Guest Author, Diane Szalai, Director of Dining Services
If an army marches on its stomach, a senior living residence sustains its community in the dining room. Feeding hundreds of older adults a day, our chefs are serious in their approach. We stress variety and presentation so our residents enjoy a well-rounded, healthy diet in the comfort of our homey dining rooms. So, we were thrilled to take home top honors (1st, 2nd and 3rd place) in the Milwaukee Aging Consortium’s 1st Annual Golden Spatula Cooking Contest. It was a competition among local senior communities, judged on meeting dietary guidelines, taste and presentation.
In our communities we focus on scratch cooking with good quality ingredients - lean meats and poultry, fresh fruit and vegetables and the “good” oils, canola and olive. How meals are plated is part of that focus. Nutrition is very important for older adults who may have various health issues to manage. When a meal is prepared well and looks enticing to eat that is a recipe for health.
Sean Emrick, Executive Chef at Library Square is pictured here with our winning entry of Seared Chicken Breast over Wheat Berry Salad entered in the Heart Healthy and High Fiber categories.
Another very popular dish and entered by Amy Robb of Wilkinson Woods is Tropical French Toast. It is easy to make and it is truly wonderful. It won 1st place for all around favorite. What’s not to like?
Tropical French Toast
6 slices Angel Food Cake, prepared
½ C milk, 2%
½ t vanilla
Assortment of diced fresh fruit: strawberries, blueberries, pineapple, bananas
- Slice angel food cake.
- Mix eggs, milk, vanilla together.
- Dip angel food slices into egg mixture.
- Place on buttered griddle and grill until golden brown.
- Top with fresh fruit.
Diane Szalai is a graduate for the Culinary Institute of America and Pennsylvania State University with degrees in Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management. Her experience includes work in the hotel/restaurant, university, country club, health care and theme park industries.