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Chili Cook-Off Highlights Healthy Cooking at Community Residences

Residential and Day Treatment Services staff had a chance to show off their healthy cooking skills at Special Tree’s 7th annual Soup Contest, organized by Registered Dietitians Jill Bruce and Brahmlin Sethi.  This year, the popular contest was a Chili Cook-Off and is an extension of the quarterly food service trainings that Jill and Brahmlin conduct for direct care staff to help them serve up healthy, high quality meals for clients at Special Tree’s 18 Community Residences as well as the Wayne and Troy DTS programs. Representatives from each facility participate in the highly competitive contest held at the NeuroCare Campus and the Troy Neuro Skills Center on March 10th.  To decide the winner, staff sample entries to vote for the best tasting as well as for best presentation.   Each chili is also judged on a nutritional score from Jill and Brahmin, who also factor in client involvement.

This year’s entries were all low on sodium and fat, but big on taste. Trevino’s Hawaiin Chili was a crowd favorite with healthy ingredients like turkey sausage, fresh pineapple, and black beans.  Staff also enjoyed Troy DTS's Delightful Chili.  "We put all our heart and soul in making it so that’s why it’s delightful,” said DTS staff Stephie Hill.  Others cooked up family recipes like mother and daughter Moravian RSTs Sarah and Chelsea Warick’s Bronco Buster Buckaroo Chili.   

Jill and Brahmlin are still in the process of adding up the scores, but to Jill everyone who participated was a winner.  “The chilis were all delicious, healthy and there was a great variety and many wonderful presentations. Thanks to everyone who participated!”