2020 is just around the corner and plant-based diets and trends seem to be moving with full steam ahead! This movement keeps both human health and the planet in mind. If balanced right, the medical benefits are incredible and the impact on the earth is just as important. The food service industry is not only prepping for this change, but a lot of providers are embracing plant-based menus whole heartedly already.

We have seen that change happens rapidly in modern times. What used to take years to catch on, is now catching on in a matter of weeks and sometimes days. With media coverage in everyone’s hand, to stay relevant is to not only embrace the current trends, but to look towards what’s next. The beautiful thing about plant-forward, is that this a trend that is clearly here to stay. Restaurants are learning that just appealing to vegetarian diets isn’t cutting it, but really incorporating delicious flavors and popular plant proteins is what makes consumers come back for more.

The best way to do this is to focus on how to build a healthy plate that diners will remember. Think about what veggies your guests love and then go a step further. Get creative, be bold, and have fun and you might just end up with the next Instagram-worthy dish. Here are our steps for building your plate with the plant in mind.

  • Make the veggie your star

Everyone has always been focused on the rainbow and the perfect ratio, which is great, but not always achievable on the go, at a buffet, or when throwing something together quickly. When you put the veggie at the center and build around it you are sure to save less real estate for the foods that are less healthy.

  • Embrace authentic flavors

Think about enhancing the flavors of your veggies. Steamed or roasted veggies are always a go-to but mix it up and throw some Indian spices with your cauliflower or see how you can make beets stand out. Exciting spices don’t have to be saved just for meats or stews; see how you can get bold with your plant-based dishes.

  • Try creating a dish two ways 

You see it often on cooking shows that culinary talents are displayed by cooking one ingredient multiple ways. Why not use this trend in a restaurant setting? Carrots three ways might sound bland, but it could be an awesome addition to your menu and give your chefs a simple ingredient to elevate.

  • Utilize popular veggies

If cauliflower is having a moment, take advantage of it! Brussels sprouts used to never make an appearance on menus and now they are $7-10 at most restaurants as an elevated appetizer. If you see a veggie start to get a bit of stardom, jump on board before you miss out on the opportunity to make it a staple on your menu or something diners come back for!

The days are gone when plant-based diets seemed far-fetched. Modern diners are looking for healthy, balanced meals with ingredients they can trust. The story behind where the veggie was farmed is more important now than it ever has been. Take advantage of the trend and hit the ground running in 2020 with recipes customers will talk about.