For a friend in need or just because, these healthy recipes travel well and make great gifts for others.
November 05, 2012
1 of 16Photo: Johnny Autry
Tips for Making Meals for Friends
It's a lovely gift for any friend who could use a night off from cooking. For tips on making meals extra special, we talked to contributor Marge Perry, who offers these ideas:
• Don't make it a surprise—talk to your friend about what day works best for the delivery. Anticipation of the meal is part of the fun. • Be sure to include a menu so recipients know exactly what they're getting. • Provide disposable plates, utensils, and napkins so cleanup is easy. • Bring food in a casserole dish that's part of the gift; don't make the recipient responsible for returning your dishes. Alternately, use disposable containers. • Provide heating/freezing instructions. • Include a small treat for other family members: dog bones or cat toy. • Tuck in a time-consuming puzzle to keep a toddler busy while Mom tends to a newborn or wraps presents. • Include a separate package with tea bags and candles for peaceful moments: nice for new moms.
2 of 16Photo: Iain Bagwell
Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
This Cajun-favorite is easy to transport and even easier to devour.
This casserole is a quick and easy swap for more traditional tamales - but just as delicious. Be sure to include a recipe card when you bring this meal for friends. It will be a gift that keeps on giving.
Perfect for a cold day, be sure to bring this chili to a friend complete with all the fixings: shredded cheddar, chopped onion, and sour cream. Package each topping individually so that everyone can make up their bowl to their own preference.
Bring a bowl of warmth to a friend with this classic American comfort food. Flavorful stock, fresh-cooked chicken, traditional vegetables, and egg noodles lend starchy body to the broth of this favorite soup.
Cipollini onions are small, flat Italian onions. If you can't find them, substitute pearl onions. Other large full-flavored greens like mustard greens or kale will work, as well. This slow-cooker recipe is a winner when you're looking for a time-conscious meal to make for a friend.
If you can't find fresh corn on the cob, substitute 2 cups frozen corn kernels, and broil them with peppers. Your friends aren't the only ones who will get a yummy gift when you cook this recipe: Hang on to the extra chipotle peppers and use them to spice up a pot of beans, rice, stews, or canola mayonnaise.
The pulled pork sandwich is a crowd-pleasing classic, and cooking the roast in a slow cooker makes this dish incredibly easy. Bring the pulled pork over with all the fixings: buns, coleslaw, and extra barbecue sauce.
This classic beef stew recipe has all you expect in beef stew: tender chunks of beef, carrot, and potato. Yet the cremini mushrooms are a wonderful surprise. The slow-cooked flavor will show your friends just how much you care.