Make-ahead, grab and eat cold ideas
I moved my mom in with us last April. This past week my brother who lives 6+ hours away was diagnosed with advanced liver disease. I just spent 6 days down there and am expecting more.
Need ideas for foods I can fix for mom before I leave town that she can just reach in the fridge, eat cold, and eat on for a couple of days. (Ive tried but she can't figure out my microwave.). My husband is there in the evenings but he's no help with this. It has to be REALLY easy or mom just won't eat.
Mom is a "traditional" eater so nothing too exotic will work in this case. I'm thinking...
Pasta or bean salad with chicken, tuna, ham, veg
Chicken salad, pimento cheese, etc
Cold plate with cut up meats and cheeses to eat with crackers
Sub sandwich cut in pieces
Can you think of ANYTHING else?
What about quinoa salad (similiar to a pasta salad, but with the nutritional benefit of lots of protein). Add chopped spinach, chicken, tomatoes, cucumbers, balsamic vinaigrette - whatever she likes.
Corn and black bean salad, cold grilled chicken, fresh fruit salad & yogurt, smoked salmon, etc.
My best to you and your family, Bliss.
Does she like cold fried chicken?
You have a pretty good list going, for a couple of days, I think that should really do it. Having trays of deli-style cheeses, meats, fruits, veggies should hold her over, along with salads and a variety of crackers, and bread, can she work a toaster? Does she like a three bean salad? You can get those already made, canned.
How about different flavored yogurts?
She loves fried chicken!
I'm also making a list of takeout ideas and things that could be eaten as leftovers like that is great.
And the toaster oven I have now is her old one so maybe some possibilities there.
Maybe she'd eat toast or muffin for breakfast instead of COOKIES, which is what she does left on her own.
Here's a link to a breakfast cookie that, while it IS a cookie, has a few healthful things in it. You could punch it up with oat bran, wheat bran, maybe malt powder, shredded cheese, or even chopped bacon or Canadian bacon, chopped prunes, etc.
If she likes hummus, that and some cut up veggies might work.
Also, there are lots of quick bread recipes (zucchini, banana, applesauce/oatmeal, etc) that you could individually slice and wrap. Good with a schmear of whipped cream cheese from a tub, peanut or other nut butter.
Take care of yourself, as well. Best wishes to all.
I make breakfast cookies that I keep in the freezer at all times because I'm often running out the door and can't be bothered to even grab a piece of toast-
Take any traditional oatmeal cookie recipe (back of the box) and sub in:
-a fruit or veggie-based puree for half the butter (canned pumpkin, applesauce, banana...)
- 1/4 cup greek or whole milk yogurt (for moistness and calcium - you can go low fat, but just not one with sweeteners, etc.)
-reduce sugar slightly and replace with molasses (blackstrap if you can handle the dark flavor - full of potassium, iron, etc.)
-swap out half the flour for a mix of whole grain flours (I use mostly whole wheat, but usually toss in a handful of flax meal, maybe buckwheat if I've got it, bran...)
-mix in any combination of nuts, seeds and dried fruit ( I like to use pumpkin seeds for the folic acid, as well as anything else I like that day)
Instead of dropping by rounds, roll into balls and make them into thumbprint cookies. Fill the dimple with cream cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese, ricotta, or jam.
They're high in sugar for breakfast, but otherwise chock full of vitamins, minerals and fiber. After I had a baby, they were a godsend when I was too tired to move but knew I needed to eat healthfully.
Pizza tastes good served cold. I adapted a Nigella Lawson recipe to make little personal pizzas - use Naan bread as the crust, use a can of tomato puree for the sauce (I add a bit of oregano) and shredded fontina cheese on top, with some pepperoni. You heat in the oven at 425 degrees for 5 minutes. You could cook some ahead of time and leave them in the fridge after they've cooled.
Spanish tortilla is fairly normal dice it is just eggs potato and onion and doesn't need warming.
My best to your family during this difficult time.
If your mom is one who might skip meals during stressful times (it sounded like she might be) I'd suggest keeping some nuts around the house. When my mom was going through chemotherapy and radiation, nuts were a godsend, since they're nutritious and calorie dense..
How does she feel about hummus? If it's not too exotic, it's great spread inside a pita with some chicken breast meat, carrots, and celery.
My go-to cold meal is bread spread with pesto, topped with some fresh mozzarella and sun-dired tomatoes. It's not completely traditional, but the flavors aren't terribly intese. It would work fine with an english muffin, tomato sauce, and fresh mozzarella if you want to make it slightly more approachable (kind of like a grown up lunchables pizza, if you remember those).
I do an Italian style turkey meatloaf, with sun dried tomatoes, pine nuts and basil, that is pretty healthy and even better cold as leftovers!
i saw that melpy suggested Spanish tortilla - i was going to say a frittata or egg muffins. great at room temp or warmed in the toaster oven.
you can also cook up a batch of firm polenta or steel-cut oats, chill until solid, cut into squares or rounds, and grill or pan-fry. they keep well in the fridge, and all she has to do is warm a piece in the toaster oven. she can top it with/dip it into so many different things - pesto, tomato sauce, caponata, ratatouille, cheese, herbed ricotta, fruit butter/preserves, nut butter...
and don't forget about low-fat cottage cheese with all sorts of savory or sweet seasonings/additions.
you know what else is really great as leftovers? noodle kugel - either cold or heated in the toaster oven.
hang in there. sending healing thoughts to Mom and best wishes to all of you, and PLEASE don't forget to nourish and take care of *yourself* during this difficult time.
if she likes salmon, salmon croquettes are great cold.
quiche (mini or muffin tin) or frittata
dumplings -- too exotic?
pizza - great next day cold :)
stuffed potato skins (prolly better warm tho) or stuffed mushrooms or tomatoes
best warm thoughts to you and your family...