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Recipes for Seniors

We noticed that there weren't many tasty recipes for seniors who needed building up or people who were convalescing. The ones we found were more worthy than tantalising. We worked with Bluebird Care and our expert chef Mark Doe and nutritionist Susan Fitzgerald to come up with recipes that fit the bill.

Our expert chef Mark was sous chef in the Merrion 5 star Hotel so these recipes are just as good for anyone who is in the full of their health. All the recipes will suit people with traditional tastes but who need their apetite stimulated by interesting food that looks good on the plate. Why not bookmark them so you can find them again?

Leek and Potato Soup

Makes 2-3 portions. Can be frozen. Defrost thoroughly before reheating.

1/2 tablespoons of olive oil
125g onion, finely chopped
250g leeks, cleaned well and chopped roughly
1 teaspoon of mixed dried herbs or dried oregano
200g potato, peeled and diced
1.25 litres of vegetable stock or water
50ml milk
Salt and black pepper

1. In a thick bottomed non-stick pan, heat the oil over a medium heat.
2. Add the onion and leeks and dried herbs. Once they start to sizzle, turn
the heat down to a low heat and cover the pan with a lid.
3. Slowly cook, making sure that the onions don't colour, until they are soft
(about 3 minutes). Stir them if you need to.
4. Add the potatoes and water or vegetable stock and bring to the boil.
Add the milk.
5. Reduce the heat to a simmer and simmer for 10-12 minutes until
the potatoes are cooked.
6. Blend the soup and season with salt and pepper.
7. Add more water or stock if the soup is too thick.

– You can use the white and dark green part of the leek but throw away the
toughest parts at the top.
– To clean the leeks, cut them down through the middle and wash them well
under running water to remove any soil or grit.
– If your client is on a low-salt diet, leave out the salt.
– Cool leftover soup thoroughly and freeze in portions in freezer bags.

Quick Cottage Pie

Serves 2

1 tablespoon of olive oil
1/2 large onion, peeled and chopped
225g of minced beef or lamb
1 tablespoon of tomato puree
1 carrot, coarsely grated
75ml of beef stock from a stock cube
Salt and pepper
325g rooster potatoes, washed and unpeeled
40g grated cheddar cheese

1. Place the olive oil in a frying pan and place on a medium heat. Fry
the onion in the oil until soft. Add the minced meat and fry for a further
5 minutes until brown.
2. Stir in the tomato puree, grated carrot and stock and simmer for 15
minutes. Season to taste with a little salt and pepper.
3. Meanwhile, slice the potatoes approximately one quarter inch thick,
and boil for 10-12 minutes until tender, then drain well.
4. Preheat the grill.
5. Tip the meat mixture into a small heatproof dish and cover with the
potato slices.
6. Sprinkle over the cheese and grill for about 5 minutes until the cheese
has melted.

If you want to freeze this dish, put the cooled mince mixture in a heatproof bowl, top with the cooled cooked potato slices but do not sprinkle on the cheese. Cover with a double layer of cling film and freeze. Defrost completely, sprinkle with cheese and grill until bubbling. You can also use this cottage meat pie mixture to serve with spaghetti.

Braised Steak and Onions

Serve with mashed potato or oven-baked potato wedges and mixed vegetables.

Serves 1 (recipe doubles easily)

1 sirloin steak, 180-200g weight
1 onion, finely sliced
1 tablespoon plain flour
300ml beef stock form a good quality stock cube
Olive oil

1. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a high heat.
2. Add the steak and allow to brown well on one side, then turn over and
brown on the other side.
3. Remove the steak from the pan and set aside.
4. Add the onions to the pan and fry for 3-4 minutes.
5. Add the flour and stir well. Cook over a medium heat for one minute.
6. Whisk in the stock and bring to the boil.
7. Reduce the heat to a simmer and add the steak back to the pan.
8. Simmer for 30-35 minutes until the steak is tender.

– If you wish, you can cut two bacon rashers into small dice and fry them
with the onions (use low-salt rashers).
– You can also use round steak instead of sirloin steak but only if you have
a good butcher who can tell you it is tender. If it is not, an elderly person could find
it hard to chew.

Herby Chicken Gougons

Serve with Mixed Vegetables and Mashed Potato or a plain Baked Potato.

Serves 2

2 skinless chicken fillets, each cut into 5-6 strips
50g plain flour
1 egg, beaten
100g bread crumbs
Olive oil for cooking

1. Pre-heat the oven to 200ΊC/400ΊF/Gas Mark 6.
2. Set up 3 mixing bowls, one with the flour, one with the egg and the last
with the breadcrumbs.
3. It is best to do the next step in 2 or 3 batches.
4. Pass the chicken through the flour first, ensuring the chicken is well
coated in the flour.
5. Now shake off the excess flour and toss the chicken through the egg.
6. Shake off the excess egg and place the chicken into the breadcrumbs.
7. Toss well in the breadcrumbs so that the chicken is well coated.
8. Ensure the chicken is well coated well in all of the ingredients.
9. Lightly oil a baking sheet and lay the chicken on the tray in a single layer.
10. Drizzle a little more oil over the goujons.
11. Place the chicken gougons in the oven and cook for 20 minutes, turning
the goujons over after 10 minutes.
12. Ensure the juices run clear from the chicken, when it is pierced with a
small knife.

Fresh Fruit Salad

Serve with natural or flavoured yogurt.

Serves 1

1 apple, peeled, cored and cut into cubes
1 orange, peeled, deseeded and cut into chunks
1 kiwi, peeled and cut into chunks
6 seedless grapes, cut in half
1 orange, juiced

1. Mix all the fruit together in a bowl and mix in the orange juice.

– Fruit salad can be made an hour in advance and left to chill in
the fridge.
– This makes a good breakfast for someone who does not feel up to eating something more substantial. Offer some yogurt with it.
– Don’t worry if you can’t find one of the fruits included in the recipe - it will still be a lovely dessert.
– You can also add some drained tinned fruit to this salad or try fresh strawberry or banana slices (add the banana just before serving or it will go black).
– Don’t substitute raspberries or any fruit with seeds.

Creamy Rice Pudding

Serves 1

25g pudding rice
200ml milk (low-fat milk can be used)
1 tablespoon of sugar

1. Place the rice and sugar in a thick-bottomed saucepan.
2. Cover with the milk.
3. Bring to the boil, occasionally stirring and then turn the heat down to the lowest setting.
4. Cover with a lid and cook slowly for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure the pudding doesn't burn. If the rice absorbs all the liquid before it is cooked, then add a little more milk.

– You can top this dessert with Stewed Apple and Apricots (see recipe card).
– Alternatively top with sliced fresh banana.
– Try adding a little grated lemon zest to the rice pudding when cooking.
– Rice pudding is gentle on the stomach so it is a good food to offer as a dessert to someone who is convalescing.
– Add a little cream to the pudding when it is cooked to enrich it the person you are cooking for needs building up.


Delicious, nutritious healthy recipes devised with the Greatfood.ie chef and nutritionist with Bluebird Care:

The care you need in the home you love. www.bluebirdcare.ie

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