How Do Older People Feel About Cooking?
The following comment to the Simple Revisions blog comes from Tamela, who expressed what so many seniors feel:
“Real food and cooking from scratch has more benefits than anyone realizes but when you are stuck in a rut, trapped in a bad habit, you need community to come around and encourage you to make healthy decisions on eating for the good of everyone. When I eat healthier it benefits me but it benefits my children, grand children, neighbors, friends, co-workers and on and on…. Please encourage me as I have fallen off the wagon and am trying desperately to get back on. I am a empty nest single mom and it is hard to get motivated to cook for myself as I am exhausted after work. I would love to have family and friends over for meals, but my house is just a wreck from no energy to clean it since I am not eating right and have just enough energy to get back and forth to work each day. Any prayers and encouragement would help me so much. Thanks, and I will return the favor..”
Tamela, we feel your pain, so here are some suggestions for you and other senior foodies. (As for friends, just have them over for wine and cheese. If you’re lucky to be near a Trader Joe’s, you can find decent wine at $4.00 a bottle wine and lots of cheese choices.)
The Copywriters’ Kitchen lists “10 Reasons to Start Cooking from Scratch.”
For seniors, the top two reasons to cook from scratch are health and cost. Four more bonuses of scratch cooking are:
1. lifts depression
2. revives lost skills
3. facilitates storage
4. supports ethical choices.
In the meantime, when you come home exhausted, try these easy-to-cook-yourself-from-scratch meals.
1. Scrambled eggs and toast with a sliced apple.
2. No-cook summer tomato pasta (all it takes is some dried pasta and several small, fresh tomatoes).
3. Homemade rice-a-roni (sounds complicated but the main ingredients are rice and orzo, both of which store indefinitely).
4. One-pot chicken chilli (Its great for leftovers and features both chicken and black beans).
5. Cauliflower olive salad (cauliflower and fresh red/green peppers plus olives do it).
6. Pancakes (Hot, fresh, and maybe healthful with a tablespoon on wheat germ thrown in and topped with crushed fresh fruit).
7. Popcorn (all natural, as is, cooked in the microwave and sprinkled with cheese makes a good snack).
8. Guacamole (slice and eat; this is a wonder food)
9. Baked beans (keep dried beans handy, soak overnight, and season as you like; this will feed you well for several days).
10. Baked potatoes (stuffed or otherwise, potatoes are to live by)
11. fish tacos (fish on sale? Cooking Light offers 12 fish taco recipes).
12. Vegetarian beans and more beans (find lots of options here … all healthy).
Finally, as a bonus — and for the energetic, determined Golden Girls and Guys among us — here’s a list of 30 pantry staples you can make from scratch and SAVE money (cream cheese, peanut better, spaghetti sauce, ketchup, etc. etc.). Hey, Tamela, why not invite friends over for a “Staples Party”?