Help Me Plan a Brunch for 50 People! Good Food

published Dec 30, 2010
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Q: Each member of the law journal I am on is charged with bringing breakfast and lunch for the entire staff once a quarter – a responsibility un-affectionately and euphemistically referred to as “snack.”

I would like to make something delicious, unique (i.e. something that people aren’t tired of eating yet) and vegetarian, but won’t require a Herculean effort or huge budget to pull together. Chafing dishes are a potential option, but I’ve never actually used those before.

Any suggestions for working within these crazy limitations?

Sent by Sofia (More details on Sofia’s challenge below!)

More from Sofia: “The entire ordeal is like a ridiculous cooking competition challenge: provide breakfast and lunch for 50 people (more like 60 because there are some guys on staff who can eat and don’t understand the concept of portion control) with no on site access to a stove or oven and only two crockpots, a toaster, a microwave and a George Foreman grill. Your time begins … now!

Almost all of the meals so far this quarter have involved soup, salad and/or sandwiches, often without much consideration for the vegetarians.”

Editor: Wow! Just…wow! We can see how this event (breakfast and lunch?!) could cause quite a bit of stress and anxiety.

We can only imagine that with this many people and so few cooking appliances, your best options are foods that are entirely made ahead and can be served easily. A few ideas:

Crust-less Mini Quiches – You can make these ahead and use a variety of different fillings to keep it interesting.
Frittata Squares – Similar to the quiche, but slightly easier to do
Cheddar and Leek Muffins – Not your average breakfast muffin!
Vegan Tofu and Vegetable Pot Pies – You could make these like little hand-pies in a muffin tin
Wild Mushroom Ragout with Ziti – This could be kept warm in one of the crock-pots and will feed a crowd.
Big Grain Salads – You could make several different salads for people to choose from. Our favorites are Winter Wheat Berry Salad with Figs and Red Onion, Roasted Beet Salad with Barley and Feta, and Quinoa and Avocado Salad.

Readers, what other recipes do you suggest?

(Images: Liz Vidyarthi)