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  1. #1
    Senior Member Arrived RTB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012

    Default Help please - dinner for 9

    I'm hosting dinner Friday for some of my friends from college. I'm drawing a blank for what to make. I would like to serve something nicer than BBQ, but not prime rib (or labor intensive). Looking for a main dish and bonus points for slow cooker. No gluten (there goes baked pasta!), pork or shellfish. Thanks all!
    DS 15, DD 13
    Year 9

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  3. #2


    Could you do a chicken in the slow cooker and make it into shredded/pulled chicken, and have it with corn tortillas or rice? Or a mix of roasted root vegetables and then some sort of minced/ground meat dish (like a chili or meatballs in a tomato sauce)? Sorry I am not much help with actual recipes as I just invent things on the fly.
    NZ homeschoolers (school year runs start Feb to mid Dec).
    DD 12 (year 7) and DD 7 (year 2).
    Fourth year homeschooling.
    Part-time freelance science copyeditor.

  4. #3


    Chili bar. We like to make chili in our crock pot and add fixings to go with it. You can have baked potatoes, Fritos, toppings.

    You could also do a taco bar this way.

  5. #4


    I like the chili idea.
    I made a big batch of ham n bean soup for New Years, it fed 9 of us, without any leftovers. It was in our stockpot, not crock pot, though.
    Maybe soup / chowder and a fancy salad / veg dish that you can make ahead?
    Mmmmm and something yummy for dessert. Like pumpkin cheesecake, or.... whose recipe for chocolate bourbon pecan pie? (Or leftover halloween candy.)
    Homeschooling DS13, DS6.


    My spelling was fine, then my brain left me.

  6. #5


    Taco bar or burrito bar was going to be my suggestion. I make faux refried beans from scratch in the slow cooker that are really yummy. Or you could get a large roast and slow cook it all day with taco seasonings. When it is cooked until it falls apart, it's done. All you have to do is prep the fixings and let everyone make their own plate how they want a taco or a burrito or just a taco salad.

    My kids loved when I made baked leg quarters. It's cheap and easy to bake a bunch of leg quarters on sheet pans (and very hard to over cook and dry them out) You could season them how ever you like or just do a little salt and pepper and then cover them in bbq sauce the last 10 minutes or so of cooking. You could make stuffing, rice or potatoes to go with it (you can make stuffing or potatoes in the crockpot. I imagine you could do rice as well though I've never tried it) and salad or other veggie to go with it.

  7. #6


    Quote Originally Posted by MapleHillAcademy View Post
    Taco bar or burrito bar was going to be my suggestion. I make faux refried beans from scratch in the slow cooker that are really yummy.
    Do you have a recipe for the beans? I am looking for something like that.

  8. #7


    I would also love the slow cooker refried beans recipe. We eat a lot of refried black beans, and I always cook our black beans from scratch, but I have never combined doing the two in one, or in a slow cooker. Now we are late home so many days per week, it would be good to have refried beans to come home to already done. And when I say refried beans, faux is fine with me as ours are already pretty faux anyway considering we use olive oil to cook them in and I add nutritional yeast for a bit of extra flavor.
    NZ homeschoolers (school year runs start Feb to mid Dec).
    DD 12 (year 7) and DD 7 (year 2).
    Fourth year homeschooling.
    Part-time freelance science copyeditor.

  9. #8


    Slow Cooker Refried Beans

    1 pound dried pinto beans
    1 onion, chopped
    4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed or minced
    1 tbsp cumin
    2 tsp salt
    2 tsp pepper
    2 tsp chili powder
    4 - 6 strips of bacon, cooked
    7 cups of water

    Add all ingredients to slow cooker. Cook on high for 8 - 10 hours or on low for 12 hours or more. (I find cooking them on high overnight works best for us)

    Once the beans are tender, drain off some of the liquid into a bowl in case you need to add some back. Use an immersion blender or potato masher to smash the beans, onions and bacon, adding the reserved liquid as needed to create the desired consistency. Alternatively, you can puree the bean mixture in a food processor for ultra smooth beans or put them in a stand mixer and mix them on medium for slightly chunky, homemade style beans. (We prefer putting them in a stand mixer)

    Once you have your desired consistency, add more salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder or onion powder to taste but be careful especially adding spicy flavors. The flavors intensify the longer they sit.

    These refried beans keep well in the fridge or freezer and taste even better the next day after you make them so you can make them a day ahead and reheat if you want. I usually make a double or triple batch at a time in my huge crock pot (I can't remember if it is 7 or 8 quarts but it is one of the bigger ones that you can find in retail stores).

    Rather than bacon strips, I've used just a spoonful of reserved bacon grease with the cracklins in it and it still tasted great. You could also use lard or a ham bone, you just want something with a bit of meaty flavor and some grease. Butter will do in a pinch but it doesn't taste as good in my opinion. Oh and I only partially cook the bacon strips before adding them to the crockpot if I use bacon strips. I let them brown on the edges but they are still floppy, not crispy. Just my personal preference, they cook all the way in the crockpot anyways. Normally though, I usually just use a spoonful of bacon grease. Reserving the bacon grease any time I cook bacon and keeping it in a little tupperware container in the fridge for beans is a lot easier than cooking bacon just for making beans.

    You can add green chiles or jalapenos if you like heat in your beans. I like the flavor of just a hint of liquid smoke or smoked paprika in them but dh doesn't so I don't usually add it.

    When you reheat, add a little milk or water to them to keep the consistency as they warm up if needed.

  10. #9


    You could still do lasagna or baked pasta and just use gluten free pasta, there are certainly options that are tasty.
    DS16 with ASD, DD12 and DS10

  11. #10
    Junior Member Newbie Briana Bell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2019


    Hey, Rebecca, what about cooking deviled Avocados? It really tastes great.

    You will need:
    4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and halved
    3 tbsp. mayonnaise
    2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
    1 tsp. yellow mustard
    Kosher salt
    Freshly ground black pepper
    4 avocados, halved and pitted
    Sriracha, for garnish
    Crushed red pepper flakes, for garnish
    Finely chopped chives, for garnish

    1. Remove egg yolks from whites and place yolks in a medium bowl. Stir in mayonnaise, lemon juice, and mustard until combined. Season with salt and pepper.
    2. On a cutting board, chop egg whites into small bits and fold into yolk mixture. Scoop out flesh from the lower half of each piece of avocado and smash in a small bowl. Stir smashed avocado into egg mixture. Season with salt and pepper.
    3. Fill half scooped avocado shells with avocado-egg mixture. Drizzle with Sriracha and top with red pepper flakes and chives.

    I found this recipe long ago on google and now it's one of my favorite dishes. I recomend cooking it. It will not take much time.

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Help please - dinner for 9