Adding some extra protein to your diet!!

Protein is one of the essentials of your diet intake of foods, but nowadays some of us like to add a little extra to help

us through our busy days especially if you go to a gym too. In some cases cutting down on carbohydrates and replacing them with protein-based foods might be better for you in the long run.

We are not experts or asking you to eat an extra helping of meat, as that is a main sauce of protein. There are others, eggs, dairy, fish, and for vegans nuts and pulses, all with a varying degree of protein content.

So just changing your diet slightly by taking out some carbohydrates such as pasta, potatoes, or rice and adding a cooked egg could help sustain a more healthy lifestyle especially those who workout at a gym on a regular basis.

Next time you’re cooking up a beef bolognese, maybe only cook a third of the amount of pasta but add a tin of borlotti beans to your bolognese. In this way you are adding more protein to your diet but not in the form of red meat.

Make a ratatouille with kidney beans and some cooked chicken and leave out the rice. Cook some lentils, spice them up with a curry paste and a spoon of yoghurt and sprinkle with some toasted nuts.

Starting the day well might make you feel better in yourself with a handful of fresh berries, to give you some fruit sugars for energy, combined with natural yoghurt, nut granola and again a sprinkle of extra almonds.

Please be careful when focusing on weight loss and using fat-free foods, somewhat surprisingly, some use extra sugars for taste and can be misleading. A good breakfast can set you up for the day and is a good way to start.

As we have said, we are no experts in nutrition, but would like to think taking a sensible approach to what you might eat, taking out a few foods or just cutting down, is a good place to start.

Create food to enjoy, this way you might enjoy what you eat.

 

 

LUNCH BAG – Blog

 

A Lunch bag, with all that you might need within it. A filled sandwich with either meat, fish, vegetarian or vegan on granary bread or if you are after a gluten-free bread too.

You can have a drink, a piece of fruit and a classic chocolate bar or crisps. Once the basics are decided you can add more such as a chocolate brownie, a savoury food such as sausage roll or a salad pot.

A lunch bag can do so much, help with social awareness, and keep colleagues safe. When you need people to feed but they would be in different areas, collect and go.

This brown paper bag can contain so much, it can be a safe option, you can add more and create your own selection for your colleagues, on the go lunch.

We are going to introduce some Asian flavoured foods, snacks that would be hard to find here, but would adda little twist in your lunch bag. From tempura seaweed to kimchi noodle bowls.

We are just expanding choice and flavours for you to enjoy

As well as an Asian influence, we are going to add breakfast bags to our lineup. With filled croissants , mini danish pastries, a drink and fruit, all that you might need for an early morning breakfast on the go.

Take a look at our lunch bag menu, it might be what you are looking for.

 

GRAZING TABLE OR BUFFET

We suppose there is not much difference between them, a buffet being a selection of foods normally placed in one line. You would take a dinner plate and choose

from a selection of what’s on offer and then be seated at a table to eat.

Please don’t get us wrong, a buffet would have a good choice of foods and a place to sit and enjoy whatever you may choose and some that works well, a bit more formal.

Whereas a grazing table in our minds is more individual items such as crostinis topped with mashed avocado and sunblushed tomatoes, rolls of prosciutto filled with celeriac remoulade. All decked out on a table to suit the number of guests, maybe at different levels with cut breads, fruits and flowers and foliage to set it all off.

For some this gives a more social aspect as you might not be seated once you have made your choice, but instead have smaller plates and a fork and rome around the grazing table to help yourself to whatever takes your eye

Sometimes desserts can be amongst the savoury, or placed on a grazing table of their own, for later in the evening. This can give colleagues a chance to nibble here and there, take a drink and keep going back for more. At some point introduce the desserts and again have a little of what you fancy more often.

There are no set rules, it’s what works for you in the space you might have available. Please call if you would like to explore grazing tables.

SWEET AND SOUR – A TOUCH OF MISO

Bored of the same old cakes and desserts. Made a salted caramel sauce to drizzle over ice cream, sundaes and waffles. Why not try adding a savoury twist to give your cakes a deeper flavour, another dimension. One of my favourite flavours to get to that point where you can not help but eat more than you should is miso. Miso makes an excellent edition to all of your favourite dishes. One of my favourite things to bake is cinnamon rolls with miso paste and blueberries. This gives a great twist and you will be surprised by what an excellent flavour the miso gives the cinnamon rolls. Umami is what the Japanese might say, but ‘swalty’ it seems we might say here!
Miso is a Japanese paste, a mix of soybeans, grains and sea salt. Once fermented and aged, the mixture is ready to use. The wonderful paste that results from this process comes in a few forms. Buttery shiro (white) misos to medium-bodied shinsu (yellow) misos to beefy, pungent aka (red) varieties. To get an idea of what makes them different, the darker in color the miso, the saltier and more pungent it tastes.
White chocolate and burnt butter miso make for a unique cookie. It can easily be whipped up for a cosy winter afternoon at home either with a hot chocolate or a smooth red wine.
Tried all the variety of brownie recipes. Why not add some white miso paste and give them an umami flavour you never knew was there.
Even cheesecakes can be given a little lift, even if you do use fresh fruit in your mix.
Not sure about miso, why not try adding your favourite vegetable to cakes, carrot, pumpkin, beetroot, butternut squash and courgette to muffins, brownies or loaf cake. Or why not follow the example of the Americans and make a pumpkin pie. But just add a teaspoon of miso, it will become one of your kitchen staples.
Go and explore your cupboard and delight your taste buds.

Korean Food

 

 

Korean food sits somewhere between Japanese and Chinese food, but still able to have a style and individuality all off its own. Top of the list is kimchi, a spicy fermented cabbage or now it can use other vegetables, which is seen as a healthy food that benefits
its said, your diegeston with good bacteria.
There are a few Korean essential ingredients that are the bases for many dishes,
Gochujang​, a red chilli paste, with different heat strengths. Doenjang , a soy bean paste
Ssamjang, used to make a spicy dipping sauce Soy sauce, korean soy is on the lighter side

Chungjang, a fermented black bean paste Always garlic and ginger
Corn,rice,malt syrup, used as a sweetener Aek jeot, fish sauce
Danmuji, pickled daikon
With vegetables such as chinese cabbage, spring onions, perilla/shiso leaves and many other wonderful ingredients to explore.
These foods come together to make exciting and tasty dishes such as bulgogi, the korean bbq sauce for beef, pork, chicken and fish. Kimbap, the korean equivalent to japanese sushi, but then still in its own style.
Dakgangjeong, korean fried chicken, if you have not tried
this yet then it is a must. Spicy, sweet, crisp and yet the chicken remains moist.
Bibimbap, with a base of rice and vegetables, so colourful, top it off with a fried egg. Bossam is pork belly, full of flavour, wrapped in lettuce leaves. Japchae is the name for korean stir fry rice noodles. Galbi jjim is the delicious slow cooked beef short ribs.
There are so many more foods we could list, but these are
some of the more popular ones and if you have not tried any as yet, then start by looking in your local supermarket. A lot of the ingredients mentioned above are beginning to find their way onto the supermarket shelves.
See what you can find and give it a go.
Enjoy. .

Japanese Party Food

Japanese food has become increasingly well-known for more than just Sushi and Yakitori, as now Japan has become the number one destination for foodies to go to and try the vast variety of amazing, tasty dishes with a depth of flavour. This Umami taste comes from a mix of kombu kelp and bonito flakes, also miso, sugar, salt, soya sauce and rice vinegar. They are used widely and wisely to tantalise the taste buds. Miso and soy sauce are made everywhere in Japan: they change in colour and strength of the flavour in local areas. In the east, the taste is much stronger and the colour darker; in the west, it’s a light colour and gentle texture.

So, when it comes to planning parties, try hosting a Japanese food theme party. There are many types of Japanese food that guests can enjoy eating. Form simple starters like Edamame freshly cooked soya beans, Waka-kyu cucumber and seaweed salad with sweet vinaigrette dressing, simple miso soup garnished with lovely grilled king prawns.

Even if you’re having a reception for colleagues, dishes that can be shared like Gyoza, Tempura, yakitori are perfect as they can be meat and vegetarian and even vegan, without the need for plates or dishes, just great finger food for socialising. So, you don’t need to worry about not catering to anybody. 

Not to forget some temaki sushi rolls: you don’t need any chopsticks to eat them with simple cone hand rolls of many flavours. Beautiful salmon, tuna, with avocado, or just avocado or cucumber. For the perfect Japanese meal, it would be nice to finish with a hosomaki roll. A small sushi roll with a bit of rice inside to emphasize the taste of the fish, cucumber, or natto, chopped formatted soybeans season with some mustard and soya sauce and spring onions.

Incorporating all the flavours mentioned plus so many more into mini bowl foods could add so much more to your party, ramen noodles, tonkatsu, yakisoba and katsu curries.

Finally, desserts: the Japanese have perfected making desserts such as Japanese cheesecake (cotton cheesecake). It has a less sweet flavour and is lighter than your traditional cheesecake. Dorayaki is a Japanese pancake sandwich which is typically filled with Anko, a red sweet bean paste.

A very traditional Japanese dessert is Mochi, sticky rice called mochi Gome, can be toasted, dipped into a sauce, or sweetened with a topping called kinako. Daifuku is the same mochi that is filled with a variety of sweet fillings. A summer favourite is Daifuku ice cream – one interesting flavour is red bean paste, it has a subtle sweet taste, and is very refreshing in summer.

All scrumptious desserts are complimented with Japanese green tea, made fresh just before being served to keep the beautiful green colour of Matcha.

Why vegan wines, beers and sparkling wines?

Well decided here at mavenfoods, veganism is becoming a big part of everyday life by understanding the process on how wine is produced. So when we were changing our wine list, vegan wines, beers and sparkling wines seemed a good place to be.

Not that we’re saying non vegan wines are bad for you. We just felt that if you were to organise an office party or a reception for colleges, it’s a way to make it easier for you to arrange drinks to suit all tastes so that guests that you may or may not know do not feel excluded.

As wines and even sparkling wines have improved over the years, we have tasted what we have put forward for you. I have to say, we are no experts but know when a wine is not particularly smooth or has strong tanning taste. We have gone for delightful taste and well rounded flavours.

While compiling this list,there are some great traditional brands like taittinger, which you might not have expected, as well as new world wines to drink on sunny afternoons. As we have said, we are not excluding all wines, and are quite happy to source wines you have a preference for, we’re just here to make your guests have a relaxed enjoyable time.

There are some great beers that are vegan and traditional as well as a gluten free beer which still has a great taste.

We are here to make life easier for you to organise drinks, ice, bar equipment and anything else you may need, to suit all your guests needs.

Gas Vs Charcoal

Grilling

It is an age-old debate as to whether Charcoal or Gas Barbecue is best for your catering event. We hope to solve this conundrum once and for all!

When catering for BBQ’s, our aim is always to provide great food, efficient service and value for money. There are many factors to consider and the equipment that we use can make or break an event. Here are the reasons why:

Taste

The die-hard barbecue fanatics out there insist coal fired BBQ tastes better and creates for succulent meat. In 2015, we tested this theory and used a gas barbecue and charcoal fired barbecue with wood chips. To our surprise only 6 out of the 30 guests tasted a difference. We feel the reason is because the length of cooking time of 3-10 minutes is not long enough to produce the distinctive smokey flavor unlike a smoker that requires 1-8 hours cooking time.

Speed of cooking

A typical evening corporate BBQ event starts around 6.30pm finishing at 10pm. From our experience, assuming food service starts at 6.30pm, approximately 80% guests would have eaten by 8pm. With guest numbers typically between 50-300 it is very important that we can feed the guests quickly. We also need the temperature of the grills to be controllable and consistent. We use Cinders gas barbecues – the best in the market. These have adjustable zones that allow for different temperature settings and this helps with controlling the speed of service.

Efficiency

Gas BBQ’s takes around 5 minutes to set up and fire up to temperature compared to charcoal which can take over 40-60 minutes to get to temperature. This is particularly important when timings change during an event or longer events. Gas Barbecues are more reliable in adverse weather conditions and can be switched on and off very quickly. Gas BBQ are also cheaper to run compared to coal. The predictability of heat source also allows for a more consistent end-product.

Smoke

Charcoal creates more smoke during the set up and throughout the event. Whilst it creates an authentic atmosphere. However, the downside is that the smell of smoke sticks to clothes and to neighbours laundry more so than gas.

Our conclusion: Gas barbecue is the clear winner for caterers. They are easy to operate and mitigates against many risks that can spoil an important corporate or private event and, in our view very little or no difference in the taste compared to charcoal.

Solving the challenges of organising office catering in London

There is a myriad of challenges customers face daily when ordering client and staff catering in London. Everyone desires to partner with a corporate caterer that is reliable, adds value to your organisation and provides a high-quality service. In this article, we are going to address some of the main challenges clients face and how Maven Foods help solve them.

Special dietary requirements

Dietary requirements are probably the most regular topic of discussion when it comes to corporate catering. All hosts want to ensure that guests with special requirements such as gluten-free, vegan, lactose-free, dairy-free etc. are not left out and are well catered for.

Maven Foods ensure everyone is spoilt for choice. When placing your order, you simply need to state how many guests and which dietary requirements are required. We will ensure that the main menu is adapted to suit all guests or – in most cases provide a special meal served separately. All our tailored meals are just as appetizing as our standard menus!

Variation of menus

No one wants to eat the same thing all the time. This is especially frustrating for the companies who order catering on a regular or daily basis and staff, guests and clients have become bored and unexcited about the delivered catering.

Maven Foods work closely with customers to ensure they get variety with every order. We have an unrivalled choice of breads, wraps, rolls as well as sandwich fillings, fresh salads, savoury finger food and desserts. However, we do not publish all the food that is on offer otherwise our website will look like an encyclopedia – so just ask if there’s something you would like that isn’t on the menu! For regular clients, we frequently rotate food items, add new ones and change to seasonal products to ensure the food is ALWAYS fresh, ALWAYS tasty, ALWAYS exciting and ALWAYS different so that your guests leave very satisfied and wanting to come back again!

Efficiency of ordering, reliability and on time deliveries

You’re busy and have a lot of balls to juggle when it comes to hosting a corporate event. So, understandably, when ordering corporate catering, you want the process to be easy, fast and hassle free.  You also want efficient response times and confirmations of orders and deliveries to be on time.

Maven Foods understand fully that efficiency and reliability is a crucial factor to maintain a long-term relationship. When you send a request for next day delivery, in almost all cases we will respond well within an hour. We won’t leave you waiting. You also don’t need to complete online forms – just send an email and we will take care of the rest, leaving you to get on with the rest of the day.

Delivering your food on time is an absolute priority to us. London tube strikes, road closures, road works and accidents permitting – we are very rarely late. But on the rare occasion we are behind schedule to deliver by a specified time, we will always telephone you to give you an estimated time of arrival to put your mind at rest.

Consistency

Customers often complain that their previous caterer’s quality of the food was inconsistent. One day it is amazing and the next it’s not so good. Other times, part of their order is missing or quantity is not consistent. Salads look tired and limp and generally unexciting or appetizing.

Maven Foods set themselves apart from the leading caterers because our products are consistently well presented and ALWAYS fresh on delivery. Consistency of products and presentation is very important to us. We make most things, especially sandwiches on the morning of delivery, salads are prepared just prior to delivery, dressings are served separately and food is delivered in our temperature controlled vans to ensure food quality and safety. So, no more hard or stale bread and no more bland, limp salads!

Last minute orders

You are informed late in the day that one of your meetings tomorrow requires catering or you require last minute adjustments to an existing order. Providing requests are made the day before and not just before we set off for delivery, in most cases we are usually able to accommodate.

Catering for important guests or special occasions

Lunch catering is generally straightforward but there are times when you require something special for a long-standing client, special occasion, important board meeting or potential new client.

Maven Foods have a lot of choice on our standard menus, from simple sandwich lunches and finger buffets to cold fork buffets. But if there is something that is not on our menu or you are working to a specific budget, simply let us know and we will happily create a bespoke menu for you. As mentioned earlier, we have too much choice to include in our standard menus – so offering something different and more premium is not a problem at all.

Unconventional Catering Ideas For Your Wedding

Weddings aren’t just for traditionalists anymore – you don’t have to have to have a big white dress, the horse and carriage and you especially don’t have to have the dainty five course meal. There’s nothing worse than selecting a traditional meal just to keep up appearances. It’s your wedding so why not stay true to yourself and opt for a more unconventional catering idea that you and your guests will enjoy a whole lot more.

BBQ

Ideal for any spring or summer wedding, BBQ catering is a great choice for those who like a really relaxed atmosphere and want to entertain their guests with an array of classic garden party combinations. BBQ catering eliminates the tiresome task of getting your guests to make meal selections before the day – all they have to do is come along and choose from a selection of succulent beef burgers, sizzling grills and fresh crisp salads. You won’t need to worry about your guests with special dietary requirements either as there are plenty of vegetarian options that can be cooked to perfection on the grill too.

Canapes and Bowl Food

A slightly more sophisticated option for those who are looking to host the perfect evening soiree after their ceremony. This unconventional catering idea is probably the most formal option – however not as formal as that dainty five courses meal we talked about earlier. Canapes bring that daintiness and sophistication to your dining but the bowl food brings a more laid back feel. The perfect combination for weddings who want a bit of both. Canapes and bowl food dishes don’t leave your guests feeling too full so then they are free to dance the rest of the night away with you. This unconventional catering option also offers your guests a wide selection of dishes, suitable for all taste palates and appetites.

Buffet

The ultimate unconventional wedding catering option for those that like a bit of everything. Create your own menu, full of yours and your guests favourite dishes. You can choose whether to have hot or cold buffet – but don’t forget it’s your wedding so why not have both if you’re having trouble deciding. Buffets are perfect for a big wedding and guest lists that contains the fussiest of guests. Everyone will be full before the nights up and did we mention that this option will definitely not blow your entire wedding budget!

Breakfast

Are you and your partner early birds, or do you just like eating breakfast for dinner? Then why not celebrate your special day with the most important meal of the day. Start your guests off with some pastries and fruit to then give them a choice of a Full English or Eggs Benedict for mains. Finally finish off your meal with some yogurt compote or muffins. Of course, you can always combine breakfast with a buffet and have the best of both worlds too.

Well that’s it for our unconventional catering ideas for unconventional weddings. Would you ditch the five course meal for any of these options or do you have your own unique catering idea? Also remember to get in touch if you need any help making you unconventional catering ideas a reality.