From The Diamond To The Dining Hall, Aramark Chefs Cook Up More Plant-Forward Dishes

Posted On: 6/5/2019

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PHILADELPHIA -- Aramark, the food and beverage partner of nine Major League Baseball teams and more than 350 colleges and universities, is providing guests with greater variety, choice and access to healthier menu options at ballparks, workplaces, hospital cafés and college and university dining halls.

These plant-forward (dishes that center on foods including vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts), vegetarian and vegan menu options are receiving attention and recognition, with two ballparks Aramark serves -- Citi Field and Kauffman Stadium -- recently recognized on People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ (PETA’s) 2019 most vegan-friendly ballparks list. And three higher education partners -- University of Florida, University of South Florida and Arizona State University – recently appeared on PETA’s most recent list of the most vegan-friendly campuses.

At the Diamond

Citi Field, Kauffman Stadium and the seven other ballparks Aramark serves, have expanded vegan and vegetarian menu options, to ensure they are providing the choices that meet individual lifestyle and dietary preferences.

Highlights this season include:

“32 Ingredient Salad” (Rogers Centre) -- Thirty two plant-based ingredients including brussels sprouts, kale, green cabbage, romaine lettuce, carrots, butternut squash, red cabbage, white & red quinoa, sunflower and pomegranate seeds, orange juice, honey, apple cider vinegar, garlic and more (vegan, gluten free).

Beyond Burger (Minute Maid Park) -- Plant-based Beyond Burger, served Caribbean-style, with black beans, avocado pineapple relish and sriracha aioli (vegetarian).

Beyond Sausage (Kauffman Stadium) -- 100% plant-based sausage served with sauerkraut (vegan, gluten free).

Elote Topped Tots (Coors Field) -- Tater tots, street corn, zesty mayo, cotija cheese, cilantro, cayenne pepper and green chili queso (vegetarian).

Marty’s V Burger (Citi Field -- Dedicated vegan stand) -- Original – Beyond Burger with melted cheddar “cheese,” special sauce, pickles and lettuce and  Beyond Bratwurst vegan bratwurst.

Nourish (Oakland Coliseum) -- A portable concession stand dedicated to serving healthy fare, including build-your-own salads, rice or quinoa bowls.

Questlove’s Cheesesteak (Citizens Bank Park) -- Founded by Questlove, the quintessential Philadelphia cheesesteak, made with Impossible 2.0 Meat, white cheese sauce, signature pepper relish, served on a 9” Amoroso roll (vegetarian).

Quinoa Blueberry Salad (PNC Park) - Red quinoa, chopped hearts of palm, spinach, blueberries, cucumbers, carrots, sunflower seeds and balsamic dressing (vegetarian).

Veggie Burger (Fenway Park) -- Handmade black bean patty with arugula, tomato, cucumber and truffle aioli served with a side of sweet potato fries (vegetarian).

In the Dining Hall

While Aramark’s culinary team was developing new plant-forward menu options for ballparks, chefs in Aramark’s dining operations in Healthcare, Higher Education and Business Dining divisions have also been busy.

In response to the growing demand for plant-forward menus, the company recently launched its first dedicated plant-forward dining concept, The Twisted Beet. Its plant-forward comfort food menu puts a healthy spin on dishes like meatball subs and mac and cheese, and emphasizes vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes, but still offers a proportionately small quantity of animal protein.

“As consumers continue to embrace plant forward eating, we’ve stepped up to the plate and expanded our menu selections, in collaboration with industry-leading partners, to ensure we’re providing choices that meet individual lifestyle and dietary preferences,” said Heidi Hogan, vice-president of product development and culinary innovation at Aramark. “We’re continuing to lean on the expertise and creativity of our chefs to reimagine and innovate dishes that span the spectrum of plant forward eating; from entrees that emphasize vegetables, to 100% plant-based menus.”

Motivated by the company’s Healthy for Life 20 by 20 collaboration with the American Heart Association, Aramark launched a major plant-forward initiative to elevate the role of fruits, vegetables and whole grains on its menus. Fueled by the science and research of the Association, Aramark introduced innovative recipes and aligned with existing efforts to accelerate climate-healthy menus available on colleges and universities, hospital cafés and workplace location menus. Currently, approximately 30% of the main dishes Aramark serves across its college and university dining, hospital café and workplace locations are vegan or vegetarian.