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feeding a hungry sports team

My family has been volunteered to provide snacks and food for a teenage girls volleyball team. These tournaments last from 8 AM to 5 PM, so they need lots of food throughout the day.

What would you make?

Here are some of my thouhgts?

-Pasta salad (what is your recipe? I've not found one I love)
-Chicken salad sandwhiches
-other grains and food (black beans, corn, cumin, lime, cilantro w/ couscous or quinoa)
-sandwhich fixins on whole wheat bread
-healthy muffins
-veggies and dip (onion, ranch, etc)
-hummus and pita or veggies
-fruit salad
-rice/grain salad w/ lentils (for grownups)
-spice rubbed chicken (picnic style chicken that can be served cold or room temp. Thoughts on recipes?)

I'd love your ideas, and your basic recipes!

Go team!

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  1. That's so cool that you're doing this. I'm trying to think back (way back) to my tennis days.

    Navel orange slices are always great.

    If you can find time to do it, little bags of trail mix (for allergies, make some with nuts, some without, some with m&m's/chocolate chips, some without, all with dried fruit/craisins)


    If you have time to make/money to buy, a few calzones, sliced up. They "keep" well, and are good cold. Cheese, eggplant, broccoli, spinach, lots of possible combos.

    A big cooler filled with iced down waters, gatorades, etc.

    I don't have a decent cold pasta salad recipe, but I bet someone does :)

    1. I think pasta of almost any kind is a necessity for athletes.

      1. Great, thanks! I'd love to find a simple, popular pasta salad dish. I'm thinking something w/ broccoli, beans or chickpeas, carrorts, green onions, and any other ideas! But I've never gotten the dressing right. I'd love any thoughts for that!

        1. since it starts so early, maybe a big baked frittata kinda thing in a casserole dish, alongside muffins and bagels.

          i've never had a pasta salad that i ever wanted to eat or make again. why not your favorite potato salad?

          you don't need to make chicken salad AND roasted chicken. maybe just a simple lemon rosemary marinade on chicken legs, roasted, then served room temp?

          the black bean/corn salad sounds great. the hummus too.

          how about a big tray of stuff for sandwiches? sliced ham, turkey, roast beef, cheddar and provolone cheeses? a side plate of sliced tomatoes, shredded lettuce, sprouts, pickles, etc., so the girls can make their own, "their way".

          tabouleh salad with lots of fresh mint and parsley?

          little cups of yogurt. and definitely fresh fruit, like orange segments.

          don't be afraid to make cookies: peanut butter, oatmeal, chocolate chips.

          if your main focus is the girls, just remember teenage girls can be very funny about what they will and will not eat.

          1. Have you thought of bringing a crockpot or two of chili? Assuming you can find an outlet, it's something that most people like and would really provide a lot of energy. You could make a meat and a veg pot. :)

            Just another alternative!

            1. Chili sounds good, I'll have to think about the logistics of that.

              And it definitely helps to keep the girls' tastes in mind, they are so unpredictable! But the parents and coaches need to eat as well, so a variety is a good idea.

              We have to provide food over the course of several tournaments, so I'll incorporate some of these ideas into each!

              hmm, I'm beginning to feel its not my lack of inspiration that makes pasta salads so boring. Maybe they just aren't great?

              Still, I can't help thinking that w/ the right vinagrette, herbs, blanched veggies, and cheese, we could find something tasty? Maybe not.

              Thanks again!

              I love the fritatta idea, btw!

              Thanks, this could actually be fun!

              1. We provide reststop foods for century (100miles) bicycle rides that have hundreds of participants, last time it was over 600. One of the things we serve lots of is bananas, followed by peanut butter. Peanut butter on bananas, pretzels, crackers, vanilla wafers, graham crackers, saltines, oreos. Lots of those small 4oz bathroom size cups full of fruit salad or trail mix. Slices of watermelon (in season). One of our rides is called the Endless Summer Watermelon ride. At the end we serve lunches, some kind of salad, pasta (lasange or spaghetti), cookies, and drinks (sweet tea, gatorade, apple juice or juice bland and water).

                1 Reply
                1. re: kayakado

                  These sound good, quick carbs and some protein for energy.

                  I would stay away from foods that would weigh them down and are too filling if they're playing volleyball all day. A lot of quick bite, light foods, veggies, fruit, trail mix, granola, nothing that's hard or messy to eat. Peanut butter oatmeal muffins are good:


                  And peanut butter banana oatmeal raisin cookies:

                2. for pasta salad, how about pasta with peas, chopped prosciutto, (or ham), basil, maybe some chopped mozzerella in a very simple dressing (even just olive oil,warmed with some garlic before tossing with other ingredients). keep it simple.

                  or you could consider doing cold sesame noodles with a little shredded chicken & cucumber matchsticks on top. just make sure your sauce isn't to heavy or thick -- the most common problems with cold sesame noodles.

                  you should also have a bowl of fun-size candy bars and hard candies so the atheletes can get a quick sugar boost when needed.

                  1. Try this recipe for orzo salad:


                    The original with shrimp is great, but I use it as a starting point and add ingredients which I think will please my guests - ham, smoked chicken, olives, grape tomatoes, nuts etc. The dressing is easy and can be added just before you set it out. Don't bother with trying to serve it warm, it's fine at room temperature or even chilled.

                    I've always disliked pasta salads which are loaded with mayo and boring veggies. This salad is light and tasty. My MIL asked for the recipe and all the leftovers when I first made it for a family dinner. She now serves it regularly in her home too.

                    1. Yes, they must be good "food on the run." Lots of great ideas here, many thanks! I like the orzo salad idea.

                      Thanks, here's to many great touramments!

                      1. I wonder if the chilli (with the bean and meat combo) wouldn't be too heavy on their stomachs since I am assuming not a whole lot of rest time during the tourny. Also, I wonder about spiciness maybe being a little hard to bear when they are jumping aroun.

                        Perhaps a veggie chill?

                        Also, I second the post above about the eggy fritata or quich e type thing. There is a dish my mom makes for christmas mornings that I thin kis technically a strata (try searching for this). It is basically layers of bread, meat (we use a nice rosemary ham but you could do turykey etc) cheese (any sort) and more bread then dousing the whole thing in egg. This sits over night and then baked the next morning.


                        1. My experience is from running and biking, not v-ball, but
                          things that want to come back up when I go anaerobic include:
                          Dried Fruit

                          Eggs in baked goods are fine, but a quanty of eggs eaten at once will make me queasy later on. Nuts are fine if they are very finely chopped (so peanut butter is fine), but whole they are harder to digest.

                          I second the cold sesame noodle salad idea. Use soba noodles for a good complex carb.

                          I would recommend everything in small bites, like half oranges, half banannas, small cookies/muffins, 1/2 PBJs, etc.

                          Your list already sounds great, I'm sure the girls will be thrilled to have real food instead of thousand Gu's.