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recipes to help out elderly neighbor?

An elderly neighbor (whom I do not know except to wave hello), is recovering from a stroke and in need of some food assistance. I have offered to help another neighbor who does know him, with some easy meals. I don't think he can cut anything well, so the food I have sent over this week was easy to eat with just a fork or spoon. He can use the microwave to warm things up, and I would like to make a few things that he can eat for a couple of meals. Does anyone have any simple, easy to prepare ideas? I did send over 2 pasta options and a quiche, which he evidently liked. Thanks!

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  1. What a nice idea! I immediately thought of pasta too, manicotti made with crepes instead of pasta which are very soft and easy to eat. How about going with simple old time classics like chicken pot pie or tuna casserole? Actually any number of casseroles can be easily eaten.

    2 Replies
    1. re: jules127

      Tuna casserole; I have never made that, believe it or not! Sounds like a good one.

      1. re: mschow

        How lovely of you! I was taking care of my Mom post-surgery recently and made this Epicurious Tuna Noodle Casserole:


        I tweaked it a bit. Added garlic, used Parmesan as well as cheddar, used Panko instead of bread crumbs. My mother liked it so much she asked me to make two of them before I left and freeze individual portions. She said it froze and heated up in the microwave just beautifully. I hadn't made tuna noodle casserole in decades, but this was a real winner.

    2. The panade in the Zuni cookbook is awfully good.

      Mac and cheese casserole (not the gooey stovetop kind)

      Chicken salad

      The chicken enchilada recipe posted on the "substitute for tomatillos" thread. Shred the chicken extra fine.

      Meatloaf and mashed potatoes.

      1. Ahh...such a mensch.

        Chicken broccoli casserole comes to mind. Can be made as easy or as gourmet as you like. I'll list the easy version, you can gourmet it up as you desire:

        pre-cooked chopped chicken
        chopped steamed broccoli

        mix cream of chicken soup w/sour cream and a splash of milk, pour over layers
        top w/breadcrumbs or dry stuffing mixed with melted butter
        bake @ 350 for 35-45 minutes depending on size

        1 Reply
        1. re: creativeusername

          That sounds like a good one and I can put it in a tin foil pan and not have to worry about getting back my casserole dishes. thanks.

        2. Not sure where you are, so weather could factor into the choices sent over, but perhaps beef stew and boiled potatoes and carrots? Easily reheatable in the microwave.

          Chicken Paprikash (serve over egg noodles).

          Or a hearty soup of some sort - beef vegetable, pea, lentil.

          Another pasta casserole type meal, but a different take on it (to which you could add cooked chicken) is Spinach Cabrini: http://www.myrecipefriends.com/recipe... The additional notes at that link are mine (looks like someone copied/pasted directly from a post I made on an AOL cooking board).

          1. That is so nice of you. I recently brought dinner to a sick former colleague - went with Cajun meatloaf that I cut the spice way down on and mashed potatoes and steam broccoli. Also threw in a batch of fudge! The great thing about meatloaf is you can have it cold for sandwiches if that appeals.

            1. You are such a nice person. All of these ideas are great -- just remember to eliminate as much salt as possible in these recipes, so canned soups and such are a big no-no. It's likely that your neighbor had a stroke due to high blood pressure, so I would be very careful using things like canned stock or canned tomato sauce (unless it was very low sodium). Meals need to have about 300 mg of sodium max, and that eliminates sauces and quite a few processed foods. That may even be more than his doctor recommends, so you need to check before you start cooking. Even processed cheese has an obscene amount of sodium. You don't want to whip up a ton of food only to find out that he is not allowed to eat it.

              My personal strategy for elderly parents was to eliminate any added salt when I was cooking for them and to use fresh ingredients only. My family had to season their own food, but at least grandpa and grandma were able to eat it without reservations or complications.

              1. Roasted chicken parts that are easy to hold and munch -- drum sticks, thighs, can be served hot, warm or cold. Potato/mac salad to go with. Tube pasta w/simple tomato-meat sauce, hearty soups -- practically anything will be appreciated!

                1. What about soups? I don't know if you have butternut squashes in the markets yet where you are (I saw them last weekend here), but a good butternut squash soup can be nice and soothing, is easy to eat and is pretty easy to make, and freezes really well. I think that the meatloaf ideas are good, and you could also go with some spaghetti and meatballs (or even a spahgetti kind of casserole, my grandmother always used to make one), because those are easy to eat and reheat.

                  1. How about containers of cut-up fruit. That might help in the sodium area. I'm not saying fruit salad. Cantaloupe in bite size chunks keeps well in the fridge for days, as does pineapple. Washed grapes off the stem, blueberries. Nothing that would turn brown or soggy. Sort of for snacking or as dessert.

                    And vegetables the same way instead of a salad. Grape or cherry tomatoes, bite size pieces of red bell pepper, cucumber (seeded so they don't get watery), broccoli and/or cauliflower (maybe lightly steamed so they're not too hard), baby carrots.