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Dinner ideas to deliver to a sick friend?

One of my friends is seriously under the weather, and we are all cooking for her and her family a couple of times a week, and I have to admit to being stumped for what to take. It's her and her husband and teenage son, they generally eat fairly healthy food (not a lot of fat, mostly stay away from red meat) and not very spicy or exotic. I'm not sure their son eats much fish. Her condition doesn't affect her ability to eat, so that's not a problem.

But-- it needs to be something I can take over in the afternoon, that they can easily reheat if needed, with not much work involved. And ideally something that won't take me a huge amount of time...

I took a chicken and veggie stirfry last time.

I think I must be so stumped because I'm upset about her being so sick.

And also, it is kind of hard to cook for someone else's family. My family has somewhat eccentric eating habits, really likes hot food, I cook lots of ethnic dishes, etc., but I don't think that's how they generally eat.

Also, when you take dinner to a family, do you take multiple courses? Should I take a bag of salad and some dressing, or assume that they have that and I am mainly providing the main course....

I could use a few ideas and suggestions-- I'm not looking so much for recipes, just tell me what you would make under the circumstances.

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  1. What about a vegetable lasagna? A simple salad would be nice too to go with it.

    1. A hearty chicken soup is always nice and easy to heat up You can make a salad and bring some good whole grain bread to warm up. That combination always seems to be something everyone likes. I am sorry that your friend is so ill and wish them well. You are a very good friend to be so concerned and compassionate.

      1 Reply
      1. re: cookingislife

        This is my aunt Sue's chicken-and-rice soup, which you can make ahead (a HUGE batch) and freeze, then when you want to have it you just warm it up and thin it a bit with water or broth. It calls for a can of mushroom soup; I'd imagine you can use the equivalent homemade sauce if you want. It's absolutely yummy and very comforting.

        1 whole chicken, cut up
        1 can cream of mushroom soup
        Chicken bouillon
        1 1/2 c. uncooked rice
        Celery
        Frozen mixed vegetables
        Salt & pepper

        Boil chicken in stew pot; remove from broth. If broth is not very tasty, add chicken bouillon. Stir in mushroom soup, then rice; cook for a few minutes. Add vegetables and season to taste.

        Remove chicken from bones and return to pot. Cook until vegetables are tender and rice is done.

      2. In similar situations, I have made soup. There are so many varieties that fill the bill for healthy, not very spicy or exotic. They can portion it out as they wish, or even freeze some for a later time. Salad and some good bread would go well with the soup.

        1. Stew (chicken, beef or pork) with vegetables and rice.

          1. I am sure that they'll appreciate anything you bring them with love. Sometimes the simple meals are most comforting. Don't worry about making special meals right now.

            Not sure about the kid's preferences but how about some baked beans and franks (or tofu pups/smart dogs) or Mac and cheese. Both are simple do-aheads. Also variations on the veggie lasagna that was suggested - a baked pasta dish ( maybe a baked ziti, adding vegetables such as zucchini.) Casseroles/ one dish meals are easier for you to transport, store and for them to heat.

            Or all the fixin's for tacos (made with ground turkey/)

            Will try to think of more.

            It is tough to cook for another family - I cook on the fly with what I have and would be challenged to cook for others this way - Maybe you can ask them what they usually like to have. You don't need to duplicate it, but it might give you some ideas about their tastes.

            To make it easier for you, can you double up the recipes and prepare your own meal at the same time?

            As to whether you bring multiple courses - it's really up to you. You might think about whether or not they are away from home a lot for treatment and have little time to shop or energy to prepare.

            Good luck - you are giving your friend a wonderful gift - yourself

            1 Reply
            1. re: VeggieFan

              If I were sick and someone brought me an old- fashioned (baked not boxed)macaroni and cheese cassarole, I would make it a point to recover quickly, just to return the favor. Mac and cheese to me is one of the best comfort foods of all.

              When my wife was sick and going through chemo, food was delivered by the school's PTA. My wife was a vegetarian and couldn't eat most of the food because of her diet and illness. But what was amazing was the fact that they brought the food personally. They were so kind so us, and that was what impressed me the most.

              Just keep it simple, don't worry about trying to impress. The kindness you show is more important than the food, I assure you. Vegetable soup and french bread delivered with a smile is more healing than what any 5 star restaurant could ever serve.