Enhancing Nutrition Through Multicultural Recipes


Proper nutrition is essential to maintaining the health and well-being of residents in long-term care facilities. Residents’ nutritional needs can differ, including regional and cultural dietary preferences. Offering a variety of multicultural meals in facilities, such as Indian Lentil Soup, Thai Noodles, Russian Borscht Soup, and Chinese Rice, can help cater to these preferences. Additionally, introducing themed menus based on different cultures can expose residents to various food options, increase their appetite, and keep them engaged and satisfied. These recipes are a great way to mix up meals and menus.

Borscht Soup:

Prep Time: 30 minutes | Yield: 10 Servings (1/2 cup a serving)


  • 3 teaspoons of vegetable oil
  • 1 pound section bone-in beef shank or 1 pound beef stew meat
  • 1 large onion
  • 8 cups of beef broth divided
  • 4 large beets
  • 1 pound of large carrots
  • 1 large russet potato
  • 2 cups of cabbage
  • 3/4 cup of chopped fresh dill
  • 3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Brown the beef in a large frying pan.
  2. Chop the large onion and fry in the same pan as the beef.
  3. Pour 2 teaspoons of cooking oil into a large, thick-bottomed pot on medium-high heat.
  4. Add the beef to the pot and brown lightly on both sides.
  5. Add the chopped onions to the pot and cook for 5 minutes or until softened.
  6. Next, add 4 cups of broth to the pot and simmer until the beef is tender.
  7. Pour 4 cups of beef broth over the beef and onions and bring to a boil.
  8. Cover and cook until the meat is tender, for 1 hour and 30 minutes on a simmer.
  9. While the beef is cooking, chop the onion, beets, and carrots. Peel and cut the potato into small cubes, and thinly slice the cabbage.
  10. When the beef is fully tender, turn the heat off, remove it from the pot, and slice it on a cutting board.
  11. If using a beef shank, remove and discard any bone, connective tissue, and excess fat. Chop the meat into bite-sized pieces. Skim off any excess fat from the liquid in the pot.
  12. After fully cut, put the beef back into the pot on the stove and add the remaining broth, carrots, beets, potato, sliced cabbage, and a half cup of fresh dill.
  13. Bring to a simmer and cook for another 15 minutes. Add red wine vinegar and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Indian Lentil Soup:

(Vegetarian or Vegan Option)

Prep Time: 20 minutes | Yield: 6 Servings


  • 2 cups of dried lentils
  • 6 cups of vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon of canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons of minced garlic
  • 1 medium-sized onion
  • 3 medium-sized diced tomatoes 
  • 1/2 teaspoon of curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1/8 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon of red chopped pepper (optional)


  1. Rinse the lentils several times until the water is clear. Set aside.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil over medium heat in a large soup pot.
  3. Dice and add the onion to the soup pot along with the minced garlic, curry powder, black pepper, and turmeric.
  4. Sauté quickly and add lentils.
  5. Add the vegetable stock, tomatoes, and lemon juice. Stir to combine.
  6. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover pan and simmer for 10 – 20 minutes.
  7. Top with chopped cilantro, parsley, or dollop soup bowls with plain yogurt as desired.


Prep Time: 10 minutes | Yield: 6-8 Servings


  • 1 (15-ounce) can of garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 pinch of paprika
  • 1 spring of fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin (optional)


  1. Put garbanzo beans, olive oil, lemon juice, water, garlic, and cumin into a food processor and process for one minute or until smooth.
  2. Pour into a serving bowl and sprinkle on top paprika and fresh chopped parsley.
  3. Serve and enjoy!

Uzma Iram MS,CDN,RDN | uzma.iram@hcsgcorp.com

“Working in the nutrition field has brought me immense satisfaction. Catering to residents’ dietary needs and experimenting with new recipes and foods is a fun challenge I love taking on daily.”

Uzma Iram started with HCSG in 2023 after obtaining her Master’s in Food and Nutrition from Lehman College and her Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Punjab University in Pakistan. She is passionate about learning about the science of food and its medical benefits. In her free time, Uzma enjoys reading and watching documentaries with her two children.

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