So we are having our staff party with a company partner, a catering company. It works out perfectly because we make booze and supply that, while the catering company caters. They are already planning on having vegan stuff available for me (and to their credit, there has always been something vegan at every wedding I've ever worked with them--usually just salads and roasted veggies but still, that stuff is good!). They decided to do an optional contest where their chefs and our staff come up with their own vegan and gluten-free dish and then we'll all vote on a winner which will then become an entree option for clients looking for a vegan and gluten-free main (because duh, vegan equals gluten free...). Still, I think it's a fun and exciting idea and as the only vegan person entering I feel like I have to win!
I have been ruling things out like crazy because I'm unused to cooking gluten-free, and the food that I cook the most is spicy and usually a little bit too international to fit the bill for a catering company where food tends to be as inoffensive to picky people as possible. It also needs to look pretty, so my delicious Ethiopian wots dumped on a plate probably won't fly for various reasons.
I was thinking of many de-glutenizing beer battered tofu and making little towers over a root vegetable mash with a micro greens sprout salad garnish and...something else? The catering company specializes in local ingredients, so think fish (which beer-battered tofu is kind of mimicking, right?), root vegetables, mushrooms, kale, cheese (I don't think they'd like the use of commercial vegan cheese--nor would I--and nut cheeses are too cost prohibitive), hazelnuts, leeks, garlic, beets, apples, chard, choys, squash (all that produce being what my CSA sends me every week), grains, and we have some local soy bean and quinoa growers so those always feature prominently in the vegetarian options.
Another option I thought of would be hazelnut squash patties with some sort of wild mushroom gravy or remoulade served with a quinoa salad with a cider vinaigrette and working leeks in there somewhere.
Oh bonus if I can work cider in. I make an amazing jerk vegetable rice with our strong rumrunner cider that everyone expects me to enter because everyone loves it, but it's probably too spicy for catering fare and I don't have faith that it would be as delicious if it was made milder.
Their current vegan options are pretty boring: portobello stacks, ratatouille, very conservatively spiced Moroccan tagine.
I am crazy competitive and I need to win! The most popular thing I've ever made for a huge group of omnis in a catering setting (a potluck wedding) was the v'con's eggplant peanut stew but even though it's really rich and filling it's not really a main that can be plated nicely, and also it's not my recipe.
I love Vietnamese food so another idea was caramelized lemongrass tofu with a vermicelli salad with lots of veggies...but I think my options are too limited there when I try to make it very West Coast, which they are all about.
And I WOULD make an amazing dish full of chanterelles but their short season means it couldn't be a regular item on their menus. We do have access to year-round local shiitakes and sprouts though. But not everyone loves mushrooms (you haters!) and they already have the portobello things (which I think are stuffed with a boring couscous in pesto).
This is essentially what would probably win but I want to be creative and use my own ideas (but with your help!): http://vegandad.blogspot.ca/2010/10/map ... ffing.html
. Also I already shared that recipe on our company's FB page...And the maple trees in BC don't make good maple syrup and everyone know that and it is a Canadianism to care about that knowledge.
I am over-thinking this but I would love suggestions! Oh I want to incorporate roasted sunchokes, because they are local and the BEST THING EVER. Would they be good in a kale salad with julienned tart apples and a dry cider vinaigrette?
Suggestions welcome especially since I have a fridge stocked with tonnes of local stuff (tempeh, apples, bok choy, radishes, beets, chard, squash, lettuce, jalapenos, carrots SO MANY carrots) and the time to experiment today! I guess gluten free is easier than I thought because I just need to steer clear of glutened beer and use wheat-free flours and tamari. And if I made that vegan dad recipe I'd need g-f bread.
One thing to consider is that this company always has baked potatoes...it's like their thing, with various toppings (some vegan and gluten-free), so I'd prefer to use other root veggies to go with the main. Fortunately we have every root veg you can imagine available locally.