Article Written by Jocelyn
With help from our Hispanic Outreach Specialist, Gricel Escobedo, Meals-On-Wheels, Greater San Diego has added some Latin flavor to our wonderful menu of options that are not only diet friendly but also authentic.
The new Latin menu is due in part to the receiving of the Wal-Mart Vision Grant. The grant required the new Latin menu to offer authentic flavorful options while also being nutritionally sound, adhering to a variety of senior dietary guidelines.
For instance, as many Latin dishes call for that stick-to-your bones ingredient, lard, which was able to be replaced with olive oil or another healthy alternative in the dishes without compromising taste. Escobedo collaborated with two local chefs to create these meals
Chef Norma Martinez of El Vitral in Downtown, that continues to stay on the “Best Mexican Food” list. Martinez, is a Tijuana native. She began her culinary schooling at Instituto Culinario de Mexico. Chef Isabel Cruz also collaborated on the menu. Cruz’s restaurants are located from San Diego to Portland. According to the bio on her website, Cruz’s cooking was first influenced by family and friends from Puerto Rico, Cuba and Mexico. However, after living in Los Angeles, she acquired Japanese, Korean and Thai cooking styles and has infused the cultures in her dishes. She is passionate about healthy eating and proving that health food can be delicious too.
With the collaboration between these renowned chefs and Meals-On-Wheels, our seniors from the Latin community can enjoy dishes reminiscent to their culture, but the ultimate beauty is that everyone can partake in the new menu options.
Escobedo came to Meals-On-Wheels, Greater San Diego for her “special love for seniors.” This project allowed her to combine three of her greatest loves: love for seniors, love for food and love for Latin culture and community. She jokingly added that her love for her husband is number one, but he’s not part of the menu.
On June 30 at the San Diego Sheraton Hotel Meals-On-Wheels, Greater San Diego, will host our “Bootleggers Ball” Third Annual Appetizer Throwdown Showdown, and at the event, Chef Isabel will be participating in the appetizer Throwdown Showdown with nine other participants. It should be a delectable event.
Another aspect of the Wal-Mart Visionary Grant is that Meals-On-Wheels branches nationwide will now implement this groundbreaking methodology in order to meet the demands of their seniors. Soon, Meals-On -Wheels, Greater San Diego will be looking into other ways to create unique menu options to suit other cultures and tastes.