This week it's Public Sector Catering Magazines Plant-Based Week AND the Vegetarian Society National Vegetarian week.
We've been talking to one of our own Plant Based Food Heroes - the Team at Healing Secondary School in Grimsby. As the demand from Clients and consumers for plant-based options on our menu grows, we want to celebrate those on the forefront of this green wave.
Our Plant-Powered Kitchen by Mellors is an initiative in our schools to support the introduction of more plant-based foods across our menus.
We check in with Michelle Hoyles, Catering Manager at Healing Secondary School, whose team have been serving up some tantalising plant-based dishes alongside their regular offering, showing that an inclusive approach is all (green) thumbs up……
Why do you champion plant-based food in your canteen?
With Plant-based eating becoming more and more popular, my team and I decided back in January that we would launch our very own the aim was to promote healthier eating to our student and teaching staff, after all the Christmas festivities. ;
Every day throughout January, we had on offer at least one fully plant-based item, including mains, street food and deserts - to show that vegan food doesn’t have to be just fruit and vegetables!
#Veganuary23 became quite a hit at our school, with teaching staff and students wanting to try different things. So we decided to carry on with it.
What benefits have you seen….
For the client? Being a Vegan herself, our head teacher absolutely loves the plant-based food we create and will always encourage members of teaching staff and students to come and try #happyclienthappykitchen
For the customers? We have definitely seen an increase on customers using the catering facilities, especially teaching staff.
For your costs? Raising the flavour profile and reducing the meat quantity means that our customers don’t feel like they are missing out on flavour, and our budget can be better utilised. Win win!
What are your favourite dishes that make a big impact?
Whole Roasted cauliflower with tomato and paprika sauce
Salt and pepper potatoes with quorn fillet pieces
We’ve seen some epic creations coming out of your kitchen – where do you get your inspiration from?
Our on-site cook who I have to say absolutely blows me away with her creations is also vegan, and a proper foodie. She has lots of inspirational ideas, when it comes to creating food. I feel very lucky to have her on my team.
What are your favourite dishes from the Plant Based Recipe Pack?
The chick pea and squash balti is a big seller on curry day, and I must say is absolutely delicious. Also the flapjack and banana bread is very popular too.
The big question – do the children eat it?!
Yes they do, even those who are not vegan will still come along and have a try.
Any tips for anyone wanting to introduce more plant-based dishes into their menus?
Allowing the students and teaching staff to come along and sample dishes and give their feedback really helps.
Thanks Michelle and the Team at Healing Secondary School!
For more inspiration, visit our Twitter @mellorscatering