Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Healthy Cooking for a Crowd

Posted by on Jul. 24, 2013 at 12:00 AM
  • 30 Replies

Every couple of years, my family goes on vacation together. That means 6 adults and five kids to feed, and we're all pretty hungry after spending the day at the beach. Luckily we all like to cook and enjoy sharing our specialties, but that is a LOT of people to feed, all with different dietary preferences and health needs.

It is possible to cook for a big group without losing your mind or relying on less-than-healthy shortcuts...or worse, losing valuable beach time at the stove or the grill.

Think big: pork tenderloin, flank steak, or whole chickens (beer can chicken is fun to make and tastes awesome, or you can spatchcock it for quicker, easier cooking). They stretch time and money, because you can slice them and get several servings out of one cut, unlike individual steaks or chops. And they don't require a lot of fuss on the grill: toss them on, check their temperature occasionally, and you can relax with a beverage.

Add healthy sides to less than optimal meals. We're doing a taco bar, for example, and will have lowfat corn toritllas and fat free black beans to sub in for meat and a ton of vegetables to fill out the tacos, but for picky kids we'll have cheese and sour cream and crunchy shells. 

Have fruit, cut-up veggies, and low-fat dips available all the time. I've found the best way to get picky eaters to enjoy vegetables is to have a veggie plate on the table; if you make it like a fun party snack they are much more likely to try it, and it's nice for people to nosh on while they're chatting with you as you make dinner. It won't get anyone so full they can't enjoy your creation, and it's easy and enjoyable to knock out a serving or two of your "five a day" this way.

And most of all, relax and enjoy. Vacation is not a excuse for a gorge-fest, but it's also okay to bend your rules and eat that juicy burger your brother grilled.

How do you feed a crowd on vacation?


Image ŠIStockPhoto/iodrakon

by on Jul. 24, 2013 at 12:00 AM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
batjmom
by Sarah on Jul. 24, 2013 at 6:49 AM
Pulled chicken sandwiches from the crockpot. I put out a few different types of bread and a lot of fresh veggies.
Everyone can create there own

Beer can chicken is always a favorite here

michiganmom116
by Ruby Member on Jul. 24, 2013 at 7:14 AM

When we have a family get together there's over 30 people.

Breakfasts are pancakes, sausage, scrambled eggs, fruit, toast and jam.  Choice of juice, coffee, milk to drink.

Lunches are make-your-own-sandwich buffets, usually with pasta salad and fruit as sides.

Dinners consist of BBQ chicken plus sides, roasted ham plus sides, beef or venison roasts plus sides, or the traditional oyster stew with homemade bread and salad.

Bmat
by Bronze Member on Jul. 24, 2013 at 8:19 AM

We always have homemade lasagna that has been frozen ahead. Veggies and fruits from the roadside stands are fun. Getting take out pizza or seafood works. Sloppy joes is easy. If there is a grill available, then hot dogs and hamburgs.

Bmat
by Bronze Member on Jul. 24, 2013 at 8:20 AM

Thank you for the list! Nice!

Quoting michiganmom116:

When we have a family get together there's over 30 people.

Breakfasts are pancakes, sausage, scrambled eggs, fruit, toast and jam.  Choice of juice, coffee, milk to drink.

Lunches are make-your-own-sandwich buffets, usually with pasta salad and fruit as sides.

Dinners consist of BBQ chicken plus sides, roasted ham plus sides, beef or venison roasts plus sides, or the traditional oyster stew with homemade bread and salad.


4kidz916
by Bronze Member on Jul. 24, 2013 at 8:23 AM

I like to take my crock pot and make meals in it.  Spaghetti is a favorite. 

sukainah
by on Jul. 24, 2013 at 8:59 AM

Well, we haven't been on vacation so there has been no need to feed a crowd LOL

TerriC
by Bronze Member on Jul. 24, 2013 at 9:07 AM

Our family (DH and 2 DD's) and DH's brother family (2 adults, 2 kids) rent a beach house in the summer.  My sister in law and I are very good in the kitchen together.  We cooked every night and only went out to lunch once.  We did a lot of fish, salads and light sandwiches.  It was so nice and it felt good to eat healthier while on vacation.  The guys also grilled a couple of the nights.  Steaks or hamburgers.  Beats eating at a restaurant every night.

TerriC
by Bronze Member on Jul. 24, 2013 at 9:08 AM

 Yum to both!  My BIL makes a great beer can chicken!  I still want to try your oven one!


Quoting batjmom:

Pulled chicken sandwiches from the crockpot. I put out a few different types of bread and a lot of fresh veggies.
Everyone can create there own

Beer can chicken is always a favorite here


 

batjmom
by Sarah on Jul. 24, 2013 at 9:18 AM
Oh it's yummy and be sure to make the big bomber baked potatoes. Soaking them in salt water beforing baking really makes a difference. So soft!! Only once did I actually have one explode

Quoting TerriC:

 Yum to both!  My BIL makes a great beer can chicken!  I still want to try your oven one!




Quoting batjmom:

Pulled chicken sandwiches from the crockpot. I put out a few different types of bread and a lot of fresh veggies.
Everyone can create there own

Beer can chicken is always a favorite here




 

TerriC
by Bronze Member on Jul. 24, 2013 at 9:21 AM

 Guy's recipe?  I have made them, SOOOOO good!


Quoting batjmom:

Oh it's yummy and be sure to make the big bomber baked potatoes. Soaking them in salt water beforing baking really makes a difference. So soft!! Only once did I actually have one explode

Quoting TerriC:

 Yum to both!  My BIL makes a great beer can chicken!  I still want to try your oven one!


 


Quoting batjmom:

Pulled chicken sandwiches from the crockpot. I put out a few different types of bread and a lot of fresh veggies.
Everyone can create there own

Beer can chicken is always a favorite here


 


 


 

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)