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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / To Go/Brown Bag/Picnic/Camping/Potluck / Ideas for Feeding a Crowd
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    Ideas for Feeding a Crowd

    little_wing
    Thu Mar 24, 2011 10:11 am
    Food.com Groupie
    Hi, everyone! I'm going to post this query in a few of the forums because I need all the help I can get! I need meal plans for feeding 40 homeless teens at a local outreach center. They only have ONE standard toaster oven and ONE microwave and no space for more than that. They try to feed these kids a hot meal twice a week, with the hope that with enough volunteers they can expand to 7 days a week. I'd like to help out at least once every couple of months and have signed up for my first night next week. The trick has been thinking of meals that
    1. are nutritious
    2. kids will like
    3. is inexpensive to make since there will be so many to feed
    4. can be made ahead and transported there and won't need an oven to be heated up.

    I thought of making soup or chili in several crock pots, and if you have recipe that are well suited for making for a crowd and are cheap to make, I'd love to have them for future endeavors, but I also like the idea of making something more portable, so that the kids can take leftovers with them for a future meal.
    Trying to think of something cheap and portable, I came up with sloppy joes. But what to serve with them? Any help with the sloppy joe supper and any future meals would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
    Brenda.
    Thu Mar 24, 2011 4:47 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    You are truly an Angel grouphug.gif

    I found these cooking for a crowd recipes and they sound yummy icon_biggrin.gif

    Sloppy Joes for a Crowd or OAMC
    Chili (Colorado Style)
    Red Lentil Soup (crock Pot)


    I was thinking about "go withs". How about a big bowls of fresh fruit, cut up veggies with dip, and homemade rolls to go with the chili or lentil soup.

    Crockpot cheesy hash browns with ham comes to mind as a future meal. Shredded chicken made in the crock pot when chicken goes on sale can be economical. You could use it to make chicken noodle casserole or even season it up for soft shell tacos.

    I hope members share a zillion ideas with you, bless you little_wing icon_biggrin.gif

    Please post this in Holidays & Entertaining too.

    Bren
    little_wing
    Sat Mar 26, 2011 7:34 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Great ideas! So far, you are the only one that considered the go-withs problem, lol! I appreciate the time you took to help me figure this out. Thank you , thank you thank you!
    Susie D
    Sun Mar 27, 2011 3:24 pm
    Forum Host
    First, thank you for doing this! You will be making a difference & I applaud your efforts. icon_biggrin.gif

    I think I would make an effort to keep the food familiar for a group of teens and of course large amounts. Teenage boys can chow down. icon_lol.gif

    For the sloppy joe meal.........
    Sloppy joes & buns
    Relish tray with pickles and a few onions
    Sliced melon wedges
    Veggie Tray & Ranch Dressing (always popular)
    Betty's Crunchy Brownie Bars or even an asst of wrapped individual servings.

    Other ideas:
    Crock Pot - Pulled Pork by Brenda is outstanding. I've even used country pork ribs (cheap) and boned them out.
    Serve with potato salad, or slaw, corn on the cob.

    Turkey Chili by Connie C is easy, tastes good, and uses ground turkey!
    Ladle chili into small bags of fritoes for easy serving. Genuine Frito Pie by Sandy In Houston
    Serve with stuffed celery sticks.

    Pastitsio by evelyn/athens is much easier than the recipe appears at first glance and it makes very generous servings.
    Serve with a Greek Salad or tossed salad.

    I like the idea of dessert being in individually wrapped servings. It gives the teens a chance to take them home if they don't want to eat it there (or to share with a sibling). icon_wink.gif
    Barbara's Tea Cakes (Cookies)
    Rice Crispy Treats
    Brownies

    Another inexpensive make ahead that could be placed in baggies is flavored popcorns. You might find ideas in my Popcorn Cookbook. A savory popcorn could be used in place of chips with a meal & caramel corn as a dessert.
    NorthwestGal
    Thu Apr 07, 2011 9:20 am
    Forum Host
    I'm a little late in replying, because there have been such excellent replies already and nothing new hit me until today.

    For teens, I also like the idea of Macaroni and Cheese for a Crowd, too.

    When I was active in my kids' scouting activities, a taco bar was always a hit with the kids, too.

    Tater tots is another good idea, which you can do a lot with them. They're easy to prepare just out of the package (just heat them in the oven and serve), and they're pretty economical. For instance, for boy scout and girl scout camp, we chopped a bunch of onions and green bell peppers and added to the pan of tater tots before heating them in the oven, and it spruced it up a bit.
    lotusland
    Fri Aug 19, 2011 4:31 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    NorthwestGal wrote:
    I'm a little late in replying, because there have been such excellent replies already and nothing new hit me until today.

    For teens, I also like the idea of Macaroni and Cheese for a Crowd, too.

    When I was active in my kids' scouting activities, a taco bar was always a hit with the kids, too.

    Tater tots is another good idea, which you can do a lot with them. They're easy to prepare just out of the package (just heat them in the oven and serve), and they're pretty economical. For instance, for boy scout and girl scout camp, we chopped a bunch of onions and green bell peppers and added to the pan of tater tots before heating them in the oven, and it spruced it up a bit.


    But they only have a microwave and a toaster oven...Lotus.
    John DOH
    Sun Aug 21, 2011 12:54 am
    Food.com Groupie
    Hopefully Little Wing is still working at this and looking back for ideas.

    You might want to consider (with the lack of cooking devices) cooking food off site that could be enjoyed served "cool"...so I'd suggest ham and or chicken that only need be warmed...a few recipes...

    "Neighbour's Slovenian Potato Salad" doesn't have the hazard of mayo...

    "BBQ/Roasted Boned Whole Chicken" delivers the meat, and you have a whole bunch of stuff for stock...

    "Meatloaf (Comfort Food)" is good hot or cold, and is economical...

    "Canadian Chili Recipe" is wholesome, needs only gentle reheating, and isn't expensive.

    "Split Pea Soup With Ham and Vegetables" and "Black Bean Soup" are great and only need reheating

    "Ultimate Beans" gives proteins through veggies and only needs reheating.

    John
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