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Need suggestions for cooking main dishes for my parents

ssdarb
8 years ago

Hello, my siblings and I are taking turns bringing main dish meals to our parents. My Mom is able to put together the salad or side dish such as rice or veggies. We are bringing the main. I need some suggestions on main dishes that I can cook early in the day and deliver before my kids get home from school, and then my Mom can heat up and assemble the meal at dinnertime. Whatever I make I will probably just have my family eat that night also so that I am not cooking 2 different dinners. Thanks!

Comments (39)

  • pkguy
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    My favorite being Shepherds Pie. Make it in the largest lasagna pan or two smaller pans. I find it even tastes better the second day so you can make it the day before and feed it to your family one evening if you like, take the other over to the folks in the morning. However you like.
    Not only that but you can make extra's of the meat mixture and freeze it to have it on hand for defrosting much later as required. Then all you have to do is mash some potatoes for topping and bake. Say for example in two small individual pie plates.

  • triciae
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Stuffed cabbage rolls can easily be made in the morning and cooked for dinner. They also are another than can just be made in two separate baking dishes so you're all set for your family's dinner as well. The filling freezes well so I'd make two batches then half the work's done for the next time.

    Make-Ahead gravy freezes nicely and is handy to have on hand for quick chicken dinners. You can take it to your parents' in a separate container straight from your freezer. Here's the recipe...

    Make-Ahead Chicken Gravy

    6 chicken drumsticks, thighs, or wings
    reserved giblets
    reserved neck
    2 carrots, chopped coarse
    1 head garlic, halved
    2 ribs celery, chopped coarse
    2 onions, chopped coarse
    Vegetable oil spray
    10cups low-sodium chicken broth
    2 cups dry white wine
    12 sprigs fresh thyme
    1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    Table salt and ground black pepper

    Makes about 2 quarts.
    For more flavor, after roasting the chicken you can skim the drippings from the pan and add them to the gravy just before serving. Discard liver.

    1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Place giblets, neck, drumsticks, carrots, celery, onions, and garlic in roasting pan, spray with vegetable oil, and toss well. Roast, stirring occasionally, until well browned, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

    2. Transfer contents of roasting pan to Dutch oven. Add broth, wine, and thyme and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer until reduced by half, about 1 1/2 hours. Pour through fine-mesh strainer into large container (discard solids), cover stock with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until fat congeals, at least 2 hours.

    1. Using soup spoon, skim fat and reserve. Heat 1/2 cup fat in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until bubbling. Whisk in flour and cook, whisking constantly, until honey colored, about 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in stock, bring to boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

    (Gravy can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months.) Reheat gravy in saucepan over medium heat until bubbling.

    /tricia

    This post was edited by triciae on Thu, Apr 11, 13 at 12:34

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    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Nita's Party Bake Pork Chops. Hubby loves them. I've made them with boneless/skinless chicken breasts too.

    From Nita AZ

    Party Bake Pork Chops
    Betty Crocker New Dinner For Two Cookbook copyright 1964

    4 lean pork chops, 1" thick
    4 thin slices onion
    1/4 cup uncooked rice (not instant)
    1 can (1 lb. 13 oz.) tomatoes
    1/2 to 1 tsp. salt
    pepper

    Trim any excess fat from chops. Season chops well on both sides with salt and pepper. Brown on both sides in lightly greased hot skillet. Top each chop with a slice of onion, 1 tbsp rice, and cover with whole tomatoes. Add any remaining tomatoes and juice to skillet. Cover tightly; simmer over low heat or bake in foil covered baking dish at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours or until tender.
    4 servings.

  • teresa_nc7
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    These are some tried and true recipes that hold well and reheat just fine.

    Sweet and Sour Meatballs

    2 lb. lean ground beef (or 1 lb. beef and 1 lb. ground pork
    garlic salt
    fresh ground pepper
    1/2 cup finely minced or grated onion
    2 eggs
    1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
    2 12 oz. jars chili sauce
    1 cup packed light brown sugar
    1/4 to 1/2 cup lemon juice

    Mix together the meat, seasonings, onion, eggs, and breadcrumbs. Do not overmix. Make into smal 1-inch to 1/2-inch meatballs.

    Mix the chili sauce, brown sugar, and lemon juice to taste in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Drop in the meatballs and simmer 20 minutes or more until done. You can brown the meatballs in a skillet before adding to the sauce. This keeps and reheats well. Serve over hot rice.

    Secret Recipe Beef Pot Roast or Stewed Beef

    1 (14.5 ounce) can stewed tomatoes
    1 cup cola-flavored carbonated beverage (not diet)
    1 packet dry spaghetti sauce mix
    1 cup chopped onion
    3/4 cup chopped celery
    1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
    3 pounds beef chuck roast into large cubes
    2 tablespoons vegetable oil

    1.In a large bowl, break up tomatoes in their juice. Stir in cola, spaghetti sauce mix, onion, celery, salt, and garlic salt. Stir until spaghetti sauce mix is dissolved.

    2.In a Dutch oven, over medium high heat, brown meat in oil about 10 minutes on each side. Drain off all fat. Pour tomato mixture over meat. Cover, and reduce heat to low. Simmer slowly for about 2 1/2 hours, or until meat is tender. Serve with rice, noodles, or potatoes.

    Pork and Apples with Stuffing serves 12

    4-lb. pork tenderloin slices
    2 20oz cans sliced cooked apples or poach fresh apples until tender
    1/2c brown sugar
    6 c herb stuffing mix
    1/2c chopped celery
    1/4c melted butter
    3 TB minced onion
    1 t salt
    1/2t sage
    2 c beef broth

    Trim fat from pork slices, brown slices in a little oil in skillet. Place slices as needed for each serving in a baking dish.

    Combine apples and sugar. Spoon over pork slices. Combine stuffing, celery, butter, onion, salt, sage and broth. Press stuffing into a 1/2c measure, unmold onto apple slices. Cover.

    May freeze at this point. Bake from frozen state at 400 for 1 1/4hours or until pork tests done. Bake from unfrozen state at 375 for 1 hour.

    Makes 2 casseroles of 6 servings each.

  • TobyT
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I do the same thing for my Dad a couple of times a week and one thing that he really likes, is sliced roast chicken or beef or pork in some gravy, which he puts over bread for a Hot __________ Sandwich. He also loves beef stew and any kind of pot pies. Good for you for doing this. I think a lot of older people suffer nutritionally when left to their own devices. My Dad would eat soft-boiled eggs and toast every night if he did all his own cooking.
    Jane

  • Bumblebeez SC Zone 7
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Grilled chicken, roast pork, pot roast, spaghetti w/meat sauce, baked chicken...
    It really depends on what they like (and their dietary/age restrictions) and you consider tasty reheated.
    I like almost everything reheated and often eat last nights leftovers for lunch the next day.
    With that in mind, it's almost endless.

  • ruthanna_gw
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    In addition to the above suggestions, Salisbury steak with mushroom gravy, a casserole of chicken or turkey Tetrazzini, City Chicken, salmon or tuna loaf or patties, shrimp scampi and chicken cacciatore are some main course ideas.

  • lizbeth-gardener
    8 years ago

    Chuck roast-I put mine in crockpot and cook 6-8 hrs on low with no seasoning, just a 1/2 cup water. It is falling apart and delicious.

    Chili, carrot sticks and fruit.

    Meatballs with mashed potatoes and veg.

    BBQ Brisket- My recipe cooks five hours in low oven and is even better reheated the next day or eaten cold in a sandwich (or not).

    Goulash served with a green salad or veg.

    My very favorite is 5 hour oven stew with a good loaf of bread. So easy and so good.

    Pressure cooker round steak-takes about 15 minutes to cook.

    Meat loaf-also love this left over for sandwiches.

    Pork tenderloin--cooks in about 20 minutes.

    BBQ pork or beef-also do all day in crockpot.

    I'm a little heavy on the beef! Do you need ideas for warm weather salads/meals?

    This post was edited by lizbeth-gardener on Thu, Apr 11, 13 at 18:56

  • maggie2094
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Making note of these, too. Pork and apple stuffing sounds great.

    How about doing a pork shoulder in crockpot overnight or day before? Shred day of...will be plenty for both fams. Coleslaw, potato salad, and rolls complete.

    Baked ziti or chicken parm would also be good.

  • Cathy_in_PA
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    You deserve gold stars, Strayer! I've started doing this for my parents about two times a week, but my kids are away at college. I'm actually going to recruit them this summer to help with the cooking and the delivery. My mom calls it her "Meals on Wheels"

    I agree with what everyone else said. I find that if I double recipes, I can take in a meatloaf or a smaller casserole of lasagna. I also make enchiladas, King Ranch Casserole, shredded pork or beef barbecue, unstuffed Peppers, stir-fry or spicy Cauliflower Pasta. I'll take in the buns, etc. too. Most of the time, they'll get two meals out of one delivery -- unless my brother shows up:)

    Cathy in SWPA

  • deegw
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    My mom called this goulash but it is nothing close to Hungarian goulash. I've also seen it called American chop suey. It's inexpensive, easy, filling and tasty.

    1 lb elbow macaroni
    1 lb ground beef
    1 can diced tomatoes
    1/2 diced green pepper
    1/2 diced onion
    Worcestershire sauce

    I do this all in the same pan.
    Cook elbow macaroni and dump into strainer
    Cook ground beef, drain and throw on top of the macaroni
    Leave a little fat in the pan
    Saute onion and pepper beef fat until soft
    Add diced tomatoes
    Four or five generous shakes of worcestershire
    salt and pepper to taste
    simmer for five minutes
    stir in cooked macaroni and ground beef

    You can eat it right away but it's better if it sits for a bit. With bread and salad it will easily feed 6.

  • ssdarb
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Thanks!!! I think I can make all these meals and I really appreciate the full recipes and encouragement. With all these great suggestions they won't get too tired of getting the same meal too often. The whole re-heating thing was throwing me off because I usually serve straight from the stove, my giant family eats it all, there are never any leftovers, and I wasn't sure what would reheat well. Thanks so much!!

  • pkguy
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I'll dig out the shepherds pie recipe tomorrow and type it out. . I pretty much do it by memory but just in case. It was a featured dish at the Unicorn Pub in Calgary back in the 80's (owned by some of the Irish Rovers group) One day it appeared in the weekly food section of the paper so of course I cut it out.
    But right now I have a date with destiny and my friends at the casino.. wish me luck LOL

  • murphy_zone7
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    With summer coming on you could make different salads, chicken, tuna, pasta, antipasto, or grains like quinoa, couscous, etc. Then they could eat the salad as a main dish or in the case of chicken or tuna as sandwiches. I too provide meals for my mom and when life gets hectic for me, I will buy her a rotisserie chicken from the market, she loves them and she gets several meals out of it until I get back in the kitchen. Don't know the age of your parents but my mom is 84 and doesn't eat as much as she used to, therefore I am careful about the amounts I take her. Leftovers, while good, do not keep "forever".
    Good luck.
    Murphy

  • Cathy_in_PA
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    "Four or five generous shakes of worchestershire" My favorite kind of recipe, Deee.

    pkguy, I would appreciate your shepherds pie recipe too. My parents were at a church function yesterday and were raving about lunch -- shepherds pie! Love to add it to my repertoire for them.

    Not to distract from the cooking, but if anyone has a way to transport tomato sauce based entrees in tupperware without staining, I'd love to know.

  • teresa_nc7
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Buy some Glad food containers or other such brand. The clear plastic does not stain as badly as Tupperwear or other non-clear plastics. Remind your folks to put the food in a microwave safe glass, pottery, or Corningware container if they plan to warm the food in the microwave before eating. This is safer for them and helps extend the life of the plastic containers. I may freeze/store in plastic, but I never heat in plastic.

    Remind them they can return the plastic containers to you for refills. ;o)

    Teresa

  • Cathy_in_PA
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Teresa, you're the best. We just use the tupperware for transporting, but anything tomato perrmanently stains. I've done everything trick read on the internet to clean them, no dice. In the big scheme of life, having stained tupperware isn't that big of a deal. I will get some definitely get some Glad though.

    "Remind them they can return the plastic containers to you for refills." I'm laughing -- they return filled with Hershey kisses or caramel cremes. I have no control with a whole bag:)

    Thanks again.

    Cathy in SWPA (who loves cheap candy)

  • colleenoz
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I have read that if you brush Tupperware with oil before storing tomato-based foods in it, it won't stain. Never tried it myself though.

    Shepherd's Pie (more properly Cottage Pie) is one of those anything goes kind of recipes. Here's how I make it.

    (What's the difference? Technically, Cottage Pie is made with beef and Shepherd's Pie with lamb. Both originally used leftovers from a roast.)

    Peel, chop and boil enough potatoes to serve each person mashed potatoes. Mash with a little butter and milk (well OK, a lot of butter if you like :-) ).

    Take enough ground beef for each person (for two hearty eaters I used about 1/2 lb not so long ago), for each 1/2lb of meat a small onion, diced, and a carrot, grated. Some people add peas and corn to their Cottage Pie but I don't care for that. You can do as you wish, the Cottage Pie police aren't going to show up on your doorstep.

    Brown the meat and onion, add seasoning to taste. Add grated carrot and cook until softened. Sprinkle with about a heaped tablespoon of all-purpose flour per half pound of meat, mix well. Pour in enough beef stock to make gravy, enough so the meat isn't in a lump but also not too soupy. About a cup per half pound of meat should do it. Slosh in a good shot of Worcestershire sauce and simmer a little. If you're using peas and corn, this would be the time to add them.

    Pour into a casserole dish and smooth the mashed potatoes over the top. (I find it easiest to blob it all around the edges and work towards the middle (this technique works well with meringue topping on pie as well).) If you really want to push the boat out, make some nice squiggles in the mashed potatoes with the tines of a fork and even sprinkle with a little grated cheese.

    Brown in a hot oven until the potatoes have a nice crisp layer over the top. Enjoy!

    If you want to use leftover roast, dice small and proceed as above. Add the leftover gravy as well, if there is any.

    This post was edited by colleenoz on Sat, Apr 13, 13 at 11:45

  • Olychick
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    if you put stained tupperware outside in the sunshine, the stains disappear as if by magic.

  • Cathy_in_PA
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Thanks for the suggestions re: tupperware. I will try all suggestions with the old, but am going to get some Glad. I just took my parents some chicken enchilada soup -- fire roasted tomatoes/small can hunts tomato sauce. Yep, container now has a nice healthy orange/red glow/aura. Reminds me of a bad self-tanner:)

    Colleenoz -- like the recipe and particularly that there are no Cottage Pie Police.

    Thanks again -- Cathy in SWPA

  • annie1992
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I've got some stained Tupperware too, I've just tried to ignore it, LOL, so I'll set it outside on the deck and try not to forget it, as soon as the snow we got today melts. Well, it's supposed to snow tomorrow too, but soon, so thanks!

    I also cook for my stepmother, so things like chicken enchiladas, chili, lasagna, meatloaf, meatballs, chicken pot pie all reheat well.

    Actually, I think some things, like chili, lasagna and the "goulash" above are better after reheating.

    I make a lot of cabbage rolls at once and freeze them on a tray, then package in bags, then I can just pull out as many as I want, sauce them and stick them in the oven with some baked potatoes for a quick meal that I can leave to cook on its own.

    I don't usually make chicken pot pie, now I tend to make biscuits and the chicken and vegetables in the gravy separately. That way the chicken mixture can be heated and spooned over the split biscuits so they don't get soggy and it's not as messy to transport.

    I've also found that sliced ham, pot roast and soups of nearly any type reheat well.

    Thisis one of stepmom's current favorites. Fast, easy and relatively cheap and it feeds a lot and reheats well:

    Spanish Rice

    1 lbs ground beef
    1 medium onion -- chopped
    1 C regular rice -- uncooked
    2/3 C green pepper
    1 can (16 oz) stewed tomatoes
    2 C water
    1 tsp chili powder
    3/4 tsp salt
    1/8 tsp pepper

    Cook and stir meat and onion in large skillet until meat is brown. Drain off fat. Stir in remaining ingredients.

    To Cook In Skillet: Heat mixture to boiling. Reduce heat; cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until rice is tender, about 30 minutes. (A small amount of water can be added if necessary.)

    To Cook In Oven: Pour mixture into ungreased 2-quart casserole. Cover and bake in 375 oven, stirring occasionally, until rice is tender, about 45 minutes.

    Another option might be Breakfast for Supper. My Dad liked pancakes for supper occasionally, and things like waffles, pancakes and French toast all freeze well and reheat easily in the toaster. I don't care for them microwaved, you have to be too careful not to make them hard. Some scrambled eggs and you have supper. Sausage and bacon also reheat well, I often make larger amounts and put them in the refrigerator for later use.

    Good luck and good for you for doing it, I'm glad when families take care of each other. I only hope that I don't have to live on my daughters' cooking later in life, LOL, or I'll be in sorry shape!

    Annie

  • arlocat
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Wow. So many wonderful food ideas. I was also transporting food for a couple of years. At first I was always scrambling to find the right containers and things were cumbersome or they would spill. I found this set of Pyrex dishes, hot/cold packs and the carrying container and everything got much, much easier.

    http://www.pyrexware.com/index.asp?pageID=8&upc=71160045460

    It has one large dish and 2 smaller. They all fit nicely into the carrier. I bought a couple of extra dishes so that I could rotate with one set at my house and another at my destination.

  • pkguy
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Here's the Unicorn Pub Shepherd's pie recipe

    1-2 lb lean ground beef 1 cup diced onion
    1 cup diced carrots 1 cup diced celery
    1.5 cups fresh or frozen corn
    2 cloves of garlic minced
    salt & pepper to taste
    1/2 tsp nutmeg
    8 oz beef broth
    2 Tbsp butter mixed with 2 Tbsp flour
    2 lb potatoes, cooked and mashed
    butter

    Cook ground beef in frying pan til brown
    Add onion, carrots, celery, garlic, salt, pepper and nutmeg

    Lower heat and cook for 10 min or until veggies are wilted.

    Add beef broth, bring to boil.
    Stir in enough of the butter/four roux to make a thick gravy to bind the filling.

    Pour in a large shallow baking pan and cool.
    The filling should be about 1.5 inches deep

    Make mashed potatoes. However you like them

    Cover the meat mixture in the pan with the corn and top with the hot mashed potatoes

    Smooth evenly and brush with butter

    Bake at 325 for 35-45 minutes. Serves 6.

  • compumom
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Here's one of my old standby's. It hasn't been made in quite awhile, but it was one of my father's favorite dishes. It reheats well, can be made in advance and cooked later and makes a substantial quantity.
    Tweak the seasonings as needed and sodium limitations apply!

    DIJON CHICKEN ELITE
    (Lila Slaten)

    “The Dijon chicken elite has long been a favorite of family, friends and students in my classes. Marvelous in quick preparation for a large crowd, it is crisp and succulent and the Dijon mustard and garlic flavor are real winners. If I am serving a holiday buffet for a crowd I usually have a beef and chicken main course and these are the two I have found most successful. The rice goes well with either one or both.”

    8 chicken breasts (boneless and skinless)
    3 cups fresh bread crumbs
    1 cup Parmesan cheese
    ¼ cup chopped parsley
    2 teaspoons salt
    1 cup butter, clarified or melted
    2 large cloves garlic, mashed (I use the chopped frozen cubes from Trader Joes)
    2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
    2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
    1/8 tablespoons white pepper

    Wash and dry chicken. Grind up bread crumbs in food processor with steel blade. Place crumbs in a large bowl. Add cheese, parsley and 1 teaspoon salt. Combine well.
    Melt butter, add garlic after melting and simmer a few minutes to absorb flavor. I do this in the microwave. Remove from heat. Add Worcestershire sauce, mustard, remaining 1-teaspoon salt and white pepper. Mix well.
    When cool enough dip chicken pieces in butter mixture then roll in breadcrumb mixture. Place on a greased cookie sheet with edges or baking pan. Allow to stand at least an hour or longer before baking in preheated 400 degree oven. Place in a single layer. Bake for 20-30 minutes. Test after 25 minutes, they should be done. Enjoy!

  • pkramer60
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Thanks for all the recipes here! Garden season is coming so I want to get some things into the freezer that I just have to heat up when I am tired and sore.

    Cathy in PA, hit the dollar store for containers. If they don't come back or get stained, who cares, they were only a dollar.

    But a fast spritz of bleachy water gets the stains out too.

  • annie1992
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Thank you Peter and Ellen, both of those recipes sound delicious.

    Peppi, I tried the bleach on a white Tupperware bowl but somehow it still has a tiny bit of orange or pink or something. And it's real Tupperware too, not even some knockoff!

    I save cottage cheese containers to take things to stepmom like salads and cold foods but use the cheap disposable plastics for things she needs to reheat, like pasta or soup because she will not put food into a bowl or other container to eat it, she eats it out of whatever I bring it in then leaves the empty container in the sink until I come back and wash it. So, I just toss them out about half the time, some are just too disgusting to wash.

    Annie

  • cynic
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I assume they're not fussy eaters like my dad was. It's really a nice, thoughtful thing you're doing. Don't rule out the possibility of picking up some burgers or a bucket of chicken on a day you're busy either. The change can be appealing to people too.

    Soups, stews, casseroles (or hotdishes as we say in this area of the world) are easy and transport well. You know better than we as to what foods they like. My one suggestion is if they're hesitant about doing this, since some feel a loss of independence when getting any kind of help, would be to do some of their favorite meals the first week or so to break them into the concept. Then you can expand the menu out.

    Don't rule out freezer meals either. Even if it's to freeze some turkey or ham to thaw and make sandwiches. They can have some whack-a-mole tube biscuits or frozen ones and make some sandwiches for a change and to ease the burden on you and your siblings.

    One other idea is make a few meals and freeze. Maybe a meatloaf, some pasta dish, soup and they can have a week's worth of food for a partial day's time investment. Again, just a suggestion to ease the burden on you too.

    Lots of great ideas. Good luck and my best to the folks!

  • compumom
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I know firsthand how we try and make our parent's meals more interesting. My mother was an excellent cook, but sometimes the preparation was too much for her.

    Here's something that might inspire you that I had saved from a 2009 CF posting. Carol/ Dishesdone had a blog post with multiple ideas for boneless skinless chicken breasts which are made in advance. They might be handy for you to make in advance.
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    "We had chicken piccata (Woodie's) the other night! Had it for lunch the next day on a baguette! Really easy and you can make it ahead, frying the cutlets, then freeze it and pull them from the freezer and then saute them with the broth, lemon juice and wine and make rice, nice quick dinner. I do a lot of cooking on a Sunday for the week! and I supplement with takeout. There are days I just don't feel like cooking!
    You can fry up the cutlets ahead, with Marsala too. and a really long time ago I got a cookbook from Glamour magazine, they used to have 30 minute meals and this chicken recipe similar to Woodie's Piccata, and you just add other things to make other chicken dishes. Very quick for a week night and you can definitely make ahead and freeze, then add the "flavors" another time!
    Nine 30-minute Chicken Dinners
    2 chicken breasts, skinless, boneless and pound to 1/4-inch thick (I use Perdue thin sliced chicken cutlets-skinless boneless)
    1 tablespoon oil
    1 tablespoon butter (I use all olive oil instead of the butter.)
    2 tablespoons flour (way more than 2 tablespoons flour
    Flavor Makers and Garnish

    My Notes \- Before cooking, pound each cutlet between sheets of waxed paper until 1/4\-inch thick. Don’t need to bother with this if you are using Perdue thin sliced cutlets or similar brand. It’s really easy; just add a cup or so of flour into a large Ziploc bag. Throw a bunch of chicken cutlets in, zip it and shake the bag until the cutlets are coated. Then fry the cutlets in a skillet in a couple tablespoons of Olive oil and butter or all olive oil. Sauté the chicken until browned on both sides, then add the "flavor makers" to the pan. etc, follow the technique instructions.. THE TECHNIQUE: Dredge one whole chicken breast, skinned, boned, split in half and pounded, in 2 tablespoons flour. In medium skillet over medium\-high heat, cook 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon butter or margarine until hot and foamy. Add chicken and saute until golden brown on both sides. Add the flavor makers. Cover and simmer until fork\-tender, about 10 minutes. Remove chicken to plate and keep warm. Over medium\-high heat, boil sauce in skillet rapidly until slightly thickened. Add finishing touches and heat through. Spoon sauce over chicken and add garnishes.

    To make California Chicken
    Flavor Makers - 1 cup sliced mushrooms, 3/4 cup dry white wine
    Finishing Touch - 1/2 avocado, sliced
    Garnish - chopped parsley
    To make Chicken Milanese - * Instead of flour, dredge in seasoned breadcrumbs
    Flavor Makers - 1 garlic clove, minced; 1/2 cup chicken broth; 1/4 cup white wine
    Finishing Touch - 2 tablespoons chopped Parsley
    Garnish - additional Parsley
    To make Chicken Piccata (I omit the garlic; add a little chicken broth, too!)
    Flavor Makers - 1 garlic clove, minced; 1/2 cup white wine; 2 tablespoons lemon juice;
    Finishing Touch - 2 tablespoons chopped Parsley
    Garnish - Lemon slices
    To make Yucatan Chicken
    Flavor Makers - 1/2 cup lemon juice; 3 tablespoons raisins; 2 tablespoons canned chopped hot chilies
    Finishing Touch - 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
    Garnish - toasted pine nuts
    To make Sante Fe Chicken
    Flavor Makers - 1/2 cup red wine; 1/4 cup tomato puree; 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano; 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
    Garnish - Lime wedges and sour cream
    To make Provencal Chicken
    Flavor Makers - 1/3 cup chopped onion; 1 teaspoon dried basil, 3/4 cup white wine
    Finishing Touch - 1/2 cup chopped, canned tomatoes; 1/4 cup black olives, chopped
    Garnish - Chopped parsley or fresh basil
    To make Sesame Chicken
    Mix 1 egg with 2 tablespoons milk. After dredging in flour, dip chicken into egg mixture, then coat with 3 tablespoons sesame seeds.
    Flavor Makers - 3/4 cup chicken broth; 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce; 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger; 1 garlic clove, minced; 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil; 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
    Garnish - chopped parsley or cilantro
    To make Chicken with Peppers
    Flavor Makers - 1/4 cup diced, cooked ham; 1/4 cup chopped onion; 1/2 cup white wine; 1/4 red pepper, cut into slivers; 1/4 green pepper, cut into slivers; 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
    Garnish - chopped parsley
    CHICKEN PICCATA (Woodie's)
    4 Chicken breast halves, boned and skinned
    Salt and Pepper
    Flour (enough for coating)
    3 tablespoons butter
    Juice of 1 lemon
    1-1/2 cups chicken broth
    1/2 cup white wine
    Put a piece of waxed paper on the counter and place chicken on top. Use a meat pounder, the side of a saucer, the unsharpened side of a heavy knife or other object to pound the breast into a thin piece that’s uniformly thick (about an inch). Salt and pepper the chicken generously, then coat with flour. Melt butter in a large skillet and brown chicken on both sides.
    Remove chicken from skillet. Add lemon juice, chicken broth and wine. Boil down until it’s about one-half cup. Place chicken back in skillet, cover and cook 3 minutes. Remove cover and serve. "

    I am certain that your parents appreciate your efforts to make their meals nutritious and delicious!

    Here is a link that might be useful: There's Always Thyme to Cook

  • compumom
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Annie,
    You're a REALLY nice person if you not only cook it, but clean it up days later! Yikes! I'd be gagging!

    I came upon another recipe that my father loved. Joe aka Garden Guru gave me a winning lentil soup recipe.

    Lentil Soup
    Serves: 8
    2 large onions �" chopped fine
    3 large carrots -- grated
    2 cloves shallots -- minced
    2 Tablespoons garlic �" sliced very thin
    2 Tablespoons olive oil
    1/4 cup dry white wine
    1 cup canned tomatoes -- stewed, with juices
    2-1/2 cups chicken broth
    1 cup beef broth
    4 cups water
    1 cup ham, finely chopped
    1 sprig epazote �" preferably fresh; equivalent dried
    1 pound lentils -- rinse & drain
    1 teaspoon pepper flakes
    salt and pepper -- to taste
    In a Dutch oven, sauté onions, carrots, shallots, and garlic in hot oil until onions are transparent.
    Add the wine and simmer the mixture until the liquid is reduced by half.
    Add the remaining ingredients and simmer soup, with lid slightly ajar, for about 1 and ½ hour, or until lentils are very tender. Add a little chicken broth if soup is too thick.
    I like this sprinkled with freshly grated parmesan upon serving.
    FYI: It's the epazote in this recipe that takes care of the beany property

  • enjoyingspring
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I also cook twice a week for my Mother, these are some great ideas.

  • teresa_nc7
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I started to made this soup yesterday and finished it this morning. I like to chill the broth so I can lift off the fat. This chicken noodle soup is maybe the best I ever made. I used a couple of pounds of chicken thighs and 2 chicken breasts and threw in about 2 TB of Better Than Bouillon chicken base when cooking the chopped vegetables today. The fresh parsley and thyme really add a good flavor!

    As much as my 86 yr. old mother makes chicken noodle soup for herself, I think our older parents and anyone not feeling up to par would love this soup. My co-worker's husband starts another round of chemo and radiation this week and she asked me to make him some soups as that is the only thing he seems to want to eat. He likes my potato soup, so I hope to get that made today. I'll have two quarts of the chicken noodle to add to the potato soup.

    Teresa

    Here is a link that might be useful: Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup from Country Living

  • Cathy_in_PA
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    pkguy, thanks for digging out your Shepherd's Pie. It's on the menu for this week -- mashed potatoes topped with butter -- how can you go wrong.

    In fact, I've run off this thread with all the recipes and ideas. The chicken recipes will inject some much needed creativity too.

    pkramer -- thanks for the tip regarding the bleach. I've actually tried that, oxiclean, sunshine, and somewhere I got a recipe for Dawn and hydrogen peroxide. I figure that those containers have won that battle.

    Thanks again from me (and my parents too.)

    Cathy in SWPA

  • annie1992
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Hey, but I can tell you that the bleach trick will take the tea stains out of cups!

    Thanks, Peter, for that recipe, I haven't made Shepherd's Pie in quite a long time.

    Ellen, I don't think there are a whole lot of people in the world who would call me that nice of a person, LOL.

    Annie

  • ssdarb
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Hi! Awesome ideas and I have already use few. Quick tip for people who are coordinating different types of helping - whether taking turns making meals or something else like helping a friend after surgery, or maybe taking turns checking on someone, or sitting with a pregnant friend on bedrest. If there are several people helping it can be bad to all show up on one day and then no one comes for several days.

    So my sister set up a simple Shutterfly account and there is a "volunteer" list by date. The siblings and I log on and sign up for the day we are bringing the meal and what we are planning to bring. It's been working great! My parents don't get overloaded with too many meals or leftovers, and we can see what the other siblings are bringing. And if there is an unclaimed date, someone jumps in and claims it.

    I've been trying to compete with my sister who is a real foodie. Now if my parents would just log on and write up their "reviews" we would have a total feedback loop!

  • Cathy_in_PA
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    That's outstanding organization, Strayer! Wow, I could see how that would work with a larger group, particularly a group that has different schedules, etc. I wish our church would move into the 21st century a bit. This would be so useful rather than sign up sheets posted in the back (or the dreaded phone calling)

    I'm smiling at your category for "reviews." My 81-year old mother is at times a bit of a loose canon anymore, (my daughter says "losing some social filters"). She will tell me various entrees that she's "doctored" which usually includes adding bouillon -- ha!

    Glad that you've been able to contribute to your parents in such a meaningful way.

    Cathy in SWPA

  • WalnutCreek Zone 7b/8a
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Compumom, the lead in commentary to the recipe you posted for Dijon Chicken Elite mentioned a beef dish. Do you happen to have the recipe for that dish and, if so, would you mind posting it, please.

  • ssdarb
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Cathy in PA..

    I know what you mean - it's so easy and our church still hasn't caught on either. For the youth group activities and such, they have long strings of emails or calling, or sign up sheets. Our new youth pastor is pretty young so maybe he will lead a tech-reformation.

    I had this horrible paranoid dream where I delivered a meal to my Mom and she confessed that she hates my cooking and she has been THROWING IT AWAY rather than eating it!

    We do try to make yummy things because she was always such a wonderful cook. My Dad's Mom was a true gourmet and never once served a left-over, made a complete homemade cake or pie everyday and did that day after day, year after year raising 5 kids.

    If I could get my parents to log on and do real reviews that would be so funny. We siblings would compete to see who gets more stars. My little sister would totally win though...she brings wine.

  • compumom
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Walnut I'm truly sorry, however I clipped that recipe fom the newspaper at least 15 years ago and I have no idea about the beef recipe she referenced.

    Did you make the chicken yet?

  • Cathy_in_PA
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I have to tell you, Strayer, that I literally laughed when I read:

    "I had this horrible paranoid dream where I delivered a meal to my Mom and she confessed that she hates my cooking and she has been THROWING IT AWAY rather than eating it!"

    I can hear the disbelief/emphasis on THROWING IT AWAY, and I'm just really, really laughing. And your sister is a smart cookie:) BTW, that was a special generation of cooks; they leave me in the dust with their "thrift" but still outstanding taste.

    And now we're all curious about that beef recipe, compumom:) BTW, I have your recipes in the rotation -- intended to make shepherd's pie, then one of your chicken recipes and ended up with lasagne. Sigh -- I'm in a RUT!

    Cathy in SWPA