National Senior Health and Fitness Day on May 28 is a great reminder that in addition to staying physically active, eating well is a huge part of being healthy, especially as you age. It might surprise you, but seniors need higher nutritional value as they grow older to stay mentally sharp, to maintain a strong immune system and to keep their energy levels up.

After 50, many of our dietary needs change. Our body’s ability to absorb or retain certain nutrients decreases and we need less and less calories and sodium. At the same time we need more folic acid, calcium, potassium and Vitamins B, C, and D.

Creating a balanced diet with all those nutritional guidelines to follow can be challenging. And most people think you have to sacrifice taste to achieve this; but good nutritional food doesn’t have to be bland, it can also be tasty.

By extracting natural favors and creating a rich demi-glace you can achieve both taste and nutrition in this seared swordfish dish. Swordfish is a great option for seniors because while it helps you stay within healthy calorie and sodium limits, it also provides potassium and Vitamin D.

Jackie Nabong is the executive chef at Oakmont of Capriana, a premier retirement community in Brea.

Hot Iron Seared Swordfish & Roasted Jalapeno Brussels Sprouts – Yield 1 Serving


  •  Swordfish – 5 oz.
  • Olive Oil Blend – As needed
  • Mrs. Dash – 2 Tsp.
  • Jalapeno Brussels Sprouts – 2 ½ oz. Recipe to follow
  • Herb Butter – ½ Tbs.
  • Demi-glace – 1 oz.
  • Parsley – Chopped 1 Tsp.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

  • Brussels Sprouts – 2 ½ oz.
  • Olive Oil Blend – 1 Tbs.
  • Salt & Pepper – Dash

Roasted Jalapeno Brussels Sprouts

  • Brussels Sprouts – 2 ½ oz.
  • Jalapeno – sliced thin – 1/8 oz.
  • Shallots – Sliced thin – ½ oz.
  • Orange Juice – FRESH SQUEEZE – ½ ea.
  • Bacon – Semi Crisp and Chopped – 2 tbs.
  • Herb Butter – 1 tbs.
  • Mint Leaves – 5 leaves
  • Olive Oil Blend  – ½ oz.

Wash the Brussels sprouts.  Cut the ends off the Brussels sprouts.  Half or quarter Brussels sprouts depending on the size.  Place Brussels sprouts in a mixing bowl and toss with olive oil blend and salt and pepper.  Place Brussels sprouts on a sheet pan with parchment paper.  Bake in a 350-degree oven for 10 minute or until the Brussels sprouts look charred but not burnt and dry.

In a sauté pan, heat 1 oz. olive oil blend.  Season the swordfish with Mrs. Dash. Sear the swordfish on both sides for about 2 min. on either side or until medium well.

To cook the jalapeno Brussels sprouts, in another sauté pan, heat ½ oz. olive oil blend and sauté the shallots and jalapenos until translucent. Add the roasted Brussels sprouts and sauté for 1 minute. Deglaze with fresh orange juice.  Add the bacon and garlic herb butter. Toss in the mint and salt and pepper for platting.

On a plate, place the jalapeno or plain-roasted Brussels sprouts in the center of the plate. Place the swordfish on the Brussels sprouts.  Place ½ Tbs. SOFTEN herb butter on the swordfish and let the butter melt over the fish. Ladle the demi-glace around the swordfish and sprinkle the chopped parsley over the dish as garnish.

By Jackie Nabong