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Monday, January 17, 2011

Unspicy spicy noodles: Imaginative hospital food

Executive Chef Pnina Peled at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City faced a challenge. A young cancer patient had a craving for a unique food: "unspicy spicy noodles." So Pnina came in on her day off with a stack of cookbooks, and concocted a whole-wheat sesame spaghetti dish with sesame oil and green beans that she'd chopped fine to look like scallions.

Another young cancer patient's mother, Valerie Ramo, became convinced that Pnina had been crucial to her daughter Joely's recovery from severe aplitic anemia. Doctors had expected that Joely would need tube feeding after her bone marrow transplant. Instead, Pnina found a way to make tasty substitutes for pressed turkey and cheese sandwiches Joely asked for, a combination of strawberry daiquiri and pina colada mixers, and a "takeout" pizza in a pizza box. Valerie said that Joely ended up not needed the intravenous nutrition because Joely liked Pnina's food so much.

Now an outpatient, Joely says she looks forward to her doctor's appointments several times a week because she can eat lunch at the hospital.

Read another story on uniquely tailored healthcare.

Thanks to Shivani Vora for the source article in the New York Times of January 16.

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