In the new year guests are craving wholesome meals that help them keep their resolutions for better eating. However in their minds, “better for you” frequently translates to “better expect a flavourless dish.” Our chefs can help you put a new spin on winter veggies for great ways to deliver on guests’ desires and also impress them with a wholesome, flavourful meal.

How to Make Popular Winter Vegetables Even Better

Typical cold-weather produce such as beets, carrots, parsnips, squashes, leeks and sweet potatoes are a great place to start, but keep in mind guests are getting more savvy and are looking for more information about their meals. If there’s a specific variety of the vegetable used, be sure to include the name. For example, “Mashed North Carolina Garnet Sweet Potatoes” sounds a lot better than simply, “Mashed Sweet Potatoes.”

Be on the lookout for some emerging squash varieties that are getting more recognition from chefs.

  • Ingredient Why it's trending?
    Kabocha Sweeter than pumpkin, it’s delicious in pies and as a base to rich soup, roasted in the oven and sprinkled with Dukkah seasoning or chili and honey.
    Dumpling It cooks up smooth with distinct squash flavor perfect for soups.
    Red Kuri These deliver beautiful color with a skin that’s thin enough to eat.

Chefs’ Picks for Veggie-centric Recipes

Chef Kyla and Chef Einav have come together to give their recommendations on recipes that use wholesome ingredients to create unique menu ideas your guests will love.

Chef Kyla

Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Leeks with Cranberry Polenta and a Blue Cheese Crumble

Brussel sprouts are growing in popularity and this combination creates some delicious contrasting flavours.

Soy Glazed Parsnip with Orange Zest and Spiced Yogurt

Parsnips prepared like this make amazing appetizers or a delicious complement to a chicken or fish entrée.

Roasted Beetroot and Gala Apple Pierogi with Dill Crème Fraiche

This Polish classic may quickly become a guest favorite and stay on your menu year round.

Roasted Carrots with Red Miso Butter, Roasted Hazelnuts, and Beet Sprouts

Perfect as a side or shareable menu item, carrots prepared this way are simply amazing.

Chilled Braised Leeks with Roasted Togarashi Spiced Sweet Potato and Shishito Pepper

Guests love spicy dishes that are also approachable. This dish is has just the right level of heat.

 

Chef Einav

Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Leeks with Cranberry Polenta and a Blue Cheese Crumble

Brussel sprouts are growing in popularity and this combination creates some delicious contrasting flavors.

Russian Beet Soup with Sour Cream and Dill

A hearty classic gets a new twist from the delicious combination of the fresh dill and sour cream.

 

So when you’re mapping out new cold-weather menus and LTOs, be sure to keep veggies top of mind. They’re perennial trendsetters that also deliver a healthy margin. When done right, your guests and your bottom line will experience their benefits. You can explore other vegetable-inspired pairings here.