Kick Start 2024 With These Feel-Good Catering Ideas
Planning an event early in the new year always poses a potentially thorny issue catering-wise. The combination of festive overindulgence and new year’s resolutions to get fit and healthy make it feel like every other person is on a diet of one kind or another.
Serving up food at an event, therefore, becomes a delicate balancing act. On the one hand, you want to create the right impression with a menu or spread that gets mouths watering and tongues wagging. But on the other, you absolutely don’t want to be in a position where half the food doesn’t get eaten because half your guests are on a health kick.
So what do you do? As experienced event caterers, one thing we know works a treat for any kind of event is having a theme for the food you serve. With that in mind, you have the perfect solution – why not embrace the new year diet fad and make a virtue of dishing up healthy kick cuisine?
The critical thing here is that, contrary to many people’s expectations, being healthy doesn’t have to mean being boring or uninspiring. A lot of people approach trying to eat better as a form of self-punishment, denying themselves all semblance of taste and satisfaction. No wonder it doesn’t last.
As an event organiser, this gives you an opportunity. Think of it as doing a public service. With a carefully chosen menu, you can wow your guests with how delicious health-conscious eating can be, and so inspire them to see their own better living plans through this time. It’s a win-win all around. Not only will it ensure you don’t put any guests in the awkward position of having to decline that sumptuous-looking but calorific dessert or else break their resolution, the healthy eating theme will become a talking point that will make your entire event all the more memorable.
When we think ‘salad’, we automatically conjure up images of lots of leafy greens, raw shredded vegetables, cucumbers and tomatoes, perhaps topped off by a zingy, flavoursome dressing to hold it all together. This is all very good for you, of course. But it’s also not very substantial, a side dish or the lightest of lunches at best.
The nutritional benefits of salads can be topped up and fleshed out into something more satisfying by the addition of a good, healthy source of protein. Proteins are essential in our diet, of course – they are the building blocks of pretty much every fibre in our bodies. And eating meals high in protein can leave us feeling full for longer, reducing the chances of unhealthy snacking between meals.
For a super tasty low-carb protein salad that kicks a real nutrition and flavour kick, we are very proud of our grilled teriyaki chicken salad with lettuce, pineapple, spring onion, shredded cabbage, red pepper, carrot and sesame vinaigrette. Sticking with the same oriental theme but with an extra carb boost (there’s nothing wrong with carbs in moderation, of course), we also do ginger and garlic prawns with soba noodles and a salad of broccoli, spring onion, mangetout, edamame bean, and soya and honey dressing. Count the food groups in that one!
Or for a vegan option, customers love our Moroccan-inspired sweet potato falafel with harissa couscous, grilled Mediterranean vegetables, baby spinach and hummus.
Vegan Sandwiches & Wraps
Speaking of vegan offers, to many people nowadays January means Veganuary. It’s not just a health thing – a lot of people like to do their bit cutting down on meat and dairy by getting it all out of the way at once, at the start of the year when they are feeling particularly motivated.
Again, this is a great opportunity for you to take a lead at your event and maybe inspire people to eat more plant-based meals throughout the year. Because – whisper it – vegan food can and should be absolutely delicious!
For a business lunch or daytime reception where a light snack is all that is required, we’re confident our vegan sandwiches and wraps will wow even the staunchest meat lover. Our BBQ crispy tofu sandwich with ginger chilli chutney and avocado is a crunchy, spicy, sweet, silky taste sensation, while we have two equally delicious Mediterranean-style offers built around delectably smoky grilled vegetables – a wrap with falafel and hummus, and a sandwich with tahini and sesame seeds.
Healthy Grazing Platters
As everyone knows, sharing is caring, so why not share the healthy eating vibes around with delicious and nutritious grazing platters? Large shared plates are increasingly popular at events because of their flexibility. They are perfect if you are looking for something a little less formal than a sit-down meal, and can be adapted for everything from light bites and nibbles to a more substantial buffet-type affair.
They are also great because you can serve up more or less anything you want. Cold cuts, seafood, grilled vegetables, salads, nuts and seeds, crudites and dips – combine the tastiest, healthiest ingredients in any way you like to create plates that will make taste buds tingle and keep the health-conscious satisfied.
Fruit & Cereal Pots
Finally, if you’re planning a networking breakfast or want to give guests the perfect start to an all-day event, don’t get stuck thinking you have to stick with pastries or bacon sandwiches. A healthy breakfast can set you up for the day, and there’s nothing better than fruit and cereal pots.
Our options range from straightforward fresh fruit salads to fruit, seed, nut and oat combinations, to delicious yoghurt, granola and compote pots – including a vegan yoghurt option. Oh, and these pots also double up as fantastic healthy desserts, giving your guests the chance to indulge their sweet tooth without having to feel guilty about it.