How to feed 40 people and keep the cost down but still have a delicious spread!

So, you have to have a luncheon for 40 people?  And you know you aren’t going to have much prep time.  What do you fix?  Good question.  I had to so I thought I would share my menu with you.  First – you want to have food that will stretch.  And you want to have food that serves easily.  Plus, of course, you want it to be very tasty but try to keep it with a good price range.


Well, I think I accomplished that.  Turns out that I was able to have food for 40 and it cost just $5.00 a piece!  Now, that included all the serving plates, utensils, napkins, ice, even a great Plexiglass water cooler that I filled with water, ice and rounds of lemons, oranges and limes.  It was so pretty and I can use it again.  But I found out one interesting fact – the lemons and oranges floated, while the limes sank!  Interesting!  Must be that limes are more dense.


What did I serve?  I am very fortunate to have a wonderful Korean family member that made a platter of sushi rolls – she filled them with rice, cooked beef, veggies and eggs also pickled Daikon Radish – which also was added as a garnish.  Everyone loved them. 


Next I wanted a shrimp platter – but the large platters were $40 at Costco, so I got two packages of frozen shrimp for $9.99 each and made a yummy shrimp cocktail with chopped green onions, cilantro and celery (this was wonderfully chopped by a dear student of mine, Rosalie).  Added some cocktail sauce and of course some lemon. 


Prepared a healthy Chinese Chicken Salad – but, again found a way to save time and money by purchasing 3 Chicken Salad kits (again, Costco) for $6.99 each.  I just added good greens and a package of Super Greens Kale Salad.  It had cranberries, almonds and  chicken in them.  I was going to either bake 3 chickens or get 3 cooked chickens (Costco) but this was so much easier and absolutely delicious.  There was also a wonderful salad dressing included.  Score!


Next, I made a cold noodle salad.  I sautéed a package of cole slaw mix and some sprouts.  Toasted some sesame seeds.  I used whole wheat pasta (it has 7 grams of protein per serving)  I was going to use buckwheat noodles – which have 9 grams of protein – but it was $4 more per package and I would have needed 3 packages.  Had to try to keep to a budget.  Threw in some flax seeds and used a ginger sesame dressing.


Made a refreshing mixed fruit bowl with pineapple, honeydew, cantaloupe and a bit of watermelon and blueberries plus a plate of strawberries with my special sour cream drizzle.



OK, special meeting, called for a bit of decadence.  I found frozen Bavarian cream puffs  and chocolate mini eclairs.  Also frozen covered frozen banana pieces.


Admittedly not the lowest of calories, but what the heck – it was a party and I am to please!


So, that is how you throw a luncheon for 40 on a budget!  Sandra Lee would be proud of me.  Plus it helps to have great helpers!  Bless them.              

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