Our testers feedback about recipes and ideas from a book compiled by Young Dementia Leeds.
Eating Well with Dementia was compiled by people affected by the condition at Young Dementia Leeds, which is part of Community Links in Yorkshire and the Humber.
As well as tried and tested recipes, it includes advice on nutrition, hygiene and helpful products. There’s even a recipe for white chocolate and raspberry trifle contributed by TV chef Brian Turner.
But what did our own testers think of it?
Well set out
Joyce and John are based in Sussex and take part in our Dementia Voice programme.
‘We feel the book is well put together,’ says Joyce. ‘It’s easy to follow and covers a variety of snacks, meals and desserts to suit most tastes.
‘The introduction and explanation of daily requirements provide a simple guide.’
SeaSwallow, a Dementia Support Forum member in Northern Ireland, agrees, ‘The book is well set out and attractive, and I really enjoyed reading it. It certainly gave me a few ideas for new meals.
The initial sections on nutrition, aids and adaptations etc are very useful. The section on hygiene is particularly good, as people with dementia are so vulnerable to infections and this is something not often covered in other cookbooks.
Although there are vegetarian options, Canadian Joanne, a Dementia Support Forum member in Ontario, says, ‘I am a coeliac and perhaps there could be a couple of recipes for those who have dietary problems.’
Easy to follow
Joyce says, ‘We enjoy cooking and trying different things. Overall, following the book was simple and we felt it was all doable – nothing too taxing.
John is a big fan of fish where I am more reluctant, so we tried the smoked haddock on toast and I was very pleasantly surprised.
SeaSwallow was also impressed by smoked haddock and toast (scroll down for this recipe).
‘This was really easy to follow and very tasty.
‘My husband is not a fan of toast, but he really enjoyed it. The mixture would work just as well on things like waffles or baked potatoes, and this might have been mentioned in the recipe.
‘Leek and potato soup, one of my husband’s favourites, was an easy to follow recipe and a good flavour.’
Joyce says, ‘We make leek and potato soup quite often so thought following this version with its variations would be good, for example as simple as only blitzing two thirds and returning the reserved soup.
This made a nice texture difference along with the addition of thyme – nice!
‘Not too sure about the ras-el.hanout in the chorba soup, but we’ll probably try that in winter when we have time to make the mix.
‘I like the sound of goat curry but would not know where to buy it.’
SeaSwallow, who made the goat curry with lamb, says, ‘It was full of flavour. It is not something that I would make on a regular basis, as it took a long time to make.
‘Carers don’t always have that much time to spend on cooking, but for a special treat it is well worth the time.
‘I have not yet tried the quiche recipe but think that it was an excellent idea to suggest alternative filling ideas.’
Joyce says, ‘The Thai prawn muffins sound lovely – they are definitely on our to-do list.’
SeaSwallow adds, ‘There is a good variety of recipes and the pictures are attractive.
When the weather turns colder, I will certainly be trying more of the recipes, especially the beef stroganoff and beef casserole with red wine.
‘For a treat, the cake and dessert ideas are ideal, and simple to make.’
‘I would recommend the book to anyone who is looking after a person with dementia,’ says SeaSwallow.
‘I also feel that people with dementia in the early stages would be able to follow some of the more simple recipes, or be able to help with the preparation work.’
Joyce agrees, ‘As an ex-chef, John is enjoying the book and will try out more of the foods.
For anyone wanting to make their own meals, it’s a good foundation in our opinion.
Eating Well with Dementia, edited by Liz Menacer (Young Dementia Leeds 2021), 108 pages, £14.99 (prices vary), ISBN 9781838450502.
Try smoked haddock on toast
- Butter – 25g
- Smoked haddock (pre-cooked) – 50g
- Double cream – 1 tablespoon
- Bread – 4 slices
- Fresh parsley – 1 tablespoon, chopped
- Bay leaf – 1
- Wholegrain mustard – 1 teaspoon
- Salt and black pepper
- Melt the butter in a pan, add the flaked fish, cream, bay leaf, mustard and seasoning. Heat thoroughly, stirring to avoid burning.
- Remove the bay leaf.
- Toast the bread.
- Spread the mixture onto the bread, top with parsley, cut into fingers and serve.