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None of my go-to recipes meet the criteria

Some friends had a baby and I signed up to take them dinner later this month. I had a dish in mind, but then I was told that the couple requested: no dairy, no shellfish, microwavable, and "healthy". (The dish I was going to make included shrimp and feta!) They would also like the meal delivered at 5:30, which means I will have to take it to them immediately after work.

It seems that all of my usual recipes include cheese of some sort or need to be served immediately. I want to come up with something somewhat original and delicous; I am only one of about 20 people doing this which leads me to believe they are going to get their fill of non-dairy pasta dishes.

Recipes and general ides appreciated. Thanks.

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  1. What about Chicken Marbella - it's been ages since I made it but I think there are lots of posts on the board about it.

    2 Replies
    1. re: MMRuth

      Thanks MMRuth for the suggestion.
      However, you reminded me that I forgot the last criteria...no alcohol (even cooked).

      1. re: Honey Bee

        No need to put alcohol in Chicken Marbella.

    2. How about the three bean salad that Chowhound featured the other day? You could grill some boneless, skinless chicken breast which could be sliced over the salad. That salad sounded really good to me and I'd have NEVER thought that it would.

      1. A big pot of soup (chicken, minestrone, mushroom barley, etc.), a loaf of great bread, a salad (a salad in a big and a few extra veggies you could cut up right when you leave work), a few pieces of fruit, and some cookies. If you're extra generous you could add in a roast chicken (cooked and cooled the night before, then they could warm it up).

        1. http://www.recipesource.com/ethnic/eu...

          This is a recipe from the late Jeff Smith, the Frugal Gourmet, for lamb and orzo pasta. It reheats great in the microwave and is one of my favorites. It makes quite a bit so they could have at least a couple of meals from it.

          1. Minestrone soup with lots of veggies, cannelini, and tiny meatballs. I usually make chicken but you could do beef or turkey. Use alphabet noodles instead of a larger pasta (new baby, ABC's).

            Or how about mushroom and barley with lamb broth. Roast a leg rare, get your broth from the bones, have some for yourself!, and chunk up some of the meat in a separate container that mom and dad add at the microwave point so it doesn't overcook.

            Cheater scalloped potatoes and ham. Boil the potatoes, slice, add ham pieces, mix with a white sauce made with skim milk (make more than you think because the potatoes soak it up). Haricot vert (frozen work great) with sauteed mushrooms and toasted almonds for a side.

            I was going to suggest apple or pear salad, but that won't keep if you have to take this to the office with you. But a fruit salad might. Crispy lemon or cinnamon cookies and a container of plain yoghurt equals healthy parfaits for dessert, and snacks for mom the next day.

            1. Stuffed peppers?
              Stuffed zucchini?
              Stuff something!
              How about a big chef salad or cobb salad with the components packaged seperate- plus a big, crusty loaf of bread and chocolate macadamia nut brownies? (If I eat salad for dinner, I'm free to eat brownies whenever I wanna!)

              Balsamic Chicken - it reheats just fine.

              1. I second chicken marbella. Also beef or veal stew. Or if they like pork there's stew with prunes that's great. When I had my first baby all I wanted was big savory things without too many vegetables. Then you can add a green salad with dressing on the side or veg n' dip and a small loaf grainy bread.

                1. I make couscous salad for potlucks, it always goes over well, and it's cold, so you can make it ahead of time. It's one of those no-recipe recipes, so you can mix in whatever you want.

                  Basically it's couscous, cubed cooked chicken, chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, and green onions tossed in a dressing of lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, and whatever fresh herbs you want. Sometimes I add feta, but that's not a requirement. If you like olives, a handful of mixed olives from the deli counter works in this as well.


                  1. Nicoise salad -- my go-to make ahead dish... great healthy entree (my favorite in the summertimes)
                    Use ahi fillets (they're really inexpensive at Trader Joe's) and pan fry
                    Boil a few eggs. You can either place slices on the salad or make a quick egg salad-type garnish with mayo
                    Blanched green beans
                    Olives and/or capers
                    optional: add sliced red onions or tomatoes
                    Washed baby greens or whatever salad mix
                    It can all be chilled (keep salad separate, to prevent bruising) and served cold with a crusty piece of bread and drizzle of olive oil and black pepper.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: oryza

                      I would ask the new Mom if she is eating Tuna (mercury concerns with breastfeeding).

                    2. Chicken biryani, cholent, hamin, a good chicken pot pie, English cold pork pie, Americanized cassoulet (made with chicken thighs and kielbasa and beans), coq au vin, rolled scallops of chicken with ham and sage, ratatouille, ropa vieja, any hearty soup with a good bread, lentil loaf (or a similar pulse-based "meatloaf"), sweet and sour pork or chicken with rice, adobo ...

                      1. Thanks for all these wonderful suggestions. Right now I am leaning towards a salad (dressing on the side), cookies and brownies for dessert, a loaf of crusty bread and that lamb and orzo dish.

                        I will keep these other recipes in mind for when we have this particular couple over for dinner!

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Honey Bee

                          might I make a suggestion for the salad? whatever kind you make... bag the lettuce separate from the other veg.. and bag any protein (chicken, HB eggs, whatever) separately too... (and dressing on the side as you mentioned).. it keeps everything a little fresher (esp if sitting all day in your fridge at work) and will keep it nicer if they have leftovers...

                          1. re: Honey Bee

                            I think they/you will really like the lamb and orzo pasta. I've made it many, many times and still getting a little drool-y just thinking about it. And I LOVE leftovers whether eaten soon after or frozen for later.

                          2. Roast off a chicken in the oven with some potatoes, and root veggies. Add a side salad.

                            Griddle up some fajitas. Keep the veggies on the rarer side of done, so they don't get sogged up in the nuking process. Blender up some homemade salsa. Use a portion of the salsa to make spanish rice, and the rest for the fajitas. Serve with avocado instead of cheese / s. cream. Tortillas work out great microwaved.

                            Stir fry creation of some sort? Really, all you need to do is keep the veggies on the rarer side of done to allow for nuking time.

                            FRIED RICE!!!!!!

                            Grilled or baked chicken chicken breast with olive oil, and basic italian or greek seasonings. Slice it up, throw it on a warm pita, and cover it with homemade tzatziki (if yogurt is ok, - if not, then a vinaigrette) sliced onion, and tomato. Serve it with some rice, some grilled/roasted veggies, maybe a good version of storebought baba ghannouj and or hummus to go along with it?

                            Just some thoughts on quick and easy.

                            1. Eggplant and chickpea stew--you couldn't fit more vegetables in a meal:


                              It freezes really well, too. You can make it in a crockpot or on the stove.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: chowser

                                Yum. Not making that for them, but will make this for myself soon. Thanks,.

                              2. What about some whole grain based salads- quinoa, for example? Or legume based, like puy lentils with roasted vegetables?
                                Enchilada casserole?
                                Vegetarian chili? African peanut stew?
                                A big pot of soup with a hearty, flavored bread (cornbread, tomato-basil, brown bread, savory pumpkin bread, olive-rosemary, whatever)?
                                Polenta lasagna?
                                Hummus, baba ganoush, tabouleh, falafel, and israeli salad packed separately, with pita bread?

                                Just think vegan, a world of options will open up.

                                1. This is tough! How about..stuffed peppers? That will probably be different from a lot of the basic meat and/or pasta dishes they are going to get!

                                  You can make vegetarian stuffed peppers or regular, let me know if you need recipes! :)