WHAT’S TRENDING?

WHAT’S TRENDING?

by Sherri Meyer, Corporate Dietitian

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I love reading the predicted food trends for the coming year. While a Google search will turn up an endless list of what’s treading for 2017, I enjoyed reading the top 5 from a recent Forbes article. Whether or not we will actually see these trends in 2017 remains to be seen, but I am sure many of us will welcome No More Kale (or at least not for breakfast, lunch & dinner).

 

#1: VEGETARIAN COMFORT FOOD

Good news for those of us who would like to consume more vegetables.

My favorite stand by is roasted cauliflower.

 

Vegetables will continue its rise on the dinner plate, as animal proteins and heavy side dishes make way for more vegetarian options. According to Pinterest, there’s a rise in the word “veggies” in its comfort food searches by 336% last year, while words such as “lasagna,” “macaroni” and “Stroganoff” were off by 69%, 55% and 50%, respectively. What this means is that many more people are likely to order mashed cauliflower instead of rice and pasta, and (if possible) request for vegetable crust for healthier pizza.

 

#2: ARTISAN BUTCHER SHOPS-PLUS-RESTAURANTS

It’s quality vs. quantity when it comes to meat consumption.

 

Given the rise of vegetarian options out there, expect push back from the other end. This comes in the form of artisanal butcher shops-cum-restaurants, which fortify people’s love for meat. Delivering a more upscale flair to the craft of butchery, this “butcher-to-table” trend lets customers be in awe with the preparation of everything from grilled steak to charcuterie. Plus, you’ll get to eat them right away. 

 

#3: BREAKFAST, UPDATED

Good news for the non-traditionalist breakfast eater.  I know a few people in my house will applaud this trend.

 

For many of us, all-day breakfast is hardly a new concept. But with many fast food chain offerings such as the “Brunchfast” at Jack-in-the-box and spiced up breakfast sandwiches at Starbucks, what’s particularly unique about this trend in 2017 is how the texture of breakfast will change. Forget smoother breakfast offerings such as soft scrambled eggs, buttered grits, or oatmeal’s. What you’ll find are the so-called, more “aggressive” crunchier items like fried chicken, crispy chorizo and chimichurri. As a bonus, smaller chains and independent eateries will justify these around-the-clock breakfast items as perfect hangover cures!

 

#4: KALE NO MORE

Full disclosure, I really do like kale, but am happy to see a much needed break from it’s role as the health savior.   Stick with a variety of healthy vegetables, your palate will thank you.

 

Remember the days when kale represented all that is healthy? Well, according to Whole Foods’ former global grocery coordinator, it’s time to say goodbye (at least when it comes to the consumer packaged version). Nowadays, there are many more options if you’re looking for healthy vegetables that are also good for reducing food waste. For instance, there’s a large range of seaweeds, which pack in more umami flavors for different broths. And as for the waste-not economy, many chefs are looking out for newer, more interesting alternatives such as beet greens, chard, turnip greens, mustard greens, and carrot tops. Since kale seems to have gone past its peak, get ready to find other yet-to-be-discovered vegetable for creative, new dishes.

 

#5: BOWLS, BOWLS, BOWLS

I love the idea of packing healthy goodness into one delicious bowl.

 

First, there were acai bowls. Then, there was poké. In 2017, eating from bowls will be taking over further as restaurants are migrating from serving handheld items to placing in bowls like Korean bibimbap. There are many benefits to this trend. Not only is it less likely for what’s in the takeaway bowls to get splattered on the office desktop, it’s also easier and faster to assemble a bowl than plated upscale entrees. Moreover, holding a bowl would likely make you psychologically more prone to mindfulness. You’ll feel a full a lot faster, and be able to savor all the flavors and textures with every bite. What’s not to like?

 

Source: Forbes

Salty Caramel & Pecan Oatmeal Cookies

by Denise Simmons, Corporate Executive Chef

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Yields (about) 48 cookies

1c butter, softened

1c granulated sugar

1c packed dark brown sugar

1t salt

1t baking powder

½t baking soda

2 eggs

2t vanilla

1½c all-purpose flour

3c rolled oats

11oz package caramel baking

1c pecans, coarsely chopped

coarse sea salt

 

1. Preheat oven to 350°F

2. In mixer, beat butter on medium for 30 seconds

3. Add both sugars, 1t salt, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda; beat until combined

4. Beat in eggs & vanilla; then flour

5. Stir in oats, caramel bits, & pecans

6. Using small scoop, drop 1½” mounds of dough, 2″ apart on parchment lined cookie sheet

7. Sprinkle “sparingly” with sea salt

8. Bake for 11-12 mins, until edges light brown

Salty Caramel & Pecan Oatmeal Cookies

by Denise Simmons, Corporate Executive Chef

Yields (about) 48 cookies

1c butter, softened

1c granulated sugar

1c packed dark brown sugar

1t salt

1t baking powder

½t baking soda

2 eggs

2t vanilla

1½c all-purpose flour

3c rolled oats

11oz package caramel baking

1c pecans, coarsely chopped

coarse sea salt

 

1. Preheat oven to 350°F

2. In mixer, beat butter on medium for 30 seconds

3. Add both sugars, 1t salt, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda; beat until combined

4. Beat in eggs & vanilla; then flour

5. Stir in oats, caramel bits, & pecans

6. Using small scoop, drop 1½” mounds of dough, 2″ apart on parchment lined cookie sheet

7. Sprinkle “sparingly” with sea salt

8. Bake for 11-12 mins, until edges light brown

Eat Well, Be Well Returns!

by Sherri Meyer, Corporate Dietitian

The Eat Well, Be Well blog is officially back. The blog was on an unofficial hiatus after my family welcomed our daughter home in March 2016. Life has now settled into a new normal and it’s time to get back to writing about one of my passions, health & nutrition. My hope in re-starting this blog is to provide useful, reliable information regarding current nutrition trends. The world of nutrition is ever changing and it is certainly not always easy to decipher the science behind it (and honestly sometimes there is absolutely no science behind it). I would love to hear from you dear readers, what do you want to learn about? What questions do you have regarding current nutrition trends? Fitness? Wellness? Please email me at smeyer@merig.com and tell me your ideas.

Pumpkin Muffins

by Meriwether Godsey » All Stories

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Yields (about) 12 muffins

2ea large eggs

1¼c sugar

6t vegetable oil

¾c canned pumpkin, mashed

1c+6T all purpose flour

¼t salt

1t baking soda

1t ground cinnamon

⅓t ground nutmeg

⅓t ground cloves

1 pinch ground allspice

 

1. Preheat oven to 400°F

2. Combine eggs, sugar, oil, & pumpkin; mix well

3. Sift together flour, salt, baking soda & spices

4. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture

5. Pour into well sprayed muffin tins

6. Bake for 15-20 mins

note: can add white or dark chocolate chips, dried cranberries, or pecans

Sweet Potato & Apple Soup

by Meriwether Godsey » All Stories

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Serves 4

1 small onion, small dice

1 stalk celery, small dice

1 med carrot, small dice

1t chopped garlic

1T finely chopped or grated ginger

2c vegetable stock

½c dry white wine

2 granny smith apples, peeled, seeded,  ½” dice

3 large sweet potatoes, peeled, ½” dice

1 cinnamon stick

1 fresh bay leaf

½c unsweetened coconut milk

 

1. Sauté onions, celery & carrots over med heat 6-8 mins

2. Add garlic & ginger, cook 1 minute

3. Add stock, wine, apples, sweet potatoes, cinnamon & bay leaf

4. Bring to boil, reduce heat, simmer 10-12 mins, until potatoes are soft

5. Remove cinnamon stick & bay leaf

6. Pureé until smooth; season with sea salt & pepper, Add coconut milk or extra stock to desired consistency

 

Start cool, stay cool

by Leslie Phillips, President & COO

breakfast flatbread time

As we go from zero (or slow-ish) to full speed ahead, everywhere (yay, back to school!), your time is at a premium and time management is critical. So, before you lose your cool (and who wants to spend time looking for that), here are some tips:

1. Preventative maintenance.
Fuel up with the right stuff. Eat a real breakfast…one with nutritional value. You’re in the food business, you KNOW what that looks like. Just do it.

2. Take 5.
Commit to taking mental breaks. Step outside, take three deep breaths, look at the horizon – the sky – anything growing from the earth, close your eyes, stretch, re-center. And then get back in there…they need your energy and your leadership!

3. Know your hot buttons and manage them.
What really sets you off? Guess what…it might happen today! What are you going to do when it does? Remember, you are in control of how you react. Spare yourself (and those around you) the stress and breathe through the things that push your buttons.

Deviled Egg Salad

by Meriwether Godsey » All Stories

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Serves 6

15ea hard cooked eggs, peeled

6T good quality mayo

1T dijon

½t sea salt

¼t black pepper

splash tabasco

 

1. Chop egg (cheese grater, coarse slide, works great!)

2. Combine with remaining ingredients. Mix well. Keep chilled

3. Garnish with fresh parsely

Belgian Chocolate Greek Yogurt

by Meriwether Godsey » All Stories

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Serves 6

⅓c cocoa powder

⅔c heavy cream

6oz 60% semi-sweet belgian chocolate chips

32oz plain greek yogurt

 

1. In saucepan, mix cream & cocoa; heat to a simmer

2. In a heatproof bowl, pour hot cream over chocolate chips, whisk until melted & smooth; cool 10 mins

3. Stir in yogurt in very small amts, blend well

4. Garnish with fresh mint

Bringing Awareness to Daily Eating: Benefits of Mindful Eating

by Cate Smith, Corporate Chef

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I had the opportunity recently to attend a mindful eating retreat “After the First Bite” and was amazed at how much better I felt after three days of being aware and paying attention.  When we are on “auto pilot”, we tend to act (eat) first and then become aware of what we have done (eaten) afterwards.  Mindfulness of when, why and what we eat, how it tastes, where it comes from, and how we feel after we consumed it can help bring a natural and healthy change to this everyday process. 

Here are just a few of the benefits:

  1. Helps Us Slow Down
    One of the biggest issues in general is eating SO quickly. You can be out to dinner with someone and by the time you blink a few times the food on their plate is completely gone. Eating quickly is both bad for digestion and it’s also bad when it comes to controlling the quantity of food you’re eating. Practicing mindful eating can help you tune in and pay attention to the food you’re eating, which in turn can help slow you down.
  2. Promotes Eating Less
    Paying attention to the food you’re eating can not only help you enjoy it more, but because you’ve slowed down to tune into your food, it gives your brain and stomach more time to communicate and sense fullness, a process that takes about 15-20 minutes.
  3. Can Boost Satisfaction
    So after slowing down and eating less, what you’ll realize is that you actually have time to listen to what’s going on inside of you, and there is a greater chance that you’ll feel more satisfied. The entire process of tuning into what you’re eating in addition to how it looks and what it feels like, can help promote feeling satisfied, and for many, this is after eating much less food than they once did.
  4. Helps to Better Nourish Your Body
    Proper nourishment for our daily life is the main function of eating.  Paying better attention to what you’re eating and planning ahead can be beneficial when it comes to providing more nutrients to your body, and usually when people start paying attention to what they’re eating, they also usually start to pay attention to providing better nutrition which is a major plus for the body.

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