Here we are. 2014! After the holiday season and big celebrations are over, now is time for you to recuperate and start afresh. The holiday season might have made you feel all bloated, made your zipper pop, and maybe you are thinking “Maybe, I need to get on with healthy(ier) eating”, just like the rest of us. Or even your New Year’s resolution (with the benefit of the doubt for this year) might be healthy(ier) eating. It might be daunting…but not so fast! Food trends of 2013 seem to continue working its way up, “healthy alternative ingredients and cooking methods, and the use of aromatic spices”. The trends this year might be on your side to help you out. Here is Tastyfind’s take on healthy food trends this year. Inspiration is served! (Kronut and Ramen burgers sound smashing but for now, for at least the first couple of weeks in January, we’ll stay out of it and will save it for later!)
Grains and seeds (pulse)
There are so many media coverage of food predictions for 2014 and one of the most talked about is gluten-free grains and seeds. We would like to put our radar on grains such as buckwheat and a pulse item, lentils. Lentils are such a familiar ingredient to us Brits and it’s an easier one to incorporate into our lives. Your resolution goes to healthy eating and getting fit? That way of life requires you to have nutritional protein-packed foods and the answer is lentils. Compared to lean red meat and chicken, lentils are low in fat and keep our carb intake in check. Lentils finds their way of coming into our lives and turns themselves into a delicious form whether it’s a hearty lentil soup that every Brit loves, a fresh lentil salad, or a comforting Indian dal. It’s a perfect all-round food.
How about buckwheat? We might not be so familiar with dishes made with buckwheat as a main ingredient. But yes, there are some and one of the tastiest we should be introduced to is Japanese soba noodles. We know udon, we know Ramen (yes it was big in 2013!) and now let’s get introduced to Soba noodles. It’s made of buckwheat and is famous for its lean al dente texture. It’s a healthier alternative to Ramen. It is perfect served hot in a fish broth or served cold with dipping sauce and nicely fried shrimp tempuras.
Introducing Soba noodles… (photo: umamimart.com)
New food trends imported from around the world
When it comes to food, we are good with trying out new cuisine types. Continuing from 2013, we’ll continue with discoveries of South American dishes (and Brazilian in particular!)
Mexican foods, Argentinean, and Peruvian foods are getting bigger in the UK, and will stay that way along with Brazilian food. Worldcup 2014 in Brazil is just around the corner. We should get to know the ground, don’t you think? Brazil is not only about our hippy hoppy beach wear Havaianas, there is a lot more to Brazilian culture. Brazilian dishes have European and African influence and represent its resourceful land, full of fresh products (meat, fresh root vegetables, and fruits). They know how to use good beans and meat. Try out Picanha (fine thinly-sliced rump steak grilled in charcoal, served with steamed rice and black beans) and Feijoada (a pork stew with black beans). They are so wholesome and so tasty.
Feijoada-Brazil’s national dish (photo: cybercook.terra.com.br)
Spice, spice, and spice, and Oriental and East Asian cuisine
Korean foods have become more popular over the years, 2013 in particular, as Korean cuisine represents the combination of everything we looked for last year; pickles vegetables and spice. Its delicacy will stay on the map this year too. Our favourite is Bibimbap. It’s served in a hot stone bowl of steamed rice topped with julienne vegetables, kimchi (of course!), grilled meat, and a sunnyside egg with spicy Korean paste.
Thai food has been on the map of Briton’s stomach for a while now. And we think that foods from other parts of South East Asia such as Pilipino, Vietnamese, and Malaysian are going to take off this year! Unlike common preconception, they can be healthy, packed with vegetables, lean meat, fish, and full of spices. They are often cooked with coconut, lots of chilli spices, and palm sugar. Its combination of spicy/salty/sweet is something to die for. We definitely recommend you should try Laksa, which is often made with rice vermicelli noodles, coconut milk, and spicy curry paste. It deserves recognition and a medal for its great flavour and aroma!
Laksa –It deserves a medal in a noodle soup world championship! (photo: punchfork.com)
Smoky to steamy!
Smoked chicken and all smoky things were in fashion last year. This year is all about steamy steamed dishes! Steamed vegetables are the best way to preserve the nutrients of vegetables but steamed foods don’t need to be so boring. One of the most accessible and tasty steamed foods is found in the land of China! Chinese food has grown into Briton’s staple food but their healthier steamed variety might come into fashion this year. Dim sum varieties such as steamed shrimp/pork dumplings and steamed custard buns are in!
We say ‘Steam it!” (photo: christinaofchinatown.com)
Here was a very short summary of our predictions into the 2014 food scene. It’s a combination of healthy and hearty familiarity with something new and exciting. More than ever, home entertainment and dining-in will continue to be our lifestyle. Watching a film with your girlfriend with a glass of wine, poker night with your mates, a little family dinner- whatever the form is, just enjoy each other’s company and tuck into a nice table full of food. It doesn’t need to happen in restaurants. Dining out is really nice but we can find something equally tasty and nice (if not better!) at home with our takeaway dinner!
What’s your food fad forecast?