https://www.glwd.org/blog/crafting-a-menu-spiced-with-nutrition-and-love/

8.4.20 / Nutrition

Crafting a Menu: Spiced with Nutrition and Love

Since the end of July, our clients have been enjoying a host of new menu items that, like all of our meals, were developed by our Chefs and Registered Dietitian Nutritionists together. Lately, Chef Daniel has been drawing inspiration from the incredibly high-quality spices he receives from our incredible partners, Burlap and Barrel. Daniel says, “Because we don’t use salt, spices are a great way of getting flavor into the food.” Our chefs are seasoning dishes with ethically-sourced turmeric, sumac, cumin, and more.  


Each new item that we add to our menu has to be thoroughly tested for taste and for nutritional value; Chef Daniel speaks of having an abstract vision for a new menu, whereas for Jamie Lopez, RDN “it’s all a numbers game.” How do these two approaches fuse together to give us things like perfectly nutritious and medically tailored Turmeric Lemongrass Soup or Sumac Spiced Chicken?  Well, after Chef Daniel orders ingredients to test with and lands on a recipe that he likes, he sends the ingredient list and methods to our RDNs so that they can evaluate. Jamie says she focuses her attention on the quantity of protein, fiber, carbs, fat, salt and sugar. She makes sure that each entrée, soup, and dessert fits into our standards which are based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Jamie says, “In the RDN’s eyes, ingredients equate to nutrient context, so I will recommend adjustments to the quantity of a specific ingredient, such as tofu or beans, so the dish fits into our standards.

"Clients are sharing how much they appreciate our meals. They’re afraid of going to the store. They are grateful that our meals are tailored to their medical needs so they can eat what's best for them rather than just what is available.” - Jamie Lopez, RDN

This process is always both challenging and rewarding for each team. especially now, when the RDNs cannot run down to taste a dish. Jamie says she’s excited to try the quinoa corn cakes with a tofu crema when she’s next in the office. While working through this pandemic has been challenging for our Kitchen and Nutrition departments, it is also hugely rewarding for all of the staff at God’s Love We Deliver. Jamie says, “Clients are sharing how much they appreciate our meals. They’re afraid of going to the store. They are grateful that our meals are tailored to their medical needs so they can eat what’s best for them rather than just what is available.”  


Our departments will continue to collaborate to ensure that each meal that passes through our doors is filled with the right quantities of protein, spice, fiber and love.
 

 

Check out more about our menus and the work of our Nutrition Department here.

8.4.20 / Nutrition

Crafting a Menu: Spiced with Nutrition and Love

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