NTEs Winter 2020 Newsletter


A Time of Reflection

by Sam Ousey, RDN/President

I have had coaches, colleagues, mentors, pop-in emails, social media and podcasts offering me powerful thoughts to share with you today. Yes, it takes a village to support a leader these days!!

I guess we have all done some soul searching, reflection, reevaluation and forging on creating new mental pathways.

A whole new appreciation is my gift. As I look back on the last year, I have a whole new appreciation. In the New Year, we will have a new Appreciation for Hugs, impromptu gatherings, travel, celebrations, meetings, etc.., oh there is a long list! Each list personally and professionally different, yet similar. My wish is that Appreciation lasts and does not get lost in the humdrum of having it back.

To hold on to how important it is to recognize what you had and now don’t. The, “AHHHH!, How good we had it!” That was then and this is now. Let’s look on how now can be better. Not looking at the present as temporary, but important to appreciate the present and make a difference in the present and carry it into the future.

I am ashamed to say, I looked at the last 9 month as tempo- rary, however I will carry this time as a time I learned the most, felt the most gratitude and appreciate for those who walked by our side. So… My Deepest Appreciation to us to our Healthcare Partners it has been a privilege to serve your Residents. NTE Staff wish all of you a New Year of new Appreciation.

COVID and the Holidays

by Nikki Andries RDN

Just when we thought we may be starting to get used to life with COVID, we are thrown an- other curveball as cases increase exponentially and we are thrown into another battle with this unrelenting virus. However, this time around, we are more prepared and have learned quite a bit about what to do in our facilities to treat it, particularly in regards to hydration and nutrition. With the holidays here, creativity can be a key to help nourish our residents during a trying time.

Increasing fluids is paramount when first identifying a resident that has tested positive for COVID 19. It is recommended that the RD and Food and Nutrition Services Supervisor coordinate on how best to add fluids to trays based on availability. A standard initial plan can be created and documented on the menu with RD signature or signature of supervisor that includes verbal approval from RD. Suggestions include adding 1-2 extra fluid items to trays such as broth, flavored water, eggnog, hot chocolate with whipped cream and may also include jello, ice cream and popsicles for non thickened residents. RD should be monitoring these residents for decreases in food and fluid intake and may recom- mend Med Pass or facility approved oral nutritional supplement for individual cases.

Staffing is also likely going to be a prob- lem, particularly in facilities with high numbers of positive cases. Decreased staff in the kitchen may lead to a need to change the menu and/or alter recipes to provide foods that are pre prepared or easier to cook with fewer staff. Substitutions should be recorded and reviewed by the RD in order to ensure compliance with regulations.

For all facilities whether or not they have COVID positive residents, there is still a risk for weight loss and malnutrition as residents are still eating in their rooms, not receiving visits from family, and many social activities are still on hold including those involving food and beverages. All facilities may benefit from the addition of fun, new snacks or treats (cookies and peppermint mocha in the afternoon anyone?) to break up monotony. Also, review the policy for outside food during the pandemic and encourage family or friends to bring in favorite foods to provide extra TLC.

Every facility is different however we are all going through this together. Residents that now pop up COVID positive will need quick interventions to add fluids and frequent monitoring as they recover. Any ideas to create some energy and excitement during the holiday season with food and beverages may be an important tool to help those at risk for malnutrition and dehydration whether a resident is recovering from the virus or not. Here’s to hoping that our residents get to experience a holiday season with a little more sparkle and a little less stress.

Turmeric: The Wonderful Golden Spice from South East Asia

By Sukanya Singh MS RD

Turmeric has been used in Asia for centuries and is a major part of Ayurveda and other traditional medicine in South East Asia especially Indian Subcontinent. Curcuma longa of the ginger family, the roots of which are used in cooking, healing, medicine and Dyeing. Turmeric contains the chemical curcumin. Curcu- min and other chemicals in turmeric is believed to be decrease inflammation. Because of this, turmeric is believed to be beneficial for treating conditions that involve inflammation.

Turmeric is commonly used for conditions involving pain and inflammation, such as osteoarthritis. It is also used for hay fever, depression, high cholesterol, a type of liver disease, and itching. Some people use tur- meric for heartburn, thinking and memory skills, inflammatory bowel disease, stress, and many other condi- tions.

India produces nearly all of the world’s turmeric crop and consumes 80% of it. With its inherent qualities and high content of the important bioactive compound curcumin, Indian turmeric is considered to be the best in the world.

Nutritional Analysis: 100g Turmeric Contains

  • 10 g total fat
  • 3 g saturated fat
  • 0 mg cholesterol
  • 0.2 g calcium
  • 0.26 g phosphorous
  • 10 mg sodium
  • 2500 mg potassium
  • 47.5 mg iron
  • 0.9 mg thiamine
  • 0.19 mg riboflavin
  • 4.8 mg niacin
  • 50 mg ascorbic acid
  • 69.9 g total CCHO
  • 21 g dietary fiber
  • 3 g sugars
  • 8 g protein

components have been isolated from turmeric. The main component of the root is a volatile oil, containing turmerone, and there are other coloring agents called cur- cuminoids in turmeric. Curcuminoids consist of curcumin demethoxycurcumin, 5’-methoxycurcumin, and dihydro- curcumin, which are found to be natural antioxidants.

The beneficial effects of turmeric are traditionally achieved through dietary consumption, even at low levels, over long periods of time. The activities of turmeric include antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antitumor, antioxidant, antiseptic, cardioprotective, hepato-protective, nephron-protective, radioprotective, and digestive activities. Phytochemical analysis of turmeric has revealed a large number of compounds, including curcumin, volatile oil, and curcuminoids, which have been found to have potent pharmacological properties.

 Turmeric Recipes & Remedies

Anemia: Everyday take a dose of 1 tsp of turmeric juice mixed with honey. Asthma: Boil 1 cup of milk with 1 tsp of turmeric powder. Drink warm.

Burns: Mix 1 tsp of turmeric with 1 tsp of aloe gel and apply to burnt area. Diarrhea: Take ½ tsp of turmeric powder or juice in water, 3 times per day.

External Pain: Add 1 tsp of turmeric to 1 cup of warm milk and drink before bed.

Different Ways to use Turmeric

Golden Turmeric Milk


  • 1 cup milk
    • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
    • A sprinkle of black pepper
    • A dab of ghee Honey


  1. Place milk in a saucepan over low/medium heat.
  2. Bring to low boil.
  3. Add all ingredients except the honey or sugar. Let the mixture simmer for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Turn off heat, and allow the mixture to cool to a warm drinkable temperature.
  5. When the mixture has cooled, add honey or sugar to taste.
  6. Serve warm

Golden Baked Potato and Paneer/ Tofu Casserole


  • 2 cups paneer/ or Firm Tofu
    • 4 large baking potatoes
    • 3 tablespoons chopped leeks
    • 3 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 Tsp. Turmeric

Salt and black pepper to taste


  1. Start with a covered casserole dish.
  2. Peel the four large baking potatoes and slice into wedges.
  3. In a mixing bowl, toss the potatoes with the leeks, ol- ive oil, Turmeric, salt and pepper and place in the casse- role dish.
  4. Cover and bake at 350 °F for 45 minutes.
  5. Remove the lid and sprinkle the freshly-pressed paneer or Tofu over the top of the potatoes.
  6. Bake for 15 more minutes, until the paneer or Tofu is lightly roasted.
  7. Serve hot.

Turmeric Quinoa-Paneer Burgers


  • ½ cup quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 1 teaspoon Grated Turmeric root
  • 1 grated carrot
  • 1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
  • 6 oz. grated paneer or Fresh Tofu
  • ⅓ cup minced fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons almond butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour Salt and Pepper


  1. Wash quinoa thoroughly, add water and bring to a boil. Simmer on low for 20 minutes, then cool.
  2. Heat the ghee in a skillet. Add Grated Fresh Turmeric, carrot and celery and sauté over low heat until tender.
  3. Mix the sautéed vegetables, quinoa, paneer, parsley, almond butter and flour. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Shape the mixture into burgers and fry them in ghee on both sides until they are brown.

Fad Diet Vs Lifestyle Change

By Danelle Willey

As we come up on January, the first thought that comes to mind is the New Year’s Resolution. For most people, the main resolution is losing weight and eating healthy. The hardest part of this resolution is maintaining it throughout the year and beyond. This is because most people want a quick fix, which is when they go for a fad diet of some sort. What is not understood is that in order to maintain this, it must be a lifestyle change.

Fad diets are only sustainable short term. They are not long-term solutions. Many fad diets restrict and cut out certain foods all together. This usually leads to over consumption of those items at some time, which leads to feeling bad about cheating. This leads one down a path of over-eating and feeling bad about themselves. Then restricting again and the cycle happens again.

In order to be successful with losing weight, weight management and eating healthy, one must make a lifestyle change and fit healthy eating and physical activity into their daily life. Lifestyle changes can be difficult at first. It takes 28 days to turn an activity into a habit. Those are the hardest days because you really need to stay strong and maintain your self- control. But once you hit that 28-day mark, it gets easier and it has become a part of your life. Another important thought to remember is its ok if you have an off day or cheat day. It will not make you gain weight or reset back. By allowing yourself these days you will not over consume but you will enjoy it when you do it, instead of feeling bad.

So, when thinking about your New Years Resolution, think about what it is you really want and how can you sustain that going forward, not just for 2021, but for the rest of your life. You can do this and maintain your goal. It will take small steps to get to the larger picture, but you will be successful!

Mise En Place

By Pail Ladewig RDN

Mise En Place is a concept used in professional kitchens that is literally a way of life. In Literal Sense, it means “putting in place” or “everything in its place”. This basically means that in a kitchen you have laid out all the tools and ingredients for a task before you start. It could even include menus and recipes and even people.

Learning this method, this way of thought, is crucial to the success of a kitchen and also to keeping up the morale of your staff. How can managers help their staff get better at putting things in place properly? One really good way that managers can help is by looking at the menus at least three days ahead and reminding staff to pull out frozen product that would need 3 days to thaw so that its ready when its needed.

It would also be helpful to make a prep list that in- cludes items for that day and the day after. For instance, if you know you will need green peppers for breakfast today and lunch tomorrow you could change the amount for your cooks to prep to include both meals. This also means that the kitchen manager needs to always have a good grasp on their staffing. This is the biggest “Mise En Place” and sometimes is not viewed realistically. If you make sure to tell your administrator honestly how many people you need to get the job done, they will be able to work with you on everything else. Ultimately the lesson as always is to Communicate, Communicate, Communicate!!!!!!!

The Amazing Broccoli Rabe

By Sam Ousey, RD

I love Rapini! Most people look at me and say what is it? Then I cook it for them, usually over pasta with garlic, Olive oil, and a Parmesan Reggiano! So easy and tastes fabulous with a good red wine. Always hook them in being Rapini Lovers!

Broccoli Rabe or otherwise know as Rapini is found in many Mediterranean dishes. It is a green crucifer- ous vegetable and is known for it’s slightly bitter taste and power packed nutrients. Full of Vitamin C, K Iron,

Magnesium calcium and Potassium. High in fiber and only is 9 calories before dressing it with cheese. I make fab- ulous vegetarian meals with Rapini.

We are going to share some with you! Ciao! Ci Vediamo Presto!

Penne with Sausage and Rapini


  • 1 (16 ounce) Box Penne Pasta
  • 1 Pound hot Italian Sausage links, Cut into 1 – inch pieces 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 T Crushes Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 Pound Broccoli Rabe, Cut into 1.5 inch lengths
  • Teaspoon grated Parmesan and 14 cup for later
  • ½ cup pasta boiling water Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling, stir in the penne, and return to a boil. Cook the pasta uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta has cooked through, but is still firm to the bite, about 11 minutes. Drain well in a colander set in the sink, reserving 1/2 cup of the water.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and stir the sausage pieces, garlic, and red pep- per flakes in the hot pan until the sausage is no longer pink on the outside, about 4 minutes. Stir in the broccoli rabe and 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese. Pour in the reserved 1/2 cup of pasta boiling water. Cover, and cook until the sausage is no longer pink in the center and the broccoli rabe is tender, 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. Stir the cooked pasta, broccoli rabe, and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese together until evenly mixed. Season to taste with salt and pepper to serve.