A totally unexpected admission to the hospital a couple of weeks ago, and a subsequent course of nausea-inducing antibiotics, have made cooking and eating pretty much down at the bottom of my personal list for awhile now. But the antibiotics ended yesterday, and already I am feeling stirrings of desire to get back into the kitchen, so things are returning to normal.
While I was in the hospital, I did have some Food Thoughts. When I was first admitted, the IV antibiotics hadn’t kicked in yet, and I was starving, so by the time the first meal was delivered to the floor, I was pretty much ready to eat anything. I thought. I opened the cover on the main plate, and this happened.
Broccoli, mashed potatoes (instant, of course) and for the coup de grace, a half chicken, complete with feathers on the ends of the wings. Because I was so hungry, I pulled off the offending wing joint and hid it under a napkin, then tried to eat the rest. You can pretty much look at this picture and see that the drumstick was totally dried out and tough, so you can imagine the condition of the more delicate white meat. This poor chicken, I’m sorry to say, died in vain, because I could not eat it. I couldn’t eat the potatoes either, and the mushy broccoli finished off the rest of the hunger.
The nurse commented that I hadn’t eaten much, and we discussed the quality of the food. He said that the hospital had recently hired a new “chef” who had promised things would change for the better, but nothing really had. I realize that it must be really difficult to provide good food for the number of people they are feeding, but I also think that it has to be possible to do better than this.
By dinner time, I was feeling a little sick from the IV antibiotics, so my hunger was somewhat dulled, luckily. I’m not sure what kind of meat this was, but there were no feathers, so not chicken.
The next morning, fearing the worst for the breakfast, I begged my poor husband to stop for coffee from Starbucks and a breakfast taco from just about anywhere. He did, and so my morning was saved. The hospital breakfast, delivered after my potato and egg taco was already consumed, was actually not too bad, so I ate a pancake and some bacon too. And this was lunch:
It smelled vile. By this time I was about to be released, so I softly replaced the cover on the plate. And that was my experience with the hospital food.
It’s unfathomable to me that they expect to tempt the appetites of people who are feeling sick with the kind of dreck that they served.
Today my appetite has been waking up, and I had some chicken tenders that needed to be used, so I made my Low-Fat Chicken Chili.
It was really delicious, and there were no feathers in sight.
Low-Fat Chicken Chili
12 chicken tenders, sprinkled with Bolner’s Chicken Fajita Seasoning and grilled
2 poblano peppers, grilled and peeled
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 can Rotel tomatoes
3 Tablespoons New Mexico chili powder
2 Tablespoons flour
2 cups chicken broth
2 teaspoons oil
Chop chicken and peppers. Fry onion in oil until translucent, add chicken and peppers and heat through. Sprinkle chili powder and flour over, and stir to combine. Add tomatoes and broth, stirring constantly until thickened. Season with salt to taste.