Food & Drink

Recipes to help your grandchildren eat their vegetables

Americans are living longer and staying active well into their 80s.

This is evident at the St. Helena Senior Center, where you’ll find plenty of people enjoying life — from age 61 to 103.

Mary Glover Bolles, the director, greets the van that brings seniors from Lady’s Island, Warsaw and St. Helena Island each morning and gives attendees a hardy “Good morning.”

The morning salutations come with a smile as each attendee is happy to see each other. They enter with tote bags full of puzzles, newspapers and books to read if there is any spare time.

Bolles never has to give her seniors seat assignments — once a seat has been chosen by a new attendee, everyone just seems to know not to sit there.

The tables are covered with tablecloths and each has a centerpiece, many created by attendees during craft time.

At the senior center, there is very little time to focus on aches and pains.

In the morning there is a devotional with hymns and spirituals and a reading from the Scripture. At various times throughout the day, attendees again pause to share inspirational thoughts.

After that, there is movement and exercise, with lots of laughter. And then games and projects.

Attendees also take time to report the happenings around St. Helena.

The center serves as extended family for many attendees who live alone. For some caregivers, the time spent at the center is a well-deserved time of friendship.

In case you didn’t know, May is Older Americans Month.

Today I share recipes from friends who, like me, prepare dishes to get their grandchildren to “eat their vegetables.”

Columnist Ervena Faulkner is a Port Royal resident and a retired educator who has always had an interest in food and nutrition.

Green vegetable mix

 1/2 cup fresh broccoli florets

1 cup fresh green peas

 1/2 cup water

2 tablespoons chopped green onions

1 tablespoon diced pimiento

 1/4 teaspoon salt

 1/4 teaspoon dried whole dill weed

Combine first four ingredients in a medium saucepan, bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat. Cook 4 to 5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain; stir in pimiento, salt and dill weed.

Source: Deborah Lynard

Herbed vegetable bake

3 cups broccoli florets

2 cups cauliflower

2 medium carrots, thinly sliced

1 medium red onion, thinly sliced

1 celery rib, thinly sliced

 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning

 1/2 teaspoon dried basil

 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

2 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons margarine

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place vegetables in a 9-inch baking dish coated with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning, basil, garlic salt and water. Dot with margarine. Cover and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Source: Mamie Smalls

Southern-style corn

4 ears sweet corn, kernels cut from cob

1 medium sweet red pepper, chopped

1 tablespoon finely chopped seeded jalapeno pepper

1 tablespoon margarine

1  1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

In a large skillet, saute corn, red pepper and jalapeno in margarine until tender. Add cumin and cook until all vegetables are tender. Cover and allow to simmer until all vegetables are well blended.

Source: Theresa Cuthbert Jenkins