Simple recipes for seniors to follow

Food can have a significant impact on an individual’s health, potentially affecting social, mental and physical functioning. Some options can promote better memory care, while others can reduce a senior’s risk for developing heart disease.

To help promote healthy eating within the Canadian population, the government recently unveiled its Eat Well campaign, which seeks to educate Canadians about the ways in which they can consume nutritious foods. According to a statement from Health Canada, several organizations teamed up to contribute recipes to the cause. Eve Adams, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health, explained that the foods would be beneficial for providing methods by which Canadians could better their eating habits.

“These Eat Well recipes will help Canadian families learn how to make healthy food choices and improve their cooking skills,” Adams said, as quoted by the release. “Our government is committed to providing Canadians with information that will help them and their families make healthy food choices.”

While these recipes can serve individuals of all ages, those in senior living homes can benefit from their easy assembly. Chartwell retirement residences feature dining locations that provide healthy and delicious food offerings to seniors living within their walls, but for seniors who enjoy getting their hands dirty every once and a while, these recipes may be fun to try. The following food items have been highlighted as part of the government’s Eat Well program, and require little to no cooking with appliances:

Chips and dip
Spring is often the perfect time to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables. The Government of Canada provides a laundry list of recipes replete with vegetation currently in season. These treats that combine several different types of foods are perfect for individuals planning social events for the elderly. One recipe put forth is Zesty Bean Dip and Chips, which only takes 8 minutes to prepare. Whether they’re gathering around the television to enjoy a sporting event or bringing this delicious dish to a community event, seniors should follow the following recipe to craft this healthy dip:

Ingredients

  • 125 mL medium or hot salsa
  • 1 can (540 mL) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 30 mL lime juice
  • 2 mL ground cumin
  • 1 mL grated lime rind
  • 1 minced shallot
  • ground pepper
  • 45 mL fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 30 mL fresh basil, chopped

Directions
Combine the first seven ingredients in a food processor, pureeing them until smooth. Next, stir in the cilantro and basil to taste. Be sure to purchase whole-grain tortilla chips to maximize the nutritional value of the meal. Set the dip out in a festive spring bowl to further celebrate the season.

Chickpea and carrot salad
Another great option for seniors who are hosting events at their retirement communities, this savory dish requires no cooking whatsoever. Packed with a number of nutrients essential for senior living – including a high vitamin A factor – this food is a great way to meet one’s daily vegetable needs.

Salad ingredients

  • 2 carrots, grated and peeled
  • 500 mL grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 chopped cucumber
  • 1 can (540 mL) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 15 mL chopped fresh dill

Dressing ingredients

  • 10 mL extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 45 mL balsamic vinegar
  • 60 mL chopped basil
  • 1 mL fresh ground pepper
  • 15 mL basil pesto

Directions
When preparing the salad, toss together the chopped cucumber and dill, then layer carrots, chickpeas and tomatoes. After garnishing with basil, cover the top of the bowl and keep it refrigerated for one day. Once the meal has been finished, the salad dressing must be created. Combining the ingredients in a small bowl, chefs must then whisk them together until they’ve reached the desired consistency. For best results, keep refrigerated until the salad is served.