If 2015 was the year of meat—with jerky’s ubiquity and the Paleo Diet gaining a mainstream following—vegetables are about to take over the spotlight. Once relegated to side dishes and garnishes, super veggies are taking center plate, replacing not only animal-based proteins but also high-carb foods like pasta and finding fans among five-star and fast-casual menus alike. Plant-forward bowls are taking over the lunch scene, while gazpacho-in-a-bottle  made a splash this summer. Inventive veggie-forward products in the form of teas, yogurts, and even ice cream  are gaining mass appeal (in Europe, too). Leading the charge into 2016 is the long-overlooked vegetable of the sea: seaweed, a burgeoning crop that’s set to explode thanks to its sustainability angle and umami appeal.

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