Contributed by Gottlieb Memorial Hospital

Using fresh ingredients purchased from local farms, Gottlieb Memorial Hospital’s Dietary staff will make and share free samples of “Strawberry Fields” salad on Wednesday, August 10 during Oak Park’s Mid-Week Market.

“Hospital food at Gottlieb is fresh, seasonal, nutritious as well as tasty and this is a very popular salad we serve in our cafeteria,” said Susan Ofria, registered dietitian and manager at Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, part of Loyola University Health System.

Ofria works closely with members of the Dietary Department to offer selections that promote wellness to hospital patients as well as visitors and staff.

“Gottlieb patients order their choice of meals from a menu, much like room service ordering in a hotel,” explained Ofria. “Pastas, stir frys, salads and even fish is made to order to be as healthful and appetizing as possible.”

If patients are enjoying nutritious meals they are also generally improving in health, Ofria says. “Chicagoans are ethnically diverse and many have sophisticated palettes, so Gottlieb’s menu includes Asian, Italian and Mexican dishes plus trendy entrees and even comfort foods to try and satisfy all appetites.”

Hundreds of employees and visitors to the Melrose Park campus rely on the Gottlieb cafeteria for breakfast, lunch and dinner selections and the Dietary staff takes their role seriously. “We celebrate Meatless Mondays where only non-meat items are offered to promote healthier eating,” said Ofria, of the Gottlieb cafeteria. “Vegetarian wraps, hand-tossed salads like “Strawberry Fields” and our baked potato bar with toppings are popular and tasty, satisfying non-meat entrees.”

Gottlieb also encourages employees to exercise at the Gottlieb Center for Fitness by offering deeply discounted memberships, and there is a designated walking path on the Melrose Park campus. Special health incentive events are offered to employees monthly such as wellness lectures, free screenings and exercise incentive programs. “Hospital employees are so busy getting everyone else well that they often neglect their own wellness and we want Gottlieb staff to know that we are here for them,” said Dr. Carlos Reynes, medical director, Inspire Health, Gottlieb’s employee wellness program. “Exercise not only builds muscle and trims fat but helps reduce stress and increases positive feelings of well-being.”

Gottlieb Center for Fitness is open for membership to the public and more information can be found at

Following is a recipe from the Gottlieb Memorial Hospital kitchens:

Strawberry Fields Salad
from Gottlieb Memorial Hospital

Yield: 6 servings


1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard Salt and pepper


  • 8 cups mixed salad greens
  • 6 large strawberries, hulled, sliced
  • ½ cup chopped toasted walnuts
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced red onion
  • ½ cup crumbled blue cheese

1. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegar and dry mustard. Add sale and pepper to taste.

2. In a large bowl, combine salad greens, strawberries, walnuts and red onions.

3. Toss with dressing.

4. Top with blue cheese and serve.

Nutritional Information per serving
Calories: 209 Carbohydrate: 7.1 gm Protein: 4.1 gm Sodium: 176 gm
Fiber: 1.8 gm Cholesterol: 8.4 gm Saturated fat: 3.9 gm Fat: 19 gm

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