By Christine Kasum Sexton, MPH
Linda Valley Villa is an independent living facility for seniors located in Loma Linda, California. The Villa was originally started by a Seventh-day Adventist seeking to provide a suitable vegetarian living facility for older members of the large local Seventh-day Adventist community. Since that time, Linda Valley Villa has been purchased by a different company, but the lacto-ovo vegetarian meals that they offer
Currently, about 100 seniors live in the Villa. Eva Ortiz, the dietary supervisor, and her staff, prepare three meals each day for all of the residents. Eva has worked at the Villa for 23 years, and says that she has never really encountered any problems with providing vegetarian meals. It has not been difficult for her to find vendors for vegetarian foods. These days, according to Ortiz, larger vendors like Sysco are offering more and more vegetarian or vegan prepared foods and ingredients. While all residents must agree to follow a vegetarian diet, most are drawn to the facility specifically because it offers vegetarian foods. Currently, four residents follow vegan diets, which Eva and her staff cater to by substituting ingredients such as oats, other grains, or nuts for dairy items when necessary. Both vegetarian and vegan items can also be adapted for those needing special diets, including low-sodium and diabetic diets.
Some of the residents favorite dishes include Oriental Noodles, which are cold fried noodles mixed with stir-fried tofu and a variety of vegetables, “Chicken” with Dressing, which is fried mock chicken with a vegetarian gravy dressing, and enchiladas, made with either cheese or textured vegetable protein. Eva has come up with some of her own recipes that the residents particularly enjoy, including asparagus patties and mushroom patties. Other entrees that the Villa serves include vegetable casseroles, mock chicken patties or nuggets, pizza, “chicken” loaves, and herbed vegetable loaves. Also always available are vegetable side dishes, a salad bar, beans, sandwiches, and both fresh and canned fruits. The facility offers dairy, soy, and almond milks.
Eva keeps her menus fresh and her residents happy by meeting with them once a month to discuss which menu items they particularly like, and any suggestions they might have for changes or additions to the menu.
For more information about Linda Valley Villa, you can contact them at (909) 796-7501.
Linda Valley Villa
11075 Benton Street
Loma Linda, CA 92354