What’s trending in food for 2019 thus far? Is it still kale, chia seeds, and 15-hour smoked meats? Who decides what’s on trend anyway? The answer is that the consumer really dictates what’s on trend. Yes, restaurant and celebrity chefs get inspired and create dishes, but what actually becomes popular is usually determined by what people start making in their home kitchens.

I follow farmer’s markets for new vegetable varieties, lots of different food writers and bloggers, and love to check out new restaurant menus too, and then try and create kosher recipes to keep in that trendy spirit. Here are some top trends of 2019 thus far.


Trend 1: Breakfast is the most important meal so also make it for dinner

Breakfast Scramble Tacos

Photo by epicurious.com

Serves 6

  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 2 poblano chiles or red or green peppers or store bought roasted peppers
  • 1 large avocado, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1-1/2 oz. (3 Tbs.) unsalted butter
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped white onion
  • 6 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, plus leaves for sprinkling
  • 6 8-inch corn or flour tortillas or a combination, charred
  • Salsa, for serving
  • Sour cream, or homemade crema (recipe below) for serving

Bring a medium saucepan of generously salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes, and cook until just tender, about 8 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, char the poblanos over a gas burner or under a broiler until blackened all over. Transfer to a large bowl, and cover tightly with plastic wrap until cool. Peel, remove the stems and seeds, and cut into small dice.

In a small bowl or pie plate, toss the avocado with the lime juice and a pinch of salt.

In a large skillet, heat the butter over medium heat. Add the eggs, salt, and pepper, and cook, stirring gently, until just beginning to set. Stir in the poblanos, potatoes, and onion. Cook, stirring, until the eggs are set and the mixture is sizzling, about 2 minutes. Fold in the cheese and cilantro, and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the cheese has melted.

Fill the tortillas with the egg and potato mixture. Drizzle with salsa and sour cream. Top with the avocado, sprinkle with the cilantro leaves, and serve.

Crema

  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • ½ teaspoon heavy cream
  • Pinch of salt

Avocado Toasts

Photo by WhatsGabycooking

Serves 2

This trend is so popular that it's even appearing on kosher restaurant menus. My favorite variety is mashed avocado on toasty grainy bread, and sunny side up egg oozing over the top. Make up your own version or use some of the suggestions below.

  • One 8-ounce ripe avocado, halved, pitted and peeled
  • Fine salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 slices whole grain or whole wheat bread
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and halved
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or unsalted butter, softened
  • Flaky sea salt, for serving
  • Crushed red pepper flakes, optional

Mash the avocado with a fork in a shallow bowl until chunky. Season with fine salt and black pepper.

Toast the bread until browned and crisp. Lightly rub 1 side of each slice with the cut side of the garlic until fragrant; discard the garlic. Lightly brush the toasts with oil, and season with fine salt and pepper. Divide the mashed avocado evenly among the toasts, and top with more flaky sea salt, more black pepper and red pepper flakes if using.

Toppings:

Add garlic: Lightly rub a peeled raw garlic clove over the top of your toast before adding the avocado, or mix a tiny pinch of garlic powder into the avocado.

Add fresh leafy herbs or your favorite herbed sauce:Chopped fresh basil, cilantro, dill or parsley are all good with avocado. So is a drizzle of pesto, zhoug sauce (spicy cilantro sauce), or chimichurri.

Put an egg on it: I love to top my avocado toast with a fried egg for extra protein (example here). You can do a poached egg or scrambled egg if you prefer.

More extras: Quick-pickled onions or radishes or jalapeños, your favorite hot sauce, or a sprinkle of sliced cherry tomatoes.


Trend 2: Mediterranean Flavors, especially those from Israel (Michael Solomonov, from Zahav just won the James Beard Award)

Mediterranean Farro Salad

Photo by Abra’s Kitchen

Serves 8

Both the dressing and the grain, farro, are on trend in this salad. Farro is a bit nutty, and chewy and has great flavor. It holds well in the refrigerator but like other grains should be seasoned when warm. Use whatever vegetables you have in this salad, like zucchini, or roasted peppers, but make sure to use good tasting olives, and chives.

  • 10 ounces farro (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus 1/2 teaspoon
  • 8 ounces green beans, cut into 1- to 2-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup pitted black olives
  • 1 medium red pepper, cut into thin strips (about 4 ounces or 1 cup)
  • 3 ounces Parmesan, crumbled (about 3/4 cup), or feta, optional
  • 1 small bunch chives, snipped (about 1/4 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon sumac or paprika
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a medium saucepan, combine 4 cups of water with the farro. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat until the farro is almost tender, about 20 minutes. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of the salt and simmer until the farro is tender, about 10 minutes longer. Drain well. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool.

Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the green beans and stir. Cook for 2 minutes. Transfer the cooked green beans to a bowl of ice water and let cool for 2 minutes. Drain the green beans.

Once the farro has cooled add the green beans, olives, red pepper, Parmesan, if using, and chives. Stir to combine. In a small bowl mix together the both vinegars, olive oil, mustard, cumin, sumac, pepper, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir to combine. Pour the vinaigrette over the farro salad. Toss to combine and serve.

Turmeric Rice

Photo by Acleanbake

Serves 5

Turmeric is a Mediterranean spice with tremendous health benefits. It is known to help with anti-inflammation and brain function. Coconut oil is being tested to help slow the detrimental effects of Alzheimer’s disease. Best ever, it tastes fantastic.

  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil
  • ½ cup finely diced onions
  • 1 cup short-grain brown rice
  • ¼ cup golden raisins
  • ½ teaspoon dried turmeric
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 2 ½ cups vegetable stock or water
  • Salt and pepper

Heat a medium saucepan to medium heat. Once heated, add the oil and allow to heat up. Once the oil is heated, add the onions and saute until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the rice, raisins, turmeric and garlic. Toss to coat. Saute gently until you smell a nutty aroma, about 2 minutes, and then add the stock. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook until the rice is tender, about 45 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to steam for 5 minutes prior to removing the lid. Season with salt and pepper, and fluff with a fork before serving.

Miso Tahini Dressing

Makes 1 cup

Use atop salad, mixed mesclun greens, lots of crunchy radish and cucumber or over grilled or baked fish.

  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 1 tablespoon red miso
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ¼ cup or more warm water
  • Freshly cracked black pepper

In a small bowl or lidded jar, combine the tahini, miso and lemon juice. Mix with a spoon into a smooth paste. Add the warm water gradually, stirring or shaking (if using a jar) until the dressing reaches desired consistency. It may need more than 1/4 cup. Taste for seasoning. Add pepper if desired. Store in the refrigerator for about a week. Dressing thickens up as it sits, so you will need to add more water to thin.

Cauliflower Fried Rice

Photo by mycrazygoodlife.com

Serves 6

This is a great go-to side dish because it feels like a rice dish but is actually made from cauliflower. To make your own, just dry the fresh or frozen cauliflower very well and process it with the on-off pulse method in a food processor. It is also available fresh in many kosher markets with that store’s kosher hashgacha on it as well as in the frozen section, both from kosher brands and national market brands. Mix in any vegetables of your choice and try it with other wonderful dried seasonings like curry, cumin, or basil and oregano.

  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup finely chopped sweet onion (about 4 oz.)
  • 2 tablespoons grated garlic
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1 cup frozen shelled edamame (about 4-3/4 oz.)
  • 1 tablespoon. minced jalapeño
  • ½ cup small-dice red bell pepper (about 2-1/2 oz.)
  • 1 (16 ounce) bag frozen cauliflower rice, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon. sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon. rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoons soy sauce; more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons. sliced scallions, green part only
  • 1 tablespoon. toasted sesame seeds, for garnish

Heat peanut oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onion and cook until soft, stirring occasionally, about 1 minute. Add the garlic and ginger, and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the edamame, and jalapeño, stirring occasionally, until warmed through, about 2 minutes. Add the bell pepper and continue to cook, about 30 seconds more. Add the cauliflower, sesame oil, vinegar, and soy sauce, and stir until combined. Season to taste with salt and soy sauce, if needed. Cook until all is warmed through. Transfer to a serving platter, and top with scallion greens, and sesame seeds.

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Photo by Green Giant

Makes 2 pizza crusts

Healthier and lighter than traditional pizza this is a food trend I’ve embraced. It’s also great for people who eat gluten-free or are gluten-sensitive. It has a dough feel to it so it's very satiating.

  • 1 large head cauliflower (2-3/4 to 3 lb.)
  • 2 cups low-moisture shredded mozzarella (about 8 oz.)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon. granulated onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Olive-oil flavored cooking spray
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves
  • Crushed red pepper flakes, for serving

Position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 400°F.

Cut the florets from the cauliflower, and discard the core. Coarsely chop the florets, transfer to a food processor, pulse, then process, in batches if necessary, until the cauliflower becomes the consistency of moist, cooked couscous. Spread the cauliflower evenly on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake for 15 minutes, tossing halfway through.

When cool enough to handle, transfer the cauliflower to a clean kitchen towel, and squeeze until very dry. (You should get 1-1/2 to 2 cups of liquid from the cauliflower; removing as much liquid as possible will give the crust a better texture.)

Put the cauliflower in a medium bowl. Add 1/2 cup of the mozzarella, the egg, garlic, onion, oregano, 3/4 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Mix until well combined. Generously coat a large parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet with the cooking spray. Press the cauliflower dough into two rounds about 3/16 inch thick and 7 1/2 inches in diameter, being sure to press closed any cracks. Bake until light golden, about 22 minutes, turning halfway through. Remove from the oven, and let cool slightly. Generously coat another piece of parchment with cooking spray. Put the paper coated side down over the crusts. Cover with another large rimmed baking sheet, and flip the crusts over onto the baking sheet. Gently peel off the top parchment, return to the oven, and continue to bake until light golden, turning halfway through, 12 to 14 minutes more.

Transfer the rack to the top third of the oven. Brush the crusts with the oil. Spread 2 Tbs. of the sauce evenly over each crust, leaving about a 1/2-inch border. Evenly sprinkle the remaining 1 1/2 cups of mozzarella and the Parmigiano on the crusts, staying within the border. Return to the oven, and bake until the cheese is just melted and bubbly, about 7 minutes. Top with the basil and pepper flakes, and serve immediately.