These days, diners are increasingly voicing their concerns about nutrition and wellbeing, so as chefs we need to find new ways to provide healthy, interesting food choices.
This is particularly important during Ramadan, when hunger from fasting combined with a buffet setting can lead to overeating. It’s up to us to make small tweaks and adjustments to our menus to offer healthy, light options that are still satisfying – leaving our diners happy not only with the food, but with their waistlines too.
This is particularly important during Ramadan, when hunger from fasting combined with a buffet setting can lead to overeating. It’s up to us to make small tweaks and adjustments to our menus to offer healthy, light options that are still satisfying – leaving our diners happy not only with the food, but with their waistlines too!
Fried food tends to be a big hit on Iftar buffets, but if you want to offer a healthier choice this year, baking rather than frying is an ideal option.
By lightly brushing samosas, falafel and vegetable chips with oil and cooking them in the oven, you still achieve a crispy, great-tasting finish, without the excess grease that comes from deep-frying.
To get you started, a good example of this is our Baked Samosas.
We know that these days, diners are more keen to try healthy, vegetable-based dishes than ever before. From heart-healthy pulses such as chickpeas and lentils to light, fresh soups and bright salads, there are plenty of ways to give your Iftar menu a nutritious boost.
This also means that we can be more adventurous with classic dishes and give the diner lots of options. Check out our website for three new ways with hummus, where kale, carrots and sun-dried tomatoes are the star flavours, each offering great bags of nutrition.
In addition, if you want to encourage diners to think about portion control, a good place to start is serving food, such as hummus, in small, portion-sized dishes.
Low-carb lifestyles are all the rage – yet diners can often struggle to find alternatives to bread and rice on the buffet table. This doesn’t have to be the case and traditional dishes with a base of rice or breads don’t need to disappear. With a few simple changes they can become more appealing to those cutting down carbs.
For example, incorporate other grains that are equally filling and even more nutritious, such as using high-fibre brown rice for pilafs or going 50/50 with quinoa and white rice. Another hot trend is to use cauliflower as a carb substitute – our recipe for Harissa-Glazed Salmon with Cauliflower Couscous is not only super-trendy, but also a delicious alternative to standard couscous.
There’s nothing like a sweet ending to a big savoury meal. During Ramadan, the bounty of sweets is endless, so even if your diners are already full they will find some room for dessert.
As chefs, we can easily offer healthier sweet options on the buffet table. Sliced or whole fresh fruits are a great way to tick those ‘good nutrition’ boxes, while alternatives to processed white sugar, such as coconut sugar and honey, will make baked goods more nutritious.