Tags Posts tagged with "Vegan"

Vegan

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the cinnamon snail

Mobile Cuisine is always proud to provide our readers articles designed to share a multifaceted culinary lifestyle program that is spreading throughout the country and world. As many of you already know, we have designated many of our Monday features to help promote the Meatless Monday’s program which not only do we support on the website, but our staff actually has adopted in our Monday dietary lifestyle.

Today we want to follow up a recent article in which we asked our readers to submit their choice for America’s favorite vegetarian or vegan food truck or cart. The submissions have been counted and many of the trucks were too close to eliminate some, so instead of a top 10. we have a top 15.

Bombay Food Junkies – St. Louis, MO

The Cilantro Truck – Golden, CO

Cinnamon Snail – NYC/NJ

Custom Confections – Houston, TX

The Farm Concessions – Keene, NH

Good Karma Kitchen – DFW, TX

The Green Radish – New York, NY

Homegrown Smoker Vegan BBQ – Portland, OR

Karma Chamealeon – Toronto, Canada

Like No Udder – Providence, RI

Mama Juice – Ft. Lauderdale, FL

PAC Pastries – Jupiter, FL

The Randy Radish – Sterling, VA

The Squeeze – New York, NY

Unity Vegan Kitchen – Austin, TX

If you are a food truck that feels you should have been included, we apologize. The trucks selected for this poll were determined by our readers, and by the number of votes they received in the first phase of the contest.

THE POLL IS CLOSED

This poll will stay open for 2 weeks to make sure everyone gets a chance to vote for in the poll and the truck operators will have a chance to let their fans know to come help them collect votes. The poll will close on August 8th at 12AM CT. The results will be announced on the following Monday.

If you run into issues with submitting a vote in the poll, you can submit via email (contest@mobile-cuisine.com), however we will be making sure that only 1 vote is counted per person.

The winner of this contest will be featured on Mobile Cuisine in a feature article, to help share information about the vendor, their menu, and how they came up with the idea for serving meatless fare.

Tell your friends and family to help spread the word.

Please do your part today and join the Meatless Monday movement? Signing up is fast and easy! Follow them on Twitter.

Mobile Cuisine looks forward to continued coverage of Meatless Monday for our readers!

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Protein Sources for a Vegetarian

Each week new Meatless Monday participating restaurants and food trucks are popping up worldwide. To do our part in supporting Meatless Mondays we believe that sharing information, recipes, and news about vegetarianism and leading a more conscious life overall is beneficial for everyone, vegetarian and omnivore alike.

From large chains to fine dining, chefs and restaurateurs are discovering the many benefits Meatless Monday offers to both their patrons and their pockets. So what can Meatless Monday do for your food truck business?

• By signing onto the Meatless Monday movement, you’re joining forces with eateries nationwide! From delis in D.C. to five-star bistros in Santa Monica, this is a public health campaign that everyone can get behind. Even celebrity chefs like Mario Batali and John Fraser now have Meatless Monday specials.

• Meatless Monday is a creative way to combat an otherwise slow day in the mobile food industry. Weekly specials are a great way to increase traffic and gain new customers. Meatless Monday also lends itself to a wide variety of one-time events and promotions; get them talking about you one week and dining with you the next!

• Offering a Meatless Monday special couldn’t be easier! Simply highlight the meat-free options you already have on hand. Just like Sodexo, the world’s premier food services provider, does for its 10 million meals served every Monday. Remember- you don’t have to take meat off the menu to participate. For an exciting start to the week you can also use Monday to launch new meatless options or to highlight a local or seasonal dish.

• Meatless dishes are usually much cheaper to produce and take less time to prepare. Highlighting meat-free entrees means an increase in profits from each dish sold. Low costs also mean you can offer attractive discounts and specials without breaking the bank.

• Meatless Mondays are an easy way to show customers that you care about issues in your community. Rates of obesity and chronic preventable disease have soared in recent years. So too have concerns about the environmental impact of what we eat. Meatless Monday addresses both of these issues in an approachable way, allowing restaurants to be part of the conversation.

WHAT’S A MEATLESS MONDAY FEATURE?

There are limitless ways to bring Meatless Monday to your restaurant. But they broadly fall into two categories:

Highlight What You Have

If you already serve meatless dishes, simply highlight them as Meatless Monday options! You can gather them under one menu heading, use a little “MM” insignia next to each item, create your own Meatless Monday logo, make a Monday menu inset, or highlight Meatless Monday meals on a specials board. Ultimately, it’s just a matter of drawing attention to the delicious meat-free items you already serve.

Add Meatless Dishes

If you don’t already offer meat-free items, it’s easy to create and/or add these dishes. Half the fun of Meatless Monday is trying new, tasty meat-free fare – and this is a great opportunity for chefs and restaurateurs to get creative, experiment with different vegetables, or try new combinations of veggies, grains and beans. If you’re looking for recipes, MeatlessMonday.com is just one place where you’ll find a bounty of possibilities.

IT’S ALL ABOUT CHOICE

We encourage our restaurants, whenever possible, to offer meat-free options alongside meat dishes. Meatless Monday is a campaign of choice – it’s fundamentally about adding options, not taking them way. We want to introduce people to new, healthy foods and new ways to prepare and eat greens, grains, beans and fruits. The restaurants around the country that have had the most success with Meatless Monday offer choice to their customers.

GO FROM MENU TO MOVEMENT

When you offer Meatless Monday specials, you’re joining an ever-growing network of restaurants, organizations, schools and communities across the globe who have taken the pledge for better personal and environmental health. To tap into the power of the movement, make sure your patrons and staff know the message behind your menu!

Brief your employees on the Meatless Monday Movement – including benefits, history, and why your restaurant is participating – so they can easily answer customer questions.

ADVERTISE ONLINE

• Let the world know that you’re going meatless on Monday! Add an announcement to your restaurant’s homepage or menu section- you can even use the logos available on www.MeatlessMonday.com. If you’re featuring a full Meatless Monday menu, post a link so site visitors can get a taste of what you have to offer.

• Let them know you’re going Meatless Monday! Send an e-mail to info@MeatlessMonday.com and they’ll add you to their list of participants on site!

USE SOCIAL MEDIA

Utilizing social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter is a quick, easy way to share the movement with your favorite customers:

• Remind your followers about your Meatless Monday special on Sunday night or Monday morning.

• Reinforce your reasons for going meatless by sharing informative health and environmental articles on Monday.

• Use social media to ask for customer feedback- that way you’ll be able to share your successes and see where there’s room for improvement.

• Show your follows what they’re missing! Post pictures of your Meatless Monday entrees, smiling customers, busy cooks or your Monday night full house!

• Make your followers feel important with exclusive discounts, giveaways, meal deals and other “social media specials”.

• Take advantage of the Meatless Monday network! Send a shout-out to Meatless Monday on Facebook or Twitter so they can cross promote you.

www.Facebook.com/MeatlessMonday

www.Twitter.com/MeatlessMonday

POINT OF SALE PROMOTION

Don’t forget to advertise at your food truck! A few well-placed signs and a knowledgeable staff are all it takes to bring your Meatless Monday special to the next level:

• Place a Meatless Monday cling in your service window so passersby can see that you’re part of the movement.

• On Monday try putting specials on the menu board. Monday is your opportunity to make a positive impression that will last all week.

• Train your wait staff to ask customers if they’re celebrating Meatless Monday today. Provide them with general information sheets so they can answer any questions customers might have.

• Call attention to your Meatless Monday meal choices- add a graphic to your existing menu, or simply create a separate menu board for Monday.

Please do your part today and join the movement? Signing up is fast and easy! Mobile Cuisine Magazine looks forward to our continued sharing of Meatless Monday articles with our readers!

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Mobile Cuisine readers have voted and we are proud to announce their choice for the 2013 Vegetarian Food Truck of the Year.

Vegetarian Food Truck of the Year 2013 Cinnamon Snail

We originally asked for fans to submit their favorites, and after 2 weeks of collecting names, the top ten trucks were selected for the poll.

  • Bombay Food Junkies – St. Louis, MO – 127 votes 5%
  • The Cinnamon Snail – NY, NJ – 1350 votes 51%
  • Good Karma Kitchen – DFW, TX – 84 votes 3%
  • Homegrown Smoker Vegan BBQ – Portland, OR  – 556 votes 21%
  • Liba Falafel – San Francisco, CA – 9 votes <1%
  • Like No Udder – Providence, RI – 325 votes 12%
  • The Purple Carrot – East Lansing, MI – 15 votes <1%
  • Roti Rolls– Charleston, SC – 7 votes <1%
  • The Seabirds Truck – Orange County, CA – 27 votes 1%
  • Taco Party Truck – Boston, MA – 132 votes 5%
  • Wong Way Veg – Denver, CO – 19  votes <1% 

With trucks representing all areas of the country the votes from our readers started pouring in from every state in the United States, and the poll was closed last Friday with a clear winner. We combines email votes and those cast in the poll and ended up with over 2,600 votes to tabulate.

The Cinnamon Snail out of New York and New Jersey received a whooping 51% of the vote to pull out a victory over the competition.

In winning this polling contest, Mobile Cuisine will present its readers with a future feature article covering this truck, the owner and the fare they are serving their customers across New York and New Jersey. We would like to congratulate The Cinnamon Snail for winning this MC reader poll and holding the title they won for the first time last year. Our readers have shown their support, so in return, we will give them all of the details to complete this chapter in this food truck operation’s history.

The Cinnamon Snail

Twitter: @VeganLunchTruck

The Cinnamon Snail is the country’s most raunchy mobile Vegan Organic restaurant! Blasting supreme bliss & zany antics all over NYC, & dirty Jersey

http://www.CinnamonSnail.com

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More than ever, food truck owners find themselves responding to requests for healthy, meatless meals. Through years of work in the mobile food industry and partnering with the Meatless Monday program, we have compiled the following suggestions for mobile food vendors who wish to become more involved in helping to introduce healthier options to their food truck menus.

First, it is important that the criteria for a vegetarian diet be clearly understood by all of your food truck staff. Vegetarians do not eat meat, poultry, fish, or other sea animals. They also avoid hidden animal products such as beef and chicken stocks, lard, and gelatin.

Some vegetarians avoid cheese made with rennet, a substance taken from the stomachs of unweaned calves and sometimes from pigs and other animals. Vegans are vegetarians who also avoid dairy products, eggs, and honey; they also try to avoid the use of animal products in all aspects of their lives.

You of course may also be serving people who are not yet vegetarian, but headed in that direction. They may eat some red meat, chicken, or fish, but would like more vegetarian meals served. The easiest way to meet the needs of the different categories of customers is to offer menu items which are vegan. To check with your existing customers you can survey those who want more vegetarian items to find out what type of vegetarian food they would like served (as long as it fits into your truck’s concept).

The following criteria should be taken into consideration when planning vege­tarian options:

  • When possible, start with minor changes to the existing menu.
  • Changes should be easy to implement. Begin with changes that do not in­volve excessive staff time, retraining, or equipment purchases.
  • The cost of new menu items should be equal to, or less than, existing menu items (including the cost of preparation). The potential cost savings of vegetarian options can be a selling point to some vendors.

Simple Modifications To An Existing Menu

The first step is to examine the existing menu. Are there items already on the menu which are vegetarian: baked potatoes, salads, breads, soups (which don’t contain chicken or beef broth), macaroni and cheese, meatless lasagna, pizza, etc.? These can be indicated to customers by a special marking on the menu board.

Changes which can easily be incorporated into an existing menu might include:

  • Make a vegetarian soup a daily menu item. The addition of salad and bread will provide customers with a nutritious and satisfying meal.
  • Offer a meatless prepared salad, such as a bean or a grain salad, every day.
  • Offer cooked pasta or a baked potato with one or more meatless toppings every day.
  • If a selection of hot entrees is offered each day, make one of them meat­less.

Simple Modification Of Existing Recipes

The addition of vegetarian items need not involve a complete overhaul of your menu. Often, simple modification of existing recipes will make them acceptable to vegetarians as well as non-vegetarians.

  • Many soups can be made vegetarian simply by changing from a meat-based stock to a vegetable stock. Try tomato, minestrone, lentil, split pea, or potato-leek soups.
  • Replace meat stock with vegetable stock in pilaf, other grain dishes, and sauces.
  • Lasagna can be prepared with a meatless sauce, and vegetables such as spinach, eggplant, or zucchini can be substituted for the meat filling. Again, the preparation time and ingredient cost will be competitive with that for the meat-based version.
  • When preparing a spaghetti or pasta sauce, prepare part without meat. This will make many existing pasta dishes acceptable to vegetarians. Like­wise, leaving meat off pizza will make it an acceptable alternative for many vegetarians.
  • Use vegetable oil instead of animal fat for frying and sautéing. This simple change may make a variety of items acceptable to vegetarians. It will also be a popular change with non-vegetarians who are concerned about eating more healthfully.
  • Prepare or purchase pastries, crackers, rolls, and cookies made with vege­table fat instead of animal fat. Offer non-fat versions, too.
  • Prepare or purchase yeast breads without eggs or dairy products. Breads should be made from whole grain flours whenever possible, and should contain little or no fat. If fat is an ingredient, make sure that it is vegetable rather than animal fat.
  • Milk can be replaced with soy milk, rice milk, or with water in most re­cipes, without altering the taste or appearance of the food.
  • Buttermilk can be replaced with soured soy milk or rice milk. For each cup of buttermilk, use 1 cup soy milk plus 1 tablespoon of vinegar. Replace 1 cup of yogurt with 3/4 cup soy milk plus 1 tablespoon of vinegar.
  • Crumbled tofu can be substituted for cottage cheese or ricotta cheese in lasagna and similar dishes.
  • Offer vegetarian baked beans in place of pork and beans, chili beans instead of chili con carne, and refried beans made with vegetable oil, or no fat at all.
  • Vegetarian hot dogs are also available from a number of companies and in natural food stores.
  • To produce a chewier, meatier tofu, freeze the tofu for about three days. Thaw, squeeze out water, and crumble. The tofu will have a chewy texture.
  • Some people prefer not to go heavy on the beans in tacos, chili, and other dishes. Adding bulgur to the beans makes a great-tasting, easier-to-digest dish. You can also lighten up some dishes like tacos by using more vegetables than beans. As a variation, try pureeing the beans for tacos.

Additional Ideas For Recipe Modification

With just a bit of experimentation, additional recipes may be made acceptable for vegetarians such as:

  • Replacing eggs which are used for binding, such as in burgers or loaves, try:
  1. Mashed potatoes
  2. Quick-cooking rolled oats
  3. Cooked oatmeal or cooked rice
  4. Fine bread crumbs
  5. Tomato paste
  • Diced or mashed tofu can be used in some salads and sandwiches in place of chopped egg. Scrambled tofu is an excellent alternative to scrambled eggs.
  • Replace the ham in bean or pea soup with sliced vegetarian hot dogs added at the end of the cooking time, or simply leave the ham out and add other seasonings, such as marjoram, cumin, black pepper, and salt.
  • Liquid smoke may be added to soups for a “meaty” flavor, though some indi­viduals may object to this product due to personal health beliefs.
  • Replace the meat stuffing in bell peppers or cabbage rolls with a stuffing of rice, nuts, and raisins.
  • A number of meat-like products, such as tempeh or seitan, can be substituted for meat in recipes. Tempeh is made from fermented soybeans and normally is bought in blocks about 1/2″ thick. Seitan is made from wheat gluten and is often more appealing taste-wise to the public than tempeh.
  • Gelatin, which is an animal protein, may be re­placed with Superfruits, a plant-derived jello available from natural foods distributors.
  • Instead of clam chowder, prepare a corn/potato chowder.
  • White sugar alternatives (Some vegans will not use white sugar since it may be whitened with animal bone char, depending on the source.): concentrated fruit juice, dates, raisins, sweet fruits, blended fruits, banana.
  • Non-dairy frozen desserts include Rice Dream, frozen tofu desserts, sor­bet, etc. Beware that items such as sherbet may contain gelatin, dairy, or eggs.
  • In chili, mix different varieties of beans, such as chickpeas, navy beans, and kidney beans. Add some corn for extra color.

Please do your part today and join the Meatless Monday movement? Signing up is fast and easy! Follow them on Twitter.

Mobile Cuisine looks forward to continued coverage of Meatless Monday for our readers!

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Mobile Cuisine is always proud to provide our readers articles designed to share a multifaceted culinary lifestyle program that is spreading throughout the country and world. As many of you already know, we have designated our Monday features to help promote the Meatless Monday’s program which not only do we support on the website, but our staff actually has adopted in our Monday dietary lifestyle.

vegetable arrangement

In today’s article we want to follow up a recent article in which we asked our readers to submit their choice for America’s favorite vegetarian or vegan food truck or cart. The submissions have been counted and the top 10 have been calculated, the problem we had we with coming up with a tie. Because of this, the pool of trucks will be the top 11 submissions.

If you are a food truck that feels you should have been included, we apologize, however, the trucks selected for this poll were determined by our readers, and by the number of votes they received in the first phase of the contest.

Bombay Food Junkies – St. Louis, MO: The Cinnamon Snail – NY, NJ; Good Karma Kitchen – DFW, TX; Homegrown Smoker Vegan BBQ – Portland, OR; Liba Falafel – San Francisco, CA; Like No Udder – Providence, RI; The Purple Carrot – East Lansing, MI; Roti Rolls – Charleston, SC; The Seabirds Truck – Orange County, CA; Taco Party Truck – Boston, MA; Wong Way Veg – Denver, CO

THE POLL IS CLOSED.

This poll will stay open for 2 weeks to make sure everyone gets a chance to vote for in the poll and the truck operators will have a chance to let their fans know to come help them with their votes. The poll will close on July 26th at 12AM CST, at which time we will announce the results shortly thereafter.

If you run into issues with submitting a vote in the poll, you can submit via email (contest@mobile-cuisine.com), however we will be making sure that only 1 vote is counted per person.

The winner of this contest will be featured on Mobile Cuisine in a feature article, to help share information about the vendor, their menu, and how they came up with the idea for serving meatless fare.

Tell your friends and family, spread the word.

Please do your part today and join the Meatless Monday movement? Signing up is fast and easy! Follow them on Twittter.

Mobile Cuisine looks forward to continued coverage of Meatless Monday for our readers!

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Today we are announcing a new contest which will allow our readers from around the country to name America’s favorite vegetarian or vegan food truck or cart for 2013. Do you have a favorite truck in your area, or have you read about a cart that is at the top of your list to try out the next time you are in their area? Nominate them today!

cinnamon snail food truck

We will be gathering submissions until Friday, July 12th at 12 AM CST. Once we have all of the submissions, we will determine your top 10. At that time, we will provide a poll which will once again, allow you to vote for your favorite. The results of this poll will determine the winner.

Please be sure to add Vegetarian/Vegan Mobile Food Vendor in the subject line. And list your nomination in the body of your message.

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Subject

Your Message

You may submit as many entries for the same or different food trucks as you like for this portion of the contest. The form may clog due to the number of users at one time, if you run into any issues, please submit your votes to contest@mobile-cuisine.c0m.

The winner of this contest will be featured on Mobile Cuisine in a multi-day feature series, to help share information about the vendor, their menu, and how they came up with the idea for serving meatless fare. To be eligible to be part of this contest, the majority of the truck’s entree items must cater to vegetarian or vegan diners. We upset some readers in the past who felt that only trucks with exclusive vegetarian/vegan menus should be included. We disagree, and will stand by rule for this for this years nominees.

Please, help us spread the work and tell your friends and family about this contest.

Our Previous Winners:

2011

Purple Carrot

Twitter: @eatpurplecarrot

The Purple Carrot is a Farm to Truck mobile dining destination specializing in locally grown fare. Join us for unique, seasonal and delicious eats!

East Lansing Michigan · http://www.thepurplecarrottruck.com

2012

The Cinnamon Snail

Twitter: @VeganLunchTruck

The Cinnamon Snail is the country’s most raunchy mobile Vegan Organic restaurant! Blasting supreme bliss & zany antics all over NYC, & dirty Jersey

Hoboken NJ, Red Bank NJ, NYC · http://www.CinnamonSnail.com

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Go Max Go Foods LLC, announces that it has taken the precautionary measure of voluntarily withdrawing a limited quantity of vegan candy bar products. These products contain the following statement on the front label: “dairy-free”, which may lead to confusion for people who have allergies to milk products. People who have severe sensitivity or allergies to milk may run the risk of a serious or life threatening allergic reaction if they consume these products.

vegan-candybar recallThe products are manufactured on shared equipment and in shared facilities where trace amounts of dairy are present due to cross contact. Out of the utmost caution and care for our customers, Go Max Go Foods LLC, is voluntarily withdrawing all of the listed vegan candy bars with the term “dairy-free” on the front label. These products were distributed nationwide in retail stores. The specific UPC codes, with the term “dairy-free”, subject to this notice are as follows:

ProductPackage Size (oz)UPC
Snap!1.75899033 002057
Cleo’s1.5899033 002040
Jokerz2.1899033 002002
Twilight2.1899033 002019
Buccaneer2.0899033 002026
Mahalo2.0899033 002033
Thumbs Up1.3899033 002064

No illnesses have been identified with the withdrawn products. No other Go Max Go Foods LLC, products are affected by this voluntary withdrawal; only products with the term “dairy-free” on the front label are affected by this voluntary withdrawal.

Consumers who have purchased any of the above listed vegan candy bars who suffer from a severe milk allergy are urged to return them to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company at 505-988-9884, Monday through Friday between the hours of 9:00AM – 5:00PM, Mountain Time Zone.

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A recent study published in Global Environmental Change shows by cutting meat and dairy consumption by 25 percent, we could reduce two greenhouse gases by 80 percent. So if you’re thinking about moving to a more plant-based diet, welcome aboard and thanks for helping the environment. Not only will you be helping your wallet, (because plant-based protein is cheaper than most animal protein), and you’ll be helping yourself — plant-based protein is low in fat and contains zero cholesterol. Still, what people want to know when they find friends or family that are vegan is, do they get enough protein.

mythbusters_bustedProtein is a big deal. It’s the 20 amino acids your body needs for healthy muscles, blood and skin. Fortunately, it’s in a lot of what you eat, including plants.

The Food and Drug Administration’s basic formula for calculating protein needs is .8 grams of protein for every kilogram of body weight. If you’re an average guy of average weight, that’s 56 daily grams of protein. For a woman, it’s 46 grams. And if you’re pregnant or nursing, that number bumps up to 71. Even then, it’s easy to get your protein RDA. The fact is most Americans get twice that. This is not a case of more being better. Too much protein can increase the risk of heart disease to impaired kidney function. You want your heart to keep beating and your filtration system to be in optimal condition.

Then there’s the myth of incomplete protein. The blame for this falls on the otherwise fine Frances Moore Lappé, author of Diet for a Small Planet. Lappé advocated a plant-based diet in her book which first came out in 1971, but said plant-based protein sources must be combined at each meal. This seemed to give people a license to dismiss a vegetarian diet as requiring too much effort. A few years later, Lappé reversed her decision, the 1982 edition of Diet sets the record straight, stating plant-based protein requires no eye-crossing combination or calculation, it’s great by itself. Even the American Dietetic Association is on board and released a statement as much.

So how does a vegan get enough protein? Tempeh is king, with 20 grams per 4-ounce serving. Tofu has about 9 grams per serving. For those who’d miss the taste and texture of meat, faux meats — veggie burgers, veggie dogs and the like  — make an excellent soy-based substitute, averaging around a dozen protein grams per serving.

For those who prefer their protein unprocessed and plant-based, you can use beans like chickpeas (15 grams per 1-cup serving) and lentils — (18 grams per 1 cup serving), nuts (5 grams in a small, handful) and whole grains like oats (6 protein grams per 1/2 cup serving) and quinoa. It looks like a grain, but is really a grass, cooks up quick, is mild-flavored, fun in the mouth, versatile as hell and half a cup has a dozen protein grams. Even broccoli contains protein (4 grams per serving).

Please do your part today and join the Meatless Monday movement? Signing up is fast and easy! Follow them on Twittter.

Mobile Cuisine looks forward to our continued coverage of Meatless Monday for our readers!

 

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tip of the day

Whether your customers are strict vegetarians, vegans or you simply want to add a few vegetarian meals into your menu rotation, you can make full-flavored healthy meals as easily as any meat-based dish. As long as you serve a variety of vegetables, grains, legumes, seeds, nuts and beans, your customers should get the protein they need without meat, and in many cases without animal products at all.

Getting Nutrients

Include dark leafy greens such as kale, chard and spinach as well as whole grains in your vegetarian cooking. These provide a variety of vitamins and minerals, such as iron, B-12 and zinc. If you are avoiding dairy products and eggs, include beans, nuts and seeds for protein. While soybeans provide a complete protein by themselves, similar to animal proteins, combining other beans or nuts with vegetables and grains will give your body all the amino acids it needs to assemble complete proteins from the incomplete proteins found in those foods.

Cooking Methods

When cooking vegetables alone, boiling is a simple method that lets you thoroughly cook vegetables for softness. However, it is easy to overcook boiled vegetables, making them lose their color, texture and nutrients. Steaming is an excellent alternative, and you can mix nuts and seasonings in with the vegetables before steaming to give them a cooked-in flavor. Stir-frying also lets you lightly cook vegetables, and you can mix them directly in the pan with seasonings, sauces and cooked rice for a complete meal. Baking or roasting also lets you cook the seasoning into your veggies, and works best for thick, hard vegetables like carrots, winter squash, beets and turnips, but you can also roast or broil peppers, tomatoes, corn, green beans, asparagus and other veggies.

Seasoning

You can season vegetarian meals just like you would meats. Marinade hard vegetables in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before roasting, baking, stir-frying or steaming, or toss the vegetables briefly in seasoning and oil before cooking. When making bean-based dishes, cook the beans in unseasoned water, then toss or blend in seasonings after the beans soften. If the beans or other vegetables are for a blended dish, such as refried beans or a split pea or lentil soup, add your seasonings when the legumes are soft enough to blend but before the final cooking to get the most flavor.

Substitutions

You can substitute vegetarian options for meat in most of your favorite recipes. Cooking times will generally shorten, and you may need to cut back on liquids because vegetables have a higher water content than most meats. When you’re just getting started, try substituting a blend of chopped mushrooms and cooked brown rice for ground meats in your favorite recipes, adding an egg white if you need the “meat” to stick together. Vegan egg substitutes are available for animal product-free diets. For your customer’s favorite non-ground meat dishes, substitute slices of eggplant, zucchini; instead of chicken breasts or beef slices, use extra-firm tofu.

 

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We have recently received a number of emails from prospective food truck owners that are interested in starting up a food truck that caters to both vegetarians and vegans with their dessert menus. The problem many of these individuals have is they not familiar with the vegan lifestyle, and want to know what would be considered proper vegan acceptable desserts. Vegan foods cannot contain any type of animal product. Poultry, fish, and meat are the most obvious items that must be eliminated from this type of diet. Eggs, honey, and dairy products cannot be eaten by vegans either, and create a bigger problem when finding acceptable vegan desserts.

food-trucks-cinnamon-snail-treats
A sample of vegan goodies from The Cinnamon Snail out of Hoboken, NJ

For any baked good to be considered vegan, it cannot be made with eggs, milk, cream, or butter. Acceptable egg substitutes are soft tofu, applesauce, mashed banana, or cornstarch. Milk can be replaced with soy milk, nut milk, rice milk, or even water. For buttermilk, a mixture of soy milk and vinegar can be used as a substitution. Vegan margarine is available in some supermarkets and health food stores.

Placing several substitutions in a regular recipe can be tricky. Using a vegan recipe for baked goods is the best option for making satisfying vegan desserts. Vegan recipes can be found for cookies, cakes, pies, and brownies.

Fruit crisps and cobblers are among the easiest vegan desserts to add to your menu. For a quick and easy crisp, simply pour oatmeal prepared with soy milk or water over fruit. Blueberries, sliced apples and peaches are great options. Fruit salads combined with vegan marshmallows and nuts are a simple dessert choice as well.

Nut products, such as peanut butter are important to a vegan diet because of their protein content. Some vegans have trouble getting protein from other food truck menu options. Desserts containing nuts such as chocolate peanut butter pie, or macaroons made with coconut and dates can be used. Cookies are particularly easy to work nuts into, from peanut butter cookies to chocolate chip cookies loaded with extras such as pecans and almonds.

By working creatively with dairy substitutes, nearly any traditional dessert can be converted into a vegan dish. If you purchase packaged mixes, double check the label to make sure that the contents adhere to vegan standards. Many products that aren’t labeled as vegan, still meet the appropriate requirements and can be used as delicious vegan desserts to be sold from your food truck.

Please do your part today and join the Meatless Monday movement? Signing up is fast and easy! Follow them on Twittter.

Mobile Cuisine looks forward to our continued coverage of Meatless Monday for our readers!

 

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