Including vegetarian options in hospital food service helps make the cafeteria more appealing to a broader audience. However, it’s important to create actual vegetarian meals rather than simply increasing the portion size of vegetable sides. Hospital kitchens are often pressed for time, so efficiency is important. There are some simple techniques to creating delicious and quick vegetarian entrees.
Let it stew
One of the easiest and heartiest meals to make is stew. The ingredients are simple and the cooking is even simpler. Stew can be cooked on the side while kitchen staff assemble other meals. The benefit of creating a stew can also be its downside. The long cooking time provides plenty of opportunity to focus on other tasks, but it also requires proper planning. Depending on the recipe, be ready to set aside one or two staff members who will keep an eye on the concoction and remember to prepare the ingredients. Give your hearty stew an extra boost by offering bread or crackers.
Make some pasta
Another quick technique to tasty vegetarian entrees is pasta. The wonderful benefit of pasta is that it can be easily added to and customized. Simply make a large batch and separate it into different portions. You can dedicate one portion to vegetables and another to a meats. Be sure to use a complementary sauce and spices as well. For lighter fare, try zesty flavors such as lemon and add in some lightly cooked vegetables, such as broccoli. For heartier pasta offerings, consider a tomato sauce and melted cheese. Depending on the type of pasta, you can also bake the dish, giving kitchen staff more time.
Wrap it up
A convenient item that staff and diners will appreciate is a wrap. Have the kitchen experiment with different fillings and prepare the mixture before peak hours. The key to wraps is to assemble the meal right before it is served. This can be difficult, especially if your cafeteria gets a lot of business. However, try to keep the insides from being too juicy. You can attempt to thicken sauces without sacrificing taste and pat down lettuce before placing the ingredients in the wrap. This will help keep the thin bread from breaking open.
Expanding your cafeteria’s meal options doesn’t have to require a lot of time and preparation. All it takes is some experimentation and a good sense of time management.