As Christ House’s Executive Chef, Miri helps ensure our patients are not only fed, but that the food she provides will bring patients joy and support their overall health. We sat down with Miri this week to hear more about her process, and to share some nutritious recipes for anyone looking to prepare a healthy meal.
“First, I look in the fridge and make sure we’re utilizing what we have. Every day I have to improvise based on the ingredients that are available,” Miri says of her process for preparing food. She explains the need to weigh the use of perishable items versus goods that will not go bad for some time.
Miri’s next step is “looking for a protein, a vegetable, and a starch. Soup, sandwich, salad, for example. We try to create balanced meals, and make the plate look delicious and beautiful.” What may look delicious to some does not always look appetizing to others, though. This is why the next step is centered around the patients: “We can’t just make beets. So, certain foods you need to be mindful of, and there’s a challenge there. Think of all the diets – how soft food is, how much salt or sugar. We can’t have bland food either.” Some patients who come to Christ House have mouth injuries which limit their ability to chew, so they would need a puree diet. If your mouth is wired shut, you may need a liquid diet, for example.
It’s important to Miri to create an environment of mutual respect in both her kitchen and the dining room, “We’re here for each other. Everything I do is centered around the health of our patients.” The best part about her job is “being able to feed our patients. I realized that I have a responsibility to these men to feed them good quality food through quality ingredients that are being donated to us daily. It’s been wonderful to have donors who choose to send us ingredients we need.”
As we start the new year, we are excited to share a few of Miri’s nutritious recipes. We encourage you to try the recipes below and let us know what you think! Feel free to see what our in-kind food needs are by clicking here.