Easy Dinner Recipes for the Elderly

Eating well is important for all ages, but especially for older individuals who need to maintain their strength and energy, while often managing chronic diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure.

Because calorie needs decrease with age, but nutrient needs remain the same or even increase, it’s essential that seniors pack as much nutrition into each meal as possible. Planning quick and nutritious meals that are high in protein, vitamins, and minerals can make healthy eating easy.

Brought to you by our nutritionist- Karen Seymore!

 

Biscuits and Gravy Casserole

Ingredients

·         1 can large, flaky biscuits (such as Grand’s)

·         ½ pound ground breakfast sausage

·         3 Tablespoons flour

·         ½ teaspoon salt

·         ½ teaspoon black pepper

·         2 and ½ cups milk

Instructions

1.      Preheat oven to 400 degrees (F).

2.      Prepare a small casserole dish (approximately 7×10) with cooking spray. Set aside.

3.      Open biscuits, and cut biscuits into quarters.

4.      Layer half of the quarters in prepared pan.

5.      Bake for 10 minutes.

6.      Meanwhile, prepare gravy.

7.      In a heavy skillet, brown the ground breakfast sausage over medium high heat until fully cooked.

8.      Sprinkle the cooked sausage with 3 Tablespoons of flour.

9.      Use a wooden spoon to stir flour into sausage until completely absorbed.

10.  Lower heat to medium, and cook flour/sausage mixture for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently.

11.  Add milk, and stir to combine.

12.  Add salt and black pepper.

13.  Stir frequently until mixture comes to a slight boil.

14.  Taste, and adjust seasonings as desired. (I usually add more black pepper)

15.  If the gravy is too thick, add a bit more milk. You want the gravy to be thickened but not too thick, not “globby,” it should still be slightly runny.

16.  Pour gravy over the cooked biscuits.

17.  Layer the remaining uncooked, quartered biscuits over the gravy.

18.  Place casserole dish on a baking sheet, and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. If they start to over-brown, you can cover with foil for the last 10 minutes or so.

19.  Serve immediately.

20.  Enjoy!

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Taco Lasagna

Ingredients

o    12 oven ready lasagna noodles (see note)

o    1-pound lean ground beef

o    1 (1-oz.) package Old El Paso taco seasoning

o    1 egg

o    1 (15-oz.) carton ricotta cheese

o    4 cups (1 lb.) shredded cheddar cheese

o    1 (24-oz.) jar chunky salsa

o    Optional toppings: sour cream, green onions, diced tomatoes

Instructions

1.      Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2.      In a large skillet, brown beef until no longer pink. Drain meat and add the taco seasoning. Stir until combined and set aside.

3.      In a small bowl, add the egg and ricotta and stir until combined.

4.      In a 9×13 baking dish, start by layering 4 lasagna noodles on the bottom of the pan. Next, layer 1/3 of the ricotta, 1/3 of the beef mixture, 1/3 of the salsa, and 1/3 of the cheese. Repeat the layers 2 more times.

5.      Bake covered for 30-40 minutes or until the casserole has heated through and is bubbly. Let casserole stand 10 minutes before cutting. Top with sour cream, sliced green onions, and diced tomatoes if desired.

Recipe Notes

I use oven ready or no-boil lasagna noodles to save time. You can use regular noodles as well, just boil them before assembling.

It’s important to cover it tightly when baking. This kind of steams the noodles with the salsa.

Freezing: This freezes great! To use frozen casserole: Thaw in the refrigerator for 8 hours and then bake as directed.

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Winter Soup

Ingredients:

·         1 Tablespoon unsalted butter

·         3/4 cup chopped yellow onion (1/2 of a medium onion)

·         1 cup sliced carrots (1 and 1/2 large carrots)

·         1 cup sliced celery (2-3 stalks)

·         2 garlic cloves, minced

·         1/4 cup all-purpose flour

·         1/2 teaspoon oregano

·         1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

·         1 teaspoon fresh thyme1

·         1/2 teaspoon salt

·         8 cups chicken broth2

·         1 medium potato, peeled and diced (around 1 and 1/2 cups)

·         2 cups shredded roasted chicken3

·         1 cup fat free half-and-half or whole milk4

·         4 cups uncooked wide egg noodles5

Directions:

1.      Heat the butter in a 4 quart or larger large pot or dutch oven (4 quart or larger) over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic. Sauté for around 7 minutes as the veggies let off some juices and become soft. Add flour, oregano, pepper, thyme, and salt. Stir and cook for 3 minutes.

2.      Next, add the broth and potato. Give everything a quick stir, then increase the heat to medium-high. Bring the soup to a boil, without stirring, and allow to boil for 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low, partially cover the pot, and allow to simmer for 25 minutes or until the potatoes have softened. Taste the soup. Does it need more seasoning like salt, pepper, etc? Add some. Add the chicken, half-and-half, and noodles. Cook for 10 minutes until the noodles are tender and the soup has thickened. Once again, taste the soup. Does it need more seasoning like salt, pepper, etc.? Add some. Sometimes I add a pinch more of pepper. Serve the soup warm.

Do you have a healthy dinner recipe to share, that is a personal favorite? We’d love to see your recipes in the comments below.

 

 

 

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