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Verdugo Hills Hospital Nurses Mix It Up at Dream Dinners

Nurses from Verdugo Hills Hospital in Glendale, Calif., met in February to prepare meals that simplify their busy lifestyles.

Prepped ingredients, mixing bowls, measuring cups and easy-to-follow instructions awaited the nurses at stations throughout the La Crescenta Dream Dinners kitchen. After trying the program, the nurses agreed they ate out less and the easy meal preparation gave them time to enjoy a relaxed dinner with their families.

For the past three years, Michele MacNeal, RN, BSN, has enjoyed the minimal food preparation, quality and “pizzazz” of Dream Dinners. After working a 12-hour shift in same-day surgery, MacNeal said, Dream Dinners “make dinner prep quick and easy for my family. We have more nutritious food — before it was pizza, hamburgers, mac and cheese.”

Michele MacNeal, RN, from left; Lissa Mooney; Reagan Mitchell, RN; Leasa Sugimura, RN; Kathy Gallagher RN; and Sharmel Stern take a break from assembling Dream Dinners.

Reagan Mitchell, RN, mother of two, was new to Dream Dinners. She was delighted with the fragrant spices as she prepared Monte Cristo chicken and chicken with lemon and artichoke sauce. “I don’t have turmeric, thyme or nutmeg at home,” Mitchell said.

Leasa Sugimura, RN, BSN, staff nurse, has made hundreds of Dream Dinners in the past 18 months. “My time is freed up, and now I don’t have to shop often except for fresh produce,” she said. “I really think it saves me money.”

The meals, which are prepared in 60- to 90-minute sessions, are taken home to freeze and include three to six servings.

Lissa Mooney, RD, and Sharmel Stern, food chemist, own the La Crescenta franchise — one of 128 in 30 states. Stern, a customer before she became co-owner, said her health and weight improved after one year of eating Dream Dinners. Mooney said she likes the sense of community that develops. “It’s good for women.”

By | 2020-04-15T14:13:36-04:00 April 5th, 2010|Categories: Regional, West|0 Comments

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