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What’s Cookin’? The Best of Alert1’s Senior-Friendly Recipes

Grandmother and Granddaughter Baking Cookies

There’s always a recipe that takes us back to our youth. We catch a whiff of chocolate chip cookies and we’re back in the kitchen at Grandma’s house, smelling the cookies bake while she’s stirring a pot of soup on the stove.

 

It’s no secret that food has the power to transport people back in time. Nostalgic reflection and memories play an important role when aging in place. Memories and shared experiences bond family members together while teaching future generations about their family tree.

 

But as you’re aging in place, cooking isn’t what it used to be. It’s harder to move around the kitchen. You have to be extra careful of spills that could turn into a fall hazard. Extra precautions have to be made to ensure a safe kitchen space.

 

This doesn’t mean you have to stop cooking! Alert1’s senior-friendly recipes are easy to cook and delicious to eat. That’s why we decided to write a whole piece about our recipes.

 

At Alert1, we love to eat. Dining is a favorite pastime of everyone here in our office. Reminiscing about past dining experiences is a second favorite pastime. While snacking on some delicious chocolate covered pretzels, we decided to bring our past into the present. We’d have a contest to find the best recipe here at Alert1! Our winning recipe would be easy to make, look appealing and appetizing, and remind us of fond memories. 

Senior-friendly recipes: Delicious Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

These senior-friendly recipes are delicious and easy to make. The recipe is a blend of sweet and savory with a Mexican twist. The sweetness of the potatoes is juxtaposed with chorizo and black beans, making for a flavorful meal. Try these potatoes as a new side dish on Thanksgiving, or for an easy meal during the week. 

 

Ingredients:


2 large orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, about 1 lb. each
2 tsp. vegetable oil
8 oz. Mexican chorizo, casings removed
1/2 small red onion, diced
1/2 cup rinsed and drained black beans
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese  
2 Tbs. thinly sliced scallions
1 Tbs. chopped cilantro


Directions


1. Preheat an oven to 400° F.  Line a baking sheet with foil.
2. Prick the sweet potatoes all over with the tines of a fork and place on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until tender, about 1 hour.
3. While the sweet potatoes are baking, warm the oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chorizo and onion and cook until the chorizo is browned and the onion has softened, using a spatula to break the meat up into small pieces, about 8 minutes. Stir in the beans. Transfer to a paper towel-lined bowl to drain.
4. Transfer the sweet potatoes to a cutting board. Replace the foil on the baking sheet with a new piece of foil and spray the surface with nonstick cooking spray.
5. Cut a slit lengthwise along the top of each sweet potato. When cool enough to handle, carefully scoop out most of the flesh and transfer it to a bowl. Stir in the chorizo mixture and salt until combined and scoop the mixture back into the sweet potato skins.
6. Transfer the stuffed sweet potatoes to the prepared baking sheet, top evenly with the cheese and bake until melted, 3 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle the scallions and cilantro on top. For truly senior-friendly recipes, wait until the food has cooled and it is safe to eat.

Serves 4. 

Senior-friendly recipes: New Year’s Black Eyed Peas and Greens Quinoa Bowl

Twice Baked Sweet Potato

Among the best senior-friendly recipes is this quinoa bowl. Thanks to the abundance of quinoa, ham stock, and black-eyed peas, this recipe is the perfect way to add more protein to your diet. Keep the leftovers to heat up for lunch the next day.

 

Ingredients:


2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 small green bell pepper, diced
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
1 cup dried black eyed peas, rinsed
6 oz. diced ham steak (about 1 cup)
1 quart reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 cup quinoa, rinsed well in a colander
1 1/2 cups water
1 bunch collard greens, ribs removed, leaves cut into 1/2-inch-wide ribbons


Directions:


1. In a large saucepan, warm the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, celery, bell pepper, 1/2 tsp. of the salt and the black pepper. Cover and cook until softened but not browned, about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Add the garlic and bay leaf and cook until fragrant, about 1 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in the black-eyed peas, ham and chicken broth and bring to a boil.
3. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook until the beans are tender, 45 to 50 minutes.
4. When the beans have cooked for 30 minutes, place the quinoa, water and the remaining 1/4 tsp. of the salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low, cover and cook 15 minutes. Remove from heat and keep covered until ready to serve.
5. When the beans are tender, increase the heat to medium, stir in the greens and cook until the greens are tender, about 5 minutes.
6. Fluff the quinoa with a fork, divide among 4 bowls and spoon the black-eyed peas and greens on top. Keep your senior-friendly recipes safe by serving them at a safe-to-eat temperature.


Serves 4. 

Senior-friendly recipes: Easy Pork Chop Dinner

Black Eyed Peas and Quinoa Bowl

When you need an impressive dinner on the fly, try this, one of our favorite senior-friendly recipes. Your friends will be amazed at how perfectly cooked the meat is. Mustard, apple cider vinegar, and Granny Smith apples in the coleslaw combine with maple syrup for a tart but sweet experience.

 

Ingredients:


2 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
1 Tbs. maple syrup
1 Tbs. whole grain mustard
4 Tbs. olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tart crisp apple, such as Pink Lady or Granny Smith, cored and julienned
1 fennel bulb, cored and thinly sliced crosswise
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 small head of green cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
4 bone-in center-cut pork chops, about 1-inch thick

 

Directions:


1. In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, maple syrup, mustard, 3 Tbs. of the olive oil, 1 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Add the apple, fennel and cabbage and toss to combine. Transfer to a serving platter.
2. Pat the pork chops dry with paper towels and season liberally with salt and pepper. Warm the remaining 1 Tbs. oil in a large heavy fry pan over medium-high heat until almost smoking.
3. Add the pork chops and cook until well browned on the bottom, about 4 minutes. Turn the chops over, reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook 3 to 4 minutes longer. To test for doneness, make a small cut into the chop near the bone: the meat should be slightly pink and the juices should run clear or very light pink. Transfer to a cutting board, tent with foil and let rest 5 minutes.
4. To serve, place the chops on top of the slaw. Keep your senior-friendly recipes safe by allowing the meal to cool briefly before serving.

Serves 4 

Tips for Kitchen Safety when Cooking Senior-Friendly Recipes

Easy Pork Chops With Slaw

Before you jump into trying one of Alert1’s senior-friendly recipes for dinner tonight, take a quick glance around your kitchen. Is it set up to keep you safe while cooking? The kitchen is one of the most common rooms in the home for senior falls. Before you dive into cooking, be sure you check the kitchen for:

 

Spilled water. Water splashed on the floor can cause slips and falls. Don’t risk injury while you’re taking the potatoes out of the oven. Clean up all spills immediately.

 

Crowded cabinets. Don’t risk flour raining down on you when you’re reaching for the salt. Clean out the kitchen cabinets and install a Lazy Susan or pull out drawers.

 

Something to hold onto. Losing your footing is dangerous. Install grab bars at the doorway and near the sink. If you feel unstable, they’ll help you stay on your feet.

 

Sharp objects. Avoid unnecessary movement while carrying a sharp knife. Keep knives and cutting boards next to each other to minimize movement while chopping vegetables.

 

An Alert1 Medical Alert System. Give yourself extra peace of mind by getting an Alert1 Medical Alert. When it’s time to start cooking, make sure to wear your Alert1 home fall detection medical alert when you step into the kitchen.