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Jun 21, 2010 07:18 AM

Help with menu

I have to host a dinner for my husband's family. There will be 14 people, 6 children and 8 adults. About 1/2 are vegetarians [2 adults, 4 children]. I would like to prepare as much as possible the day before. Two people do not eat cilantro, one does not eat mushrooms, one does not eat spicy food and of course, I need something that will appeal to children. HELP!

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  1. Just off the top of my noggin, hope this can help:

    meat lasagna / veggie lasagna

    Mexican taco/burrito bar with ALL of the fixins (beans and grilled tofu for the vegetarians - I'm sure there's a tempeh or seitan that would work well also if you wanna go that far)

    1. My thought:
      Roast chicken
      Potato, zucchini, tomato gratin
      Green bean, snow pea, shell pea sautee
      Large salad a la antipasto (omit the cheese & meats)
      Strawberry & rhubard crumble with ice cream

      1. i'm with gordeaux, lasagna x 2 so you have one to accommodate each group. serve with a nice green salad & some crusty bread, an easy dessert (brownies, or fresh fruit, or a crumble or cobbler, an assortment of ice cream/sorbet) and you're set! no muss, no fuss.

        1. I also like the lasagne ideas, seems to be the best way to go.

          You can also do something like a baked ham, and for those not eating meat, a large tray of macaroni & cheese, biscuits, some salad and a green bean saute, or even roasted asparagus, or broccoli. Most can be done ahead, ham just needs heating up, and biscuits could be done with a mix. I would just make sure to offer a lot of colorful fresh veggies for all, and a storebought dessert.

          1. Can't tell whether you're in a hot part of the country right now or not. Two suggestions involving meatless ground which I've served to the warm satisfaction of vegetarians and omnivores alike. If it's very warm outside, I'd suggest making moussaka, and serving it cool or room temp. Side would be a bunch of Greek stuff - dolmathes and olives and grilled pita and Greek salad, grilled vegetables and tsatsiki, etc. If it's not so hot outside, then shepherd's pie using said meatless ground is really good - I start with minced aromatics, i.e. garlic and onion, then carrots, zucchini, etc. Mix the "meat" with some Braggs, or perhaps worchestershire sauce to give it oomph. Lovely mashed potatoes, Yukon golds are good, to top - score it crosswise with a fork and bake. Either use a good ketchup or make a nice tomatoey sauce to pass with it.