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!
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.
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?