One of my good friends is having surgery soon. While several of us were wondering what we could do for her while she recovers, someone came up with the thoughtful idea to stock her freezer. That immediately brought to mind my homemade lasagna, which could be crowned queen of the “freezes beautifully” pageant.

Food is almost always an appreciated gift. Not only does it sustain a friend or family member who is sick or in need of sympathy, it relieves them of worrying about what to eat or what to feed others. It can provide comfort — sort of like a hug from you even when you’re not there.

This lasagna is made with my homemade roasted tomato sauce, which, although we’ve published the recipe before, we’re including today in case you missed it. It gives the lasagna a fresh flavor and freezes well, so you’ll always have some when you need to whip up a meal.

You will likely have all the ingredients for this simple Caesar dressing already on hand, saving a trip to the store.This tangy dressing, tossed with some fresh Farmers Market greens, is a perfect complement to the lasagna.

And, remember, when it comes to gifting food, you don’t have to cook a meal. Bring groceries or something that’s a quick fix. Those ideas are just as thoughtful and helpful.

Teresa B. Day is a local food writer and author of the “I Eat BR” blog. You can reach her at