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Meal Team Instructions, Recipes, Etc.

Back to “Meal Team” page

  Click for Printable Document

Table of Contents:

Where and What Time?
Serving—How We Set Up
Good Stores For Large Quantities and Low Prices
Bread & Spread
Brown Gravy
Salad Dressing
Tomatoes (for Salad)
Veggie Loaves (two recipes)
How to Reach Pat, "Meal Team" manager

What Time, and Where?

  • The Saturday night Maxine Lewis Shelter team meets at Staples parking lot (lot at RIGHT of Staples, 2950 Broad Street, SLO) at 5:15 pm, and the meal actually starts between 5:45 and 6:00 pm. Click for map. (Shelter is at 750 Orcutt Road, SLO.)
  • The Sunday noontime Prado Day Center team meets at Prado Day Center at 11:30 am and meal actually starts at 12:00 pm. Address is 43 Prado Road, SLO. Click for map.
  • The time commitment for servers is approximately two hours, which includes clean-up time.


  • We serve between 70 and 115 peopleplease read the instructions below for the specific food you are preparing—recipes and quantities are all detailed below, so read your section!
  • Hot/cold food needs to be delivered HOT/cold. There is no stove at either location. To keep food hot/cold:
    • A cooler is a good container, otherwise a well insulatedcardboard box works well. Wrap food well with newspapers or towels. LABEL or MARK anything that you really want back! (I will keep in my car and you can call/email me so we can arrange pickup or delivery.)


  • We serve between 70-115 people, give or take a few.
  • You will be assigned something to bring—look below for specific instructions/quantities/details for your assignment—so read your section!
  • Bring an apron if you want.


  • If you need reimbursement for costs, please save your receipts contact Pat Beck at 805-235-9712. Reimbursement may take 1-2 weeks.

Serving—How We Set Up

  • Set up a “line” to serve the food, in this order: Meatloaf, potatoes, gravy, salad, bread, bananas. Need large tray under meatloaf/potato area (find under cabinets).
  • Pour milk & water, put on a drink table. Pour milk cups about 2/3 full. Pour just a few cups of water. Dish pudding into paper or foam bowls (w/a spoon at Prado, but not necessary at the Shelter—they get “sporks”).
  • Butter bread. Stack in “sandwiches” on tray or platter so there is less sticking together— separate slices during serving (1 slice each, can get seconds later).
  • Separate the bananas and place on tray or keep in box.
  • Toss salad ingredients with dressing, adding tomatoes after tossing.

Good Stores For Large Quantities and Low Prices

  • Costco—1540 Froom Ranch Way, San Luis Obispo, CA—(805) 541-7000?—Costco is a membership warehouse club, and it costs $50/year for membership:
  • Smart & Final (S&F)—277 Higuera St, San Luis Obispo, CA—(805) 543-5340?—food and restaurant supplies, lots of large quantity items with good prices ( )
  • Food-4-Less (FFL)—3985 S Higuera St, San Luis Obispo, CA—(805) 782-8989?—large store with good produce, good prices (      continued…
  • Trader Joe’s (TJ)—3977 S Higuera St, San Luis Obispo, CA—(805) 783-2780 (


IMPORTANT — To make sure the bananas are ripe, you may need to buy them a FEW DAYS IN ADVANCE, or arrange with the storeto put them aside for you a few days in advance so they will be yellow by meal day (Trader Joe’s will do this, and their price is just a littlemore than some of the others). We need 40 lbs of bananas, this is ONE CASE— It could actually be another fruit, but bananas tend to be cheaper, and they’re easy to chew.

Bread & Spread

Need 6 LARGE loaves (about 25 slices each, total about 140-150 slices, or enough bread for 100+ people)—but check with me (sometimes I have some frozen from a previous meal). 100% whole wheat is good. (Downside of rolls... need to be cut to be buttered.)

PLUS we need a 45 oz tub of soft spread. I found 45 oz tubs at both S&F and FFL for about the same price ($2.99). The spread will get put on the bread by the servers. Check with me, I may possibly have some left over from a previous meal.

Brown Gravy

Need 100 servings (1/4 cup/person, about 1.56 gal. total) so you need a big pot or two (spaghetti pot should work). A crock pot is great to keep gravy warm, but you’ll still need another pot for the extra. Buy dry gravy mix, or canned gravy, or mix together. Best plan: get one package of the Brown Gravy Quick mix at S&F plus one 50 oz. can of brown gravy and mix together.



Dessert is totally optional. Dorene Garvin has pledged home-made tapioca pudding for all of our meals, indefinitely. If you get assigned to dessert some time when Dorene can’t bring pudding, bring cookies, pudding, cake—whatever you’d like—enough for 100 people.


We need 6 gallons of 2% milk.

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Need 110 servings of 2/3 cup each (or 150 servings if package shows 1/2 cup servings). Buy instant mashed potatoes— S&F has boxes (look like very large milk cartons) that I think are the best… and I think it takes two boxes. (This adds up to about 4 1/2 gallons). Follow the package instructions (sometimes milk and butter or margarine are called for— so don’t forget to buy those). I think whole milk is best, but do what works for you. If using large disposable aluminum pans (avail at S&F), put pans in a box (orsupport with stiff cardboard) or the pans will collapse. Insulate with lots of newspaper, and keep hot in oven before delivery.

Salad Dressing

We need about 3 quarts total, either ranch or Italian is good.

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Tomatoes (for Salad)

  • IMPORTANT: to ensure ripe tomatoes, buy 5-7 days early—need 12-15 large tomatoes. Allow to RIPEN at room temperature, putting them in a brown paper bag helps. Cut the tomatoes in small pieces ahead of time and put in leakproof container(s) for transporting.


Each meatloaf volunteer to bring 2 loaves using 5 lbs of meat, for every 2 loaves. Recipe below, but if you have a favorite recipe, go for it, but still use 5lbs of meat for every two loaves (This is so I know how many portions I will have.)

We will cut each loaf into 12 pieces—don’t cut it ahead.

If you want to use disposable aluminum loaf pans, they are available at Smart & Final (they seem to be a bit large, but they work). I don’t really care what shape the loaves are, as long as each loaf contains 2 ½ lbs of meat!

Makes 2 loaves, serves 16-24 (two standard size loaf pans, approx 9" x 5" x 3"):

5 lbs. ground beef, pork, turkey, or combination
2 cups oatmeal
1 cup milk
3-4 onions finely chopped (you can also use dried onions, but add a little additional liquid)
4 eggs, beaten
1 cup ketchup or tomato sauce
1 package onion soup mix (could not find at S&F or FFL, not sure about Costco)
3 tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground pepper
  • Soak oats in the milk for 10 minutes.
  • Add other ingredients and mix with potato masher or clean hands.
  • Form mixture into 2 loaves and put into pans.
  • Bake at 350° to 400° for 2 hours (if using a larger but shallower pan, you may need to adjust the timing). If pans are very full, put a cookie sheet underneath of foil on bottom of oven to make cleaning spillover easier. Pour off grease. If preparing the day of serving, cover with foil, insulate well in cardboard box(es) and deliver immediately. Loaves will stay warm for an hour or so.
  • If you plan to cook at an earlier time, let loaves cool, refrigerate or freeze. At serving time reheat in foil, insulate well in cardboard box(es) and deliver.

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Veggie Loaves

(Two recipes—use either one, both, or your own—as long as it's two loaves to serve 12 to 16)

Recipe #1: Festive Lentil & Nut Loaf

Makes 2 loaves, serves 12-16

1 1/3 cups red lentils (New Frontiers has red, but otherwise use regular lentils) 4 tsp mild curry powder (available loose at New Frontiers, Sunshine
2 cup hazelnuts 4 tbsp tomato ketchup
2 cup walnuts 4 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 large carrots 2 eggs, beaten
4 celery stalks 1 tsp salt
2 large onions 8 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
8 oz mushrooms 1 1/3 cup water
8 tbsp butter  
  • Soak lentils 1 hour in cold water, then drain well. Grind nuts in food processor until quite fine but not too smooth. Set nuts aside.
  • Chop carrot, celery, onion, mushrooms into small chunks, then pass them through a food processor or blender until finely chopped.
  • Saute vegetables gently in butter 5 min, stir in curry powder. Cook 1 min. Cool.
  • Meanwhile, mix the soaked lentils with the nuts, vegetables, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, egg, salt, parsley and water.
  • Grease and line the base of a long 2 lb loaf pan with waxed paper or foil. Press the mixture into the pan and smooth the surface. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Bake for about 1-1 1/4 hours until firm, covering top with foil if it starts to burn.
  • Deliver uncut in pans, boxed & well insulated w/newspaper. (If making for yourself, let stand 15 min before turning out of pan). Is fairly soft as it’s moist.

Recipe #2: Vegan Meatloaf

Makes 2 loaves, serves 12-16

Re: Marmite—may not find at New Frontiers, Cuesta Coop or Sunshine. It's British but the Australians call it “Vegemite.”

Bulgur Mixture: Dry Ingredients: Herbs:

1 cup bulgur
1/2 cup ketchup
2 cups coconut milk
4 Tbsp vegan Worcestershire Sauce
4 Tbsp steak sauce

Glaze: 2/3 cup ketchup

12 oz tempeh, grated
2 onions, very finely chopped
1 cup oatmeal
4 Tbsp ground flax seed
1 tsp Marmite (optional, but
very good)
2 tsp browning sauce (optional, for color)
1 1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp fresh oregano, minced (or 1/2 tsp dried)
2 tsp fresh thyme, minced (or 1 tsp dried)
1 tsp fresh rosemary, minced (or 1/4 tsp dried)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 cups parsley, chopped
  • Combine the bulgur with the wet ingredients in a sauce pan, bring to a boil, stir and remove from heat. Set aside, allowing the bulgur to absorb the moisture, for about 20 minutes. It will still be a bit saucy.
  • Meanwhile, start grating & chopping. Combine all dry ingredients and herbs, EXCEPT the vital wheat gluten. When bulgur is ready, stir together with dry ingredients. Add vital wheat gluten and knead with hands a couple minutes, allowing gluten to fully hydrate. Form into a loaf, place into a greased bread pan. Spread the remaining ketchup on top of the loaf. Cover with tin foil.
  • A few minutes before you're ready, preheat the oven to 350°. Bake 60 min., removing foil for final 15 min. Let cool 5 min. Deliver uncut, well insulated.


  • 2 bags iceberg salad mix, 3 lbs each ($1.99 each at Smart & Final)
  • 1 ½ lbs Spring Mix (~$3.99 at Smart & Final)
  • 1 bag Broccoli Slaw (~$1.99 at Smart & Final)
  • Romaine Lettuce – 2-3 large heads (best prices at Food4Less and they vary a lot)
  • 3 lbs of Carrots (~$1.75, but prices vary, good at Food4Less)
  • 2  lbs of Zucchini (about 5 or more) (~$1.48, prices vary, good at Food4Less. Do NOT buy at Smart & Final—they are ridiculously expensive there.)
  • Tomatoes are usually supplied by somebody else, who brings them cut up.

Good way to make/transport the salad is to get two 5 gallon buckets with lids (many restaurants will be willing to give you one or two used ones—just make sure they are clean and haven’t been used for non-food uses).

Wash the romaine lettuce and let it drip dry for a few hours, then cut it bite size. If you have a salad spinner you won't have to let it drip so long.

Wash, then either slice (thin) or grate (large grate) the zucchini and carrots. (I use a manual, hand cranked food processor.)

If you have 2 buckets, put half of each lettuce first, then the other ingredients, into each bucket. (Tomatoes arrive separately and go in at last minute.) If you don’t have buckets, divide up each ingredient into two containers or bags, and we will mix it at the meal.

I bring a huge 25" wok to use as a salad bowl… but 5 gal. buckets should work OK.

  • At last minute, at the meal, we first toss about 3/4 to 1 qt of dressing with the first half of the salad, and put half the tomatoes on top and mix just a little. If it looks like all the salad is going to get used up at the meal, we mix the other half… otherwise just add some of the undressed salad to the dressed salad, add extra dressing and mix. That way if there is left over salad, it will be undressed, and will keep better.

How to Reach Pat Beck, “Meal Team” Manager

  • Cell: 805-235-9712