Now more than ever, it is important for us to put health first. Knorr Professional is looking to champion good food and healthy living in South Africa. That is why Knorr Professional created the Plate of The Nation report, to better understand the eating habits of South Africans.
The report found that South Africans eat too many of the same foods, meaning our diets are unbalanced, and as a result, our health is suffering. In fact, according to the Indigo Wellness Index, South Africa is one of the unhealthiest nations in the world.
It is not all bad news, this is an opportunity for Knorr Professional and us, the South African food industry to start to create new dishes for our menus which are not only tasty but are good for our customer’s health and wellbeing.
So, what exactly is on our plates?
The current South African plate has a large proportion of meat and starch but is lacking in vegetables. The current plate consists of 41% starch and 26% meat with only 13% vegetables and the rest composed of fats and oils, dairy and legumes. This is consistent across all areas and population groups.
What should be on our plates?
Here are four ways to change up our menu with delicious recipes that provide our customers with a more balanced and nutritious plate.
DISH RECOMMENDATIONS TO FIX THE PLATE OF THE NATION:
Add More Nutrition to your Meat Dishes
Meat, fish and poultry are excellent sources of protein, iron and zinc. Low iron levels can lead to tiredness, the reduced ability to work and less resistance to infection. Improve the nutritional value of your meat dishes by combining them with a mix of tasty vegetables, increasing your wholegrain ingredients, and ensuring that the dishes you serve have a balance of all the essential ingredients your body requires. When eating red meat, opt for lean meat. Also try experimenting with sustainably-sourced fish, beans and legumes, dairy and chicken.
Why not add Chicken, Sweet Potato, Lentil & Kale Curry recipe to your menu?
Plant-Based Protein Recipes
The easiest way to add plant-based protein dishes to your menu is to swap out your meat protein with plant-based options. Good sources of plant-protein include legumes such as beans, peas, lentils, as well as nuts, seeds and soy products. These foods provide your customers with iron and zinc, which are important for maintaining a strong immune system.
Why not try this Zesty Chickpeas Patties in a Tomato and Herb Explosion recipe?
Adding Vegetable-rich Recipes to your Menu
Adopting a vegetable-rich menu is one of the most important actions we as Chefs can do for the health of our customers and the health of the planet. Simply put – it means adding more vegetables to our dishes or changing up the commonly used vegetable offerings with less common veggies such as sweet potatoes, baby marrow, mushrooms and broccoli.
Try this veggie-packed Sweet Chilli Garlic Chicken Stir Fry.
Carbohydrates are necessary for a healthy, energised and well-fuelled body. They are also an important source of fibre. Ingredients available to use range from grains, to breads and cereals; however, the key is to ensure that there is a variety of wholegrain ingredients in your menu. Try making simple swap outs such as replacing white bread with wholewheat bread to help boost the nutrition of your dishes.
Start with this Roasted Eggplant, Mushroom and Mozzarella Sandwich.