Monday, September 28, 2015

Build-Your-Own Week of Meals

Build-Your-Own meals are perfect. They're easy for the cook - they can accommodate the Vegan & Omnivore at the same table. They can also provide a satisfying meal for a variety of special diets - not to mention picky palates.

If you're hosting a potluck, you can provide the "base" (pasta, potatoes, bread, - you choose white, whole wheat or Gluten Free  - this recipe will be the one in the title link) and ask your guests to each bring a topping. 

These are also a great way to dress up leftovers, simply add the leftover items, whether they're veggies, sauces, or meats, to your Build-Your-Own Bar.  Or use those little jars of sauces and dressings in the door of the fridge. I'm giving several ideas for toppings, with the idea that you'll choose those that appeal to you & your guests.

I took inspiration for this post from the menu of our local public high school. They repeat the same Build-Your-Own Meals every week, all year!

Of course, if you don't want to have these meals every day all in the same week, you can work them into your Vertical Meal Plan.


 

Fill Your Own Tortillas (see link for lots of ideas for this one)




Stuff Your Own Potatoes




In addition to Slow-Cooker Baked Potatoes,
Topping Ideas:
Chili con Carne
Vegan Chili
Shredded Cheddar
Sour Cream
Butter
Vegan Buttery Spread
Mushrooms
Broccoli
Bacon
Vegan Bacon-y Bits
Salsa
Hummus
Ranch Dressing
Vegan Cheeze Sauce
Guilt Free Spinach Artichoke Dip (a favorite of mine : )



Build Your Own Rice Bowl

There are SOO many variations on rice, that you might want to also have an ethnic theme to simplify things a bit (Chinese, Indian, Mexican, etc).

A while back, I had a family of children at the house, and although they had a reputation for being "picky" they made & devoured more than one serving of this. (I found that having fruit and fun veggies - like baby corn - increased their interest). You can really tailor the toppings to your audience here.

Topping ideas:
Asian Peanut Sauce
Spaghetti Sauce
Salsa
Baby Corn
Raisins
Raw Carrots
Diced Apple
Broccoli
Celery
Olives
Diced Chicken
Shredded Cheese
Shrimp
Any sort of saucy cooked bean dish
Chopped Salted Peanuts
Shredded Napa Cabbage



Pasta Bar



Pasta (a choice of shapes can add fun)
Spaghetti Sauce
Alfredo Sauce
Vegan Cheezy Sauce
Asian Peanut Sauce
Greek Tahini Sauce
Sliced Almonds
Mushrooms
Broccoli
Parmesan (Dairy or Vegan)
Olives
Corn
Red Bell Peppers
Tomatoes
Peas
Loose-Cooked Hamburger or Sausage
Vegan Burger Crumbles
Copycat Skyline Black Beans & Rice
Lentil Soup



Build Your Own Burger


Black Bean Burgers
Hamburgers
Oven Fries
Vegan Burgers
Zippy Sweet Potato Baked Fries
Potato Chips
Onion
Tomato
Lettuce
Bread or Buns of your choice
Pickles
Ketchup
Mustard
Mayo (of your choice)



Personal Pizza Night

(sometimes I do this one on my homemade Naan that I keep in the freezer- you can use white or whole wheat)

Provide personal-sized discs of dough, and let diners top their own before baking (above link is traditional, scroll down for gluten free)

Gluten-Free Crusts
Olives
Mushrooms
Onions
Bell Peppers
Corn
Capers
Pepperoni
Cheese (Shredded Mozzarella, Feta, Vegan, etc according to your family's taste)
Pizza Sauce
Refried Beans (if offering Refried beans, you might want to offer other Mexican food inspired toppings, like Salsa, Cheddar (Dairy or Vegan) Shredded Lettuce & Tomato)
Sausage
Feta
Pickled Pepper Slices
Pineapple

Sandwich Bar

 

 


Homemade Yeast Bread
Pita Bread
Naan
Gluten Free Bread if needed
Baba Ganoush
Hummus
Red Pepper Walnut Dip
Olive Spread or Tapenade
Lettuce
Tomato
Cucumbers
Sprouts
Bell Peppers
Cold Cuts
Sliced Cheeses
Chips
Pickles

This is being shared on
Menu Plan Monday
What'd You Do This Weekend
The Art of Homemaking Mondays 
Motivation Mondays 
Good Morning Mondays
Turn it Up Tuesdays 
Try a New Recipe Tuesdays 
Anti-Procrastination Tuesdays
Tuesdays with a Twist 
Healthy, Happy, Green & Natural 
Wake Up Wednesdays
Teaching What is Good 
Penny Pinching Party 
Mom's Library 
Coffee & Conversation
Tell it to Me Tuesdays
Healthy Living Link Party
Think Tank Thursday 
Thoughtful Spot 
This is How We Roll 
Plant Based Potluck 
Gluten Free Fridays 
Home Matters 
Frugal Mommas Friday 

13 comments:

  1. Hi Anna! I went to a fancy party at a big city museum, and they had a 'mashed potato bar'. Never seen anything like it! You scooped the potatoes in a martini glass and topped with many of the toppings you mentioned. It was delicious!

    I like the idea of having a party and making meals. That's inspired! You can chat and have fun while providing some tasty meals. I bet you have a really good time :)
    Blessings,
    Ceil

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting! I love your party idea! What a cool concept! : )

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  2. We've done the rice bowls but haven't done this with pasta or potatoes. Great ideas! Pinned!

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  3. What a clever concept. This is a great way to share the meal work! Thank you for linking this up to the Art of Home-Making Mondays Anna :)

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    1. Thanks so much! I LOVE your blog hop - and your blog. It was a great recipe you shared yesterday for "Sabbath Soup" : )

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  4. What great ideas! I've never thought of the rice bowl idea before!
    Thanks for linking up with the FrugalMommas team!

    ReplyDelete
  5. It's always great to be prepared and this is a great idea! Thanks for sharing at the #HomeMattersParty

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  6. YUM! Thanks so much for sharing this at Coffee & Conversation!

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  7. totally LOVING these ideas!!!! And I'm so hungry right now so I want to eat it all LOL
    http://MyBlissfulJourney.com

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  8. These Build Your Own Meals ideas are the best! I would use all of them for various occasions! Thank you so much for sharing Build Your Own Meals with us at the Healthy Happy Green and Natural Party Blog Hop. I'm pinning and sharing.

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  9. What wonderful ideas! I am definitely bookmarking this for future reference. Thanks for linking up with "Try a New Recipe Tuesday." I hope you can join us again this week. http://our4kiddos.blogspot.com/2015/10/try-new-recipe-tuesday-october-6.html

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  10. Great ideas! I make dinner for the teenagers in my daughter's youth group occasionally, and these would be simple and fun to take.

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Welcome!
Please, DO chime in! : )

If you want to share a link to a pertinent and supportive post of your own that directly relates to my post (if, for instance, you also have a great vegan pancake recipe, or a post about Christmas) I don't mind a bit!

I encourage any questions about methods, measurements, or cooking times, and comments about typos, broken links, mistakes, omissions, etc. I also welcome thoughtful questions - even if you disagree with me.

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Delighted to have you here! Post away!


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