The power of protein from Senior Chef

This month on the Gazette, we’re exploring all things health and wellbeing. To kick off week two, we’re exploring the benefits of protein – with a fabulous fish pie recipe to boot – courtesy off Wendy Scanlon from Senior Chef.


Did you know that compared with younger people, older people need 25% more protein?  Include some protein at all meals and snacks.

If you find you are eating less and have lost weight, it is doubly important to have some protein-foods with every snack and meal.  Little and often is the key.

Here are 10 ways to boost protein:

  1. Cheese, hummus, or peanut butter on crackers.
  2. Baked beans or eggs on toast.
  3. Smoothies made with milk and yoghurt.
  4. Hot drinks made with milk.
  5. Lentils, chickpeas, or kidney beans added to soups, salads, and casseroles.
  6. Yoghurt as a dessert or snack.
  7. Nuts or seeds on cereals, salads, or stir-fries.
  8. A tablespoon of milk powder added to your porridge, mashed potatoes, or hot milk drink.
  9. A dollop of hummus stirred through mashed potato or kumara.
  10. Make an old-fashioned Fish Pie for dinner.  This recipe is so easy, using a packet sauce and canned fish. 

Fish Pie 

To make it easier, plan to have a meal the day before with mashed potato, then you can save some for your fish pie. 

Mashed Potato

1 Serve2 Serves 
Potato, scrubbed and chopped into chunks1 large2 large 
Milk     1 – 2 tablespoons2 – 4 tablespoons 
Butter or margarine              1 teaspoon2 teaspoons   
Salt and pepperTo tasteTo taste


Boil potato until soft, around 15 – 20 minutes, then mash with milk and butter/margarine.  Add salt and pepper to taste. 

Fish Filling

          1 Serve2 Serves 
Cheese sauce, packet½ packet1 packet 
Milk     ¼ cup  ½ cup 
Water¼ cup  ½ cup 
Canned fish, drained and flaked1 x 95g can      1 x 185g can 
Frozen peas or frozen mixed vegetables¼ cup  ½ cup 
Oil spray to grease the dish     
Hard-boiled egg, sliced1
Cheese, grated2 tablespoons¼ cup 


  1. Preheat oven to 180°. 
  2. Combine cheese sauce mix with milk and cold water in saucepan.  Mix well.  Bring to the boil while stirring, then turn down the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened. 
  3. Stir in fish and frozen peas.  Then gently fold through the hardboiled egg slices. Spoon into a lightly oiled small ovenproof dish. 
  4. Top with mashed potato and sprinkle with grated cheese. 
  5. Bake for around 20 minutes or until bubbling. 

Serve with vegetables or a green salad.   

Tip: use a tasty cheese sauce mix and canned smoked fish for extra flavour. 

About Senior Chef

Senior Chef
Senior Chef is an 8-week cooking class for people aged 60 and over who want to improve their cooking skills, confidence, or motivation around cooking for one or two people. Classes are held in various locations around Christchurch and Canterbury. Senior Chef is free to attend. Everything, including the ingredients for the cooking class and recipe book, is provided. To find out more, go to, email or phone 0800 333 405.

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