Chefs are always looking to conjure up something unique. If you're a private chef that cooks only vegetarian foods, these two tips will help you diversify your menu:
1. Follow the vegetable food pyramid
Use the pyramid as a guide during each meal you cook. This will provide you with not only an outline to work off of, but it's a great way to ensure you incorporate all of the essential food groups into the window of opportunity.
What do we mean by "window of opportunity?" It's the 48 hours the food pyramid recommends you try to eat the necessary servings of all food types. That mean 2 to 4 cups of veggies, 1.5 to 2.5 cups of fruits, 3 to 5.5 cups of whole grains, 1 to 2 cups of fortified dairy substitute, 1 to 2 cups of beans and seeds and very little fats and sweets.
It's not practical to stuff all of these foods into one meal, but the pyramid is a great manual you can use to add variety into your cook book.
2. Change your way of thinking
J. Kenji Lopez, the Managing Culinary Director of Serious Eats, went on a vegan pilgrimage in his own city. For one month he abstained from eating animal products and found his meal selection actually became more diversified. No longer was he grabbing a quick slice of pizza on the way home from work. Instead, he thought about what he wanted and tried new things.
During his experiment, he found vegetables actually offered more diversity than the "hamburger, slow-cooked pork or offal" he used to buy. These meats were still just variations of the theme" no matter how many different ways they were cooked. "Vegetables are simply more diverse in their flavor and texture than their meaty counterparts."