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Apr 7, 2011 03:50 PM

My Dad can't cook....

My mom recently passed away and my Dad and brother need food to eat in the house that is simple make and/or reheat. They have a caregiver who is not that great in the kitchen. Microwaving and making a salad is the extent of the the kitchen skills.

They simply can not live on pasta/lasagna for the rest of the their lives. Nor is take out every night an option.

What can I make on Sunday that they can get a few meals out of the rest of the week.

They will only eat green beans, peas and carrots as veggies. They will eat veggies if it is "in something" and does not look like a piece of broccoli on their plate.

They eat all proteins, but I would prefer to stay mostly with chicken/turkey, egg whites, tofu and occasionally red meat.

Soup is ok, but it would have to be thick and hearty or they won't eat it.

I know this is a hard task....but I simply can not make them dinner EVERY night....I will lose my mind.



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  1. I'm sorry about your mom. There are so many good foods in the frig and freezer case that I would think two adults could feed themselves just fine. I would suggest you make hearty soup/stews like bean with bacon, minestrone, chili and plain old beef stew with vegs. Unless they eat egg whites and tofu I wouldn't bother but that's just me. Good luck and don't knock yourself out over this.

    1. Can your brother be taught how to cook some simple things? Sorry about your parents both passed away last year and getting them fed when they were sick was a challenge. I used to make meat loaf, chicken parmesan, saurkraut, beef stew, chili and freeze it for them to eat during the week. They woulld heat it up in a toaster oven. I'd freeze it in those disposable aluminum pans

      1 Reply
      1. re: momskitchen

        My brother is in a wheel chair with only limited use of his right hand.

        chicken meatloaf in on the agenda for this weekend.

        I want to try to keep the meals on the "healthier side" - so less cheese, fried, red meat.

      2. I'm so sorry about your mother, and I'm impressed that you're taking care of your father and brother at this sad time.

        If you make a simple roasted chicken (or teach your father how to do it) they should be able to get several meals out of it. A pot of rice and some salad would complete the meal.

        It's all pretty easy, but if you need some guidelines let me know. Even someone pretty new in the kitchen should be able to pull it off without a hitch.

        Liz (

        1 Reply
        1. re: Euonymous

          +1 on roast chicken or turkey. When I was first living on my own, my mom made me a roast chicken, then shredded the meat and put into single-serve containers. I tossed some with BBQ sauce one night for a sandwich, tossed with salsa and corn the next night for tacos, threw some in a soup the next night for super quick chicken-noodle soup. Very versatile and can be frozen.

          I'm sorry about your mother passing away. The situation sounds stressful, but just do what you can. At the least, try and stock their freezer with healthier frozen foods (chicken breasts, fish if they eat it, unseasoned potato wedges, and the veggies they do eat) so they always have a well-rounded meal at hand.

          You could also spend one weekend just cooking a bunch of different things for the freezer, wrapping them, and bringing them over for the future to take pressure off having to do the weekly cooking. Macaroni and cheese is an excellent vehicle for hiding veggies--using pureed cauliflower as part of the cheese sauce, shredded carrots added in, chopped broccoli or pureed yams, sliced tomatoes, etc. You also have complete control over the fat content going in (use non-fat or 2% with flour for a roux, minimal amounts of sharp cheddar instead of loads of mild, and using pureed veggies bulks up the cheese mixture without all the cheese or cream). Same goes for pasta and sauces. I simmer lots of chopped veggies in my tomato sauces until they're soft and you don't know they're there. You could also make turkey/chicken meatballs that are at least half shredded veggies. I get a lot of use out of my grater and shred zucchini into most dishes. Chopped spinach is great for hiding too and pairs well with ground chicken or turkey.

          Good luck to you, and if you can get any outside help (someone mentioned Meals on Wheels, but also maybe a local church?), hopefully that could be of use in the future. Take care!

        2. I'm very sorry about your mom. Could Meals on Wheels be an option for them?

          1 Reply
          1. re: scarmoza

            Agree about home-delivered meals. They usually bring a hot lunch and a sack dinner. Many are on a sliding scale payment plan. The food, while not gourmet, is vetted by dieticians.

            My condolences for your loss.

          2. I'd think along the lines of cooking for them one day enough that will last them for a week - if you have the time to do that. Surely dad is capable of defrosting & reheating & throwing a salad together?

            Think along the lines of a ground turkey meatloaf (stuffed with spinach if they'll eat that". Half for one meal; half cut into slices, wrapped, & frozen for another. Turkey lasagna or some other baked pasta - again, half for one meal; half frozen for another. A roast chicken - home-roasted or bought from the supermarket. Half for one meal; half for another, or the other half with the meat removed & tossed into a chicken soup or chicken tacos or whatever floats a boat that requires cooked chicken. And there's nothing wrong with a hearty soup like split pea or minestrone, etc., along with a couple of sandwiches. Nor is there anything wrong with "breakfast for dinner", as in omelets or scrambled eggs with cheese & a salad on the side.

            And if you're the one cooking, dad & bro may just have to adjust themselves to healthier eating & trying more vegetables in their diet. Unless they're doing the cooking, they don't get a whole lot of say - lol!