On Delivering Dinner

Hopefully we have been friends for a bit. If not no worries. I’m always happy to make new friends.

If we have been friends for a awhile one thing you will know about me is my reaction to pretty much any major life event is to throw food at it. Not literally but figuratively. You moved? Had a death in your family? New baby? Generally speaking an awful week? Birthday? Anniversary? I’m there with food in hand.

On delivering dinner

Over the years I feel I have become a bit of an expert on what to take to people. There are a few things I try to take into consideration:

1. I never make anything for a someone I wouldn’t feed my family. Good food but also good for you (well besides the cookies maybe). This means whole grains, locally sourced meats, as much organic produce as I can afford, little or no refined oils

2. Aim to include veggies. So often I feel when people drop off dinner the dishes are rich and calorie laden. I always pick main dishes that are chocked full of veggies.

3. Include something for breakfast. Ages ago I read a post about delivering dinner to a new mom and it suggested to take breakfast foods along with the dinner. I tend to make something like muffins or scones for an easy next day breakfast.

4. If you can just bring along some plain fresh fruit- apples, watermelon, grapes, strawberries. you know- whatever is in season. When we are in the midst of a life changing event I don’t think we tend to eat well. Wash and cut up the fruit for easy, mindless snacking.

5. Always ALWAYS ask about allergies, aversions, preferences before deciding on your menu. I don’t like blue cheese but you wouldn’t know that unless you asked. Or know me well.

6. Don’t break the bank. The reason I have such a deep repertoire of recipes is I cook and deliver based on what is in season, on sale, or on hand. Most meals I deliver cost me less than $10 to make. The entire meal- fruit, breakfast, and entree.

7. Only deliver on dishes and in tupperware you don’t want or need back. The last thing these people need is to keep track of your stuff. Make sure they know they don’t need to wash or return anything.

Do you ever make and deliver food to friends and family? This little blog has a long list of recipes that are perfect for delivery. Here is a list of my favorites:

Casseroles:

Black bean and spinach enchiladas

Black bean and spinach enchiladas– Healthy and hearty. I actually delivered this to a new mama yesterday.

lighter tuna noodle casserole

Tuna noodle casserole– First reference #5 above. Not everyone loves tuna casserole BUT if they do this lighter version is packed full of veggies and is sure to please!

chicken or turkey biscuit pot pie

Chicken or turkey biscuit pot pie– A twist on pot pie that is a bit quicker to prepare. Still a showstopper and again loaded with veg.

Baked penne bolognese

Baked penne with bolognese– This dish packs a veggie punch without you realizing it. Plus there isn’t anything out there as hearty or heartwarming as homemade pasta sauce.

Baked mac and cheese

Baked mac and cheese– This recipe offers two ways to make it- both with veggies! And who doesn’t love homemade mac and cheese? Fascists that’s who.

Easy to reheat dinner:

Easy veggie curry

Easy veggie curry– Perfect vegan or vegetarian dish. Make brown rice for an extra hearty fiber punch.

Lentils, sausage and swiss chard

Lentils, sausage and swiss chard– Yes this sounds a bit unusual but make it and I promise the recipient will be impressed. This basic dish has so much flavor.

Soups:

Broccoli cheese soup

Broccoli cheese soup– Loads of veggies in this lighter version of an all around classic. Be sure to include bread for dipping!

Beef barley stew

Beef barley stew– Veggies, meat, barley. Yum. Stick to your ribs soul food.

Saffron chicken veggie soup

Saffron chicken veggie soup– Did you know saffron is a mood booster? Ideal dish if someone if having a particularly hard time.

Leek and potato soup

Leek and potato soup– One of our standby faves for weeknight dinner. Simple mild soup made with nourishing chicken or veggie broth. A must make for anyone recovering from illness.

Sweet potato quinoa chili

Sweet potato quinoa chili– Another great recipe for the vegetarian or vegan. Be sure to make cornbread (suggested recipe below).

Breakfasts:

Banana bread

Banana bread– Does this really need an explanation? A classic favorite.

Cranberry orange muffins

Cranberry orange muffins– Perfect around the holiday season or if you have frozen cranberries lurking in your freezer.

Homemade granola

Homemade granola version one or version two– Cereal lovingly made by someone else is always a welcome treat.

blueberry-muffins

Blueberry muffins– I make this recipe so often I have it memorized. First time I made them was to deliver to a friend at the hospital right after she had her baby.

Sides (to go with soups or casseroles!):

Brown butter rosemary cornbread

Brown butter rosemary cornbread– I think this would go great with the sweet potato quinoa chili. Just sayin.

Artisan bread

Artisan bread– This bread is no effort at all on your part and is a stunner. Sure beats spending $5 on a loaf at the store.

Cheddar scallion drop biscuits

Cheddar scallion drop biscuits– Ridiculously cheesy and flavorful biscuits. Goes great with the saffron veggies soup.

 

I hope this has given you some ideas and inspiration. What are your favorite recipes to deliver?

 

 

9 thoughts on “On Delivering Dinner”

  1. I sooo agree with the fruit and breakfast parts. The best thing we got was one of those edible fruit displays that looks like a basket of flowers. Next time we have a baby I am going to ask for more breakfast and fruit if people ask what they can bring.

    Another thing, I would recommend if bringing over large portions of food (if easy) is to portion things out into a couple smaller containers. Makes it easier to squeeze into the fridge, heat up just what you need, and lets be honest…new moms and dads are rarely eating at the same time so it is nice not to have to heat a huge container over and over again. I found cheap small containers at a local grocery outlet store that I use.

  2. Kimmy, you’re so generous to others and this blog post is just fantastic! Not only does it highlight your reasons for being generous but also encouraged me to start looking for reasons to shower others with kindness! Good things happen to good people and you’re made of gold my friend!

    1. Erin I have tried to type a reply three times and I just don’t know what to say. Such kind thoughtful words. So truly blessed to have met you dear friend.

  3. Saved this post to my favorites- love the recipes… In our community, new moms don’t have to be surprised when steady dinners come everyday for 2 or 3 weeks, it’s practically expected. The standard dinner I got everyday had enough food in it to feed a small army and have enough left for lunch tomorrow, maybe even lunch the day after that. I not only didn’t have to concern myself with cooking, but I also didn’t have to worry about shopping for weeks! Kept me off my feet and in bed with my new baby <3 There is NOTHING I would've rather had- this is the best gift ever; thoughtful, homemade, and good for my health. That's another thing, HEALTHY! The average meal delivered to me had tons of fruit and veggies, and loads of protein too. Disposable is nice, but leaving dishes behind just makes a good excuse to come back for them and have another visit 🙂 Just took a mom a dinner 2 weeks ago, and went back the other day and cuddled her baby for over an hour! 😀 Never thought to send breakfast though, that is positively BRILLIANT. I also like to pick up a box of mother's milk tea.

  4. My standard:
    Foil roaster ($1-2, usually $1)
    1-2 whole chickens (Draper Valley at Trader Joe’s is the best balance of price/natural that I’ve found, running about $7-8 per bird) We can “just” do 1 whole bird for 3 adults and two young children, more kids (don’t count baby) and you need to add a second bird.
    1-3 organic red potatoes per person depending on size of potatoes, scrubbed and rubbed with olive oil ($2-ish)
    Fresh or roastable veggies depending on season. (Bag-o-salad works well, co-op clamshell of Supergreens is $3)

    I do a simple spice rub. Season salt is fine, my blend is smoked paprika, smoked salt, dried minced garlic, dried minced onion, whole mustard seed and celery seed, all ground together. The minimalist version is smoked paprika and smoked salt.

    So I get the bird prepped and well seasoned all over, the potatoes prepped and oiled and ready for the oven. At their house, I put the chicken in at 450 degrees, the potatoes on the rack above, and set the timer for 1 hour if the oven is cold, 45 minutes if it’s a preheated convection oven, for example. So the timer goes off, their dinner is all ready and hot on the spot. I’ll pre-cook at my house if they prefer, I always give people a choice.

    For those with meat thermometers, the goal is a breast temp of at least 165, and between leg and breast of 175-180. Cooking at high heat will give a juicy, moist chicken with a crisp skin and crunchy wingtips.

  5. The other thing I often bring to families that have just eliminated wheat is a gluten free mac and cheese. Gluten free mac and cheese is easy and yummy and almost lactose free. Grate a bunch of cheese. Whatever you like. I like dubliner, cheddar, gruyere and parm. My sis adds gorgonzola. Make Trader Joe’s Brown Rice Penne, about 9 minute boil (just a hair past al dente) and drain all but the last 1/4-1/2 cup of cooking water (the bottom half cup is the starchiest, you want that starch, it saves you work.

    Return your noodles to the stove, the stove should be set to warm or off depending on how much residual heat it keeps, Toss the cheese in, maybe some kerrygold or pasture butter, a farm egg, and stir until everything is gooey and thick. (The egg adds protein and thickens everything up but is optional.)

    Optional amendments include: Nutritional yeast. Veggies. Bacon. Ham. Ground beef. Season salt)

    This can be baked. Top it with grated cheddar (use the good stuff) and if you want, crushed potato chips or gluten-free panko. Baking is not necessary.

    Calorie count high, but no gluten, minimal lactose (even boxed gluten free mac and cheese will hurt my stomach due to the nonfat dry milk in it, this doesn’t.) whole grain pasta, and anyone who likes cheese is pretty much likely to like this. Because of the rice starch there’s no roux to make and so it’s super fast.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *