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February 12, 2024

Savoring Life: Culinary Creativity & Nutrition at Vitalia Rockside

Category: Culinary

Author: Phil Romano, Culinary Director

When it comes to senior living, there are a few factors to consider always. One of the main considerations should be food and the overall dining experience. With that comes the delicate balance of culinary creativity and nutritional precision, the nuanced dance that unfolds within our dining rooms. We are committed to the vitality, happiness, and longevity of those we serve at Vitalia Rockside. Join us where the aroma of carefully prepared dishes mingles with the laughter of shared stories as we explore the significance of nutrition while unveiling some of the secrets behind our thoughtfully curated menus. 

I am always careful with the amount of salt used in my dishes. I’ve found flavor can be added by using fresh herbs, wine, or bourbon instead of salt. One thing I always keep in mind when cooking for my residents is the food must always taste good.

Health-Conscious Suggestion

If a health-conscious resident were to ask me to suggest an entrée, it would be my Mediterranean vegetable wrap for lunch. This grilled vegetable, hummus, and Tablighi in a whole wheat wrap is very satisfying, a great source of protein, and delicious. I would choose grilled swordfish with a quinoa salad and lemon vinaigrette for dinner. Again, it is very satisfying, calorie-conscious, and full of omega-3. Many items on my menu focus on nutrition, and I have several ideas I want to add moving forward. I would suggest protein shakes and power doughnuts for residents needing to gain weight.

When I go out to eat, I absolutely do not think about nutrition. Dining out is when I let go of my normal diet and indulge in food I usually pass on. Healthy snacking is essential. A healthy snack is apple wedges with peanut butter or vanilla yogurt with fresh berries. Both satisfy my sweet tooth as well as fill me up between meals. My one guilty pleasure snack I will never, and I mean never, pass up is a doughnut, and I don’t care what kind – cream-filled, jelly, plain cake, they’re all good!

What we’ve uncovered is more than a celebration of diverse flavors and textures. It’s a testament to the commitment to prioritize the nutritional well-being of our residents. The kitchen remains the heart of our senior living experiences, and we hope the flavors shared resonate and linger in your thoughts. The creative spark in our kitchen isn’t just about pushing culinary boundaries. It’s about crafting delicious meals and a source of nourishment for our residents. I hope this inspires continued conversations about the importance of nutrition, creativity in culinary arts, and the everlasting impact they have on the lives of our older adults. 

VITALIA® Rockside in Seven Hills, OH offers independent senior apartments, assisted living, and memory care with a variety of services and a range of floor plan options. Amenities include restaurant dining, 24-hour bistro, concierge service, housekeeping, events and entertainment, personal care, transportation services, and more. Centrally located near Cleveland Clinic Mary Mount with convenient access to major shopping centers and attractions, including Top Gol Cleveland, Cleveland Metro Parks, Spiva Center for the Arts, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland Zoo, and A Christmas Story House.

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