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How Millennials Are (Re)Shaping the US Food Scene

How Millennials Are (Re)Shaping the US Food Scene

If millennials like it, it is sure to become a huge trend!

By definition, Millennials are the people born in the period between the 1980s and 2000s. “Although their characteristics vary by region, depending on social and economic conditions, the generation is generally marked by an increased use and familiarity with communications, media, and digital technologies.”

The preferences and of this large category of young people are often an indicator that, in time, even non-Millennial consumers will adopt them.

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What does this mean in terms of food? For starters, here is one important thing to be noted about Millennials: they aren’t particularly interested in spending money. Another important trait is their deep desire to make the world a better place, which also reflects in their attitude towards food.

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Millennials and Food – In-depth Analysis

Eating Out

The big question is: Do Millennials prefer to cook or eat out? The former seems to be their choice, at least at first glance, for mostly practical reasons. Namely, Millennials love great food but don’t have time to cook. That is why eating out is one of their favorite ways to part from their dollars, followed by spending on electronic gadgets and clothes. The research showed that Millennials eat out 3.4 times a week on average, and spend more on food than other age categories.

The Three Types of Millennial Foodies

Millennials are not a homogenous group. In fact, they can be divided into three broad categories according to their eating needs and preferences:

–    Tech gurus are not much into cooking and prefer takeout. When they decide where to eat, they’re guided by good taste, convenience, and speed, but also want to get good value for their money.

–    Environment-friendly millennials are concerned about the well-being of the world as a whole. They’re into healthy and organic food choices, unusual & exotic dishes, as well as quick and easy meals. Like the tech gurus, this group prefers takeout to cooking.

–    Hip-ennials are most likely to cook because they enjoy experimenting with food & trying new dishes. When they eat out, they want their order to be always right but they also pay attention whether the staff is friendly and attentive.

Food type preferences

When it comes to the food type, here is what Millennials love:

–    fast food

–    fast-casual

–    Asian

–    exotic

–    takeout

–    organic food

Besides the aboveme-ntioned categories, Millennials are also into fermented foods & everything that has kale in it. They also no stranger to meat dishes. They like having the option to order a customizable dish. And, of course, Millennials often take selfies and appreciate food that will look great on social media.

Millennial food

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Social media food trends

Speaking of social media, certain foods tend to flood certain channels, only to disappear just as fast as they’d appear. Most of these foods are unusual, appealing to the eye, and colorful. Taste, in this case, is of no importance but if the food tastes as good as it looks, that is certainly a bonus. At the moment, the following foods are hot on Instagram:

  1. Acai Bowls
  2. Elevated Toasts
  3. Freakshakes
  4. Sushi Burrito
  5. Starbucks’ colorful new drinks
  6. Rolled Ice Cream
  7. Cloud eggs

But food is not the only thing Millennials are looking for

Great food is not enough to convince a Millennial to visit a certain restaurant. When Millennials decide where to eat, they consider the following factors as well:

–    emotional needs – Millennials want to feel like they’re discovering something new but also to leave the stress behind and relax. They love to share their food and that’s why 65% of them eat with friends or colleagues, as a part of their emotional need to “catch up” while dining out. This is especially prominent in Millennial men, while millennial women want to know that they are getting good value for their money,

–    convenience & speed,

–    late-night dining,

–    décor,

–    relaxed atmosphere,

–    menu variety including unusual & exotic foods,

–    entertainment,

–    availability online,

–    Wi-Fi

Bottom line is Millennials want each experience to be high-quality. If there is no great option, they’ll choose to stay home and cook. Talking about tough customers!

Millennial food

Millennial Cooking Habits

Despite the fact that these young foodies are awfully busy and have a great number of options for eating out, they actually love cooking. Restaurant data shows that Millennials’ frequency of dining out has decreased.

Moreover, they consider themselves to be experts in the kitchen – 65% Millennials believes so, with Millennial men being more confident in their skills than women.

When it comes to cooking, these are the top three factors that drive Millennials to get into the kitchen:

–    social aspects of cooking and sharing

–    exotic and diverse foods

–    creative menus

Relying on the smartphones

When venturing to the kitchen, Millennials are bringing their mobile devices along. They’re relying on them at every phase of the cooking journey—deciding what to cook, learning how to cook it, and even while cooking.

Here is what Millennials search for online:

In stage 1, Deciding what to cook (which they say is the least fun part of the whole cooking process), the most frequent searches are quite broad:

–    dinner ideas

–    slow-cooker recipes

–    healthy recipes

Millennials also often type “best recipe for…”. Here are the most searched types of food in this category:

–    chocolate chip cookie

–    banana bread

–    meatloaf

–    pancakes

–    lasagna

Millennial food

YouTube is the favorite cooking channel

YouTube is the channel where Millennials go for cooking inspiration and guidance. Food-related searches on YouTube have increased by 75% in only one year! And believe it or not, the most engaged food-viewers are Millennial dads!

Stage 2 is the preparations stage, when Millennials search for “How to cook that” (one of the most popular searches on YouTube, with over 400 million views). Here are the top 5 searches:

–    baked potatoes

–    quesadilla

–    poached eggs

–    buttercream icing

–    burger patties

Besides these basic searches, Millennials search for unusual and exotic ingredients to add to their dishes and that is how they discover new brands.

The phones remain active even during cooking (voice search is indispensable for Millennials). Judging by the most popular searches, they love cooking chicken and often inquire about its baking temperature.

As part of their emotional need for sharing, Millennials dislike cooking alone and often have company in the kitchen, whether friends, spouses, or kids, all with the purpose to make the process less of an obligation and more fun.

Millennial food

Giving food a personal touch

Young foodies also like giving the food they cook a personal touch, simplifying the cooking process, or making traditional recipes with a twist. For that reason, kitchen tricks and hacks are also high on their list of favorite food-related searches.

This tendency is best seen in comfort foods. While nostalgic dishes are making a huge comeback, most Millennials don’t know or have no time to make them. That is why they either choose to consume such foods in restaurants or look for ways to simplify their preparation.

Millennials are interested in a different type of comfort food, i.e. feel-good foods that are healthier and easy to make. This is reflected in their desire to buy healthier ingredients such as fruits and veggies, as well as meats raised without hormones and antibiotics.

They also search for healthier recipes with chicken dominating as the main ingredient at the expense of red meat. Chicken is more popular among Millennials than eggs, peanut butter, and beef combined, followed immediately by veggies when it comes to comfort food.

Traditional comfort foods show a decline in popularity, for instance lasagna has decreased by 69% and macaroni by 55% in popularity in a course of a year.

In other words, Millennials not only want to enjoy the taste of a certain food, but they also want to feel good about the ingredients they’re using.

millennial food

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Shopping for food

When Millennials shop for cooking ingredients, they opt for organic and farm-to-table options, even if it means paying more. They turn more towards club, specialty, and convenience grocery stores at the expense of traditional ones.

Superfoods & healthy food obsession

US Millennials are obsessed with ‘superfoods’. To clarify things: “There really is no such thing as a superfood,” said Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition, “All foods, other than sugars and alcohol, have nutrients, but the basis of healthful eating is to eat a wide variety of relatively unprocessed foods.” However, the term seems to appeal to Millennials and food brands use it to market their products to these young foodies.

More than 60% Millennials said it’s very important to consume healthy foods. But they are also changing the meaning of “healthy eating” and “dieting”. For them counting calories is not a priority; they rather opt for natural, unprocessed foods and balanced diets.

The most popular superfood in the US is kale, used by 38% Millennials regularly to make kale smoothies or kale hummus. Brands have followed their cue and launched all sorts of kale products like kale ice cream, kale beer, kale chips, and kale chocolate.

Besides kale, Millennials also like the following superfoods:

Favorite brands

In general, Millennials still prefer branded foods, but cannot always afford them due to economic reasons. These are the top 15 food brands among Millennials:

  1. Starbucks
  2. McDonalds
  3. Frito Lay
  4. Kellogg’s
  5. Hershey’s
  6. Taco Bell
  7. Whole Foods
  8. Chick-fill-A
  9. Chipotle
  10. Kraft
  11. Kroger
  12. Pizza Hut
  13. Trader Joe’s
  14. Wendy’s
  15. Trader Mills
Millennial food

Credit:pressherald.com

What else do they buy more often than others?

Gas station food. Because they’re always on the run, about 30% Millennials tend to buy food from gas stations and eat it on the go.

Sriracha is the new hot trend among young foodies. It is literally everywhere around you, on pizzas, burgers, even in beer!

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Same-day delivery. As a result of the daily usage of gadgets, Millennials are not very patient. They are prepared to pay more money for same-day delivery of online purchases.

Energy drinks are favored by young, under-slept American parents.

Organic food, as mentioned before, 53% Millennials believe organic food is important.

Craft alcoholic beverages as opposed to mass-market options. 43% Millennials say craft booze tastes better and are likely to pay more for such pleasure.

The future of food is largely dependent on Millennials’ preferences and desires. Is it safe to say it is looking bright?

I believe that food should not only taste good, but make you feel good as well and that is why I am so interested in exploring ingredients, preparing meals, and finding ways to make the whole cooking experience fun and exciting! Being a blogger for MyGreatRecipes unites my two passions – food and writing, and I am enjoying every second of it!
London Food Report – 25+ Recipes That Will Show You How to Eat Like a Londoner

London Food Report – 25+ Recipes That Will Show You How to Eat Like a Londoner

Is London cuisine a reflection of “the worst food in the world”, as the food historian Panikos Panayi refers to British cuisine? The answer is affirmative. The cuisine of London offers all the traditional British dishes like the Yorkshire pudding, Cornish pastry, shortbread, fish & chips, roast beef, and kidney pudding. Let’s not forget about signature items like the full English breakfast, tea with scones, pies, and steaks.

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However, this is just one side of London’s food scene. The global reach of London has elevated the city to the status of a leading center of international cuisine.

Yorkshire Pudding

Crunchy Fish and Chips

Roast Beef and Eggplant Pie

Berry Lemonade Scones

london food

Foreign Influences

The earliest foreign culinary influences can be traced back to the 13th century when Britain started accepting Roman foods like sausages. King Edward I used to import large quantities of spices such as cinnamon, ginger, and pepper. In fact, food experts claim that even the most stereotypical English foods have foreign origin – the Yorkshire pudding comes from Burgundy, whereas the iconic fish & chips are a combination of Jewish and French influences.

However, the largest foreign influence comes from the Indian cuisine. “There are about the same number of recipes from India as from Wales, Scotland and Ireland together.” The Anglo-Indian cuisine has indeed been part of the national diet since the arrival of the British in India in the 17th century. One of the first dishes that the British adapted was curry and it soon became very popular. The process of adapting Indian foods continued for centuries resulting in the development of Anglo-Indian cuisine. Indian food was served in coffee houses from the early 19th century, appeared in popular cookbooks, and was prepared at home. London is the home of the “Veeraswamy”, the oldest Indian restaurant which operates since 1926.

Other influential cuisines are Chinese and Italian. The former became popular in the 1970’s and was followed by other Asian cuisines like Thai. The latter began its rise after World War 2 with the establishment of Italian coffee bars which also started selling foods like pizza and spaghetti Bolognese. French cuisine was very popular during the 19th century, whereas today it is mostly limited to upscale restaurants.

Today, London offers a wide range of culinary experiences, with a large number of ethnic cuisines. To be more precise, due to the capital’s multicultural population, there are more than 60 different national cuisines from Italian, French and Spanish to Japanese and Thai. Indian food remains very popular and many people eat regularly at their local ‘curry houses’.

In east London, the most popular cuisines are Chinese, American, and traditional English. In north London, Greek and Middle Eastern lead the way, whereas in west London, Italian and French are the most popular. In the southern parts of the city, Indian cuisine is number one. Central London favors Japanese, Middle Eastern, and French.

Creamy Chicken Curry

Spaghetti Bolognese

French Dressed Chicken

london food

London Eating Habits

Meal Structure

Londoners usually have three meals a day – breakfast, light lunch and a heavy dinner. Some people tend to stick to a more traditional meal structure with lunch being the largest meal of the day followed by an evening tea and a lighter snack in the evening.

A traditional breakfast in London consists of eggs, sausage, bacon, baked beans, mushrooms, and bread but nowadays, it is more common for people to eat toast, cereal, or porridge in the morning.

During lunchtime, most people are at work so they usually bring a packed meal consisting of a sandwich, bag of potato chips, and a piece of fruit.

Dinner is a family meal consisting of roasted meat, potatoes, and vegetables accompanied by a gravy.

The firmly established British tradition of having tea at five o’clock would not have existed if Britain hadn’t expanded its empire. Besides tea, the country also imported staples like potatoes, sugar, and coffee from its colonies.

Sadly, this tradition is declining in popularity – since the 1970’s, the consumption of tea has decreased by more than 60%.

Coffee, on the other hand, is constantly growing in popularity. It has been consumed in London since the 17th century when coffee houses were hotbeds of political discussions and debate. Nowadays, however, American-style bars like Starbucks are conquering the city.

london food

Eating Out

Research has shown that Londoners are eating out more than ever before (four times a week!) which has resulted in a rapidly growing number of new restaurants.

If takeaways and home deliveries are included in the estimate, only half of the meals (lunch and dinner) are prepared at home.

According to statistics, an average meal in a London restaurant costs £37.35 per person. Even though there is a slight decrease compared to two years ago, England’s capital remains the most expensive place in the world to eat out, followed by New York, where the average cost is £31.

The results suggest young Londoners are inclined towards the so-called “New York style” or where most meals are eaten in restaurants, diners, cafes, or bars. Family people, on the other hand, opt for more classical options and the most ordered meal in this demographics is curry.

Roast beef, the favorite Sunday dinner item of Londoners until recently is now being replaced by chicken dishes. This might have something to do with the prices – since 2007 the price of beef has risen by 55%, while the price of poultry has increased by only 20%.

london food

Home Delivery and Takeaway

To modern Londoners speed and convenience is everything. As the number of employed women grew, the sales of ready-made foods grew as well (by more than 370%).

Even though the industry of home delivery & takeaways is on the rise (it grew 10 times faster than dining out last year), people in London remain skeptical. The main reason for the rare usage of these services is the perception that their food is generally unhealthy. Younger people are more prone to ordering a home delivery or takeaway

The favorite takeaway item is pizza which shows an increase of 575% in a period of 40 years, as opposed to take away fish items (including fish & chips) which have decreased by 60%.

Third-party delivery services and apps have also helped to expand the range of cuisines on offer (even pubs became a part of the home-delivery revolution) and make this way of eating even more convenient. Having in mind the high health awareness in Britain, this is very important to change the image of delivery/takeaway as unhealthy food.

As far as prices are concerned, the average bill for delivered food is just £1 lower than for a meal eaten in a restaurant. The difference is bigger for some operators for certain restaurants like local Indian, Chinese, Thai, Japanese, Mexican, Italian or Greek, at £6.90 for delivery as opposed to £12 for a meal on the spot.

Ultimate Stuffed Pizza

Chinese Noodle Soup

Pad Thai Shrimp Burgers

Japanese Cheesecake

Mexican Rice Cornbread

Greek Pie with Olives

london food

Street Food

The top three street food items in London are pizza, chicken, and beer.

Street vendors in London sell food from all over the world, but the accent is still on Italian classics (pasta & pizza) accompanied by good wine and beer.

Shopping for Food

The rising awareness for healthy, clean produce is reflected in the way Londoners shop for ingredients.

The list of most popular supermarkets, grocery stores, and markets includes the Whole Foods Market, an eco-minded chain with organic grocery items, Waitrose, a supermarket chain for fresh British produce, groceries, and baked goods, and Planet Organic which sells health foods, fancy smoothies and treats, as well as organic skincare and vitamin selection at a slightly higher prices. Venn Street Market is an outdoor market offering vegetables, fruits, meat, seafood, and dairy from small, independent producers, whereas the People’s supermarket is an ethical grocery store selling healthy, responsibly sourced, seasonal local foods.

The most popular market is Borough Market, one of the oldest and largest London. Ethnic markets have increased in popularity, especially New Loon Moon, a Chinatown supermarket offering fresh, frozen and dried items from East Asia.

london food

Favorite Foods and Ingredients

The rise of skinny foods

From the research that covered the favorite ingredients in London from the 1970’s until now, it’s clear that the habits are switching towards healthier options.

The consumption of butter and white bread has decreased by more than 70% – Londoners are more inclined towards brown bread and low-fat spreads. They have also replaced full-fat milk and skimmed milk now. The sales of skimmed milk have soared by more than 20.000% since the 1970’s!

On the other hand, the consumption of protein-based (shakes & powders) foods that facilitate weight loss has increased by a whopping 1200%!

The decline of the staples

Some of the favorite British staples are falling out of favor as well – beans on toast have shown a decrease in sales by 17%. Bacon shows an even sharper fall, with sales decreasing by more than 46%.

Fruits and veggies

According to statistics, fruit sales have increased by almost 50% since the 1970’s thanks to the wider range of available items. On the other hand, the consumption of veggies has fallen due to their increased cost.

Favorite veggies have changed as well. Forty years ago, cabbage was number one, whereas modern Londoners favor carrots.

Junk food

The increase in prices has no impact on the Londoners’ love for junk food though! On the contrary, crisps, chocolates, and sodas are consumed more than ever before. However, well-loved items like biscuits and cakes have fallen out of favor.

london food

Hot New London Food Trends

Trending Ingredients

These are the 10 trending ingredients in London right now, along with recipes that will inspire you to incorporate some of them into your daily menu:

Noodles

Kombucha

Turmeric

Vegetables as carbs

Koji

Matcha

Cereal

Whey

Nutritional yeast

Charcoal

london food

Trending foods

As far as foods are concerned, here is what people in London eat most:

Tacos

Soup dumplings

Hero vegetables

Vegetables on grill

Laksa

Watermelon

Fresh turmeric

Marbling

Sherry

Black color foods

london food

Food Movements

Hip Indian. While Indian food is a tradition in London, the millennials are re-discovering it by trying new, authentic foods other than curry.

Mexican. Another international cuisine that is booming in London is Mexican, with tacos, burritos, and nachos leading the way.

Cocktails but those that include no alcohol or contain it in small amounts are taking the center stage.

Instagram-able foods. Just like in the other cosmopolitan towns, young people will try anything that is edible and looks good.

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Vegetarian and vegan. The UK is the home of modern western vegetarianism but it is safe to say that plant-based nutrition is experiencing a renaissance. In 2003 there were between more than 3 million vegetarians in the UK, while more than 7 million people claimed to eat no red meat. By 2015, a large number of restaurant chains had introduced vegan items on their menus. The number of exclusively vegan restaurants is growing rapidly and veganism is no longer regarded as a dietary option that offers tasteless foods. The love for plant-based foods has reached its peak, with veggies being used as meat substitutes but also entering desserts and cocktails.

Minimizing food waste. There is a number of associations and charities that set up channels for leftover food to reach people in need, as well as food events to help raise awareness and combat hunger.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m in love with food and everything about food! Blogging is my way of celebrating that love and MyGreatRecipes made it all happen. If you, too, are into great food and interesting reads, you will enjoy reading my posts!
Los Angeles Food Report  – Ethnic Cuisines, Street Food, Culinary Trends and 20+ Recipes

Los Angeles Food Report  – Ethnic Cuisines, Street Food, Culinary Trends and 20+ Recipes

What comes to mind first when the Golden State is mentioned? Hollywood and movie stars for sure. Maybe beaches and sunny weather all year round? Add great food to the list. In addition to its amazing wines, California boasts a great culinary tradition which is a result of the warm climate, diverse population, and ocean access.

Overview

Due to the Mediterranean climate, as well as the rising popularity of healthy lifestyles, Los Angeles and California in general, promote the production and consumption of fresh and organic vegetables, fruits, and meats.

In fact, the Golden State is the biggest producer of healthy food in the US – according to the statistics by the California Department of Food and Agriculture, California produces almost half of all the fruits, veggies, and nuts in the country, in addition to a large share of dairy products and livestock.

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Furthermore, California holds a large portion of the organic market in the States with a stunning $2.2 billion in sales and dominates the green food market with over 2,800 organic farms. Bearing this in mind, it comes as no surprise that L.A. is the place where the raw food movement started and a city with almost 150 green markets

However, the Los Angeles cuisine is far from being exclusively raw and healthy. The City of Angels is the home of celebrities and more importantly, celebrity chefs who invent, adopt, and popularize food trends at a quick pace. This, in combination with the numerous ethnic influences, top-rated cuisines, and high-quality street food, creates beautiful culinary diversity and makes L.A. one of the most exciting food centers.

los angeles food

Ethnic Cuisines in Los Angeles

L.A.’s food scene is so diverse that you can dine around the world without ever leaving the city!

Due to California’s colonial Spanish roots and immigrant Mexican ranchers, Mexican and Spanish cuisines have had a large influence on the state’s food, particularly in the southern parts where Los Angeles is located.

In the past few years, a food phenomenon has risen that unites fast food, Mexican influences, and the inclination towards healthy eating – the so-called Baja-style Mexican food, which places an emphasis on fresh ingredients and seafood. El Pollo Loco, Baja Fresh, Rubio’s Fresh Mexican Grill, and Chipotle are just a few examples of the Baja-style food trend.

Baja Fish Tacos

Baja Chicken Soup

It is safe to say that L.A. is the center of immigration not only in the States but in the world. There’s a huge concentration of Filipinos, Vietnamese, Samoans, Salvadorans, Armenians, and Thais. There are many California restaurants that serve other Central American foods, as well as a great variety of Chinese food.

According to statistics, the five most popular ethnic cuisines in the state of California are:

  • Taiwanese
  • Filipino
  • Vietnamese
  • Korean
  • Hawaiian

los angeles food

Thai Chicken Pizza

Filipino Pork and Noodles

Caramel Shrimp (Vietnamese Tom Rim)

Pajeon (Korean Scallion Pancake)

Hawaiian Pizza

Since California is one of the states nearest to Asia and has a large Asian American population, the Asian influences are evident. One of the earliest obsessions with Asian food which started in Cali and spread all over the US food was sushi. The most popular representative is probably the ‘California roll’, an Americanized version of sushi with avocado as a primary ingredient. More modern Asian foods are mochi and boba.

California Roll

Strawberry Green Tea with Boba

Blueberry Mochi Cake

Ethnic influences extend to fast food as well. Almost all fast food chains offer regional fast food menus which depend on the ethnic composition in the area. In Los Angeles and Southern California in general, besides burgers, you can order ethnic specialties including Mexican food, chili fries, and pastrami.

California Burrito with Grilled Zucchini

Chili-Spices Sweet Potato Fries

Hot Pastrami Strata

los angeles food

Other prominent food influences are:

–    Shellfish and seafood

–    Fusion cuisines

–    California-style pizza which focuses on non-traditional pizza ingredients, such as fresh produce and barbecued meats

–    Barbecue with tomato-based barbecue sauces.

Seafood Enchiladas

California Appetizer Pizzas

Los Angeles Iconic Foods & Food Trends

So, if you happen to be in Los Angeles, here are some of the most iconic dishes worth trying:

–    French dip sandwich

–    California roll

–    Original #19 pastrami sandwich

–    Shrimp tacos

–    Cobb Salad

–    Hickory burger

–    Strawberry donuts

–    Smoked salmon pizza

–    Half chicken

–    Godmother

–    Bacon breakfast burrito

–    Dodger dogs

los angeles food

Besides the all-time classics, L.A. is a real hotbed for food trends. Here are some of the most persistent inventions:

–    Filipino food

–    Artisan donuts

–    Fermentation and pickling

–    Ethics in the kitchen

–    Cannabis-infused foods

–    Variety of fish dishes

–    More Mexican food with an accent on the Cali-Baja style

–    Ramen and poke as main representatives of ethnic cuisines

–    Healthy food with an accent of vegetables eaten as main dish and foods that contain matcha tea.

Los Angeles Street Food Food

Street food is a really big deal in the City of Angels. So popular in fact, that the city hosts a food truck festival every year! There is a total of 12,000 street food vendors in L.A., 3000 of which are food trucks.

los angeles food

The wide variety of street vendors offer high-quality delights at ridiculously low prices. The domination of ethnic cuisines extends to food trucks as well so, in addition to classics like pizza, bbq, ice cream, and waffles, the most popular street foods include nachos, tacos, pasta, sushi, carnitas, and more!

And, like with most things, L.A. is setting trends in the street food as well. Here are the novelties in this field:

–    Take-out windows, individual or offshoots of popular restaurants, are the newest way to sell fast food in Southern California.

–    American regional food trucks, food trucks with a twist of American regional fare.

–    Tropical food stands. Thanks to L.A.’s proximity to the southern border, tropical delights like jicama, papaya, or mango are available at any time.

Los Angeles Eating Habits

los angeles food

Healthy eating habits

Despite the fact that the Golden State is focused on production and consumption of healthy, organic foods, the percentage of adults that are obese or overweight in the LA county is over 60%. For children, this percentage moves within the range of 22% to 34% depending on their age.

Fast food restaurants take up 70% of the restaurant market in South L.A. and 41% in West L.A. However, the city has been enforcing a healthy food promotion program which includes the “Healthy Neighborhood Market Network” and introduction of fruits & vegetables to public schools. This program has resulted in long-term improved eating habits in the overall population. The percentage of adults who eat fast food at least once a week has dropped to 40%. As far as children are concerned, 50% of them eat fast food at least once a week and 41% of them consume sweetened drinks a day.

Eating Out

People in Los Angeles eat out most frequently on a national level – 5.2 times per week in average, visiting one of the 8,596 restaurants in the county. Single people and young couples tend to eat out on a regular basis, which can be explained by the fact that the price for eating out and cooking for one is almost the same.

Just like in New York, the millennials lead the way when it comes to the use of online booking services to avoid long waiting lines at the local restaurants.

Supermarkets, grocery stores, and markets

There are hundreds of large supermarkets and small ethnic stores in L.A so it very easy to find anything you might need.

In addition, the city is packed with ethnic markets from almost every continent. The largest ones are Filipino, Chinese, Indian, Indonesian, Ethiopian, Chilean, Russian, Greek, and German market. The produce in these markets is of much better quality than in the supermarkets and it comes from local farmers. Moreover, many of them do catering of ethnic delicacies for parties.

los angeles food

Credit:https://www.discoverlosangeles.com/blog/romantic-los-angeles-restaurants

Food Delivery

Even though over 90% of the food delivery market still relies on phones and paper menus, middle to upper-middle class urbanites, especially single people or couples in L.A. have started using online food delivery services.

Some of these services use bikes or vans to pick up food from a warehouse and deliver it to your doorstep, whereas others have personal shoppers that will do the shopping for you from stores you list or connect you directly to farmers, jammers, and bakers.

All the nation’s largest food delivery services are active in the L.A. area (GrubHub, Seamless, DoorDash, Postmates, etc.) covering all categories of foods & restaurants. However, there is a rising trend in healthy meals delivery, and there are a few services specialized in the delivery of that type like Crateful, Paleta, Wholesome2Go, MyFitFoods, etc. These services will wow you with special features like food packed in compostable packaging instead of plastic, complete transparency about where they source their ingredients, recycling programs and an on-site greenhouse where they grow their own ingredients, and more!

What’s really booming at the moment is homemade food delivery “Most people’s best childhood memories are from family meals. Home cooking is an emotional thing for people. It’s a family experience in a way that eating pizza on demand is not.“ – says the CEO of Blue Apron.

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Meals that “feel” like homemade are definitely a trend in the delivery business. Services like Munchery offer family dinners for four at affordable prices (for instance, roast chicken for four is $36). People favor simple, basic stuff like chicken, tuna bowls, grain bowls, simple salads, chocolate chip cookies.

Meal kit delivery services like Blue Apron, HelloFresh, and Plated, as well as smaller operators like Chef, ’d and Lighter that are popular in L.A., offer a wide range of services including options like vegetarian, gluten-free, family-friendly, “gourmet”, exclusion of allergens, nutrition goals and then recommend meal plans.

 

 

 

 

I believe that food should not only taste good, but make you feel good as well and that is why I am so interested in exploring ingredients, preparing meals, and finding ways to make the whole cooking experience fun and exciting! Being a blogger for MyGreatRecipes unites my two passions – food and writing, and I am enjoying every second of it!
NYC Food Report – Iconic Foods, Hot New Trends, and 40+ Recipes to Make You Feel Like a True New Yorker!

NYC Food Report – Iconic Foods, Hot New Trends, and 40+ Recipes to Make You Feel Like a True New Yorker!

NYC is the food capital of the United States, the place where many staple dishes were invented. It is not only most welcoming to ethnic cuisines, but it is also the hotbed of food trends and culinary fusions. The Big Apple picks up on new dishes, adapts them to its taste, and forwards them to the rest of the US and the world!

DISCOVER GREAT RECIPES, TIPS & IDEAS!

best restaurants in nyc

Short History of New York as a Food Capital

In the past, NYC was just a small seaport city which housed six food markets stocked by local farmers, hunters, and fishermen.

By the late 1800’s, the population had grown to over a million, causing the food scene to change rapidly. Back then, residents of NYC had more than a thousand restaurants at their disposal, more than any other city in the US.

In the 19th century, long before supermarkets and before the days of modern refrigeration, grocery shopping required quite a lot of moving around – people acquired fruits from traveling carts and dairy from the milkman. Then, they ran to the “ice man” for a big block of ice to keep their perishables cold. Later in the century, all the locally-grown food was sold on the so-called ‘fly markets’.

In the early 20th century, working hours dictated meal appearance and timing. The main meal consisted of cold meats, soup, cheese, and bread and it was eaten at the end of the workday. According to testimonials of average New Yorkers, when eating out, they opted for less expensive options like early vending machines and corner soda fountains.

What about today? What we know for sure is that the way New Yorkers shop for food has changed dramatically. What are the favorite foods of people living in the Big Apple? Pizza and bagels are definitely on the list of favorites but there’s so much more to choose from! Do they prefer eating out or cooking at home? Maybe an option in the middle – meal kits! Welcome to the NYC food scene!

best restaurants in nyc

New York City Food in the 21st Century

Here is a list of the most popular foods in NYC:

Baked Pretzels

Black and white cookie

Corned beef

Delmonico steak

Donuts

Eggs Benedict

Hot dogs

Knish

Lobster Newberg

Manhattan clam chowder

New York-style cheesecake

New York-style Italian ice

New York-style pastrami

New York-style pizza

Waldorf Salad

best restaurants in nyc

However, New York City’s cuisine is not limited to these dishes only. There are also other pretty awesome foods worth mentioning like biscuits and Reuben sandwiches. More importantly, all the dishes introduced by ethnic communities.

If you want to eat like a true New Yorker, here are some tips shared by residents:

Street carts & food trucks are an important part of the NYC food scene. There are over 5,100 of them throughout the city and the most popular food they sell is ice cream. Speaking of ice cream, the best one is found in Brooklyn and that is the only reason to cross the Brooklyn bridge. NYC residents say that hot dogs from these mobile food places may be delicious but you eat the, at your own risk!

Those that prefer savory breakfasts, have a trouble deciding between bagels and bialys (small traditional Polish rolls). When it comes to bagels, they swear the best ones are found on Manhattan. To be more precise, within a radius of 75 miles from Manhattan.

No matter how receptive of new trends people of NYC may be, when it comes to donuts, they’re quite stubborn. So, real New Yorker will skip the cronuts (a croissant-donut pastry) and opt for the good old classic donuts.

New Yorkers also don’t like waiting in line for breakfast so they often discover some shady-looking places that make awesome sandwiches. However, they don’t mind waiting for brunch, especially if booze is involved.

best restaurants in nyc

Eating at Home vs. Eating Out

It is safe to say that real New Yorkers eat their meals on the move. This usually applies to breakfast, which is eaten on the way to work. Eating lunch out is also common since people are at work during lunchtime, so they don’t really have much choice. Dinner is the only meal when New Yorkers can decide whether to stay in or go out and can be eaten as late as 11pm!

Surveys have shown that most New Yorkers don’t have formal dinner at home anymore. Most often they order take out or grab something on the way.

New Yorkers often eat out, especially the residents of Manhattan. However, this is not a sign of snobbery or laziness. There are two facts that explain the inclination towards food places:

–    Most apartments and, by analogy, kitchens in NYC are so small that cooking is virtually impossible. Such kitchens are equipped with only a small oven, a fridge, and a sink, with little or no counter space.

–    The cost of cooking for one equals the cost of a take-out so, many people decide to skip cooking after a long day at work.

When it comes to eating out, here is what the numbers have to say:

–    More than 13 million people eat out at least once a month in the Big Apple.

–    In the period between 2014-2015, New York household’s set aside 11% of their budgets on food, of which 58% percent was spent on food at home and 42% on eating out.

–    How much exactly is this translated into dollars? An average dinner in NYC, consisting of an entree, drink, and tip, costs $48.50 which is about 20% percent more than the national average!

Older people who have more free time on their hands tend to cook more often and they really enjoy it! Younger people, on the other hand, tend to eat out frequently but are looking for cheaper places, usually ethnic restaurants with informal atmosphere. They don’t pay much attention to décor or service. These young people are crucial for the formation of NYC food scene. Meet the millennials!

best restaurants in nyc

We’re Living in a Millennial World

You know those people who frequently take pictures of their food and post it on social media? They’re millennials. By definition, “millennials, also known as Generation Y, are the demographic cohort following Generation X. There are no precise dates for when this cohort starts or ends; demographers and researchers typically use the early 1980s as starting birth years and the mid-1990s to early 2000s as ending birth years.”

The influence of millennials is huge. Their lives are closely connected to technology so, by taking photos, they set food trends and promote food places, thus shaping the entire food scene. Of course, the crucial fact here is that, as mentioned before, millennials are the ones who commonly eat out. It’s no wonder that restauranteurs adjust their venues in accordance with millennials’ needs. Here is how they attract millennials:

–    Technology is the key factor. Millennials rely on technology when deciding where to eat. They search for food places online, order online, book tables online. However, the most important thing for them is being able to see the menu online – 74% millennials said that diverse menu options can persuade them to choose a certain restaurant over another.

–     Health benefits & environment impact are also important for millennials – 74% of them stated that they’d choose restaurants that offer healthy dishes, as well as those that serve diet-specific foods (vegan, vegetarian, paleo, gluten-free, etc.); 65% said that they favor food places that serve environmentally friendly food, as well as those that rely on local sourcing.

Eat like a millennial:

Vegan Linguine with Broccoli  

Gluten-Free Veggie Burgers

Paleo Jalapeno Meat Poppers

best restaurants in nyc

New York City Food in Numbers

If we want to explore the eating habits of people living in the Big Apple, we need to look at the numbers.

New York City has declared war on obesity by enforcing several laws related to nutrition and promoting ‘green’ initiatives like local sourcing & green carts, as well as introduction of fruits and vegetables into public school menus.

  • In a health food research conducted by org in NYC, 27% of the people stated they have one or more sugary drinks a day, and 88% of them also have one or more fruit or vegetable a day.
  • In New York State, the number of farmers’ markets has more than doubled since 2000, increasing from 235 in 2000 to 521 in 2012.
  • Since the ‘Green Cart Initiative’ was introduced to NYC, 71% of customers surveyed reported increased consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • The Big Apple was the first city in the US to make calorie count law mandatory. This means that all food paces must state the number of calories of each menu item. Having in mind that about one million New Yorkers check the calorie data on food products, this seems like a very smart decision.
  • Specialty foods and drinks are on the rise, increasing by 15% in only two years! “Specialty foods are foods that are considered as “unique and high-value food items made in small quantities from high-quality ingredients. Consumers typically pay higher prices for specialty foods, and may perceive them as having various benefits compared to non-specialty foods. Compared to staple foods, specialty foods may have higher prices due to more expensive ingredients and labor.”
  • Still, the increase in specialty foods is nothing compared to wellness bars, a category which shows an increase of whopping 76% in sales between 2012 and 2016 and is expected to continue growing.

After analyzing these numbers, it is safe to say that people in NYC are shifting their eating habits towards healthier options. According to the Google 2016 Food Report, the volume of searches for the so-called functional foods has risen dramatically. Turmeric leads the way of foods with health benefits, followed by apple cider vinegar, avocados, and coconut oil.

best restaurants in nyc

Turmeric Bakes Chicken Thighs with Garlic Turmeric Rice

Mexican Avocado Tartlets

Pumpkin Pie Spice Coconut Oil Granola

However, this doesn’t mean they’re giving up fast food for good. On the contrary, the number of fast food chain locations shows a rise of 8.2%. The five most popular chains are Dunkin Donuts, Subway, Starbucks, McDonald’s, and Baskin Robins.

Still, changes can be seen in this field as well. Read all about it in the next section – food trends.

Modern NYC Eating Habits – Food Delivery vs. Meal Kits

Delivery

The business of delivering restaurant meals to your doorstep is worth more than $80 billion worldwide! The traditional model, in which the consumer orders and waits for the food place to bring the food takes up 90% of the market. And despite expectations, most orders are still made via phone.

However, the rise of digital technology has influenced the rapid growth of online delivery services. Who would pass on a possibility to choose from a wide array of restaurants and foods with just a tap of their smartphone? Online delivery services allow you to compare menus and prices, see average delivery time, order, and leave reviews.

Online food delivery platforms like GrubHub, Yelp, and Delivery Hero are racing to satisfy all the consumers’ needs, constantly expanding offers, convenience & efficiency. Expect to see cab drivers, delivery boys riding e-bikes, and even robots to bring your food in NYC very soon!

Meal kits

Meal kit delivery services are one of the best things that have happened to modern people. Now, everyone can enjoy fresh, healthy, homemade food – singles, working couples, and busy families. National boxed-meal services like Plated, Blue Apron, HelloFresh, and Terra’s Kitchen bring fresh ingredients to your doorstep, along with recipes and step-by-step instructions to help you minimize the time you spend in the kitchen and reduce stress. All you need to do is – just add cooking!

best restaurants in nyc

New York City Food Trends

What is hot at the moment in NYC? Well, there’s something for everyone.

  • Believe it or not, eating out is a rising trend. Finding a table in the Big Apple is harder than ever.
  • New cuts of meat. Pork shoulder is one of the most popular meat cuts, as part of the broader ‘Experimenting with pork’ trend. This means that people are looking for ways to prepare meat other than classic barbecue, i.e. they turn to exotic ways of preparation like Korean, confirming once again the influence of ethnic foods. When it comes to meat, free-range pork and poultry are also popular, as well as heritage-breed meats.

Korean Bulgogi Pork

  • Vegetarian and vegan food, i.e. vegetable-focused cooking is a trend that seems to persist in the Big Apple for several years. New Yorkers are especially fond of vegan ice cream and avocado toast.

Carpese Avocado Toast

  • Burgers continue to be one of the most beloved foods in NYC but eaten in fast-casual venues owned by renown chefs. So, instead of rushing to a fast food chain, you can enjoy unique burgers in bars and restaurants, paired with a glass of great wine.

Cobb Salad Burger

  • Unique pastas. Forget about the good old spaghetti bought from the supermarket. Opt for something less than usual like pasta made of ancient grains, farro, black rice, non-wheat pasta, or hand-made pasta.
  • Kid’s menus for adults. From healthful kids’ meals to whole grain & gourmet items in kids’ meals, as well as kids’ entrée salads – suddenly food for little people is in the spotlight.

Homemade Pasta

  • Ube ice cream is another trend that’s been around for some time. It is a continuation of the trend of colorful foods popularized by social media which included mermaid toasts, purple foods, unicorn foods, glowing donuts, fairy bread, etc. Speaking of sweets, what else is hot? House-made ice cream, savory desserts, smoked dessert ingredients, and bite-size desserts.

Peanut Butter Kisses

  • The prices of booze are rising. So, if you decide to be in fashion, save your dollars for the upcoming hot trends – artisan spirits, onsite barrel-aged drinks, locally produced wine, spirits & beer, regional signature cocktails, and culinary cocktails. As far as non-alcoholic beverages are concerned, pay attention to coffee. High-end coffee services that serve house-roasted coffee are the hot new trend. Also watch for house-made/artisan soft drinks, gourmet lemonade, and specialty iced tea.

Mexican Coffee

best restaurants in nyc

Concept Trends

  • Solo dining. People in NYC and the US in general no longer hesitate to occupy a table on their own. Surveys have shown that reservations for one have grown by more than 60% nationwide in the past 2 years.
  • Fast eating which doesn’t necessarily mean fast food. New Yorkers are in favor of quick snacks made up of common ingredients such as mug cake.

Decadent Chocolate Mug Cake

  • Sustainable food is a whole movement in the USA that tries to inspire people to eat food that is healthy, fresh and above all, encourages fairness for everyone involved in the process of production and preparation. The ‘slow food’ movement, for instance, urges you to invite those less fortunate than you, neighbors, and even strangers to share a meal.
  • Ingredient sourcing That’s why, you can read in the menu where certain foods came from.
  • Omakase, an eating method where the chef gets to select all the items, usually the freshest ingredients available at the moment. The term is most commonly associated with sushi or other Japanese dishes. Even though omakase dishes are considered quite pricey, some venues have started offering less expensive options ranging from $40 to $57 for a full meal.
  • Food waste reduction. The fact that 70 billion pounds of food go to waste each year in the modernized, Western countries, while other parts of the world are starving, startled the community and spread like fire. Professional and amateur cooks all over the world supported the trend with no-waste cooking, preparing delicious meals made of food waste! This trend reached its peak when certain restaurants started serving dishes made of unused ingredients that would normally have been thrown away.

best restaurants in nyc

New York City Ethnic Cuisines

Ethnic cuisines are hot in NY right now.

In the last few years, “the consumer attitudes toward or perceptions of ethnic foods have become more positive when we consider the popularity of ethnic foods and the presence of ethnic restaurants in the United States”. 80% of consumers eat at least one ethnic cuisine per month, whereas almost one-third of consumers tried a new ethnic cuisine in the past year.

So, there are restaurants that represent virtually every world cuisine in NYC. When it comes to the top three ethnic cuisines, NYC is quite predictable – Mexican, Italian, and Chinese (Asian) lead the way.

Roasted Chinese Chicken

Mexican Chicken Salad

Italian Beef Stew

Besides the three above mentioned most popular cuisines, New Yorkers also favor Japanese, Thai, Jamaican, Vietnamese, Brazilian/Argentinian, Greek, and Indian. Ethiopian is popular as convenience- and grocery-store takeout. In fact, African cuisine is expected to steal the show in the future as well as ethnic fusion cuisines like the one that is hot in NY right now – Japanese fusion. Other ethnic cuisines to watch for are Middle Eastern and Latin American.

 

Asparagus Tempura

Thai Drunken Noodles

Jamaican Jerk Pork Casserole

Vietnamese Banh Mi

Brazilian Feijoada

Argentinian Chimichurri

Greek-Style Orzo

Spicy Indian Poppadoms

Barbere Spiced Chicken

Savory Rice Pilaf

best restaurants in nyc

One of New York’s largest influences is Jewish and Eastern European cuisine. This is due to the large population of Eastern European Jews who immigrated to New York with bagels being the most popular representative, followed by corned beef, cream cheese, brisket, potato pancakes, New York-style pastrami and more!

DISCOVER GREAT RECIPES, TIPS & IDEAS!

When it comes to dishes, poke is one of the most sought for ones. In case you are wondering what poke is, it’s raw fish salad originating in Hawaiian cuisine and usually served as an appetizer. People in NYC also like pho (Vietnamese noodle soup) and ramen (Japanese noodle soup). Is it safe to say that a noodle frenzy is taking over NYC?

Ahi Tuna Poke and Mango Salad

Easy Vegetarian Pho

Quick Ramen Bowl

Isn’t NYC the best food city in the world?!

 

I believe that food should not only taste good, but make you feel good as well and that is why I am so interested in exploring ingredients, preparing meals, and finding ways to make the whole cooking experience fun and exciting! Being a blogger for MyGreatRecipes unites my two passions – food and writing, and I am enjoying every second of it!
Filipino Food, the Next Big Food Trend to Watch Out For

Filipino Food, the Next Big Food Trend to Watch Out For

Filipino food may not be as famous as the food of other Asian cuisines like Chinese and Thai, but according to top chef Anthony Bourdain, it is bound to be the next big food trend.

Bourdain believes Filipino food is “underrated” but that the Western countries are ready to embrace its flavors: “I think certain Filipino dishes are more likely to take root and take hold more quickly than others.” We’ve also been aware of this fact and wrote about it in our Summer 2017 Food Trend Report.

DISCOVER GREAT RECIPES, TIPS & IDEAS!

The famous chef has even selected his favorite Filipino food – sisig, a dish made from crunchy parts of pig’s head and liver and seasoned with chili peppers or hot sauce. Sounds strange? Well, some Filipino foods are definitely not for the faint of heart but if you give them a chance, you’ll be surprised how delicious they are!

filipino food restaurant near me

The Basics of Filipino Food

Filipino food is a beautiful fusion of flavors influenced by the neighboring Asian countries, Spanish and American colonial rulers from the past, as well as different ethnic and religious groups like Buddhists and Hindus. On top of all these rich influences which make Filipino food unique, the cuisine has managed to retain some of its genuine features as well. Thus, besides paellas and tapas, you’ll find local gems like adobo, sisig, Kare-kare and more!

Filipino cuisine is certainly worth exploring. So, if you are up for recreating some of the most iconic Filipino dishes, here is something to inspire you.

The Most Popular Filipino Foods to Try

Adobo

filipino food restaurant near me

It is safe to say that Adobo is a Filipino national dish. The recipe is commonly made with chicken and pork. However, there are varieties made with beef, goat, lamb, and seafood as well. The signature marinade made of vinegar, garlic, soy sauce, salt, and pepper was developed in the pre-refrigeration era as a means to preserve the meat. Serve adobo with rice to balance the intensity of flavors.

Honey Glazed Crockpot Chicken Adobo

Lechon

filipino food restaurant near me

It seems like everyone in the Philippines loves pork (with the exception of Muslim communities in the south). This love is elieved to be reminiscent from Spanish and Chinese colonizers in the past. Lechon is actually a whole pig roasted on a charcoal until crispy, golden brown skin is obtained. This Filipino food is probably the most popular choice for parties and gatherings but if you’re not a resident or a very brave foodie, you might not have the stomach for it; namely, after roasting, the meat is usually served with liver sauce. In some regions, however, the pig’s stomach is stuffed with spring onions, anise, laurel leaves, and pepper and in that case, there’s no need for liver sauce.

Lechon Kawali (Filipino Crispy Fried Pork Belly)

Arroz Caldo

filipino food restaurant near me

Credit: http://ffemagazine.com/enjoy-the-warm-comfort-of-our-arroz-caldo/

This Filipino food corresponds to our chicken soup, i.e. it is the go-to dish when you’re feeling a little under the weather. Moreover, arroz caldo is also one of the most popular street foods. It is more of a thick chicken rice porridge than a soup, cooked with ginger and sometimes topped with green onions, garlic, or a hard-boiled egg.

Arroz Caldo (Filipino Chicken and Rice Soup)

Lumpia

Lumpia are Filipino spring rolls which can be served fresh or fried. The authentic version is made with lumpia crepes (water, rice, flour & eggs) cooked on gas hot plates. For those that don’t feel like flipping pancakes, there are also ready-made lumpia wrappers available in Asian markets. Alternatively, you can substitute lumpia wrappers with Vietnamese or Chinese spring roll wrappers.

The wrappers/crepes are filled with a veggie mixture and topped with a special garlicky-sweet sauce (shrimp heads, cornstarch, soy sauce, and sugar). Alternatively, the filling can contain shrimps and/or pork, onions, and ubod (the pith of the coconut tree).

Lumpia (Filipino Spring Rolls)

Pancit

filipino food

Credit: http://www.angsarap.net/2015/09/25/pancit-canton/

This Spanish food was Introduced by the Chinese colonizers in the past. The term pancit means ‘noodles’ and encompasses a number of varieties like the recipe made with black squid ink (pancit negra). It is believed that this variety was developed under the influence of Spanish Basque cuisine. It contains thin noodles covered with squid ink and combined with baby squid, red onions, cabbage, beans, coriander, chicharron (fried pork belly), and bilimbi (a tangy fruit) that balances the strong flavors in the dish.

Another popular (and less unusual) variety is pancit palabok, a very popular birthday party food. It is comprised of rice noodles and a rich sauce made of pork, chicharron, shrimps, shrimp broth, hard boiled eggs, and oysters or squid.

Pancit Bihon Recipe (Filipino Fried Rice Noodles)

Kare-kare

filipino food restaurant near me

Noodles covered in black squid ink aren’t the only unusual Filipino food. Kare-kare is another authentic example that requires a developed taste for stranger things. It is a traditional stew made of oxtail and a crushed-peanut sauce. Other commonly used meats are pork hocks, calves, feet, and sometimes tripe or offal. Grossed out yet?

There are also versions of the dish made with seafood, as well as ones that completely exclude meat or combine it with veggies like eggplant, green beans, Chinese cabbage, or asparagus beans. The sauce, besides peanuts, also contains peanut butter, garlic, and onions, toasted rice as a thickener, as well as annatto for coloring.

Filipino Kare Kare (Ox Tail and Peanut Stew)

The Tastiest Filipino Desserts

Ube Desserts

filipino food

In the recent years, the hipsters’ love for unusual & colorful foods has placed ube on almost every food trend list. Ube, also known as purple yam, is a tubular root originating in the Philippines. The sweet taste makes it perfect for desserts, as well as a flavoring for ice cream, milk, tarts, cookies, cakes. What makes it especially attractive to hipsters and millennials, though, it the intensely purple color, which makes it a perfect natural substitute for purple food coloring.

Halayung ube is a very popular sweet Filipino food made with purple yams, macapuno (coconut preserves), and coconut milk. It is often used as a base for other sweet treats like halo-halo, ice cream, and even ube bread!

Tropical Ice Creams

filipino food

Credit: http://www.confessionsofachocoholic.com/recipes/avocado-ice-cream

There are some seriously amazing Filipino ice creams you can’t find in US supermarkets – ube, avocado, mango, jackfruit, as well as different coconut varieties (macapuno, young coconut, sweetened coconut, flavored coconut). Real fireworks of colors and flavors!

DISCOVER GREAT RECIPES, TIPS & IDEAS!

3-Ingredient Mango Coconut Ice Cream

Avocado Pistachio Ice Cream

This is just a small part of what Filipino cuisine has to offer. Do you have a favorite Filipino food that deserves to make the list?

 

I believe that food should not only taste good, but make you feel good as well and that is why I am so interested in exploring ingredients, preparing meals, and finding ways to make the whole cooking experience fun and exciting! Being a blogger for MyGreatRecipes unites my two passions – food and writing, and I am enjoying every second of it!
10 Things You Should Know Before Going Vegan with 25+ Delicious Vegan Recipes to Help You Do It!

10 Things You Should Know Before Going Vegan with 25+ Delicious Vegan Recipes to Help You Do It!

Veganism looks more glamorous than ever! Stars like Beyoncé and Kylie Janner make vegan lifestyle seem not only right but also attractive. Are you considering crossing the line? Then you should know that your love for animals is not enough to become vegan.

The transition to veganism is not easy and doesn’t happen overnight. You’re not just quitting meat; you’re quitting all animal-derived products. Your organism will react and demand ‘regular’ food. I will hit you with cravings and wake you up in the middle of the night with severe hunger pangs.

DISCOVER GREAT RECIPES, TIPS & IDEAS!

The first step towards veganism is gathering information. Unlike celebrities, you (probably) don’t have a personal chef to cover all your vegan needs. That is why you will need answers to essential questions like:

–    What to eat?

–    Where to buy vegan food?

–    How to cook vegan food?

This post will cover not only these basic questions but also turn your attention to issues like avoiding vegan junk food, as well as finding suitable sources for proteins and vitamins.

vegan recipes

What is Veganism Exactly?

Veganism is a type of vegetarian diet that excludes meat, eggs, dairy and other animal-derived products such as honey. However, the term ‘vegan’ can have a much broader meaning.

Many vegans also avoid foods that are processed using animal products like white sugar (contains animal bones) or foods that are grown in a way that endangers certain animal species like some types of coffee.

In addition, most vegans refuse to use products tested on animals, as well as animal-derived products that are not food, such as fur, leather, and wool.

vegan recipes

What Do Vegans Eat, Actually?

What is left after you get rid of meat, eggs, and dairy? A vegan diet includes fruits & veggies, as well as all grains, beans, and legumes.

In addition, there are many vegan versions of popular foods like vegan cheese, meat, ice cream, burgers, hot dogs, and mayonnaise, which allow an infinite number of variations.

Let’s not forget to mention soy products (especially tofu and soy milk) which are widely used among vegans. Furthermore, most breads and pasta are vegan, as is rice and French fries!

vegan recipes

How to Become Vegan?

So, you’ve made up your mind about becoming vegan. Where to start from

#1 Find your own pace

Experienced vegans claim that going vegan overnight is the worst way to do it. Start small and go step by step. You can remove one animal product at a time or start off as a vegetarian before switching to vegan. Another option is to first become reducetarian, i.e. start reducing the intake of animal-derived products or restrict their use to weekends only.

Allow your organism to adjust to vegan foods before you make the final cut. For instance, have a vegan smoothie before your regular breakfast or eat an apple after dinner. Next step, start substituting animal products with vegan versions.

Chia Matcha Overnight Breakfast Smoothie

Pineapple Mango Vitamin C Booster Smoothie

Antioxidant Cherry Fruit Salad

Even if you have made a complete transition, it’s OK to give yourself a break from time to time. Don’t feel guilty if you have an occasional slice of cake or fried chicken. Forgive yourself and be patient.

vegan recipes

#2 Expect lots of questions

Many people will regard your change of lifestyle as a threat to theirs. You will be asked lots of questions and hear many dissuasions. There are two options here – you can either state clearly that you’re doing this for your own reasons or simply make the transition quietly. This second option will reduce the stress and allow you to focus your energy on adjusting to the new diet instead on explaining why on earth did you go vegan.

#3 Find good protein sources

Speaking of people asking questions, the most frequently asked one is “Where do you get your proteins from?” Proteins are extremely important for our bodies. They’re the building blocks of life. However, despite popular belief, animal products are not the richest sources of proteins. Natural soy, seitan, tofu, beans, lentils, nuts, hemp seeds, and quinoa are perfect plant-based protein sources.

Sloppy Vegan Joe

Vegan Red Beans and Rice

Lentil and Quinoa Chili

Zesty Lemon Macadamia Nut Cookies

Hemp Ranch Vegan Pasta Salad

Moreover, vegetables like cauliflower, asparagus, and broccoli also provide a lot of proteins. Let’s not forget about the various vegan protein powders you can use. To conclude, the large number of vegan athletes out there is the best proof that vegans DO consume enough proteins on a daily basis.

vegan recipes

Asparagus and Mushroom Vegan Quiche

Vegan Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

Fully Loaded Baked Potato Soup

Peanut Butter Protein Buckeyes Recipe

#4 Find good calcium sources

Knowing that dairy products are the best sources of calcium and vitamin D, there seems to be another problem you need to solve. Well, first of all, we get most of vitamin D from the sun so that’s covered.

Here is another fun fact: the pasteurized milk most of us consume is not that rich in calcium. When scientist insists on drinking milk for calcium, they mean raw milk in which high heat hasn’t destroyed most of the nutrients.

Finally, how to make sure your bones remain stronger if your switch to a vegan diet? The list of naturally calcium-rich foods includes leafy greens like kale and bok choy, soy beans, almonds, and figs. Add calcium-fortified foods like plant-based milk, cereals, and tofu to your shopping list as well. All of the above mentioned foods are also rich in vitamin D, which helps your body absorb calcium.

vegan diet

Vegan Kale and Artichoke Dip

Banana Almond Meal Muffins

Three-Step No Bake Chocolate Coconut Cashew Bars

#5 Avoid the trap called “Vegan junk food”

What’s the point of going vegan if you eat only French fries, rice, pasta, and white bread? These four starchy food items are the most common choices for newbie vegans, along with processed foods with low nutritional value. Eventually, you will end up being hungry and overweight.

Focus on ingredients that will provide enough proteins, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Translated into simple words, eat more fruits and veggies!

Creamy Vegan Potato Salad

vegan diet

#6 Go easy on soy

You will miss meat and that’s OK. Just don’t make soy a central ingredient in your diet. No matter how bad red meat might be for your heart, eating too much soy is worse. Soy-based meat substitutes are often highly processed and contain lots of sodium and preservatives. The best sources of soy are the fermented soy products like tempeh and natto. Besides being rich in vitamin K and probiotics, these products facilitate the digestion and absorption of soybean proteins. Again, be cautious; no matter how healthy they are, fermented soy products are quite high in calories so make sure to consume in moderation!

Miso tempeh Chili

vegan diet

#7 Consider supplements

Vitamin B12 occurs naturally only in animal foods, so you’ll need to invest in B12-fortified foods and supplements. This vitamin keeps the nervous system and blood cells healthy. Deficiencies can lead to fatigue, weakness, constipation, too much weight loss, nerve problems, and mental disorders like depression. Consider stocking up on some nutritional yeast. It usually comes fortified with B12 and has multiple uses in the kitchen. It adds flavor & saltiness to various dishes (think vegan mac and cheese) but is also used as a thickener for soups and stews.

Tasty Grain-Free “Cheese” Crackers

Vegan Pho with Spiced Tofu

Another nutrient you’ll need to supplement is iron. Unlike animal-based iron which is easily absorbed by the body, plant-based iron is less readily absorbed. That is why in addition to iron-rich foods like sunflower seeds, legumes, dried raisins, and leafy greens, you should also take supplements, as well as vitamin C-rich foods (citrus, red peppers, and broccoli), which facilitate iron absorption.

Vegan Thanksgiving Wraps

Vegan Broccoli Raisin Salad

Vegan Roasted Red Pepper Pasta

Consult your doctor before you include supplements in your diet or even better before you even start the transition to a vegan diet.

vegan diet

#8 Shop like a vegan

Be prepared to change the entire way of doing shopping. You’ll be visiting regular grocery stores and supermarkets less and spend more time touring health food stores & farmer’s markets. Don’t be shy to talk to the staff and ask for advice, new products, or lower prices.

No matter what you might have heard, veganism is not an expensive way of life. Many staples like grains, beans, and nuts are quite cheap, especially in health food stores where they’re sold in a bulk. Most fruits and veggies are also affordable, especially if you buy them frozen.

To save a few more bucks, you can shop at farmers’ markets an hour before closing, join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), or search for daily deals and discounts online.

You will also need to develop a habit of checking the product labels. Some products may seem vegan but contain animal-derived products. For instance, many breads and granolas contain whey, which is made from milk, whereas gummy bears contain gelatin! You never know what’s hiding in your food, so do your homework and learn all the tricky substances before you go shopping.

vegan diet

#9 Cook like a vegan

Remember that you’re not alone. If you have no vegans or vegetarians in your immediate surroundings, join some vegan/vegetarian groups on social media. You can ask the members for tips, advice, and vegan recipes anytime.

Buying a vegan cookbook can also be of great help. Alternatively, browse for vegan cooking websites and apps. Go through various vegan recipes and save the ones that seem interesting, but make sure to gather a number of quick and easy recipes as well.

You can also take your favorite dishes and transform them into vegan meals. For instance, make spaghetti sauce without meatballs or replace the meatballs with a vegan substitute. If you are the only vegan in the family, the thought of cooking two meals every day might sound discouraging. There’s no need to worry! You can cook the same meal in two separate pans. For instance, cook pasta and meat stir-fry separately. Add the meat to the pasta just before serving for your family and cover your own pasta in a store-bought, meat-free spaghetti sauce. However, be prepared that the vegan versions of your favorite dishes will look and taste differently.

Simple Vegan Meatballs

Some of the vegan recipes you make might taste less than delicious the first time. It is wise to lower your expectations when eating a veggie burger the first time. Don’t give up. Give these foods another chance once you get accustomed to new tastes. Or try preparing the same recipe using different product brands or cooking techniques. Try replacing the quinoa in your burger patty with rice or try grilling the burger instead of frying it.

vegan diet

Jalapeño Chickpea Lentil Burgers with Sweet Mango Avocado Pico

Don’t be afraid to explore. In the course of becoming vegan, you’ll discover a range of new ingredients. Make it your goal to buy a new vegan product every time you go shopping and incorporate it in a new vegan recipe. Eventually, you’ll find your diet richer and more varied than ever.

DISCOVER GREAT RECIPES, TIPS & IDEAS!

#10 Eat out like a vegan

Today’s vegans live in a vegan-friendly world. Not only is there a large number of exclusively vegan restaurants, but even regular restaurants include vegan items on their menus. Even fast food places and cafeterias offer vegan options! Turing vegan is a great excuse to tour the restaurants in your city. Check out ethnic restaurants like Indian, Chinese, Middle Eastern, and Thai to taste the various vegan dishes they offer. Veggie tacos? Sure. Indian curries? They’re vegan too. Italian pasta? You got it!

Vegan Indian Sweet Potato Soup

Vegan Seven Layer Mexican Dip

Kung Pao Lentils

Fresh Herb Tabouli

Going vegan is an adventure where you get to learn new things every day. Enjoy it!

 

I’m in love with food and everything about food! Blogging is my way of celebrating that love and MyGreatRecipes made it all happen. If you, too, are into great food and interesting reads, you will enjoy reading my posts!

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