Veggies in the Spotlight at Restaurants

Vegetables are a rising star on the culinary horizon, and one of the best places to find them is at restaurants.  Surveys indicate that many of us are more interested than ever in adding healthier choices to our diets – whether that’s whole foods, more fruits and vegetables or increased meatless options – and this is translating into a restaurant industry trend for more veggie-centric menu choices.

This means even more delicious ways for you to get your veggies during the week!  Restaurants offer the unique opportunity to try new vegetables and preparations without the work on your part.  Restaurant chefs also happen to be experts at whipping up delicious choices that make the most of ingredients.  Restaurants are making vegetables shine in so many tasty ways these days that you’ll find it hard to resist getting more into your diet.  Here are just a few ways restaurants are making the most of the bounty of vegetables out there:

  • Ethnic cuisine – It’s probably not news to you that Americans are falling in love with world cuisine.  In fact, Google released information about their top searches, and many of those top searches have to do with cuisine that takes our taste buds traveling.  What does that have to do with vegetables?  If you take a closer look at ethnic cuisines, you’ll often find loads of vegetables.  Think Vietnamese food with bean sprouts and bok choy, Mexican food with squash and cabbage, or Moroccan food with potatoes, peas and peppers. 
  • Heirloom vegetables – Many chefs are incorporating more heirloom varieties into menu offerings.  These trendy ingredients are actually defined as “vintage varieties that have been preserved by passing seed down from generation to generation.”  They may not be great choices for shipping, but these vegetables are generally passed down because of their flavor.  That equals an even more delicious dish and a reminder of just how good a vegetable can taste.
  • Meatless meals – The growing demand for Meatless Monday, vegetarian and vegan options has turned into an opportunity for restaurants to move vegetables from side dishes to spotlight..  From new takes on classic meaty menu choices to inspired culinary creations that make us rethink the humble vegetable, chefs are bulking up menus with a variety of vegetables for us to try. 

Vegetables are nutritional stars with vitamins, minerals and fiber – linked linked to reduced risk of certain types of cancer, a healthier weight, a healthier heart and more.  Now, making half your plate fruits and vegetables is easier than ever, thanks to the ever-increasing veggie-packed choices at restaurants.

How are your favorite restaurants making veggies shine?