Vegetarian Journal's Foodservice Update

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Vegetarian Journal's Foodservice Update
Healthy Tips and Recipes for Institutions

Volume VIII, Number 3 Summer 2000  

VEGETARIAN FOODSERVICE HOTLINE

Question: How do I go beyond the steamed vegetable platter for my vegan banquet entrées? When doing large numbers (such as 100 or 200), my staff doesn’t have time to be creative and needs menu items that aren’t too delicate (since they may be in chafing dishes or hot-held for a while).

Answer: First, read the previous article on “ethnic vegan” in this issue. Then, get into an ethnic mind-set. Think of vegetables and grains as building blocks, not ends in themselves. After all, very few banquet cooks toss a piece of chicken in the oven with sauce or seasoning and serve it without any accompaniments. Vegetables offer the same drawing board as animal protein.

Ethnic vegan is where the fun and the flavor come in. Try a ratatouille, a dish originating in the South of France that can be unbelievably colorful and flavorful. Ratatouille is an eggplant stew with tomatoes, summer squash, carrots, onions, celery, olives, and chunked potatoes, seasoned with olive oil, garlic, and parsley. Since ratatouille actually improves in flavor as it cooks, your “delicate” problem is solved. Make ratatouille a day ahead so the flavors can marry and serve it over garlic mashed potatoes, couscous, onion-flavored brown rice, or corn bread.

Other ethnic vegan entrée ideas are veggie lasagna (use flavored pasta and lots of greens, such as spinach or kale), potato paella (use potatoes where the meat would go), lentil curries served with saffron rice, or a French olive and onion tart. All these entrées can be made a day ahead and will stand up well to reheating.

Invest in some “fake meats” (see the Products Section). Tofurky or Chiken breast can be grilled or baked, seasoned with Italian or Mediterranean spice combinations, topped with mushroom gravy and paired with rosemary-steamed veggies and pasta. “Fake meats” can be treated just like their animal counterparts, without the cholesterol (a plus for many of your non-vegan customers) or ethical consid-erations. Offer a Chiken picatta, cacciatore, or Southwestern cutlet. Use Tofurky for a traditional turkey dinner with stuffing and cranberry sauce, as a hot Cuban sandwich (baked with garlic pickles and onions), or as an Asian stir-fry.

We hope this gives you some great banquet ideas. For more ideas, see Vegan in Volume, published by The Vegetarian Resource Group. You can order this new quantity cookbook here.


Excerpts from the Summer 2000 Issue:

Click here to go to the main foodservice page (Vegetarian Journal's FoodService Update and Quantity Cooking Information with links to each issue).


For the complete issue, please subscribe to the magazine. To subscribe to Vegetarian Journal's Foodservice Update, click here and check "Add 1 year Foodservice Update for $10 more"  on whatever subscription form you choose.

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