Caregiving > Nutrition & Diet > Soft Food Recipes

The following recipes are courtesy of The National Cancer Institute and The American Cancer Society. For a version of this page in PDF format, click here. Feel free to distribute the PDF and repost it on other websites.

Apple Brown Betty

4 cups thinly sliced apples or 1 (16-ounce) can pie apples, drained
2 cups bread cubes or torn bread pieces
½ cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons margarine
1/4 cup hot water

Grease a 1-quart baking dish. Arrange half of apples on bottom of dish. Follow with half of bread, then half of sugar. Repeat layers. Sprinkle cinnamon over top, cut margarine in pieces and lay them on top, finish by pouring hot water over all. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, uncover, and bake 10 minutes longer. Serve warm or chilled.

Yield: 4 servings. 291 calories per serving, 1 gram of protein. Protein may be increased to 4 grams by spooning 1 cup ricotta cheese over first layer of apples, bread and sugar.

Fluffy Fruit Gelatin

1 cup cooked or canned peaches with syrup
1 (3-ounce) package red gelatin
1 cup boiling water

Blend fruit with syrup at high speed until smooth. Pour pureed fruit back into measuring cup and add enough syrup or water to make one cup. Dissolve gelatin in boiling water, pour into a bowl (deep enough to whip gelatin later). Stir in fruit puree. Cool. Refrigerate gelatin mixture until it piles softly, but is not firm. With cold beaters, whip the gelatin until foamy and doubled in volume. Refrigerate until firm.

Yield: 6 servings. 90 calories per serving, 1 gram of protein. Pears, applesauce or apricots may be used in place of peaches.

Individual Cheese Pies

1 tablespoon ricotta cheese
1 tablespoon applesauce (pureed), peaches or drained crushed pineapple
2 teaspoons sugar
Sprinkle of cinnamon
1 (3-inch) sugar cookie (store bought)

Blend cheese, fruit, sugar and cinnamon. Spoon over a sugar cookie, turned upside down so the sugar side is on the bottom, next to the cookie sheet or foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes (the cookie softens as it absorbs the liquid from the fruit-cheese mixture). For a softer treat, lower the oven to 325 degrees.

Yield: 1 serving. 85 calories, 2 grams of protein.

Lactose-Free Double Chocolate Pudding

2 (1-ounce) squares baking chocolate
1 cup nondairy creamer, soy formula or lactose-free milk
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt chocolate in a small saucepan. Measure cornstarch and sugar into another pan. Add part of the liquid and stir until cornstarch dissolves. Add remainder of liquid. Cook over medium heat until warm. Stir in chocolate until mixture is thick and comes to a boil. Remove from heat. Blend in vanilla and cool.

Yield: 2 (3/4-cup) servings. 382 calories per serving. 1 gram of protein.

Peanut Butter Bars

1/4 cup margarine
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1-1/3 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
2 eggs
1-1/2 cups flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
½ cup chocolate chips

Cream margarine and peanut butter. Add brown sugar and mix well. Add both eggs and mix until well blended. Stir in dry ingredients until blended, then chocolate chips. Spread batter in a greased and floured 9-inch square pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Cool in pan. Cut when cooled into 36 bars.

90 calories per serving, 2 grams of protein.

Rice Pudding

1 tablespoon cornstarch
1-1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 beaten egg
1 cup milk
½ cup well-cooked rice
½ teaspoon vanilla

Blend first three ingredients in a saucepan until smooth. Add milk slowly, stirring to mix well. Add rice. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thickened and comes to a boil. Remove from heat, add vanilla and cool. Sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg, if desired.

Yield: 3 servings. 140 calories per serving, 6 grams of protein.

Fresh Peach Sauce

1 large peach, peeled and thinly sliced
1-1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon cornstarch
Dash of nutmeg

Combine ingredients in a small pan, stir until cornstarch is dissolved. Cook over medium heat until sauce boils and is thickened.

Yield: 1 serving. 140 calories, 0 grams of protein.

Milk-Free Butterscotch Sauce

½ cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 cup nondairy creamer
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon milk-free margarine
½ teaspoon vanilla

Mix brown sugar and cornstarch in a small saucepan. Slowly add nondairy creamer and water, stirring until cornstarch dissolves. Add honey and margarine. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sauce is thickened and comes to a boil. Remove from heat. Add vanilla. Cook and store in a covered container in the refrigerator.

Yield: About ½ cup. 85 calories per servings, 0 grams of protein. For Milk-Free Chocolate Sauce: Stir in 1 heaping tablespoon cocoa with cornstarch. If too thick, add a little water after it comes to a boil.

Chicken Skillet Supper

2 to 3 pounds frying chicken, cut up
½ (10-ounce) can vegetarian vegetable soup
1 can water
2 sprigs parsley
1 basil leaf (optional)

Place chicken, skin side down, in a cold skillet. Brown over medium heat, turning to brown inside. Remove from heat (chicken skin can easily be removed at this point). Pour off all fat remaining in skillet. Replace chicken, pour soup and water over chicken, and add seasonings. Simmer 1 hour in a covered skillet, turning pieces once to keep them moist. May be frozen after cooking.

Tomato special: Substitute ½ can cream of tomato for vegetarian vegetable soup. Add 1 (10-ounce) package of mixed frozen vegetables.

Creamy chicken: Substitute ½ can cream of chicken for vegetarian vegetable soup. Add 1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas and carrots.

Yield: 4 servings. 200 calories, 24 grams of protein.

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