A 3-Course Meal Inspired By Autumn

Sunrise Senior Living  |  September 25, 2015
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Autumn is a wonderful season that brings a change of color to our surroundings and new flavors to our table. Try these delicious senior meals today.

1. Eggplant Hummus
The cooling autumn air is invigorating, and you can produce this same feeling indoors with a seasonal appetizer. Eggplants, as we have discussed previously, are an often overlooked ingredient on the fall menu, so give it a chance with this tasty hummus recipe. They're full of many vitamins and minerals important to senior nutrition.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium eggplants
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Olive oil
  • 1 cup chickpeas, drained
  • 2 Tbsp. tahini
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. red chili peppers
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • 2 Tbsp. mint
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Heat your oven to 350 F. Prepare an aluminum foil packet containing the garlic cloves coated in olive oil. Seal it with a crease, and place it and the eggplant on a baking sheet. Bake them together, but note that the eggplant needs 60 minutes, while the garlic only needs 45 minutes. Turn the eggplant over to ensure it cooks evenly. In a bowl, slit the eggplant down the middle and let it drain as it cools. Peel the skin off with a knife and discard it along with the drained liquid. Remove the garlic cloves from their skins as well.

In a food processor, add the eggplant, garlic, chickpeas, tahini, yogurt, lemon juice, red chili flakes, parsley, mint, salt and pepper. Puree until smooth. Pour the hummus into a container and chill in the refrigerator for a few hours. Serve with pita or raw vegetables.

2. Butternut Squash Risotto
After enjoying the hummus and vegetables, the smell of butternut squash risotto will bring your guests into the dining room. Squash is the food that best symbolizes autumn, and it's an ideal food for senior health. Butternut squash is high in vitamin A, and a great source of vitamin C and magnesium.

Ingredients

  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups butternut squash, cubed
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • nutmeg to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

In a pot, bring your chicken broth to a simmer, then reduce heat. Put the squash cubes into a steamer basket and insert it into a saucepan filled with water. Boil, then let steam for 10 minutes. Remove the squash and mash with a fork. Empty the water from the saucepan and pour in the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic, and cook while stirring for 3 minutes. Add rice, and cook for another 5 minutes.

Pour white wine over the rice and cook until evaporated. Stir in mashed squash.  Add 1/3 of the chicken broth, cook until evaporated, and repeat until you've used all the broth. Continue stirring until the risotto is creamy. Finish by adding the cheese and seasoning with nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste. Serve. This dish tastes great with spinach soup or a dark green salad.

3. Apple Cake With Toffee Glaze
This apple cake with toffee glaze will satisfy the most demanding sweet tooth.

Cake Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Glaze Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup and 2 Tbsp. heavy cream
  • 1 Tbsp. brandy

Directions

Heat your oven to 350 F. In a mixing bowl, beat eggs and oil together. Add salt, baking soda, cinnamon, sugar, flour and vanilla and mix until the color is consistent throughout. Fold your apples into the mixture. Pour evenly into a 3-by-9-inch pan and bake for 50 minutes. Set aside to cool.

In a saucepan, boil sugar and water, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Cook for 5 minutes, or until a light brown caramel forms. Remove from heat and immediately mix in butter and cream. Simmer for 2 minutes, then stir in brandy. Pour into a serving container and let your guests drizzle it onto their thick slices of cake.