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Hospital upgrades food to promote healing

  |   Dec. 28, 2010 at 10:54 PM
BIRMINGHAM, Ala., Dec. 28 (UPI) -- Patients at the University of Alabama at Birmingham hospital can not only order food from room service, some meals are made by a restaurant chef, officials say.

The hospital went to a full-time room-service -- patients make their choices from a menu, the meal is cooked to order and then delivered within 45 minutes -- for all patient meals in October. In mid-December, renowned local chef Frank Stitt, a James Beard-award winner, came onboard.

"I wanted to provide a few dishes that would be exciting, good food," Stitt, who owns three prominent Birmingham restaurants, says in a statement. Stitt-inspired items include a chicken/vegetable soup, an Italian frittata and a homemade, fruit milkshake.

Breakfast options include low-cholesterol scrambled eggs, buttermilk pancakes, french toast, muffins, biscuits and bagels as well as fruit, yogurt, cereal and side items, including bacon, sausage and hash browns.

Lunch and dinner options include soups and salads, entree salads, deli and grilled sandwiches and numerous sides and desserts, including sugar-free offerings. Entrees include golden crusted chicken breast, lemon baked tilapia and home-style beef pot roast and gravy among other choices.

The menu is marked to note heart-healthy menu items and the amount of carbohydrates in some offerings but patients or family members cannot order something inappropriate if the patient is on a restricted diet.

Donnell Johnson, executive chef of the hospital, says the entire menu is designed to help promote healing, through nutritious recipes and fresh ingredients, grown locally if possible. The hospital anticipates cost-savings because of less wasted food.

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