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Jan 21, 2012 07:04 AM

Make-ahead, grab and eat cold ideas

Hi everyone,
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
Boiled/deviled eggs

Can you think of ANYTHING else?


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  1. 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.

    1 Reply
    1. re: lynnlato

      Great ideas, Lynn. Adding these to my list. And thanks for the good thoughts too.

    2. 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?

      3 Replies
      1. re: wyogal

        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.

        1. re: Bliss149

          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.

          1. re: nemo

            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.

      2. While not in the Chowhound tradition, Meals on Wheels is a god send to give my mother a balanced meal each week day at noon.

        3 Replies
          1. re: Bliss149

            Meals on Wheels was my first thought as well - it offers the added benefit of having a friendly visitor stop by briefly mid-day. What a good and dedicated daughter and sister you are. I wish you well through this difficult time.

          2. cold salmon is really good too of she likes fish.

            1. 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.