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meatless potluck ideas?

for a main dish to serve 20? and something that can be served room temp... as far as i know there will be no way to keep things hot or cold. i'm stumped - help?

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  1. what about quiche? or quichES for that many...

    1. Chili rellano casserole

      1. Artichoke casserole or a pasta salad.

        1. Here's a personal favorite that I came up with. We've been enjoying this for years & have brought it to numerous potluck suppers. It's just as tasty at room temp as it is piping hot, plus it makes use of one of autumn's super-vegetables - kale. Recipe is also incredibly easy to increase. For 20, depending on what else is being served, you'd most likely want to double or triple it.


          Half to 1 pound penne pasta (Barilla is my favorite brand), cooked according to al dente package directions & drained
          1 block/container of Feta cheese, chopped/crumbled
          Approx. 12-24 Kalamata olives, pitted, & roughly chopped **
          Approx. 1 pound Kale, rinsed, stems removed & discarded, & leaves roughly sliced/chopped
          ½ a large or 1 small red onion, peeled & chopped
          A few dollops of extra virgin olive oil for sauteeing
          Dash or so of chicken broth or water
          Dash of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

          While the cooked pasta is draining in a colander, heat the olive oil in the pot the pasta was cooked in & saute the onion until softened but not brown. Add the chopped kale, stir a bit until wilted, & add a dash or 2 of chicken broth or water if necessary to prevent burning. Add chopped olives, cooked pasta, feta cheese, & crushed red pepper & stir again – gently - until pasta is heated through. Serve hot or at room temperature.

          ** If you can’t obtain pitted olives, pitting them is accomplished easily by simply placing your broad kitchen knife (sharp side away from you) over each olive & briskly hitting down on the knife with your hand. Olive will break open & pit will be easy to remove.

          1. Epi's Orzo with Everything is very good; have taken that to many functions and everyone loves it. Also their Spinach Ricotta pie is lovely following along with miss louella's suggestion.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Val

              people really go for orzo salads!

              i like tortellini salads with feta or mozz cubes, halved grape tomatoes (more flavor), black and stuffed olives, capers, artichokes, red bell pepper, italian parsley, cukes, finely shaved fennel or celery -- whatever you like from the mediterranean repertoire -- dressed with a garlicky-lemony vinaigrette (maybe with fine-diced sun-dried tomatoes). (for meat eaters, i also love to add salami or pepperoni cubes). i garnish with those banana pepper rings on top, with some halved tomatoes and a lemon slice, cut and twisted.

              you can do the same with any pasta, including orzo, or grains like quinoa. it is a simple, flexible formula for bright & savory flavors, and varying texture.

              1. re: alkapal

                i forgot to mention that i add chick peas to this salad. who doesn't love chick peas? <oh, i guess there might be SOMEone.>

                1. re: alkapal

                  And now people really go for quinoa salads, I'm finding out...there's a great one called International Quinoa Salad from fatfreevegan.com and I think I found out about it here on CH....brought it to 2 different functions, and it disappeared...the original recipe uses chickpeas but you get a better color pop with black beans--either way, it's really nice!

              2. some ideas here http://www.chow.com/food-news/54785/1... i particularly like the leek and onion tart

                these look good as well...
                fontina and herb charlotte http://www.countryliving.com/recipefi...
                pesto ricotta pie http://www.countryliving.com/recipefi...

                1. vegetarian baked beans always go in a flash. Add a pan of cornbread and you will be invited to every potluck around.

                  Also, all from Moosewood:
                  Solyanka ( a cabbage and potato casserole with, I think, cheese), veggie Shepherd's pie, stuffed eggplant


                  1. I recently read a recipe for a three bean salad in which you use green and yellow wax beans and penne for the third "bean" Add some olives, some cubes of cheese and red onion and it's a perfect entree instead of a side. And should be served cool or at room temperature.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: jhopp217

                      i like that idea very much!

                      looking for your recipe, i found an interesting variation on that, with feta and almonds, to boot: http://www.food.com/recipe/penne-and-...

                    2. I think that you can't go wrong with a good lasagne! Let me know if you would like my dad's recipe. I think his is the best! Meat eaters can't even tell it's meatless. I did make a spinach lasagne once that was really good, but I can't locate the recipe.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: MrsJTW

                        mrsJTW, i love lasagne. please share your dad's recipe with us.

                        1. re: alkapal

                          Sure! =) Here goes:

                          1/4 c extra virgin olive oil (the oil will make up for fat content missing since not using beef)
                          1 onion, diced
                          1 lb sliced mushrooms
                          1 garlic clove (I tend to use more myself)
                          1 diced green bell pepper
                          1-28 oz can whole tomatoes
                          1-12 oz can tomato paste
                          1 Tbsp sugar
                          1 1/2 tsp salt
                          1/2 tsp oregano
                          1/2 tsp thyme
                          1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
                          1 bay leaf
                          black pepper to your liking (several grinds I would say)
                          1-16 oz pkg lasagna noodles (Dad uses wheat noodles)
                          2 eggs
                          1-15 oz container ricotta cheese
                          1-16 oz package mozzarella cheese, shredded

                          In Dutch oven, saute onion, garlic, and mushrooms in the olive oil over high heat. Add green pepper. Add tomatoes and their liquid, tomato paste, sugar, salt, and spices.

                          Heat to boiling and break up tomatoes. Reduce to low heat and simmer, stirring occasionally. Find bay leaf and discard.

                          Cook lasagna noodles as directed on package and drain in colander. In 13" x 9" baking dish arrange half of noodles, overlapping to fit. (You might have a couple noodles left over. Use them in case you tear one or two. Or do what I do and squeeze them in so there is no waste.) Preheat oven to 375.

                          In small bowl, combine eggs and ricotta. Spoon one half over the noodles in dish. Sprinkle with one half of the shredded mozzarella and top with one half of sauce. Repeat layers. Bake 45 minutes in oven. Let stand about 10 minutes before serving.

                          Dad always grated the cheese himself. Tastes better than pre-shredded stuff in the bag. He used to serve this with green bean casserole and garlic bread. The best, I found out recently, was garlic bread on sourdough. But serve with whatever you like. Very good!! Hope you enjoy! Please let me know how it comes out if you use this recipe. =)

                          1. re: MrsJTW

                            thank you! the green pepper was a surprise. do you ever NOT pre-cook the noodles, and just add more liquid?

                            and your dad was right, the pre-shredded cheeses TASTE different -- not as good as fresh-grated by a long stretch.

                            1. re: alkapal

                              No problem! =) Neither of us have ever tried that-not pre-boiling the noodles. I have heard both bad and good things from different people. And don't they make a noodle made specifically to use dry now? But I haven't tried that either.

                              Oh yes! Always grate my own cheese. Definitely worth the effort. =)

                              1. re: alkapal

                                alkapal-Was looking through some old threads. Was just wondering if you ever tried that lasagne recipe & wondered how it turned out. =)

                        2. derbershell - I just realized you said there will be no way to keep dishes hot or cold. Especially if you were to make lasagne/lasagna, Pyrex makes a baking dish that comes in a nice traveling thermal bag that will keep dishes hot or cold. Other than that, if it were me I would want to wow people and would bring food in a cooler, place on a bowl of ice, if a cold dish, or get a chafing dish and some sterno. ; )

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: MrsJTW

                            veggie lasagna would be fine for a while, i think.

                            debershell, you're not going to be leaving it out for hours, are you?

                            1. re: alkapal

                              I guess it might be okay, but I am always nervous about bacteria and I want people to eat my food when it's piping hot and at it's best. Just like those disappointing fancy banquet dinners where your hot meal is lukewarm, at BEST. Went to a wedding two weeks ago and was served cold food. So disappointing. =( Especially since I have lots of banquet experience.

                          2. Here try this it can be served at room temp and is meatless ok two cans of peas drained two cans of carrots drained one lrg can of mushrooms drained two cans of chi kpeas drained place all of these in a lrg pot a mash with a potatoe smasher till a thick paste add one can of unsweetend coconut milk and but sauteed onions minced. Then add 2 tbls curry powder to a watered down can of cream of mushroom soup heated also add2 tbs cumin and garlic powder then add 1 tbs chili powder and 1 tbs bay leaf powder mix well then add to your veggie paste mix well then add small cubed tofu mix in till incorporated then add the juice of one orange and one lemon then add 3 tbs salt and pepper add 1tbs crushed red pepper flakes and serve with rice. You just made a delightful veggie and tofu curry

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: coupleundergod

                              A few questions:

                              - why canned vegetables rather than fresh or at least frozen?
                              - why mash them up?
                              - is there a substitute for cream of mushroom soup? Maybe a bechamel-type sauce that mushrooms are added to?
                              - Is 3 TABLESPOONS of salt and pepper a typo? That seems like a gigantic amount, esp. the salt.

                              1. re: c oliver

                                Canned veggies are softer so there's no long cooking process for them you mash them up because currys are rich in texture the veggies being mashed up is a way to achive the richness and ranging on the type of curry some are very bland but the salt brings out the flavor you can use less if you prefer but taste and add salt gradually that way you know when to stop as for the cream of mushroom soup it can be substituted with coconut milk unsweetened and thick or a cream sauce of choice without much flavor but it would still need to have a milk or cream consistancy to even out the textures and flavores

                                1. re: coupleundergod

                                  OP didn't mention that she was strapped for time on this and, if so, then my suggestion would be frozen rather than canned. Plus canned vegetables usually have an insane amount of salt in them so extra would be, well, extra :) I sincerely don't understand how mashed up vegetables would have more or better texture than non-mashed. Kinda like mashed potatoes and roasted ones, I'd think. Just my perspective, of course.

                                  1. re: c oliver

                                    I have been making curries for years everyday I think I now a quick fix and curry is fine at room temp where other foods just taste nasty

                            2. I am faced with this every holiday for what to bring to the family gatherings. I'm veg and their not, so I have to be sure to bring something filling enough for me in case there isn't a main veg dish to eat.

                              Some of the things I've brought in the past are: pasta salad with artichoke hearts and sun dried tomatoes, cauliflower gratin, vegetarian pot pie (stays warm for a long time), tomato and caramelized onion tart, quinoa with garlicky vegetables, lemon and leek pasta, salad topped pizzas, and veggie frittatas.

                              Let me know if you want the recipes for any of this!

                              Good luck and let us know what you make.

                              1. Just read the date on the OP... HA!

                                  1. Mushroom Bourginon
                                    Tortilla de patatas
                                    Pisto Machego
                                    Stuffed Tomatoes
                                    Veg. Fajitas

                                    1. Trader Joe's has a product: Harvest Grains
                                      cook as directed, add a bag of frozen petite peas and mix w/balsamic viniagrette. Outstanding.

                                      Has couscous, quinoa, garbanzos, lentils etc.

                                      1. ricotta al forno topped with well-sauteed, sliced mushrooms.
                                        make sure that the mushrooms are browned and that ALL the liquid has boiled off. put the mushrooms on top of the cooked ricotta just before serving.

                                        another variation on this is ricotta al forno with ratatouille served along side.

                                        salad with berries, candied pecans, blue cheese, greens, with a raspberry vinegrette.

                                        a sandwich tray made with small, mini-rolls.