Here’s my list of food trends from a year ago, let’s see how we ended up:
Food Trends to resolve to do:
- Use all food! Food waste is a huge issue and you’re going to hear a lot about it this year.
- Buy what you’re going to use. Use it.
- Shop your freezer, fridge, cupboards, pantry. You’ll be surprised how much you can make without ever leaving the house. I made 23 dinners with just the stuff in my freezer.
My verdict: Still an important and growing movement. Challenge yourself to see what you can use or repurpose (see #4 for some ideas and for my friend with leftover cheeses, mac & cheese is always a good way to use up those odds and ends).
Things trending that you might ACTUALLY make:
- Bowls-grain, rice, porridge, poke. Put a bunch of vegetables, a carb and a protein in a bowl and you’re trendy. Extra points for poké (pronounced po-kay). A good way to use up small bits of things in your fridge.
- Hey if you haven’t given up kale yet, you could be a newbie to cauliflower. Or if you really want to be cutting edge, skip down to jackfruit below.
My verdict: Bowls are a great way to use up leftovers, especially small bits. Some version of fried rice is often my lunch go-to. I think poké and porridge have had their day, or maybe in porridge’s case, just needs to be rebranded. Would the marketing genius who made kale happen, like to give it a try? And speaking of kale, let’s not.
Or cook with:
- Sous-vide. I’ve had mine for a few years and love it. It’s the crockpot of the 21st
- Or maybe it’s the Instapot.
My verdict: Definitely the Instant Pot! And now there’s even one that has a sous-vide function. I still haven’t used mine as a pressure cooker, but it’s out almost weekly as a (terrific) yogurt maker and occasionally as my slow-cooker replacement.
Foods you might think about and eat but come on, you’re never actually going to DIY:
- Fermented foods (from any number of sources). Imagine if everyone in your building started fermenting stuff.
- Whey (to get this you have to make something else, like Greek yogurt) and then figure out what to do with it. I’ve marinated chicken in it—ho hum.
- Vegetable chips (your own, not out of a bag)
- Empanadas, dumplings etc. All good but labor intensive and someone in a restaurant near you does it better.
My verdict: Pretty much true. I’ve fermented more things successfully due to my discovery of Kraut Source. As for the whey, my dog is a big fan. Have not made a single vegetable chip (kale people are you listening?) or any form of dumpling all year.
Interesting, never-happening options:
- Octopus — got a rock to pound it on? Didn’t think so.
- Naan pizza. Why?
- Fry bread. Ditto. Have you ever actually eaten the stuff? Think flattened, fried zeppole and you’re pretty much there. Going to go out on a politically incorrect limb here, but the Native Americans have not given us much to work with food-wise. Indian Pudding and frybread are two prime examples.
- Jackfruit. Don’t hold your breath waiting for that to show up at your local supermarket. And when it does…
My verdict: 100% correct. Never happened.
A couple of my predictions:
- Coffeecake — oh, excuse me, breakfast cake. I’ve had my friend Alan’s mother’s coffeecake recipe on my mind lately. Time for breakfast comfort food?
- The resurgence of junk food — look for the new White House Chef to be Colonel Saunders…
My verdict: Made the coffeecake and it was wonderful, but also a lot of trendy avocado toast thanks to an influx of great bread.
As for the junk food, the big eater of that is the same guy who gave you that great tax cut for Christmas.
What do you think? Where will 2018 take us?