Local Food’s Roast Beef Sandwich and Kale Side Salad

While we get caught up on vitals and drugs and procedures on inpatients, it’s easy to forget thinking about basic things they need. Baths and toothbrushes. Exercise around the unit with physical therapy. And most of all, diet orders.

Eating is one aspect patients will always care about.  And you’d be surprised how little things like food can really make their day.

roast beef sandwich local foods kale salad horseradish cauliflower curry
Ms. N was so withdrawn, she was practically catatonic and refused to speak. One day, a nursing note commented that a “friend” brought her a sandwich. We pondered who that mystery person was – the patient had absolutely no friends and family, and we’d been struggling with social work to contact anyone who might know her. Well, the “friend” turned out to be our intern, who thought she might like a McDonald’s sandwich. That transformed her into a much more manageable person, and she adored the intern. (And, she once said “thank you” to the team on rounds. Even the attending was impressed.)
roast beef sandwich local foods kale salad horseradish cauliflower curry

Mr. T, who had lived in the hospital for months now, was on palliative care and requested a sandwich. Specifically a breakfast sandwich with egg and canadian bacon on an English muffin. So the team tried get him his sandwich. The cafeteria staff and kitchen manager laughed, and said “Nope, not at this hospital!” Given budget cuts and funding issues combined with a surplus of uninsured and undocumented patients, the hospital could barely keep up with regular meal orders.  Sadly, it’s a reality here.

As the days went by, Mr T deteriorated rapidly and couldn’t eat solid foods anymore, but really wanted fudgesicles.  Food is one pleasure I think everyone should have, so I went to the grocery that night and bought a box of fudgesicles for him. He died not long after, but at least he had one little comfort.

roast beef sandwich local foods kale salad horseradish cauliflower curry

I think my one of my most memorable patients was Mr. L, who was hungry and ate everything in the ER.  – everything except the hospital food (or any actual food for that matter). From toilet paper to grass to sandwich wrappers, he just preferred those instead.

Ok, I know hospital food isn’t always the best, but I guess it’s a low when the sandwich wrapper is tastier.

roast beef sandwich local foods kale salad horseradish cauliflower curry
So the moral is, it’s a blessing to enjoy food, so eat each meal with deliberation. Good food make everyone happy. And Local Foods, a really delicious sandwich place near my apartment, makes me super happy. Their curry cauliflower roast beef sandwich (alas, I think it rotated off the menu) is my favorite sandwich from any restaurant ever. Their kale side is pretty awesome too, so I’ve shared my copycat recipe for both.

I’d take that over eating grass, paper, wrappers, or hospital food any day!

Local Food’s Roast Beef Sandwich
Recipe originally posted 3/2014

olive oil
1/2 cauliflower head, torn
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
6 slices roast beef
2 sharp cheddar slices
2 slices wheat bread

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Toss the cauliflower with olive oil, curry powder, cumin, and red pepper flakes. Place in a tray and roast for 25 min, or until desired doneness.

To make the sandwich, spread horseradish on each bread slice. Layer curry cauliflower, roast beef, and cheese. Add olive oil to a pan and heat sandwich on both sides until cheese is melted and bread is golden and toasted.

Local Food’s Kale Side Salad

1 1/2 cups kale
1 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup golden raisins, plumped in red wine vinegar (or water, wine, or fruit juice)
2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 oz parmesan cheese, grated
pepper, to taste

Soak the raisins in a small bowl with red wine vinegar (just enough to to cover all the raisins) until plump for several hours or overnight.

Mix kale with olive oil, red wine vinegar, honey, and olive oil. Toss with pine nuts and cheese. Add pepper. Adjust flavors to desired taste if necessary. Marinate the salad for an hour to let the flavor develop before eating.

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  1. That was very sweet of you to buy a fudgesicle for Mr T. I really love your stories Natalie- behind the scenes of the hospital and the doctor's life – and always amazed how you still have the energy to blog!

  2. Behind the scenes at the hospital – makes me sad for the people who don't have anyone but happy the busy medical staff can find the time to give comfort. Kudos to you! Thanks for sharing your roast beef sandwich and kale salad copycat recipes!

  3. These are such interesting stories! It's so sad to hear about the budget cuts and funding issues within the system though…

    I love this recipes though- cauliflower is too underrated in my book- it really needs to be added into everything 🙂

  4. I ate oatmeal cereal didn't really like it that much…until I was served some at the hospital the morning after I had my first child. It's funny how a hospital food made an impression on me. The sandwich sounds delicious—the roasted cauliflower is such nice surprise element.