Meals

Hungry team members are cranky. Well-fed team members can think big and change the world! When team members come from school to robotics, and meet over the dinner hour, we are committed to providing dinner – and safe food for all. We ask parents to help us meet this goal. You bring two meals a year, and your student is fed for all of the rest of those dinners.

Bringing two meals for the whole team with safe food for all can be complicated and a lot of work. It can be expensive – or relatively cheap. It can also be a great way to come interact with team, and to share favorite foods from your family.

Details:

  • Dinner is at 6 pm (please try to arrive at 5:45 pm to set up)
  • Team dishes, cups, pitcher, serving utensils, rice cooker, slow cookers, etc. can be used if you are willing to take them home to wash. We have more than a week’s supply of most items. From an environmental standpoint, we encourage this.
  • Meals are set up as a buffet so participants can customize their own plate from the offerings.
  • Team members are encouraged to bring their own water bottles – pitchers of water and cups are also set out. You do not need to bring drinks.
  • Meals will be served outside as long as we can stand it.
  • You will be working with a Mentor Meal Wizard – a mentor who will help you through the process. Toby is also always available for consults.
  • Signup Genius: Signup for Meals – you can also see the Meal Wizard you’ll be working with.

Current Special Food Needs

Having special food needs is hard enough – on our team, we work hard to include everyone, and that means providing safe food for each person. People are listed specifically to make it easier to customize:

  • Vegan/Vegetarian (5 servings)
    • Vegetarians: Chris, Joseph (vegetarian but can eat meat), Michael (mostly vegetarian), Campbell
    • Vegan: Phoebe (strict vegan. may contain dairy is OK (because that’s usually very trace amounts), but should not actually contain any)
  • Gluten-Free (1 serving)
    • Nicholas (Gluten sensitive, not celiac)
  • No peanuts/tree-nuts (2 servings)
    • Liam can have food that may contain nuts or was cooked in nut oil, but no actual nuts.
    • Julian can have food cooked on shared equipment (may contain nuts), but not food cooked with nut oil or actual nuts.
  • Lactose intolerant (1 serving)
    • Quinn (don’t know yet if Quinn can have foods that may contain dairy)
  • No Peppers (1 serving)
    • Kelli can only eat peppers in very limited quantities. Fresh, dried, sweet, hot – it’s better if there is food without any peppers.
  • No Tumeric (1 serving)
    • Chuck can’t eat tumeric.
  • Type 1 Diabetic, Needs Carb Counts (1 serving)
    • Rasmus (if you can’t provide an accurate carb count, Rasmus will bring his own)

Meal Suggestions

We’re keeping things simple this year. Here are some meals that have worked well.

Vegan Tacos

This meal is inexpensive and almost everyone can eat the same things.

  • Corn chips – 2 oz per person
  • Vegan taco crumbles (1/4 cup dried TVP from co-op reconstituted with 1/4 cup hot water and taco seasonings, fried with onion per person). [For 18 people, I purchased 1 pound/4.5 cups of TVP at a cost of $4.50.]
  • Bean/corn/avocado salad (1/4 cup black beans, 1/4 cup corn, plus some tomato, onion, avocado and lime juice per serving). For 18 servings, I cooked 1 cup dry black beans ($1.25) in the instant pot, plus frozen corn, tomatoes from the garden, 2 avocados and lime juice.
  • Grated cheese – 1 oz per person
  • Sour cream – 1/3 oz per person
  • Salsa – <1 jar total
  • Lettuce
  • Cookies – 2-3 each (check ingredients – vegan preferred)
  • Fruit – 1-2 oz per person of grapes

Carb counting: Calculate the carbs in a serving of crumbles, and package in a small container. Calculate carbs in a serving of bean salad and put in another small container. Measure out a serving of corn chips and put in a baggie. Calculate carbs in a serving of cookies and tell Rasmus. Email him the total and the list of what he can eat, or just put all the carb stuff in a bag and let him add cheese, sour cream, salsa, lettuce.
Gluten-free: All GF except dessert. Make sure there’s a GF cookie or a fruit option.
Vegetarian/vegan: All vegan except dessert. Make sure there’s a vegan cookie or a fruit option.
No peanut/tree nuts: Check the cookies.
Lactose intolerant: Cheese and sour cream are optional – the meal is complete without. Check dessert.

Hot Dogs/UpDogs

This meal is kind of boring, but pretty easy. The hot dogs were cooked at home in a slow cooker, then brought and plugged in again until dinner. The updogs were cooked in a separate slow cooker.

  • 2 simple hot dogs per meat eater [24 bun length hot dogs at Aldi for $3]
  • 1-2 hot dog alternatives (Target has several choices. Aldi sometimes has vegan dogs but not in September, 2021]
  • 2 hot dog buns per person
  • 1 serving of gluten-free bread (Toby can provide if requested in advance)
  • Ketchup (Toby can provide condiments if requested in advance)
  • Mustard
  • Relish
  • Carrots/celery or other vegetable
  • Chips
  • Cookies: 2-3 each (check ingredients – vegan preferred)
  • Gluten-free cookies: 1 serving

Carb counting: Count the carbs (from the nutritional info on the packages) in 2 hot dog buns , 1 serving of cookies , and one serving of chips. Measure the serving of chips and put in a baggie before the meal. Tell Rasmus how many buns and cookies are in the carb count you give him.
Gluten-free: Provide one serving of GF bread/bun. Make sure there’s a GF cookie or a fruit option.
Vegetarian/vegan: Check the buns – some have dairy. The simple inexpensive ones are most likely to be OK. Make sure there’s a vegan cookie or a fruit option.
No peanut/tree nuts: Check the cookies.
Lactose intolerant: Simple buns are usually OK – check ingredients. Check cookies.

Baked Potatoes

A whole oven full of potatoes will take longer to cook that you expect. Once hot, transfer them to a cooler and they’ll stay hot several hours.

  • 1 medium/6 oz potato per person
  • Toppings:
    • Diced ham: 2 oz per meat eater
    • Meal alternative like fake bacon bits or TVP crumbles
    • Cheese – 1 oz per person
    • Sour cream – 1/2 oz per person
    • Butter (and vegan butter)
    • Salt
    • Broccali
    • Sauteed mushrooms
    • Other things!
  • Cookies/fruit

Carb Counting: Calculate carbs for an average potato from your pile (5 carbs/oz), and set aside or mark that potato. Add carbs for a serving of cookies, and email him how many cookies he gets, plus the total for the potato + cookies.
Gluten-free: Make sure there’s a GF cookie or a fruit option.
Vegetarian/vegan: Make sure the vegan toppings are sufficient, and consider bringing a serving (Toby can provide) of vegan butter. Make sure there’s a vegan cookie or a fruit option.
No peanut/tree nuts: Check the cookies.
Lactose intolerant: Cheese, butter, and sour cream are optional – the meal is complete without. Check dessert.

Spaghetti

Vegan Chili