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February 6, 2020
Foods that are here…to stay!

I mean these foods that we either came across with during 2019 or became more well-known in the previous year. Of course, they will be part of countless more recipes in 2020 as well, and this way, we will get to know them even better! It’s safe to say that all these “new” foods have become part of our everyday lives and -actually- it seems that they can help us follow a more balanced diet and a more sustainable lifestyle. In fact, I observe that more and more people are trying to stay informed for the benefit of their health and the environment, too.

So, shall we find out which are these foods and in which recipes I used them the previous year?

Pasta made with legumes or with extra protein

For those who have a hard time adding legumes to their diet, and who love pasta too much, the solution has finally been found! Or at least an alternative. I’m talking about pasta made of legumes, and more specifically made of lentils, chickpeas, black beans, or even a mix of them. It is a type of food that seems to contain more protein and fiber than regular pasta, and for this reason, it is considered a healthier alternative. Of course, it is also a solution for people who do not want to include a lot of legumes in their diet. This is probably because they do not prefer these particular flavors or maybe because legumes are hard for them to digest properly, making them feel bloated. Despite all that, it doesn’t mean that we have to consume this kind of pasta daily and limitlessly… Just like all foods, it should be consumed reasonably!

Another trend that we came across with in 2019 is pasta with extra protein, and specifically, with oat protein. This type of food also seems to be a healthier choice regarding pasta, as well as an alternative for those who exercise a lot, given that it contains more protein. This will probably help us keep our blood sugar levels more stable, it will help us feel more satiated, and -may- help us gain more muscle mass. 

Legume pasta or high-protein pasta is definitely ideal to help us maintain a more balanced diet, given that it is consumed reasonably, as I mentioned above!

Healthy penne pasta salad (High protein)

Healthy penne pasta salad (high protein) by the Greek chef Akis Petretzikis

Healthy penne with pork tenderloin (high protein)

Healthy penne with pork tenderloin (High protein) by the Greek chef Akis Petretzikis


More plant-based foods

The truth is that the vegan diet is becoming more and more well-known and it is even used by people who never thought that they would change their diets to this point and turn to these food alternatives. Nutritionists, as well as environmentalists, definitely agree that following a diet with more fruits, vegetables, and generally plant-based foods and cereals or pseudocereals, is perfect both for our health and for the environment. Of course, the fact that the Mediterranean diet -that includes all the above- is still the best diet, compared to all the others, is not by chance!

Tahini and bulgur velvet soup 

Tahini and bulgur velvet soup by the Greek chef Akis Petretzikis

Ratatouille quinoa soup

Ratatouille quinoa soup by the Greek chef Akis Petretzikis


The milk alternatives

Beverages like almond milk, oat milk, coconut milk, lactose-free milk or the ones with extra protein/ pea protein have become very popular and they are used almost in every coffee shop nowadays. Of course, this is the best solution to satisfy all tastes.

However, we do not only see them there, but also in many recipes -as you will see below. They are ideal for people who are lactose intolerant or for those who do not consume milk and want to add a different flavor both to their beverages and dishes.

Vegan coconut yogurt

Vegan coconut yogurt by the Greek chef Akis Petretzikis


All the flour alternatives for pizza

The fact that we see the flour in pizza dough being replaced with other foods like cauliflower or potato – sweet potato, is something that has really impressed me. Who would expect that there are so many, much healthier alternatives for our favorite pizza that are worth trying and adding to our diet? I personally loved them and since they seem to contain fewer calories, I’m thinking of keeping them in my diet and replacing the flour in my dough for every pizza!

Healthy cauliflower pizza

Healthy cauliflower pizza by the Greek chef Akis Petretzikis


Meat alternatives

Since the excessive meat consumption seems to have negative effects both on our health and the environment, I think all these alternatives that have been created lately, will be foods that will define our diets and our recipes from now on. Have you ever tried to replace meat with mushrooms or soy in some of the recipes that you love and that you thought could never be consumed without the meat? Well, I challenge you to make the two recipes below and send me your impressions!

Vegan soy mince lasagna

Vegan soy mince lasagna by the Greek chef Akis Petretzikis

Mushroom casserole - Stifado

Mushroom casserole - Stifado by the Greek chef Akis Petretzikis

All these were just a few examples…Just #staytuned and I have many more and even yummier recipes for you-with all the new and old trends- in 2020!


This article was written in collaboration with the Sports Nutritionist Anna Maria Volanaki, MSc, BDA, SENr.

*The above information is based on published research findings.

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