Eating a diet that provides adequate nutrition is challenging as you age. The amount of calories a senior needs declines with age, and the body becomes less efficient at absorbing important nutrients. Because it’s important that most calories consumed by seniors be packed with nutritional value, we wanted to share one of our favorite dishes that is tasty, healthy, nutrient dense, and easy to prepare – Quinoa Vegetable Salad.
What You’ll Need for this Recipe:
- 1cup dry quinoa (yields about 3 cups cooked)
- 1 – 16 oz. package fresh pre-chopped stir fry vegetables (onion, red pepper, mushrooms)
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. black pepper
Put quinoa in a 1 ½ quart saucepan with 2 cups water (or low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth). Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and cover. Cook until all liquid is absorbed, about 15-18 minutes and then set aside. Also, keep in mind that some quinoa requires rinsing and draining prior to cooking. To keep it simple purchase quinoa that does not require rinsing and check the package for further instructions.
Then, sauté the vegetables in olive oil until slightly soft. Combine quinoa, veggies and pine nuts in a large bowl. In a separate bowl create your dressing by combining the lemon juice, olive oil, honey, salt and pepper. Whisk the dressing and add to the quinoa mixture, toss well. Salad may be eaten warm or cold and keeps well in the refrigerator for leftovers later. Whether a senior, their family caregiver is preparing this dish, it can be done with ease!
Why It’s Healthy and Beneficial for Seniors
The recipe features quinoa, a “super” whole grain that is flavorful, gluten-free, and a great source of protein and fiber. Quinoa is also excellent substitute for less nutritious white rice and pasta and easily digested, helping to solve the common problem of indigestion faced by a large percentage of the elderly population.
In addition, the dish as a whole is an excellent source of magnesium, potassium, folate, phosphorous and iron; all top nutrients that are essential to senior health and ones that play an active role in combating a range of age-related conditions from vision loss to heart disease.
Home Care Assistance is a leading provider of senior care in Denton County and has developed a unique approach to care that not only includes a healthy diet, but regular exercise, socialization, and the promotion of calmness and purpose for seniors and older adults. Call 972-468-6010 and speak with a Care Manager for more information about this senior care approach and schedule a free in-home consultation.