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I'd like to bring a dinner or two to a friend undergoing chemo. She's gluten intolerant and likely to have a small appetite, but her husband will be hungry. Any great ideas for gluten-free, easy to transport and good for reheating dinners? Thanks!

asked by healthierkitchen over 5 years ago
5 answers 1253 views

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 5 years ago

Roast chicken. Beef stew. Chicken soup. Custard. Chocolate (or her favorite flavor) pudding. A crustless quiche. Warm stewed fruit. Applesauce? Simple comfortable food. Maybe some wine (if she can drink). I wish your friend a speedy recovery.

added over 5 years ago

I am pretty sure chocolate has gluten in it. You may want to check this if you are going to make or bring pudding. Plus what are you going to thicken your pudding with?

added over 5 years ago

I had the honor of caring for 3 people going through chemo. The process changes the palate. Most people have a lingering metallic/chemical taste in their mouth. They also experience severe digestive issues. From ongoing nausea, loss of appetite, colon issues, diarrhea, etc.

Some of the common issues I've encountered are a sensitivity to fats. High fat foods often will cause diarrhea. Many chemo treatments affect the liver, which of course processes the fats in foods. People will often have a sensitivity to strong flavors/spices. Onions seem to cause upset.

Folks also seem to develop a strong sweet tooth. Some doctors will caution against eating too many sweets, but I never wanted to deny someone a piece of cake!

You may explore cooking two for the mister and one for your friend. Don't be shy in asking your friend if she has any cravings. But don't be surprised if she can only manage a few bites.

Good luck to you and your friend.

added over 5 years ago

Thanks for the ideas!

added over 5 years ago

I cooked for a friend when she was undergoing chemo and later radiation. She had always been a fish and veggies kind of girl, but when she started having digestive issues she became a self-described "meat and potatoes" kind of girl.
Avoid veggies that are fibrous and go for the starchy root veggies. Stick to low acidity (no tomato) and low fat. She was recommended coconut-milk based fats (you can get shortening, ice "cream", etc.) because it is easier to digest - I am not a nutritionist but this is what she was told. Dairy was also an issue for my friend.
Stews, soups, etc. are great.
I did make her a rice pudding made with short-grain white rice. I cooked rice in a 1:6 rice to water ratio with some cardamom pods in it for one hour. Then I added vanilla, lemon zest, maple syrup/sugar, cinnamon, a pinch of salt, organic egg yolk and a little canola oil. She really liked it.
She loved a local deli's brisket. Mashed potatoes. Comfort food!