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AVOCADOS – ADD A HIT OF RICHNESS
Avocados are a versatile ingredient that can sub in for many different things across your menu. While not the most economical, avocados are a rich source of healthy fats, particularly monounsaturated fats. Using avocados for ingredients high in saturated fats, such as butter or margarine, can add a healthy option to your menu. As a bonus, they are also packed full of healthy vitamins and minerals.
Avocados have a mild buttery flavor that can add a fresh richness to many dishes. They are subtly nutty, elevating the overall depth of flavor of a recipe. On top of all this good, they happen to be vegetarian and vegan friendly, and tend to be well-tolerated from an allergy perspective, giving you a substitution for many kinds of diets.
TRI-TIP STEAKS – AN ECONOMICAL AND TRENDY CUT
Tri-tip steaks, a name given to the bottom sirloin part of cattle, are an increasingly popular cut. They can be used like other more expensive cuts of beef, optimal for grilling, broiling, roasting, or pan-searing. Tri-tips are typically more affordable than premium cuts like filet mignon or ribeye, and substituting for them can help manage costs while still offering a flavorful and satisfying meat option to your customers. Tri-tips are larger in size, allowing for generous portions, which can be beneficial for restaurants looking to serve up meat-centric mains or sharing platters.
TINNED FISH – PACKED FULL OF FLAVOR
Tinned fish are a flavorful and nutritious substitution for your menu. Preserved in their own juices or oils, they can add a distinct hit of umami flavor to dishes. Being preserved, these tinned delicacies are available throughout the year and are not subject to the fishing seasons of fresh seafood. Consider them a secret weapon in your storage room.
28% of customers say they’d like to try it, so serve a variety as an appetizer or small plate. 1
BEANS, PEAS, AND PULSES – FLAVOR, FIBER, AND PROTEIN
Beans and pulses satisfy a wide range of dietary needs, including vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free diets. Rich in protein, these legumes are incredibly versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes. Incorporate them into soups, stews, salads, wraps, burgers, dips, and more, letting their high protein and fiber satiate your customers. The world of beans and pulses is diverse and delicious, with commonly used black beans, chickpeas, lentils, and kidney beans being more familiar; while fresh fava beans, giant butter beans, black-eyed peas, mung beans, and pigeon peas are available for more exotic meals.
Found on 64% of menus, beans, pulses, and peas are all over the substitution game. Use black beans in gluten-free desserts. Or lentils and peas as a meat substitute. Field peas are up 37% on menus over the last 12 months, as they’re plentiful and inexpensive. 1
SURIMI – MORE THAN IMITATION CRAB
Surimi, perhaps known better in America as “Imitation Crabmeat”, can be used in more than just California Rolls. Its neutral flavor and texture make it suitable for various dishes, including salads, stir-fries, pasta dishes, dumpling or spring roll filling, and of course, sushi. Surimi generally has a longer shelf life than fresh seafood, which helps to reduce waste and manage inventory.
BULGUR: A DELICIOUS WHOLE GRAIN
Surprisingly, people are into bulgur—as much as 30% of those who have tried it.1 It’s the grain that makes tabouli shine. With 41% of customers wanting healthier options, the inclusion of bulgur puts a healthy stamp on your menu.2 Swap this fast-cooking grain for regular rice or use in a quinoa bowl.