I have been asked to provide a vegan dish for a festival - ideas welcome please! - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 06-29-2017, 12:41 PM
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I have been asked to provide a vegan dish for a festival - ideas welcome please!

Hi.

I have been asked by a friend who is running a 3-day festival to help if I can by adding a vegan option to the fast food that I will be doing. (The Vegan caterers have just pulled out a couple of days before the Festival)

I know there are dozens of awesome recipes BUT there is only one spare pan in the bain marie and one spare gas burner. As such I am trying to find the single most acceptable option for people.

Initially I thought of noodles (not the egg ones obviously) but then some recipes suggested peanuts (yet many have allergies), other suggest coconut - and again a lot of folks are not keen on that. Not sure what else to put in with noodles to make them enjoyable.

Unfortunately it will need to be FAST food that can made quickly and sold quickly.

The "cheat" I suppose is veggieburgers but I was trying to think of something a tiny bit more imaginative - and may even be able to offer these too for people who are not too disturbed that they will be cooked on a griddle that (although can be wiped down between burgers) will also be used to cook meat. (beefburgers).

As I say, I have one gas burner (for either a pan or pot) and also a spare bain marie to keep things hot.

Any SIMPLE ideas that you think most vegans would like (so ideally avoiding peanuts and nuts) would be really welcome.

Alas it has to be cost effective too as I am guessing they will be unhappy if the vegan food option is dearer than the meat option - if I am wrong, please correct me.

If anyone can think of something more exciting than a veggieburger - please say!

Thank you

Mark
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#2 Old 06-29-2017, 04:07 PM
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In the bain maire, you could have homemade sofritas (which is easy to make). Maybe mix in some fajita veggies. Then when a customer comes up, wrap it in a tortilla and throw it on the fry pan for 30 seconds to help seal it up.

You can google how to make sofritas at home, but basically it is:
Crumbled tofu, cooked on a pan
chipotle tabasco sauce
pepper
garlic powder
onion powder
and some other seasonings.

If you are worried about people not liking spicy foods, you can change it to say a BBQ or even a "sloppy joe" kinda tofu filling...

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#3 Old 06-29-2017, 04:49 PM
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Ok, thank you for that, I will have a look and a practice tomorrow and see if I can "make it work"

I think if I went easy on the tabasco and had a little "tasting" dish for people to dip a breadstick in or something, then that might work quite well. I have tabasco but not spotted before "chipotle tabasco". I have som googling to do.

Thank you for the idea
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#4 Old 06-29-2017, 05:15 PM
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First question is what else is being served? Can they share ingredients- like veggies, pasta, bread? Fries?
What is the venue?

Well crafted pita stuffing--like sauteed veggies with tofu and a optional nooch/garlic sprinkle. You could have the veggies-onions, mushrooms, peppers all prepped, the tofu cubed in a container tossed in a marinade. They can be sauteed together. Or leave off marinade and offer a choice of dressing

If burgers are the main offering make sure what you serve is good- not mushy, and reserve a spot on the grill.
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#5 Old 06-29-2017, 07:04 PM
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I would keep it simple, since you don't know how many attendees will actually want the vegan option. Even though veggie burgers sound basic, they should be popular with vegans (and even popular with some omnivores).
.
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#6 Old 06-29-2017, 08:11 PM
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I think any of the above suggestions would be good. The vegans will be happy that they have been remembered regardless of what vegan dish you cook for them.

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#7 Old 06-29-2017, 10:50 PM
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I would consider sweet potato chili. It sounds more exotic then telling people you have 'meatless chili', and it tastes good. Make it the night before so the flavors can meld, then warm it in the bain marie. Then you don't have to worry about contamination issues from the griddle and utensils.
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#8 Old 06-29-2017, 10:55 PM
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Agree with Mojo, chilli is an all round pleaser.
Make it mild and sell it with tortilla chips and Mexican slaw (shredded white cabbage, carrots, onion dressed with lime juice and fresh chopped coriander)
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#9 Old 06-30-2017, 02:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mojo View Post
I would consider sweet potato chili. It sounds more exotic then telling people you have 'meatless chili', and it tastes good. Make it the night before so the flavors can meld, then warm it in the bain marie. Then you don't have to worry about contamination issues from the griddle and utensils.
Yuck
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Originally Posted by Spudulika View Post
Agree with Mojo, chilli is an all round pleaser.
Make it mild and sell it with tortilla chips and Mexican slaw (shredded white cabbage, carrots, onion dressed with lime juice and fresh chopped coriander)
Yuck. Cilantro is an herb that ruins many foods. I've had food taken back many times for containing some kind of cleaning fluid before I found out about cilantro. this is a common problem
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I think any of the above suggestions would be good. The vegans will be happy that they have been remembered regardless of what vegan dish you cook for them.
No. Hell no. Way too many places serve 'trendy' foods that have limited appeal. They fold, not for lack of cooked flesh products, but for lack of general appeal. I would buy a bag of Fritos for lack of anything I could choke down if you served sweet potato chili or anything with the herb that tastes like soap to so many people.
I've quit going to most veg restaurants for these reasons. Avocado seems infused in everything, and after I remove many additions I've realized I could have done better going to a burger place and simply leaving off the burger.
Having such limited appeal foods to vegans would be like serving liver and onions or pigs feet for the omni selections

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I would keep it simple, since you don't know how many attendees will actually want the vegan option. Even though veggie burgers sound basic, they should be popular with vegans (and even popular with some omnivores).
.
That's a really good idea

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#10 Old 06-30-2017, 02:53 AM
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Yuck



No. Hell no. Way too many places serve 'trendy' foods that have limited appeal. They fold, not for lack of cooked flesh products, but for lack of general appeal. I would buy a bag of Fritos for lack of anything I could choke down if you served sweet potato chili or anything with the herb that tastes like soap to so many people.
I've quit going to most veg restaurants for these reasons. Avocado seems infused in everything, and after I remove many additions I've realized I could have done better going to a burger place and simply leaving off the burger.
Having such limited appeal foods to vegans would be like serving liver and onions or pigs feet for the omni selections
Around here you would be lucky to even find someone who knows what vegan is so we are lucky we have Asian and Indian restaurants ( although the Thai ones are still likely to put fish sauce in everything even if you tell them not to). So if someone at any of the street events here thought of providing for vegans it would be a miracle. You would have to go to the city (Sydney) to expect a vegan option. I personally would take my own food.

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#11 Old 06-30-2017, 03:42 AM
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I should not post first thing in the morning!

My only point was to keep vegan food in the same realm as how you'd choose meat options--trying to include the general tastes. Of course not everyone is going to like everything, but just try and get the popular dishes. Omnis also go for veggie wraps and burgers.

It's a shame that vegan food is associated with "weird".

You can have potato salad, cole slaw, macaroni salads, chips--those are all the same when made with vegan mayo and without eggs. Basically, I suggest options that will attract the most people.

I mean fish tacos may be cool in Seattle, but in Cleveland they'd be shunned by most
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#12 Old 06-30-2017, 09:10 AM
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I liked the chili idea, you could leave out the cilantro...

What about a simple mac and cheeze? or a simple pasta dish? there are so many amazing recipes that duplicate mac and cheeze so easily, there are tofu based, potato based, sweet potato based so that you don't have to include nuts. Same with the pasta, simple tomato sauce with some great veggies incorporated...

Both can be made ahead of time and everyone loves mac and cheeze.

This is one from Maddie Lymburner

One from CookingWithPlants https://cookingwithplants.com/recipe...cheese-recipe/

good luck, Emma JC

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#13 Old 06-30-2017, 10:46 AM
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First question is what else is being served? Can they share ingredients- like veggies, pasta, bread? Fries?
What is the venue?

Well crafted pita stuffing--like sauteed veggies with tofu and a optional nooch/garlic sprinkle. You could have the veggies-onions, mushrooms, peppers all prepped, the tofu cubed in a container tossed in a marinade. They can be sauteed together. Or leave off marinade and offer a choice of dressing

If burgers are the main offering make sure what you serve is good- not mushy, and reserve a spot on the grill.

The main offerings are very simple and basic. There will be burgers, hotdogs and the option for cheese to be added and people help themselves to fried onions if they would like them. Now the rolls I use say they are suitable for vegetarian use but do not say vegan. So I may have to get different rolls for those - so I will see what the cash and carry (Bookers) can offer.

The venue is a pub called the Prince Of Wales - it is a fairly large venue with an outside area and they are hosting a three -to-four day indoor festival there. (three paid days and a free one with spillover bands). I have been asked to try to avoid food which are very liquid (soup etc) as if spilled can cause a hazard before someone can clean it up.

As for what foods are there already, normally, I use the fat from the burgers to fry off the onions but I could have a container with pre-veg oil fried onions for vegans and vegetarians. So "vegan fried onions" can be present and (if I can find them) vegan friendly bread rolls. If not, then I guess veggieburgers might be out too.

I had toyed with the idea of a pasta / noodle dish perhaps with bits of tofu in - however I see several folks on here have made other suggestions and there is at least once recipe for me to have a look at!

Thank you for your help and feedback!
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#14 Old 06-30-2017, 10:55 AM
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A short note of thanks to everyone who has contributed ideas and suggestions for recipes - some awesome ideas.

It was interesting to see that (as with most things in life), suggestions that some folks reckon are a great idea, others are not so keen on. Although I am happy to put some effort into getting something right, I think avoiding commonly disliked ingredients might be a plan as I could understand from a customers point of view that if there is only one vegan dish and it contains <yuck food for them> they will be both disappointed and hungry.

Mac & cheese seemed like an idea at first (and simple enough to do) but apparently a fair number of lot of vegans do not like cheese even it is vegan. (I only know this as I mentioned the idea to a vegan friend and her veggie partner and they both hate cheese!)

I just need to think through the ideas offered some more on the basis that "If there was ONE simple dish ONLY that was provided for vegans, which dish would make the most folks happy?".

Again, thank you everyone for offering helpful thoughts and ideas
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#15 Old 06-30-2017, 11:14 AM
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Veggie korma might work, served with naan or chapattis? Butternut squash, butter beans, green beans, spinach, onions, garlic, peas, mushrooms. Coconut milk. Spice paste. Most Brits like a curry, and anyone can cope with a korma.
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#16 Old 06-30-2017, 12:08 PM
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I'd go with ratatouille...a one pot wonder with lots of veggies.

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#17 Old 06-30-2017, 12:10 PM
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It is not really cheese or even fake cheese - it is potato mostly with some nutritional yeast etc.

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#18 Old 06-30-2017, 03:11 PM
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Oh! If you are going to go with a chili recipe, consider making it chili mac! And maybe have some small slices of corn bread to serve with it. Chili mac > chili

Also, even if you do not go with my sofritas idea, I suggest you make it some time just for you. Sofritas are super yummie

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#19 Old 06-30-2017, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by SapphireLightning View Post
In the bain maire, you could have homemade sofritas (which is easy to make). Maybe mix in some fajita veggies. Then when a customer comes up, wrap it in a tortilla and throw it on the fry pan for 30 seconds to help seal it up.

You can google how to make sofritas at home, but basically it is:
Crumbled tofu, cooked on a pan
chipotle tabasco sauce
pepper
garlic powder
onion powder
and some other seasonings.

If you are worried about people not liking spicy foods, you can change it to say a BBQ or even a "sloppy joe" kinda tofu filling...
Lots of people have soy allergies, as well. I'd use lentils instead.
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#20 Old 06-30-2017, 09:54 PM
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What about falafel wraps?

Not an exciting idea, but rare to find a vegan who doesn't like falafel.
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#21 Old 07-01-2017, 05:39 AM
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They need an easy, generically appealing, low cost food.

Black burgers have become marketed for all tastes. Even the grill favorite Bubba Burgers now have a black bean burger. When I go to cook outs and they get a limited number of them we have to reserve ones for the true veg'ns or they run out from last minute requests from omnivores.

The ideas mentioned are fine, but they don't have general appeal, are not so easy (falafel-soak garbanzos overnight, grind, mix, fry--cause no falafel isn't from cooked beans)

This topic so reminds me of my excitement to eat at all vegan restaurants, then finding their menus were nothing but overpriced bowls and full of ingredients I don't like. Sandwiches with avocado mayo--but no vegan mayo to sub with? I left and got Subway--because Subway has lots of veggies, fresh bread, and vegan toppings and sell a lot of them because they're cheap, easy and have general appeal.

As I mentioned before, this place has burgers rather than kidney pate because burgers are easy and accepted. Lets make vegan options as easy and accepted too,

It's like they wouldn't just serve pork because many are opposed to eating pig, even if omni.
Offer foods ok with the majority
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#22 Old 07-01-2017, 06:52 AM
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Veggie burgers are a great idea IF they follow through with acceptable bread options. He's trying to appeal to the vegans who will no longer have an option thanks to the vendors pulling out.

For vegans who also choose to avoid gluten for the health of it, finding a gluten-free vegan bread option can be a real challenge, to say the least, and a deal breaker as to whether or not they order his vegan options.

Unless places offer up various lettuce/spinach/cabbage/etc. leaves as a bun option, or are willing to serve it on top of a bed of greens as opposed to the typical cheap buns, which is what I usually opt and ask for when ordering veggie burgers of any sort, I can see where burgers my not be all that appealing to the actual vegans in attendance. But then again, if he has the only vegan menu option in town and folks are stuck there with no other options, it shouldn't be a problem selling out.

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#23 Old 07-01-2017, 07:17 AM
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True about the buns, if you're by an Aldi there brand of hamburger buns happen to be vegan and they are cheap. Regular buns for all burgers

You could also offer torillas, or pitas for the vegan burgers

As for gluten free, that has nothing to do with being vegan. We're talking about food that is free from animal products.

I guess it would be a good idea for all customers to set aside a gluten free bread option.

There is no universal food, I just feel offering a choice of veggie wraps and bean burgers is the easiest, cheapest, and best selling point--even if there are few vegans, they have omni appeal

Get some Just Mayo too

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#24 Old 07-01-2017, 01:46 PM
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Again, thank you for the ideas and thought from you all. I have gone through the Tesco vegan list (a useful resource!) and have made a note of which of their rolls are Vegan friendly and will get a good number of packs of those to take.

Going to try Aldi, Tesco & Bookers to see what Veggie burgers and veggie sausages they can offer - which will mean the Vegan menu will echo the omnivore menu more or less. I have not discounted the idea of a more "liquid" option - but decided it would not be too hard to add these two items to the menu anyway

The burgers for the omnivores work out in bulk at around 30p and the rolls around 20p. I have looked at the gluten-free rolls but these are the best part of £1 each and really quite small which, when added to the cost price of the veggie burgers (around 60p for the ones people reckon are good) then I would need to charge at least £1.30 extra for the veggie option. IF however I just accept the fact I cannot please everyone and remind folks that the rolls DO contain gluten. Then I can probably ignore the extra 30p for the difference in burger price - so prices for Omnis and Vegans can be the same - though alas Vegan sausages are a LOT smaller.

I looked at the idea of providing a plastic tray, fork, with some assorted salad as a "roll alternatie" but then it is either another person needed OR the salad is going to get pretty limp if pre-prepared - and again I would have to charge more for that option which is what I am trying to avoid if I can help it.

So.... At the moment, Vegan friendly hotdogs, vegan friendly burgers are "on the menu" and as these do not need the spare bain marie pan, I am thinking still of the dish with the most appeal that has been suggested above. Will try and avoid soya, gluten and nuts - but other than that, I think I have to accept the old adage that you cannot always please everyone! Working title for that dish is "Mystery Gloop" but will be give a more meaningful one, once I know what it is!

So, the idea at the moment is to create a separate Vegan Menu "Board" (laminated large printout):

Veggie burgers £3.50 (see board for ingredients list)
Veggie hotdog £3 (see board for ingredients list)
<"Mystery gloop" - gluten, nut and soya free> £ 4 per carton full (see board for ingredients list)

I reckon if I printout verbatim the ingredients for the sausages, burgers, rolls and "Mystery Gloop", then hopefully that is just about "all bases covered".
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