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Healthy entrée station set for Courtyard Café

Aug. 22, 2013, 8:30 AM

The new healthy entrée station at the Courtyard Café will feature a chef demonstrating cooking techniques during lunch hours. (photo by Anne Rayner)

Beginning Sept. 1, Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Courtyard Café will offer a healthy entrée station from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday-Thursday.

The station, offered through Sodexo, VUMC’s food service provider, will feature “exhibition cooking” by a chef who will demonstrate cooking techniques during the lunch hours. Recipe cards will be available for some of the 246 healthy entrees that will be featured on a rotating basis in the Café.

A kickoff for the new “Mindful” station will be held on Thursday, Aug. 29, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Free samples will be available along with information about the new station, and gifts will be given away.

Sodexo’s cafes located in corporate settings, government offices, colleges and universities, and health care facilities throughout the country, offer “Mindful” foods that balance nutrition with taste. The Mindful approach focuses on transparency of ingredients, tasty food and satisfying portions.

“Offering healthy options to our customers is not new,” said Ted Witczak, VUMC’s Retail Operations Manager. “Each station in the Courtyard Café has had healthy options, but this puts a Mindful entrée in one place, making it easier for the customers to find and select the entrée if that’s what they choose.”

Witczak said that Medical Center faculty and staff have indicated through surveys that they would like more healthy options in the Café and more easily accessible nutritional data.
Many companies and organizations are promoting healthy initiatives and leaning toward promoting healthy lifestyles for their employees.

“The Courtyard Cafe and the new Mindful station demonstrate Vanderbilt’s commitment to the health and wellness of our staff, visitors and patients,” said Chris Biesemeier, director of Clinical Nutrition at VUMC. “In addition, having the Mindful station will make it easy and fun to make healthy food selections.”

Some of the healthy entrees that will be featured include shrimp and vegetables with whole wheat pasta, black beans and corn over brown rice, grapefruit BBQ tilapia with wild rice pilaf, and basil chicken breast with cous cous primavera, sautéed spinach and onions.

There is already a rotation of Mindful soups and vegetarian and vegan options in the Café, as well as a to-go case with healthy wraps and salads.

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