Food Talk And Fabulous Finds - Food Ideas For Sick Friend

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06-24-2010, 12:00 PM
My fiance's neighbor is an older country gentleman who has terminal lung cancer. He is mostly bedridden now. Fiance is helping the man's son care for him. I go out there periodically and the only thing I can do for them is to cook.

I am looking for ideas on what to cook for this gentleman. He is old-school and loves things like meatloaf, home cooked green beans w/ red potatoes, that type of thing......home cooking.

His appetite has decreased, but he does eat small amounts. He has been having the best luck with softer foods....not mush, but softer things.

If anyone has any ideas on what I could make for him, I would appreciate hearing from you here. I can find recipes, I just need ideas. Last weekend when I was there I asked him what he wanted and he asked for pinto beans. I didn't have time to make them from scratch, so I bought canned. I felt really bad that I wasn't able to make them homemade.

We can throw dieting caution to the wind. He is not concerned about the calorie, sodium or fat content of foods.:)

Thanks to all!

06-24-2010, 12:44 PM
I am doing cooking like this for my grandpa, who has issues with his teeth that basically restrict him to soft foods. I've been making 15 or so meals to send home with him every time I see him...otherwise, he doesn't eat! So I have a whole arsenal.

1. Pot roast w/ carrots, potatoes, celery, and onion. He loved this, and the meat was soft enough that he could eat it easily. I just browned the roast on all sides, then quickly sauteed the carrots, celery, and onion - placed the roast on a bed of veggies, added beef broth to halfway up the roast, packed the edges of the pan around the roast with halved potatoes, added a bay leaf and some salt and pepper, and simmered for 4-5 hours. Then I removed all of the meat and veg, raised heat up, and added some butter/flour to thicken the sauve.

Shepherd's pie - Normally made with lamb or beef stew meat, but those can be tough to chew...ground beef or turkey works really well. Brown meat with salt, pepper, garlic, and onion - add diced peas or carrots and cook through. Add some broth with butter and flour to make it nice and saucy, pour into a pan, top with garlic mashed potatoes.

Lasagna - You make a big pan all at once, so there's a lot of meals to share (when my aunt was dying of terminal lung cancer, we made two pans, and they kept the family fed for the 2 days before and 4 days after she died. If you're low on time, you can also buy refrigerated ravioli and toss with a quick tomato sauce - top with cheese and you're good to go.

Meatloaf is a great idea - that's next on the list for my grandpa's freezer. Mashed potatoes would be a great side.

You could make soups, as well, since they freeze so well - bean soups, since he likes pinto beans, even good old-fashioned chicken noodle soup. Stews can be good too.

Interested to see other ideas on this thread, as I've been trying to expand my list for my grandpa.

06-24-2010, 01:10 PM
Anything you can cook in the crockpot will tenderize the meat so it will be easy for him to chew and swallow.

Swiss steak with mashed potatoes. I have a very easy recipe: For every 1# of round steak (any any other beef you find on sale) cover with one small can of tomato sauce, 1 regular can of italian stewed tomatoes, and one small onion sliced into rings. Cook in crockpot for 8-10 hours on low or bake in oven at 300 for about 4 hours (or until tender). I don't even brown the meat before hand but you can. The sauce, tomatoes, and onions make a wonderful gravy for the mashed potatoes.

Some other ideas: chicken and dumplings. I thin Banquet makes a frozen bag and they're not bad if you don't know how to make them from scratch. Macaroni and cheese. Add some broccoli (overcook so it's soft) if he'd like. Spaghetti and meatballs (again, over cook the meatballs--very easy to put meatballs in sauce and cook all day in the crock pot). Chicken ala king over rice might be soft enough. Beans and cornbread might also be to his liking.

Hope this helps. God bless you for helping this man and his family.

06-24-2010, 01:17 PM
Thanks Manda for the ideas! I have been Googling and thinking. I may try some chicken and dumplings or my go-to Beef Stroganoff recipe. I'll probaby use the crockpot to make the meats ultra-tender. Lasagna sounds like a good idea....I'll have to ask if he likes it before I make it. Fiance won't be too upset, he loves lasagna (I never make it, not a huge fan myself) and benefits from anything I make for our friend.

I also may make one of my standards that we recently found a new way to eat.

1 pound ground turkey or beef
1 envelope taco seasoning (I use the mild flavor.)
1 cup uncooked rice
1 can drained/rinsed pinto or kidney beans

Prepare rice using normal amount of water and adding about 1/4 of the taco seasoning with the rice.

Brown ground meat using remainder of taco seasoning packet. Drain if needed.

Mix rice, meat and beans.

This is good by itself, but recently we tried it rolled in flour tortillas with shredded lettuce and Frito's mild cheddar cheese sauce inside with the rice mixture.

06-24-2010, 01:21 PM
ANewCreation-Thanks for the blessing, I feel so helpless and cooking is something I do well and can help out in that way.

That swiss steak sounds excellent! That is definitely going on the list....all those men will love that!

06-24-2010, 06:41 PM
How about Perogies or Cabbage rolls? (soft and oh so yummy)

Chicken Pot Pie or Quiche (Broccoli & Bacon, Ham & Chedder, Spinach, Tomatos & Feta... anything really)

Chili with Garlic Toast

Any Pasta Dish

OK... now I'm hungry.

And I know you feel helpless, but you are doing such a good thing by cooking for him and providing support and company! He probably appreciates it more than you can imagine.

06-24-2010, 09:29 PM
My great uncle passed away a couple of months ago, and he was definitely old school meat and potatoes home cooking. A couple of the classics he liked that I cooked:
1) Shredded turkey over mashed potatoes or white bread with gravy and corn (or succotash if he likes lima beans)
2) Ham (you could cube it or slice thin) with au gratin potatoes and peas
3) Sausage (you could buy ground instead of cased) sandwiches with green peppers and onions
4) Goulash, basically just ground beef, elbow noodles, tomatoes, mushrooms, a bit of bacon with the grease, celery, kidney beans, onions, peppers and whatever mix of spices you like topped with some grated parmesan or romano cheese

06-25-2010, 01:23 PM
Thanks for the wonderful ideas! For this weekend at least, I have settled on chicken and dumplings and maybe the swiss steak. I am also going to bake him some cookies (I'll have trouble staying out of those for sure!). I had baked cookies last weekend for a cookout we had and darn it if he didn't get one of them (and mentioned it!).:mad: He'll get my special recipe......the "vultures":p got the refrigerated kind last weekend as I was in a hurry!

I'm keeping all of these ideas close. Thanks ladies.:hug:

06-25-2010, 01:45 PM
Annie, it can be a challenge to prepare meals for someone with cancer. I help out my elderly parents and my mom is a cancer patient. Pain can really affect appetite.

You've already gotten some great ideas; I just wanted to add what a kind person you are to be helping out this way!

06-25-2010, 03:50 PM
No one's suggested corn pudding or spoon bread yet. I think he might enjoy one of those. There's a huge variety of recipes for both of those.

06-25-2010, 04:31 PM
Tai-Thanks for the support!

FCMonroe....I do have a great corn pudding recipe! I usually make it around the holidays. Thanks!

06-27-2010, 01:44 PM
Well I made chicken and dumplings yesterday and it was a hit! Our ill friend ate two bowls!! I also baked him some chocolate chip cookies. (Yikes, I analyzed my recipe and the cookies are 145 cal., 8 gr fat EACH!! I've eaten way too many of them the last 2 days.)

Today I am making swiss steak w/ mashed potatoes and hope they are well received, too. I will probably have to go home before he gets to eat it.

06-27-2010, 03:05 PM
Do you think he might like a nice, rich potato soup with some kielbasi slices?

Or a quiche? Maybe with sausage and cheese?

Would he like biscuits and gravy?

If he has a sweet tooth, perhaps a jell-o 'poke' cake?

Some homemade pudding or custard or a custard pie?

Homemade applesauce is always so much better, than commercially prepared.

A nice blended fruit shake made with vanilla ice cream?


06-28-2010, 12:17 PM
MissNibs-Thanks for the ideas, I'll add them to my arsenal.

ANewCreation-The swiss steak was a huge success with my fiance. I took some over to the friend and his son, but had to leave before they ate. I'm hoping they enjoyed it.

07-16-2010, 05:14 AM
I am so proud of you. It is such a beautiful thing to do. I am not american and so cannot share any relevant recipe but just wanted to say you are doing very good.

07-16-2010, 11:43 AM
I'm so glad to hear that the swiss steak went over well with your fiance. How is his neighbor doing?

07-16-2010, 11:45 AM
Ask him what he really likes. Maybe he would like cookies or fudge more then a pot roast. I would find out what he loves the best & make sure he gets his fill of that.

joyful retiree
07-17-2010, 11:11 AM
Your neighbor is very blessed to have such loving and helpful neighbors & friends.

In addition to cooking in the crockpot, canned meats are also tender and easy to chew. A quick & easy Baked Chicken & Dumplings recipe I use follows:

Melt 2 T. Butter in an 8X8" baking pan.
Mix 1 c. self-rising flour with 1 c. buttermilk and pour over the butter.
Put 1- 12 oz. can chicken in a large measuring cup & add enough chicken broth to make 1 1/2 to 2 cups, depending on how soupy you like your chicken & dumplings. Pour the chicken mixture over the batter & bake in an oven pre-heated to 350F. 30 to 40 mins. Just make sure the batter part is done.

It's actually just a modified recipe of that Easy Fruit Cobbler that's been floating around the Net for years.

07-19-2010, 03:44 PM
You all are so very kind with your comments and suggestions! Hugs to all!!

Our friend is hanging in there. Last time I was out there I made stuffed peppers using peppers from their garden. Made salsa w/ the tomatoes from the garden, too. He likes to see his produce being used although he has been unable to get out into the garden this year....his son and my fiance have been doing the work for him. I am just praying that his green beans come in and I can cook him some. He planted them just because I made him fresh green beans and red potatoes last year; he wanted some with HIS homegrown beans. Hoping I get to do that.:)

07-19-2010, 03:46 PM
Ask him what he really likes. Maybe he would like cookies or fudge more then a pot roast. I would find out what he loves the best & make sure he gets his fill of that.

Yep, he's been getting the sweets, too!;) Made him my special homemade chocolate chip cookies a few weeks ago. Also made him a cherry cobbler/crisp a while back with the sour cherries from the trees in his yard.

09-17-2010, 04:23 PM
I just wanted to update with the news that we lost our friend last night. He died in his sleep and is now at rest. He had not been able to eat lately. You all were so kind with your comments that I just wanted to let you know. The ideas were so helpful and I hope I brought him some comfort during his illness.

Rest in Peace, Don.

09-17-2010, 04:45 PM
I'm so sad to hear this. May he be at peace.