I need reliable recipes for large format preperation.

The food is for an elementary school's hot lunch program; should be healthy. The recipes need to easily adapt for 80-200. I volunteer once a month to cook (alone) for the kids.

Gina Lea


luvcookbooks January 26, 2012
Moosewood Cookbook for Large Quantities, I have also cooked Hilary's Black Bean Chili for 100 people and lived to tell the tale. http://www.food52.com/recipes/2431_hilarys_black_bean_chili
Served it with Martha Rose Shulman's New Mixed Grain Bread, in most of her cookbooks, freezes well.
Kids like both of these recipes, despite their healthfulness.
Serve with carrot sticks and celery sticks.
Chocolate chip cookies for dessert.
Gina L. January 25, 2012
Yes, I have all resources available. This is my 9th year as the hot lunch coordinator; now up to 400 students! I'm looking for new fresh ideas that can be done in a very small non commercial kitchen.
lloreen January 25, 2012
Oh- and what a great service you are doing!! I remember elementary lunch with horror- oily pizza and sloppy joes- ick. I hope you will write back about your experiences! It must be hard to cater to finicky kid tastes, but it is really important to provide healthy, low-sugar meals. Maybe you can introduce kids to healthy food they will love.
What kind of food sources do you have? Can you get fresh veggies, meat, whole wheat flour or whole grains?
lloreen January 25, 2012
Back in my coop college days I cooked for 60 to 80 people using Moosewood restaurant's cookbook - they have one specifically for large scale vegetarian cooking. (moosewood cooks for a crowd.) Some of the recipes are kid-friendly - i made pad Thai for 60 that was pretty delicious...but I guess you need to avoid peanuts. You could make the food non- veggie by just adding chicken or ground turkey to one of the casseroles. if you are on your own, I suggest making a cassarole or a stew with Cous-Cous so you don't get too harried right before service.
SKK January 23, 2012
Wow - you are revealing a missing link - frontline chefs
committed to healthy foods for the kids and no recipes.

My Mom and former mother-in-law both cooked in a small school with their own recipes and I was silly and did not save them.

Do you have to prep and clean also?

The two answers from ubs2007 and slowcookedpittsburgh are great. It may be you will write the cookbook.

ubs2007 January 23, 2012
Just an idea: Jamie Oliver was on the crusade to change Britain's school lunches (of which I was once a patron). He's written nutritious recipes for the schools to feed 80 - 100 kids. Not sure whether he's compiled everything on a website or published recipes in a cookbook, but worth looking into. Hope this helps.
Slow C. January 23, 2012
Find something like The Professional Chef (instructional book for the Culinary Instititue of America) or Professional Cooking (Wayne Gisslen). These are instructional recipe books, used in culinary schools to teach the basics of cooking for the public. This means that, while they are not the most creative recipes around, they do tend to work well and are highly scalable (think about it, 80-200 may seem like a lot to you and me, but to a professional chef that is small scale catering).
Recommended by Food52