I help coordinate meals for new moms in my parish, and I love this ministry. It’s a concrete way to carry out the corporal work of mercy “Feed the Hungry.” Maybe the people you bring a meal to aren’t going to starve without your meal, but you are literally feeding the hungry. And I know what a blessing it was to be fed by the friends and friendly acquaintances who brought meals after I had my babies.
1. Man-pleasing chicken: Don’t be put off by the name. It’s woman-pleasing too! I use a bag of individually frozen chicken thighs (defrosted). Easy to make and so, so good. gluten-free and dairy-free.
2. Bare minimum mode chicken a la Jen: I chop up potatoes and onions and add some baby carrots, drizzle olive oil and shake on salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano, basil and marjoram. Then I put frozen chicken breasts on top, drizzle and shake some more, then bake at 425 degrees (F) for about 45 minutes. It’s a great one-dish meal and it smells awesome. GF, DF.
3. Creamy parmesan chicken. You can make it using either mayonnaise or yogurt. This was a hit each time I made it.
I’d love to bring homemade desserts and sides, but usually I just make rice and bring a bagged salad kit and ice cream for dessert. I still remember when my youngest biological sibling was born, and my family received lots of meals. It was heavenly for us kids . . . ice cream every night!
Actually . . . these three meals are it. I stick with them most of the time. I’ve made some doozies in the past though . . . . One time I made shrimp alfredo and decided to cook the pasta and mix the sauce into it before the 30 min drive to the person’s house. I shudder to think of the gloppy mess it must have become. . . . And I used to find myself trying out a recipe for the first time the afternoon that I’d promised to bring a meal to someone. No more!
So to finish out my list, other favorites for meal deliveries are:
4. Disposable dishes: I try to bring the food in aluminum pans or other disposable dishes so that the recipients don’t have to wash and keep track of and return a bunch of dishes.
5. Pizza delivery: If you don’t have time to make a meal for someone, consider ordering them a pizza. It feels like a cop-out not to cook, but I think it’s usually a treat to have a fresh, paid-for pizza delivered to your door. This isn’t always affordable, although a lot a pizza places have mid-week specials. Also, a rotisserie chicken is a good choice when you’re running low on time.
6. (Bonus!) TakeThemAMeal: Great online meal scheduling calendar. Very easy to use and prevents people getting the same dish over and over.
What about you? What’s your go-to meal to bring to people? And what was your favorite meal to receive?