What's your favorite dish/menu to deliver to someone you've offered to bring dinner to?
- MSK Jan 12, 2007 06:13 AM
Around here, when a family is in need (someone sick, had surgery, etc.), friends and neighbors organize to have dinners dropped off so the family doesn't have to shop or cook.
I'm looking for good ideas for healthy dishes and menus that can be reheated without much work and without getting dried out.
I made a chicken pot pie with soup, for ex. for my friend who had knee surgery while the rest of the group was in bed with the flu. This time comfort food was called for but sometimes, this kind of menu is too heavy.
Depending on the ailment (dietary restrictions), mobility, and personal preference of the recipient I focus on soups - great comfort food, savory and flexible enough to be served as broth, puree/bisque, or full-on chunky goodness. Nice because soups don't have the tendancy to dry out, can be frozen and reheated, and are easy to store in small or larger portions.
Pick up a nice loaf of artisan bread, and have a home made salad at the ready for them and it's a quick and nourishing meal for body and soul.
For most of us it is cold right now so we are focused on warm comfort foods but it really depends on the time of year. After surgery last July in hot and humid Indiana a bowl of soup was the last thing on my mind and neither were warm casseroles or pies. So is it for cold weather or warm?
I create my own fresh fruit basket and include a small wood board and pairing knife.
As for bringing a dish when asked, I also ask what part of the meal I can contribute to beforehand (appetizer, salad, side, dessert)and then inquire about aversions/allergies.
Chili is flexible and has lots of varieties (Green chili with chicken, vegetarian chili) or I make a Chinese Chicken Casserole that's super easy and I always get a request for the recipe afterwards. Warning, it's rich and not figure friendly. I'd be happy to post the recipe if you'd like.
Here's one that's a cold dish, so it may be better suited for warm weather, but I make it year round. It's easy, it travels well, it's healthy, and it always gets raves.
Tonno, Fagioli e Cipolla
(Tuna, White Beans and Onions)
4 cups cannelloni beans (2 large cans), rinsed and drained
2 tuna steaks, lightly grilled or pan seared
1 medium red onion, coarsely chopped
1 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
12 pitted calamata olives
3 TB. red wine vinegar
6 TB. olive oil
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed in a garlic press
Salt and pepper to taste
Place the beans on a large platter. Break the tuna into chunks and place on top of the beans. Scatter the onions and tomatoes on top. Scatter olives all around the platter.
In a small bowl, combine wine vinegar, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Drizzle over the tuna-bean platter.
Our neighbor has recently finished a round of chemo and radiation. The cooking I did for them was mostly for the rest of the family. I did home made pizza for the kids and quiche for the adults in one meal. Along with a salad. That was in the early days when he could still eat. Later along the way, he was fed through a tube so it was mostly for the family. I always sent along a pound cake or some sort of cake/cookies that would last a while. I tried to think of things that the kids would like to eat. Our church did this for my family while I was away taking care of my dad before he died. Someone showed up every weeknight to bring my husband and children dinner. When it was my turn, I asked my family about it and they remembered that some of it wasn't geared towards kids. I think it's nice to really take a look at who the recipients are and treat it accordingly. It's a loving thing to provide a meal for a family, giving them one less thing to worry about.