What’s hot for 2020? It's a bit funny to me that even food can be trendy. But it's true, whatever the writers, chefs, and restaurants are producing become grocery store products or instagram sensations. So for 2020 is it shakshuka and goats milk, runny egg on everything, or something altogether different? Here’s what my sources are saying…

Plant based everything: It's not just the impossible burger, its everything plant based including eggs, meats, yogurts, jerky, you name it.

Veggie Snacks: Think cauliflower chips, but veggie transformations are bigger than ever before. Bean chips, squash crackers, broccoli crisps, the food market is serious about getting your full servings of vegetables.

Fancy pantry supplies: Move over white flour, consumers REALLY care about how we stock the pantry this year. So products like spelt and coconut flour, whole wheat pastry flour, nut butters, healthy honey, and artisanal oils just made cooking a bit more expensive.

Charcuterie is still hot, lots of varied meat or cheese boards for grazing and socializing while less formal its still an upscale way to entertain.

Humble foods continue to upstage foie gras and standing rib roast. Slow simmered beans cooked in Dutch ovens are trending in restaurants.

Try these recipes that incorporate the latest trends.

Brown Sugar Baked Beans with Pastrami

Photo by Chay Berger

Serves 8

Savory, sweet, and smoky, this is winter’s go-to comfort food and tasty side dish. The truth is, it is summer friendly too and a must-have at all BBQs. Pair with hotdogs, hamburgers, grilled chicken, roast turkey, or in a warm dish all on its own.

  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • ½ lb. pastrami, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 (15-ounce) cans navy beans, Great Northern beans, or white beans
  • 3 tablespoons molasses
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain or Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 300°F.

Heat the oil in a large, ovenproof pot over medium heat. Add pastrami and cook until lightly browned, about 6 - 8 minutes. Pour off all but 2-3 tablespoons remaining oil (if there is no extra oil it’s okay too). Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add 1 can of beans with its liquid. Drain and rinse the remaining beans, then add them to the pot. Add molasses, ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, pepper, salt, and about ½ cup hot water. Stir well.

Bake for 30 minutes, stir, and bake for another 20-30 minutes. Stir one more time and bake for approximately 15 additional minutes, until beans are thick and deep golden brown. Add water to adjust consistency if needed. Serve warm.

Kale Chips

Serves 4

Photo by Joy Food Sunshine

  • 1 bunch kale, rinsed and dried well (about 10 ounces)
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Any seasonings you like; blended spice mixture, crushed red pepper, onion powder, seasoning salt, Parmesan cheese, minced garlic, etc.

 

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Remove and discard the thick stems of the kale and tear the leaves into large pieces. Spread kale in a single layer on 2 large cookie sheets. Spray leaves with nonstick cooking spray to coat lightly. Sprinkle with salt and any seasoning of your choice. Bake just until the kale chips are crisp but not browned, 20-35 minutes. Cool.

Jicama Fries

Serves 6

Photo by Further Food

  • 1 jicama, sin removed and cut into ½-inch fries
  • 1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons paprika
  • 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons chili powder, optional
  • Lime juice, optional

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Place jicama fries in large low-sided rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with oil and toss.

In a small bowl, mix salt, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and chili powder if using. Sprinkle on jicama and toss to coat. Bake in the oven on top rack for 20 minutes. Before serving, sprinkle with more salt and lime juice.

Homemade Beef Jerky

Serves 6

Photo by The Healthy Foodie

My kids have been begging me to experiment with homemade jerky and admittedly I was hesitant. First I did not have a dehydrator and wasn't sure I wanted one, and second, it’s costly to mess this up. I guess it was black Friday pricing that did it. For a small amount I ordered a dehydrator and alas we are jerky makers! I’ve tried a bunch of flavors but think this is the best way to start and the general instructions are good for any marinade you try, homemade or store-bought.

  • 2 pounds London broil, oyster steak, minute steak, delmonico (or piece from the chuck)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (NON_FISH variety, do not use if contains anchovy)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons coarsely-ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke, optional but most traditional recipes include this
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Thinly-slice the steak into 1/8-inch thick strips, against the grain (which will be more tender). I recommend popping the steak in the freezer for 15-30 minutes before slicing so that it is easier to cut. Transfer the strips of steak to a large ziplock bag.

In a separate small mixing bowl, whisk all ingredients until combined. Pour mixture into the ziplock bag with the steak, seal the bag, and mix until steak is evenly coated.

Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 1 day.

Dehydrator instructions: Lay the strips out in a single layer on the trays of your dehydrator. Then follow the dehydrator’s instructions to cook the beef jerky until it is dry and firm, yet still a little bit pliable. (With my dehydrator, that meant cooking the jerky on medium heat for about 8 hours. But cooking times will vary based on the thickness of your meat, and the heat/brand of your dehydrator.) Remove jerky and transfer to a sealed container. Refrigerate for up to 1 month.

Oven instructions: Heat oven to 175°F. Adjust the racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions. Line two large baking sheets with aluminum foil, and place wire cooling racks on top of each sheet. Lay the strips out in a single layer on the wire racks. Bake until it is dry and firm, yet still a little bit pliable, about 4 hours, flipping the beef jerky once about halfway through. (Cooking times will vary based on the thickness of your meat.)

Spelt & Maple Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes 30 or more cookies

Our friend Yael made these for us and we all loved them. I’ve made them with butter and refined melted coconut oil and both create excellent results. They are a bit healthier than traditional cookies and include some updated flours, an option with coconut oil, and raw sugar.

  • 2 ½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup spelt flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup butter, margarine, room temperature or refined coconut oil (melted)
  • 1 ½ cups raw sugar (turbinado, this is coarser than regular sugar)
  • ⅓ cup pure maple syrup
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 cup white chips

Preheat oven to 375°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat mats.

In a medium bowl whisk together both flours, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.

In a bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, then add vanilla and maple syrup. Slowly mix in dry ingredients until just blended. Stir in chocolate chips, white chips and oats.

Using about 2 tablespoons each, drop cookies onto baking sheet leaving about 2-inches between each cookie.

Bake for 9 - 10 minutes, until lightly browned but still soft. Cool slightly before moving to a cooling rack.

Serve immediately or store in an air-tight container.