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Play date lunch menu ideas?

It's my turn to host a play date for my 8yo daughter and her 2 friends, and their moms. We usually do it around lunch time, so I need to come up with a good lunch menu that I can prep and assemble the night before because I have an appointment just before the play date and won't have time to do much beforehand.

Previously, I've done make your own pizzas with Caesar salad, which the girls loved, as did the moms. The other moms have previously done tostadas, baked ziti with salad and rolls, and chicken fajitas with salad and Mexican rice.

I'm hoping to do something different this time, but I'm not sure what. We're all of indian background, so I'd prefer not to do indian food since we eat it often. It's supposed to be cold and raining, so something hearty would be good. The problem is that they both only eat chicken, so that limits me to either a chicken entree or a vegetarian entree. The kids are all good eaters, so they will all eat what we eat.

Any suggestions? TIA!!

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  1. Chicken satay on a stick, doesn't have to be eaten super hot so can be made ahead and have a peanut dipping sauce. Serve with rice and a marinated cucumber salad or other veg that the kids like.

    1. We made this soup from the cover of the current Food Network magazine. You could use ground chicken for the meatballs. Delicious and more like a main dish than a soup.

      http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/fo...

      1. What about a white chicken chili, along these lines? Serve with nachos and salad, maybe a fruit salad for a taste of summer.

        http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

        1. I like turkey chili (if they don’t do turkey maybe ground chicken). A butter nut squash chilli might also be nice. Serve with good bread.

          Mac and cheese, chicken skewers and a salad

          Grilled cheese (simple) and tomato soup

          Summer rolls (cut / prepare all the filling beforehand – tofu, cucumber, cilantro, red peppers, noodles) and have everyone prepare their own. Serve with miso, hot and sour or another Asian type soup.

          Chicken lettuce wraps

          1. Vegetarian lasagna, chicken enchiladas, or chicken pot pie...all perfect for a cold and rainy day. And, all the prep can be done in advance.

            3 Replies
            1. re: critter101

              Pot pie is a super idea. Although not homemade, the Costco one is HUGE and delicious! It also doesn't hurt it is a great price.

              1. re: pumpkinspice

                The Costco pie IS great, but it's not always available, IME.
                The turkey roller wraps, and the chicken salad, always are. It's really good chicken salad if you don't want to make your own. The wrap includes cranberry cream cheese and is pre-sliced into 10 pieces. You'd need 2 or 3 packs, I imagine.

                Personally, I'd make chicken-corn chowder and have crusty bread and good butter with it, plus carrot and celery sticks.

                1. re: greygarious

                  You can also make homemade bread and butter as a play group activity. In Girl Scouts we used to get to shape our own mini loaves and then shake up heavy cream on a baby food jar with marble as a churner before adding a pinch of salt.