People enjoy fava bean salad at John Hopkins Aramco Healthcare in Saudi Arabia (Dr. Basem Futa)
Flavors and culinary traditions from around the world offer boundless inspiration for chefs seeking to serve healthy plant-forward meals that delight the taste buds and satisfy eaters. In honor of World Food Day, two international health care chefs share their recipes.
Mashed sweet potatoes with kale and harissa eggplant
by Werner Drent, chef de cuisine at Dr. Horacio E. Oduber Hospital in Aruba
The sweet potatoes are first boiled along with kale until they are al dente. The eggplant is seasoned with harrisa, a North African hot chili pepper paste, and baked at 428 °F. After pureeing the kale and potatoes with milk and butter, the meal is sprinkled with pomegranate seeds and served with Greek yogurt.
Drent spent nine years in the Royal Dutch Navy before beginning his role as a chef at the Dr. Horacio E. Oduber Hospital in Aruba. He has held this position for more than three years. As the author of four cookbooks, he devotes his life to “healthy and tasty food.”
Ful medames (fava bean salad)
by Dr. Basem Futa and Ghada Alhabib, John Hopkins Aramco Healthcare in Saudi Arabia.
Ful medames is a popular bean dish in Egypt and other countries in the Middle East. It is made of fava beans, onion, garlic, cumin, and olive oil. The dish is rich in protein, fiber, iron, and many vitamins and minerals. Futa and his colleague, Alhabib, recommend serving the dish with green salad and other vegetables such as tomatoes and cucumbers, along with whole wheat bread.
“Our population is happier with their consumption of plant-based diet due to the improvement of their health and they feel positive in shifting from animal-based meals to plant-based meals,” says Futa.
Johns Hopkins Aramco Healthcare serves a culturally diverse population of more than 60,000 employees. The hospital's clinical nutrition and food services department has published a cookbook with 150 healthy and cultural recipes and conducted tastings for staff and their families, along with cooking sessions for local cooks and organizations.