If you haven’t tried pesto yet, you’re missing out on something truly exquisite! Google confirms this fresh garlicky sauce’s excellence by listing it as one of the 10 most searched food items in 2017!
We love this green summery treat tossed in pasta topped with grated Parmesan cheese, but that’s not all pesto can offer. It is a very versatile ingredient that combines with all sorts of ingredients to create amazing dishes!
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The Classic Pesto Recipe
So, if you want to make a standard pesto, here is a foolproof recipe:
6 cups packed fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
Method of preparation:
Put half of the basil in a food processor or blender, followed by the pine nuts, Parmesan, garlic, and salt and process until finely chopped.
Blend in the rest of the basil, then combine the two batches and process until you get a homogeneous paste, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Slowly add the olive oil while the motor is still running.
Note: If you’re going to use your pesto as a spread, reduce the amount of olive oil to ¼ cup. The addition of a ½ cup will make it perfect for soups and pastas.
Process until the oil is well blended into the mixture.
Taste and add more garlic, pine nuts, cheese or salt if necessary. No cooking required!
If you had ever bought pesto from the grocery store, you might have noticed that it spoils relatively quickly (changes its color to dark brown). So, it is best to prepare smaller batches (the recipe above produces one cup) or consume it within several days.
To make your pesto last as long as possible, store it in a small container and pack it thoroughly to eliminate air pockets. Then, pour a thin layer of olive oil over the surface or cover the surface with a plastic wrap. Cover and keep in the fridge for up to a week.
Pesto can also be frozen for several months.
The original pesto recipe calls for basil leaves but the truth is anything that is green and leafy can serve as a base for this garlicky sauce. Think kale, spinach, collards, parsley, or rosemary for instance.
Pine nuts can also be replaced by any other type of nut. We’ve recently experimented with walnuts and the results were incredible! (Find the recipe below).
What about the cheese? Can it be replaced? Sure, as long as the substitute you choose is hard cheese (like asiago or pecorino), you have nothing to worry about. Moreover, you can use ricotta cheese instead of the olive oil to reduce the amount of fat and make a healthier version of the aromatic sauce!
And if you ever get bored with the green variety, you can switch to red! Here is a recipe made with sun-dried tomatoes:
Sun-dried Tomato Pesto
The colors of our favorite Italian sauce are so vivid you can combine them in jars and use them as holiday gifts along with loaves of Italian bread!
Note: If you have no problem splurging on more expensive ingredients (the final results are worth it), never substitute regular black olives for Greek calamata olives. The rich calamatas add that extra punch of flavor that makes the spread taste special.
Favorite Pesto Recipes
Pesto addicts eat the sauce by the spoonful. Others spread it on pizzas, toasts, and sandwiches or include it in pasta. Want more? We especially like pairing this fresh sauce with chicken, but also incorporate it into pastries and even bread. Here are our favorite recipes.
The variety made with basil leaves has a wonderful, rich, fresh-from-the-garden taste that is great with pasta—why not enjoy it with rice? Basil is one of the easiest kitchen herbs to grow, as long as you have lots of sun in your garden outside, or a sunny window ledge inside. Pinch off the top-most leaves as you need them—it actually grows better with pruning.
Pesto Chicken and Pasta
Bring a touch of Italy to the dinner table with this delicious pasta dish—you won’t believe how easy it is to make! For a heartier dish with a richer ﬂavor, replace half the chicken with chopped sliced ham in Step 2.
Rosemary-Walnut Pesto Chicken
A variation that is made with rosemary and coarsely ground walnuts instead of the usual basil adds a nutty richness to this sautéed chicken. Any leftover sauce can be stored in the refrigerator and spread on toasted baguette slices the next day. If there’s any chicken left over, make great little chicken sandwiches!
Garden Pesto Chicken
Diced tomato and shredded Parmesan cheese add a fresh taste to this easy chicken dish made with prepared pesto. Vary the recipe by using different pasta shapes, such as bow-tie or penne pasta.
Double Pesto Steak Pie
Crushed basil leaves kneaded into the pretty lattice crust and pesto in the hearty steak ﬁlling imbue this pie with the robust ﬂavors of summer.
Pesto Cheese Spirals
Filled with pesto sauce and “double cheese,” buttery pastry roll-ups are little bites of heaven for delighted party guests. For another version, try using large flour tortillas. Spread the fresh green sauce on the tortilla, sprinkle with the Swiss cheese and grated Parmesan cheese. Roll up tightly, cut into 1-inch slices and bake at 350°F for 12–15 minutes.
Ham & Pesto Swirls
If you liked the previous recipe, here is another variation. These impressive looking pastries are surprisingly easy to make. They’re ﬁlled with succulent Parma ham, Parmesan cheese and aromatic pesto. Place 2½ cups basil leaves, ½ teaspoon salt, 1 large clove garlic and 3 tablespoons pine nuts in the bowl of a food processor and blend to make a paste. Add 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, then slowly pour in ⅓ cup olive oil while blending. Use in the recipe above or as a sauce for pasta.
Pesto & Zucchini Bread
Bring a taste of Italy to your dinner parties with focaccia ﬂavored with pesto and topped with slices of grilled zucchini. Why not add some pine nuts? Soak 2 ounces in a small bowl of water for 20 minutes. This will stop them from over-browning. Arrange them on the dough with the zucchini slices in Step 5. Or sprinkle the focaccia with grated Parmesan cheese right out of the oven.
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Spinach Pesto Rotini
The sauce for this dish is more than just a pasta sauce. You can dip boiled halves of new potatoes into the sauce for an appetizer. Or spread it over pizza crust, then top it with mozzarella and broil the pizza for a quick supper. You can even combine the sauce with mayonnaise to make a dressing for potato salad!
Move away regular spaghetti and make place for spaghetti squash!
Spaghetti squash certainly looks great and if you search the web, you will find tons of recipes and pictures to support that theory. The vegan & gluten-free communities swear that this plant-based spaghetti beats regular pasta anytime. But is it so? If you are about to cook your first spaghetti squash recipe (what a healthy start of the year!), there are a few things you should know.
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Does Spaghetti Squash Taste Like Regular Spaghetti?
To cut it short, the answer is no. Spaghetti squash surely looks a lot like regular spaghetti and they also have a similar texture, with the squash being more tender and fragile.
However, winter squash is still a squash. The taste is quite mild (avoiding to call it tasteless) which is not necessarily a bad thing. This makes spaghetti squash perfect for pairing will all sorts of sauces and toppings, especially those with stronger flavors.
How to Transform Squash Into Spaghetti
Squash has a hard shell, which makes it rather difficult to cut. Make sure you use a heavy knife and lots of strength when you cut it.
Tip 1: Before you start cutting, heat the squash in the microwave for maximum 3 minutes to soften the shell and make cutting easier.
Tip 2: If the squash you have is very hard and seems impossible to cut, you can roast it whole (for about an hour) and then cut it in half.
Start cutting from the stem without cutting through the stem itself. Cut all the way to the end and pull the halves apart.
Once the squash is halved, remove the seeds using a scoop. You can reserve and roast them later and use them as a crunchy topping for your vegan pasta recipe. Remove the fibrous threads and pulp from the seeds, then boil them in slightly salted water for about 8-9 minutes. Drain and let them dry. Toss with olive oil and season with salt. Roast for about 20 minutes at 325 degrees F in the oven. The seeds are done when they become crunchy.
How to cook Spaghetti Squash
In the Oven
Cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, add some olive oil, salt & pepper (or other spices & herbs to taste). Cook the halves face-down in a baking dish lined with parchment paper at 375 degrees F until soft (about 40-50 minutes, depending on the size). Pierce with a knife or fork to check for doneness. If it’s soft, you’re good to go.
Tip 3: To facilitate the process, add some water to the baking dish. The steam will prevent the squash from drying out and make it even softer.
In the Microwave
While it is true that oven-roasted squash is more flavorful and less moist, the microwave gets the job done faster.
The process is very similar to the one that uses the oven for baking – cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and add with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place the halves face-down in a microwave-safe baking dish. Fill the dish with a bit of water (about 1-inch deep). Cook for 5 minutes, check for doneness and if it’s not cooked through, cook for 2-4 minutes more, until soft.
When the squash is done, turn the halves over and let cool for about 5 minutes. Separate the strands using a fork.
Spaghetti Squash Recipes
The simplest recipe is to season the spaghetti squash with some cayenne pepper, cinnamon, and brown sugar and serve it as a side dish to meaty dishes. But why stop at that when there are so many delicious spaghetti squash recipes?
Cheesy Spaghetti Squash
Cheddar cheese, sour cream, bacon, and roasted red pepper add lots of ﬂavor to spaghetti squash, while breadcrumbs add a crunchy topping. Chopped carrots, mushrooms or green bell pepper are all nutritious additions to this dish—just add 1 cup of any one of them to the skillet in Step 3.
Spaghetti Squash Burrito Bowls
These burrito bowls can be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of their dietary preferences – vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo, or omnivore. They’re just like ‘real’ burrito bowls only much healthier. The best part is they are very easy to customize so you can make them different every time!
Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Bake
Are you a fan of Italian cuisine? Well, who isn’t? For an easy Italian flair, pair your spaghetti squash with basil pesto and grated Parmesan cheese. If you are more patient, this is the recipe for you – a lasagna-inspired dish with tofu ricotta & marinara sauce. An incredibly flavorful yet simple dish made with only ten ingredients. Hearty, gluten-free, vegan, and full of proteins, this dish is light and yet very fulfilling. A perfect fall & winter recipe for the whole family!
Pizza Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
We’re not done with Italian versions of our new favorite pasta substitute because who would refuse a healthier take on their favorite cuisine? This pizza-stuffed version is filled with vegetables, pizza sauce, and has the flavors of classic pepperoni pizza. Top with melty cheese, bake, and dive in!
Spaghetti Squash Tostadas
How about some Mexican flavors? This vegetarian tostada is filled with roasted tomatoes and onions, spaghetti squash, and black beans. A meat-free delight that is sure to become one of your favorites!
Southwestern Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
Even though Southwestern cuisine is known for its high-calorie comfort foods, there is a number of modern takes on classic recipes that show its food can also be good for you. This easy dish is a great way to change up the weekly routine – a meatless specialty packed with flavors from with the taco seasoning & enchilada sauce.
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Baked Eggs in Spaghetti Squash Nests
Looking for something simple, healthy, but pretty enough for a family/friends get-together? You have found the perfect recipe. These cute nests have a flavor very similar to hash browns and are made in a muffin tin. They are also perfect for breakfast or brunch any day. For extra flavor, add a dash of sriracha on top!
The mood on New Year’s Eve is festive and playful, so if you are hosting the party – keep it simple. You don’t need to plan menus ahead and cook all day, nor take out your expensive China to set the table. Because who has time to sit down and dine when they’re partying all night long?
Look at it as a fun and relaxed get-together of family and friends who will almost certainly expect a bowl of punch to liven things up a little bit. A buffet table should be the central part of your party. However, even though New Year’s Eve is much simpler to host than a lavish three course Christmas dinner, you still have some work to do.
Follow these ideas to compile a lively and diverse menu, as well as a few simple and effective decoration solutions. Pour yourself a glass of wine and put on some music to make the process fun and festive. Don’t worry, you will be done in no time!
Set the Tone and Decorate
Set the tone of the party in your invitation. You can either buy ready-made invitation cards or be creative and make them yourself (download a template, cut, glue). That is, if you are skilled enough. If not, you can always be cool and invite your guests via e-mail. Instruct them to wear something casual with a bit of spark and come over for a glass of punch.
A New Year’s Party certainly calls for decorations. Keep in mind that the table will be filled with punch bowls, glasses, trays, and plates. Also, your food can serve as decoration itself. Consider preparing some muffins and decorate them as reindeer or Santas or threading grapes onto skewers, and place them in tall Champagne glasses (filled with Champagne, of course).
If you want a centerpiece, use your party favors! Place a bunch of noisemakers, together with plain glasses or jars filled with colorful party blowers, on a cake stand and surround with tinsel. You can also choose party hats, as well as jars filled with confetti for this centerpiece. At the stroke of midnight, they will be used for their original purpose Don’t forget to fill the room with balloons. Simple and effective.
Welcome the new year in style by serving fruity champagne drinks, colorful punches, and fun cocktails. Here are some suggestions you can find on our website and app:
Fruity champagne drinks
The bubbly wine you use for cocktails does not need to be the expensive type. The fizziness is what you’re going for, and it does not depend on the brand.
- Champagne Cosmos (Champagne, cranberry juice, orange-flavored liqueur, lime juice and zest)
- Strawberry Champagne Jello Shots (Champagne, strawberry jello, gelatin)
- White Grape and Champagne Granita (Champagne, green grapes, lemon juice, and sugar)
You can use the champagne for the punches or try stronger mixes.
- Pomegranate and Orange Champagne Punch (pomegranate, orange, orange-flavored liqueur, champagne)
- Paradise Punch (whiskey, vodka, Amaretto, ginger ale, pineapple juice, orange juice, grenadine)
- Whiskey Sour Punch (bourbon, orange-flavored liqueur, orange juice, lemon juice, sugar, sparkling water)
Don’t forget to add a non-alcoholic punch bowl for those who avoid booze and for those who will need to “chill” with something lighter in between two glasses of alcoholic drinks. This one is especially important if your party involves people who have and will bring their kids. In that case, it is best to set a separate kids buffet.
- Cranberry Raspberry Punch (frozen lemonade, cranberry juice, raspberry sorbet, orange juice, ginger ale)
- Peppermint Punch (eggnog, peppermint ice cream, ginger ale, candy cane).
- Lemon-Lime Hulk Party Punch (lemon-lime soda, lime sherbet, and fresh limes)
- Watermelon Limeade (watermelon, lime, rum, sugar, club soda)
- Sparkling Paloma Cocktails (grapefruit juice, lime juice, tequila, agave syrup, sparkling water, fresh thyme)
- Prickly Lady Cocktail (mescal, ginger liqueur, pear juice, lime, lime juice, powdered sugar)
To save you some time and trouble, arrange the ingredients needed for each cocktail, together with ice, straws, and all the necessary additions, and let your guests find their own ideal mixture. Give them a hand by writing the above-listed recipes on Christmas cards or holiday stationary. To ensure that these cocktail recipes won’t get lost somewhere in the middle of the party, stick them onto the bowls or saw them directly onto the tablecloth.
You can also use the cards and stationary to write thank you notes and give them away together with some easy homemade gifts (more on that later). Or encourage your guests to write their New Year’s wishes anonymously and place them on the Christmas tree.
Appetizers and Hors d’ Oeuvres
Partying requires food, so even though there won’t be a classic three-course menu, you still need to have plenty of food in the form of appetizers and hors d’ oeuvres. If you are hosting a big party that involves a lot of people, ask each guest to bring a drink and plate of appetizers to fill up the buffet (state this in your invitation).
As for the rest, stick with this golden rule: no kneading. Appetizers that involve dough may be tasty, but they take plenty of time to be prepared. Choose recipes that require minimum work and minimum mess to reduce the level of stress!
The easiest are the appetizers that involve a simple arrangement of pieces of food on skewers.
- Assorted Skewed Party Appetizers
Mozzarella balls, tuna, roasted bell peppers, marinated artichoke hearts, olives, cherry tomatoes, only arrange and serve.
Or in glasses, like this one:
- Glass Appetizers in Blue Cheese Sauce
Pear and asparagus slices (grilled) in a cheese, milk, and nutmeg sauce.
Another quick and easy option are these no-baking appetizers
– Cheddar Carrot Balls
Cream cheese, cheddar cheese, onion, garlic, and carrot, shaped into small balls and chilled.
However, baking can be quite simple, and this recipe is a proof
- Zucchini and Ricotta Crostini
Small savory toasts topped with three types of melty cheese and veggies
Fry and stuff
Stuffing is also fast and easy, especially if you make it with only a few ingredients.
Large mushrooms filled with a mixture of seasoned bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, and fresh parsley.
Use the same stuffing to fill bell peppers, potatoes, squash, or tomatoes.
You can even stuff hard-boiled eggs cut in two, yolk removed. Prepare the filling using the removed yolks, mixed with crumbled fried bacon, mayonnaise, mustard, and paprika.
- Nuwave Any-Tizer Deviled Eggs
If you are looking for a meaty addition, try these skewers with an Asian twist obtained by complementing the meat with soy sauce, pineapple juice, sesame, and ginger. Bake on a metal rack at 400 degrees F.
A great dessert not only serves as effective decoration, but it also raises the blood sugar levels and gives you enough energy to last until the end of the party!
Play smart and prepare several different treats using only one recipe – standard pancake batter. Make a larger dosage of the recipe and divide it into three batches. This time, to make this sweet delight more festive and fluffier, add 1 1/3 cup of Champagne. In case you have kids at your party, don’t worry. The alcohol will evaporate in the process of cooking.
Cook the first two batches the usual way. Use the first ready batch to form a cake, by arranging the pancakes on top of each other. Use a vanilla frosting as a glue between the pancakes, as well as to frost the whole “cake”. Decorate with candy canes on top (whole and crushed).
The other batch will be sliced into small pieces and used to prepare trifles. Start with a layer of pancake pieces, followed by a layer of vanilla custard, and a layer of fruits, preferably berries because of their beautiful red color. Finish with whipped cream and some red and green sprinkles on top.
Pour the third batch of pancake batter into muffin tins and bake in the oven. Choose an easy decoration. For example, you can cover each muffin with whipped cream and top with a strawberry to create muffin Santas.
This trick for using a single recipe to produce muffins, cookies, cakes, and other sweet delights also works with banana bread batter. Simply covering the loaf in thick frosting will turn it into a decadent cake.
Another easy dessert is the homemade chocolate fondue, that can serve as a sweet dip. Make it in a brown and white variation, chocolate chips, heavy cream, vanilla and a pinch of salt.
Good Luck Gifts
You can also use the pancake muffins as “thank you” gifts. Just arrange a few of them in a cardboard box, tie a ribbon and attach a Christmas card with your best wishes.
Another idea is to pour some of the banana bread batter into mason jars (half-way full) and place them in the oven to bake. Let them cool, cover with the lids, then decorate with ribbons and “best wishes” tags.
But since this is a celebration of all the good things yet to come, and everyone is full of hopes, instead of handing out classic “thank you” gifts to your guests on their way home, prepare “good luck” gifts.
For this purpose, fill mason jars with foods that symbolize good fortune and prosperous year. In the US South, people eat black-eyed peas on this day as a symbol of humility and prosperity. Lentils are a symbol of good luck in Italy, whereas the Greeks smash and eat pomegranate seeds on this night. The Spanish and Portuguese opt for grapes. Decorate each jar with a ribbon and attach a card with handwritten cooking instructions. Here are some examples:
- Smoky Black-Eyed Pea and Sausage Soup
- Thai Basil Coconut Lentils
- Egyptian Pomegranate, Walnut, and Red Pepper Puree
- Steak Salad with Grapes
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.
Millennials and Food – In-depth Analysis
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
– 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.
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:
- Acai Bowls
- Elevated Toasts
- Sushi Burrito
- Starbucks’ colorful new drinks
- Rolled Ice Cream
- 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,
– relaxed atmosphere,
– menu variety including unusual & exotic foods,
– availability online,
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 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
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
– 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.
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.
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:
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:
- Frito Lay
- Taco Bell
- Whole Foods
- Pizza Hut
- Trader Joe’s
- Trader Mills
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?
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.
Crunchy Fish and Chips
Roast Beef and Eggplant Pie
Berry Lemonade Scones
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
French Dressed Chicken
London Eating Habits
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.
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%.
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
Mexican Rice Cornbread
Greek Pie with Olives
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.
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.
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.
Hot New London Food Trends
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:
Vegetables as carbs
As far as foods are concerned, here is what people in London eat most:
Vegetables on grill
Black color foods
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.
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.
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.
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:
Thai Chicken Pizza
Filipino Pork and Noodles
Caramel Shrimp (Vietnamese Tom Rim)
Pajeon (Korean Scallion Pancake)
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.
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
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.
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
– Bacon breakfast burrito
– Dodger dogs
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.
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
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.
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.
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.