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Healthy Spring Meals for Seniors
Categories: Caregiving Articles, Senior Care Tips | Posted: 3/5/2015 | Views: 4889

Healthy, Easy Spring Recipes for Seniors

Craving something fresh, healthy and delicious?  How about these recipes that bring out the best flavors of spring vegetables and are easy to prepare?  When cooking for an elderly person, some things to keep in mind are taste, variety, ease of eating, "easy" serving temperatures, and cooking that can last a few days with great leftovers for busy caregivers and seniors who may want to spend less time in the kitchen.

Spring Ahead Soup

Spring Chicken

Roasted Asparagus

Roasted Baby Potato Salad

Roasted Veggie Pasta Salad

"New Fashioned" Tuna Caserole

Spring Ahead Soup! (Can be Vegetarian)

Healthy, very light, low fat and super easy! Keep it vegetarian by using vegetable stock or make it more hearty by adding cooked, cubed chicken breast in last 5 minutes of cooking.

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:
6 Cups low salt Vegetable or Chicken Stock
1 Can plain diced tomatoes (not drained)
4 Medium sized waxy golden potatoes, quartered
3 Carrots, sliced
2 Ribs Celery, sliced
1 medium onion chopped
1 leek sliced
1 small package frozen peas (6-8 oz)
2 Tbs. Fresh Parsley chopped
2 Tbs. Tarragon Chopped
salt and pepper
Cooked boneless chicken breast – in one inch cubes (optional)
Parmesan Cheese, croutons, more chopped fresh parsley for serving (optional)

  1. Add everything to a soup pot except fresh herbs and frozen peas. Bring to a boil, simmer on a low setting for 30 minutes uncovered.
  2. When carrots and potatoes are cooked, add frozen peas and herbs and cook another 5 minutes.
  3. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Serve with optional garnishes of herbs, croutons, and/or parmesan cheese.

Spring Chicken

Feeling like a spring chicken these days?  Great.  This hearty dish can be doubled if need be or just cooked for two! 

Serves 2

Ingredients:
¾ cup chicken broth
1 TBS. Lemon juice
Chopped fresh dill (about 1 TBS. – divided by half)
1 teaspoon flour
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil (divided 1+1)
4 green onions white and green chopped
1 clove garlic, minced

  1. Whisk together broth, lemon juice, half the dill, and flour in a small bowl, set aside.
  2. Heat one tsp. olive oil in a medium-high skillet. Salt and pepper both sides of chicken breasts and add to skillet. Brown each side of the breasts about 2-3 minutes per side. Pull breasts out and set aside.
  3. Reduce heat to medium and add the remaining olive oil. Add onion and garlic and stir well for about a minute. Add the lemon juice/broth mixture to pan and cook about 2 minutes whisking until thickened.
  4. Reduce heat to low, add the browned chicken back to pan, and simmer till chicken is done – about 4-5 more minutes. Serve with the pan sauces over chicken and sprinkle with dill.

Roasted Asparagus

With only three ingredients, this is always a hit.  Be careful not to oversalt it!

Serves 2-3

Ingredients:
1 pound Asparagus with woody end trimmed off
1-2 tsp. Course Sea Salt - crushed
1 TBS. Olive Oil

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Place asparagus onto a jelly roll pan laying them out in one layer. Rub Asparagus with olive oil, crush the sea salt using a rolling pin. Sprinkle desired amounts of salt onto the asparagus. Place in oven and cook for 10 minutes.

Roasted Baby Potato Salad

This makes a meal and can be a great picnic dish if you are on an outing and want to pack your lunch!

Serves 3-4

potato salad with roasted potatoesIngredients:
1 pound baby red or white potatoes
1 TBS. Olive oil
¼ tsp. Dill weed
¼ tsp. Thyme
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Pepper
1 Small Package frozen Sugar Snap Peas – cooked according to package
2 Cups Greens (spring lettuce mix, watercress, regular green lettuce, spinach – your choice!)
A Splash of Italian salad dressing to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Clean the potatoes, but leave the skin on. If your potatoes are larger than usual baby potatoes, you may want to cut them in half. Rub olive oil and toss with seasonings. Lay out on a shallow baking pan lined with parchment paper.
  3. Cook 15 minutes, stir, and cook 15 minutes more. Let cool 10 minutes and toss with cooked snap peas and greens. Add salad dressing as desired. Serve warm or chilled.

Roasted Veggie Pasta Salad

This is one of the best pasta salads in the world using Orzo which looks like rice - but is really pasta! You will come back for more of this!  It is a little heavy on the olive oil, so just use less of the dressing if you want to cut out some calories.  You can store the leftover dressing for 2 weeks in the fridge for other salads.

Serves 6

Ingredients:

Roasted Veggies and Orzo

1 red pepper
1 green or yellow pepper
1 red onion
1 small eggplant
¼ cup olive oil
½ tsp. garlic powder
Salt and pepper
8 ounces dry orzo

Dressing:
The juice of 2 lemons or about 1/3 cup of lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Optional Garnishes:
Chopped fresh parsley
Black olives sliced
Feta cheese crumlbed
Cherry tomatoes sliced in half

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  2. Chop the peppers, onion, and eggplant into 1 inch cubes or pieces. Toss them with ¼ cup olive oil, garlic powder and salt and pepper to taste. Lay out onto a large sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Cook total of 40 minutes – turning veggies once around 20 minutes into cooking.
  3. Meanwhile, cook Orzo according to package directions, drain, and set aside.
  4. Add all the dressing ingredients together and whisk until combined well, set aside.
  5. When veggies are done roasting, cool a few minutes and place in a large bowl. Add the cooked orzo, dressing, and roasted veggies and toss. Serve chilled or at room temperature. Add optional garnishes as desired.

“New Fashioned” Tuna Casserole

A heart healthy version of an old fashioned favorite! 

Serves 4

Ingredients:
12 ounces bow tie pasta
1 Bunch Asparagus chopped in ¾ inch pieces
1 Red Pepper cut in thin strips
1 Garlic clove minced
¼ cup Onion diced
1 TBS. Olive oil
½ cup canned black olives sliced
1 can tuna in water, drained

Dressing:
3 TBS. Grated Parmesan
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
Salt and Pepper

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, in large skillet, saute asparagus, red pepper, garlic, onion, and olives in olive oil till tender.
  3. Whisk together parmesan cheese, olive oil, vinegar and salt and pepper to taste to make dressing.
  4. Place tuna, cooked pasta, and dressing in large bowl and toss
  5. Serve room temperature or chilled.
     

See Also:

Elderly Nutrition and Eating Problems

More Senior Recipes

Safe Supplements

Dementia and Nutrition

 

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