Tag Archives: food trends

Fall Vegetables: 5 Amazing Facts You HAVE to Know

Getting ready for the change in season? For me that means shifting my menus to include lots of fall vegetables. In addition to cooking seasonally, some of us chefs like to geek out over fun and interesting food facts.

From their many health benefits to their rich history, here are jeopardy-worthy fall vegetable facts you HAVE to know. Use them to impress your dinner guests or to get conversation rolling around the table.

Fun Facts About Fall Vegetables

1. Carrots are around 5,000 years old…and they’re still going strong! Many say carrots were originally used medicinally. Today, they’re a culinary staple, used to prepare stocks, soups and stews. Even though we don’t often think about the health benefits, they’re still there. Carrots contain beta-carotene (how they got their name) and other important nutrients. (Source)

2. Cauliflower is the answer to…everything! Because of its versatility, you can use cauliflower to make grain-free dishes like cauliflower rice and pizza dough. You can even use it in vegetarian cooking to make meat-like meals, such as cauliflower steaks and buffalo nuggets. If you’re on a limited diet, ask us how we can turn your favorite food into a healthful cauliflower creation.

3. Mushrooms can help give your immune system a boost—which is good to know as those first fall sniffles come to pass. They’re also anti-inflammatory. You can find mushrooms sold as teas and tinctures, but I like to use whole mushrooms in my meals to yield the benefits. Sauté them and add to pasta dishes or put them in the food processor to make a vegan pâté (check out this recipe from Smitten Kitchen). (Source)

4. Chestnuts aren’t just for open fires (and Christmas songs). Chestnuts can be used to make a variety of sweet and savory dishes…seriously! Try this creamy puréed chestnut soup or use chestnut flour to make gluten-free brownies. Get creative and see how awesome chestnuts can be.

5. Potatoes: According to the International Potato Center (yup, that’s a thing) there are more than 4,000 varieties of potatoes—in a multitude of shapes, sizes and colors. We like to serve them in a bunch of different ways for our personal chef clients. From mashed potatoes to french fries to latkes, there’s plenty to whip up with all those spuds this season.

Want to get more fall vegetables on your plate? About the Table will design fresh menus of healthy and delicious meals, featuring the best local produce just for you. We’ll even throw in a few extra fun facts! Contact us to learn more.

Deconstructed Food: It’s Not Just for Chipotle Anymore

What’s in your meal?

No really—what’s actually in your meal? Have you read the ingredient labels on everything you’re eating? Do you know exactly what you’re putting into your body 3+ times per day?

Undesirable ingredients like sugar, preservatives and unhealthy fats often hide in the most unexpected products, including condiments, canned foods and snacks. Perhaps you didn’t know how frequently you consume small amounts of refined sugar and preservatives. But add it all up, and you may realize even “healthy” products aren’t exactly what they seem.

In response to growing concern about meal quality, many restaurants and food companies are starting to take a deconstructed food approach to their menu. Following Chipotle’s “build-your-own burrito” precedent, many other restaurants now offer their customers the chance to see each ingredient side-by-side before making a decision. Greater ingredient transparency means greater trust in the company’s offerings.

The Deconstruction Advantage

At About the Table, we like the build-your-own idea not just because it offers more choices, but because it allows you to consider each ingredient before adding it to your meal. If you know gluten and dairy present digestive problems for you, you can skip the cheese and tortilla and substitute guacamole and rice instead. You can ask questions about each ingredient—we’re always happy to talk food!

Building your own meal also encourages you to experiment with different flavor combinations and become a more adventurous eater. Knowing any choice you make will be a delicious one, you can feel comfortable diving headfirst into the array of spices, flavors and textures.

Bring It Home

Deconstruction isn’t just for restaurants, either. At home, you can recreate the experience by setting out different ingredients and letting everyone in the family build their own meal. For kids, this lets them try new foods and makes them feel like they’ve participated in making dinner.

Need ideas? Try Egg Roll in a Bowl with different sautéed veggies, ground pork, rice and sauces like tamari. For a fun dessert option, give Ina Garten’s Strawberry Shortcakes Deconstructed a whirl. Mexican, Greek and Italian food themes also work well.

Add Build-Your-Own Options

About the Table specializes in customized menus that appeal to all palates and ages. Ask us to add deconstructed food options to your meal service and start broadening your culinary horizons—while knowing every ingredient is a healthy, whole-food choice. Contact us to get started with personal chef services.