The key to staying positive and living a healthy, well-balanced life, is eating right! But if you’ve lost interest in cooking or perhaps medications are causing your appetite to dwindle, getting proper nutrition on a daily basis might be easier said than done.
So, with seniors’ nutrition in mind, I’ve searched the recipe files to come up with five delicious, healthy dishes that are not only quick and easy, they require a short list of ingredients!
1. Crock-pot chicken and veggies
This yummy chicken stew takes care of tomorrow’s dinner as well!
1½ lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast or tenders
1-16 oz. can low sodium chicken broth
10 or 15 baby red potatoes
2 carrots (chopped) or small bag of baby carrots
3 celery stalks (chopped)
1 onion (chopped)
Preparation: Cut chicken into bite size pieces and place everything into crock-pot. Seasonings that work well in chicken dishes include sage, black pepper, bay leaf, basil and thyme. Add a pinch of each, or season to your personal taste. Cook on low for 6 – 8 hours, garnish with fresh parsley and serve with whole-wheat buns or biscuits.
Variation: Leftovers make a hearty chicken noodle soup the next day! Just add your favorite pasta as you reheat on the stovetop allowing pasta to cook 10 – 15 minutes before serving.
2. Skillet vegetarian meal
Use leftover rice and broccoli in this deliciously satisfying one-dish meal!
10 oz. fresh (or frozen) mustard greens, collard greens, spinach or kale
Cooked broccoli (either with or instead of greens)
1-32 oz. can stewed tomatoes
1-cup cooked rice
1-15 oz. can drained white beans
Preparation: Simmer everything in the skillet until heated through and season with pepper or hot sauce and oregano or basil.
3. Grilled salmon and pineapple salsa
1 cup chopped pineapple
2 T chopped red onion
2 T chopped cilantro
1 T rice vinegar
⅛ tsp. ground red pepper
½ tsp. salt
4 salmon filets about ½ inch thick
Preparation: to make salsa combine pineapple, onion, cilantro, rice vinegar and red pepper in a bowl and set aside. Place lightly salted fish fillets in non-stick pan over medium heat coated with cooking spray. Cook fish fillets four minutes per side, or until flakey. Place on serving plates and top with salsa. Serve with wholegrain rice and salad.
4. Greek salad
Chopped mint leaves
Crumbled feta cheese
Chopped black olives
Red onion chopped
Dress with extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar.
Variations: Add cherry tomatoes, chopped green pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice. Rub salad bowl with garlic or add fresh minced garlic to salad. Iceberg lettuce, mixed salad greens or butter lettuce may be added or used instead of romaine.
5. Breakfast Frittata
This Spanish-style omelet prepared in a cast-iron skillet is great for breakfast or brunch!
Bacon – cooked and chopped
Potatoes – cooked and chopped
Cheese – shredded
Preparation: Cook beaten eggs briefly in a hot skillet, add onions, spinach, bacon and/or potatoes, top with cheese and finish in the oven. Slice into wedges and serve hot! Quantities vary according to the number of servings you wish to prepare.
Bonus recipe – Healthy Banana Bread
A recipe list is not complete without desert, here’s a healthy version of traditional banana bread that’s certain to be a hit with afternoon tea!
2 cups whole-wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
½ cup sugar-free applesauce
¾ cup honey
2 beaten eggs
3 overripe bananas – mashed
Preparation: Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Lightly grease a 9 x 5 loaf pan. Combine dry ingredients in large bowl. In another bowl mix applesauce, honey and mashed bananas. Add wet mixture to dry and stir to moisten. Then pour batter into loaf pan and bake for 60 minutes. Test by inserting toothpick into the middle – it’s done when the toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool for ten minutes before turning onto a wire rack.
Written by Alice Lucette
Alice Lucette, a blogger from Canada is a writer for SeniorsZen.com – a free resource for finding local retirement homes in Canada.