Teach me how to Duggar.

on March 1, 2012 in Gal Stuff, That's delish. with 24 comments by

You know how some of you guys have little people in your lives and you have to feed them a few times a day?


I don’t have those. I mainly just have to make sure I have cereal and bananas and a piece of chicken every now and again. Or make sure I know which of my friends are going out each night so I can go out to eat too.

But once a week, I have these chickadees to feed.

Twelve girls from Cross Point Downtown pop by the house each week and we eat and talk and pray and cry and hug and share and do all manner of awesome things.


I don’t know how to cheaply feed twelve growing gals. [Read: they are not afraid to eat.]

Don’t be deceived by their utter cuteness. They can put away some grub.

I’m not going to tell you about this child and her love for Mexican Seven Layer Dip. Just trust me. It’s there.

So here is where you lay-deez who feed millions [ie- the Duggars] teach me how to feed tens. We need variety, volume, and we need it cheap. Also, to throw a culinary wrench in your plans, we have a vegetarian. I don’t know she hates meat, but it makes me sad for her. So I have to have a veggie option each week. And we prefer to be mildly healthy… sometimes.

Here’s what we’ve had so far: Chicken Pot Pie in the crockpot [B- experience], Taco Soup with chicken [A+], breakfast for dinner [no one can hate that], and an appetizer night [A+, but high on the budget end].

Your links to good recipes, ideas for making filling food stretch, and your kitchen wisdom is greatly appreciated.

[Read: Help a sister out.]


  1. posted on Mar 01, 2012 at 5:36 AM  |  reply

    I was going to recommend taco soup. You can’t beat spaghetti with garlic bread and a salad. Chicken spaghetti is good. I have a great recipe that I would share with you if you’d like. Or how about a quiche night? Eggs and other filler ingredients would be pretty inexpensive and you can be as creative as you like. You’ll have to change your name to Mama Duggar. 😉

  2. posted on Mar 01, 2012 at 5:37 AM  |  reply

    Baked spaghetti
    Salad bar
    Sandwich bar
    BBQ chicken in the crock pot
    Grilled cheese and soup night

    (look for recipes on my pinterest boards – http://www.pinterest.com/jessicanturner)

    • posted on Mar 01, 2012 at 11:56 AM  |  reply

      @Jessica @ The Mom Creative, I was going to suggest most of the same things! I’ve gotten a lot of great ideas from your recipe Pinboard too.

      Soup is always a crowd pleaser and usually it’s easy to set a pre-meat portion aside for vegetarians. I have an awesome Baked Potato soup recipe that never fails. Pasta is cheap and feeds many, too.

  3. posted on Mar 01, 2012 at 5:58 AM  |  reply

    One: you need to get on pinterest and look up some recipes. Warning: if you cross over to the ‘pin-side’, it may consume your day b/c it is addicting.

    Two: Not sure what it is call but it is delic. Ready, b/c it is a hard one…. 4 to 6 chicken breast, 2 c salsa, 1 envelope taco seasoning and 1 crockpot on low for 6 hrs. Remove chicken, shred w/forks, place chicken back in yummy salsa mixture to keep warm. Freezes well if any leftovers. Use for taco salad (vegetarian can eat taco salad w/o chicken but w/veg refried bean), tacos, enchiladas, ect. We usually serve w/spanish rice (out of a box). Easy peasy and not hard on the wallet at all. The chicken recipe makes alot. We are a family of 5 (one of which is a teen boy) and use 4 breasts. Once shredded it goes a long way.

  4. posted on Mar 01, 2012 at 6:01 AM  |  reply

    Pretty much the same as above…
    especially chili, soup & sandwich, and BBQ in crockpot. I love BBQ in the crockpot. Easy & Good!
    Oh..and how about pizza?

  5. posted on Mar 01, 2012 at 6:04 AM  |  reply

    Taco salad bar.

    Meat, cheese, chips, black beans, lettuce, salsa, Ranch dressing, cheese, corn, other items of your choosing. It’s my favorite go-to meal when teenagers are involved.

  6. merideth
    posted on Mar 01, 2012 at 8:30 AM  |  reply

    Girls, especially young growing girls, can definitely put away a lot of food. My family got a taste of that when my oldest niece had a mexican birthday party. My sister and mom could not believe how much food they had to make and how little was left when it was over.
    I second the suggestions about chili and lasagna. I thought of the lasagna because that you can make vegi or meat, or both if you wanted. You can also use chicken, or hamburger, or sausage, white sauce or red sauce….There is just a lot of variability with that. Reading this post and the comments is making me so hungry. Time for me to go find something to eat.

  7. Travis
    posted on Mar 01, 2012 at 9:50 AM  |  reply

    Best blog title ever.

  8. Kim
    posted on Mar 01, 2012 at 9:51 AM  |  reply

    How about a baked potato bar?

  9. posted on Mar 01, 2012 at 10:42 AM  |  reply

    Taco Salad: Taco meat, stretch it further with black and/or pinto beans. Add corn to it. Set out lettuce, sour cream, cheese, ranch dressing, tortilla chips. Let everybody pile it up on their plates. A one dish wonder.
    Set aside just some spicy beans for the vegetarian.

    Black-eyed peas and cornbread: do black eyed peas in the crockpot but DON’T put in a hamhock for flavor like I did for my vegetarian friends. It’s embarrassing. Use chicken boullion and onion flakes for flavor. I have a great cornbread recipe if you want that. Doesn’t even require buttering because there’s so much butter IN it.

    Cowgirl beans: I use ground beef, canned baked beans, and rice. Stir them together. For the vegetarian, just give her beans and rice.

    Sausage, green beans, and potatoes: Throw them into a pot with onion flakes. I can’t help you with the vegetarian part of this because the sausage gives it good flavor. (like a big link sausage or the little smokies, but you can also use hot dog if it’s cheaper)

  10. Russanna
    posted on Mar 01, 2012 at 11:48 AM  |  reply

    At our life group, we love doing a baked potato bar! You can even make baked potatoes in the crock pot. This is great for vegetarians and for those who love meat, just have bacon bits and ham. Pinterest is a great place to look for cheap crock pot recipes that are delicious and can easily be doubled to feed a lot. Hope that helps!

  11. posted on Mar 01, 2012 at 12:26 PM  |  reply

    I always make this curry when I have a dinner party because it satisfies the requirements for my Vegan, Veg, AND Gluten-free friends all in one shot. And it’s cheap to make. And the leftovers are fab. Serve with rice.

    AND you get to introduce them to international foods if they’ve never tried it. #boom


  12. Tammy
    posted on Mar 01, 2012 at 3:59 PM  |  reply

    I have been in charge of serving 16 High School cheerleaders several times, so I understand your dilemma. I made a baked ziti that went over splendidly! And it can be done vegetarian easily! Just cook up some penne pasta, add sauce and lots of cheese (mozz, ricotta, parmesan) toss in some herbs and garlic of course and bake it. Serve with some sauce on the side too. Add a ceasar salad and some garlic bread and it’s a teen girls dream dinner. I wouldn’t exactly call it a dieticians dream… but it’s yummy and goes a long way!

  13. Laura
    posted on Mar 01, 2012 at 4:07 PM  |  reply

    As a college girl myself, we love taco/ quesedilla/ nacho night. We make it with ground turkey for a little more of a health factor and it can be veggie 🙂

  14. Angelica
    posted on Mar 01, 2012 at 4:13 PM  |  reply

    macaroni cheese,
    baked potatoes,
    pasta bake,
    fries usually go down well,
    maybe have a variety of sandwiches with deserts

  15. Jessica
    posted on Mar 01, 2012 at 6:17 PM  |  reply

    Chicken and dumplings. Grits (or mashed potatoes) buffet with toppings. Pork or beef sliders(Kroger has slider buns for $1). Maybe do a monthly breakfast. Lots of options there – french toast, breakfast casserole, pancakes, quiche, muffins, omelets, more grits, etc.

  16. jennifer
    posted on Mar 01, 2012 at 6:58 PM  |  reply

    oh Annie, I love this! (Great blog title too!)

    Homemade pizza (I totally cheat and use chef boyardee as the starting point). They can make mini pizzas and then put their own toppings on. Two pizzas are about $3.50.
    Sub sandwiches
    potato bar
    I agree with the Pinterest idea but it can be a black hole until you get a handle on it!
    ice cream bar and toppings.
    veggie lasagna
    Cowboy caviar and chips (blackeyed peas, corn, tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and italian dressings….it’s very filling and all veggies)
    love the breakfast ideas…eggs are cheap!

  17. posted on Mar 01, 2012 at 8:41 PM  |  reply

    I have no recipes to share, but I did need to tell you that at first I read it as “Cross Point Downton” instead of Downtown. I propose a name-change.

    Also love the title.

  18. posted on Mar 02, 2012 at 5:07 AM  |  reply

    You can’t get any cheaper than beans and rice. It is a staple food here, using chickpeas. Trust me, it tastes much better than it sounds!

    Check out this site (with lots of very good vegetarian recipes):

    Look under the pilaf category.

    Bon Apetit!

  19. posted on Mar 02, 2012 at 7:06 AM  |  reply

    Hey Annie! I’ve got a recipes page on my blog (http://www.shellywildman.net/p/recipes.html) with some possibilities for you. Everyone LOVES my pulled pork. I’d say the spaghetti and meatballs would be a hit as well.

    Also, this isn’t on my recipes page, but meatball subs are easy and delicious. Just take a bag of frozen meatballs and throw them in your crockpot. Pour a jar of marinara sauce (or, if you have a Trader Joe’s nearby, a can of their marinara that is huge, yummy, and costs about $1.79) over the whole thing. If you like more sauce, use two jars. Turn it on low and let it go for the day. Then use some French rolls or sub buns, some provolone cheese, and the meatballs. Trust me, the girls will love this. I have three teenage daughters and they all love when I make this.

    Good luck!

  20. posted on Mar 02, 2012 at 10:52 AM  |  reply

    Soup is a really easy way to feed a lot of people for less. Also, use less meat and add more veggies and/or beans in meals. You can try the $5 dinners website. She has a lot of great ideas. And Cooking Light Magazine has good inexpensive ideas, too.
    This recipe for lentil soup costs less than $5 and serves at least 6: http://memeinge.wordpress.com/2011/10/25/slow-cooker-lentil-soup/
    One more really good recipe I recently tried was for a red beans and wild rice stew from 365 Days of Slow Cooking: http://www.365daysofcrockpot.com/2011/04/slow-cooker-red-beans-and-wild-rice.html
    Hope this helps 🙂

  21. Amy
    posted on Mar 02, 2012 at 12:19 PM  |  reply

    One of my very favorites for a group of girls any age…”school lunch” night. Nothing beats a PB&J with a bag of chips and a Hostess treat like Ding Dongs.

  22. posted on Mar 02, 2012 at 1:32 PM  |  reply

    Grilled cheese and tomato soup has been a staple for me and my roommates when feeding a lot of people on the cheap.. you could probably fancy it up a bit and make panini’s or something fun like that..
    Also the make your own mini pizza is a fun idea and works cause you can easily leave off meat. You could also do the same thing with calzones.
    We’ve also done the “make your own omlette” thing where you mix what you want together in a ziploc bag and boil it? Kinda weird but good!

  23. posted on Mar 06, 2012 at 9:08 AM  |  reply

    Burrito casserole or chili. You can use the Morningstar Farms soy crumbles in both recipes so your grass-loving member is included, and you only have to make one dish. You and the other meat lovers won’t know the difference really. I can email you the recipes if you want. We’ve used these several times for our small group. The crumbles work in spaghetti sauce too if you want to make a batch of that.

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