Grand Rapids, Michigan
Jared Veldheer is a former NFL Offensive Tackle who has always had a passion for food and cooking. This led him to his current position as “lunch man” or “lunch dad” at his children’s elementary school where he prepares nutritious, all-natural foods for the students.
IN THE KITCHEN WITH JARED VELDHEER
Tell us about yourself:
My name is Jared Veldheer. I played in the NFL for 11 years as an offensive tackle. I have always had a passion for food and cooking which naturally led me to my “lunch man” position at St. Paul the Apostle Elementary School in Grand Rapids, MI. I am happily married to my beautiful wife Morgan and we have two children, Eva (7) and Edwin (5).
How did you get involved in cooking?
As a professional offensive lineman I had to maintain my weight of 330 pounds while being as fit and healthy as possible. This presented an interesting paradox that mindful and healthy eating could solve. This sparked a passion for my wife and I to seek out the highest quality foods and prepare them in a delicious manner that served not only my high caloric needs but nourished my wife and children as well.
Describe your cooking style:
I enjoy cooking farm to table with an ethnic spin. I like to pair fresh local ingredients with US Wellness Meats to create fun family friendly dishes that pack lots of flavor and deliver optimal nutrition and nourishment. Using recipes from around the world offers our children a glimpse into how other cultures cook and eat.
How did you learn about grass-fed meats?
I wanted to fuel my body for optimal sports and longevity performance and learned grass-fed meat was the king when it came to meeting this standard.
What is your favorite recipe featuring grass-fed meat?
My favorite recipe featuring grass fed meat is carne al pastor.
You’re stranded on a desert island; luckily, you’re stranded with your top 5 ingredients and one must-have kitchen tool:
If stranded on a desert island I would take grass-fed beef, olive oil, salt, garlic, and pastured cheese. My kitchen tool that I would bring is my Traeger Grill. Hopefully I could use some coconuts from the lone palm tree as a bonus.
Best cooking secret/tip/piece of advice you’ve learned:
Smash garlic with the side of knife for easy peeling. It is a complete game changer when making large recipes.
What’s your favorite quote/song for culinary inspiration (if any)?
I like to listen to music from the culture belonging to the style of food I’m cooking. K-pop anyone?
Anything else you want to share?
Always be grateful for the food you have.
Your social media links (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Youtube):
YouTube: Jared Veldheer (watch my podcasts at this link)
WATCH Jared’s Today Show Interview
Enter To Win!
Enter to win our November 2022 Delicious Foods Giveaway for a chance to win $150 bundle of farm fresh food.
Contest runs from November 1 – 13, 2022.