Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Vegetarian Food at The YamDaisy Cafe

Here is a picture of vegetarian Chilli Corn-pone Pie a lovely hearty dish that could work well on the YamDaisy Cafe menu.

This post is about Vegetarian issues and ideas for the Cafe.
The food in the cafe needs to be DELICIOUS: this is the highest priority, it is what will make the cafe work, and keep people coming back for more.
It needs to be EVERYDAY food. Not the rich wicked delights that are such a treat to have sometimes, but great nutritious food that gives us our health requirements, helps us avoid illness, or recover from it, helps out children to grow into healthy productive adults.
It needs to be ECONOMICAL food; by using local seasonal ingredients, avoiding expensive ingredients and using cooking techniques that celebrate pulses, vegetables and cheaper cuts of meat. (After all, it has to work as a business!)

SO... how does vegetarian food fit into the YamDaisy philosophy?

Disclaimer! I had better let you know that I became a passionate idealistic vegetarian at the age of 14. I call myself a corrupted vegetarian now, because in the last few years I have eaten a little fish, poultry and charcuterie. I have always respected the rights of people to eat meat, especially humanely treated meat and nose to tail respect for the animal. But this post will be much easier than one I might write about meat eating at the YamDaisy Cafe!

Vegetarian Customers
Firstly, vegetarian clients of the YD Cafe will be treated respectfully like anyone else with particular dietary requirements. The structure of the cafe, providing for the local community, means that the chef can work out a menu that suits as many of the clients as much of the time as possible. At least once a week, on a day suiting the client, they should be catered for. But I think it would be easy to cater for vegetarians every day. leaving the ham out of a soup, skipping the anchovies out of the mixed platter, replacing the chicken with marinated tofu in a braised dish etc.

Meatless Meals
This may cause consternation in meat mad Australia, but there are many wonderful traditional and modern meals where meat is simply not necessary. Such meals can play an important part on the YD Menu on account of being delicious, everyday and economical. I wonder if the customers would even notice they were meatless?

What is missing from most modern diets? Veggies!
Health professionals agree! People in Australia, and all over the western world, are not eating enough vegetables in their daily food. The highly respected Mediterranean Diet Guidelines recommend red meat only occasionally. I was fascinated when a Greek friend told me that in his parents village meat was traditionally a three times a year addition to the family diet: a pig at Christmas, a sheep at Easter, and another sheep in Summer. Ofcourse they made these go a long way! And what did they have for the rest of the year? Vegetables, pulses, grains, herbs and fruit, all in the most delicious meals possible.

Vegetarian meals can be part of the YamDaisy Menu!
How often, and how carefully they are introduced will be up to each community and each chef. If people think vegetables are boring and horrible, they will be surprised and delighted when they eat at the Yamdaisy Cafe! How wonderful to get great cooks making meals to introduce new or feared foods! The best way to educate a nation!

Do meatless meals feature in your diet?


  1. The corn pie looks fabulous, Joy! I love how you call yourself a corrupted vegetarian. :)

  2. one of the things that made an impression on me when i joined jamie's forums was that there are people who eat meat every day! i like meat and eat some about once or twice a week but would have a tough time eating out if there were no meatless options on the menu. well done, joy!

  3. Yes, I enjoy meatless meals...however my husband needs to have meat with nearly every meal. So I make soups and salads for myself at lunch time.
    I think, when it comes to raw foods and vegetarian foods, it's a good idea to see what kinds of traditional meals there are that confrom to these diets, instead of trying to replace/substitute meat in meals that traditionally include meat. Alot of traditional foods don't include meat, and taste amazing.
    the chili corn pie looks yum!

  4. I use to eat meat and poultry but sometimes I have some vegetarian dish instead of. I love preparing some okra or squash casserole and this kind of menu really replaces meat. If I could, I'd only have a vegetarian menu but it seems a little impossible most of the times to me ;)

    Have a beautiful day !!

  5. I love eating meatless meals (best part is they save cash!) but I always need to make sure there is enough protein so John doesn't complain haha. bring on the quinoa and lentils!

  6. I have always liked vegetarian food!! Especially vegi lasagne! Your food looks great I must try to make it!!
    Lucy xx

  7. This is my first visit to your blog - it's great, some lovely ideas. This dish looks so tasty, I am starting meat free mondays - so I am on the look out for hearty vege dishes. Lucie x

  8. A very interesting post Joy. I enjoy cooking and eating meat, but I couldn't eat it every day - I love vegetables and grains too much! It does astonish me rather that some people not only eat meat every day, but at every meal. Thanks so much for leaving such a very kind message on my blog, a bright point on a tough day. And you're right, Barney has been a great comfort even if he isn't a great guard dog!

  9. Joy, you're the sweetest. I love this post. I am working towards becoming a vegetarian, altho it is an uphill challenge with all those food tasting sessions thrown at me. I take those sessions as the only time I eat some meat. I usually stick to meatless/seafood dishes in my everyday diet. Slowly, but surely, I will get there. Of course having a hubby who has been vegetarian for the past 10 years is great motivation. I wish I lived near the YamDaisy. It would be such JOY to sample your amazing food. Keep up your great work. The world needs more people like you.


  10. Sure, I do enjoy meatless meals. I wish there were more choices of vegetables here.....The corn pie looks just wonderful!

  11. I am always looking for vegetarian recipes for my husband. That pie looks wonderful.

  12. I try to cook with meat no more than 3 times a week. I also try to eat vegetarian at lunch every day - we have a very good canteen at my office but so often the vegetarian option lets me down. The chef just doesn't seem to be that inventive or they take less care with it - one Friday I had some sort of red lentil pie and on Monday the leftover red lentil filling had been reconstituted into a stew. I am all for not wasting food, but this was not appealing! I would much rather eat this chilli pie :)

  13. It has been wonderful to have your feedback on this post peoples! And especially nice that the idea seems to fit quite comfortably. Hooray!

  14. I've been a vegetarian since I was a teenager, and now I eat vegan about 50% of the time. This looks delicious!!