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Brick Market and Deli

Energizing Breakfast Foods

A delicious and filling breakfast can help set the tone for the day. Be sure you’re filling up on foods that will fuel you for the rest of the day. Here are some great nutritious and energizing breakfast foods.

  • Avocado
    There’s a reason avocado toast is a popular breakfast food. Loaded with heart healthy fats, B vitamins, and fiber, avocados take longer to digest, and thus, help sustain your energy throughout the day. Next time, top your avocado toast with an egg for more nutritional benefits.
  • Bananas
    Not only are they an easy option for those busy mornings, bananas offer a unique mix of antioxidants, carbohydrates, and potassium that give you an energy boost. Next time you want to reach for an energy drink, try a banana instead.
  • Breakfast Smoothie
    You can craft these to your liking and prepare them ahead of time, making them a healthy and smart option. Fruits and vegetables contains excellent nutrients that will provide you with energy through the day, and adding a source of protein will help to keep you full.
  • Eggs
    This classic and versatile breakfast food is nutrient-rich and a great source of protein. Aside from keeping you full and stabilizing your energy levels, eggs contain choline, which plays a role muscle control, and B vitamins, which convert food into energy.
  • Fresh Fruit
    Why not start your day with nature’s candy? Get your sweet tooth fix without the crash with fresh fruits. Fresh fruits contain powerful antioxidants along with fiber, which helps to keep your blood sugar levels steady.
  • Greek Yogurt
    Greek yogurt is a great source of lean protein (almost two times more than traditional yogurt), fat, and carbohydrates. The protein and fiber combination helps to delay digestion of the meal and avoid the spike and crash in blood sugar.
  • Herbal Tea
    If you can, try swapping your coffee for herbal tea. Since they have less caffeine and are water based, teas are more hydrating and contain phytochemicals and antioxidants that help protect you from free radicals.
  • Lean Meat
    Lean meats provide protein, and the amino acids in proteins help keep you alert throughout the day. Try lean meats like ham, turkey, or smoked salmon.
  • Non-Dairy Milk
    For those with dietary restrictions, non-dairy milk helps to provide vitamins and a lean source of protein sans cholesterol. Also, seek fortified versions as they will have more energy supporting nutrients than others.
  • Peanut Butter
    You may reserve peanut and other nut butters for your snacks later in the day, but adding it to breakfast can give you an extra boost. Remember, the protein and fat (and fiber when possible) combination is key to preventing highs, lows, and crashes, and will help to curb your appetite.
  • Steel-Cut Oatmeal
    Opt for steel-cut oatmeal versus the processed instant oatmeal. Your body has to work harder to break down the steel-cut oats, leaving you with more sustained energy. Also, the soluble fiber in oats helps to slow the digestion of simple carbohydrates, eliminating the spike and crash of blood sugar levels.
  • Whole Grain Bread
    Ditch the white bread – whole grain bread offers more fiber and good fats to keep you fuller longer. Whole grain bread is also fortified with B vitamins, which help with energy production in the body.

What’s your go-to breakfast when you need a little boost in the morning? Share with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Join the Brick Your Neighborhood Deli for breakfast or lunch six days a week! Breakfast is served until 10:30am and we are open weekdays 7:00am-4:00pm and Saturdays 8:00am-4:30pm.

Practice Mindful Eating

Mindful eating encourages you to pay attention to what you are eating, heightening our awareness of pleasure and nourishment from our food. While the overall idea of mindful eating seems simple, to really master it takes gentle and consistent practice. Over time it can become a conscious habit, but realistically, we may fall in and out of it as staying present with eating can be a challenge in different situations.

Mindful eating often slows down the process of eating, so begin by taking a few mindful breaths to relax and become centered and present. Here are more mindful eating tips to get you started on the mindfulness path.

  • Mindful Check-In
    As mentioned, before a meal, bring awareness to your breathing. Take a breath, pause, and then notice any present thoughts or feelings, particularly in relation to the food you are about to eat. This can be brief moment or last up to a couple of minutes.

    Take a few deep, relaxing breaths and pay attention to the movement of your breaths in and out. Slowly expand your awareness to include your whole body and notice without judgment what thoughts, feelings, and body sensations are present. Consider how these may influence your choices on how much, when, and what to eat, along with desires or cravings for food.

  • Hunger & Fullness Levels
    As you are mindfully checking-in, tune in to your level of physical hunger. Most of us enjoy food most when we have some to moderate hunger – when we are too hungry, we tend to eat fast and overeat.

    Ask yourself “How hungry am I?” Listen to your body and determine whether it is physical hunger or something else. If it is the latter, ask yourself “What am I really hungry for?”

    To understand your level of physical fullness, you should also ask yourself “How full am I?” Again, listen to the messages your body is sending you. Do what would most honor your body at the present moment.

  • Reflect Upon Your Food
    How did your food get to you? What went into making it and who/what were involved (people, sun, earth, water, farmers)? Think about the quality and sources of your food, and let the sense of appreciation or gratitude for your food wash over you.
  • Senses
    Enjoy your food with all your senses:

    • Feast your eyes on your food – visually appreciate the color, texture, and shape.
    • Breathe in the aromas, and notice the nuances with both nostrils.
    • Savor your food without chewing first – notice the flavor, texture, and sensations.
    • As you chew your food, stay as present as possible with each bite and immerse yourself in the experience.
    • Mindfully swallow when ready.
      Notice any associations that arise, whether pleasant or unpleasant. Bask in pleasant associations or positive memories if you’ve like, while staying present with the full experience.
  • Taste Mindfully
    Savor the taste of your food fully, and pay attention to when the taste diminishes and your enjoyment lessens. This awareness is tool and will help you make better decisions about how much and how little to eat, as well as when to stop and when to eat more.
  • Check In With Hunger & Fullness
    Check in with hunger and fullness levels occasionally throughout the snack or meal. As you did before your meal, continue to do so throughout the meal.
  • Practice
    When you begin mindful eating, you start a slow pace as you get accustomed to the different aspects. As you hone your attention skills, your mindful eating habits will become more natural, enabling you to eat mindfully at different paces, in different settings, and with different people.

Do you practice mindful eating? What benefits have you noticed? Share with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Practice your mindful eating skills with us at the Brick Your Neighborhood Deli. We’re open weekdays 7:00am-4:00pm and Saturdays 8:00-4:30pm. Dine in or have your food delivered via DoorDash or UberEATS.

Scrumptious Salad Tips

Salads don’t have to be bland or boring. With the right skills, fresh ingredients, and proper execution, you can enjoy a scrumptious and satisfying salad. These simple rules and tips will help you improve your salad skills.

Before getting started, there are some general rules you should follow:

  • Quality

Since a salad is basically a mishmash of veggies and produce, in order to create a delicious salad you must start with quality ingredients. Shop and eat seasonally and locally for an exceptional salad (and a more sustainable meal). Most products at farmer’s markets are picked within 24 hours of being sold so you are pretty much guaranteed fresh, prime produce.

  • Variety

Say no to bland, boring salads. Incorporating a variety of ingredients, textures, shapes, and sizes is vital to creating complex flavors and textures within your salad.

  • Chopping

Smaller pieces mean your fork can pick up more different items for a more exciting bite. Chop your ingredients finely, especially your lettuce or greens. You can even learn how to chop different shapes and styles for more diversity in your salad.

Making The Salad
Now that you have reviewed these basic rules, it is time to make your salad.

Variety of Greens
By mixing different types of lettuce, you not only introduce new flavors and textures, but you also diversify the nutrient content of your salad. You can even go beyond leafy greens and use things like grains, other vegetables, or even legumes or beans as your base.

Season Your Greens
Before adding any dressing or toppings, season your greens with salt and pepper. This minor detail can really add to your salad overall. And really, you should be seasoning your food at every level to build a more complex flavor profile (your taste buds will thank you). In addition, you may consider adding fresh chopped herbs and citrus zest during this step.

Dressing
With salad dressing, a little goes a long way, so dress lightly. Remember, you can always add more, but you can’t take it back. Add a little at a time and taste it as you go. For a more even coating, use your freshly washed hands to mix it all up.

Make Your Own Dressing
Homemade dressing is worth the extra effort – you can control the ingredients and adjust it to your liking. In general, dressing should have a good balance of fat, acidity, and flavor. And different greens pair with different flavors. Remember, pair bold with bold and light with light.

  • Arugula – The slightly bitter and peppery flavor is best balanced with sweetness, like a balsamic reduction.
  • Kale – Be sure to massage kale thoroughly and then dress it lightly with an acidic or creamy dressing.
  • Spring/Summer Mixes and Tender Lettuces (Boston bibb, butter lettuce) – Simple vinaigrettes and citronettes (olive oil, acidity, salt and pepper) work well with these simple greens.
  • Spinach – Because spinach wilts easily, you should use a simple dressing (honey or Dijon vinaigrette, bacon dressing) at the last minute.
  • Romaine – Because it is very versatile, it can work with any type of dressing.
  • Watercress – This can be extremely bitter, so it is best to embrace fat, creaminess and sweetness.
  • Iceberg – Creamy dressing can help build the bland flavor of iceberg lettuce.
  • Grains – These are also very versatile, thus, can handle any dressing. Remember to dress grains while they are still warm for better absorption.

Texture & Toppings
Aim for at least one from each category.

  • Crunch – Add texture with things like nuts, seeds, croutons (homemade), parmesan crisps, roasted chickpeas or lentils.
  • Grains – Bulk up your salad and stay full longer with grains like quinoa, bulgur, couscous, barley, farro, or wheat berries.
  • Protein: Protein can help round out your salad and keep you satiated. Try beans, lentils, roasted tofu, poached eggs, falafel, grilled chicken, or salmon.
  • Optional items include fats (avocado, cheese), fresh fruit (pomegranate seeds, tart green apples), or roasted veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, butternut squash). And remember, leftovers sometimes make the best salad toppings.

The finished product is a salad that you will enjoy as it includes your favorite foods and flavors with various textures – an absolute treat for your taste buds. It make sound like a lot of work, but if you do a little prep at the beginning of the week, such as washing and drying your produce, chopping veggies, or making a large batch of grains, assembling a satisfying salad won’t be so bad.

Have any other salad tips to share? Connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Visit the Brick Your Neighborhood Deli weekdays 7:00am-4:00pm and Saturdays 8:00am-4:30pm. Dine in, order to-go, or have our food delivered via DoorDash or UberEATS.

Proper Etiquette For Business Meals

When it comes to a business lunch or dinner, you want to make a great impression. And the truth of the matter is that these business meals have little to do with food and everything to do with the way you conduct yourself. Ace your next meeting by heeding these smart business meal tips.

  • Restaurant

It is very important that you pick a good restaurant as the quality of the restaurant reflects your professionalism. It doesn’t need to be an expensive restaurant, but it should be clean with good food, friendly staff, and should be located in an area that is easily accessible for your client. You should also be familiar with the restaurant – this is not the time to try out a new restaurant you’ve had your eye on.

  • Location

The location of your table in the restaurant can dictate the success of your meal. When making your reservation, request a table or section that has a good view and is away from the kitchen or restroom. To ensure your preferred table is reserved, confirm your request on the day of the meeting.

  • Menu

As a host, it is your responsibility to make your guest comfortable with his/her food choice. You should be familiar enough with the menu that you can confidently offer your guest some menu suggestions. You should also encourage your guest to order whatever they like. And remember to always order comparable to your guest, regardless of your hunger level.

  • Etiquette

It doesn’t hurt to review basic table etiquette skills:

• Drinks on right, bread on left.
• Your napkin is not a hankie.
• Keep your tie down when eating your meal.
• Spoon your soup away from your body.
• “Continental Style” (using two hands) is the most effective style of dining.
• Cut only one piece of food at a time.
• Don’t ask for ketchup or steak sauce.
• Don’t be first to finish – pace yourself according to how fast or slow your guest is eating.
• Pass items at the table counter clockwise.
• Salt and pepper are sent around the table together.
• Break off one small piece of bread at a time and don’t butter the entire roll.

  • Devices

Unless you are expecting an important call that pertains to your meeting, your cell phone should be silenced and out of sight. If you need to refer to your tablet as part of the meeting, be sure your notifications are turned off to avoid distracting your guest with a tweet or a text.

  • Post Meal

To keep up your professional demeanor, refrain from asking for leftovers, taking home steak bones for your dog, and grabbing a toothpick.

Share your own business meal tips with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest!

Get your office lunches or business meetings catered by us! From sandwich platters to boxed lunches, we’ve got you covered. Call 909-596-5225 to discuss your options.

Healthy Swaps For Sandwich Spreads

When it comes to sandwiches, the things you put on them can make or break your sandwich. Sandwich staples like mayo and mustard can be delicious, but unfortunately, fall short in the nutrition department. Here are some healthy, nutritious, and delicious sandwich spread substitutes.

  • Jam→Mashed Berries

You may think your jam is healthy, but a closer look at the label may tell another story. Ditch the excess calories, sugar, and preservatives for a fresh alternative. Using mashed berries provides more fiber and fewer calories. For instance, six large smashed strawberries offer 2 grams of fiber and only 35 calories. For a little extra sweetness, drizzle some honey on top.

  • Cheese→Roasted Garlic Spread

You don’t have to give up cheese, but if you’re using it simply to add some depth to your sandwich, you will find there are tastier and healthier ways. For example, roasted garlic is a low calorie, low sodium alternative that delivers intense flavor.

  • Cream Cheese→Cottage Cheese

Bagels and cream cheese go hand in hand, but if you’re looking for a higher protein alternative, look no further than cottage cheese. A quarter cup of low-fat cottage cheese offers 7 grams of protein and 45 calories, whereas the same serving of regular cream cheese offers four times the calories and half the protein along with saturated fat.

  • Mustard Or Mayo→Hummus

As mentioned, mustard and mayo are classic sandwich ingredients but are hardly nutritious. Avoid a dry sandwich while adding flavor and nutrition by trying a smear of hummus instead. If you don’t make it at home (where you can control the ingredients), look for brands that boast a few simple ingredients (ex. fresh chickpeas, tahini, garlic). Not only is this a tasty change, it also increases your intake of beans, plant protein, fiber, and unsaturated fat.

  • Mayo→Smashed Avocado

Smashed avocado delivers the creaminess and richness of mayo, but with less calories along with healthy fats and more than 20 different vitamins. Add lemon juice to balance the fattiness, and a little hot sauce if you enjoy a little spice.

  • Mayo→Yogurt In Tartar Sauce

Tartar sauce is a great addition to (grilled or fried) fish sandwiches. While the classic recipe is mayonnaise based, you can create a healthier version with less fat and more protein by using Greek yogurt instead. Simply substitute plain Greek yogurt and add your favorite ingredients (ex. pickles, mustard, vinegar, capers).

  • Butter→Nut Butter

Instead of melting butter on top of your toast, go for nut butter instead. Nut butters (peanut, cashew, almond) are full of healthy fats, protein, finer, and vitamins. Just remember to look for all natural nut butters without fillers – the ingredients list should be short and simple. To add more flavor and benefits, sprinkle some cinnamon on it.

Did we miss anything? Share your best healthy food swaps with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest!

Have you tried all of our signature sandwiches? Come in today and order your favorite sandwich or try something new! Visit us in store weekdays 7:00am-4:00pm and Saturdays 8:00am-4:30pm or have your food delivered via DoorDash or UberEATS.

Office Catering Tips

So you’re looking to cater an office meeting or networking event. Regardless of the formality of the event, the same catering questions and concerns remain regarding the amount of food, type of food, and so on. Lucky for you, we’re sharing some great tips on nailing the catering for your office meeting or company event.

Variety
When it comes to office catering, everyone loves a little variety. For a regularly-scheduled team lunch, hot food trays served buffet style are an impressive option. If you’re catering a working lunch, platters of finger foods may be easier and less messy. And if you want to impress clients, opt for a taco bar or Mediterranean mezze – this requires no extra effort, yet excites eaters as they get more variety and control in what they’re eating.

Hot Vs. Cold
The type of event you are catering will help determine whether you should serve hot or cold food. With team lunches, food is often the focus, which is why hot food is a smart choice. It is not only filling, but it is meant to be served and eaten right away. With a working meeting, food is more functional and thus, cold foods are a better option as there is no need to reheat in case a meeting runs long.

Dietary Requirements
These days, vegetarian and gluten-free options are necessary. It is recommended that you provide at least 25% vegetarian options for a mixed crowd, as non-vegetarians enjoy meatless options as well. In addition, vegan, nut allergies and other requirements or intolerances among your guests need to be considered when planning your event catering. A simple RSVP asking for dietary requirements can help you choose the appropriate menu.

Portion Planning
So how much food should you order? This is the most common question, and it really starts with you and your event. Think about what your attendees are expecting and what your goals are for catering this event.  Which of these statements suits you?

A.    We’re only providing food so that people show up to our event, but we’re really not looking to feed them a proper “meal”.
B.    We want people to leave satisfied, but nothing too crazy.
C.    We’re really looking to provide people with a good amount of food.

Once you decide which best suits your event, you can plan your choices around your budget. Budgets will dictate the amount of food that is ordered.

Aside from the budget, you need to consider the actual attendees. Aside from the head count, how many males and females will be there? Generally, men eat more than women, so if your guest list is mostly males, you will want to order extra portions, especially if it is buffet style.

Self-serve finger food platters will disappear much faster than passed trays. Typically, four canapés per person per hour is the minimum amount. While ending up with too much food is not ideal, it is much better than running out. Besides, the extra food will get eaten eventually.

Budget
Starting with a predetermined budget will make it easier to narrow down your catering options.

  • Breakfast – The budget for one item (fruit cup, mini muffin, bacon and egg slider, cake slices, a serving of crackers and cheese) averages $5 each – some will be less, some will be more. Generally, 2-3 items per person for breakfast is preferable; for morning or afternoon teas, 1-2 pieces can be enough (keep goals for feeding guests in mind).
  • Lunch/Dinner – An allowance of $10 is usually good for a full sandwich per person. A budget of up to $15 is normally enough to provide a reasonable amount of variety (ex. pasta, roasted meat, salad, or steamed veggies). This also depends on the number of people you are ordering for – the more people who eat, the more variety you can provide.
  • Finger food/Networking – As mentioned, the general recommendation is 4 pieces per person per hour. High-quality canapés range from $2-$4 per item. Platters (meat and cheese board, antipasti, etc.) are a good, budget-friendly option without compromising quality. Anywhere from $10-$15 per person would be a decent budget for a light nibble.

Drinks
You may also want to consider beverages for your event. If you will be serving alcohol at your event, a rough guideline is to allow one person one beverage per hour. But you should always have non-alcoholic options. Providing self-service water pitchers or jugs is generally more cost-effective and convenient – just be sure they are being refilled. For casual office events, you can provide individual bottles or set up a self-service station with larger bottles of water or juice and cups.

Plan Ahead
Reserve your order ahead of time to ensure you get the desired menu options, date, and time. Thos can also eliminate any last minute rushes and added stress. Check with your catering choices to see how much lead time they need for catering orders and plan accordingly.

On-Time Delivery
Provide clear and complete delivery information – ex. parking instructions (if it is paid parking, this may be added to the final bill), logistics information (which may include loading docks or service lifts directions), and any other specific access information. Most importantly, the driver must have a contact name and number onsite to receive the deliver upon arrival. If you will be too busy to tend to this detail, designate someone else to be the main contact and ensure the delivery is correct, complete, and on-time.

Expect The Unexpected
Things don’t always go as planned. To accommodate a changing guest list, it is best to order for the minimum number of people you are anticipating (which reserves your spot) and then wait until the cut-off lead time to add to the order if necessary.

Did you know we offer catering services? From sandwich platters to salad trays to boxed lunches, we can cater to your needs! To learn more, call 909-596-5225 or visit BrickMarketDeli.com to explore our menu. And you can visit us in store for breakfast or lunch 6 days a week, and connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Food Trends For The New Year

While some food trends stick, most come and go. With the start of the New Year, we are sure to see an insurgence of new food trends for us to try. Here are some food trend predictions for the New Year from dieticians.

The Keto Diet
Keto foods we introduced in 2018 and we can only expect keto-friendly products to grow into 2019. While many have adopted, or may consider, the keto diet, others find it hard to follow completely, thus, we are likely to see more modified keto diets.

Less Sugar
Sugar intake is still a major concern for many as added sugars are closely associated with diet-related chronic diseases like obesity. Manufacturers will try find ways to reduce sugar and incorporate more natural ingredients into their products, but this will continue to be a challenge as sugars play a variety of roles in processed foods aside from sweetness.

Non-Dairy Milk
Plant-based milks will continue to be a popular dairy alternative. But not all non-dairy milks are created equally. Be sure to check labels carefully to choose those that are excellent sources of calcium and vitamins D and E. And aside from popular choices like almond milk, oat milk will likely be on the rise. Compared to other alternatives, oat milk is higher in heart-healthy fiber and satiating protein.

Digital Food Shopping Carts
What happens when you combine online shopping and grocery shopping? Ultimate convenience. Online grocery shopping saves you the time of browsing aisles for your groceries and makes meals easier. You can order via computer or smart phone, browsing and clicking on the items you need. Then you can either have them prepared for pick up or get them delivered straight to your door.

Foods Cooked In Foil
We love to find ways to make cooking easier, and ‘food in a foil’ is just that. Foods cooked in foil help to enhance the infusion of flavor while making clean up a breeze. And thanks to the internet, these recipes and cooking ideas are readily available at our fingertips.

Plant-Based Eating
While not a new trend, it is continually on the rise. The different plant-based options we have available to us allows for more people to adopt a flexitarian diet. We are likely to see baked goods using cassava flour, healthier snacks such as dark chocolate-covered chickpeas, new nut butters like pumpkin seed butter, and alternative oils including pomegranate seed oil and algae oil.

What food trend predictions do you have? What are you most excited to try this year? Share with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Start the New Year off with your favorite sandwiches and salads at the Brick Your Neighborhood Deli! We are open weekdays 7:00am-4:00pm and Saturdays 8:00am-4:30pm for breakfast and lunch. You can also get our food delivered via DoorDash or UberEATS.

Food-Related Resolutions For 2019

Now is the time for New Year’s resolutions. While many turn to resolutions that alter their diet and exercise routines, here are some food-related resolutions that can lead to a delicious New Year.

No-Cost Kitchen Makeover
After spending extra time in your kitchen over the holidays, you’ve likely noticed that your kitchen could use a good makeover. Aside from deep cleaning the entire kitchen, you should also try purging. You can take it step by step, or if you’re feeling ambitious, knock it out in a day or two.

  • Take an appliance inventory – Think about how often you use them or whether or not you truly need them. If you haven’t used it in over a year, or if it’s only good for one thing, you can probably get rid of it. And, if it’s broken and irreparable, toss it. You can always sell or donate the functioning items you decide to part with.
  • Next up are gadgets, dishes, and utensils. Novelty items such as egg, banana, or tomato slicers can go since you probably own a knife. If you have an overflow of dinner plates and mismatched mugs, simply keep what you need to serve guests. The rest can be discarded or placed into storage somewhere outside of the kitchen.
  • Spices and dried herbs can definitely grow old in your kitchen. With that said, ground spices can go stale and lose flavor in as little as eight months. Take a look at what you can keep and which should be tossed, and then do the same with dry ingredients like flours, beans, and grains.
  • If you’ve got storage containers without lids, let them go. You’re not going to find that lid and there’s not much else you can do with it.
  • Clear out that freezer. Do an inventory and throw away foods you’re not going to eat. Then deep clean that freeze before you restock it.

Learn A New Cuisine
Expand your culinary horizons by learning a new cuisine that takes you out of your comfort zone. No matter which cuisine you choose for whatever reason, dive in. It’s not just about learning the new food and creating delicious meals – you can also learn about another culture, language or history based on the different cooking techniques and recipes you acquire.

Once you’ve narrowed the cuisine down, look for cookbooks aimed for beginners. Most of these cookbooks will include a section at the beginning to familiarize you with ingredients and techniques that might be new to you, and will likely break the cuisine down by region or style (sometimes you’ll find a glossary, too).

It’s key to try the recipes more than once and practice the hard parts. You should also taste the expert’s version of the dishes you’re learning so you can compare and improve. Don’t expect to master it, as it can take a lifetime, but stay dedicated to improving your skills and enjoy the good food along the way.

Master A New Cooking Technique
If you would rather not tackle a whole cuisine, try learning a new cooking technique instead. While not necessarily easier, mastering a new technique takes practice and lots of it. With the constant repetition, you will be able to notice and understand the subtle nuances and refine your skills.

And challenge yourself to focus more on learning the actual technique than buying a new appliance and learning how to use that. Utilize your current resources and master the basics of the cooking technique of your choice.

Meal Planning
Meal planning can be intimidating a first, but once you find recipes you like and a routine you can work with, it can be a breeze. If your weeknights are too busy to cook even simple meals, try setting aside some time on the weekend to prepare a few meals at once. Casseroles can be relatively easy and can make a few meals in one batch. You can try to make one for the beginning of the week, and then freeze another for the second half of the week. If you’re just cooking for yourself, you can make one or two dishes and store them in single-serving containers before freezing.

Giving yourself options ensures that you have enough variety to ensure you don’t get sick of your food. And if the thought of cooking so much food at once may seem overwhelming, you will find that once you actually get to cooking, it isn’t so bad. The key is choosing foods you like and recipes that match your cooking skill level.

Start A New Tradition
If the aforementioned resolutions seem like a bit more than you can chew, you can still enjoy kitchen time by starting a new food tradition. Whether with friends or family, you can resolve to get together for a yummy meal every week, or once a month, depending on what your schedule permits. For example, you can do Friday Night Meatballs, Pizza Sunday, or whatever pleases your palate.

You can spend quality time with family cooking the meal together, assigning each member a specific cooking task so that you can all enjoy the fruits of your labor. If it’s a get together with friends, you can do themed nights pot-luck style so that everyone can contribute.

Whatever tradition you start, remember it is about sharing, not showing off. Dishes need not be fancy or perfect, but more about sharing your labor of love with the people you love.

Share your New Year’s resolutions with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Just a friendly reminder that we will be closed on Monday December 31, 2018 and Tuesday January 1, 2019 – normal store hours resume Wednesday January 2, 2019. We appreciate your understanding and would like to sincerely thank you for your support. We are excited for what 2019 will bring. Happy New Year from everyone at the Brick Your Neighborhood Deli!

Have A Healthy & Happy Holiday Season!

We all know it can be hard to stay healthy during the holidays. Amid all the holiday stress, comfort foods and various gatherings, it can be difficult to stay on track. Luckily, there are some smart ways to make healthy choices.

Stay Active
We all lead busy lives, and for whatever reason, it seems to be heightened as the year draws to an end. Our normal routines are inundated with parties, shopping, special traditions and more, but we must remember to make our health a priority. Despite a busier schedule, you should still set aside some time to exercise. Remember,  a little goes a long way and something is better than nothing.

Keep Plates Small & Colorful
Indulging during the holidays can feel like a tradition for many of us. To prevent yourself from going overboard, choose small plates and fill them with naturally colored foods (think fruits and vegetables). Bu choosing fruits and vegetables, you are getting more nutrients and less calories, which is a win-win. If you can’t commit to a full plate, set a goal for filling at least half of your plate with fruits and vegetables.

Make A Healthy Dish
To make it easy on the host or hostess, most gatherings are potluck style, which works in your favor. You can choose to bring a healthy dish so that you have a smart option if the rest of the food available is too heavy. And while it’s fine to sample the other dishes, it’s important to be mindful of portions.

Watch Those Drinks
Eggnog and hot chocolate are nearly synonymous with the holiday season. They can be a nice treat, but if you drink too much, you’ll end up with an excess of sugar and calories. The same goes for soda, alcohol, and other sweet drinks that often take the place of water at holiday events. Stay hydrated and healthy by drinking water and remember that beverages also affect our caloric intake.

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Friendly reminder, in order for our staff to enjoy the holidays, we will be closed on Monday & Tuesday December 24-25, 31, 2018 and January 1, 2019. We appreciate your understanding.

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Warm Salads For Cold Weather

Winter is almost here, which means colder weather and cravings for warming comfort food. While salads may not come to mind when you think of winter comfort foods, warm salads may change your mind. The contrasting of temperatures, textures, and flavors just might make warm salads you new winter comfort food of choice. Here’s how you can build the perfect warm salad.

  • Base

While lettuces are the most common greens associated with salads, they are not the only ones available. For your warm salad, choose leafy greens that can be slightly cooked or steamed. You can add these warm greens to your favorite fresh salad greens or use them as a base alone. Mix and match until you find your favorite blend.

Some great choices for a warm base are kale (any variety), collard greens, Swiss chard, cabbage, arugula, dandelion greens, spinach.

  • Toppings

Toppings help bring salads to life, and with warm salads, there’s a limitless variety available. You can add your favorite toppings to create a salad that suits your tastes, preferences, and resources. For example, you can use last night’s leftover roasted vegetables or caramelized onions to add depth. If you go with leftovers, you may want to mix in fresh veggies as well to balance both the crunchy and soft textures.

Warm or Cold Toppings:

  • Cruciferous Vegetables (turnips, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage)
  • Vegetables (green onions, cucumbers, radishes, bell peppers, peas, asparagus, zucchini, squash, tomatoes)
  • Fruits (mandarin oranges, figs, dried fruits – cranberries, raisins, blueberries)
  • Seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, flax) and Nuts (walnuts, pecans, cashews, peanuts, or brazil nuts)
  • Carbohydrate/Starch

Whether warm or cold, if you’re eating a salad for a meal, adding a complex carbohydrate or starch to it will help sustain your energy. Warm salads are great for potatoes, whole grains, beans, legumes, or another type of starch.

Some healthy choices include freekeh, wheatberries, quinoa, rice, faro, millet, barley, sweet potato, beans or lentils.

  • Plant Protein

A serving of protein helps to nutritionally balance your salad. There are even some plant options that double as a protein and a complex carbohydrate, like quinoa or beans.

Consider these quality protein choices: tofu (you can make your own or buy it premade), tempeh, beans or lentils, edamame, green peas, quinoa, wheatberries

  • Add Flair

A great way to enjoy healthy food more is to add flair to keep it interesting. Adding a small amount of tasty food will help to keep your taste buds happy.

Try topping salads with roasted nuts or spiced seeds (avoid those made with extra oils). Or try crumbled toasted pita chips, warmed capers or olives, or even sundried tomatoes on your salad. Warm salads are so versatile that, again, the possibilities are endless.

  • Dressing

A delicious dressing or sauce can take salads to the next level. They are also a great way to incorporate healthy fats into the meal. To keep it healthier, choose dressings made from whole foods, such as tahini, avocado, or cashews.

Warm salads: love them or hate them? Share your thoughts and tips with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.

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