Senior-Friendly Recipes to Try in 2023February 24, 2023
Eating healthy does not have to be boring or repetitive. As we get older, our food choices can become limited; however, there is no reason why we cannot try something new and exciting. Thanks to the internet, there is a vast array of culinary options available for us to explore. With the ever-growing number of new flavors and visually stunning dishes, it’s a great time to be adventurous with our meals!
While experimenting with different cooking methods and ingredients may seem daunting, it is relatively simple and easy. Once you get the hang of experimenting with food, you will be unstoppable in the kitchen.
Look no further if you are looking for senior-friendly recipes to try in 2023 without the hassle. Here we give you tips on exploring food and making mealtimes more exciting.
1. Try a new cuisine this year — Indian, Thai, or Ethiopian food might be interesting to explore
If you want to expand your horizons regarding food, you should explore cuisines from around the world. Doing so can broaden your mind regarding ingredients, flavors, and textures.
You can explore cuisine from Ethiopia, India, Thailand, or even Japan. While some may include specialist ingredients, you will find that they can often be substituted for something else.
However, you may also want to stock up on staples, such as sesame seed oil and soy sauce. Once you have some essential ingredients, you will find that you can use them for various recipes from around the world.
Example: Thai Chicken and Vegetable Stir-Fry
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into thin strips
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 small onion, sliced
- 1 bell pepper, sliced
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce (low sodium)
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 2 cups cooked brown rice
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until browned, about 5 minutes.
- Add the onion, bell pepper, and mushrooms, and cook for another 5 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
- Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute, until fragrant.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch, soy sauce, oyster sauce, brown sugar, red pepper flakes (if using), and chicken broth.
- Pour the sauce into the skillet and stir to coat the chicken and vegetables. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until the sauce has thickened and the chicken is cooked through.
- Serve the stir-fry over cooked brown rice.
This recipe is easy to prepare, nutritious, and flavorful. It is also low in sodium and fat, which makes it a healthy option for seniors who need to watch their diet.
2. Experiment with different cooking methods—baking, poaching, and slow cooking are all great techniques to try
You do not always need to ‘travel’ too far when experimenting with food; you can also try different cooking techniques. If you are used to making food one way, why not try a different method?
This could include the likes of poaching, steaming or even making a slow-cooked meal for dinner. Changing how you approach your cooking can affect the outcome, especially if you are cooking veggies and meat.
There are so many different ways to cook food, and trying the various ways is fun and tasty. Plus, if you live with somebody, they will be thrilled knowing you are interested in experimenting with cooking.
Example: Slow Cooker Beef Stew
- 1 pound of beef stew meat, cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 cups of beef broth (low sodium)
- 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon of salt (or salt substitute)
- 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
- 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- In a slow cooker, combine the beef, onion, potatoes, carrots, celery, and garlic.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the beef broth, tomato paste, salt, pepper, thyme, and bay leaf.
- Pour the beef broth mixture over the ingredients in the slow cooker.
- Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or until the beef is tender and the vegetables are cooked through.
- Serve the beef stew hot, garnished with fresh parsley if desired.
This recipe is easy to prepare and can be customized to your liking by adding other vegetables, such as green beans or mushrooms. It is also a great option for seniors as it is a nutritious and filling meal that can be enjoyed with minimal effort.
3. Be adventurous with your ingredients—go beyond the standard salt and pepper.
When you are cooking, you may want to think about the ingredients you are putting into the meal. While it sounds obvious, not everyone takes the time to appreciate the seasonings and so forth that make a delicious dinner.
Now is the time to break the habit of just using salt and pepper. There are so many other ingredients to use that will increase the flavor of a dish!
For example, herbs and spices: start by using dried herbs if you wish, but then move on to adding fresh herbs to your meals. If you enjoy using them, you could also grow your herbs in pots. It is nearly effortless to do, and the difference in flavor is remarkable!
Spices are a great way to add some “oomph” to a dish too. Not only can they bring the heat in varying degrees, but they can also add some delicious flavor.
Herb-Roasted Chicken Thighs with Vegetables
- 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
- 1 large carrot, sliced into rounds
- 1 small onion, sliced
- 1 large red bell pepper, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon herbs de Provence
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (or salt substitute)
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- In a large bowl, combine sliced carrot, onion, and red bell pepper. Add minced garlic, herbs de Provence, salt, and black pepper, and mix well.
- Place chicken thighs in a separate bowl and add olive oil. Toss until the chicken is coated in oil.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange the vegetables on the baking sheet and place the chicken thighs on top of the vegetables.
- Roast the chicken and vegetables in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender.
- Serve hot and enjoy!
This recipe is great, because it’s easy to prepare and features the flavorful herbs de Provence. It also includes nutrient-rich vegetables and protein-rich chicken, making it a well-balanced meal for seniors.
4. Make a list of recipes you’d like to try and get started on planning your meals for the year
Before you start cooking, make a list of the kind of recipes you would like to make, and then plan when you would like to cook them.
You can then start planning the meals you would like to do for the next week, month, or even the year. The latter is especially true if you have some family or friend gatherings planned. Maybe you want to make a delicious Thanksgiving meal in a few months’ time? Or perhaps you’re hosting the ultimate holiday feast for the whole family? There are many ways to use food as a celebration, so plan ahead!
5. Ask friends and family for recipe recommendations, or search online for interesting ideas
If you are wondering where to start, then the best thing you can do is to research recipes. This can be by looking at various cookbooks, or searching the internet. There is bound to be something that will get your creative juices flowing.
You can also ask your friends and family, because they might have some recipes that they love to cook. They may even be able to offer some advice or have recipes that they would like to try.
Once you have checked out the plethora of recipes available, make a note of them. You could also create a digital or physical folder to keep track of all the recipes and ingredients.
6. Get organized in the kitchen by creating a designated space for everything (pots and pans, utensils, spices)
You may also want to reorganize your kitchen space. If you are getting back into cooking, then you may have let your organization in the kitchen slip, but that’s okay!
Now is a great time to get that kitchen in tip-top shape and move things around to make cooking a breeze. You may also want to invest in some new equipment if needed.
For example, purchase a new set of knives or copper pots—they don’t have to be expensive, either.
Cooking should always be fun, no matter your age. In fact, as you get older, sometimes cooking can become even more enjoyable.
This is because you have more time to experiment with different flavors and cooking methods. You can also organize the kitchen to suit your needs rather than making it fit for a young family.
Enjoy experimenting with your cooking. You might just find some new flavors that you absolutely love!
Our gated retirement community in Maplewood, NJ offers everything you could possibly want, including delicious dining options, social activities that cater to a wide variety of interests, amazing architecture from famed architects, and landscaping from the family that designed iconic Central Park. Contact us to schedule a visit today.