Relishing taste-of-the day vegetarian cooking
Our goal is to offer balanced vegetarian recipes. “Each vegetarian recipe is treated as a dish in its own right,” explains Aline Lagneaux, the nutrition project manager at Elior Entreprises. “Vegetable dishes contain fewer calories and less saturated fat and cholesterol. They provide more fibre, antioxidants and minerals.” Plant-based cuisine offers numerous health benefits. With the new staff-oriented Re-Set offering, Elior’s new menus include a vegetarian meal every day. The Group’s teams prepare a very wide range of vegetarian recipes, made with either eggs or cheese, or with vegetables and pulses only. Recipes with no animal protein, however, need to ensure a sufficient intake of vegetable protein. Aline Lagneaux explains: “at least two types of carbohydrates, such as pulses, cereals or tubers must be included and vegetables complete the dish. In this way, we obtain a complete and balanced meal.” This variety is also found in the choice of vegetable oils, rich in wholesome polyunsaturated fatty acids: rapeseed oil, olive oil, walnut oil, hazelnut oil, sesame oil, etc.
A plate of steamed carrots and cabbage is not a vegetarian dish. On the contrary, we cook, parmesan risotto or crisp vegetable soups.
Taste is another concern! “We enhance the savor of these dishes by adding spices or seasoning. Ginger root not only adds great flavour, but is also very good from a nutritional point of view” continues Aline Lagneaux. Our cooks whet their guests’ appetite by proposing gourmet or unusual recipes. According to Elior executive chef, Stéphane Cathelin, “A plate of steamed carrots and cabbage is not a vegetarian dish. On the contrary, we cook, parmesan risotto or crisp vegetable soups, for instance. Another example is miso soup; a broth cooked with several ingredients, which makes it crispy and is visually appealing”.
We process our raw produce as little as possible. We think of the chef: if he takes pleasure in preparing his recipes, this comes out on the plate!
The vegetable is the core of the dish. “We process our raw produce as little as possible. We think of the chef: if he takes pleasure in preparing his recipes, this comes out on the plate!” adds Stéphane Cathelin. Cooking techniques are very important: the steam oven is best limited to roasted vegetables where the juices released enhance the taste of the product. “Sweet potatoes for example are roasted unpeeled to seal in the vitamins, and simply seasoned with olive oil and salt. The same is true for fresh carrots, which are cooked whole in the oven”. Appearance is also of the essence. When the vegetables are presented whole or roughly cut, the guest best appreciates their colour and shape. And finally, the texture: “vegetables must be crispy. Green beans should not be overcooked, because they are better when a bit crunchy”. Every gesture, even the most basic, is aimed at pleasing not only the guests, but also the cooks.