Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Feb 15, 2010 06:10 PM

Help! Can Meat that's bland still be yummy for my Grandma?


My Grandma has been in the hospital for the last few weeks and the doctor has asked us to consider hospice. We want to make sure her final meals (though she doesn't eat very much) are
worth savoring.

She's on a bland, soft food diet and seems to have a hankering for brisket, meatloaf, pot roast pork loin and mashed potatoes.

The hospital is not doing any of these foods particularly well and so I would love to know if anyone has any recipes they could suggest for the above.

That said, my Grandma has terrible acid issues and can no longer eat anything with pepper, salt, spice (other than perhaps thyme) and tomatoes. She is also allergic to milk.

This makes feeding her terribly, terribly tough. Is there a way to make the meats above palatable and tender without catsup, braising, wine, all the things I typically do to tenderize and flavor meat?

I would be so grateful for advice.


  1. Could you make a pot roast without spices and then make her a beef pot pie with carrots, peas and potatoes?

    Could you cook a piece of pork shoulder in a crockpot with thyme and apple juice until it fell apart?

    I know Better than Bouillon has low sodium chicken and beef flavors. I wonder if she could stomach those? They would add flavor. They're good.

    My 99 year old gramma's favorite meal--potato ham soup.
    Boil a couple russets. Mash one with chicken stock, dice the other one. Make a soup by thinning the mashed potatoes with more chicken stock, add some green beans that have had the bejeezus boiled out of them. Gramma likes ham, but it's salty, so I don't know if yours could handle it. You could add some of that soft apple cooked shredded pork above. Or mushrooms.

    I think the crockpot is your friend. Texture is really important to my gramma, she likes super tender fall-apart meat. You do not have to tenderize it, you just have to cook it on low heat for a long time, usually at least 8 hours. Remember, you can braise with plain water, you don't have to use acid.

    I wonder if gramma would like the flavor of liquid smoke? You could put a couple drops in with the pork, that'd be good with the apple juice. Or with just water. Good luck.

    1. I found this place that delivers (I think) bland low-sodium meals. You could look at their menu to see if anything clicks for you.

      1. There's a nearly identical post on this topic here Please add your suggestions for Jess on that thread. We're locking this one now. Thanks so much!