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Puréed Chicken, Apple, and Kale

Puréed Chicken, Apple, and Kale

Ingredients

  • 2 apples, peeled, cored, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 2 carrots, sliced 1/2-inch thick (about 1 cup)
  • 6 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 1/4 cups no-salt or low-salt chicken broth
  • 1/2 bunch kale, stemmed, rinsed, chopped (about 3 cups)

Recipe Preparation

  • Combine all ingredients except kale in a large saucepan; cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until onion is just tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in kale and cook until wilted and tender, about 3 minutes. Remove and discard bay leaf. Using an immersion blender, purée mixture until smooth. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 1 month.

Recipe by Teri Tsang Barrett,Photos by Ashley RodriguezReviews Section

Texture Alterations for Vegan Diets

Patients and clients may experience a number of physical, mental, and dental conditions that will require specially prepared meals. There are many different types of issues that may interfere with someone's ability to consume foods. For example, some people may be able to use a straw, others may forget to chew and swallow properly, and still others may cough frequently throughout a meal, interfering with swallowing. Each requires slightly different textural alterations.

If you know or work with clients or patients whose diets require texturally altered foods, this article will provide you with some good tips to ensure that they are receiving a complete and nutritionally balanced diet.

General tips about preparing texturally altered foods

Maintaining patient interest and pride while serving them texturally altered foods is paramount. Therefore, you should try to serve altered 'regular' foods rather than relegating patients with textural alterations to a monotonous diet of applesauce, mashed potatoes, and broth. Keep texturally altered foods as close to the 'regular' menu as possible. If everyone else is having carrots with parsley as a side dish, texturally altered menus should have them as well. Choosing a variety of foods will provide adequate nutrients as well as prevent boredom for the patients.

Many foods can be puréed without losing the flavor. However, you'll need to use some imagination in serving them so they look attractive. After all, no one wants three or four bowls of 'mush' served to them, no matter how pleasant the color or aroma. For example, vegan meatballs and spaghetti can be chopped and served over puréed spinach. They may also be puréed and served over garlic bread. Even if the bread cannot be eaten, it will add an attractive look and aroma. In addition, apple pie&mdashcrust and all&mdashcan be puréed and then served with a scoop of non-dairy ice cream as a dessert.

Suggestions for Foods That Work Well for Texture Alterations

Many vegan foods work well for texturally altered diets. No texture changes are needed for applesauce, mashed potatoes, vegan refried beans (thinned with a bit of tomato juice, if needed), or hummus. Other vegan foods are easily altered for chopped or puréed diets. For example, most vegan soups, cooked beans, butternut or banana squash, cooked root vegetables (such as beets, rutabagas, and carrots), or potatoes (including white, yellow, sweet, and purple) can be run through a blender or food mill to create a hearty, correctly-textured base for a chopped or puréed meal.

Lentil loaf, vegetarian pâté, and pasta casseroles may be soft enough for chopped diets, and these can be puréed for people who require even softer textures. In our kitchen, we prepare these entrées as we would for customers who don't have chewing or swallowing issues. Then, we chop, mince, grind, or purée the entrée to suit clients' needs. For tasty desserts, we crumble cake or soft cookies over sorbet vegan pudding (made with soy or rice milk) baked apples or chopped or puréed peaches, apricots, or plums.

What About Baby Food?

Commercial baby food is not appropriate for any population except infants. The texture is generally too thin to counter many swallowing issues, and the food is not sufficiently nutrient-dense enough for anyone over the age of two years. The amount of baby food that an adult would need to consume for adequate nutrition would probably be far greater than one could comfortably eat during a meal. In addition, commercial baby food may be excessively salty and can be expensive.

However, baby foods can be used as a base for texturally altered menu items or for sauces. For instance, baby food beets or carrots can be used as a colorful sauce for a main dish. Baby food peaches, apricots, or applesauce can be used as a topping for desserts, such as sorbets.

Ensuring that calorie needs are met

Many people with dental, chewing, swallowing, or other issues just can't take in a sufficient amount of food. The whole process of eating simply may be so difficult or tiring for them that they will not consume enough calories every day. If a person can eat or drink only small amounts, there are ways to 'pack' the calorie and protein content of the food eaten:

  • Add juice to prepared fruit, cereal, or non-dairy milkshakes.
  • Add fruit preserves to puréed fruit.
  • Add baby food fruit to juices, smoothies, and hot cereals. (This is a good use for baby food.)
  • Rather than serving broth, purée vegetable soup or bean soup and use baby food vegetables as part of the liquid.
  • Serve gravies or sauces made with puréed beans or blended soft tofu over potatoes.
  • Add vegan cream cheese or sour cream to mashed potatoes.
  • Blend silken tofu into soy or rice milk, and use this thickened milk when preparing soups, sauces, casseroles, or puddings.

Thickening Foods and Drinks

A popular commercial thickener, Thick-It&trade, is made from modified cornstarch and maltodextrin. This is considered to be vegan. You can visit the Thick-It website at <www.thickitretail.com> for ideas about food presentation. The Thick-It company also sells ready- to-use puréed foods however, most are not vegetarian or vegan.

Puréed foods can be thickened with mashed potatoes or commercial thickeners and then piped in a pastry bag to simulate sliced carrots, green beans, or potato pearls. Puréed foods can also be thickened and baked or steamed in small food molds to create attractive shapes. If cooking creates a product that is too dry, serve with sauces or gravies to create a thinner texture.

Additionally, hydration is an important part of a healthy intake. If possible, 6 to 8 cups of liquid (approximately 1 quart) are needed on a daily basis. Some patients with swallowing problems may not be able to do this easily. If thin liquids are an issue, fluids can be thickened with a commercial thickener or can be partially frozen to form slush. Even if it is not attractive to the preparer, a patient may accept thickened coffee or tea to enjoy the taste.

About The Menus

For this article, we have created five different texture levels from puréed (level 1) up through modified regular food (level 5). The menus begin on page 23. The menus vary in texture, and the best one for each patient should be selected by a health care professional.

How to Prepare Puréed Foods and Drinks

  1. Remove skins, seeds, and pits.
  2. Cut food into small pieces.
  3. Cook food until tender. Canned or thawed frozen foods, such as canned or frozen peaches, may not need further cooking.
  4. Add small amounts of liquid to food to thin to a drinkable consistency:
    • Use warm soymilk to thin puréed vegan macaroni and cheese or potatoes.
    • Melt frozen vegan ice cream and mix with rice milk or fruit juice.
    • Use soymilk to thin vegan pudding or strained vegan yogurt.
    • Use fruit juice to thin puréed fruit.

Beverages

Combine the following ingredients in a blender and blend well. You can add more juice or more solid ingredients, depending on the texture you need. Each recipe yields 1 large serving.

Peach Pineapple Smoothie

  • One 6-ounce peach soy yogurt
  • 3 Tablespoons soft silken tofu
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup cold plain or vanilla soymilk
  • 1/2 cup chilled peaches, canned or frozen
  • 1/2 cup frozen soy or rice ice cream

Apricot Strawberry Smoothie

  • One 6-ounce strawberry soy yogurt
  • 3 Tablespoons soft silken tofu
  • 1 jar strained baby food apricots
  • 3/4 cup apricot nectar
  • Dash of ginger
  • One 6-ounce fruited soy yogurt (any flavor)
  • 3 Tablespoons soft silken tofu
  • 1 medium ripe banana (approximately 1/2 cup sliced)
  • 1/2 cup rice milk or fruit juice
  • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup or rice syrup
  • One 6-ounce vanilla soy yogurt
  • 1/2 cup vanilla soymilk
  • 1/2 cup soft silken tofu
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon rum extract (if desired)

Desserts

  • 1 small piece of iced vegan cake
  • 1 small scoop of soy or rice ice cream (no nuts)
  • 1/4 cup rice milk

Blend cake and ice cream. Add milk and blend until smooth. Add additional milk if too thick.

Blended Canned or Fresh Fruit

Place ingredients in a blender. Cover. Process on low speed until smooth. Serve cold.

  • 4 ounces soy yogurt
  • 1 banana
  • 8 ounces frozen strawberries
  • 2 Tablespoons soymilk

Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth. Strain mixture through strainer or sieve to remove all seeds. Chill seedless mixture.

Hot Spiced Applesauce

  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch of nutmeg

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Blend cobbler until smooth. Add milk and blend until of liquid consistency.

Strawberry Cheesecake

  • 1 piece of prepared tofu cheesecake
  • 1/2 cup vanilla soy or rice milk
  • 2 Tablespoons seedless strawberry jam

Place all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Add more milk if necessary.

Soups

Tomato Cheese Soup (Serves 2)

  • 1 can (10.5 ounces) condensed tomato soup
  • 1 can soymilk (See soup can directions.)
  • 1/2 cup grated vegan soy or rice cheese

In saucepan, stir together soup and milk. Heat. Just before serving, add cheese and stir until melted.

  • 1 cup mashed potatoes
  • 11/2 cups soymilk
  • 1 teaspoon vegan margarine
  • Seasonings, as desired

Put potatoes in a blender and add milk, margarine, and seasonings. Blend for 2 minutes.

Cream of Pea Soup (Serves 2)

  • 1 cup cooked peas
  • 1 cup hot soymilk
  • 1 teaspoon vegan margarine
  • 3 crackers (such as saltines)

Purée peas in blender. Add remaining ingredients and blend well.

Pumpkin Soup (Serves 4)

  • 1 Tablespoon vegan margarine
  • 2 Tablespoons minced onions
  • 2 cups cooked or canned pumpkin (not sweetened or spiced)
  • 21/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 21/2 cups soymilk
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2-3 drops Tabasco sauce
  • 1/4 cup soft silken tofu
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Melt margarine in heavy 4-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and cook 2-3 minutes or until transparent. Add pumpkin, broth, milk, cloves, lemon juice, and Tabasco sauce. Stir thoroughly to blend all ingredients. Bring to a boil and then cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Blend mixture in batches. Return blended soup to saucepan and stir in tofu. Heat. Add salt, pepper, or other seasonings desired. Serve hot.

Cream of Carrot Soup (Serves 3)

  • 1 Tablespoon vegan margarine
  • 1 Tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups soymilk
  • 2 jars strained baby carrots

Melt margarine. Add flour and salt. Stir until smooth. Cook 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. Do not brown. Gradually add milk and stir until creamy. Add carrots. If too thick, add water for desired consistency. Heat and serve.

Apple Peanut Butter Soup (Serves 3)

  • 1 medium cooking apple, peeled, cored, and diced (approximately 1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup chopped onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped carrots
  • 2 Tablespoons vegan margarine
  • 21/2 cups hot soymilk
  • 1 Tablespoon smooth peanut butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon (or more to taste) brown sugar

Sauté apples, celery, onions, and carrots in margarine until soft. Pour half of the hot milk into the blender container, and add half the sautéed vegetables, all of the peanut butter, and all of the hot sauce. Cover and blend until smooth. Pour this mixture into a saucepan. Blend the rest of the mixture. Put this mixture in the saucepan. Add brown sugar to taste. Heat and serve.

Level 1 Diet &mdash Puréed Foods

Foods in Level 1 should be puréed or run through a food mill until a smooth texture, similar to that of mashed potatoes, is attained. As mentioned, the puréed foods can be shaped by adding a thickening agent.

If you are puréeing protein foods, such as seitan, tempeh, vegan meatballs, or bean loaves, use approximately 1/4 cup hot vegetable or mushroom broth for each cup of protein to help create a smoother texture.

Some foods do not purée well. These may require a bit more work or need some additional ingredients. For example, vegetables with seeds, such as summer squash or tomatoes, have to

have the seeds strained out if they do not purée. Puréed rice is very thin and tasteless, so you can try to purée rice with very little water or combine it with starchy vegetables, such as winter squash, and spices. Spinach, which has a high water content, is very, very thin when puréed, but collards and kale purée to a pleasant texture. Combine the spinach with these other greens to attain an acceptable consistency. Cooked mushrooms purée well, but a bowl of gray food may not be very appealing. Mix puréed mushrooms with tomato sauce for a more appetizing appearance.

Here are some ideas for a Level 1 Diet:

  • Puréed tofu salad (like chicken-less salad), served with puréed peaches and apricots
  • Puréed scrambled tofu and vegan cheese, served with thickened apricot nectar
  • Thinned cooked cereals (no lumps), served with a soymilk-silken tofu-coffee smoothie
  • Puréed pancakes, served with a maple-soymilk-silken tofu smoothie
  • Mashed sweet potatoes, served with spinach hummus
  • Puréed potatoes au gratin (sliced potatoes baked in a creamy soy cheese sauce), served with a thickened vegetable juice cocktail
  • Puréed noodles with vegan sour cream, served with puréed vegan fruit yogurt
  • Puréed minestrone soup, served with puréed baked apples

Sample Menu, Level 1

  • Orange juice smoothie
  • Cream of Wheat, thinned
  • Scrambled tofu with vegan soy cheese
  • Decaffeinated green tea
  • Almond or soy milk
  • Pineapple juice
  • Puréed black beans with mushroom- vegan sour cream gravy
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Puréed fresh broccoli and cauliflower
  • Cinnamon applesauce
  • Puréed barley-vegetable soup
  • Puréed teriyaki tempeh
  • Puréed udon noodles
  • Puréed spinach and kale
  • Frozen soymilk ice cream with puréed apricots

Level 2 Diet &mdash Finely Chopped Foods

Foods for Level 2 should be minced or chopped into very small (1/8-inch) pieces. Each piece of food should be not bigger than a grain of rice. Foods can be chopped by hand, or a food processor can be used.

Here are examples of the appropriate types of foods for Level 2:

  • Minced firm tofu, tempeh, seitan, cooked mushrooms
  • Minced cooked casseroles, pasta dishes
  • Minced vegan meatballs, veggie burgers, or vegan entrées, such as frozen vegan lasagna
  • Soft scrambled tofu, with or without melted vegan cheese
  • Thickened fruit nectars, applesauce
  • Minced very ripe fresh fruit, such as peaches or plums (peeled)
  • Mashed ripe bananas
  • Minced, soft baked fruit, such as apples or pears
  • Minced pancakes with a creamy maple-tofu sauce
  • Cooked cereals
  • Smoothies
  • Minced baked potatoes (peeled) with a mushroom gravy or soy cheese sauce
  • Minced noodles with a creamy tomato sauce
  • Minced, soft cooked vegetables, such as carrots and beets
  • Puréed vegetable soups or bean soups

Sample Menu, Level 2

(Foods to be appropriately chopped)

  • Orange juice
  • Oatmeal with baked apple pieces
  • Scrambled tofu with vegan cheese
  • Decaffeinated green tea
  • Soymilk smoothie
  • Pineapple juice
  • Chopped black beans with mushroom- vegan sour cream gravy
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Chopped fresh broccoli and cauliflower
  • Minced apple pie with vanilla sauce (soft silken tofu, blended with orange juice concentrate and vanilla extract)
  • Barley-minced vegetable soup
  • Minced teriyaki tempeh
  • Chopped udon noodles
  • Finely chopped spinach and kale
  • Frozen vegan soy ice cream with chopped peaches

Level 3 Diet &mdash Ground Foods

Foods in Level 3 should be ground or diced into approximately 1/4-inch pieces. Each piece of food should be the size of a piece of orzo or pastina (pasta that is a bit larger than rice).

Here are some ideas for a Level 3 Diet:

  • Ground veggie meats, such as Tofurky&trade or ground round
  • Ground vegan meatballs
  • Ground tofu or veggie meat salads, made with vegan mayonnaise
  • Smooth soy yogurt with small pieces of soft fruit
  • Fruit juices or nectars (not thickened, if tolerated)
  • Ground canned or cooked fruit
  • Ground ripe bananas
  • Scrambled tofu with vegan soy cheese
  • Cooked cereals
  • Ground pancakes with maple sauce
  • Ground baked potatoes (with skin, if it can be ground)
  • Ground noodles with sour cream sauce
  • Ground well-cooked vegetables (no corn, peas, or mixed vegetables)
  • Ground beans with mushroom gravy
  • Creamy soups (made with silken tofu)
  • Ground fruit pies

Sample Menu, Level 3

  • Orange juice
  • Oatmeal with baked apple pieces
  • Scrambled tofu with vegan cheese
  • Decaffeinated green tea
  • Soymilk smoothie
  • Pineapple juice
  • Ground black bean loaf with mushroom- vegan sour cream gravy
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Chopped fresh broccoli and cauliflower
  • Ground apple pie with vanilla sauce (soft silken tofu, blended with orange juice concentrate and vanilla extract)
  • Barley-minced vegetable soup
  • Ground teriyaki tempeh
  • Chopped udon noodles
  • Finely chopped spinach and kale
  • Frozen soymilk ice cream with chopped peaches

Level 4 Diet &mdash Chopped Foods

Foods in this group should be chopped into 1/2-inch pieces. These pieces of food should be approximately the size of a small crouton or half of a piece of penne pasta. You can use all the foods listed in Level 3. The food would just be chopped or minced into food pieces that are a bit bigger.

The menu items would be the same as Level 3, again, with the food pieces just being a bit bigger.

Level 5 Diet &mdash Regular Foods (Modified)

Foods for Level 5 are 'regular' table foods that can be served soft and moist. Depending on the person's ability, they are served whole, rather than cut up or chopped.

Here are some ideas for a Level 5 Diet:

  • Soft, moist vegan meats, such as Tofurky&trade with gravy, veggie burgers served with gravy on a soft bun, vegan ground round 'meat' sauce, etc.
  • Baked firm tofu
  • Vegan cold salads (such as chicken-less salad) mixed with vegan mayonnaise (Do not add celery, crispy veggies such as bell peppers or carrots, or veggies with skins or seeds such as tomatoes or pickles.)
  • Vegan lasagna, stuffed shells, or ravioli
  • Cold cereal without nuts, seeds, or dried fruit
  • Toast, crackers, and cookies without seeds, nuts, or dried fruit
  • French toast or pancakes, steamed tortillas
  • Noodles or pasta (Rice is too difficult to chew.)
  • Whole (not chopped) canned or cooked fruit
  • Baked, boiled, or steamed potatoes
  • Soft, cooked vegetables, but no corn or beans
  • Peeled, ripe fresh fruit, such as peaches, apricots, and seedless grapes (Citrus fruits and berries are not a good idea.)
  • Creamy bean soups
  • Fruit pies, cornbread

Sample Menu, Level 5

  • Orange juice
  • Oatmeal with baked apple pieces
  • Scrambled tofu with vegan soy cheese
  • Decaffeinated green tea
  • Soymilk smoothie
  • Pineapple juice
  • Black bean loaf with mushroom- vegan sour cream gravy
  • Steamed tortillas
  • Sliced fresh broccoli and cauliflower
  • Apple pie with vanilla sauce (soft silken tofu, blended with orange juice concentrate and vanilla extract)
  • Barley-vegetable soup (no corn, celery, or whole beans)
  • Teriyaki tempeh
  • Udon noodles
  • Steamed spinach and kale
  • Frozen soy ice cream with peach slices

Nancy Berkoff is The Vegetarian Resource Group's Food Service Advisor. She is the author of Vegan in Volume, Vegan Meals for One or Two, Vegan Menu for People with Diabetes, Vegan Seafood: Beyond the Fish Shtick for Vegetarians, and numerous other cookbooks.

The contents of this website and our other publications, including Vegetarian Journal, are not intended to provide personal medical advice. Medical advice should be obtained from a qualified health professional. We often depend on product and ingredient information from company statements. It is impossible to be 100% sure about a statement, info can change, people have different views, and mistakes can be made. Please use your own best judgment about whether a product is suitable for you. To be sure, do further research or confirmation on your own.

Any pages on this site may be reproduced for non-commercial use if left intact and with credit given to The Vegetarian Resource Group.


Roasted Apple and Parsnip Soup with Sautéed Garlicky Kale and Turkey Bacon

Roasted along with onion, parsnips get a little caramelized and are incredibly delicious… easy to eat right off the pan. But a little restraint goes a long way, because once they get a little roast on, they improve even more with the addition of fresh, crisp apple. Oftentimes, the flavor profile of a roasted veggie soup needs a little added sweetener, which is where apples come in beautifully, adding just the right sweetness to balance most any veggie soup to perfection.

Added for the last 10 minutes of roast time, a crisp (heat friendly) apple, like Pink Lady ® brand, SweeTango ® , Honeycrisp, Braeburn, or Piñata ® , enhances everything good these parsnips and onions have going for themselves.

This recipe originally appeared on The Stem, an inspiring blog for cooking with fresh fruit, by Stemilt Growers. Read the full post here.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place diced parsnips and onions on a large baking pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Toss to combine, then spread mixture to single layer on pan. Roast in oven for approximately 20 minutes. Then add diced apples to mixture, toss lightly, and return to oven to roast an additional 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add sliced turkey bacon and cook for approximately 5 to 8 minutes, until lightly browned. Add sliced kale to skillet, season with garlic. Toss intermittently until kale is somewhat wilted through, approximately 1 to 2 minutes. Add pinch of kosher salt, to taste (turkey bacon may be enough salt, to taste, so test kale prior to seasoning). Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. To prepare soup, blend broth and cooled, roasted veggies/apples together, in batches, in high speed blender. Transfer each batch to large pot, until all mixture has been puréed. Add additional broth to soup, as necessary, for desired consistency. (Reserve remaining broth to add for future servings, as needed.) Warm puréed soup through and serve topped with kale-turkey bacon mixture, as preferred.

Nutritional Information

Per Serving (8 to 10 servings)

Calories: 180.5 (29.9% from fat) , Fat Content: 6.0 g (sat 1.2 g, poly 1.1 g, mono 3.7 g) , Protein Content: 3.4 g , Carbohydrate Content: 30.1 g , Fiber Content: 6.0 g , Sugar Content: 12.9 g , Cholesterol Content: 7.5 mg , Potassium Content: 488.5 mg , Sodium Content: 994.6 mg .


Roasted Apple & Parsnip Soup, topped with Sautéed Garlicky Kale and Turkey Bacon

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This Roasted Apple and Parsnip Soup has a subtle caramelized flavor, and is the perfect dish for autumn.

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place diced parsnips and onions on a large baking pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Toss to combine, then spread mixture to single layer on pan. Roast in oven for approximately 20 minutes. Then add diced apples to mixture, toss lightly, and return to oven to roast an additional 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add sliced turkey bacon and cook for approximately 5 to 8 minutes, until lightly browned. Add sliced kale to skillet, season with garlic. Toss intermittently until kale is somewhat wilted through, approximately 1 to 2 minutes. Add pinch of kosher salt, to taste (turkey bacon may be enough salt, to taste, so test kale prior to seasoning). Remove from heat and set aside.

To prepare soup, blend broth and cooled, roasted veggies/apples together, in batches, in high speed blender. Transfer each batch to large pot, until all mixture has been puréed. Add additional broth to soup, as necessary, for desired consistency. (Reserve remaining broth to add for future servings, as needed.) Warm puréed soup through and serve topped with kale-turkey bacon mixture, as preferred.


Couscous and Seared Scallops with a Curry Emulsion

Ingredients:
1 cup couscous
1 cup chicken broth
2 tsp. Gourmet Blends Tuscan Herb Olive Oil
2 cups loosely packed spinach
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup sliced cauliflower
2 tsp. butter
12-16 scallops
Sea Salt and Pepper to taste
1/4 cup slivered almonds

Ingredients for Curry Emulsion
1/2 to a full can of coconut milk (13 oz. can)
1.5 tsp. Sriracha
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. curry powder

Directions:
1. Rinse and dry scallops. Set to side.
Whisk together all curry emulsion ingredients using 1/2 can of coconut milk. This can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge.
2. Preheat oven to 425°.
3. Toss the cauliflower slices with a conservative drizzle of olive oil, in the oven for 20 minutes.
4. Cook couscous (the same as you would cook rice) with chicken broth.
5. While couscous and cauliflower are cooking, heat 2 tsp. of olive oil over medium heat. Add minced garlic and cook 1 minute. Add spinach, and stir through olive oil until just wilted. Remove from heat.
6. Toss couscous with spinach in its olive oil. Add cauliflower and slivered almonds.
7. Heat butter in skillet on medium-high heat. Salt and pepper the dry scallops. Add to pan and cook approximately 90 seconds on each side until golden crust achieved on both sides.
8. Top couscous with scallops and drizzle with curry emulsion and enjoy!


Delicious Pureed Food Recipes For Adults

If you or a senior you love has to be on a pureed food diet, sometimes referred to as a mechanical soft food diet, it might be easy to assume all food choices will be bland and boring. But the good news is there are many options for pureeing foods that are downright delicious.

Best Pureed Food Recipes for Adults

  • 1. Mac & Cheese: Who doesn&rsquot love this favorite comfort food? To make it taste just as good pureed, simply prepare the dish as you normally would. Then warm up one cup of milk. Add the mac and cheese and warm milk to the blender and blend well.
  • 2. Guacamole: Blend two ripe avocados, one diced tomato, two tablespoons of lemon juice and a pinch or two of garlic. This pureed treat is tasty and rich with fiber and healthy fat.
    Spaghetti and Meatballs: This hearty pureed treat is sure to please! Combine ½ cup of cooked spaghetti noodles, two pre-cooked meatballs, ½ cup of low sodium spaghetti sauce and ¾ cup of hot water. Add a sprinkle or two of Parmesan cheese. Blend well and serve warm.
  • 3. Pureed Cauliflower: Another pureed food recipe your senior loved one will love is pureed cauliflower. Boil the cauliflower in water on the stove-top until it is very tender. Drain the water, but save 1/2 cup of the liquid. Add the cooked cauliflower, along with salt, pepper, garlic powder, butter and the reserved liquid to the blender. Process until smooth.
  • 4. Pumpkin Treats: Fall is a great time for pumpkin treats! And there are several pureed pumpkin options your loved one might enjoy. Pumpkin Cheesecake Mousse and Pumpkin Chai Smoothie with Dates are just two.
  • 5. Avocado, Chicken & Potato Puree: Three hearty foods that combine well in a puree are avocado, potato and chicken. Place one small, diced potato, one cooked and diced, boneless chicken breast, and ½ of a diced avocado in your food processor. Add salt, pepper and 2 teaspoons of milk. Blend well.
  • 6. Maple Whipped Sweet Potatoes: Rich in taste and fiber, sweet potatoes make for a healthy and delicious treat. Cook a sweet potato until it is tender and then cut it in to chunks. Place in the blender along with 1 tablespoon of cream, 2 teaspoons of maple syrup, 2 teaspoons of butter and a pinch of cinnamon. Blend until smooth and creamy.
  • 7. Blackberry, Kale and Apple: This unlikely combination is another hearty and healthy choice. Chop and core 2 gala apples and place in blender. Add one cup of chopped kale, one cup of black berries and ½ cup of water. Blend and serve.
  • 8. Mango Banana Smoothie: An easy treat to whip up is one that is also very healthy. Blend one frozen and sliced banana, one diced and frozen mango, one cup of plain Greek yogurt, a drizzle of honey and a teaspoon or two of almond milk.

Quick Tips for Pureeing Foods

If you are new at creating mechanical soft foods for a senior you love, here are a few tips on how to puree foods for adults:

  • Remove skin, seeds, bones and other tough parts of ingredients that may be hard to blend smoothly.
  • Cook all ingredients until they are tender and easy to chop in to small pieces that blend better.
  • Adding small amounts of liquid (water, milk, juice) before you press &ldquoblend&rdquo often makes it easier to obtain a creamy texture.

Elmcroft Senior Living communities are able to accommodate a variety of special diets. Whether it is a low-sodium diet or pureed food recipes, learn more about how our dining staff creates healthy and tasty menus for residents to enjoy!

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Modern Comfort Food

There are few things more comforting than gathering for a meal with the ones you love, especially when dishes like Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas are at the center of the table. Old-fashioned crowd pleasers like Roasted Sausages, Peppers, and Onions are even more delicious and streamlined for quick cleanup. For dessert? You’ll find the best Boston Cream Pie, Banana Rum Trifle, and Black and White Cookies you’ll ever make. Home cooks can always count on Ina’s dependable, easy-to-follow instructions, with lots of side notes for cooking and entertaining–it’s like having Ina right there beside you, helping you all the way.

From cocktails to dessert, from special weekend breakfasts to quick weeknight dinners, you’ll find yourself making these cozy and delicious recipes over and over again.


36 Easy-to-Make Healthy Fall Recipes

This comfort food is both nutritious and delicious.

Summer produce may get all the most breathless attention, but if you ask us, the fall is really when fresh, seasonal eating gets good. The cooler weather sees the return of all kinds of delicious spring veggies that generally can't take the summer heat&mdashthink peppery arugula greens, and mild butter lettuces as well as Broccolini, and kale. And then there are all the root vegetables like carrots, beets, turnip recipes, and simple potato recipes, to say nothing of harvest time staples like winter squash recipes and apple recipes.

Fall is also when eating gets fun. The cooler whether invites lots of hearty stews and soups, rich roasted chicken, and stick-to-your-ribs dishes. Which is why (for us, anyway) it's suddenly so easy to start overeating. That's why making sure the delicious fall foods you eat are healthy is suddenly more important than ever. Sure, it would be possible to gorge on nothing but cheese-covered lasagna and roasted sausage, but you won't feel very good afterward.

Here, then, are a few dozen of our favorite healthy fall recipes. These have all the flavors the colder temperatures have you craving: Roasted butternut squash, creamy mac and cheese, sautéed mushrooms, bold sauces, and more, but they're made with smart ingredients and techniques to keep them healthy. Our mac and cheese has a purée of creamy cauliflower to give it a burst of nutrition. Our roasted chicken uses a weighted pan to keep it extra crispy without excess oil. And our smothered pork chops reconfigures the sauce, to cut back on sat fat without sacrificing flavor.


43 Easy Healthy Chicken Recipes for Simple Weeknight Dinners

Chicken is an ideal base for a solid weeknight dinner: fast, economical, nutritious, and filling. But it’s pretty common to get bored with a lackluster rotation of healthy chicken recipes.

“A lot of people get kind of chicken-breasted-out at some point,” Rachael Hartley, R.D., certified intuitive eating counselor and owner of Rachael Hartley Nutrition, tells SELF. That may be especially true if you’ve got this particular image of the ultimate healthy dinner plate in your head, courtesy of diet culture’s limited imagination: a plain baked chicken breast, steamed broccoli, and a meager portion of brown rice. Might get a little boring after a while!

Thankfully, there are about 7 million more exciting ways to eat chicken.

A healthy chicken dinner is one that’s nutritionally rich and full of flavors you enjoy, Hartley explains. Ideally you’ll balance out your protein-packed chicken base with a carb, a fat, and a veggie, Hartley says. That’s why one-pan skillets, stir-fries, and sheet-pan roasts are all convenient preparations for serving up a well-balanced and tasty chicken meal, Hartley says. You’ll find a bunch of those below. Some of the recipes included here are just the chicken (with seasonings, sauces, etc.)—in which case you can add a simple grain and your fave roasted veggie to round out your meal and help sop up all those flavorful sauces and juices.

Hartley’s other favorite hack for incorporating more deliciousness and nutritional balance with minimal effort is a clapback to that aforementioned diet-y dinner: starting out with a fattier piece of poultry. Chicken thighs and skin-on breasts are intrinsically more flavorful, juicy, and tender thanks to the extra fat they contain, Hartley explains. “That fat also makes that meal more satiating and satisfying for you,” she says.

Poultry fatigue, no more. Here are 43 healthy chicken recipes to try.

A note about the word healthy here: We know that healthy is a complicated concept. Not only can it mean different things to different people, it’s a word that’s pretty loaded (and sometimes fraught), thanks to the diet industry’s influence on the way we think about food. At SELF, when we talk about food being healthy, we’re primarily talking about foods that are nutritious, filling, and satisfying. But it also depends on your preferences, your culture, what’s accessible to you, and so much more. We selected these recipes with those basic criteria in mind, while also trying to appeal to a wide variety of nutritional needs and taste buds.


Light, creamy, warm, and slightly-sweet egg-based dressing is the perfect companion to zesty watercress.

For this recipe, the greens taste best if sautéed just before serving, but you can cook the bacon and stems ahead leave the pan on an unlit burner 'til go time.

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