At PlanBuyCook our favourite gift for any someone in hospital or home recovering has always been food. New baby? Hamper. Hospital stay? Hamper. Christmas? A hamper of food you will actually eat. Here we give you some great ideas for food packs for friends in need.
Casseroles or bolognese are popular items for people to cook for others. Someone else will meet that need so maybe think of a few ideas such as vegetarian options or easy to cook meals. The key is to provide things that won’t require a lot of preparation at the serving end.
The bean quesadilla mix is a great option as it can be served with tortillas, or as nachos with some corn chips and a bit of cheese.
Chilli con carne is also easy if you are on top of how to cook rice. Any marinated meat is great as a quick BBQ is all that is required and a few steamed veggies. A meal like beef stroganoff works a treat as it only needs some mashed potato and you are away.
Freezing the meals in snap lock bags which you can label can be a great help, as you can also write cooking directions on the label at the same time. Make sure you write on them before filling them as it can be very tricky doing it after you have filled the bags. It also means that your friend won’t require a lot of freezer space. A label to go with the entire pack is also helpful, again it is best to include cooking instructions.
It is also great to think about lunchbox fillers for families with school or kinder kids. With three kids, I find it hard enough to pack lunch boxes every day. If the person going to hospital is not the main cook in the house, it is difficult to fill that void for an entire week or two.
Freezable treats such as apple and cinnamon muffins, pre-cut banana cake and even cookie dough for ANZACs or choc chip cookies to be cooked when they have time are fantastic. Then the kids will only need a piece of fruit and a sandwich to have lunch sorted for a few weeks.
It is very stressful to be away from your family, so knowing there are some great meals and plenty of quality snacks available is a great way to ease stress levels in houses that are down a key person.
You can find recipes for all the dinners listed above on the PlanBuyCook app, available for iPhone and iPad. It will automatically scale the recipes for you to match the size of household you are cooking for.