Internship at St. Pat's Home

Six Weeks previous to my internship at the Casino, I had an internship at a long term care home in September 2012 in food services. It was completely a different setting from the Casino of course, especially in terms of food preparation and menu planning which is based on accommodating different diets for the residents of the home. However, we still had fun in the kitchen and I had the opportunity to get creative in this setting as well.

I felt so welcome by all the staff at St. Pat's and they had so much to offer me during my placement. I had a great preceptor who was also one of the best mentors I have ever had. He guided me through my learning experience for the 6 weeks while I was there and he always pushed me to "dig deeper" and I really appreciated this about him. He encouraged me and gave me responsibilities which allowed me to work independently. By the end of my internship, he was proud with the results and gave me such great feedback! I can't forget about the supervisors who were also very helpful and friendly, they all made my 6 weeks internship very enjoyable!

Halloween 2012

For Halloween we made pumpkin cheese cakes with a caramel coating and they turned out delicious! 

I know you're thinking, "well this isn't nutritious!"... I did mention before that a few treats here and there are ok in moderate amounts. And I say, if you make it yourself, at least your controling the added ingredients. It's usually a better option as opposed to buying store-bought cheese cakes for example, usually containing high amounts of trans fats and foreign ingredients such as modified palm oil. 

Lunch and Learn!

During this internship, I was assigned to do a project which consisted of presenting a "Lunch and Learn" on calcium for all staff, residence and guests. With no specific guidelines, I did some research and got my hands on some great sources from Dairy Farmer's of Canada, Dairy Goodness and Dairy Info and Canadian Dairy Information Centre, along with other resources from Osteoporosis Canada and several text books. I covered the benefits, requirements and needs as well as going over the impact that of which a deficiency can cause.

Sneak Peak to a few slides from my presentation

At the end of my presentation, I served samples of snacks which I prepared that morning. They consisted of a yogurt parfait, kale chips and a cauliflower cheddar cheese soup, all representing sources of calcium!

Here is a great recipe I tried one day for a vegetarian staff member. Unfortunately I did not take pictures of this great turnout since I didn't start thinking about blogging until later, but try it out and I guarantee it will be a hit!

Black Bean Quinoa Burgers

1 red onion
1 red bell pepper
3 cloves garlic
12 ounces black beans (1 ½ cups) canned or homemade, drained
½ cup cooked spelt
2 ½ cups cooked quinoa
¼ cup of parsley
½ cup of green onions
1 tsp poultry seasoning or other spice blend
1 tsp paprika
2 tblsp of soy sauce
2 tblsp flour
2/3 cup bread crumbs
1 tsp salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste 
Pinch of cayenne pepper and curry powder
All-purpose flour for dusting
Oil, for cooking


In a food processor, add the onion and garlic and pulse until finely chopped. Add the chickpeas and oats and pulse until well mixed. Don’t puree the mixture. Remove the mixture to a large mixing bowl, and stir in the quinoa, parsley, poultry seasoning, smoked paprika, flour and all the other spices. Stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons water, if needed to help the burger mixture stick together, although you don’t want to make the mixture too moist. Add salt and pepper to taste. Thoroughly mix the ingredients, cover the bowl and refrigerate for 15 minutes. Portion the burger mixture with an ice cream scoop, and press into 2 ½ -3 inch patties.

Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, and lightly coat or spray with olive oil. Place the brown rice flour on a small plate and dust the burgers on all sides with the flour. Add the burgers to the hot skillet. Cook the patties for about 5 minutes, or until nicely browned and crispy. Reduce the heat to medium, if necessary, to continue cooking without burning. Add more olive oil as necessary, to keep the burgers from sticking. Flip the burgers over and cook on other side.
Remove the burgers from the skillet and let sit for 5 minutes before serving. Serve the burgers on a fresh, whole grain bun with all your condiments of choice (lettuce, tomatoes, sautéed onions, mustard, pickles, hot banana peppers, cheese…)

 Thank you St. Pat's for a great experience! 

You can order a "My Plate Mate Guide to Healthy Eating" for FREE at www.naturallyunique.ca
And visit these web sites for more information:

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