Hunger Games: Quick & Easy Meals & Snack Hacks
Join us for healthy eating tips and recipes for seniors and their caregivers.
Learn about quick and delicious meals and snacks ready when you are in a rush. Understand the nutrition that fuels your body and how your eating style impacts your choices. Get healthy tips about cooking with fats and adding flavor without adding salt.
Egg & Veggie B Bowl (Coffee Mug Scramble)
Crack two eggs into a microwavable-safe mug that was coated with nonstick cooking spray; beat until even in color. Pour in 2 Tbsp. milk and beat until light yellow in color. Add spinach and cherry tomatoes. Heat in microwave on HIGH until cooked through and fluffy, about 90 seconds. Sprinkle 2 Tbsp. shredded cheddar cheese and pepper over egg. Microwave ovens vary. Cooking times may need to be adjusted.
Yield: 1 serving
Scrambled eggs Soft Tacos
Scramble eggs with spinach, peppers, tomato, onions. Stuff into soft corn tortilla and dress with cheese and salsa.
Scrambled Egg Quesadilla
Scramble eggs with spinach, peppers, tomato, onions, and shredded cheese. Spread margarine on the corn tortilla and place in skillet. Add eggs mixture, top with black beans, cheese and fold tortilla in half. Continue cooking until tortilla is golden. Serve with salsa and avocado.
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Beat 6 eggs, ½ cup milk, salt and pepper in medium bowl until well blended. Add 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, handful of chopped spinach, ¼ cup chopped red bell pepper and 2 Tbsp. chopped onion. Spoon evenly into 12 greased muffin cups, about ¼ cup each. Bake in 350 degrees oven until just set, about 20-22 minutes. Cool on rack for 5 minutes then remove them from cups. Serve warm. Can he refrigerated and reheated. Yield: 6 servings (12 mini frittatas)
Hard Cooked Eggs Deviled Eggs
Place 4 hard-cooked eggs with shell removed in a medium size bowl. Chop into pieces. Add 2 Tbsp. mayo or a combination of mayo and plain, unflavored Greek yogurt. Mix well. Add chopped celery and onion, and season with salt and pepper. Yield: 4 servings
Rotisserie Chicken Hacks
Sriracha Chicken Quesadilla
Mix together 1 cup shredded chicken, 2 Tbsp. Sriracha, 1 Tbsp. sour cream, 1 cup cheddar cheese. Spoon ½ of the chicken mixture on just half of the 10-inch corn or whole wheat tortilla in a skillet. Cook until underside is slightly browned, 2 minutes. Flip the tortilla and cook until both sides are lightly browned and cheese is melted. Repeat with the second tortilla. Serve with your favorite salsa, sour cream and guacamole or avocado slices.
Southwest Chicken Wrap
Mix ¾ cup reduced-fat sour cream with salsa and spread a sandwich wrap with the sour cream mixture leaving a 2-inch border. In the center of the wrap, layer equal amount of baby spinach, shredded chicken and black beans, tomato, onion and avocado. For each wrap roll tightly and secure with a toothpick.
Party Like a Wok Star – Quickie Chicken & Veggie Stir-Fry
Heat wok or stir-fry pan. Add 1 Tbsp. oil in a wok skillet over medium-high heat. Add 12-ounce pkg frozen stir-fry veggies or chopped fresh stir-fry vegetables and stir fry until crisp-tender. Add 6-8 ounces rotisserie chicken and ½ cup stir-fry sauce to the wok. Stir until chicken and veggies are coated with sauce and heated. Serve with packaged brown rice. Yield: 4 servings
Fresh Pasta with Sauce
Boil 6 quarts of water. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Add fresh pasta like Giovanni Rana or Butoni cheese tortellini. Don’t separate if it sticks together. It will naturally separate while cooking. Cook 3 minutes and drain. Add 1 minute for a softer texture. Toss with extra virgin olive oil and parmesan cheese or your favorite jar of pasta sauce, mushroom sauce or pesto.
Dump Dinner – When all you have is canned vegetables – make TACO Soup!
Pronto Bean and Vegetable Taco Soup
1 lb. ground turkey (or lean ground beef)
1 large onion, diced
¼ cup water, if needed
1 15 oz. can low-sodium whole kernel corn, not drained
2 14½ oz. cans chopped tomatoes, not drained
1 14½ oz. can hominy, not drained
1 15 oz. can pinto beans with jalapeno, not drained
1 package dry Hidden Valley Ranch salad dressing
1 package reduced sodium dry taco seasoning mix
32 oz. carton low-sodium chicken broth
Sauté turkey or ground beef in skillet until browned. Add onions and cooked until transparent. Add all remaining ingredients and simmer 15-20 minutes. Ready to serve. Yield: 12 servings
Foil Pouch Meals – Camp Fire Meals without the Camp Fire!
2 sheets (12×18-inches each) heavy-duty aluminum foil or non-stick foil
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (½ to ¾ lb.)
½ cup favorite chunky salsa with beans and corn
¼ cup shredded Mexi-Blend or Cheddar cheese
Baked tortilla chips, crushed or corn tortillas strips (optional)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F or grill to medium high. Center one chicken breast half on each sheet of foil. Spoon salsa over chicken. Bring up foil sides. Double fold top end to seal packet, leaving room for heat circulation inside. Repeat to make two packets. Bake 15-18 minutes on a baking sheet in oven.
Carefully open pouch and slide chicken dinner onto plate. Sprinkle with cheese and top with crumbled tortilla chips.
Yield: 2 servings
Tuna – The Real Chicken of the Sea
Tuna and White Bean Salad
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbsp. lemon juice 2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 16-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
½ red pepper, chopped
¼ cup chopped red onion
2 pouches (2.6 ounces each) lemon pepper flavor tuna or Boston leaf lettuce, washed
Mix garlic with lemon juice, salt and pepper and slowly whisk in olive oil. Set dressing aside. In a medium glass bowl, toss together beans, red pepper and onion. Break apart tuna and mix in to bean mixture. Add dressing and toss well. Serve at room temperature in lettuce cups, if desired.
Yield: 4 servings
Open-faced Tuna Melt
Place English muffins halves on a microwave-safe plate. In a bowl, mix together one 5-oz. can tuna in water drained, chopped celery and onion and 1 Tablespoon of mayonnaise. Divide the tuna mixture evenly over the muffins. Place favorite cheese slices on top of the tuna. Microwave on HIGH for 1-1½ minutes or until the cheese melts.
Frozen Fruit Sorbet
One 16-ounce packages frozen mixed berries
One 6-ounce carton vanilla flavored Greek yogurt
Place the frozen fruit and yogurt in a food processor; process 3 minutes or until the mixture is smooth. Spoon into bowls and serve immediately or freeze until ready to serve. Garnish with mint sprig.
Yield: 6 servings
3 – 2 – 1 CAKE
In a Ziploc bag, combine one box Angel Food Cake Mix and 1 box favorite flavor cake mix. Try various flavors of cake mix like carrot, red velvet, pineapple, lemon, orange, etc. Just remember that one of the mixes has to be angel food cake mix. The flavor possibilities are endless! For each cake serving, measure 3 Tbsp. of the cake mix combination and mix it with 2 Tbsp. of water in a small microwave-safe container. Mix well. Microwave on HIGH for 1 minute and you have your own instant individual cake! Top each cake with a dollop of whipped topping and/or some fresh fruit, if desired. Keep remaining cake mixture stored in the Ziploc bag and use whenever you feel like treat!
Crunchy Fruit Sundae
1 16-ounce can peaches, pears or variety, in own juice
1/3 tsp cinnamon
2 graham crackers, rough chop
½ cup vanilla Greek yogurt
Place fruit in a small bowl, top with yogurt, graham crackers and cinnamon
Grab ‘N Go Snacks:
- Trail Mix – cheerios, nuts, dried fruit, Goldfish crackers
- Apple Cookies
- Cottage Cheese with fruit or chopped veggies
- Oatmeal made with milk, add dried or fresh fruit and nuts
- Yogurt Parfaits with fruit and favorite cereal topping
- Nut and dried fruit packs
- Hummus and Pita chips
- Babybel cheese or mozzarella cheese sticks and All-Bran multi-grain crackers or fresh apple or pear
- Smart pop mini-bag, Skinny Pop Popcorn
- Nature Valley Granola Bar or Kashi TLC Peanut Butter Chewy Bar
- Rice cakes with peanut butter and banana slices
Disclaimer: this information is for healthy eating and not meant to cover medical conditions that require medical nutrition therapy. It does not take the place of visiting with a health care provider.
Thank you for attending the Senior Source virtual culinary demo! If you enjoyed it, please Yelp, shout out on Facebook and tweet your friends on Twitter!
Cindy Kleckner, RDN, LD, FAND is an award-winning registered dietitian nutritionist and culinary expert, a Fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and co-author of Hypertension Cookbook for Dummies, 2011 and the DASH Diet for Dummies, 2014 and DASH Diet for Dummies, 2nd ed, 2021. For more information about upcoming classes and nutrition consultations contact Cindy firstname.lastname@example.org