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LOOKING for: dishes for friend who has had stroke..

Posted by livvyandbella (My Page) on
Tue, Jan 2, 07 at 7:43

I ask for ideas, recipes for a dear friend who had a stroke and is home recovering. Last night I took her over a beef stew. She can't use her right arm, so everything she does now, she has to use her left arm and hand. The stew was in a large pot, she can scoop from that into bowls, and micro. She is alone, so needs things she can easily get out and microwave.
Any suggestions greatly appreciated. Karen is 61, and in the last 6 years has had a mascectomy, two hip replacements, carotid surgery, several blood clots, and now the stroke. She never complains and always has a smile.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: LOOKING for: dishes for friend who has had stroke..

If I understand you correctly, she can handle anything that doesn't require a knife? In other words, anything that can be handled one-handed.

I would consider individual pot pies, savory tarts, quiches & frittatas, etc. These can go into the nuke, to the table, and eaten all with only one hand. If she has accessible freezer space, a selection of these would be ideal, as she could vary her menu at will.

Stews and ragouts are naturals. Again, if feasible, I would put them up in individual serving portions and freeze.

One thing that often hinders recovery, for people like her, is a feeling that they are helpless, and totally dependent on others. To help avoid that, you might consider pre-prepping things that she can then cook herself.

For instance, if you do all the necessary cutting & chopping, she could probably cook a stew or ragout herself. It's not hard to do one-handed if the prep work is done.

Sometimes it just takes a slight sideways viewpoint. For instance, chicken that normally is prepared as whole breasts can often be made the same way in bite-sized pieces. Here, again, you just have to do the prep work, and she can do the cooking.

If she has a signature dish, or something she always really enjoyed making, see if you can figure out a way for her to make that with minimal assistance from you.

Psychologically, with that approach, she sees you as "helping" rather than as "providing." And that often makes a big difference.

RE: LOOKING for: dishes for friend who has had stroke..

I prepare food for my parents that is easy to reheat and easy to eat also. Does she have any swallowing issues? Sometimes that can linger for a while after a stroke and softer foods are safer as well as easy for her to work with. I think Gardenlad has expressed some good ideas in a nice way about her being as independent as she is capable of.

I do make a lot of chicken and package it up in slices or small pieces for them in a sauce. My Dad's arthritis makes it hard for him to cut the meat and my Mom has trouble with a knife too. So, I try to make it fork or spoon friendly, like your friend requires. Here are some other favorites of ours.

I have a ton of ground meat recipes - its easy for them and we like it too. Various meatloaves by the dozen, LOL, Ginger's Porcupine Meatballs, meatloaf patties, meatloaf muffins, Ann T's Salisbury Steak, Greek Meatballs, Chili, Gaucho pie.

I make pork tenderloin in several different ways, she can cut it with a fork or you could cut it into small pieces.

Keilbasi pieces with sauerkraut and potatoes all cooked together.

Sausage Marzetti is a big favorite - pork sausage meat with noodles.

Octoberfest stirfry - sausage slices and chopped cabbage cooked in beer and beef broth.

TUSCAN CHICKEN (cut the chicken into smaller pieces)
Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 1/2 pounds chicken breast tenderloins
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 cloves garlic, crushed
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons butter
2 shallots, chopped
6 sprigs fresh rosemary, finely chopped
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup dry white wine
2 cups beef broth (yes, beef broth)

Heat a large, deep skillet over medium high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Add 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, half the chicken pieces, and a couple of crushed cloves of garlic. Brown chicken 2 minutes on each side and remove from pan. Add remaining oil, another single turn of the pan, remaining chicken pieces and garlic. Brown chicken 2 minutes on each side and remove. Add vinegar to the pan. Let it cook off.

Add butter, shallots, and rosemary to the pan and cook 2 minutes, add flour and cook 1 minute more. Whisk in wine, reduce 1 minute. Whisk in broth and bring liquids up to a bubble. Return chicken to the pan and simmer over moderate heat 7 to 8 minutes to finish cooking chicken through.

There are innumerable chicken recipes - as long as it has something to keep it moist, chicken can be cut into small pieces and I think would be perfect.

There are also tons of pasta dishes - I would stay away from long spaghetti type pastas but use farfalle or something easy to stab with a fork.

Thick soups are easy to eat - pea soup, lentil soup, and if she's pretty adept with her left hand, other thin soups would be okay too, I suppose.

I hate to bombard you with tons of recipes that you wouldn't want, so if you would like some recipes, please let me know and I'll be happy to post them for you.

I wish your friend all the best, she has been through so much, how wonderful that she can still keep a smile on her face.

RE: LOOKING for: dishes for friend who has had stroke..

Also you might consider making a meat loaf and packaging it in slices to be reheated...might include a side of mashed potatoes too....abd maybe a veggie.
And how about a pasta bake of some sort. Using something like fusilli that is easy to spoon up, and putting it into micro save dishes.
Years ago we used to make some sandwiches to preheat. We would make tuna or chicken salad or even browned and seasoned ground beef and put the meat in a bun, top with cheese andw rap in foil. You can stack them in the freezer and they will re heat nicely in the oven, or a toaster oven on medium ( not on toast!). I forgot all about that...I used to do that for my kids as after school snacks....or lunch when mpm wasn't home.
What a nice thing you are doing!!
Linda C

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