I remember loving all of my rotations during my internship to become a Registered Dietitian. While the clinical aspects of nutrition and being in the hospital was a seemingly natural fit for me, I wasn’t challenged or excited about clinical nutrition. I guess my thoughts on clinical nutrition (in the in-patient setting sense) is that I much prefer proactive nutrition rather than reactive nutrition. I like to educate and teach and see my patients over and over again and I lacked that bond and sense of accomplishment when helping people make changes in their life to improve their health.
I enjoyed the elderly population, but quickly realized that they can be one of the most challenging populations to work with. And I didn’t particularly care for 1. death or 2. paperwork and so I knew long-term care wasn’t a likely best fit for me, either.
While most students hated their “food service management” rotation, I was happy to get down and dirty in the kitchen and this was wellllllllllllll before I could 1. cook, 2. wrote a blog, and most certainly before 3. writing a cookbook. I enjoyed the pace, the people, the food, the work…everything. But in truth, because it wasn’t the most glorious of RD jobs, I brushed it off the top of my list when pursuing jobs.
In my current role, jack-of-all-trades in my little community hospital, I once again, found myself in a hospital kitchen…running the show. I’ll be honest, my kitchen was a well-oiled machine prior to my arrival. I’d like to think I’ve made some positive changes, but since most of those changes have to do with nutrition and healthy food offerings, I’m probably biased.
Yesterday, I sat in on a webinar focused on “Healthy Retail” in the clinical care setting – hospitals, etc. I sat there and listened for all 60 minutes and could proudly say that my little community hospital is leaps and bounds ahead of many other hospitals, including huge, huge, huge amazing hospitals. As I’m told, the food has always been amazing, but I’ve certainly introduced some new items and people have embraced (and loved) them all. We regularly serve quinoa, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, and rarely serve anything other than the leanest of proteins. We serve the most stunning specialty salads with homemade vinaigrettes that bring people from the community in each day…just for the food. I swear, I’m going to work on getting our cafe on Yelp to bring in more business!
As I learned in the webinar, ethnic flavors sell well in most hospital cafeterias. Whether those flavors be Mexican, Asian, or even Indian (we make a killer homemade Tikka Masala!), people love them. The recipes I try out on the cafe menu are generally the ones Mr. P and I love most. In other words, this recipe and its Asian flavors will be making an appearance soon!
- 2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp dry sherry
- 1 Tbsp hoisin sauce
- 1 tsp seasoned rice vinegar
- 1 Tbsp dark sesame oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1½ inches fresh ginger, peeled and minced
- 7 oz slaw mix (about 2 cups)
- 8 oz boneless, skinless rotisserie chicken breast, diced (about 2 cups)
- ½ cup sliced green onions, divided
- 9 Bibb or butter lettuce leaves
- ¼ cup cashews, chopped
- Combine first 4 ingredients (soy sayce through rice vinegar) in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk; set aside.
- Heat sesame oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add garlic and ginger to pan; sauté 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add soy sauce mixture; cook 1 minute. Add slaw, chicken and ¼ cup onions to pan; cook 1 minute or until slaw is slightly warmed but not wilted.
- Divide chicken mixture evenly among lettuce leaves; sprinkle evenly with remaining ¼ cup onions and cashews.
TGIF!!! I have a happy hour tonight and tennis tomorrow! Looks like a good weekend ahead!