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Music teacher undergoing major surgery, want to help out their family by gifting some homemade meals, but confused by Kosher.

You can probably tell, I’m not Jewish, but my music teacher is. We get along great, but I’m a fairly new student so while I know they’re Jewish (it’s not something they hide nor is it of any consequence to me) we haven’t had any significant conversations regarding faith or religion outside of musical context or holidays for lesson planning. They have a major operation coming up, and I’d like to help out the family, but I’m still a bit confused on the whole Kosher guidelines, in that it’s a lot to take in all at once for an outsider.

The main guidelines (grass-eaters with split-hoofs/cloven hoofs, no meat and dairy together, sea-food is fine with fins and scales (but no shellfish), and no eating birds of prey, these are fairly easy to understand. There seems to be a lot more subtlety and additional rules that just seem to confuse me a bit, so I’m hoping for some help in thinking up a meal idea that I can provide. I know there are a couple of somewhat local Jewish/Kosher food stores around. There is also a Halal one, and it seems there is signfiicant overlap, but possibly not entirely, so I should probably stick to ingredients found in the kosher stores? Or would I be fine to shop at a local grocer, not specifically designated, as long as I avoid the above mentioned restrictions? Is there anything I should avoid that I might not particularly expect?

Regarding the meal itself, I’d also appreciate recommendations if you have any. Ideally I am looking to make something that can store well in the fridge or freezer and still tastes good when re-heated. I don’t mind putting in time and effort into making the meal, but I want the prep on their end to be as little effort as possible because of the surgery they’re going to be recovering from. It won’t do to have multiple timers and various different temperatures to reheat things at. Any recommendations from community members, especially if you have a recipe that I can follow, would be appreciated. My thoughts for potential meals are as follows:

1) Chicken Soup (possibly with Matzo if I can find/make it)

2) Beef Barley Soup

3) Meatballs and tomato sauce (less ideal because they’d still need to prep pasta)

4) Shakshuka? (Actually going to try this for myself, looks amazing, but unsure of how well it reheats)

Any and all other recommendations are welcome! If anyone follows up with this, your words are greatly appreciated. Due to the late hour of writing this, I probably wont’ be following up until tomorrow, but I will absolutely follow-up with any and everyone who shares their ideas!

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