• Chris Posner, CEC

A Cut Above...and Beyond

Grilled Porterhouse. Seared Filet Mignon. Slow roasted Prime Rib. Salivating yet? While many of us are familiar with these traditional cuts of meat, many of us have also made a conscious decision to replace our favorite cuts of beef with cauliflower steak, beet filet, and Portobello bacon.

The rise in popularity of “plant based”, “veg forward”, “pant powered”, or simply “flexitarian” diets has led to the rise of two food trends.

The first trend is vegetable butcher shops. These vegetarian boutique shops started popping up in recent years taking advantage of the rise in popularity of vegetarians and flexitarians alike. Eataly, in New York, offers a Vegetable Butcher counter where patrons can bring their raw veggies to be “butchered”, trimmed, or chopped. In addition, if you have a question about your vegetable, or need advice on how to cook it, your neighborhood Eataly Vegetable Butcher has the answer and is happy to help.

Vegan BBQ Chopped Pork

Herbivorous Butcher in Minneapolis touts “Small Batch from Scratch”, and offers, “100% vegan, cruelty-free meat and cheese alternatives that capture the best flavors, textures, and nutrients most people are used to without their negative impacts on health, animals, and the environment.” This family owned shop offers smokey vegan ribs, hickory vegan bacon, and vegan maple sage breakfast sausage, to name a few items.

The second trend is what is called “root to stem” cooking. Chefs who have focused on “snout to tail” cooking over the past decade, or utilizing the whole animal, are now applying the same concept to vegetables. So, while carrot top greens were once relegated to a stock pot, or a garbage can, chefs are now utilizing them in things like ‘carrot top pesto’. Beet greens are lightly dressed with olive oil and lemon and eaten as a salad. And broccoli stems are julienne for broccoli slaw. Zero waste kitchens.

As the world’s population has crested 7.8 billion people, and is expected to continue to rise through 2050, a meat centric diet is not viewed as environmentally sustainable, and food waste is not an option.

So, while many of us enjoy a juicy steak every once in a while, the time is right to dive into a juicy grilled eggplant steak with turnip green pesto and a side of sautéed radish top. Salivating yet?