I love my leafy greens, and often have them 3 meals a day. Regular travel to Russia and China would have my colleagues hunting up restaurants renowned for piles of leafy vegies. I also loved buying fresh herbs, divine sweet juicy tomatoes and incredible crunchy Lebanese cucumbers from Russian Babushkas on the street who sold the fresh produce grown on their tiny Dacha plot for a few rubles. What smell! What taste!
Recently I lamented to some age care managers that I don’t see leafy greens in the dining room (I don’t count iceburg lettuce). The view was its too hard to keep the colour and the greens don’t present well on the plate. This may be so if the vegies are cooked and hot held in a central kitchen, transported in thermal boxes then hot held in a satellite kitchenette before serving. I have seen instances where vegetables are cooked and hot held for up to 2 hours before being handed to the resident.
My response is how do we prepare and serve garden fresh tasty leafy greens to residents – many who have previously grown their own vegies. One solution is to prepare them in the dining room at the time the meal is served. While this may be a challenge on a daily basis, I see innovators “bringing the kitchen to the dining room” in the form of the Chef/Cook bringing a portable cook top to the kitchenette if necessary and cooking greens to order on an occasional basis.
Now and then the roaming Chef can offer fresh cooked options to residents over the main meals of the day – not just greens. How about lightly cooked eggs, fresh pan-fried fish one dining room at a time. Too hard? The innovators are finding a way. This is true customer-centric thinking, behaving from an outside-in approach.