A few weeks ago I became the full time coordinator at a charity cafe of sorts. We do charge for food, but its minimal and we have a process for providing emergency meals if needed. Most of our fruit/veg is donated 3x/ week, and it often includes potatoes and whatever else is in season and starting to go off. I can buy ingredients, but I am limited in my budget. I have 2-3 kilos of either chicken breast, minced beef, or diced beef (thick sausages, shredded ham, meatballs, and some bacon are also available depending) .to be made into between 20-25 meals. I can stretch it with pasta or rice, and try to always get some vegetables in their diets. I am trying to be creative and sometimes add rolls or potatoes as a side to mix it up. Would love to try things like couscous, etc...but am on a limited budget with very limited time. I have to deal with the cooking, orders, deliveries, donations, problems in the cafe itself, and a myriad of other tasks.
A couple more limitations: due to various factors, anything hot/spicy is out. Also, foods can't be TOO hard/crunchy. They do love things sweet, and want to be able to SEE the meat. Soup has also been requested lately because of cooler, rainy weather. I am running out of ideas, though!
some things already out there...
Stiry fry (ginger, lemon, orange, and soy--all been done;)
Chicken with cheesy sauce/bechamel
Chicken pot pie
Beef stew (multiple ways:)
Bolognaise and the like
Mac &cheese with chicken or mince
Bangers. And mash
Moroccan chicken/chickpeas or beef/potatoes
Pizza (although this doesn't count as a "meal" either! :/ )
Minestrone, pumpkin, potato, and pea/ham soup (not mixed together ;)
Egg, tuna, ham/cheese/tomato sandwiches ( I only have ham, tuna, or bacon for sandwich meats)
Things that don't count are meals like sandwiches, soups.(although Ill take ideas for easy soups or cheap sandwiches to add to the menu!), frittatas, baked goods like meat pies or sausage rolls. I purchase some and others are brought in or made by volunteers. It also has to be able to be plated and reheated. We don't have the capability to make to order :/. We offer fruits salad, but right now vegetable salads are out due to the weather.
Any ideas? I'm Spending half my life trying to figure this out. Anyone can come in, and we want the food to attract a mixture of people as well to encourage a mingling of different groups of people. I sincerely want the food to be good for our regular visitors even if they are sometimes too high/drunk to know if it's good ;), but I'm getting stuck in what else I can do wth my limited stocks and time. Help??