Every year on March 3rd, deli counters around the nation celebrate National Cold Cuts day. It's not a super official holiday, and you don't have to wait until it rolls around to get the benefit of tasty cold cuts in your assisted living apartment. Discover some benefits this food can provide and get some ideas for serving or snacking on it below.
Why are cold cuts an ideal food for your assisted living apartment? The first reason is that you don't have to cook them or even heat them to serve them. You can easily prep a quick snack any time when you have a bit of sliced turkey, ham or chicken on hand. In fact, it's as easy as rolling up a piece to get some protein in.
Another reason to have cold cuts on hand is that they're so flexible. Slip them between two pieces of bread with your favorite fixings and you have a meal in the form of a sandwich. Arrange slices on a board or plate with cheese, crackers, fruit or nuts, and you've got a charcuterie board ready to impress any guests.
Finally, for many people, cold cuts can be a healthy snack option. They pack a lot of protein and other nutrients — much more so than chips or cookies — with a lower calorie count. A serving of deli turkey can have as little as 50 calories in it, and even honey cured ham comes in at around 70 calories a serving.
While cold cuts are convenient, tasty and protein-packed, they are still processed. Which means seniors may want to partake in moderation, especially if you're on a limited sodium diet. If that's the case, opt for low-sodium, organic deli meat with less preservatives. And if you can't eat deli meat at all for any reason, consider options such as hummus and nut butters for the same purpose.
Since even low-sodium deli meat still has a decent salt count, you never just want to rip into a bag of cold cuts. The best way to enjoy these meats in your assisted living apartment is as a part of a well-balanced snack or convenience meal.
Roll a piece of deli meat together with other ingredients for a quick, savory snack that's perfect for TV time or dealing with hunger that arises at an odd time.
Start with a tortilla and add your favorite spread, a slice of meat and chopped veggies for a nutrient-packed option. Flour tortillas do come with a good number of carbs and a potentially high sodium count, so consider spinach or other veggie-based options or harvest grain wraps that are based on ingredients such as quinoa.
If you want an even healthier option, consider using a large piece of lettuce or some cabbage as the exterior wrap for your snack.
If a single leaf of lettuce isn't going to cut it for you, use cold cuts in a fast salad. Combine your favorite fresh greens, such as lettuce and spinach, with deli meat you've cut into bite-size chunks. Mix in other veggies, including carrots, cucumbers, onions and peppers. Add sliced apples for some sweetness. Halved grapes tossed into your salad add some sweet moisture that lets you cut back on how much calorie-heavy dressing you use. Salad is a great option for a quick bit of lunch in your apartment, and it works great for two or three people if you're entertaining.
Speaking of fruit, your favorite sweet produce is a great way to offset the salty taste of deli meat. Create a small plate with one or two rolled up slices of deli meat and a hefty serving of fruit slices. Try mixing ham and apples, chicken and oranges, turkey and pear or any other combo that suits your craving.
If you're feeling extra fancy or if the grand kids are visiting and you want to provide a fun, healthy snack, cut your fruit and meat up into bite-size chunks. Use toothpicks to spear food in fun patterns for tiny shish kabobs.
For a heavier meal that's still easy to whip up without cooking, consider a cold cut version of lasagna. You'll need your favorite cold cheese, deli meat and a foundation, which could be flour tortillas, lettuce or even cold pasta salad.
Layer the ingredients in a dish as you would lasagna, alternating cheese, cold cuts and the foundation. Mix in other complementary ingredients such as diced veggies. Leave the cold cut lasagna in the fridge until you're ready to serve it. Since many of the ingredients are high in sodium, remember to partake in moderation.
Cold cuts are a great way to add some delicious snacks to your assisted living apartment. But when you reside at the Grand Villa assisted living community, you don't have to worry about preparing all your own meals. Anytime you want a nutritious, delicious hot meal, it's a few steps away in our dining area.