Food for recuperating breast cancer patient?

I'm cooking for a friend who is recovering from surgery and her husband and teenage son. She doesn't eat wheat, peppers, or bananas. All dishes must be easy to transport and reheat; I would also like them to be nutritious, comforting, and very attractive (to help entice her to eat them - she's losing a lot of weight which she can ill afford to do). Suggestions gratefully received! Thank you very much.

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7 Comments

plainhomecook June 12, 2013
Thank you all so much! I have been making lots of soups and a salmon salad. She seems to be healing well from the surgery and I will keep your thoughts in mind this summer when she begins chemo.
 
ChezHenry June 9, 2013
I meant to type "mild", not mold! I wish we had an edit feature!
 
ChezHenry June 9, 2013
A flan, or simple egg custard. Nutritious, comfort food with calories! I made a few flans for my cousin who was recuperating from the same surgery. She enjoyed it. There is also an excellent Chicken with Rice soup from Jacques Pepin and Julia Childs "Cooking at Home" that became her favorite. The rice is pureed-very mold, comforting, filling and easy to get down. It is my goto "recovery" soup.
 
Diana B. June 6, 2013
This appeared on Food52 not long ago and I would think the responses apply equally well here: http://food52.com/hotline/9038-suggestions-for-supper-for-friend-undergoing-chemotherapy
 

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SeaJambon June 6, 2013
Darn! I was just cruising around the web earlier today and stumbled on a cookbook for those with cancer that also had some great "taste" tips. I can't remember the name, and it was one of those things where I was three links in, so now can't get there again.

There were a couple of interesting pieces that I do remember. "Metal mouth" and "everything tastes like cardboard" are common. That metallic taste can be compounded by using metal flatware, so also help out with a good assortment of sturdy plastic forks and spoons. Cardboard taste? Amp up the salt. Most other odd tastes, they recommended a couple of squeezes of lemon (I thought that was particularly interesting). Finally, a call out for ginger (unless she has sores in her mouth from the chemo, in which case it and other strong spices should be avoided) -- including ginger syrup (can you make some for her so she has it on hand? Most commercial ginger ale is so little actual ginger that it doesn't help) to add to sparkling water or tea. If you have the time, candy some ginger for her. Very simple: 1/2 lb ginger root (peel using side of a sharp spoon); 2 cups water; 2 cups sugar. Peel ginger root, slice thin (I use a food processor). Boil sugar and water until clear; add ginger root and simmer about an hour. Viola! What could be simpler? Drain candied ginger, saving the syrup (you now have a lovely, heavily ginger infused syrup), by pressing hard with the back of a spoon against the ginger in a sieve. Place ginger flat on a large cookie sheet. Toss with more sugar (usually about a cup) until the ginger is thoroughly covered. Allow to cool and dry overnight. You now have wonderful candied ginger she can chew on both to provide flavor and to settle her stomach. Rub candied ginger between hands to remove excess sugar, save all the loose ginger sugar to sweeten cereal, yoghurt or tea/coffee.

Otherwise, with those restrictions (wheat/peppers/bananas) there are very few entrees that are off limits (even mac & cheese, as there are so many good wheat-free pastas on the market these days). Baking can get more challenging, but if you have a Whole Foods nearby, you can leave the wheat-free baked goods to them.
 
Trena H. June 6, 2013
What a sweet gesture! I agree with Monita, I love soups and they are very nutritious and get even better in the refrigerator. Since you are encouraging your friend to eat and it sounds like she needs some extra calories I've listed some of my favorite recipes from food52 with links below (for the pasta caesar salad recipe I suggest making the salad and bringing the salad dressing in a canning jar.
Enchiladas by lapadia http://food52.com/recipes/15589-enchiladas-queso-fresco-olive
Nancy Jo's Eggplant http://food52.com/recipes/431-eggplant-parmesan
Alice Waters' ratatouille http://food52.com/recipes/14155-alice-waters-ratatouille
wssmom pasta caesar salad http://food52.com/recipes/12660-creamy-caesar-pasta-salad-with-romaine
 
Monita June 6, 2013
Hearty soups are healthy, filling and easy to transport, Chicken soup (if she's not a vegetarian); vegetable soup, tomato soup are all good choices
 
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