NCM brings a taste of the Middle East to the Country Terrace menu

Alex Achillini entered his chicken shawarma sandwich in the March Madness recipe challenge, finishing in the final four

Country Terrace nutritional care manager (NCM) Alex Achillini has brought a favourite taste of the Middle East to the menu at the Komoka, Ont. long-term care home with his chicken shawarma sandwich.

Alex also entered this flavourful sandwich in OMNI Health Care’s first annual March Madness recipe contest, where it finished among the final four recipes.

Alex says he chose to enter his chicken shawarma sandwich in the contest because it’s a new item and “very tasty.”

Traditionally, chicken shawarma is made from pieces of marinated chicken stacked onto a spit and roasted. Once the chicken is cooked, it’s sliced and folded into pita bread, topped with salad, and finished with garlic mayonnaise and chili sauce.

In his version, Alex marinates diced chicken in a mixture of Greek yogourt, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, ground coriander, cumin, smoked paprika, salt and pepper.

Once marinated, the chicken is sautéed until thoroughly cooked and stuffed into a bun with lettuce and tomato. The chicken and salad are topped with a garlic mayo made from mayonnaise and garlic powder.

Alex says he uses a bun instead of pita bread to make it easy for residents to eat. He serves the sandwich with a side of Greek pasta salad which, he says, “goes very well with the chicken shawarma.”

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 that was created by another Country Terrace team member, Josephine Goddard.

OMNI launched the 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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