VEGETARIAN JOURNAL'S FOODSERVICE UPDATE

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

Volume V, Number 2   Spring 1997  

A GLIMPSE AT THE VEGGIE FOOD BEING SERVED
IN ONE DINING HALL AT INDIANA UNIVERSITY
Special thanks to Heather Slapar, R.D., for gathering this information.

Jim Beeson, Food Service Director of Edmonson Dining Room at Indiana University was interviewed for this article. The hall serves approximately 950-1,000 meals per day. Although meat items are served at this location, this is the one dorm on campus that attempts to cater to vegetarians and vegans. In February, 1996, a survey of 165 diners was conducted asking them how they would describe their own eating personality. The majority (89) said they ate lowfat. There were 77 self-proclaimed vegetarians, 13 vegans, and 67 pro-pasta people. Only 41 individuals described themselves as "meat and potatoes."

Mr. Beeson stated that he is getting more requests for vegan items. He realizes that many of the vegetarian recipes he had been using were from the 1970's and are heavy in dairy products. He is attempting to make more desserts and entrees using tofu so that vegans may "have his cake and let the others eat it too!"

Breakfast items offered in this dining hall include bagels, homemade vegan breads, make-your-own waffles from a vegan batter, tofu French toast, and cereal with soy milk. At lunch a vegan pasta dish is often offered along with a vegetarian soup prepared with a vegan soup base, a salad bar, baked potatoes, and veggie burgers. They offer Harvest Burgers for the vegans and Garden Patties from Morningstar for vegetarians. They also offer Black Bean Burgers. Dinner items often follow a theme such as Mexican or Greek. Mr. Beeson likes to do "parodies" of foods. For example, eventually he would like to offer meat, cheese, and tofu enchiladas on a Mexican night so that the vegans could have a main entree instead of settling for side dishes like rice and refried beans to make a meal. Other dinner items include rice and beans, grain or pasta casseroles, and other typical vegan fare. A vegetarian entree containing dairy and/or eggs is also offered at all meals.

Most of the dishes in this dining hall are prepared from scratch. The only pre-made items are veggie burgers and canned refried and black beans. He encourages that you cook in small batches, using small pans, and keeping foods such as pasta and sauces separate until they are put on the line to ensure food quality. He finds that the cooks do not mind preparing vegetarian items since the student's ask for them and the veggie items are very popular and well liked.

In order to identify vegan and vegetarian items, menu cards with the item's name, calories, fat, portion size, and ingredients are displayed on the sneeze guards of the food bar. He finds that students often choose items based on their fat content. He personally avoids labeling items as vegan. While many appreciate a vegan designation, many others will be turned off by such a product. By only listing the ingredients the vegans are able to determine if the item has their seal of approval while the non-vegetarians will not develop a prejudice against the food items and may be more inclined to try it.

Thanks to Mr. Beeson for sharing the following quantity recipes with our readers.


Excerpts from the Spring 1997 Issue:


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