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Celebrating National Nutrition Month 2022

This year’s theme for National Nutrition Month is to “Celebrate a World of Flavors.” In hospitals across the country, Morrison Healthcare Chefs are cooking up delicious global cuisines, celebrating the cultures they were born from, and igniting inclusion as they celebrate a world of flavors. Follow us on a flavor-packed trip around the world with a few of our talented Chefs!

Chef Carlene Walker’s Armenian Lamb Stew

Cuisine: Armenian

Chef Carlene has had a passion for being in the kitchen ever since she was a young girl. While she initially went to college for Psychology, Carlene quickly decided she wanted to pursue her natural gift…cooking. With very little professional kitchen experience, she moved 700 miles from home and enrolled at the Art Institute of Nashville in Tennessee. Carlene met Andy Hayes of Moto Cucina + Enoteca, and helped open the restaurant from the ground up, serving as his Chef de Cuisine. Carlene credits Chef Hayes for the guidance he provided that had everything to do with making her the successful Chef she is today.

She had a calling to change the course of her career after spending a lot of time with her father during his frequent hospital stays, that’s when she made the jump from fine restaurant to healthcare. To see the quality of the food that he was being given, she knew that she could make a difference with her culinary knowledge to change healthcare food for the better. So, she accepted a Sous Chef Position with Touchpoint (a Compass Group USA sector) in 2015, and six years later she became a Regional Executive Chef for Morrison Healthcare.

We’re sharing this Lamb Stew Recipe in honor of Carlene’s Armenian culture. Lamb is among the most common livestock consumed throughout the world, linked to feasts and religious observances. Christians, Jews and Muslims celebrate with lamb, an essential part of the cuisine on Easter, Passover, Christmas, and Ramadan. Lamb is symbolic of spring, sacrifice, fertility, and it unites people around a table of delicious food to share.

Lamb Stew Recipe:

Yield: 6 Servings

Cook Time: 2 hour cook time, 35 minutes prep time

Ingredients:

  • 5 TBSP Flour
  • 2 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 3-4 Lb of Diced Lamb Shoulder or Leg
  • TT Salt and Pepper
  • 2 Cup Diced Bacon
  • 2 Cup Diced White Onion
  • 1 Cup Diced Carrots
  • 3/4 Cup Celery
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, Crushed
  • 1 TBSP Rosemary, Minced
  • 1 TBSP Tomato Puree
  • 3 Cups Chicken or Lamb Stock
  • 3 Bay Leaves

Directions:

  1. Put the flour into a large mixing bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add the diced lamb to the bowl and toss until coated. Shake off the excess flour and reserve. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a nonstick pan, add half the lamb, and fry over high heat until browned on all sides.  Set aside.
  2. Add the bacon to the pan and cook over medium heat until golden brown. Add the onion and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until golden. Add the carrots and celery, cover, and cook for 5 minutes. Uncover, add the garlic and rosemary and cook until fragrant.
  3. Stir the reserved flour into the vegetables, followed by the tomato purée, stock and bay leaves, and bring to a boil, stirring. Return the lamb to the pan, part-cover, lower the heat and leave to simmer for 2 hours or until the lamb is tender at 300 F. Discard the bay leaves and season to taste.

 

Chef Omar Flores’ Puerto Rican Cod Papillot

Cuisine: Puerto Rican

Chef Omar is a native of Puerto Rico with more than 20 years of culinary experience. He is recognized for his knowledge of international cuisine and his innovative approach to customized dining experiences. Omar’s skills and techniques were developed by working with world-renowned chefs in Puerto Rico and Miami, where he developed an understanding of different cultures, produce, flavors, and more.

Omar currently serves as Executive Sous Chef for Morrison Healthcare at the University of Miami Hospital, where he focuses on creating exciting and innovative food offerings. Take a bite out of Omar’s Puerto Rican culture and cook up his cod pappilot at home!

Cod Papillot Recipe:

Yield: 2 Servings

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 Plantain leaves, 10” in length each
  • 3 Idaho potatoes, 1/4” sliced
  • 3 sweet potatoes, 1/4” sliced
  • 2 oz shallots, thin sliced
  • 2 cod fish fillets, 6 oz each
  • 1 oz ginger, thinly sliced
  • 3 mint leaves
  • 4 oz coconut milk
  • 3 lemon slices
  • 3 Fresno peppers, thinly sliced
  • 2 oz lemon juice
  • 1 oz olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 cilantro leaves
  • 3 red radishes, thinly sliced
  • 3 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 orange segments
  • 1 oz red onion, thinly sliced
  • Minced chives (for topping)

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375F degrees. Using plantain leaves, make 1 large folded envelope big enough to hold the fish filet portion. Build step 1 just as it’s presented in the ingredients area.
  2. Working on a sheet pan, place each piece of the fish pouch in the middle. Fold the edges together to make baga bag around the fish. Place sheet pan in the oven.  Cook the fish for about 25 minutes or until the internal temperature of the fish reaches 145F degrees.
  3. Pull from oven and rest for 2 min. Once rested and after opening the pouch, proceed to step 4
  4. Mix step 2 in a mixing bowl seasoning to taste and plate as a decoration on top of the fish

 

Chef Kham Ta-Aca’s Filipino Coconut Milk Braised Greens

Cuisine: Filipino

Born in the Philippines, Senior Executive Chef Kham, has always been fascinated by the flavors, techniques, and aesthetics of food. He applies his culinary knowledge and positive energy to his work at the LAC+USC Medical Center. As an LGBTQIA advocate, Chef Kham is proud to be part of a company and community that celebrates diversity, equity, and inclusion. We’re proud to have Chef Kham on our team and encourage you to try his Coconut Milk Braised Greens.

Coconut Milk Braised Greens Recipe:

Yield: 2 Servings

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1Tbsp Oil, Olive
  • 2oz Onions, diced
  • 2tsp Garlic, chopped
  • 2tsp Ginger, chopped
  • 1ea Chiles, Thai
  • 1tsp Base, vegetable
  • 3oz Water
  • 7oz Milk, coconut
  • tt Salt, Sea
  • tt Sugar
  • 4oz Chards or Kale or Spinach (Or all 3)

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a pan. Sauté onion, garlic, and ginger until aromatic. Add chile and base and lightly caramelized base.
  2. Add water and scrape fond from the pan. Add coconut milk and simmer. Season coconut mixture with salt and sugar to taste.
  3. Add greens and stir until wilted.

 

Chef Awo Amenumey’s Ghanaian Fonio “Jollof” Rice

Cuisine: Ghanaian

Growing up in Ghana, West Africa, food has always been an integral part of Chef Awo’s upbringing. She never considered cooking as a career until after her first son Kenji was born.  Until then, cooking and hosting was and had always been a hobby. After moving to Paducah, KY with her family in 2015, her husband, encouraged her to start culinary school, and that’s when a whole new world opened to her! Awo’s love for cooking soared even higher; the pure joy and excitement on people’s faces when they tasted her food was all the affirmation, she needed to know this was what she was meant to be doing. Awo currently works as a Traveling Chef for Morrison Healthcare and serves as an inclusion ambassador for the Compass One Diversity and Inclusion Action Council.

Awo shared, “Fonio is a grain that is quickly gaining popularity for its superfood properties, high in protein, and being gluten-free, but, there are still a lot of people who have not heard of it, and its amazing benefits.” Fonio is a draught-resistant crop grown mostly in the northern part of Ghana and other West African countries like Sierra Leon, Burkina Faso, etc. This recipe Awo developed is a staple dish you’d see at almost every occasion you’d attend in Ghana.

Fonio “Jollof” Recipe:

Yield: 4-6 Servings

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Fonio 2 C
  • Vegetable stock 3 C
  • Peanut/Coconut Oil ¼ C
  • Bell Peppers, minced (assorted) 2
  • Leeks, thinly sliced and rinsed 1 stalk large
  • Carrot, minced 2 medium
  • Diced tomatoes, canned 5oz
  • Garlic, minced 2 cloves
  • Rosemary, ground 1T
  • Anise seeds, ground 1T
  • Calabash Nutmeg, ground ½ T
  • Bay leaves, 2
  • Curry Powder 1T
  • Habanero pepper 3 (for less spicy sauce use 1)
  • Bouillon Cube 1 (optional)
  • Salt to taste

Directions:

  1. Rinse fonio under running water until it runs clear and allows to drain in a sieve. In a small saucepan add stock, a pinch of salt, and fonio, bring to a boil for about 2 minutes turn the heat off and leave fonio covered for 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks, bell peppers, carrot, habaneros, and garlic to the oil and fry until softened and fragrant. Add tomatoes to vegetable mixture and stir to combine. Add bouillon, rosemary, bay leaves, anise seeds, calabash nutmeg, and curry powder, and bring to a boil stirring occasionally. (Be careful when stirring and ensure the pot is covered as stew will splatter), reduce heat to medium-low and allow the stew to cook and spices to infuse into the stew for about 15-20 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
  3. Fluff fonio with a fork and transfer to a large enough mixing bowl. Add two ladles of stew to fonio folding in to combine, continue to fold in a half ladle at a time until fonio is well coated and vibrant orange in color.
  4. To serve, scoop fonio atop a bed of arugula or any greens of your choice. Top with more stew and a side of fried plantains if desired and enjoy.

Chef’s notes: you can mix in and cooked peas or legumes of choice into the stew. For a meat-friendly option, dice up beef, chicken, or flakes of smoked tuna into the stew. You can also use coconut milk to cook fonio for a richer nutty flavor. Leftover stew will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week and freezer for up to a month. It can be served with steamed rice, pasta, potatoes, boiled plantains, etc.

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