You may be cutting back on other ingredients, but it will leave more room on the plate to celebrate fruits and vegetables. They’re loaded with vitamins, minerals, and fibre, and relatively low in calories. Here are a few ways to add excitement to veggies and make the most of them.
- Add fruits and vegetables to a dish to help re-balance the plate when reducing other portions (i.e. starches and meat). This will visually complete the dish and keep your guests full and satisfied.
- As much as possible, use fruits and vegetables that are local and in-season. This will provide fresher, more flavourful produce (that are also richer in nutrients).
- Instead of boiling, serve vegetables raw, baked, steamed, grilled, or roasted to retain more nutrients.
- Vegetable skins often contain a lot of nutrients, so consider leaving peels on or peeling them as thinly as possible. This also helps reduce food waste!
- Have a wide selection of vegetables on your menu, including plenty of dark green and orange varieties. These are richest in vitamins, minerals, fibre, and protective phytochemicals.
- Substitute vegetables for some or all of your grains. You might use zucchini noodles in a pasta dish or “riced” cauliflower in place of white rice.
- Consider incorporating vegetables to your dish through sauces. More commonly, fresh bright sauces are made with carrots, roasted peppers, eggplant caviar, etc.
- Add fresh fruit to oatmeal, crepes, salad, or yogurt.
Planning the plate with vegetables
The ideal portion of fruits and vegetables is twice the size of the fist, which represents 50% of the plate.
The Chefs’ Manifesto encourages Chefs to use their purchasing power to buy locally produced foods in season. Read more:
Chefs’ Manifesto http://www.sdg2advocacyhub.org/chefmanifesto