Four Food Trends We’re Predicting for 2018

In line at Whole Foods perusing food magazines, it’s hard not to notice a theme this time of year. It seems like everyone in food (especially the health food scene) tries to guess what the next Kale, Quinoa, Coconut oil or Kombucha will be. What food trends are predicted for 2018? Paging through my favorite issues while my groceries inch down the conveyer belt, it’s clear that everyone’s thinking about simplicity and ease when it comes to cooking. Meal prep ideas are the rage. As private chefs who basically do that for a living and for ourselves, we’re experts on the matter. Here are four prep ahead food trends we’re predicting for 2018:

A Little Sprinkle Here…

The key to meal prep is having things on hand that you can throw together in a pinch. That’s why I think things like “sprinkles” (coined by Bon Appetit) and sauces are so on trend. They’re perfect for just that–whipping things up and keeping them in the fridge! Not only are these sauces and seed mixes easy to keep on hand, they’re also healthy and protein rich. Sprinkles and sauces are a quick Sunday activity too (#mealprepsundays). Roast your favorite nut (almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, etc.), toast some sesame seeds (or pepitas, chia seeds, hempseeds, etc.) and toss with maldon salt, red pepper flakes, smoked paprika, granulated garlic…you name it.

Think about the stuff you pinch (or “sprinkle”) onto your plate last minute. Something crunchy, something salty, and something spicy. It’s what granola is to breakfast yogurt. Keep your preferred mix at your fingertips in a jar in your pantry or fridge. Here are a few “sprinkle” recipes to tickle your taste buds: the general idea to build off of and a little something extra to get your creative juices flowing. A good “starter” sprinkle is panko, garlic and parmesan. Saute panko in a little olive oil until golden, adding in minced garlic for the last minute or two. Then add grated parmesan off the heat. Cool and store in the fridge to top soups, salads or other cooked vegetable dishes throughout the week.

Creamy miso tahini dressing with charred broccoli and crispy tofu

…A Little Drizzle There

Sauces work the same way. These homemade condiments can also be packed with nutrients: omega-3 infused anchovies, probiotic rich miso, protein packed greek yogurt to name a few. With the rise of fermented flavors (another food trend, link to Gillian’s take on it here) we’re obsessed with putting a teaspoon of miso in our tahini dressing. It adds tangy, savory flair to the nutty, creamy tahini. Bonus that it’s good for your gut. This dressing can be thinned out and tossed in a salad or better yet drizzled on your roasted veggies. (Here’s a recipe for reference if you need one.)

We love fresh herbs, which means we always have them in our fridge. There’s almost nothing more satisfying than freeing up space in our crisper drawers and putting all the sad, end-of-week herbs in a blender with some olive oil, a little zest and and anchovy filet. Salsa Verde! This stuff is delicious on practically everything. If you throw in some yogurt or avocado, it transforms into green goddess. These sauces are my go-to show stoppers and they’re literally made by just throwing things odds and ends together.

Yogurt With Everything

Our self-proclaimed trend is the rise of plain Greek yogurt or skyr as ingredients. We love to dollop them on everything, from build-your-own rice bowls to chicken tortilla soup. I even put in on top of my scrambled eggs. It adds that creamy richness you get from sour cream but without the guilt. The probiotics make it much better for you. The tang…you’ll love the tang.

Plant-based Bean Stew with Crunchy Wild Mushrooms

A Mostly Plant-Based Diet

Plant based proteins are becoming more popular every year and it feels like the list just keeps getting longer. They include tofu, tempeh, quinoa, lentils, beans, chia seeds, and various nuts. With so many vegan/vegetarian clients we keep this list of possibilities under our belt at all times. It’s becoming clearer that we don’t need as much protein as we think. I try to stick to one animal based protein a day and often end up eating meat just a few times a week. A mix of quinoa and beans (a cup of each) is enough to fulfill half of my recommended daily intake. That’s half in just one meal! With that in mind, I’m always thinking of ways to minimize my need for animal proteins and I’m not the only one. I don’t consider myself a vegetarian, but I’m not limiting myself to animal products and I think that’s where the trend in headed. There’s even a word for it: Flexitarian. This is defined by people who are not committed to a full vegetarian diet but prefer to eat mostly plant-based foods. Long live plant love!






New Year’s Practice is the New Resolution: Homemade Hummus

Mediterranean Hummus with roasted pine nuts

We made it through the holidays and toasted to the New Year, now it’s time to get to work on our resolutions. Although a resolution implies that we want to make positive changes in our lives, I think oftentimes we get caught up in more negative connotations. It’s like we’re saying that the 2016 version of ourselves wasn’t enough and we need to be smarter, richer, thinner, you name it, this year.

Hummus with pine nuts and parsley

So, in 2017, instead of a resolution, I’m setting a “practice”. Mahatma Gandhi famously said, “an ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching.” In order to make lasting changes in your life you need to practice and practice makes perfect right? My practice is food related, but instead of eliminating bad foods from my diet, which would bring us down the negative resolution path, I’m choosing to view my goals as a learning experience. So here it is: In 2017, I will savor anything my heart desires as long as it’s homemade. And I don’t have to be perfect.

Mediterranean Hummus

More than anything, this will allow me to learn. With each passing day I spend as a chef, I discover more about how much there is to learn. For me, that mean’s doing. I could read every word of every cookbook on my shelf (33 of them, but who’s counting?), but to retain the information and knowledge of my cooking heroes, I need to make stuff and practice what my teachers preach. So, with my practice, I’ll kill two birds with one stone: I’ll respect my every day cravings (brioche buns, cappuccinos…) and teach myself how to make the things I eat that aren’t homemade. It may seem like a tall order but ultimately I’m hoping to make it a part of my routine, second nature, like riding a bike.

Pine nuts for Mediterranean Hummus

The first step to forming a new routine is setting boundaries and guidelines. Here are mine…

  • This is not a cleanse, but a clean-out! I’m ridding my pantry of all processed foods and filling it with the bare necessities. In an excerpt from Laura’s post about habits, Strengthening Willpower Starts at Home, she writes, “Don’t buy it. Clearly the easiest way to resist temptation foods in your home is to not allow them entry in the first place.”
  • If I’m craving it, make it! It’s my hope that by taking the time to make something like ice cream from scratch, I’ll actually wind up enjoying it more. Not to mention, there’s probably an added benefit of wanting to make homemade things last longer because savoring food means you’re eating less.
  • Make it in bulk and freeze your heart out! Many menu-planning-star-students have mastered this craft already and for this practice it’s absolutely necessary in a household with full workweeks. This means hardening off a few hours of my Sundays to making bulk snacks, freezer-friendly meals and prepped menu goodies. This would include things like our Olive Oil Salty-Sweet Granola, freshly blended hummus, homemade pita, frozen smoothie mixes, meatballs and soups, as well as portioned salad ingredients like toasted nuts and mandolined veggies (the way we do for our clients). This makes the task of piecing it all together after a long day a piece of cake.
  • Ask for help and help others! Sometimes it feels like it takes a village to put dinner on the table so it’s helpful to know how to delegate. I live with my boyfriend, a notoriously reluctant cook, who has really stepped up to the plate (pun-intended) in recent months and has even come up with a few of his own individual home-cooking goals. Teaching is another great tactic for retaining kitchen knowledge so entertaining is also permitted!
  • Let dining out be motivating, not shameful! Most of my inspiration and passion for cooking comes from experiencing new cuisines and keeping up with trending dishes. I live in NYC for goodness sake! When it’s all said and done by limiting my food-exposure, I’m undermining my curiosity as a chef and isn’t that the whole point of my new practice?

Mediterranean lunch

So here’s to 2017! I’m wishing you all a delicious, homemade food-filled year ahead. First task? Getting rid of that awful store-bought tub of hummus and giving mine a go.

Charlotte’s Homemade Mediterranean Hummus

  • 1 15-oz cans chickpeas, drained
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2/3 cup tahini paste
  • Juice and zest of one lemon
  • 3 tsp. kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1 cup ice water
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 3 tbs. good olive oil (approximately)
  • 2 tbs. fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • Pinch crushed red pepper, or to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tbs. pine nuts, toasted


  1. In a medium sauce-pan over medium heat mix chickpeas and baking soda, stirring constantly for 2-3 minutes until the baking soda has dissolved.
  2. Add enough water to cover the chickpeas and bring to a boil. Simmer until the chickpeas become really soft, but not mushy. Strain off the shells that float to the surface.
  3. Strain and transfer to a blender or food processer and process until the mixture resembles a paste. It’s okay if it’s lumpy.
  4. With the blade spinning add in lemon juice and ½ the zest, tahini paste, salt and gradually pour in the ice water (with ice cubes) until the mixture becomes smooth and silky. You may need more or less water depending on the power of your blender so watch carefully.
  5. Meanwhile heat a small skillet with the olive oil until hot. Add the crushed garlic cloves allow them to sizzle and brown on both sides pushing them down with the back of your spatula, about 5 minutes.
  6. Reserve the excess oil in a small mixing bowl to cool and drop the sautéed garlic into the food processor and blend until combined. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  7. Once the oil has cooled add parsley, crushed red pepper, lemon zest, pepper and a pinch of salt. Stir until combined. Add extra oil to loosen if necessary.
  8. Spoon hummus into a serving dish and pour the parsley-oil over. Finish with a sprinkle of toasted pine nuts and enjoy!

With love, Charlotte