When our daughter was born, our family survived because of a meal train. Out of gratefulness that others stepped up for my family, I happily sign up for every meal train that comes my way. It also helps that I genuinely love making delicious meals. Sometimes I have more time than others, so I’ll go all out with a homemade special lasagna. Other times, the best I can do is add a few extra things to my grocery run and brown some taco meat.
Whether you have lots of time or no time at all, there is something for everyone with this meal train roundup. I’ve narrowed down all of the various things I’ve delivered to families to those that have consistently gotten high marks from the recipients.
Meal Train Wins
A Basic with Wide Appeal
Tacos with all of the fixings. In addition to the taco meat, crunchy taco shells, shredded cheese, shredded lettuce, chopped tomato, salsa, sour cream, I like to include some soft flour tortillas so leftovers can easily be turned into quesadillas. Or I’ll add a bag of tortilla chips and nacho cheese so the family can build super nachos.
Super Easy and Delicious
- Italian Sausage Soup. This one also happens to be gluten free and dairy free. If the family doesn’t have food allergies I like to include a loaf of crusty bread and some Parmesan cheese to add to the soup.
Frozen Crock Pot Meal
- Slow Cooker Turkey Chili with Sweet Potato and Black Beans This one is also gluten and dairy free. Save yourself some time and don’t bother cooking the sweet potatoes or the soup. Just brown the turkey, assemble all of the ingredients in a ziplock bag (or two) and freeze. Allow the chili to thaw and pop it in a crock pot to cook for the day.
- Grilled Chicken and Salad. I like to marinade the chicken (thighs or breast work well) with this. I like to send along a salad made with romaine as well as feta cheese, craisins, sunflower seeds, glazed pecans, and a homemade Italian dressing. But you can make it easy on yourself and get pre-cooked chicken and bagged salad from the store along with some yummy bread.
So Yummy and Unexpected
- Chicken Tamale Pie. For the shredded chicken called for the in recipe I’ve used this recipe. Did you know you can use a stand mixer to shred chicken? A salad rounds this meal out nicely.
Worth the Extra Effort
- Pizza Supreme Lasagna. Oh my goodness. This is amazing. It is comforting, tasty, smells amazing, and it has hidden vegetables. I think my husband is tempted to sign us up to bring meals to others because when I make Pizza Supreme Lasagna I always make two – one for someone else and one for us. Even though it has hidden vegetables in it, I also like to send along a salad just for something fresh tasting.
Oh, no! I forgot! Lifesavers
- Send a pizza or other delivery on the night you signed up for.
- Quiche. This is the consistently best, and easiest, quiche recipe I’ve found. Instead of using one full cup of milk, like the recipe calls for, I like to use ½ cup of milk and ½ cup of cream. I’ll usually just get a frozen pie crust already in a tin pan from the grocery store. This recipe is fantastic to freeze. I like to send this along with another meal so that the family has the option to pull this out whenever they need.
- Other things that can help make the meal include sending along some fruit, chocolates, brownies, or some other sweet. Also, sending along just enough paper plates, napkins, disposable silverware for that meal (or maybe one or two extras) is nice, too.
One Final Note
- Do your very best to use disposable containers or containers you don’t care if you ever see again when you send your meal. Not having to worry about getting food on the table for your family is bliss, but having to remember to return items to someone else is not.