Country Haven chef shares favourite childhood recipe with residents

Sarah Montgomery’s meatball stew is such a special recipe, she entered it in the March Madness recipe challenge

When Almonte Country Haven nutritional care team member Sarah Montgomery was growing up, her mother would sometimes make a meatball stew that was delicious and a perfect comfort food.

Today, it’s a meal Sarah still enjoys and one she likes making for the residents of the Lanark County long-term care home.

Sarah also entered her meatball stew in OMNI Health Care’s first annual March Madness recipe challenge.

This stew combines meatballs and corkscrew pasta in a tomato sauce rich with vegetables, including tomatoes, green peppers, carrots and onions, and infused with thyme, oregano and basil.

Sarah recommends serving her meatball stew with a side of green and yellow beans, as well as garlic bread to mop up the sauce.

“I found the stew-like nature to be very warm and comforting, especially on a cold or damp day, and a fun twist to pasta and meatballs,” she says.

Chris Weber, OMNI’s operations manager of nutrition and food service, says the March Madness contest, which saw 16 recipes compete in a bracket contest where votes were cast each week between April 14 and May 6, was close.

The winning entry was a Mediterranean omelette, created by Josephine Goddard at Country Terrace, which won “by a very thin margin,” Chris says.

OMNI launched the first annual March Madness recipe challenge in March in recognition of Nutrition Month in Canada.

Chris came up with the idea to encourage nutritional care managers and cooks to showcase their most-loved recipes and to highlight the high-quality meals served in OMNI homes.

Throughout March, nutritional care managers and cooks prepared their favourite meals, plated them and took photos that were sent to head office. The photos were accompanied by the name of each meal and its recipe.

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