As a survivor of three traumatic brain injuries between 1984 and 2012, former client Nat Dean knows first-hand about living with physical disabilities. In 1988, she began working with service dogs to help mitigate the challenges her disabilities presented. In 1994, she moved to Santa Fe. By 2000, unable to cook for herself because of a particularly difficult health complication, she became a Kitchen Angels client.
As her health improved, Nat celebrated her “graduation” from Kitchen Angels in 2010. In honor of the occasion as well as her birthday, she made a commitment to begin cooking for herself and gaining more independence.
Nat believes Kitchen Angels’ support was instrumental in helping her translate her 25-year recovery into a new life chapter, giving new meaning to her personal journey through disability. Nat feels she has found her niche as a disabilities advocate, working directly with disabled people as well as with individuals at the local, state and federal levels. Nat tries to help guide policymakers, agencies, families and those living with disabilities toward discovering fresh avenues and creative solutions to facilitate systemic changes in the ‘disability experience.’ She sees her responsibility as helping to build bridges for greater access to supports and services in her work as a Disability-Focused Advocate, Consultant & Mediator.
Nat’s ultimate desire is to help people living with disabilities improve the trajectory of the challenging events they face from crisis to opportunity.
2 Chicken breasts, skinless and boneless, cut into ½” cubes*
2 cans chicken broth plus 2 cans water
6 medium red or white potatoes. Cleaned and cut into ½” cubes
1 large carrot, cut into ½’ cubes
2 roasted green chiles, cut into ½” slices
½ cup canned diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt & Pepper
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon red powder chili
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼” cup fresh cilantro leaves
Heat oil in a heavy soup pot and sauté the onions, garlic and cubed chicken until onions are transparent. Add the broth and water. Scrape the chicken particles from the bottom of the pot. Add the remaining ingredients, including optional seasonings, if using. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 1 to 2 hours until the meat is tender. While cooking, add more broth or water if needed. If desired, thicken the stew by whisking together 1 or 2 tablespoons flour with ½ cup of the broth, then stirring it back in the stew. Serve with flour tortillas or sourdough bread.
*Feel free to substitute with boneless pork chops, beef or lamb.
Mark has been one of our clients for two and a half years and, while he loves the ‘mouthwatering’ chicken because it’s so tender he also loves the friendships he’s developed with the delivery drivers. “The drivers are the nicest people and I look forward to seeing them all day long” he says. Often the drivers are Mark’s only social interaction. “If it weren’t for Kitchen Angels, I would almost always be alone.” He appreciates the love and time that goes into preparing his meals. “They bring it to you warm and it makes you feel as if you cooked it yourself. For that I’m very grateful.” Mark has had four massive heart attacks and despite his health concerns, he remains upbeat and maintains a positive outlook on life. With a charming laugh and fun sense of humor he notes “If I win the lotto, I’ll give 10 million dollars to Kitchen Angels.”
prepare dressing: Combine avocado, mayonnaise, lime juice, garlic, salt and
cumin in a mini food processor. Puree until smooth.
prepare pasta salad: Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water according to
package directions. Drain, rinse with cold water, then drain again. Transfer to
a large bowl. Stir in tomatoes, beans, corn, Cheddar, onion and cilantro. Add
the dressing and toss to coat.
Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate, without dressing, for up
to 1 day. Toss with the dressing about 1 hour before serving.
Morgan Honeycutt is a New Mexico native with a life-long passion for helping people. Her legal career has involved immigration work with refugees and asylum seekers, criminal defense as a Public Defender in Albuquerque and family law. A partner at Walther Bennett Mayo Honeycutt PC, Morgan finds that working with people in crisis is both an extremely rewarding and moving experience, although not an easy one. Her legal work translates to the kind of work Kitchen Angels does for the local community such as serving underprivileged populations. In such a capacity this requires dedication, creativity, tenacity, and a deep understanding of human suffering. In her free time, Morgan walks her dog, tries to convince her cat to wear a leash, reads voraciously, and enjoys everything Santa Fe has to offer with her large, rowdy group of friends. As somebody who is dealing with a very ill, aging parent Morgan says “I have a new and different appreciation for the kind of work that Kitchen Angels does in Santa Fe, and I so look forward to contributing what I can to this organization’s bold and loving mission.”