Hearty, Heart-Smart Recipes That Take Little Time to Prepare
Heart disease is one of the most common chronic health conditions affecting older adults. Your dad’s cardiologist wants him to make changes to his diet. You don’t have a lot of free time where you can help him out, but you want to do what you can. Here are some quick, hearty meals that don’t take a lot of time to cook. Your dad has heart-healthy meal options, and you’re not spending hours in the kitchen. Elder care providers can also help your senior parent prepare these meals when you can’t be there, and save the leftovers for him to reheat for lunch.
Try these healthy meal ideas:
Chop two chicken breasts and put them in a slow cooker. Add a chopped onion, bag of frozen peas, chopped carrots, and half-cup of homemade chicken stock. Stir in a tablespoon of curry powder. Let that cook on low for several hours. About 10 minutes before serving, stir in a cup of low-fat Greek yogurt. Serve over brown rice.
Ground turkey is a healthier option than ground beef or ground pork. Aim for 95% lean or higher. Brown it in a pot and add sliced cabbage, diced onion, chopped celery, and chopped carrot.
Drain and rinse a can of cannellini beans and add those to the pot. You also want to add a 28-ounce can of diced tomatoes, a teaspoon of Italian seasoning, and six cups of salt-free vegetable broth. Simmer for an hour. About 15 minutes before the hour is up, add a cup of whole-grain orzo.
Chop an onion, three carrots, and three stalks of celery and put everything in a pot. Add a can of whole tomatoes, two cans of chickpeas that have been rinsed, and two chopped potatoes. Bring to a boil and reduce to low for half an hour.
Chop two pounds of cod, pollock, or salmon and add that to the pot. Cook for an additional 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in chopped basil leaves, the juice from half a lemon, and black pepper to taste.
This is a great meal for a slow cooker. The night before, soak a bag of dried pinto beans. In the morning, drain and rinse them and add them to the slow cooker pot. Add two 28-ounce cans of diced tomatoes and rinse each one out with a cup of water that you add to the pot, a diced poblano pepper, and a sprinkling of chipotle powder.
Add a chopped onion, a couple of teaspoons of cumin, a teaspoon of smoked paprika, three stalks of celery that you’ve sliced, and two chopped bell peppers. Cook those on low for eight hours.
Avoid adding extra salt and any sugar. If your dad wants it spicier, you can add cayenne powder. If it’s too thin and watery, thicken it using cornmeal.
How Elder Care Can Help with Healthier Meals
Make sure your dad is following his doctor’s dietary recommendations. His heart health has to be a priority, and elder care providers can cook meals for him. Instead of relying on frozen meals and takeout dinners when you’re not around, hire elder care aides for meal preparation. Elder care can also ensure that your senior is taking their medications with meals when necessary, and take care of dishes and clean-up afterwards. Consider the many benefits of elder care providers for your senior parent.