Swh--meal Ideas for Visitors

Updated on May 23, 2016
L.. asks from Kirkland, WA
23 answers

Hi Mamas!

My cousin and her husband and 2 young kids are coming to visit for 3 days over Memorial Day weekend. We plan to have one lunch and one dinner out, but besides those, we'll be cooking. I love to cook. But, they have some restrictions so I want to make sure I'm able to accommodate the best I can. It doesn't have to be perfect, but I'm in need of some inspiration. I'd love some ideas for meals! Here's the requirements:

She is pregnant (2nd trimester, avoiding lunch meats, soft cheeses, etc)
Only organic foods
Very little meat, no pork except bacon
Few carbs

Thanks all!

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So What Happened?

Thank you for all of the great ideas!! I chuckled at some answers since I had very similar thoughts at first (just bacon, for real??). For those that were curious, I half-asked, lol. I did ask if the family had any allergies, and told her we'd stock some of the kids snacks and drinks. BUT I wasn't expecting a list like that, haha. We don't eat all organic ($$$) and wont be changing too much from our normal repertoire.

I like the idea of maybe a quick trip out to the store when she gets here so she could pick up some things she wants.

We did decide on another meal out. We are also going to grill fish, kabobs, have lots of vegetables available, salads, and fruit salad. I'm going to also check out some recipes for meals that you've suggested with black beans or lentils. Maybe all of this will make my family healthier in the long run too, haha. Thanks again everyone!

Featured Answers


answers from Dallas on

Gees, you are hosting them for a weekend and you get this list of restrictions!

Maybe you should take her to the grocery with you and let her cook!

I don't buy into the Organic deal, I think that's just a scare tactic ploy for companies to make more money.

13 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Ok gotta laugh at the no pork except bacon part. Really bacon is one of the most unhealthy things made of pork.

I'd probably stick with chicken breast or fish with some grilled veggies and a tossed salad. For breakfast oatmeal with fruit and nuts or omlets with plenty of veggies. You should ask her what she makes at home so you'll be able to have things on hand for the kids that they'll like.

8 moms found this helpful

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answers from Atlanta on

Golly you don't burden your hostess with these specific food limitations. If I were visiting family and they are good enough to put us up, I wouldn't ask them to accommodate my stringent diet restrictions. This woman should be helping to prepare her food and not expect all of these "food orders" for you to fulfill. And she could certainly go off her organic craze for a couple of meals anyway. She sounds like she's high maintenance.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

I couldn't deal with her restrictions.
I'd have hot dogs and corn on the cob on the grill, pizza, veggie lasagna, watermelon, and an ever present raw veggie platter with some sort of dip available over the whole weekend.
As far as organic goes - I couldn't afford that.
If they were my family their choice is to eat what I have or go forage at the nearest restaurants and/or grocery markets.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Abilene on

I think you're generous to offer your home. If she has those requirements she should shop for it when she gets there. In my opinion, she has extremely poor manners.

I visit my sister in McKinney. She's vegan and organic. We are not. When we go to her house, I will shop at the local grocery to have a few things on hand my kids will eat. I certainly don't expect my sister to comply to our habits.

You could do red beans and rice with green or fruit salad. I love to bake a turkey breast and use for hot sandwich meat. Lentil soup is good with a hard bread. For breakfast I would do omelettes and have spinach, tomatoes etc for the fillers.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

With those kinds of restrictions, I would simply ask her to suggest some meals.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Like others below, I find it amusing that she's avoiding meats but including bacon, unless she specified uncured, no nitrates/nitrites. I also find it surprising that she'll go out to dinner/lunch with you but is demanding organics food at your house (unlike the bacon or the dinners out).

I think it's one thing for someone to say "I don't eat red meat" or "I'm a vegetarian", which is easy for a hostess to accommodate, and quite another to basically give you a grocery list. So I would NOT take her shopping when she arrives because a) presumably she's coming to visit, not shop, b) that puts her in charge of the food and the size of your grocery bill, and c) it's presumptuous on her part.

I'd make a mix of things and let her pick from what's available. I would just buy the veggies, peel off the stickers, and wash them ahead of time. I wouldn't lie about them being organic, but I wouldn't advertise that they aren't either. If you want to buy some organics, focus on those that grow underground (carrots, potatoes).

If you are expecting good weather, you can grill a mix of chicken, veggie or turkey burgers, and wonderful vegetables just tossed with a little olive oil and salt/pepper. I make kabobs or veggies-in-a-basket (sweet potatoes, fingerling potatoes, different colored peppers, quartered onions, and squash (yellow/green) either chunked and put on skewers or sliced the long way and laid right on the grill. You can oven-roast the same veggies if you want to cook inside. You can also do a Chinese stir-fry using chicken or firm tofu as your protein, brown rice with a little soy sauce and veggie broth instead of some of the water, and whatever veggies you like. We also do our own chicken nuggets with just plain chicken breasts cut in chunks, beaten egg, and a coating of bread crumbs (regular or panko) mixed with wheat germ, quick fried in olive oil and then finished in the oven. If you need recipes, message me.

Salad bars and taco bars also involve the same amount of prep, but let people pick their own ingredients from a wide assortment, and all you have is a bunch of little bowls that need washing. Put out oil & vinegar in addition to whatever salad dressings you like. There's also a wonderful Israeli salad you can make with tons of veggies - a nice alternative to typical pasta salad, and with an olive oil/rice wine vinegar dressing (nice change from mayo, and it keeps if you are outside on a warm day).

Make some decaf iced tea, unsweetened, and maybe have some real lemonade for the kids.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

I would be in trouble with those restrictions and would ask her what she wants to do. I probably would grill chicken and steak a few times..have fruit salad, corn on the cob and vegetable kabobs.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I, too, get a chuckle out of the bacon part (maybe I missed something -- lol!)

Barbecue/grill some chicken and veggie Kabobs and lot of salad....and frankly, I can't afford organic other than a random tomato or apple (which my son is allergic to but that's another story)...Take her food shopping!!

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

The criteria totally blew out all my options. Good luck

Update, I would just ask her what her favorite meals are to make and cook together.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

Here are some ideas.

1. Baked potatoes, with a variety of toppings that people can add on: fresh steamed broccoli, bacon (get the kind that's uncured, with no nitrates or nitrites), shredded Cheddar cheese (that you have shredded, not pre-shredded), cherry tomatoes, organic Greek yogurt (instead of sour cream), green onions, and/or caramelized onions.

2. Sprouted wheat bread, topped with sliced avocado and a fried or poacheed egg.

3. Baked potato soup (look online for the Hard Rock Cafe's recipe - it's excellent)

4. Spaghetti squash. If you've never used it, you simply cut it in half the long way, scoop out the seeds, and place it cut-side down on a baking sheet that's been covered with parchment paper or non-stick foil (to make clean-up easier). Bake it until it's very tender. Then use a fork to scrape out all the cooked squash - it comes out in strands like spaghetti. No carbs. For a meal idea, top the cooked spaghetti sauce with lightly sauteed spring vegetables: baby carrots (or sliced carrots), snow peas or sugar snap peas, cherry tomatoes, diced zucchini, really anything that looks spring time fresh and pretty and bright.

5. A hearty salad with lots of greens and fresh vegetables (raw, like carrots, zucchini, tomatoes - anything seasonal and organic that's available), topped with sliced grilled chicken.

6. Black bean cakes (made with canned organic black beans - there are lots of recipes online), served with a roasted corn salsa (roasted corn on the cob, then remove the nice lightly charred kernels, and combine with diced tomatoes, diced sweet onion, a little cilantro, tossed with a little olive oil and red wine vinegar), served with tortilla chips for those who want them.

7. Crab cakes, served with a side salad

Have fun cooking!

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

wow..only organic?? that's expensive....

I'd ask her what she fixes at home and work around that. It's a shame that there's such a restriction on what they will eat.

Good luck!

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Did you ask her or did she request the meals be prepared this way?

For me - I say "This is what I've done - I've picked up a few organic fruit and we'll offer an alternate sauce/filler to our regular dishes (etc.) - if you guys will need more than that, could you bring what you'd need extra?" That way you're saying what you're prepared to do - and that leaves her to cover the rest. I think that's very generous.

That way stick to your tried and true 'go-to' basics and enjoy yourselves. I'd even throw in an extra meal out somewhere to avoid having to deal with this.

We have a local pizza place that offers organic and gluten free pizzas - specialty place. Maybe see if there's one you can order from for an easy meal too.

Barbecue and salad - or a veggie lasagna - are other options. I'd pick up some bean like salads from Costco and sides. Crusty bread if kids are fussy.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Grilled chicken, fish. Bean/rice based dishes. Tacos or taco salad (sub ground chicken or turkey for beef, with taco seasoning it doesn't matter.) Big green salad with fruit and nuts, basic vinegarette. Fritatta or crustless quiche with roasted veges and hard cheese (like parm or cheddar.) Lentil, Minestrone or tomato basil soup. Stir fry dishes heavy on the veges and light on the meat.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Santa Fe on

Make your own taco/burrito lunch/dinner (with a non-meat bean option)
Make your own mini pizza lunch/dinner
Burgers and veggie burgers on the grill, serve with corn and salad
Grill up some salmon/chicken but also make a large quinoa salad and a bean salad (garbanzo?) for the vegetarians. Serve with corn casserole and a green salad.
cereal, eggs, yogurt and fruit for breakfast.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Savannah on

I highly doubt that she expects all meals for everyone cater to her preferences. As someone who is vegetarian in a largely meat eating family, here are my suggestions. Give her an option for each meal (2 types of pasta sauce for spaghetti night), and take her shopping. Odds are if you are meeting her halfway, then it will be fine. No I don't think that she's high maintenance at all.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

Breakfast is western omelettes.
Dinner is grilled chicken over a bed of salad greens, and you can thrown in some sliced strawberries and mandarin orange slices, or seedless red grapes.

Lunch? Hmm. The older I get, the more we only eat 2 full meals per day. We eat breakfast a little later and dinner a little earlier, and then sort of snack through lunch... fruits, veggies and dip, boiled eggs, Pita and hummus, etc.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

eggplant parmesan on a bed of spaghetti squash smothered in tomato sauce. (pm me for the recipe if you want it)
blackened mahi mahi (fish) with rice and green beans (we eat it sandwich style but you can use flatbread or just eat it plain

4 moms found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

I am assuming you asked her and she answered you honestly in the way they eat.

It basically sounds like she a vegetarian (mostly all fruit and veg) with a little bit of meat thrown in there. The few carbs and little meat kinda throws me nutritionally.

Anyways..a spaghetti squash casserole is good and filling..it is like a regular spaghetti casserole but you use a spaghetti squash instead of traditional pasta. (if you steam the squash in the microwave it saves tons of time from roasting it). You can make it with a veggie tomato sauce or throw in a small amount of ground beef.

All sorts of salads would be good..Cobb salad, caperese salads, garden salads...

Do they do fish? Salmon on the grill, with corn on the cob and a salad. Or another grilled veg.

If they eat like this they probably don''t use bottled salad dressing..so if you have oil and vinegar on hand that would be good for them for dressing the salads.

As far as buying all organic..on the fruit and veg, look up the "dirty dozen" the 12 most important to organic people for eating clean and make sure to buy those..everything else eh, if you can find it or want to pay for it well..that's up to you.

If you buy snacks for the kids they make organic boxed cheese crackers, and other food apple sauce pouches, etc...

It is really nice of you to go all out for them, big hugs.

We eat as "clean" as we can but personally when we go on vacation we just eat whatever our host family normally eats. If it isn't organic we figure we will live..and if it processed and has added sugars the kids might enjoy it but we won't buy it again at home. Three days isn't all that long to live without special food needs..other than the pregnant foods to avoid. Good luck!!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

Tell them where the grocery store is and let them bring their own snacks and stuff. Then cook as normal but allow her to help in the kitchen and make some foods they can eat.

I tell people like this where the nearest hotel is. I understand if you have legitimate health issues but choosing to eat differently and expecting others, in their own home, to accommodate you is just silly.

One of my friends has an older son, he is married with a son. They came to visit and his wife absolutely had a hissy fit at every single meal. There was milk in the mashed potatoes. There was real butter on the table for the rolls. The salad had tomatoes in it and she didn't like tomatoes. He would end up taking his wife out to eat after every family meal at his mom's house.

I think their expectations are ridiculous. I wouldn't have any problems with them bringing some of their own recipes and bring some foods to add to our meals. That way they can introduce some of the things they eat to your meal.

But to spend your own money on vegetarian foods and organic foods is a cost that I wouldn't be comfortable with doing for anyone.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Santa Barbara on

I don't have a lot of advice but when I had family in a few months back the first meal we has togather was fresh salmon with a yugert and cucumber sauce on the side and fresh green salad. If this kids won't eat salmon the toss some fish sticks in the oven too. My kids will eat fresh fish and they loved it.

Other thoughts that come to mind is maybe a lemon chicken, whole wheat English muffin pizzas, BLTs are yummy and days to fix, burger (turkey, veggie or beef) and hot dogs on the BBQ in the weather is nice enough, roster turkey breasts and a fresh fruit salad. If you want to do a disurt fruit smoothie and or milk shakes. I also find root beer floats are a hit with abults and kids alike.

If you want recipe please feel free to message me and I am more than willing to pass those along to you.

Hope I could help in some way. Make sure you enjoy your company and their trip out will be sure to be a hit!!
Best wishes!!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

When you say carbs, is she avoiding fruits and vegetables? They are carbs.

Anyway, I usually make a stew out of one steak. I cut it up and cook it slow and load it with onion, celery, tomato, potato, carrots, garlic, cauliflower, and kidney beans. There are more veggies than meat.

What do her children eat? You can also do a BBQ with baked beans, pasta salad, hot dogs, and hamburgers, add grapes and watermelon to pick at. Everyone can pick and choose how many meats they would like.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Baton Rouge on

I can't afford to feed my own family organic food, so organic for four extra people would be out of the question. Except for allergies and my daughter's partner (who is vegetarian) I don't change my cooking a lot for others. They can eat what my family eats or eat out.

I would go with assorted stir-fried veggies over rice, pasta, or quinoa. You can also stir-fry whatever meat your family likes in a separate skillet and add it to your plates. It's what I do when cooking for my daughter's partner. I don't avoid meat, but I keep it out of his food.

Beans and rice are a tasty meal. I like mine made with smoked sausage, but meat isn't necessary.

Veggie omelets or quiches

Load the crock pot with assorted veggies and make soup.

1 mom found this helpful
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