: And you love tacos. Where do you get your . . . you take it off?

Mitch: I'll do shredded spinach. I will do cabbage. I will do anything but that iceberg lettuce.

Scot: I'm no culinary expert. I'm no Guy Fieri over here, but I have a pretty good feeling that iceberg lettuce wasn't going to come up in any of these recipes.

Mitch: I just had to make sure.

Theresa: r organ meat.

Scot: I don't have any limitations. I'm fine with anything. I'll eat meat. I'll go all vegetarian. It doesn't matter.

Theresa: Thunder?

Thunder: And I'll pretty much eat anything, but I do prefer vegetarian.

Theresa: All right. And that brings in some of the health stuff that we'll talk about throughout this series as well. You'll notice that most of these recipes . . . well, all of the recipes are what I call plant-forward. So you may have heard plant-based. That can be kind of different depending on the circle that you're running in. Plant-forward is that it's mostly plants on your plate, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. There might be a little bit of meat or maybe there's an alternative or a substitution that you could make.

And they're all going to be recipes that you can easily explode or contract if you want to, meaning if you wanted to half the recipe, you could do half the recipe if you just wanted it for one night. If you wanted to make three batches of it at once and literally feed you for the entire week, you sure could. So they're going to be easy that way.

Something that I've realized, too, as working with patients in different community groups through our culinary medicine program and through my personal practice is looking at what works for the individual, because it's different for everybody, right?

And so my goal is that we're here for four weeks. We're going to have four recipes. I would view success if you guys all find one or two of the four that you actually like and make again. So that's my low bar success rate.

But yeah, we'll have lots of these recipes and then kind of where we're . . . maybe one of the weeks, we can also talk about where we find good recipes, because I find that's sometimes hard as well. If you don't know where to look, where do you look? And we can explore some of those things.

Thunder: Theresa, I think that's a great point, actually, because that's one of my personal issues that I run into. I know I want to try to make something different, but I don't have the imagination to try to figure out new places to look or even where to look.

Theresa: And then is the recipe even tested? I mean, I've tried countless recipes that it doesn't taste good or it didn't taste right when I made it per the recipe. So I have personally tasted and tested all of the recipes myself, my husband, teachers, students, my children. If a 4-year-old and a 2-year old can eat it, and a 45-year-old can eat it, let's hope that you guys can too.

Scot: So what you're saying is if I don't like it, you're going to take it really personal?

Theresa: No. Remember, my bar was low, one or two.

Thunder: You're the outlier.

Troy: One or two.

Theresa: You've got to at least like one of them. Otherwise, I failed.

Troy: We're going for 25% here.

Scot: All right, Theresa. Well, we're very excited to go ahead and kick off the series for the next month. What is recipe number one? What's it called? What are we going to be feasting upon?

Theresa: Easy red Thai curry.

Troy: Oh, I like this. I like it already.

Scot: I'm into that, yeah.

Theresa: Have you guys ever made curry before?

Thunder: Yes.

Troy: Never.

Scot: Nope.

Mitch: No.

Theresa: Okay. We got one yes, all right. So we'll see how this recipe stacks up. The big thing that I like about this recipe not only is it easy, as the title implies, but it's kind of a fridge cleanout. So I often find as well I get to a certain point of the week, depending on when I grocery shopped or not, and I've got veggies that are starting to not look the best, right? The zucchini is starting to look a little wrinkly. There are a couple of spots on the cauliflower or whatever. This is a recipe that's great for using up and putting in whatever is in the fridge.

And all of the ingredients, maybe the hardest thing to find at the grocery store could be the Thai curry, but that's usually with your Asian cooking spices and sauces and whatnot.

Also, you can choose whatever kind of additional protein if you want to into it. There's an option for tofu. There's an option for fish, shrimp, white fish, ideally, or chicken breast if you wanted. So there are those options in there for you as well.

And then either rice or rice noodles, depending on your preference there.

So how does that sound? How does some Thai curry sound?

Troy: It sounds delicious.

Thunder: It sounds great.

Theresa: I guess this brings to another question. What about spice? How are you guys on spice? Do you like things spicy?

Mitch: All of the spice. Bring it on.

Theresa: All about the spice?

Thunder: Actually, I had two questions. One of them was about spice, but the other was also, since you mentioned tofu, are you going to tell us how to prepare the tofu so it actually tastes good?

Theresa: That's the great thing about this recipe. Honestly, you just chuck in the tofu and it takes on all of that awesome curry flavor. If I was doing something where I was maybe putting it on top, like a Buddha bowl or something like that, yes, I would tell you. And we might get there, just a little foreshadow there, so hold that thought.

Thunder: Does the type of curry we select going to affect the spice? I mean, how should be go about that choice? Are you going to talk about that?

Theresa: There's a red, a green, and a yellow curry paste. The red will be the spiciest. Yellow and green tend to be more mild. This recipe, for the whole lot, calls for about two tablespoons. If you're okay with spice, this is going to have some good flavor to you. And then you can also know by playing with it in the future, "Okay, did I want a little bit more spice, or was it too much, and was I sweating profusely throughout the meal?" Then you just add less of the spice, or then try a yellow or green curry paste. But that's a great question because there are variations.

Mitch: So, Theresa, one of the things I was kind of wondering is . . . We've talked about it in the past, but I've had a weird kind of relationship with food in what I deem healthy and not healthy. It's been everything from "if it fits your macros" to "stay away from all the carbs, stay away from all the rice," etc.

Theresa: So rice is kind of like bread, right? And carbs, in general, I think they get a bad rep. Thank you, Dr. Atkins. We need carbohydrates. It's just what kind of carbohydrates are we choosing and how are we preparing them.

So I would probably do a brown rice on this, but at the same time, this recipe is loaded with a lot of vegetables and some healthful fats. And so it's going to help keep us satiated and satisfied while also, if you're looking at your macros, meeting your macros. It's got a good source of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.

Thunder: Mitch, I wanted to add one other thing on that carb story. Just piggybacking on what Theresa was saying, don't be afraid of the rice. Carbs, in isolation, when it's the only thing that you're eating and it's a simple carbohydrate, can potentially be bad. But this is such a mixed meal that she is describing and you're having carbs in combination of many other things. So, metabolically, it's going to take you a while to digest it and absorb it. So all those negative things we associate with carbohydrates, I don't think, are much of a facture in this type of meal.

Scot: And we also have an episode where we had Thunder on and we talked all about carbs. So it might be time to go back and listen to that one.

Thunder: Were you sleeping during that one, Mitch?

Mitch: I edited it. But still, to this day, when someone's like, "Oh, do you want a big cup of white rice?" I'm like, "Hmm." It's still in there.

Scot: I know. Mitch . . .

Theresa: It takes a long time.

Scot: Yeah. You and I are on the same page because I avoided that and potatoes and that sort of stuff for a long time. And then it came to the point where I realized that grains are good for you. Potato is good for you. And if you have the fats and you have other vegetables, it all mixes together and you don't get that . . . Thunder could speak to this, but you don't get that jolt of . . . what is that? Insulin response quite as much, right?

Thunder: Right. That's where the carb effect that everyone is down on is. If you have a simple carbohydrate, like a Coke, like some sort of candy bar or something, the blood sugar response to that is really rapid, really high, and then it crashes afterwards. When you have rice in this type of meal that Theresa is talking about, the blood sugar response is just different.

Scot: And then the portion size too. She's just talking about a small portion size of rice. I think we have distorted views of what a portion is as consumers, because you go to a restaurant or whatever and they bring out just this big, huge plate of food. So maybe that will help as well. But rice is your friend, my friend.

Mitch: All right.

Troy: Yeah. Everything Thunder has ever said, my takeaway is just don't eat a bunch of sugar, and otherwise, you're going to be okay.

Thunder: Whole foods.

Troy: That's my lesson from Thunder. Eat whole foods. Don't eat a bunch of sugar.

Theresa: Right. Mitch, I give you permission to eat the rice.

Mitch: That's amazing. Thank you. That's all I needed to hear, is a professional to tell me to have permission to have it. I will play this forever. Thank you.

Scot: The first couple of times, you might cry afterwards, but you'll get better.

Theresa: Yeah, but you'll be crying out of enjoyment and pure pleasure. So we'll get back and let me know how this recipe pans, but this has been a lot of great information to help me build the next weeks of recipes.

Scot: How long is it going to take to kind of prepare this?

Theresa: From start to finish, you're getting the stuff out of the refrigerator to sitting down at the table, probably 45 minutes to an hour, depending on how particular you're being. They're all going in the pot. You don't need to be too precise.

When you are chopping your veg and that kind of thing, my one word of advice is make sure that everything is about the same size so that they cook fairly evenly. Otherwise, you're going to have super hard carrots and really soggy zucchini, or whatever your choices are, so . . .

Scot: And that 45 minutes or an hour, I mean, you're not constantly over the stove, right? There are times where you could step away . . .

Theresa: There's simmer time, exactly.

Scot: Yeah. You can step away and work on another project or whatever, and then come back and check on it. And then if you've got a week's worth of meals out of it, that 45 minutes was really well invested.

Theresa: Right.

Scot: Does anybody else have any other questions about the recipe, Troy or Mitch or Thunder? We're all good?

Mitch: Yeah, we're good.

Troy: I'm excited to try it, yeah. It sounds delicious and it sounds like prep time isn't bad at all, so I'm ready to do it.

Scot: All right. When are you going to cook it up, Troy?

Troy: It's probably going to be on Sunday. I think your plan sounds good. Then you've got your stuff for the week. Maybe you have some that night and then have a couple more meals over the week, so I think that's my plan. I will be ready to report back next week on this.

Scot: All right. Mitch and Thunder? Mitch?

Mitch: I'll probably be doing it either Sunday or Monday night.

Scot: Okay.

Thunder: Yeah, I think Sunday sounds like a good day for me. That's when I'm going to do it.

Scot: All right. So thanks for all of the advice, the extra cooking advice. It sounds like a simple one. I guess we'll find out. I wish that we could all get together and taste test each other's recipes, but I guess it doesn't matter if anybody else likes it as long as you like it, right?

Troy: Right.

Scot: All right, Theresa. We'll put a link to that recipe on the post along with this podcast. We'll also put it out on our social media channel, which you can find at

And we encourage you to try it as well and report back what your findings were, questions, or what you thought just in the comment section, or you could also email us at, or call us at 601-55SCOPE and leave a voicemail message.

Theresa, thank you so much. I look forward to the next four weeks to get some better recipes in my repertoire, and thanks for caring about men's health.

Theresa: Excellent. Thanks. Stay cool. It's hot.

Mitch: It is so hot.

Scot: Cool like temperature or cool like, "Hey"?

Troy: "You guys are so cool."

Theresa: However you want to read it.

Scot: Hey, check you out. You made it all the way to the end. It's Scot from "Who Cares About Men's Health." If you found this episode entertaining, useful, or you know somebody that might find it entertaining or useful, please share it with them. It's one of the ways that we can help grow this podcast and be very much appreciated.

And don't forget, for the next few weeks, we're going to be doing these recipes and would love your participation. I know I said it earlier, but I'm just going to just reiterate it. If you want to try out these recipes, you can find the link to them right here in the episode show notes. We'll have them at

If you want to post your comments there, post pictures of you cooking or the final product, or whatever it is that you thought, or if you have a request for a type of recipe, get us any of that information at

Relevant Links:

Culinary Medicine at University of Utah Department of Nutrition & Integrative Physiology


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