Recipe Development for a Hospital or Healthcare industry

Discussion in 'Professional Catering' started by doraima3875, Jun 16, 2019.

  1. doraima3875

    doraima3875

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    Has anyone of you developed recipes based on certain criteria for healthy eating? Currently, I am working at an account that caters corporate cafe that serve 60% healthy and 40% just regular food. Our catering always serve fresh, real food and made from scratch cooking, baking, sauces, dressings. Now the challenge is to make salads, dressings and sauces taste great with flavors. Some of the recipes that I have cooked are not as flavorful as their regular counterparts. Also, here are some ingredients that I can use:
    Real food comes from their source like fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds.
    Farm to fork movement
    We use some pantry items like dijon mustard, light mayonnaise, light ranch and other pantry items to cook with. Mostly use canola oil or another canola oil/ olive blend: 90% and 10% for salad dressings and sauces.
    Calorie counting on some pantry items, use of salt to season dressings and sauces, types of oils used, cheese,etcetera.
    Fresh herbs, dried spices, black pepper, lemon or any other citrus juices are ways to flavor foods and make flavors be vibrant and pop in your tastebuds.
    Little salt as possible.
    No added sugar
    Before I worked on this account - I researched few books like the Wellness Kitchen from the UC Berkeley Press, and watched many videos on Youtube about Wellness Kitchen and related topics about this. If you have any tips, techniques and some basic recipes that will guide me for better recipe development of sauces, dressings. Your help is much appreciated!
     
  2. chefross

    chefross

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    I'm amused at your reference to "healthy vs: regular food."
    You say you use fresh ingredients and cook from scratch.
    THAT in and of itself is healthy cooking right off the bat.
    I certainly understand your dilemma. When you try cook light, flavor always takes a hit. There's nothing like salt, or sugar, to bring out the flavors in food and experimenting with herbs and spices can be trying.
    My suggestion would be to contact a dietitian or go online to research your question.
     
    Seoul Food likes this.
  3. Seoul Food

    Seoul Food

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    Unfortunately fat = flavor and it sounds like you are already doing a lot to make your cooking as healthy as possible. Healthy food can be good tasting but without being able to use sugar and salt and natural ingredients that lend these flavor profiles in their place it will be hard to replicate the flavors that people are desiring or are used to.
     
  4. Innocuous Lemon

    Innocuous Lemon

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    fair bit
    "light ranch" -> in the bin
    "light mayo" -> bin

    make proper mayo. calories doesnt equate to health. yolo

    but in all seriousness just use actual honest to god ingredients and none of that long-shelf-life reduced-this-or-that bunk and youre good by my book...which is an esoteric read.
     
  5. ChefBryan

    ChefBryan

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    I have been the chef at a hospital for 6 years now. I have had to overcome many of the same hurdles and obstacles that I am sure you are faced with. If you would like to PM me I would be more than happy to share any thoughts or advice or answer any specific questions you might have. The first question I would have for you, is what are the parameters you use to determine what is "healthy". That word means a lot of different things to a lot of different people, and even dietitians will debate it or state that there is so much in the field of nutrition that we still don't know. Right off the bat I will tell you to be careful when using "light" "reduced fat" or "fat free" options. Check the ingredients and nutrition info. Quite often the things they substitute to make up for less fat or sodium are worse than the initial ingredient itself. You are on the right track with adding herbs, seasonings and different acids to enhance flavors.
     
  6. doraima3875

    doraima3875

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    Well in the cafe that I work at is a Corporate Healthcare facility. But here are some guidelines what we follow for the Healthy Picks category:
    No added sugars
    Different types of oils can count different count of calories - they emphasize more on olive oil but sometimes we use a canola and olive oil blend - usually 90%canola and 10% olive oil.
    I make salad dressings, sauces and some marinades from natural ingredients like fresh vegetables, fruits, usually canola oil, fresh herbs and sometimes I use some dried spices like Crushed red pepper for heat. Sometimes I make my own spice blends like Cajun seasoning, Moroccan harissa blend and add the salt and black pepper at the very last step.
    Low sodium
    I mainly use unseasoned rice vinegar, apple cider vinegar, distilled white vinegar and balsamic vinegar on vinaigrettes.
    I can use little soy sauce low sodium for some asian vinaigrettes like sesame soy ginger or orange miso dressings.
    We don't have a fryer at the production kitchen. But we mostly bake our potato wedges, breads, flatbreads, etcetera.
    Recently, last week when I made Italian vinaigrette - I marinated some button mushrooms and it was served on salad bar. Then featured a sauteed rainbow chard with ginger, garlic, carrots and edamame beans as a cold side dish. These are a few examples that I served for the salad bar. I emphasized on great flavors and a variety of vegetables that can be served on the salad bar plus some popular ingredients on build-your-own salad combos.
     
  7. jimyra

    jimyra

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    10% olive oil? Why bother? Sauteed chard, bitter, it sounds like you are trying trendy rather than good healthy food that old people like me will eat.