by Kate Heyhoe
If you've been scaling back your grocery budget this year, cutting out extravagances like prime rib, lobster, paté, and caviar, you're not the only one. Restaurants facing a lowered attendance are meeting their budgetary shrinkage with a "back to basics" approach that appears to dovetail well with the demand for more comfort food.
From fine dining establishments to school cafeterias, food service operators are expected to continue this trend. Onsite Restaurants, a supplement to the trade magazine Restaurant News, predicted in their February 2002 issue some of the ways "protein stretchers" (which equate to dollar-stretchers) may soon appear on menus. Look for items like:
* Egg salad variations
* Hash-brown potatoes with fish, beef or other protein
* Moussaka and pastitsio
* Pasta casseroles such as macaroni and cheese,
turkey Tetrazzini and tuna noodle
* Egg stratas
* Arroz con pollo and variations
* Goulash and other hearty ethnic stews
* Meat and fish loaves
The USDA's 2001 consumption figures also reinforce that Americans are opting for fewer meat-based protein foods. Perhaps the research on the benefits of vegetables and fruit as healthful anti-oxidants is adding fuel to the trend.
Whether for budgetary, ethical or health reasons, if you're interested in joining the movement of less-protein-is-more when it comes to quality meals, I've collected below a few recipes to indulge in at home. Besides cutting back on meats as protein, they illustrate another trend that we have known for years: world flavors are what makes a meal truly exciting.
Mini-Meat and No-Meat Recipes
Kate's Global Kitchen for April 2002:
04/05/02 On the Menu: Mini-Meat Meals
04/12/02 A Baker's Dozen in Every Town
04/19/02 The Warm Salads of Spring
04/26/02 A Portobello Passage
Copyright © 2002, Kate Heyhoe. All rights reserved.
This page created April 2002
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