The Vegetarian Resource Group Blog

Preparing and Serving Vegan Dishes at Church Cafe

Posted on October 08, 2014 by The VRG Blog Editor

Almost every Wednesday, VRG member John Lytle, his daughter, and sometimes his wife volunteer with the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Montclair, NJ at MESH (Montclair Emergency Services for the Homeless Inc.) Cafe. John is known as the dessert guy, although sometimes he cooks for other parts of the meal. At a recent meal, John prepared 72 portions of the vegan Chocolate Pudding recipe in Simply Vegan published by The Vegetarian Resource Group. It was well received. John said:

I usually doesn’t make 72 portions of anything, but we had 60 guests and the math worked well, grossing up the recipe that is, for making 3 batches of 24 portions each. Having 60 or more guests seems to be the new normal, we used to assume 50-60, and when I began doing this it was 35-40. We plan on preparing 65 generous portions for next Wednesday. Below is a copy of your recipe with the ingredient amounts for 12, 24, and 30 portions.

We have never served a vegetarian entree to all of our guests, but we always prepare a vegetarian alternative entree. Typically 10% of our guests request the vegetarian option. Also we always serve a soup course, and it is almost always vegetarian. John would like to lead the effort to plan a completely vegetarian MESH Cafe meal and recently purchased Vegan in Volume published by The Vegetarian Resource Group.

Original recipe – From the book Simply Vegan

Chocolate Pudding (Serves 3)
1 1/2 Cups soy milk
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 Cup maple syrup
1/4 Cup cocoa powder
2 bananas, sliced (optional)

Whisk all the ingredients (except the bananas) together in a pot.
Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until pudding thickens.
Remove pot from stove. Stir in sliced bananas if desired. Chill for at least 15
minutes before serving.

Variation: Replace chocolate powder with non-dairy carob powder.

Total calories per serving: 198 Total fat as % of daily value: 6%
Protein: 7 gm Carbohydrates: 36 gm
Fat: 4 gm Calcium: 92 mg
Iron: 1 mg Sodium: 155 mg Dietary fiber: negligible

Store Brands John used:

Measurements for 12 servings:
soy milk: 6 cups ( 1.5 quarts )
corn starch: 3/4 cups
vanilla extract: 1 teaspoons
maple syrup: 1 cups
cocoa powder: 1 cups

Measurements for 24 servings:
soy milk: 12 cups (3 quarts)
corn starch: 1 1/2 cups
vanilla extract: 2 teaspoons
maple syrup: 2 cups
cocoa powder: 2 cups

Measurements for 30 servings:
soy milk: 15 cups ( 1 gallon minus 1 cup )
corn starch: 1 ¾ cups plus 2 tbsp
vanilla extract: 2 ½ teaspoons
maple syrup: 2 ½ cups
cocoa powder: 2 ½ cups

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