If you suggest going out to eat please know that goes badly
February 8, 2019 11:27 AM   Subscribe

My Mom is coming over for lunch on Sunday. My Mom is hard to feed, please help.

The food guidelines have been getting stricter over the years and I’m not sure what’s a tasty dish I can make and have her be comfortable eating it. The guidelines are: no onions, garlic, eggs, red meat, pasta, anything spicy, legumes, or dairy products. No potatoes or fruit. Nothing fried or oily. She tries to be gluten free, no sodium, and no sugar. I know I said no dairy but just to be extra clear: she hates cheese, like a lot, I brought a cheese bread on a picnic and years later she still complains it was disgusting. She loves Whole 30.

I’ve got dessert covered because Moms love of chocolate cake surpasses all else, but any idea for sides or mains? Thank you!
posted by lepus to Food & Drink (19 answers total)
A few questions down on AskMe today is an item about vegan lettuce-wraps. I bet you could adapt that to be an interesting and tasty option...?
posted by nkknkk at 11:29 AM on February 8, 2019 [1 favorite]

Some kind of quinoa salad with veggies? Could be hot or cold.
posted by Weeping_angel at 11:30 AM on February 8, 2019

When my husband and I tried Whole30, we fell in love with the recipe for Seared Salmon Benedict.
posted by erst at 11:31 AM on February 8, 2019

I don't suppose you could just ask her? As in, Mom, I sure want you to enjoy lunch and since you have such clear dietary dislikes, how about some suggestions of what you'd like to eat? (Or maybe the phrase "dietary dislikes" is too confrontive, but however you and she speak of her preferences....)
posted by luaz at 11:33 AM on February 8, 2019 [11 favorites]

Roast chicken and vegetables. Roast salmon and asparagus. Seafood salad.
posted by Jubey at 11:36 AM on February 8, 2019 [7 favorites]

Roast chicken. Stuff the cavity with fresh herbs and half a lemon. Maybe rub the outside with a mild spice blend (cumin, coriander, ground pepper, turmeric, etc.). Serve with roasted sweet potatoes or butternut squash and sauteed greens like chard or spinach.
posted by 4rtemis at 11:46 AM on February 8, 2019 [4 favorites]

Maybe spring rolls (shrimp in rice wraps, with lettuce and such)?
posted by praemunire at 11:51 AM on February 8, 2019

I would also just tell her to tell me what to make, but as a baseline: roasted chicken plus a roasted vegetable like broccoli or cauliflower or brussels sprouts, maybe a second veg side of zucchini and sliced mushrooms (if she'll eat them) stir-fried in a hot hot pan, spinach salad with a mustard vinaigrette and some cherry tomatoes. Serve with lemon wedges, and salt on the table for you.

If your weather is soup-appropriate, you could do a soup course of this Whole30 golden cauliflower soup, making the appropriate subs for beef broth and leaving out the alliums.
posted by Lyn Never at 11:57 AM on February 8, 2019 [1 favorite]

I'd love to treat you to something delicious, what are you craving mom?
posted by Iteki at 11:57 AM on February 8, 2019 [1 favorite]

Does it have to be, like, good or interesting? Could you just do poached chicken breast and plain steamed vegetables or something? Might not be your favorite lunch, but it would at least save some agonizing and effort.
posted by mskyle at 11:57 AM on February 8, 2019 [3 favorites]

Put the ball in her court, and make her spell out what she wants. You don't need this on your shoulders.
posted by BostonTerrier at 12:11 PM on February 8, 2019 [6 favorites]

If she can ignore half the things she "doesn't" eat in order to have chocolate cake, and years later still gives you a hard time for having cheese bread at a picnic, yeah, I'd totally put the ball in her court. That kind of inconsistency is a little crazy-making. (Actually, I wouldn't be hosting her for a meal at all, but you already sound committed to doing that.)
posted by dancing leaves at 12:31 PM on February 8, 2019 [15 favorites]

Mom, I love that thing you made when I was growing up. Would you teach me to make it?

Sometimes children can't play together directly but can do a project. Maybe your Mom is one of those kids. Also, this would put her in control.
posted by theora55 at 1:18 PM on February 8, 2019 [1 favorite]

What mskyle said. It would be really hard for me to refrain from going all passive-aggressive in this circumstance and presenting her with a poached chicken breast, accompanied by plain steamed rice and broccoli. Of course, I'd have a sauce and butter ready for my portion. :)
posted by ereshkigal45 at 2:15 PM on February 8, 2019 [1 favorite]

How about a nice Alligator, or frogs legs?
posted by Sophont at 2:22 PM on February 8, 2019

January was Whole30 month over at NomNomPaleo - you could try browsing through that and see if anything looks good to you. Everything I've made from her recipes has been delicious.
posted by mogget at 2:41 PM on February 8, 2019 [1 favorite]

Shrimp cocktail. Ceviche. Sushi. Crab cakes. Mussels, oysters, clams, etc.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:00 PM on February 8, 2019

Roast chicken! Simple, tasty, and I’ll have some leftover chicken for soup or a pot pie. Not salting it will be hard, but I’ll manage. Definitely going to throw in a vegetable to roast as well. Thanks to everyone for the other ideas too, I’ll swing back to this thread next time she’s heading over and I want to make something else!

And so many of you are right, asking her what she feels like eating would be the easiest option. When I’ve tried though she insists anything will be fine, at the most she’ll ask me to bake a cake. Asking the internet was much more helping :)
posted by lepus at 4:06 PM on February 8, 2019 [1 favorite]

Soup is awesome because you can tailor any sides or optional bread. I make this Chicken Tinola recipe for folks with similar diets:
Hemsley and Hemsley Chicken Tinola soup

It also makes great leftovers and you can bump up the seasoning per bowl with things like tamari or lemon juice for others who might want more of a flavor boost. That you could make it sans sodium and then add it back per serving for each individual diner.
posted by bzooty at 5:04 PM on February 8, 2019

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