Feeding 150 People: Primitive Kitchen in Iraq Needs Recipe Ideas

I am on a mission here in Iraq. My job is to take care of service members in a very remote area. I can't give you my exact location, but what I am trying to do is bring this area into the 21st century and bring the Iraqi kitchen I deal with up to date on some basic American foods.


We don't have the modern convenience of a corner grocery store in this area and some ingredients are not available unless we travel to Baghdad, which is a very dangerous area right now.

I am trying to introduce a larger variety of American foods to the menu and find that if I can get scratch recipes to feed 150 people three times a day this would help boost the moral of my troops and add a touch of home.

I am looking for recipes that can be made fresh and in bulk. I have cooked for groups of about 20 for special family occasions, but used my recipes and just cooked all day. We use gas stoves here and also deal in the metric system for measuring, any help you can give in the measuring department would be appreciated.

What I am asking for is some simple breakfast, lunch, and dinner, along with some simple cake and dessert recipes and different sauces (canned tomato sauces are not available). We only have the one cook and he does what he can with what he has, but we get the same menu everyday and I have to find more variety that would be usable in this environment.

Some of the basic things we can get and have on hand are, plain flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, eggs, curry, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, beef, lamb, and chicken. Anything your collective minds can come up with would be deeply appreciated. I guess I should also tell you that everything is served buffet style. I hope all this makes sense to you and look forward to your response.

Thank You,

Site Manager, Iraq

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August 30, 20040 found this helpful

I am going to think about this and try to come up with something. Do you have potatoes of any kind? What other spices do you have or can obtain in bulk? Can you get garlic, rosemary, basil? What do you have for fruit available? Rice?

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By Renee Favors (Guest Post)
August 30, 20040 found this helpful

We have potatoes, rice and occasion Bananas, plums, grapes and figs. We have Garlic and I have seen basil on occassion but haven't seen any rosemary. We have salt and pepper that is readily available but thats about all I have seen so far.


We have olive oil and lemon juice and some terrible red wine that could probably be used for cooking because it tastes awful for sipping. There is no such thing as mayo or mustard either. If you have recipes for those that would be helpful.

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August 30, 20040 found this helpful

I did some searching and so far came up with these sites for recipes and tips:

Canadian Military Recipes

This site seems to have a lot of what you need. It is in metric and Canadian and American cooking are very similar so many of these recipes would help your people feel more at home.


Food Quantities for Large Group Cooking

This site gives a good idea of how many lbs. of food you need to feed 100 and 150 people. It is information for supplying a buffet so may be helpful.



Recipes to Serve 50

Here are some recipes for Breakfast, Desserts, Soups, Salads and Main Dishes for 50 people. You would need to triple these recipes but there is some good information here.


Recipes to Serve 100

Here's some for 100.


Thank you so much for your service to our troops and country. I hope you can find some "down home" recipes for them. Stay safe over there.
- Susan

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August 30, 20040 found this helpful

Here is a very simple, yet delicious, favorite cake recipe. I have made this as a cake or muffins and it works well for both. The cake is a small one, about 9" square, but I have successfully doubled it for a larger pan.


Gram's Coffee Cake

Mix together in a bowl and put into lightly greased 9" cake pan: 2 cups flour, 1 cup sugar, 2 teaspoons baking powder, and 1 cup milk. (You can use powdered milk; I always do)

On top of the wet batter in the pan, before baking, sprinkle 1 cup brown sugar, then sprinkle with cinnamon. Put on 1/2 stick butter or margarine last (cut up into chunks and evenly distribute on top of cake).

Then bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

I haven't done this, but I imagine you could substitute nutmeg or another spice for the cinnamon if you don't have cinnamon.

THANK YOU for serving in Iraq. Please be safe. Jayne.

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August 30, 20040 found this helpful


First, I join Susan and Jayne in thanking you for your service to our country. I also ask that you will be kept safe and will be blessed for your service.


Your answers may lie in a site called Allrecipes. It's a site I often use.


You can use the following link to do an Ingredient Search:


I searched for "flour, tomatoes, curry, beef" and received a recipe for Mulligatawny Soup III. You may customize any of the recipes found on this site by changing to 150 servings and the program will automatically refigure the ingredients for 150 servings.

With over 23,000 recipes from all over the world, which consits of the 25 distinct recipe collections of: Appetizer, Barbeque, Beef, Beverage, Bread, Brunch, Cake, Chicken, Christmas, Cookie, Dessert, Holiday, Kid, Main Dish, Mexican, Pasta, Pie, Pork, Quick & Easy, Salad, Seafood, Side Dish, Soup, Thanksgiving and Vegetarian recipes. Browsing these recipes for ones which contain the ingredients you have handy and contain the "American" qualities you're looking for, then having the computer program adjust the servings to 150 may be just the help you need!

I hope this helps!

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By Renee Favors (Guest Post)
September 3, 20040 found this helpful

Thank You All,

You are so very kind to help me in my endeavor. We are going to put some of the recpes I found at the many websites you suggested into play this weekend. I don't know how to thank you so on behalf of my Troops and myself I can only say THANK YOU for your support and caring. This has been a true morale builder. I'll let you know how everything goes:-)
Again, Thank You for all of your help.

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By Kathryn (Guest Post)
September 3, 20040 found this helpful

Before I share my suggestions I would like to thank you for taking such good care of everyone there. they are lucky to have someone as thoughtful as you looking after them. Blessings to you and everyone with you. Okay, here are a couple of my recommendations. Number one, think ethnic...you'll automatically expand and add variety to your meals. Talk to the people you cook for...get their suggestions for meals. I am sure most of these folks cooked
from time to time before heading off to Iraq. Ask for their family recipes...better yet, invite them to join you cooking their family dishes or at least acting as advisor to the cook. I bet they would love it. I know I would jump at the chance to cook up my favorite dish or dessert. It might be a nice change from the day to day routine.
An even further out idea is this. Survey these folks for a farmer, a scout, a botnist, or naturalist,or perhaps a survivalist...people with "plant" identification skills. They might be able to identify some plants in the area you can use ie; herbs, seasonings, vegetables to vary the menu and keep things interesting . . .My korean neighbor taught me to identify and eat all sorts of weeds and plants I would never have tried on my own. I now use dandylions, ferns, sweat pea tips, flower blossoms, etc. just like in those upscale resturants. You might be amazed to find out what these folks know about plants. Give them a chance to show you what they know. Get folks involved. I admire you for reaching out to the bigger world. I'm going to check out some of the sites folks have recommend to you. I went to the "foodnework.com" they have a section called the 30minute meal . . . you can make requests. Take a look at it. ----Wow, sooo close to Turkey and India and no turkish coffee or Indian spices. That's punishment. I hope that changes soon and I hope you get lots of delicious idea. Best of luck to all of you. My thoughts prayers are with you.

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By Coleen (Guest Post)
December 3, 20040 found this helpful

Sounds like you have ingredients for a great quiche! That is easy to do and serves buffet style great.

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By Kathy (Guest Post)
December 30, 20040 found this helpful

start a compost pile and plant a garden in the spring
You could keep everything in containers for easy moving

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By Dylan Otto Krider (Guest Post)
March 29, 20050 found this helpful

I've just started a site dedicated to eating well in a War Zone called http://www.mercenaryscookbook.com . it's a bit bare bones right now, but I'm looking for any tips you might have memekiller@mercenaryscookbook.com

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By zacharias thomas (Guest Post)
September 17, 20050 found this helpful

I was a head chef for a camp in naziriya iraq. I feed 800 us personnels and my food was from scratch almost.
it was a good job and now I am in UAE.
if you have a vacancy for head chef please give me a chance and let me work it out for the best
thanking you

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By Christine (Guest Post)
April 6, 20080 found this helpful

Cooking lamb over an open flame is quick and easy...especially rack of lamb. Just bring it to 150 degrees and it will be just right for slicing. Another easy dish to put together is shepherd's pie. Ground beef cooked and mixed with a gravy, corn cooked and layered over the ground beef, mashed potatoes over the top and walla. Pasta goes well with olive oil and just about any veggies you can find plus garlic of course.

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By Tony (Guest Post)
July 12, 20080 found this helpful

I cook for a group of 50-100 every sunday and a few of group favorites are the easiest to make. Chicken fajitas, Sloppy Joes, and Walking Tacos. Sounds like you have most of the ingredients to make those. konecne AT gmail.com if sounds interesting.

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May 17, 20100 found this helpful

My mom has a recipe called beef curry that I always loved, it is used for a sauce over rice or noodles. If you don't have those, it can be thickened enough for a soup. These are the ingredients for a potful:

  • 1-2 lbs. lean beef, cook first
  • 1 onion
  • garlic powder or garlic
  • 2 teaspoons curry
  • 4-5 teaspoons of beef bouillon (you may not have)
  • 5 cups or more of water

Simmer 2-3 hours (I've done it in less time). Thicken with flour or cornstarch, 1 1/2 tablespoons per cup of sauce. It calls for tomato sauce, you can use tomatoes, maybe mashed up a little bit. I'm sure there is some salt in there somewhere, I don't have it listed, but it can't hurt. I'm not sure how to convert to the metric system. Google "metric system".

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January 30, 20160 found this helpful

Here are some ideas that immediately come to mind, hope this helps...

Curry over biscuits with cucumber and tomato salad (hoping you can find some sugar and vinegar for salad dressing). Curry would probably be a la king style using chicken or beef, onions, and tomatoes.
Egg, tomato and onion quiche with flour based pie crust.
Brown up onions and make up a gravy using flour to pour over roasted beef and tomatoes.

Make a curry flavored stuffing with onions and bread made using flour. serve with roasted chicken.

Scrambled eggs with sliced tomatoes and bread made using flour and water.

Bread pudding with raisins (if you can find them) is tasty for b'fast.

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April 13, 20160 found this helpful


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December 11, 20160 found this helpful

My favorite type of food is Greek, a lot of the ingredients you listed made me think of my favorite foods. Greek Villagers' Salad - chopped cucumbers, chopped tomatoes, and chopped onions mixed together.Additional toppings could be feta cheese, olives, pita bread (chunks for croutons), tzatziki sauce. Gyros - pita bread with cucumbers, tomatoes,and onion with a meat and tzatziki sauce.

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August 19, 20190 found this helpful

Hi Renee..first of all thank you all for your service..God Bless you..I make a vegetable use a long pan sprayed oan..I put pie crust dough over bottom pick holes in it..I slice green peppers. ..layer Onions..if u like thin layers of squash..top with red tomatoes..i then beat 3-4 eggs ..1/2 cup oil salt & pepper together pour over the vegetables..completely top all with any cheese u may have ...bake till your crust is golden brown..depending on your pan 45 to 55 min @ 350. I hope they enjoy this as a vegetable change

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