For friends of Sarah and Justin Davidson, one thing is certain — if you wait around long enough, they will feed you. And that is a good thing.
“We really love food and sharing that,” Justin said.
The couple has an impressive range in the kitchen. Justin was even trained as a professional chef before shifting gears to become a pastor. But that doesn’t mean he’s hung up his apron entirely. The duo, sparked by a passion to start eating better for themselves and their family, did a complete diet overhaul a few years ago. That changed the game for them.
“Justin started doing the Maker’s Diet, which is Biblically based from the Old Testament. It cuts out all of the processed foods and sugars, even natural sugars,” Sarah Davidson said. “But he lost 28 lbs in eight weeks. At the time, I had some baby weight to lose so I got onboard too.”
After that, the two were much happier and healthier than ever before. That’s when they decided that food might play a part in their future. After a fair amount of planning and praying, the two eventually set up their own meal service, Simple Meals, within The Club, 2929 Demere Road, St. Simons Island.
The concept is indeed simple. Patrons place orders for single, four or eight servings worth of a healthy, pre-prepared meal. Weekly options include items like beef stroganoff, spaghetti squash lasagna, coconut curry chicken and shredded chicken and peppers. They also offer snacks like their healthy take on muffins, granola and their popular energy balls.
“Everyone loves those energy balls,” Sarah said. “We offer healthy snack options, using homemade peanut butter to increase the protein, and decrease the chemical additives, raw local honey and maple syrup for sweeteners. We use almond or oat flour as a gluten free alternative.”
In fact, all of their dishes are made gluten free and with whole ingredients. The Davidsons, busy parents themselves, know that it is helpful to offer families the option to pre-order and take home nutritious meals that only need to be reheated.
“Everyone is so busy and it’s just so much easier to go online to the Club’s website or to our — simplemealsssi.com — and just put in what you’d like to pick up,” Sarah said. “We just want to help people have more time with their families and support their healthy eating goals.”
Families can also whip up similar dishes in their home kitchens. The Davidsons are always willing to share information and recipes for those curious about cooking with a healthy mindset. One of the dishes they enjoy and love to share is a Peanut Pad Thai.
The meal is made with all raw foods which allows for relatively quick preparation and even offers a meat-free option for those observing Lent or full-time vegetarians.
“Raw peanut pad thai is a favorite meal at home while we are fasting. The fresh, whole vegetables with the spicy, or not so spicy, peanut sauce with no artificial sweeteners and chemicals will leave you full and satisfied,” Sarah said.
“We have completed a variety of fasts and eating pure, raw and simple always leaves your body and mind in better shape. You could always add grilled or sautéed chicken to it if you wanted additional protein.”
• Yields four servings and 1 1/2 cup of dressing
• 2-3 medium zucchini spiraled
• 4 large carrots, shredded
• 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
• 2 cups of thinly sliced red cabbage
• 1 cup frozen (thawed) edamame or tofu
• 1/2 cup red onion diced
• 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
• 1 teaspoon hemp seeds
• Crushed peanuts
• Peas and other vegetables could also be added
• Fresh cilantro and green onion to garnish
• Sautéed or grilled chicken
For the dressing
• 2 tablespoons minced garlic
• 1/2 cup peanut butter
• 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
• 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
• 1/4 cup tablespoons of water, adjust as needed
• 1 tablespoon honey
• 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
• 1 teaspoon ground ginger or to taste
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• To add spice, add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of Sriacha
1. Prep the vegetables. Add the zucchini, carrots, pepper and cabbage into one large bowl. Toss with hands to combine.
2. Prepare the dressing by processing all dressing ingredients in a mini processor (or whisk by hand). The dressing may seem a bit thin at first but it thickens as it sits.
3. Pour the vegetables into a serving bowl. Top with edamame or tofu, green onion, hemp seeds and sesame seeds. Pour on the dressing and enjoy.