Winning Ways to Update Your Restaurant’s Fall Menu

Last updated on October 11th, 2021

Update your restaurant's fall menu with seasonal   ingredients and recipes

With summer over and the back-to-school season fading, restaurants fall menus have kicked into high gear. Once again, the autumn presents foodservice providers with a host of fruits, vegetables, and spices that are the hallmark of this pre-Winter period. Whether you are a caterer, restaurateur, run a coffee shop, pizza store, or even a smoothie stand, now is the time to cash in on the bounty and indulge your customers with seasonal favorites and new fall-inspired recipes.

Fall Produce Flourishing

The abundance of fresh produce available at affordable prices is reason enough for chefs to get excited as they conjure up their next Instagram-worthy pièce de résistance to attract consumers and entice the masses to sample their wares.

Continue reading Winning Ways to Update Your Restaurant’s Fall Menu

Gazpacho Takes the Lead on Summer Soup Menus

Last updated on August 10th, 2021

Summer soup season is here, and the cold soup selections are (ironically) selling like hot cakes. Leading the pack, however, is gazpacho, the quintessential tomato-based chilled soup, appearing on restaurant menus everywhere. Featuring the aromas, flavors, and colors of the season’s top produce, fresh, cold gazpacho is a customer favorite.

With its origins in Spain, there is a famous Spanish saying: “De gazpacho no hay empacho” — there’s never too much gazpacho. If you work in foodservice and want to boost business this summer, it’s time to learn more about what has kept this dish so popular and what’s new in gazpacho recipes today.

Continue reading Gazpacho Takes the Lead on Summer Soup Menus

Add Fenugreek to Your Restaurant’s Menu

Restaurants spice things up by adding fenugreek to their menu

If you are a chef or restaurant owner looking for a new spice to infuse life into your customers’ favorite dishes, it’s time to add fenugreek to your list of ingredients! A long-time staple in Indian cuisine with a rich history in traditional Chinese medicine, fenugreek is an aromatic plant that is both an herb and a spice. It is available year-round as a seed (popularly known as methi), in whole or powdered form (with the former including the root and twigs), and as dry leaves that are especially popular in Middle Eastern cooking.

Fenugreek Quick Facts

The fenugreek plant is largely grown in South Asia and parts of the Mediterranean. It features small round leaves with long pods that contain distinctive bitter-tasting seeds. Its taste is described as sweet yet bitter with a hint of burnt sugar and a maple syrup aroma when cooked. In addition to packing a tasteful punch, fenugreek seeds provide some significant health benefits, including anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidant activities that are good for the body.

Fenugreek Health Benefits

Beyond its culinary assets, both the seeds and leaves of fenugreek have been used throughout the ages for medicinal purposes. These include helping control blood sugar levels and diabetes, lowering cholesterol, protecting the heart, and treating stomach disorders. Nursing mothers also use it to improve lactation, and in fact, a teaspoon of fenugreek seeds consumed each morning was once a popular recommendation.

In its varying forms over hundreds of years, the following are some of the condition’s fenugreek has been used to prevent and treat:

  • Open wounds
  • Muscle pain
  • Inflammation
  • Low blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Digestive problems
  • Kidney problems
  • Obesity
  • Low libido
  • Painful menstruation
  • Enhance breast milk production and flow

Introduce Methi Water to Your Customers

Healthy methi water aides in weight loss, digestion and controls diabetes.

Perhaps the most famous way to enjoy is fenugreek seeds is to prepare methi water. Packed with fiber, it is particularly recommended for aiding weight loss efforts since it keeps consumers full for longer and better able to manage their appetite. Methi or fenugreek water is also said to help flush out harmful toxins from the body, prevent indigestion and constipation, and improve bowel movements. It is especially recommended for diabetics as its fiber content enables the slow release of sugar, and according to the experts, methi seeds improve insulin activity.

How to Prepare Methi Water

Method #1: Over a low flame, roast 10 grams of fenugreek seeds. Using a blender, turn seeds into a fine powder. Add 1 teaspoon of powder to a warm glass of water, mix, and voila! For maximum benefits, drink one glass of methi water in the morning.

Method #2: Soak 10 grams of fenugreek seeds in two cups of hot water. Filter the water and drink in the morning.

Finally, to benefit from all the seeds’ essential minerals and fiber, you can sprout your own methi seeds as follows: Soak a thin piece of a clean cloth in water. Place a handful of fenugreek seeds on the moist cloth. Cover with a plate or other utensil. For three nights, allow the seeds to sprout. On the fourth day, uncover. By day #5, the sprouts are ready for consumption.

Fenugreek Dishes: Tips for Chefs and Restaurateurs

By now, you are no doubt hungry for some ideas on how to add fenugreek to a range of main and side dishes. With its unique flavor that begins as slightly bitter yet bears a lingering, rolling sweetness, chef enthusiasts use it a go-to ingredient for any dish that needs to balance out sour or sweetness. Furthermore, the spice is popularly added to curries to balance spicy and earthy flavors, to plainer dishes such as lentils and potatoes to add depth, and to round out marinades and sauces of all kinds.

For your benefit, here are some more ways to add the ‘superfood’ and weight-loss aid to a wide range of dishes:

Learn all about fenugreek and how your chefs can use it to round out any flavor

  • Toss a handful of fenugreek chopped leaves into a potato stew or a pot of simmering tomato sauce
  • Mix fenugreek toasted seeds with garbanzo beans
  • Add fenugreek seeds, salt, and a dash of cream to a bowl of steamed broccoli or other vegetables
  • Crush some dried fenugreek leaves into a powder
  • Mix into mashed potatoes for a crowd favorite!
  • For a to-die-for marinated fish dish, combine crushed, dried fenugreek leaves with some yogurt and mustard. Spread over fish, then broil or grill
  • Did you know that you can even use fenugreek to make mouth-watering dinner rolls? Simply add 10 grams of dried fenugreek leaves into one kilogram of any flour mix, then pair with your customers’ favorite salads and cheeses.

Fenugreek Recipes

If all this 411 has whet your appetite for some bona fide recipes, you’re in luck! Here are some chef-recommended favorites to experiment with.

Fenugreek Roast Chicken

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 4 tbsp. margarine at room temperature
  • 1 tsp. melted margarine for basting
  • 2 tbsp. crushed, dried fenugreek leaves
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Remove excess fat/skin from chicken. Rinse and pat dry.
  3. Place chicken in a roasting pan. Lightly season with salt and pepper.
  4. Combine room-temperature margarine, salt, fenugreek leaves, and red pepper flakes in a small bowl. Mix.
  5. Liberally rub mixture all over the chicken.
  6. Breast side down, roast for 20-30 minutes or until skin begins to brown
  7. Turn chicken breast side up. Baste with melted margarine.
  8. Roast for 5 minutes, then baste again.
  9. Lower oven temperature to 325 degrees, bake for another 45-55 minutes.
  10. Optional: For a well-browned end result, finish on ‘broil’ for a few minutes.

Fenugreek Potato Stir Fry

This popular Indian side dish is vegan, gluten-free, and delish!

Learn all about fenugreek and how it can balance the taste of your favorite dishes

Ingredients

  • 4-6 potatoes (preferably Russet,Yukon Gold, Red, or baby potatoes)
  • Fresh, frozen, or dried fenugreek leaves
  • Spices to flavor. Recommended: garlic, ginger, green chilies, turmeric, cumin seeds, garam malasa

Instructions

  1. Peel potatoes
  2. Cut into cubes (slice baby potatoes in half)
  3. Wash fresh methi leaves by running under water. Separate the leaves from the stems, chop roughly, and set aside. Frozen or dried leaves can be used as is.
  4. Heat oil in a pan. Adding spices one at a time, saute for 1-2 minutes
  5. Add potatoes, mixing and sauteeing until potatoes are cooked
  6. Add fenugreek leaves and garam masala, toss together, and cook for another 2-3 minutes
  7. Bon Appétit!

Carob Makes a Comeback

Last updated on April 11th, 2021

Carob-flavored recipes on the rise in 2021

The all-natural sweetener that gained fame as a healthy chocolate substitute at the turn of the millennium is popular once again and being featured prominently in restaurant recipes in 2021. Most used to prepare sweet treats and desserts such as brownies, fudge, and milkshakes, there are so many good reasons why adding carob-flavored dishes to your menu is a sure-fire recipe for success.

Carob Benefits

If you are new to carob, it is a sweet, edible pulp that comes from the pods of a tropical carob tree. Dried and roasted, the pulp is ground into a powder for consumption or transformed into carob chips, syrup, or extract. In an age when wellness tops consumers’ minds, carob steps up to the plate with its multiple health benefits. These include the facts that carob is: Continue reading Carob Makes a Comeback

Restaurants Ring in the New Year with Kombucha

Last updated on March 10th, 2021

Add popular kombucha to your New Year takeout menu and cater to demand

Kombucha, the fizzy, fermented tea with a distinct tangy flavor, is in high demand for 2021. Restaurateurs seeking to upgrade their beverage menu for the New Year would do well to cater to customers’ clamors for more Kombucha.

So, what is it that has the cold tea flying off grocery store shelves, appearing in home and workplace refrigerators, and making the top-four list on consumer recipe searches?

We’ll answer these questions and more as we delve into the unusual world of Kombucha. Continue reading Restaurants Ring in the New Year with Kombucha

Casseroles Make a Comeback During Corona

Last updated on December 16th, 2020

Restaurant casserole sales rise during corona.

Attention restaurant owners: If you are looking for corona-friendly recipes to add to your menu, think casseroles! The quintessential oven-baked creation is making a comeback during corona, and for good reason. Budget-friendly and family friendly, casseroles can be as rich or as simple as your customers’ palates desire. They are easy to prepare, nutritious, delicious, and are typically made from many of the staples you already have in your pantry. Think cost-effective ingredients such as pasta, rice, flour, canned or frozen vegetables, canned soup, beans, and a choice of meat, cheese, fish, or vegetarian options. Moreover, casseroles make plenty of servings and are easy to freeze and store.

Many Types of Casseroles

Boost restaurant revenues with comforting casserole dishes during corona.

Here’s more good news for 2020 restaurateurs: With a trove of tried-and-true casserole recipes available, and with an endless variety of dishes your chefs can concoct on their own, it is no wonder the casserole has become the “go-to” dish for many restaurants in the wake of the coronavirus. Continue reading Casseroles Make a Comeback During Corona

Non-Alcoholic Drinks Revolution and Evolution

Last updated on February 18th, 2020

Discover the allure of non-alcoholic zero-proof spirits and how to add to your menu.

The soaring popularity of non-alcoholic drinks continues to revolutionize the brewery world as industry titans, esteemed bars, and well-respected bartenders board the booze-free train. Various formulations of the newcomers include terms such as mocktails, faux spirits, alt-gin, and zero-proof drinks and beverages. Yet while the cocktails might be ‘mock,’ they are bringing in real bucks – and big bucks to boot.

The non-alcoholic (NA) beer industry, in particular, has proliferated with sales expected to surpass $25 billion by 2024, according to research firm Global Market Insights. The year 2019 also witnessed the astronomical rise to success of the first non-alcoholic gin and whisky products from company Ritual Zero Proof. Its six-month startup inventory sold out in a mere six weeks, necessitating a 400% increase in production to meet demand. The company’s success has since garnered the attention of Diaego, the industry giant whose brands include Smirnoff, Crown Royal, Johnnie Walker, and Don Julio. It now has a small ownership stake and major cash investment in the company, enabling Ritual to expand significantly.

Sober Bars

And it’s not just non-alcoholic drinks which are experiencing an upheaval: sober bars, an oxymoron within itself, are popping up nationwide, along with the newly-coined term “sober curious population.” This refers to the growing population who are decreasing or altogether ceasing their alcohol intake and questioning everything about their relationship with alcohol and the societal pressures that have always caused them to consume alcohol.
The bottom line? If you own a bar, or if your restaurant or catering service provides alcohol, your business can no longer afford not to sell mock drinks and zero-proof beverages.

Continue reading Non-Alcoholic Drinks Revolution and Evolution

How Your Foodservice Can Tap into the Energy Drink Market

Last updated on February 17th, 2020

Get into the energy drinks market with ideas and info about this lucrative space .

If you operate a foodservice, and especially if you work in the beverage industry, you probably have already donned your chefs’ hats and are brainstorming ways to add energy drinks to your beverage menus. Of course, you could simply sell some of the leading energy drink brands, but that would be dabbling in an already saturated playing field with little or no room for growth. On the other hand, if you learn all there is to know about energy drinks, including their pros and cons, you could create your own signature varieties, stand out from the competitive pack, and give both your customers and your restaurant business an energy-bursting boost.

Energy Drink Market Quick Facts

So what do we know about the energy drinks market? Here are some quick facts:

  • Great news for energy drinks! For the period 2019-2024, the global market is forecast to grow with a CAGR of 7.1% (and this despite increasing regulatory and health challenges)
  • Energy drinks are typically non-alcoholic beverages that contain caffeine, sugar, taurine, B vitamins, glucuronolactone, herbal extracts (i.e. ginseng, guarana), and amino acids. Marketed as fatigue-fighters and refreshers that improve physical and mental performance, they are available as drinks, shots, and mixers
  • One of the fastest growing segments in the beverage sphere, energy drinks are outselling soft drinks, sports drinks, fruit and vegetable juices, bottled water, and ready-to-drink tea/coffee
  • Leading the industry are company giants Red Bull, Monster, and Rockstar
  • The major consumers of energy drinks are millennials (aged 18-35)
  • The booming sales figures are attributed to: increasing consumer focus on fitness and health; demand for quick, easily available sources of energy that accommodate increasingly busy lifestyles; aggressive marketing campaigns (including sports team and celebrity endorsements); positive effects reported by consumers of increased alertness, better performance, elevated mood, and enhanced memory

Continue reading How Your Foodservice Can Tap into the Energy Drink Market

How to Add Healthy Apricots to Foodservice Menus

Last updated on February 16th, 2020

Enjoy apricot cooking and baking tips, apricot recipes, apricot history, and more.

Whether you eat them raw, dried, or canned, there are countless ways to enjoy the healthy, tasty apricot. In fact, apricots are used to prepare a wide array of savory side dishes, sauces, oils, jams, and desserts. If you are a gourmet chef, professional baker, or own a restaurant or catering service, this blog will give you the 411 on cooking and baking with apricots. In addition, as we shine a sweet spotlight on this tart fruit, you will enjoy a myriad of new recipes to add to your menu while your customers enjoy being pampered by your new delightful apricot offerings.

Apricot Basics

Scientifically known as Prunus armeniaca, the apricot fruit has a thin, fuzzy, yellow or orange exterior with a tangy flesh and inedible pit inside. Less juicy – and hence less messy – than their peach, plum, and nectarine counterparts, they are perfect as a healthy snack and can be easily added to numerous recipes. Apricot oil can also be extracted from its kernel (seed) and like the fruit itself, it is packed with healthy benefits.

Continue reading How to Add Healthy Apricots to Foodservice Menus

Unique Fall and Winter Vegetables to Add to Your Restaurant’s Menu

Last updated on January 30th, 2020

Add these unique and largely unfamiliar fall and winter vegetables to your menu

With the fall vegetable season still in full bloom and the winter vegetable season looming, now is the perfect time for your restaurant, catering service, or other eatery to cash in on the plethora of delicious, nutritious vegetables currently available. To help your menu really stand out from the crowd, we have created a list of some the most unique fall and winter vegetables on the market, guaranteed to tweak your customers’ culinary curiosity, please their palates, and keep them coming back for more.

The selections – including shiso, fennel bulbs, crosnes, fiddleheads, celeriac, and many more – are some the most unusual, head-turning vegetables you have ever heard of. Add these veggies to your restaurant’s menu, combine them with some savvy business-boosting marketing techniques (think Pinterest and Instagram…), and what you have is a recipe for winter recipe success.

And that’s not all. If your chefs feel like they have exhausted their repertoire of recipe ideas for dishes made from run-of-the-mill potatoes, onions, squash, and other staples, it’s time to step out of the culinary box and sink your teeth into the likes of blue potatoes, tree onions, Hakerei turnips, delicata squash, Chinese water spinach, Chinese artichokes, Jerusalem artichokes, dragon carrots, black radishes, white asparagus – and the list goes on.

Continue reading Unique Fall and Winter Vegetables to Add to Your Restaurant’s Menu