According to Technomic’s Center of the Plate: Seafood & Vegetarian report, 41 percent of those surveyed say they are eating more vegetables than they did a year ago. Of those, 16 percent say they eat more vegetarian and vegan options. Some call it more mindful eating and have a renewed focus on better quality ingredients.
It’s not enough that dishes are plant-based or vegetable-forward; they have to taste great. In that same report, nearly half of respondents said the number-one thing deterring them from ordering vegetarian or vegan options at restaurants is they don’t like the taste. Almost as many said they don’t order them because they don’t like the options offered.
At Messina’s Catering & Events, we know vegetable-forward dishes can be as mouth-watering as they are good for reducing our carbon footprints. Vegetarian menus have been one of our catering menus strengths for decades but are now rising to be the star of the show.
It’s Easy to Please All Guests Regardless of Menu Preferences
While only about five percent of Americans identify as vegetarian, the rise in plant-based menu options can’t be ignored. Nor should it be. While Americans aren’t ready to ditch meat-based dishes entirely, they are happy to see more vegetarian options at restaurants, in the dishes they prepare at home, and on catering menus.
The Good News Can Be Found in the Bottom Line
Cost is always a factor when planning any corporate event, family gathering, wedding, or gala. Fortunately, vegetarian dishes are more earth-friendly, but they are also easier on the catering budget. Plus, putting vegetables first on your catering menu lets our chefs let their creativity flow rather than grilling the standard chicken breast or steak.
Messina’s Catering Menus Are Full of Vegetarian Options and Have Been Since 1961
Here’s a sample of what a vegetable-forward catering menu from Messina’s might look like. Such dishes can please even the staunchest carnivores in the crowd.
For a soup starter, consider wild mushroom or roasted tomato bisque. For a charcuterie display, replace the smoked meats with brined vegetables like eggplant, pickled asparagus, or okra. Dinner could feature our live pasta station with artichoke hearts, onions, garlic, and Roma tomatoes tossed in white wine & cream sauce.
Salads naturally lend themselves to a meat-free catering menu. Some of our most popular are the Beeks salad and Asian sesame salad. The Beeks salad features field greens adorned with dried cranberries, feta cheese, candied walnuts, and raspberry vinaigrette. Our Asian sesame salad begins with crisp romaine topped with tomatoes, cucumbers, crispy noodles, mandarin oranges, sliced almonds, and tossed with an Asian sesame dressing.
Vegetarian Dishes Don’t Have to Be Cold
Roasting many vegetables gives them a sweeter flavor while grilling them adds a nice crunch to veggies like zucchini and corn. Some of our most popular hot appetizers include parmesan artichoke hearts, spicy tomato basil bisque, and our fig and goat cheese flatbread.
When Meat-Free is the Main Event
It’s easy to convert a fajita bar into a meat-free centerpiece by serving jackfruit or seared vegetables instead of the typical steak, chicken, or ground beef. Likewise for quesadilla stations and taco bars. Our tapenade stations can be made vegetarian by leaving off the salmon mousse. What’s left is tons of flavor in items like hummus, tabbouleh, baba ghanoush, roasted garlic spread, and white bean dip served with fried pita and crostini.
Don’t Skip the Sweets on a Vegetarian Catering Menu
Some classic New Orleans catering menu items can lend themselves to vegetarian desserts. Beignets with powdered sugar and bananas Foster with vanilla bean ice cream are two of our most requested sweet endings.
Messina’s Catering & Events Has Many Vegetable-Forward Catering Menu Options
More and more, we recommend customers incorporate vegetables into their catering menus. We have many vegetable-forward dishes already on the menu and are always open to new inspiration from our clients. As a third-generation, family-owned, and operated business celebrating six decades in business, Messina’s Catering & Events has become a leader in providing innovative plant-based catering menus for all events.
To learn more, visit https://www.messinascatering.com.