Time-saving cooking tips for seniors on the go

Some people joke that if they had a personal chef, eating healthy would be a piece of cake.

  • By Jackie Crews Registered dietitian for MultiCare Health System
  • Sunday, April 29, 2018 5:30am
  • Life
Time-saving cooking tips for seniors on the go

By Jackie Crews, registered dietitian for MultiCare Health System

Often people joke that if they had a personal chef who planned and cooked each meal, eating healthy would be a piece of cake.

However, we don’t all have that option, so we need to come up with easy-cook, quick-cook and no-cook tricks that fit into our busy schedules and don’t involve hours in the kitchen — especially when cooking is not our favorite thing to spend time doing.

Easy-cook trick: Batch cooking

If you don’t have time or energy to be cooking every day or even every other day, consider batch cooking. This involves setting aside time once a week to plan, prep and cook for the week so you don’t need to spend every day doing so.

A helpful resource is Eat This Much, which will create menu plans and shopping lists for you. When you have the recipes you want to make, go to the store to stock up on the ingredients, then do your batch cooking. I often choose Sunday to prep a couple of quick, easy meals that make large amounts I can portion out and pop into the freezer or refrigerator for my week.

Quick-cook methods to save time

Feel like when you do cook, you’ll end up with multiple pots, pans and dishes to clean? Stressed by the effort it takes to come up with a protein to roast and at least two sides to prepare separately that all come together as a cohesive dish? Try one of these methods instead.

One-pan meals: Throw your protein, starch and vegetables into the oven all at once. Try this one-pan salmon and veggie dish.

Crock-pot meals: What’s better than tossing a bunch of ingredients into a slow cooker and letting all the flavors meld together while you go the gym, meditate, go for a walk or enjoy a hobby? Try this crock-pot chili.

One-skillet meal: Try a quick stovetop stir-fry or a recipe that allows you to finish in the oven and walk away. Here’s a one-skillet lemon chicken and vegetable dish.

Quick tips and no-cook ideas

• Purchase pre-cut produce.

• Use frozen produce: throw a bag of chopped, mixed vegetables into a stir-fry or microwave a bag of vegetable steamers as a side.

• Use canned beans instead of dried in a dish or to top a salad with — they’re a great source of fiber and protein. Rinse well in strainer to remove the liquid, which contains excess sodium.

• Use canned tuna, salmon or chicken. Put these on a salad with some tasty vinaigrette for a quick and satisfying meal.

• Use rotisserie chicken (pre-shredded or whole). Add it to a lettuce wrap with some cheese, healthy condiments and other vegetables for a simple lunch option.

• Cook a protein in a crock-pot to use in different dishes throughout the week. Mix it with some low-sodium taco seasoning (or make your own), guacamole, cheese, low-fat sour cream, beans, vegetables and salsa, and wrap it all in a whole grain tortilla to make a burrito.

• Buy hard-boiled eggs for a quick breakfast or snack.

• Purchase grains already partially or fully cooked such as Uncle Ben’s boil-in-bag brown rice or Seeds of Change from Costco.

MultiCare Health System is a not-for-profit health care organization with more than 18,000 employees, providers and volunteers. Visit multicare.org.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@federalwaymirror.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.federalwaymirror.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Life

Wearing a shawl she crocheted herself, Irene Graham shows her impressionist art and some of her porcelain dolls that she made herself. Photo by Bailey Jo Josie/Sound Publishing
At 103, Federal Way artist still feels like a kid at heart

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, local centenarian continues creating her porcelain art.

tsr
Rainier Audubon Society to debut first Bird Festival at Flaming Geyser Park

The Bird Festival is being organized with the Washington State Parks department.

The Gnome Trail is located across from Rock Creek Elementary School, 25700 Maple Valley Black Diamond Rd SE, Maple Valley. Photos by Bailey Jo Josie/Sound Publishing
Gnome Trail draws visitors to whimsical patch of forest in Maple Valley

There is a small issue of broken gnomes and even instances of intentional vandalism.

Rajiv Nagaich is an elder law attorney, author, adjunct law school professor, and retirement planning visionary who has achieved national recognition for his cutting-edge work with retirees and his contributions to the practice of elder law. He is the founder of two firms based in Federal Way: Life Point Law, an elder law and estate planning firm, and AgingOptions, a firm that provides retirement-related education to consumers and professionals.
Ask Rajiv: Protecting assets when getting married later in life | Senior Lifestyles

Dear Rajiv: My 88-year-old mother is about to marry a 90-year-old widower.… Continue reading

Olivia Sullivan/the Mirror
Nonprofit founder Cheryl Hurst, center, with volunteers Karlyn Devereaux, Joe Hutchinson, Cari Franklin and Anna Patrick inside an empty retail space in Federal Way where thousands of diapers were stored during the March of Diapers event.
Charity collects almost 400,000 diapers for local families

The results are in! This year’s March of Diapers donation event, hosted… Continue reading

Rajiv Nagaich is an elder law attorney, author, adjunct law school professor, and retirement planning visionary who has achieved national recognition for his cutting-edge work with retirees and his contributions to the practice of elder law. He is the founder of two firms based in Federal Way: Life Point Law, an elder law and estate planning firm, and AgingOptions, a firm that provides retirement-related education to consumers and professionals.
Ask Rajiv: Power of Attorney and sharing financial information | Senior Lifestyles

Dear Rajiv: My question is about the Power of Attorney. My estate… Continue reading

T
King County libraries curate book collections for the community

February’s Black History Month book list includes 25 titles at King County libraries

Teaser
World’s longest surviving kidney patient dies

Mercer Island resident Nancy Spaeth went on dialysis at age 18 and received four kidney transplants.

tsr
Recipe of the Week: Balsamic fig cake

Recipe of the week for Feb. 18.

Photo by Monstera from Pexels
Submit your local love stories

Did you fall in love in Federal Way? Let us know.

The Enumclaw library is passing out free at-home rapid COVID tests. Photo by Ray Miller-Still
8 King County libraries passing out at-home rapid COVID tests

Supply is limited; patrons are asked to limit themselves to two tests per household.