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Healthy and Fresh Options While We Await the Summer Bounty

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#Long Term Care,
#What’s Cooking?
March 18, 2022
What’s Cooking-March 2022

As I thought about the change in our clocks for Daylight Savings and the longer, sunnier days ahead, it made me think of the wonderful fresh and healthy food options that come along with better access to bountiful summer produce. While we always strive to offer a wide selection of fresh fruits and veggies, there is no denying that our offerings are so much better as winter wanes.

At Notre Dame Health Care’s Long Term Care and Rehabilitation Center, we are already incorporating more traditional Spring and Summer items into the mix. We offer nice fruits like blueberries, strawberries, tangerines and melons regularly as well as seasonal vegetables.

When I think of the warmer seasons, I always think of how I will prepare meals for our residents as well. Lighter cooking preparations such as low calorie chicken and fish baked without a crumb topping are more frequent as the warm weather approaches. Adding fresh veggies and some herbs or light seasoning can bring bright, delicious flavors without a heavy sauce.

Our residents really enjoy stir-fried vegetables and our homemade chow mein. I really love adapting recipes and sharing these flavorful, light and healthy options with our residents. Light food doesn’t have to be boring or bland!

I thought I would share a version of vegetable stir-fry that you might like to try! This is a fast, simple dish that is so versatile! Change up the veggies as you wish and even add a protein like chicken to make a full meal. And always feel free to adjust seasonings to your liking.

Stir-Fry Vegetables


1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium onion, sliced thin
1 cup carrots, sliced thinly on the diagonal
2 cups broccoli florets
2 cups sugar snap peas
1 large red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 tablespoon of reduced salt soy sauce
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of ground ginger
2 teaspoons of sesame seeds, toasted

Heat the oil in a large wok or deep skillet on medium-high heat. Add the onion and carrots and stir for about 2 minutes. Add remaining veggies and stir for an additional 5 to 7 minutes or until your veggies are tender-crisp.

Add your soy sauce, garlic powder and ginger powder and stir until well blended. Sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds. Enjoy as is, or serve over white rice or your favorite noodle.

Nutritional Information (approximate for recipe prepared as noted, the addition of protein, altering of veggies and spice, and adding starch will change results; recipe is for10 servings)
Per Serving (Calories: 50; Total Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 72mg; Carbohydrates: 6g; Fiber: 2g; Protein: 2g)


I’m always happy to consider healthy family recipes to prepare for our residents. Feel free to email me with your ideas and I’ll see if I can make it work for us here at Notre Dame Health Care’s Long Term Care and Rehabilitation Center.

Arlene Vaillancourt
Director of Food and Nutrition Services
Notre Dame Long Term Care and Rehabilitation Center