Mount Nittany Health shares plant-forward recipes to celebrate National Nutrition Month

March 16, 2023
General News & Announcements
5 min read


Mount Nittany Health is pleased to recognize March as National Nutrition Month. Created 50 years ago by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, this month-long celebration was designed to help people understand the benefits of optimizing nutrition by making informed food choices, and developing healthy eating and physical activity habits.

The goal of the incredible Nutrition Services team at Mount Nittany Medical Center is to provide for the dietary needs of patients. Good nutrition is essential for maintaining a healthy body weight, reducing the risk of chronic diseases, and improving overall health and well-being. In a medical setting, proper nutrition is crucial for preventing illness and aiding in the recovery process.

Each year, Mount Nittany Health’s clinical dietitians complete between 3,500 and 4,500 nutrition assessments for patients. This includes planning and initiating medical nutrition therapy based on each patient’s unique needs, which may be relayed to acute illness, chronic disease, altered gastrointestinal function or other complications impacting nutrition. They primarily focus on the inpatient population, but also provide consultations to those in the outpatient setting.

The Nutrition Services team works closely with providers to provide highly personalized, individualized care. Such interventions range from diet modifications for specific foods, nutrients, or textures, to providing additional snacks and supplements. Additionally, the Nutrition Services team works closely with the Culinary Services team to execute interventions in the form of modified diets, such as heart healthy or texture-modified, to suit the requirements and preferences of patients.

Nutrition education also plays an important role within this team’s body of work. Patients and their families are often provided education and counseling for their unique needs which may include managing a new diagnosis, such as heart failure, or treating a chronic condition, such as diabetes. In the outpatient setting, nutrition education is also available. Registered dietitians are available to review patient needs while implementing highly individualized care that helps patients meet their goals.

Mount Nittany Health is grateful to have an incredible group of dietitians who hold advanced credentials including Certified Nutrition Support Clinician (CNSC), Certified Specialist in Gerontological Nutrition (CSG), and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist (CDCES). The Nutrition Services team also precepts dietetic interns who assist in patient care.

Mount Nittany Health would like to applaud the Nutrition Services team for their outstanding work each day. Their work in addressing the dietary needs of our patients while providing compassionate care is a great example of our mission of “Healthier People. Stronger Community.”

Please enjoy these plant forward recipes from our Nutrition Services team!

Chickpea & Potato Curry (Chana Aloo Masala)

Adapted from Little Sunny Kitchen


  • 2 tbsp. olive, canola, or vegetable oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/4 tsp. ground ginger (or 1” fresh, grated)
  • 1 jalapeno (deseeded, finely diced)
  • ½ tsp. curry powder
  • ½ tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 lb. potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained & rinsed
  • 1 c. vegetable stock (or water)
  • 1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • ½ can coconut milk (optional)
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 c. baby spinach leaves
  • 2 tbsp. fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped (optional)


  • In a large pot, heat oil and sauté onions with ginger and jalapeno until the onions begin to soften and become translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute until it becomes fragrant.
  • Add the spices, stir and cook 1 more minute.
  • Add the diced tomatoes and vegetable stock.
  • Add the potatoes and chickpeas. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are soft and pierce with a fork. If you prefer a creamy curry, add the coconut milk.
  • Add spinach leaves and stir, cooking for 1 minute to wilt.
  • Serve over rice and garnish with the chopped parsley or cilantro.
Fuel-Up Trail Mix

Customize this homemade trail mix to your needs and wants! It makes a great topping for granola or oatmeal. The nut seeds offer a source of healthy fats and protein that will help you feel and stay full. The dried fruit and popcorn provide complex carbohydrates to fuel your body and your gut!


  • 1 ½ cups raw nuts (i.e. walnuts, pecans, cashews, almonds, peanuts, etc)
  • 1 cup raw seeds (i.e. pumpkin, sunflower)
  • 1 cup dried fruit (choose an unsweetened or “No added sugar” option)
  • 1 cup popcorn (popped)
  • Spices: try ¼ tsp salt, ½ tsp cinnamon, a dash of nutmeg
  • The nuts can be roasted for ~10 minutes at 350 degrees F to deepen their flavor or eaten raw. Mix all ingredients together and store in airtight containers.

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