Finding recipes and meal ideas for one person can seem like a chore, even if you know how to cook and have a full kitchen at your disposal. It can seem to be simpler to just put a frozen dinner in the microwave but regularly eating convenience food can take a toll on your physical and mental health. The act of cooking for yourself can be very empowering. Taking charge of your diet and taking the time to care for yourself can improve your mood and self-esteem.
Preparing your own healthy meals can reduce your risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and cancer. If you are trying to control your blood pressure or diabetes, it is much easier to ensure you are getting the right foods when you prepare the meals yourself. When your body feels healthier, you feel happier-inside and out. Eating well at home can make you happier!
Cooking for One recipe idea: Steam in parchment paper for a VERY simple one-person meal.
Cooking “en papillote” is a fancy term for a simple technique that involves cooking a meal in parchment paper. Pre-heat oven to 350º. Place a fish filet, skinless boneless chicken breast or firm tofu on top of thinly sliced veggies on a large piece of parchment paper. Add spices/seasoning and a dash of olive oil. Fold food into a tight package. Place on a baking sheet. After about 20 minutes you have a healthy, steamed meal for one with virtually no clean up!
Join us at one of our ongoing exercise classes sponsored by Como Park/Falcon Heights Living at Home Block Nurse Program.
Falcon Heights Senior
Day: Every Tuesday and Thursday
Address: 1530 Larpenteur Ave. W, Falcon Heights, MN 55113
Arbor Pointe Apartments
Day: Every Tuesday and Thursday
Address: 635 Maryland Ave. W; St. Paul, MN 55117
I am Jeena Gurung, Senior Wellness and Volunteer Coordinator of this program. If one were to ask my friends and coworkers to describe me they would say I am a very pleasant, diverse, active and intelligent woman. I think one of my most distinguishing characteristics is the diversity of experiences I have had. I am a student with flair. I am a woman with heart and an interest in helping the elderly people. I also have a passion for traveling and understanding different cultures of the world. All these elements have given me a very broad outlook, with varying degrees of knowledge in a range of topics. I strongly believe that although some are not related directly, all these qualities influence my work.
I have been fortunate to have acquired a variety of experience in both volunteer and paid positions in programs providing services to the elderly, working one-on-one with seniors, working in a nursing home environment, fitness instructor, wellness coordinator, training volunteers and placing volunteers in many capacities. I love what I do that makes a difference for me everyday.
One of the things I enjoy about my job is to lead exercise classes with mostly people in their 80s or 90s. The classes are held at two nice senior independent buildings located at Como Park and Falcon Heights. I have been doing this for three years now and I have enjoyed each and every class because I see and feel the positive energy from the seniors in the classes. It is an awesome feeling to feel valued and challenged at the same time. One of the things I hear from the regular participant is that they love the variety.
I welcome everyone who is living at Como Park and Falcon Heights who are 65 years old and more to join my classes that are convenient for you. I encourage everyone of us to keep moving and do what you can to live a happy and healthy life.
Ongoing classes sponsored by Como Park/Falcon Heights Living at Home Block Nurse Program.
Every Tuesday and Thursday Every Tuesday and Thursday
Time: 9:30-10:30a.m. Time: 11:00-Noon
Falcon Heights Senior Arbor Pointe Apartment
1530 Larpenteur Ave. W 635 Maryland Ave. W
Falcon Heights, MN 55113 St. Paul, MN 55117
Join us for Como Days, July 10-12th as we celebrate our beloved neighborhood and all those who call it home. It will be a fun filled weekend in the Como Neighborhood with music, art, and even a Como 5K and family walk around Como Lake. We will update you as plans are confirmed. Save the date!
And they’re perfect for breakfast, lunch AND dinner.
Breakfast idea: Pancakes for One (recipe below) with egg your way and bacon
Lunch idea: Chef Salad with hard boiled egg and bacon bits
Dinner idea: Spaghetti Carbonara for One (recipe below)
These kitchen staples can provide economical, easy, fast and satisfying meals.
Can your smell the bacon already? Let’s get cooking!
Cooking for One Storage tip: Thicker cuts of bacon freeze easily. After opening the package, cut all the slices in half, put them into 3 or 4 slice-thick portions. Lay the portions side-by-side in freezer bags. When you need a serving of bacon, take out one stack and defrost.
Breakfast Idea Recipe
Pancakes for One, Eggs Your Way and Crispy Bacon
To get that local diner flavor, cook your bacon first in a heavy bottomed pan. Leave a tablespoon of bacon grease in the pan to fry your pancakes and egg.
Pancakes for One
1/2 cup of pancake mix (like Bisquik)
1/3 cup water
Combine pancake mix and water. Batter will be lumpy.
Pour ¼ cup of batter into hot pan to form one small pancake. Pour 2 or 3 more pancakes into pan. Do not over crowd the pan. Flip pancakes when holes start to appear in batter and the edges are brown. Put on a plate and cook an egg your favorite way in the pan next.
Dinner Idea Recipe
Spaghetti Carbonara For One
2 oz (small handful) dry spaghetti pasta
1 garlic clove, minced
1 strip bacon
1 egg, slightly beaten
Parmesan cheese, about a ¼ cup grated
Cook the bacon in a cast iron skillet or heavy skillet. Remove and drain on paper towel before crumbling.
Add the minced garlic to the bacon grease and cook until fragrant (about thirty seconds). Remove from heat.
Cook the pasta in boiling, salted water. Drain and immediately place back in the pot with the bacon, bacon grease and garlic. Place pot back on the stove over low heat, add the beaten egg and whisk continuously for three minutes, or until the egg cooks and thickens, creating a silky sauce over the noodles. Be careful not to stop whisking or the egg will scramble! Don’t worry about the egg being raw-it will be cooked.
Top with a generous serving of grated fresh Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.
Cooking for One. Cooking for You!
I am Jennifer, Como Park resident and Homemaker for the Block Nurse program. Sharing food with neighbors started within hours of moving to the neighborhood. It was a hot July day and my new neighbors across the street brought over fruit salad and brownies. I knew I would love this neighborhood!
Over the years, talking about food and sharing food with neighbors has meant sharing when there is too much in the garden harvest; “borrowing” when there aren’t enough eggs in fridge to finish making those cookies; eating a casserole made for tired new parents; sending a nourishing meal to a grieving neighbor; the Block Party where cookies flow with the good conversations. Much of the time, preparing food and eating is a communal endeavor but as I have met more neighbors through the Block Nurse Program, I hear common questions about cooking for one. Cooking for You!
Cooking for one happens at different times in our lives: The 24-year old living on her own for the first time; the teenager home during the summer needing meals and snacks while his parents are at work; the married couple with different work schedules; the single parent whose kids are at their other parent’s house; the senior after their spouse has passed away or needed assisted living.
My future blogs will share recipes, tips and stories from around the neighborhood (and beyond) centered on cooking for one. The most important “one”, after all, is You!
Don’t Miss our Delicious Annual Meatloaf Dinner!
Saturday, October 11 — 4:30- 7:00 p.m.
Join us for a community dinner and fundraising event for your local Block Nurse Program that directly serves over 150 seniors each month.
Date: Friday, October 11, 2014
Time: 4:30pm to 7:00pm
Cost: $9.00 for adults and $5.00 for children 11 and under.
Where: 1376 Hoyt Ave W, St. Paul, MN 55108 (Como Park Lutheran Church)
By purchasing a meal ticket you will receive a raffle ticket to win fun prizes!
Wonderful local items and your purchase is tax deductible.
Event is handicap accessible and transportation is available,
just call us at 651-642-1127.
How will you celebrate Grandparents Day?
National Grandparents Day, the first Sunday after Labor Day, is the perfect time to connect with Grandma and Grandpa whether they are close to home or far away.
In 1978, President Jimmy Carter created National Grandparents Day as a day for our nation to pause and reflect on the influence our grandparents have had on our lives.
So this year, honor your grandparents with a hug and a kiss, a family dinner or a special phone call.
5 Great Ways to Celebrate
Give them a ring or set up a video chat date
- It’s always nice to hear the familiar voice of a loved one, especially on a day when they know they’ll be receiving extra attention. Pick up the phone and sing them the National Grandparents Day Song or show them your special Grandparents Day dance over Skype or Google+ to express how much you appreciate them.
Take them on an adventure for the day
- One famous grandparent, former President George H. W. Bush, celebrated his 85th birthday by skydiving from 10,500 feet above the coast of Maine. If your grandparents aren’t into jumping out of planes, you can spend a day at the zoo or have dinner at their favorite restaurant. Whether it’s a trip out of town or a flight to a tropical island, you’re bound to create unforgettable moments together.
- Sometimes, the simplicity of having family around is all they need. Gather the grandkids to help cook dinner for the night, or flip through old photos or watch videos of Grandma’s first swim meet and Grandpa’s high school graduation.
- You’re much more likely to see grandparents working out than sitting in rocking chairs these days-today’s grandparents tend to be much more active than prior generations. This year, try introducing them to a dancing class or just ask them to show you a few gardening tips. Spending time doing something active is a surefire way to have a great Grandparent’s Day.
- Think about that joy you get when your grandparents cook those empanadas you’re always craving or when they bake their famous lemon squares. This time, save them a trip to the kitchen by trying your hand at one of their secret recipes. While you’re at it, stop by the grocery store and stock up on supplies for them. Of course, your attempts may not live up to the origianal chefs, but they’ll appreciate the effort.
*****Thank You to the American Red Cross for this information
We found this to be eye opening hopefully you do to. This article does a great job of helping you understand why our program is so helpful and necessary to our communities.
About 1/4 of the Como Park neighborhood population is 65+ according to the 2010 District Council Demographic Charts and the demand for our services is only growing in importance. The Minnesota Department on Human Services has conducted a survey of the MN boomer populations. Here are some important facts that support the importance of our program.
- 51% of boomers have lived in the same community for more than 20 years
- A majority of boomers (52%) plan to stay in their current home an additional 10 years or more
- 31% indicated that they plan to stay in the same community for 20 or more years
- 27% reported that they plan to remain in their home for an additional 20 years or more
- Expect that most boomers residing in your community will remain there
- Since most boomers are homeowners they will likely be invested in the health of their block, neighborhood and city
- The most important “senior housing” option for older adults is the option to stay in their current home
- Home maintenance and chore programs will be increasingly important
- Caregiving will be a growing issue, as increasing numbers of families struggle to care for increasing number of older relatives
- Most families cannot afford formal long-term care, and try to provide assistance until they reach a “tipping point”
How to Manage the Issues
- More emphasis on “community as caregiver” especially for the growing number of persons with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers
- Build and strengthen neighborhoods and informal social networks
- As boomers age, they will look to their family and community for support to remain independent
- This is important part of “communities for a lifetime” concept