Vegetarian entrees on your menu?

203
11
Joined Oct 12, 1999
Hello. I was wondering if any of you offer vegetarian entrees on your menu. We never really offered any Vegetarian Entrees at places i have worked, but occasionally we would get creative and try one out for a special, or if a guest asked us to make a vegetarian dish for them, we excepted the order and would play with flavors and techniques that would bring out the best flavor from the vegetables. Mushrooms were always a favorite ingredient of mine in Vegetarian Entrees

Thanks in Advance and more than likely afterwords!
 
7,375
69
Joined Aug 11, 2000
I do alot of cooking for mixed groups/ we even had vegan eaters....it's easy to make vegetarian dishes without alot of major effort....risotto (wild mushroom is great) then add a complimentary meat for the omnivores. Pastas with veg and shrooms
Grains with tofu added for the veggy
Soups are easy to make without a meat stock
Lasagnas with veggies and cheeses (not for vegans)
Pizzas....basically a starch with veggie stocks and a protein...beans, tofu, dairy, eggs......you can alter to go either way....meat or not

I can't believe I didn't remember....Saucecafe.com has the write up on our 5th Farmer~Chef meal....it just happened to be vegan. Look under Feature Focus. Our other meals were under Epicure and they too had veg. alternatives at each dinner.

[This message has been edited by shroomgirl (edited September 29, 2000).]
 
7,375
69
Joined Aug 11, 2000
This is sad....I thought this was a great thread
Restaurants have lost points or rankings from not having vegtarian dishes on the menu.

Noone has anything veggie on their menu we can learn from????????
 
177
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Joined Aug 14, 2000
Have you found that the term "vegetarian" has become bastardized? I get people who say they are vegetarian, then you start talking to them and they say they eat fish and occassionaly chicken.....? It's trendy to call yourself a "veggie" I guess.

I usually ask if they are vegan, ovo-lacto, or lacto. If they are a true veggie they will know what you are talking about. If not, you just get that look.
 
7,375
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Joined Aug 11, 2000
YEP bastardization of vegetarianism is on the uprise....vegan is probably the most difficult to do a decent job ....so unichef what do you make to accomodate the vegans in your restaurants?
Pesca is the term currently utilized by fish eaters....that refrain from other flesh.
 
401
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Joined Oct 6, 2001
Currently at the B&B being a small op, we always ask about dietary restrictions, etc (Oh I can't wait to get into a commercial kitchen to add catering...)Anyways, one woman answered back "Oh, I'm a vegan, I eat cheese, eggs and pork, but no fish or chicken" That one threw me for a loop--what bastrdized concept did she spawn from! I agree that vegans are definitely the hardest-I always want to throw some cheese in there. One thing I've done in several locations is stuffed portabellos--sauteed breadcrumbs, scallion, spinach and sundried tomatoes --use olive oil if vegan), salt pepper and the herbal flavour complimentary to other items being served or complimentary to the non-veg meals, stuffed into a roasted portabello and heat through. Always gets raves--if non-vegan, add some goats cheese or a wonderful parm, if meat eaters, add prosciutto or wonderful smoked bacon. Choose an appropriate sauce according to degree of vegan-ness and I usually plated flipped over, hiding the stuffing. A surprise to be unveiled... Am always asked for recipe.

Soups are always wonderful--how 'bout Hungarian mushroom--Sautee onions and mushrooms, add tomato and veg. stock and dill. A hearty veg soup not based on beans. Let me know if you want the recipe. Can be finished off w/sour cream if eat dairy.

What kind of restaurant are you with, what kind of meals are you looking for?
 
203
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Joined Oct 12, 1999
Well actually I been experimenting with different vegetables and starches. Trying to see how to get the best possible flavor from them or trying different combinations. I want to be able to make some creative delicious entrees with these vegetables in order to "open the door" to people who might kick vegetables to "side" and maybe give some more intereting flavores to people who already are vegetarians. Maybe get them to thinking....."Hey this veggie entree taste pretty good. I think I gonna try the other one next time" And as for my workplace...I work for the Patient Dining Services at a Hospital... And I am constantly trying to find ways to accentuate flavors in foods using dietary restictions. But would definately like to have some ideas and teqniques under my belt for my next position as well as the present. Thanks for the replies so far!

[This message has been edited by layjo (edited October 03, 2000).]
 
357
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Joined Sep 25, 2000
Use your imagination. some of my favs are
chanterelle and sun dried tamato risotto or grilled stuffed eggplant /w spinich moose
or baked pumpkin pecan soup.
call around and see what you have in your
county then bake it, steem it, grill it,
braise it, fry it, or just throw on a plate
and serve it.
 
401
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Joined Oct 6, 2001
Couscous!!

My favourite starch and can be done hot or cold, sweet or savory.

My current fav-sautee onions w/curry, add chicken or veg stock or water and OJ (gotta have the OJ), chopped dried craisins & apricots, parsley and toasted pecans!

Also good with sauteed onion, thyme w. stock or liquid of choice (I include some tomato juice), chopped tomato, chopped steamed broccoli, chopped water chestnut, etc... great base.

Great wrap that went well on a cafe line -- Santa Fe wrap (I can give you proportions later if you'd like) basic concept -- rice, black beans, corn, chopped tomato, cilantro, cumin, lemon juice, little olive oil, in a tomato or cilantro wrap.

I was a vegetarian for 2 1/2 years so have that background (1 1/2 yrs ovo-lacto (eggs & cheese) and 1 year I pesca-vegetarian -- I started eating fish) Then I gave it up. But I have the consumer background. Do you want bulk vegetarian recipes? I have tons from my old food contract management job. From soups to wraps to entrees. Let me know what you'd like. I also took the vegetarian cooking CEU class at CIA; some interesting ideas--I'll pull my stuff together.

lynne
 
177
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Joined Aug 14, 2000
I talk to them and make suggestions. It's never the same thing twice. I find that so often when they travel all they get when they say they are vegetarian is steamed veggies.

Vegetable Pastelles
Curried Eggplant in Coconut Essence
Black Bean Crepes
 
618
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Joined Jul 18, 2000
heh, in Gr4 course, we do a specific module on vegetarian cuisine - the exam menu must be written by the student and be strict vegan. He is my exam menu:

Soup:
Potato and Roasted Garlic
Starter:
A Trio of Mushroom Bruschetta

Main:
Chargrilled marinated Tofu
with Cous Cous, Roasted
Mediterranean Vegetables
and a Mirin and Miso Reduction.

I find with vegan menus, the hardest part usually is the dessert.
 
7,375
69
Joined Aug 11, 2000
OUr last Farmer~Chef dinner was totally vegan
dessert was a chocolate cake with apple sorbet....the cake was sweetened with beets and carrots and alittle maple syrup...no eggs no milk products the texture was amazing.
 
7,375
69
Joined Aug 11, 2000
Welcome chefstu! HMMMMM I'm trying to remember some of the vegan meals I've done.
Rice stick with shiitaki, baby corn, snowpeas, red pepper, greenonions, zucchini,
with a hoisin (yeah I know I have a sweet tooth) garlic, ginger, orange, greenoonion dressing...grilled tofu marinated in teriyaki on top

Veg lasagna with marinara hold the cheese

Orzo with lemon and garlic boiled in with a porcini and rosemary sauce

Chicken of the woods Morel potpie...I love that twist....
 
7,375
69
Joined Aug 11, 2000
French grilled veg sandwich 6"square fogasse
with grilled red peppers, red onions, zucchini, calamata tapenade, ground articokes, balsamic marinade....weighted
I add sheeps milk feta to cheese eaters.

Eggplant rollups....baked eggplant slices with Italian bread crumbs and olive oil
with ricotta, basil, garlic and egg filling rolled up in baked again to heat serve with marinara.

Putenesca...tomatoes, onions, basil, garlic, red pepper flakes, capers, calamatas (sometimes)

Butternut risotto
butternut soup
butternut buttermilk pie....
I like butternuts.
 
618
11
Joined Jul 18, 2000
Rocking Vegan stuff.

My theory on vegetarianism is that anything that uses meat will almost have a non-meat alternative.

Such things like tempeh, tofu and many other alternatives will always provide a decent non-meat alternative.

However, and im not putting down a non meat diet, the problem as a chef on vegetarian food (and my tendancy is to follow the vegan example) is the portion sizes.

I find that the nutritional requirements of vegetarians non problem. The problem lives within the provision of essential enzymes, amino acids, proteins and other nutrients.

As an example, to recieve the equivalent amount of iron etc in steak from vegetables, the average vegan has to eat atleast 2-5kg of spinach as compared to only 200g of steak.

I do understand as a chef that my main responsibility is to make the customer feel good. However the emphasis these days is for the chef to involve virtuallly all aspects of food into their repetoire including nutrition.

So where to from here?
 
7,375
69
Joined Aug 11, 2000
Well_ your essentially feeding them one meal not a days worth or a weeks worth.....
Give it your best shot and teach a nutrition class in your spare time.....I throw in that info when I teach....it's up to the individual to know what he's eating and what he needs to stay healthy.....and find the sources to get that info...it's not all on your shoulders.
 
618
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Joined Jul 18, 2000
I must admit that from where i look, satisfaction of a meal does not just stem from the flavours. Just as some can get poisoning from bad food, the effects from bad nutrition can be just as bad, over a longer period of time.

Without acting too judgmental or "high and mighty", i just think as a personal theory (on cooking) that good nutrition as well as good or "perfect" flavours is just as important as other things, and also reflects on the chef's "duty of care".
 
7,375
69
Joined Aug 11, 2000
You guys are going to love this, TRUE
Request. I'm coordinating and cooking a brunch Sat. for a visiting chef (Ann Cooper)
I get this call from a member who wants me to make a special VEGAN meal for her son...who also doesn't eat onions or shrooms mush less eggs or milk products
Our menu is" Sweet potato biscuits, Butternut Tea bread, apple muffins, roulade with duxelle, green salad, potatoes and onions.......So without busting my tail what would you make for this guy?
 

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