Take Them A Meal

I talk a lot about food on this blog. I love to cook, and I love to feed people; it's the future grandmother in me. I think the act of giving someone food is one of the most basic, nurturing things we can do as people. In times of stress, whether that be bringing home a new baby, recovering from illness, or facing and coping with great loss, providing food seems to be the easiest, and kindest thing we can do, especially because the act of giving a meal frees the people dealing with transition, healing, or loss, from the burden of having to worry about it for themselves.  

I know two mothers, my age, who are battling cancer.  Through one of them I found a way to help the other.  It's an online meal support organizer called Take Them A Meal. When I met my friend Catalina at Jasper's school, I found out that she would soon be having surgery that would sideline her for several weeks, and she very much wanted help with dinners.  All I had to do was go through the PTA handbook and email the first grade families to let them know they could help, and bingo, she's had meals provided for the last few weeks. The reason I am so fond of this service is that should you want to help, but not have the time, or cooking prowess, or you live far away, you can opt to send them a meal. How's that for easy?  I hope this information can be a resource for someone out there to help a family in need. 

For today, I thought I'd share a meal that I brought to Catalina this week.  Because she's recovering from surgery, and has a depressed immune system from treatment, I wanted to make sure it was really nutritious, and because she has a 7 year old son, I wanted to make sure it was also kid-friendly. I chose turkey meatloaf with a sweet BBQ sauce glaze, brown sugar roasted sweet potatoes, and fresh blueberries and apple. All high in cancer-fighting antioxidants. Here are the recipes:

The turkey meatloaf has some secret ingredients...I hid them Jessica Seinfeld style.  The first is quinoa, a super grain, high in protein (brain function), riboflavin (for headaches), and skin healing saponins. The other is baby kale, very high in Vitamin K, an antioxidant cancer fighter. Mixed with ground turkey, spices, and a glaze, their flavors recede, making it a good dish for kids. 

Turkey Meatloaf

1 cup quinoa, cooked 

1 1/2 lbs ground turkey (94%)

1 egg

3 cups baby kale chopped

2 teaspoons sea salt

1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 cup ketchup

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Prepare 1 cup of quinoa according to package instructions, allow to cool. In a large mixing bowl combine turkey and egg, add quinoa, mix completely (I use my hands). Add in salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Lastly, mix in the kale. Once completely combined, place mixture in a loaf pan. Mix ketchup and Worcestershire sauce and apply to the top of the loaf, slathering completely with the back of a spoon. Bake for 1 hour. 

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are rich in Vitamin A, another cancer fighting antioxidant.  They are also delicious.

4 medium sweet potatoes

1-2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 teaspoon sea salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Cut sweet potatoes into 1/2 inch slices.  Toss with oil and lay on a sheet pan. Sprinkle with salt and sugar.  Roast for 15 minutes, then flip, and finish for another 5 minutes.