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Versatile ingredients give noncommercial chefs creative freedom without the labor

Photograph: Shutterstock

The labor crunch in foodservice continues to present challenges for noncommercial operators. But for operators who are struggling to continually offer great foods without breaking the labor budget, versatile and high quality frozen ingredients including vegetables and fruits are a game-changer. By using pre-roasted veggies and fruits instead of making everything from scratch, kitchens can offer the delicious foods diners are clamoring for, without adding stress to the kitchen staff.

Vegetables: An essential part of a creative menu

Inventing new recipes is a daily challenge for chefs who feed diners across demographic groups, all of whom are seeking different choices at cafeterias, food halls, food trucks and catered events. Some consumers may seek out better-for-you choices, while others look for craveable, indulgent options on menus.

When chefs stock frozen vegetables to create meals to scale, they simplify the process. Using pre-roasted veggies, that means no more roasting potatoes from scratch daily or continually sautéing batches of peppers and onions for vegetable-focused entrees. Roasted potatoes are gluten-free and a tasty addition to many recipes, for instance. Keeping potatoes, peppers and onions on hand means they can be easily added to a recipe as needed.

Simplot offers a variety of roasted potatoes, such as roasted whole baby potatoes, a potato medley, redskins and sweet potatoes, all of which can be measured out in portions for dishes such as vegetarian Roasted Sweet Potato Tacos.

Another crowd pleaser featuring frozen veggies is Brussels Sprouts with Corn, Jalapeno and Bacon, which incorporates on-trend Brussels Sprouts with roasted corn in a delicious, craveable way to eat your veggies.

And for a brunch favorite, kitchens can whip up a Roasted Vegetable Frittata, which features a blend of roasted yellow squash, green zucchini, bell peppers and onions with green beans and carrots in a light and savory Mediterranean seasoning.

Want to offer something that’s shareable and snackable? Look no further than Street Corn Nachos, which include RoastWorks® Flame-Roasted Corn & Jalapeño Blend as well as Simplot’s Harvest Fresh Avocados Guacamole, habanero peppers, avocados, and more.

Offering craveable dishes is easier than ever with pre-cut, pre-roasted frozen veggies and vegetable blends.

Going beyond veggies

Frozen roasted vegetables aren’t the only quick way to add unique and flavorful dishes to the menu. For instance, Simplot RoastWorks® Flame-Roasted Fuji Apples combined with Mascarpone cheese, cranberries and almonds makes an unbelievable dessert pizza. The flavorful Fuji apple slices with any berry creates the perfect cobbler served with ice cream. And for an entree, the chefs can create a Fuji apple panini by topping a ham and gruyere sandwich with sautéed apple slices and arugula.

By leaning on speed scratch foods like frozen roasted veggies and fruits, operators can offer foods that taste great and provide optimal nutrition, all without spending countless hours doing prep work. With many consumers’ current focus on nutrition, it makes sense to move vegetables to the center of the plate in a way that still satisfies diners.  By using frozen roasted options, offering these healthy meals is easy—and keeps diners coming back.

This post is sponsored by Simplot

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