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help- meal idea for 35-40 people

Last post Mar 12, 2007 11:34 PM by swampcookie . 23 replies.

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  • help- meal idea for 35-40 people
    I will be fixing a meal for 35-40 people in a couple weeks. here is my dilema- I want a nice meal but I will have to travel 30 minutes with it and where I am going there is no kitchen. so I can not reheat anything. I will have $6.50 per plate but that includes all paper products and drinks. I will fix the plates at home and take them. I do not want to do the ordinary sub sandwiches- I want some thing good and different- but inexpensive and will not need reheating.Any ideas would be great!
  • RE: help- meal idea for 35-40 people
    This is the best ever pasta salad and I always have to give out this recipe. I like to use bow tie pasta. If you double the pasta, as I do, you will get more servings. A few pans of this with assorted breads would be, in my opinion, a good meal.

    Posted by: arelabs Posted on: 8/13/2005 1:13:57 PM
    This is the best! I've given out this recipe many times, and those that have requested it have, in turn, given out the recipe.

    I double the pasta to 1 lb, and triple the dressing. Arlene

    Posted by: twinkle30 Replies: 0
    Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes
    Serves 6 to 8

    1/2 pound fusilli (spirals) pasta
    Kosher salt
    Olive oil
    1 pound ripe tomatoes, medium-diced
    3/4 cup good black olives, such as kalamata, pitted and diced
    1 pound fresh mozzarella, medium-diced
    6 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped
    5 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
    2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
    6 tablespoons good olive oil
    1 garlic clove, diced
    1 teaspoon capers, drained
    2 teaspoons kosher salt
    3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
    1 cup packed basil leaves, julienned

    Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water with a splash of oil to keep it from sticking together. Boil for 12 minutes, or according to the directions on the package. Drain well and allow to cool. Place the pasta in a bowl and add the tomatoes, olives, mozzarella, and chopped sun-dried tomatoes.

    For the dressing, combine the sun-dried tomatoes, vinegar, olive oil, garlic, capers, salt, and pepper in a food processor until almost smooth. Pour the dressing over the pasta, sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and basil, and toss well.

    This salad sits well, so you can make it early in the day. Add the Parmesan and basil just before serving.

  • RE: help- meal idea for 35-40 people
    Here's another favorite salad, which is filling.

    Subject: Taco Salad
    Posted by: arelabs Replies: 4 Posted on: 4/20/2005 6:46:36 PM

    Taco Salad
    2 lbs ground chuck (I use ground round)
    1 package taco seasoning (reserve 1T)

    Prepare meat filling according to package directions. Cool.

    Shredded Lettuce

    2 C. shredded cheddar cheese

    2 large tomatoes diced

    1 medium sweet onion diced

    1 green pepper diced

    1 can sliced black olives drained

    1 bag tortilla chips crushed


    1/2 cup 1000 Island dressing
    1/2 cup Western dressing
    1/4 cup Taco Sauce
    1T reserved Taco Seasoning

    In a large serving bowl, combine salad ingredients. Add beef, tomatoes and chips right before serving.

    Mix together dressing ingredients. Add to salad.

    **I double the dressing. Also, you can substitute any type cheese you prefer.

    You can put the beef and tomatoes in plastic bags and just put them on top of the lettuce in the bowl, then add right before serving.
    I also like to serve this is tortilla bowls!

  • RE: help- meal idea for 35-40 people
    Do you have electric roasters & several crock pots. They would both stay warm for travel & can be plugged in when you get there. Large styrofoam coolers also keep warm or cold foods better. Chicken or ground beef are the most likely cost 'effecient' per seving.
  • RE: help- meal idea for 35-40 people
    I've made this meal for a church several times and if you keep it in a roaster or wrapped well in foil, it will keep well.

    sorry, I dont' cook with measurements.
    chicken tenders marinated in Italian dressing (oil and vinegar type) for several can even marinate frozen ones while they are still in the freezer and it works.

    I cook the chicken on a grill type pan that I have and then throw them in the oven to keep them warm.

    Glaze: can be made with lemon or orange juice. Take desired amount of juice and mix with cornstarch and sugar to taste. Bring to a boil and use as a final glaze before serving.

    Rice: use minute type rice and cook up the desired amount in chicken stock instead of water. When it is finished, add butter, almond slivers that have been sauteed in butter, wild rice and if you want some vegetables like peas or small pieces of carrot or broccoli, that would be good too. Serve chicken over rice. Serve with rolls and another vegetable like corn or green beans or both. I've done carrots in a glaze as well.

  • RE: help- meal idea for 35-40 people
    thanks for the ideas
    I do have a slow cooker and a roaster pan just not big enough for 30-40 servings- most my pots will hold is maybe 12 servings.
    bump for more ideas - I will be doing this once a month this year for local ministry.
  • RE: help- meal idea for 35-40 people
    Can you do big pots of spaghetti and meatballs or meatsauce one time? Can you borrow a couple of crockpots for this event monthly?

    As you get into the warmer months, what about doing chicken salad on croissants, if you have a wholesale club where you could buy the croissants, and then fruit salad with them? You would just need a cold cooler for that. Keep the chicken salad separate, and make the sandwiches up when you get there.

    I'll keep thinking too!


  • RE: help- meal idea for 35-40 people
    We have a Sam's club and I will go there. everything will have to be put in carry out plates so they grab a plate and then toss it out when done- with no kitchen- we will not be able to do much cleanup unless we use the bathroom- spagetti could get messy.I like the chickensalad/ crossant idea. thanks
  • RE: help- meal idea for 35-40 people
    What about chicken and noodles with mashed potatoes?

    Or a couple of different kinds of soup.

    Tacos maybe...
  • RE: help- meal idea for 35-40 people
    You could do wraps maybe one night, if you can find the wraps reasonably at Sams. The filling ideas are endless~whatever your heart desires :) To round that out you could do a nice ceasar salad, with either homemade or store bought dressing, whichever worked out to be less expensive.

    If you have enough $$ per plate, you can do brownies or snack cakes from the Taste of Home mags. over the years sometimes. They always look so yummy and if you do them x3 or 4, you'd have enough usually.

    Sliced ham with potato salad or coleslaw and maybe a three bean salad? Would that fit in the budget? Again, you could serve that cold.

    Could you do a fried chicken dinner? Would that make it into the budget? I don't know about that pricewise, but again, maybe with less expensive sides, like homemade coleslaw and a small fruit cup or something?


  • RE: help- meal idea for 35-40 people
    Can you take a microwave with you sometimes, and do an assembly line of reheating the plates and handing them out? If so, you could do meatloaf, corn and carrots or green beans.

  • RE: help- meal idea for 35-40 people
    Mags,I use to cater for a living when my kids were small and I have been exactly in you situation.So here are some suggestions.I am at work so I don't have my files with me or my rec. but if you want them you can e-mail me.
    Wild rice& shoepeg corn salad
    ham/pork loin{serve room temp}
    amaretto fruit salad{very easy and inexpensive,gets raves every time}
    Italian green beans{crock pot}
    chcolate brownie cake

    chicken tetrazinni
    marinated veggies
    glazed carrots

    7-layer salad/oriental slaw
    baked beans
    lemon bars

    Use the LRG DISPOSABLE pans wrao in plastic wrap then in foil and put in styrofoam cooler. Will stay warm for at least an hour.Worked for me many times.


  • RE: help- meal idea for 35-40 people
    This board never ceases to amaze me at the helpfulness of people here.
  • RE: help- meal idea for 35-40 people
    I vote ham,it goes pretty far, esp the nice bonless ones, you can put it in a cooler and it should stay hot..even if it cools down its fine to eat..
    you could do a potato salad or pasta salad on the side or maybe even a jello salad or just peaches or fruit cocktail ( look for the instituional size cans)..and maybe some little rolls ( in case folks want a little sandwich vs sliced ham...bring some mustard/mayo!)
    If you will be doing this often can you get a nice roaster that you can plug in there? It sure will make life easier for you!
    ANother idea is to make BBq cups...get the biscuits in a tube ( refrig section) and get some muffin a biscuit in each cup, pressing down slightly to make a "crust" and then brown ground beef, drain, add your favorite BBq sauce, put a little in each biscuit, then bake until biscuits are browned. My teenagers like these at room temp..serve with a salad & chips.
  • RE: help- meal idea for 35-40 people
    If you have to do this several times, you should see if you can borrow or buy some crock pots, they hold the heat for several hours. that way you could serve sloppy joes or other hot sandwhiches, although you would have to dish up at the church.
    Kebabs might also be fun, either a meat and cheese or fruit and should stay cool enough in a cooler.
    If you use the crock pot liner, you won't have a mess to cleanup.
    I serve meatball sandwhiches often at work functions and they go over great.
    good luck, let us know how the first time goes.