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Food Tips

Healthy Breakfast Essentials

Start your day off right with a healthy and hearty breakfast! The best breakfast will be satisfying and nutrient-rich to fuel your morning and keep you satiated until lunchtime. Be sure your morning meal contains these breakfast essentials.

Protein

This is what keeps you full longer, helps your brain function better and helps to stabilize your blood sugar. Protein is the most important part of breakfast when it comes to fueling your body for the day.

Sources:

  • Eggs – 6 grams per egg
  • Greek Yogurt – 15 grams per ½ cup plain yogurt
  • Milk/Almond Milk – 8 grams per 8 ounces
  • Peanut Butter – 8 grams per 2 tablespoons
  • Oatmeal – 6 grams per ½ cup oats

Whole Grains

Fiber keeps your digestive system working properly, keeps you full, and balances blood sugar. Luckily, whole grains are a great source of fiber. When you pair fiber with protein and healthy fats, your body works to break down whole grains slowly and efficiently.

Sources:

  • Oats
  • Quinoa
  • Whole Wheat Toast
  • Whole Grain Muffins
  • Pancakes/Waffles made with Oats or Whole Wheat Flour
  • Granola

Healthy Fats

Again, healthy fats help to keep you full, and help the condition of your skin, hair, brain function.

Sources:

  • Nuts/Nut Butter
  • Coconut Oil
  • Avocados
  • Eggs
  • Flax Seed
  • Coconut Milk, Almond Milk, Regular

Fruits/Veggies

Including at least one serving of fruits and vegetables in your breakfast is an easy way to help you reach the recommended daily intake.

Ways To Add Fruits & Veggies To Breakfast:

  • Smoothies – you can mix both fruits and vegetables for a refreshing drink
  • Oatmeal – top with bananas or apples, or add carrots and raisins to create a Carrot Cake-like oatmeal
  • Hash – try a sweet potato has for a hearty breakfast
  • Frittata – use up leftover roasted vegetables for a veggie-filled dish
  • Sandwiches – load up with different veggies and eggs
  • Pancakes – top whole wheat pancakes with your favorite fruits

Prep The Night Before

By preparing your breakfast food the night before gives you one less thing you need to worry about in the morning. And if time is the main reason you skip breakfast in the morning, now you have no excuse.

What’s your favorite healthy breakfast? Share with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest! Be sure to join us for breakfast, served until 10:30am, six days a week (Monday-Friday 7:00am-4:00pm, Saturdays 8:00am-4:30pm). Visit us in store or have it delivered via DoorDash or UberEATS.

Delicious Fruit Salads

As the weather warms up and more fruits come into season, refreshing fruit salads are a coveted dish. But there’s more to fruit salads than just chopping fruits and tossing them into a bowl. The best fruit salads are not only visually stunning, but create a beautiful balance of flavors and textures. To create your own fruit salad masterpiece, check out these tips and tricks.

  • Seasonal Fruit
    Overall, seasonal fruit simply tastes better. When in season, their flavors and textures are far superior than that of off-season fruits. When choosing your ingredients, opt for seasonal produce that is local to you.
  • Ripeness
    In terms of texture, you want to choose fruits that are at same (or similar) level of ripeness. When you don’t, your salad may contain bites that are mushy or too tart or tough. Mixing similarly ripe fruits together will keep your salad looking fresh and vibrant longer.
  • Colors & Textures
    Speaking of vibrancy, fruit salads are easily one of the most visually appealing salads. The different colors and hues of the fruits you choose will highlight and contrast each other. A variation of textures can also keep your taste buds pleased. Choose a combination of seedy fruits along with crispy or juicy fruits or some with fibrous skins.
  • Remove Stems, Pits & Skins
    With cherries and strawberries and the like, you should remove the stems, pits, and, when necessary, the skins. If you cannot remove the pits or seeds, make sure your guests are aware to prevent any unpleasant surprises.
  • Consistency
    You want to cut your fruits into uniform pieces. This not only helps your salad visually, but it keeps each bite relatively even and easier to consume.
  • Equal Parts
    In addition, you want to use equal parts of each fruit so that one does not overpower the other.
  • Season With Citrus
    Nothing compliments a delicious fruit salad like fresh citrus zest and juice from lemons or limes. The citrus juice also helps to prevent the fruit from browning.
  • Herbs: More Than A Garnish
    You can continue to enhance the flavors of your fruit salad by adding fresh herbs. For example, mint is often used as a garnish, but it can be a refreshing and delicious addition when to the mixed in.
  • Granulated Sugar
    If you happen to pick up some fruits that are not quite ripe yet, you can soften and sweeten them with a bit of granulated sugar (to taste). After a few minutes, the granules will dissolve into the fruit, so no need to worry about the grainy texture.
  • Add Whipped Cream Or Yogurt
    Want to add some creamy richness to your fruit salad? Whipped cream or yogurt can be a great addition, especially for berries and stone fruits.

Have any fruit salad tips of your own? Share with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Join The Brick Your Neighborhood Deli for breakfast or lunch six days a week! Order our sandwiches in store, online or have them delivered via DoorDash or UberEATS. We also provide catering for business lunches, special events and parties. Call 909-596-5225 to learn more.

Plan The Perfect Picnic

Spring is the perfect season for picnics and outdoor gatherings. As the weather warms up, you can put away your devices and enjoy the company of friends and family in the fresh air. Plan a perfect picnic with these helpful tips.

  • Keep It Simple
    Sometimes, picnic spots are isolated and require a long walk to reach them. Be sure that all your picnic foods are easy to transport and not too heavy to carry. To make it even easier, choose paper plates and disposable cutlery.
  • Make It Interesting
    You want things to be fairly simple, but not boring. Opt for fun finger foods as they are easier to eat. For example, instead of a salad, stuff pita bread with salad and cheese. Not only is it easy to eat, but it will take up less space in your picnic basket.
  • Leave At Home
    You want to avoid bringing ice cream, sticky puddings, and cakes as they are fragile to transport and they will likely attract various insects.
  • Do It Well
    While you are keeping it simple, you want to be sure make them well. Be easy on yourself and check out your neighborhood deli or farmers market for great ingredients and snacks and add a few homemade specialties.
  • Skip The Courses
    The fun part of a picnic is its relaxed nature. You can spread the food out on your blanket and graze all day – no need for multiple courses.
  • Plan Carefully
    Planning is key when it comes to picnics. A proper head count will allow you to pack the right amount of food so you don’t have to carry too much back, if at all.
  • Keep It Cool
    Food safety is crucial at picnics. Use coolers or cool bags and icepacks to keep food at the right temperature. Freeze small water bottles or juice before you go and then toss them in your bag or cooler. They can keep your food cool during transport and become refreshing chilled drinks once you arrive.

Remember to bring sun block, sunglasses and anything else you may need to protect yourself from the sun, as well as bug spray just in case. Also, extra napkins or hand wipes are always a good idea. And don’t forget extra bags to pack up your trash to take home.

For an easy picnic, pick up some sandwiches, salads, and baked goods at the Brick Your Neighborhood Deli and enjoy it at the park! You can visit us weekdays from 7:00am-4:00pm and Saturdays from 8:00am-4:30pm. Or you can have our food delivered via DoorDash or UberEATS.

Seasonal Spring Produce

Spring is officially here and that means that delicious spring produce is in season. Start enjoying these yummy in-season foods now.

Arugula
In addition to arugula, other leafy greens like romaine and red leaf lettuce are also in season. These leafy greens are rich in vitamins A, K, and folate, chlorophyll, fiber, and water. They can help reduce inflammation while also hydrating and detoxifying your body.

Build delicious salads with these leafy greens and other veggies, nuts or seeds, drizzled with EVOO, balsamic vinegar or citrus juice.

Artichokes
Despite being available in both spring and fall, artichokes are a great spring food. Rich in folic acid, vitamin C, B-complex vitamins, and many minerals, artichokes can help lower cholesterol, reduce free radicals, and promote optimal metabolic cell function.

You can boil artichokes for about 20 minutes and enjoy them by peeling off the leaves and pairing it with your favorite dipping sauce.

Asparagus
Asparagus contains an abundance of vitamin K, which is important for blood clotting, heart and bone health, cancer prevention, and other functions. It’s also loaded with copper, selenium, B vitamins and other important nutrients.

Cooking asparagus is fairly simple. You can sauté it with your favorite seasonings in butter, ghee, or your oil of choice. Just be cautious to not overcook them. Don’t let them get too wilted – you want them to stay vibrant green and retain their shape.

Beets
As you may gather from their deep and juicy color, beets are great for blood and circulation. They are a unique source of phytonutrients called betalains, which can lower blood pressure, boost stamina, and support detoxification.

There are numerous ways you can reap the benefits beets. You can juice them, add them to smoothies, roast them as a side dish, or even add them to salads.

Carrots
When they’re in season locally, carrots taste even better. These delicious root vegetables are high in vitamin A and other antioxidants and help you maintain healthy hair, skin, and nails.

As we all know, carrots are yummy whether eaten raw or cooked. Chop, slice or shred them onto anything from salads to sandwiches, or bring them along as a travel snack.

Mint
Mint has powerful healing properties. It contains rosmarinic acid, an antioxidant that can relieve seasonal allergy symptoms. It also contains menthol, which is a natural decongestant, and can soothe an upset stomach.

Since mint is such a delicate herb, it’s best not to cook it. Instead, add it to water or iced tea for natural flavoring. You can also add it as an edible garnish, or chop it up and add it to fruit salads.

Peas
Peas are an excellent anti-inflammatory food thanks to the wide variety of vitamins and minerals they contain, including vitamins C, K, several B vitamins, manganese, phosphorus, and protein. Because they have a short growing season, enjoying them during their peak is something special.

Snack on sugar snap peas straight out of the pod or add them to salads, smoothies, stir-fries, noodle dishes, and more.

Strawberries
There’s nothing better than ripe, sweet strawberries. Did you know they are among the top five sources of antioxidant-rich fruit in the U.S.? And despite containing fructose, strawberries can help balance blood sugar. Strawberries also contain polyphenols which support immunity, healthy cell renewal, and other functions.

Eat them raw or freeze them (with the stems removed) to add to smoothies. You can also add them to chia pudding or oatmeal, make jam, or even make decadent chocolate-covered strawberries.

Spring Onions
Speaking of polyphenols, onions contain a high amount, especially flavonoids, which are compounds that play a major role in disease prevention. They are also natural antihistamines, and have antibacterial and antifungal properties.

Add raw onions to salads or tacos, sauté them with sea salt as a tasty caramelized onion side dish, or use them as a tasty base for spring sauces and soups.

Radishes
Radishes are a great detoxifier. They work at removing waste and toxins from both the stomach and liver. Also a natural diuretic, radishes help treat urinary and kidney conditions. In addition, they hydrate your skin, reduce fevers, and even treat insect bites.

You can add raw slices to salads, roast them as a side dish, or even juice them for a healthy drink.

What are your favorite seasonal spring foods? Share with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.

For a yummy deli sandwich or salad made with the finest and freshest ingredients available, visit the Brick Your Neighborhood Deli in Pomona! We are open weekdays from 7:00am-4:00pm and Saturdays 8:00am-4:30pm.

Making Sandwich Bread

If you’ve ever tried making homemade sandwich bread, you know it does not always go as planned. One misstep and you can end up with flat loaves, soggy middles or crumbly bread. Whether it’s your first or fiftieth time trying, here are some common sandwich bread making mistakes and tips to avoid them.

  • Under-kneading (or over-kneading) your dough.
    Under-kneaded dough often results in a lack of structure, holes in the middle, or will fall apart when you cut the loaf. Over-kneaded dough will produce dense, dry, and crumbly loaves.To avoid both, constantly check your dough during kneading rather than going by the time listed in the recipe. Keep kneading if it puddles in your hand or feels limp. Stop kneading if it starts to feel very tight in your hands. Your dough is ready when it is smooth, holds its shape in a ball, and springs back when you poke it.
  • Adding too much flour.
    We use flour to prevent the dough from sticking, but if you add too much, you can end up with dry, crumbly bread.If the dough seems too sticky when you begin, let it rest in the bowl for 30 minutes. This will give the flour time to absorb the liquid in the dough, making it less sticky and easier to knead. You may also try folding the dough rather than kneading it, as is the technique for sourdough bread.
  • Not shaping your loaf well enough.
    Once you shape your dough into a loaf and put it in the pan, it should have a taut, springy surface. Limp or loose loaves won’t rise properly and can end up flat and dense.You want to shape your dough by patting it down into a rectangle and then folding it like a letter. Then fold it in half again and make sure the surface is taut and smooth.
  • Not baking your bread long enough.
    No one wants under-baked bread. It will look dry and crusty on the outside, while the middle will still be gooey.To prevent this, use a thermometer. Fully baked sandwich loaves should be at least 190°F and no more than 210°F in the middle. Another trick is to slip the loaf out of the pan and thump the bottom – it should sound hollow. To err on the side of caution when you’re in doubt, bake your loaf a little longer.
  • Slicing your bread before it has cooled.
    As tempting as it may be to cut into a warm, freshly baked loaf of bread, please refrain. The cool down period is still a part of the cooking process, allowing the moisture inside to evaporate and the bread to firm up. If you cut your bread too soon, it may seem soggy or under-baked and your leftover bread will go stale much faster.Patience is the answer. It can take around two hours for a sandwich loaf to fully cool down – the bread should no longer feel warm on the sides or bottom when you touch it.

Share your own bread making tips with us and your peers on Facebook, 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.

Catering On A Budget

When it comes to catering, sticking to a budget is important. No one wants to spend more money than they have to, but running out of food can be an embarrassing issue. If you have an upcoming event, here are some cost-effective catering ideas and tips to help you please your guests while staying within budget.

Breakfast All Day
Morning menus are often cheaper so serving breakfast or brunch for lunch can be a smart option. Simply up your game with breakfast proteins like ham, bacon, and sausages served in casseroles, breakfast burritos or frittatas. Add a bagel, juice, and yogurt bar, along with fruit trays and pastries to round out the meal.

Buffets vs. Boxed Lunches
While boxed lunches can be convenient in most situations, a buffet-style lunch can be more cost-effective for larger groups. Your guests can mingle while enjoying the variety and freedom to build a plate to their liking. For smaller gatherings, you may want to opt for boxed lunches, and those with food allergies, dietary restrictions, or picky eaters can order their own meal to minimize waste and stay within budget.

Choose Meats Wisely
Less expensive cuts of meat, such as chicken, can help you please the crowd while controlling the cost. Enhance these meals with vegetables, stews, or curries. In addition, an all vegetarian menu can not only address dietary concerns but save you money overall.

Choose Cost-Effective Cuisines
Some types of foods are more expensive than others. If you’re looking for budget-friendly foods, steer toward Mexican, Indian, Thai, or Chinese cuisine over Japanese, French or Italian dishes that tend to be higher in price per person.

Time Is Money
If possible, put a time cap on your event. Rather than hosting an all-out, all-night shindig, opt for a shorter event, such as after-work happy hour. In this case, hors d’oeuvres can go a long way, reducing costs and pleasing guests since finger foods are fun and filling.

Bar Basics
Providing a full open bar can be costly and tricky. If you want to serve alcohol at your event, try creating one signature cocktail supplemented with beer and wine. Or you can simply limit it to beer and wine to keep your budget in check.

Nix The Staff
Depending on the event, you may not even need staff. Keep it casual to cut labor costs and catering price. Caterers can set up the food per your directions and employees can serve themselves.

Portion Control
When it comes to catering, we often over-order to prevent having too little food. The problem is that this can become costly and wasteful. Here are some simple guidelines for proper catering portions:

  • Proteins (ex. pulled pork, brisket): 4-5 ounces per person
  • Fried chicken or similar dishes: 3 pieces per person
  • Tacos: 2 per person
  • Sushi: 8-10 pieces per person
  • Side Dishes: 4 ounces per person

If you are looking for casual, cost-effective catering, look no further than the Brick Your Neighborhood Deli! From boxed lunches to sandwich catering packs to meat and cheese deli trays and more, we’ve got you covered. Give us a call at 909-596-5225 to discuss your options. You can also find us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.

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.

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.

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.