100 lb. Club - I'm hosting a Memorial Day gathering... food ideas?

05-23-2010, 07:01 PM
So, I am hosting at least one other family of 6 (we are a family of 6 in my house also), possibly a family of 7 and a family of 3. So there will be somewhere between 12 and 22 people here. I want to make healthy options in place of the horrible mac and pot salad that is traditional at these things. Any ideas? (low budget is super helpful too ;) )

05-23-2010, 07:08 PM
Figured I should let you know what I already am planning.

Turkey burgers with whole wheat buns
Turkey dogs with whole wheat buns
A veggie tray
A fruit salad

how horrible would it be if I made mac salad with whole wheat pasta and light mayo? What about broccoli salad with light mayo and some cabbots 75% fat free cheese?

05-23-2010, 07:19 PM
Light, Chilled Salads!!! :carrot::carrot::carrot:

How about a 3 bean salad with a light oil and vinegar dressing? Super easy, just open 3 cans of different beans, rinse (or in your case of a HUGE party, 3 cans of 3 different kinds of beans!!) Oil and vinegar to top, thin sliced onion and a bit of garlic minced. Some people add a bit of finely chopped green pepper.


A tomatoe, red onion, mozzarella salad....slice the 3 into uniformly thinnish slices, drizzle with a light italian dressing.


Chilled brown rice veggie salad. Cook enough rice to have 3-4 cups cooked, chill. Par-boil or blanch carrots and brocolli...(litely cook, just to brighten the color and soften a tiny bit) chop them finely. Chop the tops of a bunch of green onions, cut in half and squeeze out the seeds and juice of 2-3 roma tomatoes, dice, add a tsp of chopped/minced garlic (about 1-2 cloves). Toss is all together and dress with a light oil and vinegar dressing. Let it sit over night and then top with a bit more of the dressing as the rice absorbs alot.

Both are best if made the day before to let the flavors really intensify.

You could also grill some veggies. I've not done that myself but have had them at bbq's and they are great.

05-23-2010, 07:51 PM
Corn on the cob is super inexpensive.

05-23-2010, 08:10 PM
No reason to give up your favorites. Just use these recipes to make them lighter. =)

baby-red-potato-salad (http://www.skinnytaste.com/2009/06/baby-red-potato-salad.html)

macaroni-salad-with-tomatoes (http://www.skinnytaste.com/2009/05/macaroni-salad-with-tomatoes.html)

strawberries-and-cream (http://www.skinnytaste.com/2009/04/strawberries-and-cream-1-pt.html)

05-23-2010, 08:27 PM
What I do is make a salad, have the fixin's for the salad in small bowls and the lettuce in a big bowl. For the fixin's I usually do diced tomato, diced or rings of red onion, sliced carrots, sliced celery, diced cucumber, and roasted almond slivers or walnuts or pecans seasoned with garlic and onion powder (buy plain nuts yourself and bake them at 400 for 10 mins with the spices). Sliced or diced mushrooms would work too, but I'm not a fan of raw mushrooms so I never do them.

Then depending on time I'll either make my own balsamic vinegrette or get a couple bottles of salad dressing.
I always do other veggies separate from the lettuce because some people don't like onion/tomato etc.

05-23-2010, 08:29 PM
-- You could make a mixed cabbage salad with shredded carrots, onions (optional); but I cheat and buy the bagged stuff and just add onion and dressing that AM. We can get 2 bags for only 3 dollars and it's premade for ya; luv it!

-- OR, a simple salad of sliced cucumber & tomatoes with a little vinegar & oil & black pepper dressing -- ez and quick. TIP: use firm tomatoes or slighty under-ripe field or Roma tomatoes; won't go mushy.

/OR sliced cukes with coarsely shredded carrots on top; also quick and ez and pretty. Dice a few radishes and use for garnish on this salad too.

-- To your broccoli salad, you could add some diced carrot or radishes (with a little lemon & black pepper to the mayo) to fancy it up.

-- Use Ranch dressing or Ranch chip dip for the veggie tray; tres EZ & cheap. All your veggies can be prepared ahead and put into sealed containers in the fridge.

-- The mac salad is OK ~ just add some diced radishes and/or carrots, green onions to make it look really pretty. You could also add a tiny bit of Ketchup or Salsa to the dressing which will turn it a peach color and give it a bit of zip; they won't be able to tell the difference. You could use Rotini (corkscrew) or Penne pasta for a nice change too (and costs the same as the macaroni).

-- As for meat, you can buy Turkey Sausages (bangers; the big ones) or other kinds in bulk at grocers or M & M's (don't know if you have that kind of place there). They go over very well and are a decent price for a bulk package or box.

-- make a nice punch with ice for everyone to drink. Can be made ahead too. Here's the thriftiest Punch I know of ~ frozen lemonade (white kind ) + Orange Koolaide (make ahead) + chilled Gingerale just before serving. TIP: to fancy this up, you could add one can frozen pineapple-banana cocktail to this for a more exotic taste; but it is optional.

-- your fruit salad idea sounds good; can be made ahead also. What about having some Vanilla or Lemon Yogurt to spoon on top too; again very EZ!

05-23-2010, 08:55 PM
-- You could make a cabbage salad with shredded carrots, onions (optional); but I cheat and buy the bagged stuff and just add onion and dressing that AM. We can get 2 bags for only 3 dollars and it's premade for ya; luv it!

I second, third, and fourth this idea. LOOOOVE this salad...it's really good with some sliced apples and a cider vinegar dressing. (Now I'm wishing I had the stuff to make it in the house now :))

Also can't say enough about fresh fruit salad. Watermelon, cantaloupe, berries...chop up whatever you can find and throw it in the fridge overnight. Yum.

I also think it's totally possible to do some sane burgers. Lean ground beef in sensibly portioned patties on the grill are just fine. Same goes for grilled chicken -- you can usually find leg/thigh quarters on sale. I like to grill them with the skin on, sprinkled with a little garlic powder and seasoned salt. When you remove the skin after cooking the chicken has that nice smokey grilled taste.

Dude, this is making me so hungry! ;)

05-24-2010, 12:26 AM
I think some marinaded grilled chicken breast would be a good alternative also....and even lean beef burgers. Not everyone like turkey burgers and may feel uncomfortable eating it - especially the kids.
Remember if there are kids to put out a couple baked chips or something. They may be picky eaters.

05-24-2010, 09:44 AM
Awesome ideas ladies! Thanks.

Oh.. about the turkey burger, I know the family of 6 that will definately be here and the family of 3 that may be here are turkey eaters. The other family knows that we eat turkey, and I'm pretty sure the mom said they eat it too (I will definately ask if they are for sure coming if they want me to get beef).