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Need help with dinner for sick friend

A college buddy of mine had open heart surgery yesterday and I’m slated to make dinner for him and his family (wife and daughters ages 8 and 12) next week.

Other than the typical pan of lasagna or tater-tot casserole (we live in Minnesota), can someone suggest a unique meal that’s relatively easy.

Any help is greatly appreciated!

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  1. Oops, somehow missed the fact that you're cooking for him, too. editing to remove my meal ideas which are pretty inappropriate for a heart patient. I''m very sorry about that!

    Could you roast a turkey breast/whole chicken and a savory root vegetable dish?

    1 Reply
    1. re: fern

      For a heart patient, twice baked potatoes with a filling of lean chicken, broccoli, and chives bound together with fat-free cottage cheese, fat-free yogurt and some lemon juice and lemon zest. Even kids like this. Just bake the potatoes, split in half and scoop out the innards. Reserve the potato jackets. Mix the potato with come chicken, some lightly steamed broccoli, cottage cheese, yogurt, lemon juice and zest. Taste it. Add some black pepper and a minimum amount of salt. Pack the mixture back into the potato skins, and bake about 15 min at 350, or until all bubbly.

    2. Heart patients generally must follow stricter food guidelines than before, and if he is taking blood thinner--warfarin--his vitamin k must be kept low, or consistent. (Advice from doctors on this varies.) Get some info from his wife before planning the dinner! One of the first dinners I made my husband, and his visiting brother, was chicken thighs (skinned) and baked over a savory rice mixture. Two chicken thighs make a proper serving. You must lightly oil or spray the chicken so it does not dry out. The liquid for the rice can be commercial chicken broth, no-fat and reduced sodium. Salt the thighs with a light hand. What a good deed you are doing! Good luck!

      1. Yes, absolutely check for dietary restriction. In general he will be on a low fat, hear healthy diet. So think about skinnless chicken or a roasted turkey breast or baked salmon as a main course. I take skinless chicken breast and slather them with dijon mustard and sprinkle with herb bread crumbs and bake. Very easy and delicious.You are a good friend. Hope your friend has a good recovery.

        1. Definitely ask about dietary restrictions. Beef and anything cheesy or high-sodium are usually not on the list of approved foods for right after heart surgery. Hot Dish is a no go. Also, keep in mind that after major surgery, the patient is going to want foods that are easy to digest.

          Roasted chicken is always nice. Rice pilaf is wonderful. Add some nice steamed veggies or a salad (be sure to put the dressing on the side) and you have a healthy but tasty meal. The American Heart Association has alot of dietary information on their website.

          1. Go easy (avoid) vegetables high in vitamin K, as another poster noted.

            Link: http://www.whfoods.com/foodstoc.php