Veggies move to center stage at breakfast

veggie breakfast bowl

Eggs, cheese, bacon, sausage and ham—these are the foods that traditionally dominate the hot breakfast line at many noncommercial operations. Vegetables may show up as filling ingredients at an omelet station or something green to blend into smoothies, but they’re not traditionally big players on the breakfast menu. Nevertheless, half of consumers aged 18 to 34 now want the ability to substitute animal proteins with plant-based alternatives, according to Technomic’s Center of the Plate: Seafood & Vegetarian Consumer Trend Report, powered by Ignite. While many chefs have responded by moving more vegetables to the center of the plate at lunch and dinner, breakfast seems to be the last frontier. These six operators are pioneering a change toward plant-forward morning meals.

1. Build a breakfast bowl


Matthew Cervay, executive chef at Geisinger Health System in Pennsylvania, added a variety of breakfast bowls that incorporate beans, legumes and greens to offer a healthier option in the breakfast daypart, he says. Leaner proteins, such as turkey and salmon, are available for diners who wish to “beef up” their breakfast bowls.

2. Change up the grains


Oatmeal bars are a popular way to push nonmeat options at breakfast, but why not vary the idea by swapping in other grains for oats and adding vegetable toppings? Aran Essig, executive chef at University of Northern Colorado, is cooking up amaranth and cracked wheat for a hot cereal bar, and putting out toppings such as vegetarian green chili and stir-fried vegetables along with the usual fruits and nuts.

3. Going global

soba noodles

At Northwestern University, District Executive Chef Chris Studtmann is going in an Asian direction by menuing soba bowls and congee for breakfast. Both are customizable with veggies such as carrots, cabbage, mushrooms, bok choy, kale, spinach, edamame and scallions, he says. Breakfast ramen is starting to trend on the restaurant side, too.

4. Spreading veggie love


Bagel fans at University of Michigan now have a nondairy option as a spread. Executive Chef Frank Turchan replaced light cream cheese with vegan hummus and added vegetable toppings such as sliced cucumbers and tomatoes to breakfast stations after he and his team went through training on plant-based diets with the Humane Society.

5. Power up a muffin

carrot muffins

With many recipes, the only way to tell a carrot muffin contains carrots is by its orange color. Brent Trudeau, executive chef for Cypress Fairbanks ISD in Houston, gets K-12 students to eat more veggies by packing a lot more carrots into the carrot-spice muffins he recently introduced. The healthy muffins are a hit with students who sit down for school breakfast or opt for grab-and-go.

6. Pick a pickle


With veg-centric Indian food on the rise, Executive Chef Carrie Anderson is trying out the cuisine for breakfast at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She pairs an Indian bread—chapati—with jam, pickled vegetables and chutneys. Anderson has also added a greater array of cooked vegetables to the breakfast line.

More From FoodService Director

Menu Development

At University of North Dakota, National Nutrition Month in March sometimes elicits as much excitement as the NCAA basketball tournament or spring break. That’s when the school’s version of the TV show “Chopped” takes place. The competition is an event organized by UND Dining’s registered dietitian, Dustin Frize, in partnership with the college’s chefs. Students are organized into teams, given a basket of nutritious foods and tasked with creating winning dishes. “Healthfulness is a key component of the judging,” Frize says.

And this unique partnership is gaining traction nationwide...

Industry News & Opinion

The dining team at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., has updated the halal offerings at its student center after student concerns of cross-contamination and mislabeling, The Hofstra Chronicle reports.

After listening to students, the center’s halal options were moved from a self-serve line to a hot entree station. The dining team also updated its signage to better indicate which meals are halal.

In addition to halal hot dogs and hamburgers, students will now have the option of halal beef as well as new globally inspired halal meals.

Read the full story via...

Industry News & Opinion

Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., has debuted a mini food truck on campus, The Daily News reports.

Dining staff say the truck was introduced to give students more dining options as well as reaffirm the school’s commitment to sustainability.

The truck will feature healthy options with fewer than 550 calories that will be sold in plant-based to-go containers . Students will be able to choose from two to three rotating entrees as well as two signature entrees that will be available the entire week.

Read the full story via .

Sponsored Content

From Mondelez.

With consumers living increasingly busy, on-the-go lifestyles, operators who offer grab-and-go items are in the best position to benefit from the snacking public's eating habits. But since most people turn to different snacks throughout the day, operators need to provide diverse options to capture consumers' changing appetites. The ongoing popularity of grab-and-go items reveals trends that could help operators tailor their inventories to increase sales, especially in the workplace.

What do snackers want?

According to The Hartman Group's 2017 Out of Home...

FSD Resources