So your friend had a baby, had surgery, lost a loved one or is just having one of those awful days and you want to take her dinner. What do you bring? I have to admit; I love signing up to help out with dinners. If someone sends me an email about the need to feed, I answer with a huge resounding YES. Feeding is what I do best, it’s easy and is so helpful for the family in need. People need to eat, right?
Sometimes just not having to make dinner is the best gift you can give someone. Most people are not picky, they will take what you give and are so grateful. But beware of a few ruts if that family in need is going through a really rough time and having meals brought to them over a longer period of time. You would be shocked at the number of Lasagnas and chicken potpies they will get. Now I am sure the first few are fantastic but no one wants to eat that 3 times a week. So think outside of the box a little and make it fun.
I have a few rules when I sign up to bring a meal:
1) I don’t bring anything that my family wouldn’t eat, why? Because I look at taking a meal as just doubling my normal dinner for the night (unless they are on some super strict diet from an illness). I just make more, still the same amount of mess to clean up.
2) Keep it simple. No one expects a four course dinner brought to their door.
3) I don’t always include dessert for the families that are getting multiple on going meals. Most people do bring dessert so I just assume the kids don’t need one more cookie. I know, I am mean but I hate making dessert, so there. No judging.
4) I try and make something healthy. A hardship shouldn’t end up making you gain 15 lbs. My favorite dinner to take new parents is a large Greek Salad with Grilled chicken and pita wedges. She will hug your neck. After all, she is dying to fit into her jeans again.
5) Go International. Some new flavors might be welcome.
I took a meal to a friend last night that recently had surgery. This is what I brought. I was in such a hurry to make it I forgot to take pictures of it along the way for you. Sorry.
I made Mojo Marinated grilled Pork Tenderloin over Cumin Scented Black beans (fancy term for black beans with cumin in them) and Yellow Rice (Which you can’t see in the picture because it was buried under pork and beans) Add some chopped black olives, tomatoes and a sliced avocado. I figured people could pick out what they wanted if they hated something. I knew the family had pretty good eaters so I felt confidant they would like it.
Goya brand mojo marinade is magic. Just dump some tenderloin in a bag with some of this liquid gold and let it marinate for at least 6 hours. Then grill or roast until an internal temperature of 145 degrees. Easy peasy. Sometimes I just throw the tenderloins in the Crockpot with half a bottle of mojo and cook on low all day. You come home and shred it up for sandwiches on those devilish Hawaiian sweet rolls with slaw and pickles.
You can use this Yellow Rice package and jazz it up a bit by sautéing some onions and peppers before adding the rice and water. I am sure I threw some other spices in there just because I can never leave it alone. At the end I like to add fresh cilantro and lime to the rice. Layering some other flavors in there.
Now just rinse some canned black beans and throw in a pot with some onion, cumin and canned green chilies. Not much more to it than that.