Let’s explore some easy peasy drop-off food for your gluten-free friends. It’s winter and I have 7 friends who are currently under the weather. Having a restaurant meal delivered to each of them would be quite expensive. Cooking a meal from scratch for each of them would be quite time-consuming. I’ve been looking for a happy medium.
I’ve settled on some simple combinations I can make quickly and drop off by the door. I’m keeping these gluten-free. By using non-dairy milk and cheese, many can easily be dairy-free as well. If you’re needing some similar options, here are a few ideas:
Potato soup (not dairy-free). Purchase already prepared mashed potatoes (not dried potato flakes). Place them in a large pot over low to medium heat. Thin with gluten-free chicken broth the desired thickness. Add a dash of garlic powder and fresh ground black pepper.
Make the soup even richer by stirring in some shredded cheese – cheddar, Monterrey Jack, asiago, parmesan, or a blend. If this makes the soup too thick, add more chicken broth. For extra flair, include some canned, fire-roasted corn and garnish with chives.
Carnitas enchiladas. Purchase prepared gluten-free slow-cooked pork carnitas, canned refried beans, cheese, soft corn tortillas, and gluten-free green enchilada sauce.
Place the pork in a large skillet. Add refried beans (about 1/2 can or until the balance looks right to you), cheese, and a few tablespoons of enchilada sauce. Sprinkle with garlic powder and cumin. Exact proportions can vary and this will still be delicious. Simmer for a few minutes while you heat the corn tortillas in the oven or in a skillet.
Fill each tortilla with mixture from skillet. Place open side down in a disposable baking pan sprayed with olive oil spray. Top with enchilada sauce and cheese. Bake at 350⁰ for 15-20 minutes or until cheese melts.
Because this starts with warm tortillas and fully cooked, warmed filling, there’s no need to bake for a long time. That means, I don’t worry about covering these with foil.
Chicken stew. Begin with 32 oz gluten-free chicken broth and a cup or two of water. Add a couple of shallots or half an onion and a clove or two of garlic that are peeled, but not sliced or chopped (you’ll remove them later). Sprinkle in some garlic powder and a few red pepper flakes. Simmer for a few minutes.
Add a drained can of diced potatoes, a drained can of black beans, and a drained can of corn (if desired). If more liquid is needed, add either chicken stock or water.
After the stew simmers for a few minutes, add some pulled rotisserie chicken. You may need to break the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Continue to simmer for a few minutes. Remove the shallots or onion and garlic. Taste. Add salt and black pepper if needed.
You can use only corn and potatoes. You can use black beans and corn, but substitute quick-cooking rice for the beans. There are many other options I haven’t mentioned that can be tailored to your friend’s tastes.
I like to put my deliveries in disposable, reusable containers that are microwave or oven safe so that my sick friend can reheat right in the container. I also don’t want them to have to worry about returning a dish.
Snack basket. When you’re sick, you may feel well enough to focus on necessities but leave it up to your friends to provide the frivolous.
If you know the kind of snacks your friend likes, put those in a basket or a cute bag along with a few magazines, a crossword or sudoku book, an adult coloring book, or a puzzle.
I include things like dried figs, cocoa dusted almonds, dried Bing cherries, candied or spiced pecans, gluten-free pretzels and hummus, corn or grain-free tortilla chips with individual size guacamole, a selection of cheese (look for samples), pepperoncini peppers, stuffed olives, summer sausage, gourmet chocolate bars, and unsweetened, flavored water.
The choices are truly endless!
Breakfast basket. These are easy to do and fill a gap that most people don’t think about.
Fill a basket or bag with an assortment of gluten-free bagels, donuts, banana bread, muffins, cinnamon rolls, rugelach, and English muffins. Add some gourmet coffee or tea and jam or jelly. Perhaps put in apples, bananas, oranges, and grapes.
Providing food to a sick friend is a kind gesture. Lessening the financial burden and time commitment for yourself is also a kind gesture. With easy peasy drop-off food, you can be kind to all involved.