Plant Based and Tasting Great
Today’s Trends in Super Healthy Cooking
A menu at a local fish market displays various types of ceviche available in Panama City, Panama.
Trends in food today are moving towards healthier, all natural ingredients and locally grown produce. In order to sustain these trends, chefs are faced with the challenge of creating recipes that are both great tasting and healthy – avoiding fats & oils. Plant based dieting refers to eating food that is minimally processed, trying to avoid meats, dairy products & oils. One does this by incorporating alternative options such as tofu (which takes on the flavor of whatever it is marinated in) and skipping frozen and processed or genetically engineered food as much as possible. Legumes and lentils are a good way to in cooperate proteins into your diet, keeping in mind soups are a great preparation for the upcoming colder months. If you prefer a creamy version of soups substitutions such as almond milk as used in the vegan cream of mushroom soup which is a great alternative to cream with similarly tasting results.
Ultimately, it’s easier than one might think to incorporate small changes into your diet for an overall healthier lifestyle and here are some simple ideas on how to do so. Visiting your local farmers market or health food store, where organic produce is sold is a great place to start. Hone in to your senses by feeling, seeing, touching & even sometimes tasting your produce before purchasing - this convenience helps the home cook in preparing healthier options for their family by incorporating a wealth of vegetables &/or fruits into their meals. Another way people are adjusting their lifestyle in order to be healthier is by replacing regular meals with plant based healthier options. For example, substituting tofu for a traditionally meat based meal is a great way to introduce someone to these alternative options. A black bean “burger” with guacamole and baked sweet potato “fries” is a delicious & satisfying option to a cheeseburger and traditional French fries but just as exciting and offering much more in the way of vitamins and nutrients.
Another way to make a simple change is to use plenty of spices and herbs to add interest to your everyday food. It’s also very easy to grow your these herbs yourself. At Food Design Catering the chefs incorporate homegrown basil, rosemary and other herbs we grow into many clients’ dishes. This adds flavor and color to meals; an easy way to “spice up your creations” and make food interesting as well as assure you are getting minerals and nutrients into your diet.
In response to our client’s growing requests for healthier weekday meal options Food Design Catering offers a dinner delivery service where clients can order menu items for delivery right to their homes in Greenwich. Menus include gourmet meal options such as Veal Ossobucco with pumpkin risotto. However, as the communities growing health needs have changed, the menu also offers several options for those on special diets including vegan, gluten free and dairy free entrees, soups and side dishes served with or without oils. Each meal is prepared fresh in the kitchen that morning with products from our local purveyors. This week’s vegan options include a chick pea stew with kale and curry accompanied by veggie “pasta” (strips of Zucchini, squash & Carrots made like fettuccini) with red pepper marinara or a Japanese Mushroom Bowl with kale, tofu and brown rice as well as s carrot-ginger soup. On the menu Food Design also offers fresh juice options such as Kale, Cucumber, Apple & Carrot juice which is great way to get lots of fruits and vegetables into your diet with a delicious beverage.
As dieting trends continue to evolve it’s important to remember these easy and small changes that every person can in cooperate into their everyday routine in an effort to live a longer, healthier lifestyle without compromising on foods they love and enjoy.
Michael Batt, Executive Chef/Owner of Food Design Catering of Greenwich, CT (28 Old Field Point Road; 203.622.0725) graduated from the esteemed Culinary Institute of America in 1990. Immediately upon graduation, Batt began his professional career cooking at Restaurant 44 “The Royalton Hotel working under highly acclaimed chef, Geoffrey Zakarian. Today, Chef Batt spends his time in the kitchen of his Greenwich based catering company, Food Design Catering & Events, incorporating his teachings from these mentors and creating new recipes based on a passion for exquisitely flavored dishes.
Food Design Catering
28 Old Field Point Road, Greenwich
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