Home // Blog Articles // Nutrition // Cook like a pro, eat like a linebacker!

Cook like a pro, eat like a linebacker!

by | Jan 30, 2019 | Nutrition

A morning-show host, a Grey Cup champion, and a celebrity chef walk into a kitchen…

No, this isn’t a new twist on one of those “three guys walk into a bar” jokes. It actually happens in the video above when Breakfast Television Vancouver’s Riaz Meghji is joined by Ned Bell, the Ocean Wise executive chef at Vancouver Aquarium, and retired CFL linebacker Shea Emry. (Riaz’s two guests, by the way, are both Don’t Change Much Champions, which makes them especially awesome.)

The three guys are in the BT Kitchen to show viewers how quick and easy it is to turn young chickpeas — the green ones you’ll find frozen at the supermarket — tuna, avocado, lettuce and a few other straightforward ingredients into a delicious man-sized salad that’ll help you build linebacker-like strength and make you look like a celebrity chef to dinner guests. And that’s no joke!

Chickpeas, Ned explains, are “packed full of protein, fibre and other nutrients…There’s so much more to them than hummus. Add chickpeas to curries, to quinoa salads, to smoothies, even granola.”

Shea, meanwhile, happily helps himself to the fresh green ingredients in front of him. “I don’t want to bring any of the crap from the centre of the grocery store into my home, because then I just eat it,” he says. “When we just have vegetables and lean proteins and that kind of healthy stuff in the house, I can graze and not worry about eating unhealthy foods.”

Chickpea and avocado chicken salad ingredients

Green Chickpea, Avocado & Tuna Salad

Want to cook like Ned and build muscle like Shea by eating plenty of protein? This easy three-step recipe can help with both:

  1. In a blender, puree together:

    1 cup of thawed green chickpeas
    2 pitted and peeled avocados
    1 whole jalapeno pepper with seeds removed
    1 handful of fresh basil leaves and fresh chives
    1 cup of extra virgin olive oil
    4 tablespoons of low fat yogurt
    1 tablespoon of honey
    1 teaspoon each of sea salt and cracked black pepper
    The juice of 1 lemon and 1 lime

  2. Arrange as many salad greens as you like on a plate.

    Drain a can of albacore tuna and spread the meat over the greens. Slice up another avocado and add it to the salad along with a few whole chickpeas.

  3. Scoop a couple tablespoons of the blender mixture onto the salad.

    Refrigerate any leftovers for another day. Then drizzle a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil on top of everything with a squeeze of fresh lemon and dash of sea salt.

  4. Bonus Step

    Receive kudos from your dining companions for whipping up something so tasty and nutritious!

Shop like a pro, too!

Guys need to eat more plant-based food to stay healthy, Ned says. “It’s easy! Aim to have vegetables on half of your plate.” Shea couldn’t agree more: “I just love grilling crunchy broccoli, and roasting hearty root vegetables, and putting it all on top of my meals.”

Sound tasty? Check out this easy recipe for Grilled Broccoli.

What are healthy recipes all about? “Flavour!” Ned exclaims. The key, he continues, is to have these healthy ingredients on hand when you need them. Here are his go-top tips when it comes to grocery shopping:

Shop with purpose: Know what you’re cooking and what you need, and make a list so you can shop and cook with a plan.

Get to know your butcher, your fishermen, your baker: They can help with decisions about ingredients and suggest recipes you wouldn’t normally consider.

Mix it up: Mastering certain dishes will build your confidence in the kitchen, and that’s a good thing. But you should try new things too. Veer off your shopping list from time to time and pick up a new seasoning or spice, or an ethnic cuisine like couscous, that you’ve never prepared before. This will expand your horizons and ultimately help you cook like a boss!

More awesome healthy recipes from Chef Ned Bell

Like what you taste from Ned? There’s more where that came from! Check out more of his delicious, nutritious and easy-to-make Don’t Change Much recipes:

Are you thinking about boosting your energy with tasty and satisfying recipes?

Download the free “7 EZ Power-Up Recipes” ebook.

Adam Bisby
Adam Bisby

Adam Bisby is a Toronto-based freelance journalist and father of two. His award-winning stories have appeared in The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star and National Post newspapers, in magazines like Explore, Reader’s Digest, International Traveller and Canadian Family, and on websites including MSN, MSN Canada, and DontChangeMuch.ca. Visit Adam’s website for more details on his award winning work.

Do You Like This Blog?

As a national charity, we depend on your donations to provide our services to Canadians. Every contribution counts.

Your Donations Make a Difference


Your contribution will further men’s health programming, tool development, and research.

Don’t Change Much is a movement inspiring men and their families to lead healthier lives. With reliable information and easy tips, we know every guy and their family can make small changes that will have a big impact on their health.

More From


Five SUPER Benefits of Healthy Eating for Men

Five SUPER Benefits of Healthy Eating for Men

Watch any movie or TV show from Marvel or DC, and you almost never see superheroes chowing down. Don’t they get SUPER hungry? On the other hand, regular guys like you need plenty of fuel for your everyday heroics: shovelling sidewalks, mowing lawns, keeping spiders at...

How Much Water Should You Drink a Day?

How Much Water Should You Drink a Day?

There’s nothing quite like cracking open an ice-cold beer at the end of a hot summer day. The frosty can in your hand, those crisp, golden suds hitting your parched mouth for that first glorious sip … can’t you just taste it? Whether you’re kicking back at your...

7 Simple Health Tips for Everyday Living

7 Simple Health Tips for Everyday Living

Simple healthy habits to start right now Change doesn’t have to be hard. A few small swaps throughout your day can lead to big improvements in your energy level, mood, and overall health. In with muscle-building oatmeal, out with greasy breakfast sandwiches. In with...

Let’s Talk!

Did you enjoy this article? Let us know in the comments.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Our comments are moderated and are made live after they’ve been reviewed. If you disagree with anything in the article or comments please do let us know, but be polite so we can have a constructive discussion where everyone has the opportunity to learn.

Pin It on Pinterest