Sunday, October 26, 2014

Crowdsourcing: Cooking Healthy but Inexpensively for a Crowd

A topic among debate coaches recently has been how to prepare food for a large group of people that is both inexpensive but healthy. This morning a Facebook discussion inspired me to collect some of my favorite recipes from around the Web along the lines of this topic.

Please add links to this discussion and add to the collection of healthy low-cost recipes for a crowd!

Slow-Cooker Recipes:

I am going to start by re-sharing my own version of a classic stew. This peanut, yam and kidney bean stew is inexpensive but filling. If you have peanut allergies, you could easily sub in sunflower seed butter.

Averie Cooks has a fabulous vegan gluten-free recipe for Bourbon Maple Slow Cooked Beans. This is a great protein option that both omnivores and herbivores can enjoy!

Pinch of Yum has a sweet potato lentil recipe that is also vegan and gluten-free. I would use a light coconut milk to reduce the calories. Lentils and sweet potatoes are inexpensive and full of nutritious goodness.

I love the idea of having a sandwich bar for people to customize their own sandwiches. Avoid just having boring cold cuts while giving your herbivore friends a warm protein option with Healthful Pursuit's Stampede BBQ Lentil Sandwich filling!

Stovetop Recipes:

I am in love with my own Ratatouille recipe. I have lightened up my own recipe by taking out the wine and subbing in 2 tbsp of white wine vinegar mixed with a half cup of water. I also use cooking spray now instead of the olive oil. I make a big batch of this on the stove top but it could easily be left in a slow cooker on warm at an event.

This Chana Masala recipe from Orangette is awesome because it can be made the night before and the flavors improve the next day! You can save money, especially if you are increasing the amount you are preparing, by starting with dry beans.

Prep in Advance - Serve Hot or Cold:

Roasted vegetables are an awesome dish you can prepare for a large group. You can utilize whatever is in season. Eating Well has three easy tips on how to roast up some vegetables. Once roasted you can serve warm or cold, as a platter of vegetables or mixed with a grain like quinoa to make a salad.

Quiche are an excellent dish to serve up as an event because while they are awesome warm, they are also good without reheating. And removing the crust drastically reduces calories. Cooking Light has three great crustless quiche recipes including Garden Vegetable, Smoked Turkey Spinach, as well as Broccoli & Cheese.

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I get asked by readers if I am being paid to push products. The simple answer is no. In fact, most of the products I write about are ones I have found and purchased during my trips to the grocery store or on the road. Occasionally, a company will send a sample my way and if I believe the product will serve a need for my readers and I would buy the product myself, then I will share it with you. Sometimes I will write to a company after reading about it, if I believe it will help us lead healthier lifestyles. But even then, if the product doesn't pass my scrutiny, it won't make the screen of Uncovering Food. You can trust that every product or recipe posted here has passed through my lips, and that I wouldn't blog about it if it wasn't worthy of you... my favorite readers.