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Oct 26, 2007 10:37 PM

Flu food

What do you cook when you or family member(s) are ailing with the sniffles or flu? Let's have a thread of comforting (and hopefully healing) foods and/or recipes...

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  1. I hate to be the first one with the obvious posting, but it's true: Chicken soup is really the most comforting "flu food" When I make it, I use extra chicken parts and lots of fresh veggies. I make 2 pots and add potatoes to one which blurs the line between soup and stew. I refrige the 'stew' for use later in the week or the following week. once cool I skim most, but not all of, the fat. Depending on the person's ability to, 'hold food down' dictates whether or not I serve the soup with or without the chicken. If they are not nauseated, I also serve it with plain saltines or ritz crackers, and a cool, not cold ,mixture of ginger ale and cranberry juice. Of course, if the person is diabetic, I adjust accordingly.
    I also think jello is a great flu food item It's a tasty way to increase fluid intake and gives some sugar for an energy surge.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Tay

      I go with chicken soup, but with a few changes. Most of this depends on what I have on hand. I'm usually the one who is sick and I seldom have home made broth in the freezer these days, so I use the (no shuddering, I like it) egg and broth powder in Mrs. Grass original noodle soup mix. I don't use the noddles, just the broth mix. None of the others I've tried, not even the other flavors of Mrs. Grass have the same taste I like. So I use that as a starting poing. Add baby carrots (if I'm sick, I dn't feel ike doing a lot of prep), diced potatoes (I don't usually skin them, I just scrub them good), chopped celery, fresh parsley if I have it (for vitamin C), and lots and lots (really I mean lots, ten cloves or more) of garlic (to boost the immune system). I prefer to use chicken thighs in my soup to breast simply because it's so easy to over cook breast. I cut that up and put it in near the end of cooking time so that it isn't over cooked. Sometimes I will drop matzo balls on top of this.

      Another alternative is the broth, garlic, parsley, matzo balls and shrimp. When I'm doing shrimp I don't usually add much veg.

      The key here is the hot application of garlic. :) It helps sooth the throat, might boost the immune system, and the whole experience of soup, of course, is rehydrating and soothes mucus membranes as well. :)

    2. All of the suggestions already given are excellent!! Lots of Vitamin C in the form of fruit juice and perhaps a chewable supplement. Also yogert! Yogert helps sooth the stomach and intestines.

      When I don't feel well, I like a soft boiled (also poached, or a softly scrambled) egg with dry toast (maybe a little butter, if patient can tolerate). Chicken Soup is the majic elixir !
      Can put some rice or a small pasta into it.....or beat up an egg with some flour and a pinch of salt to drizzle into the broth. (I used to do that for my children, they loved it.)

      Jello with a goodly dab of unflavored yogert on top. When the patient is a bit better...baked custard, rice pudding or anything that is easy on the digestive system.
      Don't forget Cream of Wheat! Cold vanilla ice cream also feels good on a sore throat!

      I have also just discovered th wonders of pure pomegranate juice. Good for the intestines and slows down the "runs"....heh, heh, if you know what I mean!

      1. For sniffles (head cold) really spicy Tom Yum. I am convinced the chilies kill it. And the spice also helps loosen up stuffy nose.

        For nausea (and gas) strong ginger tea (boil sliced ginger until the water is dark brown. add sugar if you want). Ginger will take away nausea in seconds -- miracle root if you ask me. If it's really bad, just chew on raw ginger.

        To prevent colds: garlic. It was just in the news too. So -- screw the apple a day and just eat Thai food. :)

        1 Reply
        1. re: cee

          Cee, you are a flu guru! I'll echo what you just said ...

          Tom Yum Guy works every time.

          Salabat is killer good for flu.

          Lastly, Garlic.

        2. soft boiled eggs and toast soldiers.

          soups obviously.

          baked potatoes, scooped out, mashed with butter and cheese and rebaked.

          1. cee is spot on with the ginger! I love a home brewed ginger-toasted barley-lemon grass tea.

            Unfortunately, I get the flu every year, and have found that I can't stand the taste of orange juice during that time due to the aftertaste it leaves on my weakened tastebuds.