Feeding a small crowd on a special diet

My parents made their annual summertime trek to California, this year bringing my two nieces, ages 15 and 12.5.  For those keeping track, that’s 9 mouths to feed total.  They’re staying in their RV and eating breakfast there, but lunches and dinners are community meals.

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What to do?

Oh, and everyone is on some sort of special diet or has food allergies.  Woot! Woot!  Bring it on.  The girls are on a special detox diet from a functional nutritionist: no grains, no vinegar, no canola oil. Raw cheese is OK. Hmmmmm, what’s for dinner?

Some of our eats:

Breakfast for dinner

I made hash with onion, 2 packages of Applegate Farms Chicken Maple sausage, 2 cups of frozen organic chopped spinach, and red potatoes.  Eggs to order on top.

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Indian-inspired leftovers:

We had a few random pieces of chicken breast leftover from two different meals–one poached in lemon juice and water with Herbes du Provance and the other sautéed with tomatilla salsa.  I poached one more chicken breast, cubed all the chicken, then in my second largest skillet I threw in the chicken, a jar of Trader Joe’s Masala simmer sauce, left over chana masala from our favorite Indian restaurant, a can organic pinto beans.  In my largest skillet I made kale and baby spinach (6 bags of greens!) with caramelized onions.  Served with leftover basmati rice. (Tip: Order extra rice when you eat out, take it home and FREEZE IT!!)

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Homemade pizza:

For the grain-free girls, we made a large cauliflower crust with this recipe.  I had three frozen pizza crusts from Mariposa bakery. Topping options were turkey pepperoni, mushrooms, and sliced black olives.  I started a salad, but never finished it. We had two little helpers who needed 100% focused supervision. Salad not a priority when boys with poor impulse control suit up with oven mitts to their elbows and run over to pull hot pizzas out of a 400 degree oven. So yeah, no salad.

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Paleo turkey burgers and salad:

I put these together last year from Once A Month Meals and had stashed them in the deepest, coldest part of my standing freezer.  Plus the salad we didn’t get to the day before, with pistachios and homemade lemon vinaigrette.

Other meals I’ve got planned include:

  • Nom Nom Paleo’s keema with yuca dough wrapper, green beans with Indian-style tomato sauce (Recipe to come!)
  • Rotisserie chicken, sweet potato fries, and braised cabbage
  • Chicken soup (made with leftover chicken and broth made from chicken carcasses)
  • Taco salads: making my Crockpot Tomatillo Chuck Roast, pinto beans, raw cheddar cheese, sliced olives, organic mild salsa, and sliced avocado on organic baby lettuce.
  • Burgers, roasted cauliflower, and potatoes.
  • Roast turkey breast (in crockpot), turkey gravy, cauliflower mash, roasted broccoli

…plus Chipotle!!

I’ve also got a stash of frozen hamburger patties, clean turkey dogs, and Italian meatballs in the the freezer for the chilluns for whom the main meal offering just doesn’t work. There’s always fresh fruit and a vegetable of some sort: salad with organic baby greens, sautéed spinach and baby kale, roasted broccoli, cooked green beans, or cauliflower one of a dozen ways.

So far, so good.  No one is starving.

How do you feed a crowd on a special diet?

About Jill R.

Mom, mostly tired, to 3 boys, mostly wired. Pretty much obsessed with healing foods for healthy brains. And "Scandal."
This entry was posted in Getting started, Managing allergies, Meal plans and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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