Cookout season is upon us. As an independent senior, summer is the perfect time to break out the grill with friends and family. At Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home services, we cherish these moments in the sun with loved ones!
Still, we know cookout staples – like burgers, hot dogs, ribs and pasta salad – are not always ideal for those trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle. In fact, some 85 million Americans above the age of 60 have at least one or more types of cardiovascular disease, according to the American Heart Association.
Keeping that in mind, it's important we celebrate warm-weather days with a balanced menu. After all, we want to stay fueled with the right foods for chasing around the grandkids, gardening, or whatever outdoor activities you enjoy most!
Whether spending a quiet lunch on the patio or attending a big backyard barbeque, our Seniors Helping Seniors® team has a few healthy, delicious culinary staples. Try out these heart healthy summer recipes and let your Seniors Helping Seniors team know what you think!
Bring The Beans!
Base your side dish or entree around beans. Aside from offering loads of protein and fiber, they also are super filling. This colorful White Bean Salad marries all the flavors of the season in one dish. Great Northern beans, veggies, and fresh herbs mixed in a bowl. It's literally that easy! Add an oil & vinegar base for some tang without the extra calories of mayo.
Fresh White Bean Salad
- 2 can white beans (Great Northern Beans), rinsed and drained
- ½ red onion, sliced
- ½ red bell pepper, diced
- 1 small cucumber, diced
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- ¼ bunch cilantro
- 1 cup parsley, chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- salt & pepper to taste
- Put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix! Serve cold or at room temperature.
Any burger fans out there? If you find the right recipe, an appetizing black bean burger has the potential to replace your traditional beef patty. This much-healthier alternative still tastes great right off the grill, especially when prepared with the classic toppings, like ketchup and mustard. Bring this recipe to your next gathering, and you may convert some party-goers!
Black Bean Burgers
- 2 15oz. cans black beans
- ¼ red onion
- 1 clove of garlic
- ¼ bunch fresh cilantro
- 1 tbsp mayonnaise
- ¼ cup feta cheese
- 1 ½ tbsp soy sauce
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup plain breadcrumbs
- 2 tbsp cooking oil
- Rinse and drain the canned black beans. Add the black beans along with the red onion, garlic, cilantro, mayonnaise, feta cheese, soy sauce, and pepper to a food processor.
- Transfer the mixture into a bowl and add the egg and breadcrumbs. Stir until all of the ingredients are evenly combined and let sit for 5 minutes. If the mixture sticks to your hands, then you need more breadcrumbs!
- Divide the mixture evenly and mold into patties. Depending on the size, this mixture will yield between 6-8 burgers.
- Heat a pan and add oil to the pan. Once the oil is hot add the patties and cook until browned on each side.
- Throw on a bun with all the fixings and enjoy!
When it comes to keeping your cardio in check, vegetables are like an old friend. No matter what your needs are, you can find a few veggies that will fit you like a glove.
Adding marinated veggies to your grill will release a tasty aroma similar to meat. Asparagus, zucchini, and cherry tomatoes are ideal over a hot flame. If you want charred veggies for a side dish, grab a grilling basket, add your favorites from the garden, and go to town.
At Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care, we've become accustomed to slathering veggies with this marinade. It is zesty, tangy, and whips up in less than 10 minutes. Everyone will love it – Trust Us!
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- 3 tbsp dijon mustard
- 3 tbsp honey
- 1 ½ tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- Add all of the above ingredients in a cup and mix well. Combine the marinade and your favorite vegetables and let sit for at least 30 minutes before cooking. Enjoy!
The Seniors Helping Seniors® mission is simple. We provide in-home care services and companionship to seniors so they can enjoy an independent, fulfilling lifestyle. There is nothing that captures this sentiment more than barbecuing and enjoying a meal outside with those closest to you! Try out these simple heart healthy summer recipes at your next gathering and enjoy the tastes of summer in the weeks ahead!