The Modern Hairnet


Not so bad, eh?

Less like a shower cap and more like nothing at all!

Today, we toured the food service operations at Hartford Hospital and the University of Connecticut Health Center, each of which serves hundreds of patients (and hundreds to thousands of patrons in their cafeterias). Hartford Hospital uses a cook-chill system, where chefs prepare large quantities of food two days in advance, then uses an enormous blast-chiller to quickly cool the food to a safe temperature. In contrast, the UConn Health Center uses a restaurant-style system, where patients can call and order food from the kitchen whenever they want (considering dietary needs and restrictions, of course). Both systems have advantages and disadvantages, but each requires a tremendous amount of organization to run smoothly. I don’t know how they do it!

These pictures are all from the UConn Health Center:

Prep area.
That's a lot of stuffed shells.
I wish we had a can storage system like this!
Requested meals waiting on the trayline, ready to be brought upstairs.
Nice cafeteria.

Between hospitals, a few of us hung out at Starbucks, studying a little medical nutrition therapy and talking about the current health care reform. This program has some smart ladies!

At home, the dogs were so excited to see me that they couldn’t stay on all four paws:

Love the love.

For dinner, I decided to whip up a veggi-rific dish full of bright colors and healthy fats.

THIH Pesto Veggie Stacks

1 tsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 eggplant, peeled and cut into cubes
2 onions, sliced
2 bell peppers, sliced (I used one red and one green for some nice color)
1 zucchini, sliced
1 portabella mushroom, sliced
2 tomatoes, sliced
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

a HUGE bunch of basil and/or parsley
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts (any nut will do)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup olive oil

Sautรฉ 2 cloves garlic and eggplant in olive oil until soft.

Prepare veggies:

Place all pesto ingredients except for olive oil into food processor and blend until smooth. Drizzle olive oil slowly into paste while processor is running:

Layer vegetables with Parmesan cheese and pesto however you would like. Bake at 375ยฐF for 45 minutes.

Like the scarf you can knit from yarn scraps, this dish is a good way to use any leftover veggies. You can customize with all your favorite veggies, such as cauliflower, potatoes, even leafy greens like kale.

I enjoyed mine with chicken sausage:

Sausage was (and still is) one of my favorite foods. I used to eat links and links of sausage when I was younger without a second thought to what they contain. By nature, sausage contains a LOT of fat (how else are they so moist?). I don’t eat sausage often because of the high amount of saturated fat, but it is a nice treat to have occasionally. I don’t deny myself sausage, because then I would crave it constantly. I enjoy it in moderation, just like every food. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m off to finish an assignment. The weather forecast predicts inches of snow, so I’m crossing my fingers for a snow day tomorrow! Have a nice evening!


  1. Chicken sausage has no fat.

    1. Pshaw. And I donโ€™t have peanut butter every day. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. So glad to find your blog! I love following future RDs! I look forward to reading more!

    1. Thanks for stopping by! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Only smart ladies? No smart gentlemen?

    1. Nope! Dietetics is predominantly a “female” field, but I hope that will change in the future. I know a couple of male RDs, and they’re great at what they do!

  4. Oh how I miss the days of wearing a hairnet! I was actually told by two people that I looked like Celine Dion when I wore a hairnet. No joke, super random. Your blog looks like a lot of fun, and what a great internship! I actually almost applied to that one!

    1. lol Celion Dion?? No way, I can’t see it! The hairnet isn’t bad, but I’m sure I’ll get tired of it soon. ๐Ÿ™‚

      UConn does have a great internship! I’m very lucky ๐Ÿ™‚

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