Personal Chef and SHC caregiver Linda Wittig reminds us that summer time can be a great time for family members and other caregivers to help the seniors they assist get more vegetables, so important to a nutritional diet.  “Caregivers and care-receivers alike can enjoy the bounty of fresh vegetables available now as summer rain and sun nourish our gardens.  These vegetables can be turned into tasty meals that are easy to prepare.  Even with low or no-salt diets, zucchinis, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, potatoes and onions become appealing and savory side or main dishes.  Try a few of these ideas to encourage even the pickiest of eaters to eat their vegetables!”

  • Saute 1/2 sliced onion in 1 T olive oil, add sliced zucchini and stir until almost tender. If no salt can be used, try fresh garlic and a few fresh basil leaves. Fresh lemon juice will add a zesty flavor and the salt will not be missed.
  • Add cooked chicken to the vegetables for a complete meal.
  • Fresh dill and lemon added to any vegetables add a zip to broccoli.
  • Cherry tomatoes and basil are a great combination.
  • Easy coleslaw:  Stir together: 1 T vinegar, 1T sugar, 1T mayonnaise, 3 T milk.  Add thinly sliced cabbage.
  • Sauté fresh cabbage and onion together.  Add cooked noodles.
  • Add canned beans to cooked vegetables.
  • Add eggs for a vegetable scramble.
  • Add chicken or beef broth to turn vegetables into a light soup.
  • Add parmesan cheese, or top vegetables with a slice of cheese.
  • Wrap the sautéed vegetables in a flour tortilla.
  • Fresh corn cut off the cob can be lightly processed in a blender or food processor for those people who love fresh corn but can’t manage it from the cob as they may have been used to in the past.
  • Toss cut up potatoes with a little oil and a few sprigs of fresh rosemary; roast at 350 degrees until tender.
  • Fresh herbs added to chicken and fish add a level of flavor that is needed with no or low-salt diets.

And a note to caregivers:  ask your clients about the food they grew up eating.  See if you can create meals that have those familiar flavors.

Note: If you are planning a small formal or informal dinner event for friends or co-workers and want to be a participant, not do the cooking, contact Linda about her personal chef services. Linda also provides cooking classes for a variety of venues and topics.  Linda Wittig, Personal Chef (724)495-9674 or (717)482-8540.