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

Volume VII, Number 4  Autumn 1999  


Vegan entrées are simple to put together if you keep the correct ingredients on hand. You can decide on the amount of time and money you would like to expend and on the skill level of your kitchen staff.

The easiest (but probably the most costly of veggie options) is to use convenience products. Veggie burgers are available frozen in a variety of flavors and are easy to prepare. Offer a "gigundo" veggie burger piled high with sliced tomato, shredded lettuce and carrots, diced bell pepper and onions, and sliced mushrooms. Or you can smother a veggie burger in mushroom gravy for a vegan "Salisbury steak," and pair it with mashed potatoes (make potatoes vegan with margarine and vegetable stock) and herbed steamed vegetables. Taking it a step further, veggie burgers can be cooked and crumbled into tomato sauces to make a veggie "meat" sauce, used to top veggie pizzas or as a filling for tacos, burritos, chili, tamale pie, shepherd's pies, and lasagna. This can also be used for the "beef" in beef, tomatoes, and macaroni.

Tofu dogs can be offered grilled or steamed with lots of chopped and minced fresh and pickled vegetables. Slice tofu dogs into casseroles and soups, such as a smoky four bean and rice casserole or split pea soup. A bagel dog can be made for breakfast or lunch by toasting a bagel, grilling a tofu dog and cutting the tofu to fit the bagel. Wrap in foil and heat in the oven at 400 degrees for about 5 minutes.

Pasta is an easy way to go for veggie entrées. Prepare a marinara sauce (tomato sauce with minced, sautéed veggies such as carrots, onions, peppers, and garlic), add steamed or sautéed mushrooms and extra tomatoes, and toss with cooked pasta. Serve immediately, or place in a steam table pan, topped with shredded fresh basil and bell peppers. Bake until hot. Sauté cooked pasta with minced garlic and greens, such as thawed, drained spinach. Pesto sauce (basil, pine nuts, garlic, and oil) can be mixed with chopped seasonal veggies and cooked pasta. Frozen convenience pastas, filled with tofu or beans can be steamed and sauced, or fried for a fast entrée.

Canned beans can be used to make hearty soups. Drain and purée canned beans, thin with vegetable stock or tomato juice, add cooked pasta, whole beans, and frozen vegetables, and let simmer. Pair with corn bread and tossed greens for a complete meal. Season black or red beans with barbecue sauce or Cajun hot sauce and serve over steamed brown rice or, barley. Create a four-bean casserole with kidney, baby limas, and black and white beans mixed with cooked rice and seasoned with cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, and white pepper. Canned beans can be added to tomato or mushroom sauce and served over pasta.

Baked potatoes can be topped with chopped fresh and cooked vegetables, beans, salsa and margarine. Create a baked potato bar or pasta bar - have baked white and sweet potatoes and unsauced pasta. Also offer crumbled veggie burgers, sautéed mushrooms, herbed margarine, chopped fresh herbs, chopped raw vegetables, steamed fresh or frozen veggies, and several kinds of sauces and let your customers create their own entrée.

Excerpts from the Autumn 1999 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.

Converted to HTML by Stephanie Schueler.

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