If you're running a restaurant, you know how important it is to keep up with the latest food trends. One of the biggest trends right now is vegan cuisine, and it's becoming increasingly popular with diners of all backgrounds.
The great thing about vegan food is that it can be both exciting and approachable—which is why it's such a great choice for restaurants. Whether you're looking to add more vegan dishes to your menu or simply update your existing recipes with some vegan ingredients, there are plenty of options to choose from.
In this article, we'll take a look at some of the most popular vegan dishes you should consider adding to your restaurant's menu this year. We'll also discuss some tips for creating delicious and enticing vegan meals that will appeal to vegans and non-vegans alike!
What Makes a Healthy Vegan Diet?
One of the most important things to remember about vegan diets is that they aren't just about excluding animal products—they can be incredibly nutritious and healthy when balanced correctly.
So what makes a healthy vegan diet? To start off with, it should include a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, legumes and healthy oils. Eating a wide range of these foods can help maintain good health, as well as reduce the risk of heart disease by up to 75%. A vegan diet should also be free from all animal products and by-products—which includes eggs, dairy and honey.
By making sure that your vegan dishes include all the right ingredients, you’ll help your customers make healthier choices while enjoying delicious meals at the same time!
Nutrient-Packed Hummus & Tahini Dishes
If you're looking for vegan dishes that are as delicious as they are healthy and nutritious, look no further than hummus and tahini! Both of these meal choices contain valuable plant-based proteins, dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals and healthy fats.
- Hummus: Hummus is a popular vegan dish made from chickpeas, garlic, tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and cumin. It provides your diners with all the essential proteins, fats and carbohydrates they need for a balanced meal. Plus it packs 4.8 grams of plant-based protein per serving!
- Tahini: Tahini is essentially ground sesame seeds- making it an incredibly nutrient packed addition to any vegan menu. One serving contains 2.6 grams of dietary fiber as well calcium, vitamin E magnesium and potassium among other important minerals and vitamins.
Both of these staple ingredients offer all the nutrients your diners need to feel satisfied after their vegan meal. While hummus has a delicious nutty flavor, tahini’s nutty flavor adds an extra layer of flavor to any dish you choose!
Incorporate Signature Smoothies & Drinks
If you're looking for a vegan option to show off at your restaurant, consider signature smoothies and drinks. Not only are they delicious and easy to make, but many vegan smoothie recipes require just two ingredients and some ice and water.
Popular Vegan Smoothie Ingredients
Popular vegan smoothie ingredients include fruit such as bananas, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, and pineapple, as well as vegetables such as cauliflower and spinach. You can also add things like unsweetened coconut flakes or almond butter for a boost of flavor and extra nutrition. Whatever ingredients you choose, make sure you get organic if possible—it helps reduce the use of harsh pesticides.
When To Enjoy Them
Vegan smoothies can be used as a breakfast item, an in-between snack option while out shopping or exploring your city's attractions, or as a dessert after dinner. Since they're so diverse in ingredients and flavors, you'll be able to find something that suits everyone's tastes.
Lentil Soup and Other Soup Recipes
Soup is a popular item on many menus, but you might not realize just how easy it is to make a vegan, gluten-free lentil soup. This hearty soup, which is high in protein and fiber, is one of the best vegan dishes to add to your menu this year.
Not only is lentil soup nutrient-dense and filling, it's also incredibly flavorful and easy to make. All you need are some pantry staples like onions, carrots and garlic, plus the lentils and vegetable broth of course.
The best part? Once you've gathered your ingredients and thrown them in a pot to simmer for a few hours, you can serve it as-is or dress it up with sour cream or cilantro for a unique spin. Either way, your customers will love this comforting dish.
Soup recipes don't have to stop at lentils either! You can experiment with other vegan soups like creamy butternut squash or curried sweet potato—all sure to be popular items on your menu.
Add Flair With Mediterranean Dishes
If you're looking to add some pizzazz to your vegan menu this year, why not look to the Mediterranean? The Mediterranean diet emphasizes a healthy mix of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and fats—which makes it perfect for those looking for vegan dishes. And since the Mediterranean style of cooking allows you to mix and match ingredients, you can incorporate different flavors, colors, and textures into your dishes.
You can even give your guests more variety by creating vegan Mediterranean wraps, salads and soups. Popular ingredients might include cucumbers, tomatoes, roasted red peppers, olives, onions artichokes, raisins and zucchini — or whatever other vegetables and grains you’d like to experiment with! You could also create delicious roasted vegetable dishes as well.
The sky is the limit when it comes to creating vegan versions of classic Mediterranean fare—so why not get creative this year? Your diners will be sure to enjoy!
Consider Allergies & Dietary Restrictions
It's important to consider allergies and dietary restrictions when creating a menu. Nine of the most common food allergies are plant-based: sesame, soybean, wheat, coconut, mustard, lupin, tree nuts and peanuts. That's why it's so important to pay attention to food labels — not just for vegan dishes specifically, but for all dishes.
When it comes to dietary restrictions in general, some of the most common include vegan/vegetarianism, peanut allergies, lactose intolerance and gluten intolerance. Of course vegan diets exclude all foods of animal origin—this includes meat and dairy products—so dishes created for vegans need to be very carefully composed.
By adding a few vegan dishes like those listed above on your menu this year, you can provide your customers with more options that will cater to their dietary needs while helping you expand your culinary boundaries.
Adding vegan dishes to your restaurant's menu this year is a great way to stay ahead of the curve, meet customer demands and needs, and even explore a broader range of healthy and delicious options.
From nut-based smoothies and hummus to lentil soup and other hearty Mediterranean dishes, you can craft an extensive vegan menu that guests of all ages and dietary needs can enjoy. Your vegan guests will be thrilled at the variety of options you offer, and you may even find that your non-vegan diners are tempted to try the vegan dishes too!