Fellow What’s Up Northwest writer, Kristi Slotemaker, and I were recently invited to a private, family-style dinner with Chef Kirsten Helle at the new Metropolitan Market Sammamish.

Lesley Haenny and Kristi Slotemaker selfie!

Chef Helle is the founder and President of Mesa de Vida Healthy Cooking Sauces.  She has acted as a personal chef to professional athletes in the NFL, NBA and others, including several Seattle Seahawks players and consults with their doctors and/or trainers to design meals that help them reach their performance goals. She is a proud partner with Hopelink, The American Heart Association, and The Hope Heart Association.

Chef Kirsten Helle (Photo Credit: Kirsten Helle)

Her championing for a healthy heart has given her the honor of being featured on the Food Network (winner of Guy’s Grocery Games), FOX, NBC, The Huffington Post, on the cover of Woman’s Day and Woman’s World magazines as well as various magazine, television and radio programs.  While not in the kitchen she collaborates with whole food and health organizations including Washington Beef Association and Tree Top.

Kirsten’s passion for a healthy heart comes from her own life experience. With a family history of lifestyle related disease, she was fighting a battle with food addiction and low self-esteem at the age of 25. At 100 pounds overweight with high blood pressure, high cholesterol and pre-diabetes, she wanted to make sure her two year old daughter did not follow the same unhealthy destiny.

Kirsten on the cover of Woman’s World Magazine (Photo Credit: Kirsten Helle)

Once she made the choice to change her habits, she was determined to create a life of longevity, health and happiness for herself, her family, and everyone around her.  She chose to embrace food for what it is, something wonderful that brings everyone together.  As she says, food is “bringing life to the table,” and with healthy choices, can bring on a vibrant life.

Metropolitan Market Sammamish carries Kirsten’s Mesa de Vida cooking sauces and was the perfect setting for the dinner.  Metropolitan Market is committed to sourcing the highest quality products available and standing behind the products they sell.  The Sammamish location is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and features both regional and international specialty products along with grocery essentials.

(Photo Credit: Metropolitan Market Sammamish)

Metropolitan Market is also committed to the communities they serve.  In 2016, the company helped provide more than half a million meals for locals in need throughout the Puget Sound region. Their local partnerships include the Sammamish Community YMCA, Sammamish Chamber of Commerce and the Sammamish Farmers Market. The company will continue its strong partnership with the Sammamish Community YMCA as their largest local business contributor. Metropolitan Market is also a presenting sponsor for the Sammamish Farmer’s Market where they will have a table each week during May through September.

Kirsten said, “It was such an honor to be able to host this dinner in the beautiful mezzanine at the Sammamish Metropolitan Market! Thankfully being able to utilize my healthy cooking sauces, along with several delicious grab and go options from Metropolitan Market made it so simple! I love entertaining for a crowd without sacrificing my commitment to a real-food lifestyle, the best tasting food- or a ton of time. As a Sammamish-based business and resident, it is so exciting to see my sauces available at Metropolitan Market!”

The dinner was prepared by Kirsten using her Mesa de Vida sauces and every morsel was mouth watering and just incredibly delicious. All of the food options were available at the Metropolitan Market.

Charcuterie & cheese and wine tasting before dinner featuring the finest Metropolitan Market offerings. (Photo Credit: Lesley Haenny)

The Lamb and Beef Tagine was made with her Mesa de Vida North African inspired cooking sauce. Throw the meats and sauce into a crock pot and hours later, voila, your taste buds are taken on an international journey to Deliciousville. I’m going to be honest, I had seconds and wanted thirds.

(Photo Credit: Lesley Haenny)
(Photo Credit: Lesley Haenny)

The dinner also included jeweled quinoa couscous, Moroccan-inspired spinach, carrot, beet & cucumber salad with orange dressing, and warm pita bread with Hummus and Tahini.  The Tagine, salad, Hummus and Tahini were all gluten free as well!!

(Photo Credit: Lesley Haenny)
(Photo Credit: Lesley Haenny)

Dessert included passion fruit and dark chocolate Gateau, which came from the Midori Bakery in Redmond, Washington.  The Gateau was both light and yet rich and the perfect complement to end the dinner.

(Photo Credit: Lesley Haenny)

Both Kristi and I had an absolutely wonderful time getting to know some of Kirsten’s friends and her hilarious husband (who photobombed our picture!).  The Metropolitan Market staff were incredibly friendly and were there to help our every need.  They also knew everything there was to know about the Market’s wine and champagne selections for the evening.

Kristi Slotemaker, Kirsten Helle and Lesley Haenny with a Kirsten husband photo bomb! (Photo Credit: Lesley Haenny)

I highly recommend checking our Chef Helle’s Mesa de Vida cooking sauces (find a store location near you here) and adding the flavors to your family’s dinner menu in the future. The Metropolitan Market also offers great quality food at reasonable prices for your family as well (and of course, you can’t leave without The Cookie)!  Look towards a healthy future and bring life to your table with Mesa de Vida and Metropolitan Market!

(Photo Credit: Mesa de Vida)

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