Saturday, 29 December 2012

Food trends for 2013

A couple of ideas from last year...

Before we launch into our findings for the coming year, let's look back over 2012: last year at around this time I tried my hand at writing about and even predicting what would be the hottest  trends for food and eating in 2012- how did I get on?

  • I wrote that natural sugar alternatives would be big: well they certainly were in our house, and actually, I did see many stores in the UK selling stevia, malt, fructose, date syrup, xylitol and the like. It seems to be a continuing trend into 2013.
  • Vegan has indeed become the new Vegetarian over the past year as those who are truly health-conscious are eschewing animal-based products and substituting plant ones, as much for slimming and allergy reasons as for animal welfare.
  • As Huffington Post predicted, kale, Chinese broccoli and coconut oil and water were really big in 2012; especially variations on kale chips and putting coconut oil in just about everything. There are now commercial "milk" drinks based on coconut and the hydrating attributes of coconut water are now well-known. I also learnt how to make yummy and healthy kale chips and blogged about it, as well as incorporating coconut oil into various recipes- my husband is now also a convert! I also experimented with hummus, my best result being one made from green peas, but I didn't come across much else to do with hummus in the blogosphere. I did, however, come across lots  of yummy vegetarian South Indian recipes, just as they predicted (yet more coconut). I also saw such vegetable-based condiments/ spreads  as tomato jam, and responded with my green tomato chilli jam. Plus, in response to the comment about "upside-down" (sweet-savoury) foods,  I did actually bake some vegetable muffins as I intended, although a sweet pizza has so far eluded me.
  • One thing that has come out of the economic downturn is that home cooking has indeed grown hugely in popularity over the past year as it's cheaper. (And healthier, and more fun!) I think in the UK "The Great British Bake Off" has also played a big part in this. I know it inspired a lot of my colleagues to don an apron and get into the kitchen to bake cakes, pies and the like.
  • I was right in that wheat alternatives have come to the forefront over the past year; not only because it seems there is a growing number of wheat and /or gluten-allergic people, but also because gluten-free dishes are reported to stop you putting on weight/ help you lose weight. I don't know of there is any truth in this, but certainly anything I have posted labelled as "gluten free" has certainly proved popular. I didn't find much out there to do with chillis or European fusion cookery, though. Maybe I was a year too late for those...
Predictions for 2013:
So what are we all going to be raving about in the coming year? 
  • According to , in the USA nutrition and natural foods will be at the forefront of product design and restaurant menus, with lots of artisan products on the market. They also think that the gluten-free trend will be even bigger into 2013, with many companies making gluten-free lines to complement their existing products. Food trucks as the vehicles (no pun intended ;)) for pop-up restaurants are also apparently on the menu for the coming year. Mediterranean cuisine will also get even more popular in the USA.
  • According to , seaweed and greens such as kale and mustard greens will find their way into products such as crackers and seasonings. This would be great as we all know that greens are health-giving superfoods.
  • Buzzwords for 2013 include: Asian  flavourings, fermented foods, gourmet doughnuts, hot and smoky favours, white strawberries and green tomatoes (we're already onto that one- check out our green tomato recipes here and here!), geranium leaves, hibiscus and shiso- a kind of Japanese mint. But take note: we're all supposedly fed up with kimchi, so that's definitely out for 2013.
  • At (which also has many links to other food trends sites) I found that 2013 will be the "year of the vegetable"- which means more plates of vegetables such as cauliflower steaks in restaurants, a reflection on the increasing trend for "flexitarian" dining. This also means vegetables like avocado, pumpkin and corn in deserts too- again, we're one step ahead here
What does the Yogi Vegetarian Predict? 
Well in the UK I'm sure home baking, as inspired by Paul Hollywood, Mary Berry et al will continue to go from strength to strength. (We Brits do love our cakes and pies!) I also have a feeling that gluten-free will get bigger than ever worldwide, and that more vegetarian food will become vegan as the Palaeo Diet (minus the fish, of course) and awareness of lactose intolerance continue to drive the health-conscious and animal welfare issues in dairy farming become more talked-about. I'm going by what's popular right now on this blog: my top 5 pageviews last month were a sugar free strawberry tofu cheesecake, 3 gluten-free recipes and a vegan chocolate truffle cake. As for other stuff, well home-made cultured nut cheeses could get very popular once people catch on to how easy it is to make them. We at The Yogi Vegetarian also think that tempeh with added flavours and made of grains like barley could also make it big in 2013, in line with the trend towards Asian flavours and vegan protein sources. (We have a friend who makes tempeh like this, and it's caught on big-time locally... check it out here.)

We wish you all a Happy New Year and lots of fun vegetarian and vegan cooking!
(and if you would like to add to our list of food trend predictions, please do use the comments)


Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Countdown to Christmas cookery 7: Main courses: Budget Nut Roast, Walnut and Red Pepper Roast (vegan)

I'm sure everyone has their favourite veggie/ vegan main courses, but if you want a more traditional dish-  minus the turkey or goose of course- then it's always useful to have some new ideas rather than trotting out the same old thing year on year. Here are a couple of variations on the usual nut-based theme to add to your repertoire. Add two or three vegetable sides (see  here, here and here) some cranberry sauce, a nice gravy and you'll have a feast that will please even the fussiest of families! Find this simple but delicious nut roast  here. If you want something a little more fancy, try out my Walnut Red Pepper Roast.
PS: I know this is a little late for Christmas Day, but I'm hoping it could still be useful if you're entertaining over the holiday period!

Christmas 2012 Cookery Highlights and Recipes

Half-demolished gingerbread house found in our kitchen this morning...
Wishing you all a somewhat belated Happy Christmas; hope you are having a wonderful holiday, and apologies for not having posted anything for nearly a week; all the preparations finally caught up with me and I literally haven't had time to catch my breath until now- sound familiar? The wonderful main course I had planned to post in time for Christmas just didn't manifest (but we had a great roast dinner anyway) so I'm hoping to get that done in time for the New Year celebrations. Here are some pictures of some of the things we cooked with recipe links where relevant...

By popular request from the family, gingerbread house #3

Cranberry Christmas cake with lemon-y icing and  home-made marzipan 

My husband's splendid vegan Christmas pud, shown here with vanilla Swedish Glace vegan "icecream" but equally good served hot with soya custard (recipe  to follow shortly)

This year's cheeseboard highlight: a vegan cultured cashew and soya roule that's an even tastier cruelty-free alternative to Le Roule or goats' cheese (recipe to follow soon)

Nut roast and all the trimmings (made a week or so ago for our other blog, "Vegan on a Budget")