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Published on June 01, 2021

Bryan Health Named Plant-Forward Healthcare Food Service Operation to Watch 

chef nazim khan

Chef Khan

Bryan Health has been named a Plant-Forward Healthcare Operation to Watch by the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) and FoodService Director (FSD). The list names hospitals and senior-living communities whose food service teams demonstrate industry-leading innovation in plant-forward cuisines, local sourcing and sustainability.

When COVID-19 limited hospital visitors and pared down food service at Bryan Health last spring, executive chef Nazim Khan seized the opportunity to finalize plans for a new plant-forward station. The concept launched in June 2020 and has grown in scope ever since.

More Than Meat and Potatoes 

“Nebraska is meat-and-potatoes country. But we’ve seen a steady increase of requests from our doctors, nurses and staff to incorporate plant-based items,” Khan said. “More and more, they were asking for vegetarian proteins instead of beef and chicken.”

Growing up in Bangladesh, Khan was exposed to a broad and flavorful range of vegetarian dishes. Throughout his years in culinary school and hotel kitchens across the United States, he created plant-forward items that appeal to mainstream tastes. His most popular dishes at Bryan are a Lebanese-style falafel, and a tostada topped with avocado mousse, black beans, fire-roasted corn salsa, shredded lettuce and queso fresco on Taco Tuesdays.

“The term ‘hospital food’ once conjured up images of soggy vegetables and gray meat. Not anymore,” said Greg Dreshcer, vice president of strategic initiatives and industry leadership at the CIA. “The organizations on this list shatter that stereotype with creative menu offerings and mouth watering dishes that show how vibrant and flavorful healthy, plant-forward can be.”

The CIA and FSD collaborated on developing the list with input from Health Care Without Harm, an organization that promotes sustainability within healthcare. The organizations will further feature honorees from the list as part of virtual and in-person conferences in June and October.

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