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Food Tips

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.

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.

Breakfast: Start Your Day The Right Way

Mornings are often busy and, unless you make time for it, breakfast gets skipped more often than not. Unfortunately, skipping breakfast can do more harm than good. Here are some reasons why you should set aside some time in the morning to eat a healthy breakfast.

Energy
Breakfast gets its name from breaking the fast you endure while you sleep. While you are sleeping and your body is at rest, your metabolism slows down. When you wake up in the morning, it kicks back up and you can take advantage of this by eating a healthy breakfast. By doing so, you regulate your metabolism and blood sugar levels and provide your body with the proper fuel for the day.

Healthy Diet
When you skip breakfast, you are less likely to meet the recommended daily intakes for important nutrients. But that doesn’t mean you should reach for the nearest donut or pastry. If you make nutritious breakfast choices, they can help you maintain a healthy diet.

Weight
A healthy breakfast can also help to maintain a steady BMI (body mass index). When you start your day with a well-balanced breakfast, you are less likely to be starving by lunchtime, and thus, will decrease snacking throughout the day.

In addition, numerous studies have shown that eating breakfast helps with weight control. For example, research shows that adolescents who eat breakfast tend to weigh less, while adults who have maintained weight loss tend to be breakfast eaters. It is also believed that when individuals skip breakfast, they are more inclined to overeat at later meals. But remember, skipping breakfast does not necessarily mean you will gain weight.

Mind & Mood
Food energizes the body, and without it, especially in the morning, lethargy and drowsiness may take over. By fueling your body first thing in the morning, you can increase your ability to learn and focus, as well as improve your concentration, whether for school or work. Also, the vitamins, minerals, fatty acids found in healthy breakfast foods have been shown to improve brain functioning.

Eating breakfast can also improve your overall well-being. With increased focus comes increased productivity, making it easier for you to get through your day. And we all know we are often less irritable with a stomach full of healthy and delicious food.

A healthy breakfast may include fruits, whole grains, and lean proteins. If you are looking to lose some weight, watch your portions throughout the day to reduce your caloric intake. Remember, your breakfast can set the tone for the day and motivate you to maintain a healthy diet.

Join the Brick Your Neighborhood Deli for breakfast 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. You may also connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest!

Build The Ultimate Thanksgiving Leftovers Sandwich

Thanksgiving is next week, but we have been thinking about Thanksgiving Leftover sandwiches all month. While we all have our own personal preferences, here are some sandwich tips to help you create a delicious Thanksgiving Leftovers Sandwich.

Bread Choice
It seems wrong to go out and buy bread specifically for a sandwich made from leftovers. As the name states, you should be using what you have on hand, which is what most of us can and will do. However, if you do go out of your way to get bread for this sandwich, the key is to get something that isn’t too bready. Since you will likely be creating a hefty sandwich, choose bread that’s strong enough to hold up without overpowering the ingredients.

A fresh Kaiser roll might be the best choice as it adds some flaky crispiness on the outside but is airy enough within to complement your leftovers. And this may cause a stir, but a wrap can also be a fine option as it allows for more of the stuff on the inside without adding too much starch. Also it helps to ensure your whole sandwich won’t fall apart while you eat it.

Easy Dressing/Gravy
First and foremost, avoid mustard. While it is a perfectly fine condiment, it doesn’t necessarily lend itself to this sandwich. If your sandwich consists of mainly turkey, then mustard is great. But because it’s such a strong flavor, it may be too intense for the rest of your ingredients. Instead, a neutral condiment like mayonnaise can help to add some greasy moisture to your sandwich.

You want to add gravy to your sandwich because we’re talking Thanksgiving here. But you have to be careful – too much gravy will soak your bread and create a soggy mess. To err on the side of caution for sliced bread, make sure there’s a dry ingredient between the bread and the gravy. If you want to avoid it all together, you can always have a little extra gravy on the side to dip your sandwich in.

Starches
You may be tempted to pile on the starches, like stuffing, mashed potatoes, and candied yams, but disrupting the starch-to-meat ratio will result in a dense, carb-heavy sandwich. If that’s what you like, we are definitely not here to judge. This is merely a suggestion to help balance out your sandwich.

Stuffing may be your best bet for a starch, but you have likely have many options, such as sweet potatoes or mac n’ cheese. Much like everything in this sandwich, go easy. If you are using a wrap, you can probably go with two starches, but keep portions and ratios in mind.

Dark Meat
While many may prefer white meat, whether for taste or health reasons, they may not realize how moist and tasty dark meat is. You don’t want to risk your sandwich being too dry, so when you can, go with dark meat.

Cranberry Sauce
A thin, well-distributed layer is such a good addition to your leftover sandwich. The tart, sweet and fruity flavors add moisture without overpowering the other flavors, nor creating a soggy sandwich.

Egg = Breakfast
Add an egg and you’ve got breakfast – enough said. This tactic allows you to wake up Friday morning and dig right back into your Thanksgiving food.

Follow Your Heart
Ultimately, it comes down to what you like in your sandwich (and what’s on hand – this is a leftovers sandwich). Trust your instincts with flavor and texture combinations, and if it doesn’t work out sometimes, lesson learned.

Share your Thanksgiving Leftover Sandwich recipes, tips, and tricks with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest!

For Thanksgiving week, we will be open for normal store hours (7:00am-4:00pm) on Monday-Wednesday, but will be closed Thursday-Saturday for the holiday. We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your understanding. Hope to see you soon!

Catering Tips For Office Lunches

Good office lunch catering can be the saving grace of an otherwise mundane or stressful work day. It can boost workers’ spirits and fuel them for the rest of the day. However, a lot can go wrong if these catered lunches are planned and executed poorly. Heed these tips and advice when planning your next office lunch catering.

  • Headcount

Getting a final headcount is crucial – nothing is more problematic or embarrassing as running out of food. Be sure to double check your headcount to ensure there will be enough food for everyone participating.

  • Narrow It Down

Instead of taking individual orders from everyone, pick a restaurant and take a look at the menu. Narrow it down to a few options from which workers may choose and give a deadline for order submissions.

  • Location, Location, Location

If your employees will be eating in the conference room during a meeting, there are some things to consider.

You will need to set up a food table opposite from the presentation. If people would like to go back for seconds, they can without crossing in front of the screen. Also avoid messy or noisy foods for minimal interruptions and issues.

  • Time

If there’s a time crunch, setup can make or break the catering all together. When this is the case, individually packed paper bag lunches can help. These prevent long lines, help control portions, and give employees the freedom of a “to go” option if they need to get back into the meeting.

  • The Extras

Workers will appreciate the little things like extra napkins, hand sanitizers, wet wipes, and mints. These thoughtful touches can help everything run smoothly and neatly.

  • Go Seasonal

If there’s a holiday around the corner, you may want to consider adding a few hints to the food and décor.

  • Offer Some Agency

Give people a little power over what they eat and save the organizer from taking individual orders. For example, instead of taking individual sandwich orders, provide the components for a salad and sandwich bar and let everyone build their own lunch.

  • Food Sensitivities

First and foremost, be mindful of serious food allergies amongst the staff. And you must also keep in mind any food sensitivities and personal preferences. Gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan options are essential these days.

  • Fun, Healthy Options

Although they may be overlooked, an effort to provide wholesome food should be made. Make it fun with things like Edible arrangements, Sun Chips, or Luna Bars.

  • Sweet Tooth

As long as you have healthy options, it’s fine to add an additional treat.  For those who don’t mind indulging a bit, a cupcake or pastry can go a long way.

Did you know we cater? From sandwich catering packs to boxed lunches to meat & cheese trays, we’ve got you covered! Call 909-596-5225 to learn more and let us cater your next party or special event.  And don’t forget to connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest!

Vegan Facts & Fiction

Did you know November is World Vegan Month? If you’ve ever thought about becoming vegan, or at least eating less meat and more plant-based foods, there are some important things you need to know before you dive in. These are some common misconceptions about the vegan diet.

X MYTH: Vegans don’t get enough protein.
In actuality, we all pretty much get enough protein. It’s not one of the nutrients we really need to worry about since we have so many sources for it. And a proper vegan diet incorporates plant proteins from sources such as nuts, beans, soy foods, and quinoa. Even athletes, who have particular protein needs, can meet their protein requirement by choosing a variety of plant protein sources.

And although most plant proteins are considered “incomplete” proteins (they don’t have all nine essential amino acids that animal proteins do), as long as you eat a variety of protein sources on a given day, you should be covered.

  • FACT: Vegans never eat meat, fish, dairy, or eggs.
    Strict vegans only eat food from plants. Vegetarians may eat dairy and eggs, vegans don’t eat any animal by-products, including honey. While the reasons may vary (animal welfare concerns, environmental reasons, health/weight loss, wellness beliefs), vegans only consume foods and products made from plants.

X MYTH: Going vegan always leads to weight loss.
Vegan diets may prompt weight loss, but it is not guaranteed. You should still pay attention to the nutritional value of the vegan foods you consume. For example, Oreos and French fries are vegan-friendly, but may not be helpful when it comes to weight loss. You should focus on consuming fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans for an increased fiber intake, which can help you lose weight over time.

  • FACT: You need to supplement a vegan diet.
    Vitamin B12 (critical in cell division and the maintenance of nerve cells) is only found in animal products and not plant foods, which means vegans are susceptible to a deficiency. Vegans should supplement with vitamin B12 pill or fortified cereal. But when it comes to fortified cereal, it is important to read to label to be sure vitamin B12 is covered.

Vegans at risk for falling short on other nutrients (calcium, iron, omega-3 fatty acids) should meet with a registered dietician who can either suggest how to meet your needs with foods or recommend a quality vegan supplement.

X MYTH: Meat alternatives are healthier than meat.
Unfortunately, many meat alternatives contain lots of sodium, which can increase blood pressure. Ideally, we should be consuming no more than 1500mg of sodium per day (as recommended by the American Heart Association). However, some frozen veggie burgers can contain up to 600mg of sodium per burger. Even more concerning, not all meat impersonators are vegan so be sure to read the fine print.

Vegan or not, we should be choosing whole foods over hyper-processed ones. Vegans should focus on animal-free whole food staples (beans, nuts, whole grains, fruits & veggies) for a nutritious and balanced diet.

Overall Benefits
Aside from the environmental and animal welfare benefits, there are also great health benefits associated with a vegan diet. Studies show that these diets can lower the risk of cancer, most likely due to an increased consumption of antioxidant- and fiber-rich foods (fruits, veggies, whole grains, legumes).

Food can be healing as well, and the foods included in a vegan diet are associated with improved blood pressure, reductions in heart disease, and a lower chance of developing type 2 diabetes.

Not ready to jump in? You can benefit from a more flexible approach. Make it a point to consume less meat and more plant-based foods by adjusting your diet. For example, you can designate a day or two during the week in which you consume vegan friendly meals and snacks.

Have you tried to go vegan? Share your stories with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Did you know our vegetarian sandwiches can be made vegan? Simply let our staff know and we will gladly prepare a vegan friendly meal for you! Visit us weekdays from 7:00am-4:00pm and Saturdays 8:00am-4:30pm.

Food Safety Tips For Halloween

Trick-or-treating, costume parties, and apple bobbing are fun pastimes associated with Halloween. Unfortunately a lot can go wrong if the proper safety measures are not in place. To ensure your children are safe, follow these Halloween food safety tips via FDA.gov:

  • Snacking – Have your children eat a light meal or snack before they head out trick-or-treating. They should wait until they are home and you can inspect their treats before consuming them.
  • Safe Treats – Children should not accept, and especially not eat, anything that is not commercially wrapped. Inspect all candies for any signs of tampering, such as unusual appearance or discoloration, tiny pinholes, or tears in wrappers. Toss anything that looks suspicious.
  • Food Allergies – If your child has a food allergy, check the label to ensure the allergen is not present. Seek houses with teal pumpkins on display, as these denote that non-food treats are available. Any home-baked goods he or she may have received should not be consumed.
  • Choking Hazards – These include gum, peanuts, hard candies, and small toys. If you have very young children, be sure to sort through their bags and remove these choking hazards.

Bobbing For Apples
This classic game has the potential for spreading bacteria that can cause foodborne illness.

  • To reduce the number of bacteria that might be present on apples and other raw fruits and vegetables, thoroughly rinse them under cool running water. Consider using a produce brush to remove surface dirt as well.
  • New spin on apple bobbing from FightBAC.org: Cut out apple shapes from red construction paper and write an activity on each (ex. do 5 jumping jacks). Place a paper clip on each apple and put them in a large basket. Tie a magnet to a string and let the children take turns “bobbing” and doing the activity written on the apple. Treat the kids to fresh apples after you are done.

Party At Home

  • Unpasteurized juice or cider can contain harmful bacteria such as salmonella. Stay safe by always serving pasteurized products at your parties.
  • Resist the urge to taste raw cookie dough or cake batter that contains uncooked eggs.
  • Keep all perishable foods chilled until serving time – bacteria will creep up on you if you let food sit out too long. These include finger sandwiches, cheese platters, fruit or tossed salads, cold pasta dishes with meat, poultry or seafood, and cream pies or cakes with whipped-cream and cream-cheese frostings. Don’t leave perishable goodies out of the fridge for more than two hours (1 hour in temperatures above 90°F).

Share your own Halloween food safety tips with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest!

Fuel up at the Brick Your Neighborhood Deli before you head out for your Halloween fun! We will have normal store hours for Halloween on Wednesday, October 31 (7:00am-4:00pm; breakfast served until 10:30am). You may also order our food for delivery via DoorDash or UberEATS.

Perfecting The Potato Salad

Potato salad is a delicious side dish, but we all know one misstep can ruin the entire batch. Here are some tips and tricks to ensure you make the best potato salad.

Potatoes
Choosing the right potato for your salad is all about your personal preference. If you prefer a creamy potato salad sans the gobs of mayo, go for russet (baking) potatoes. When boiled, they break down a bit and their starch adds to the overall texture of the finished dish. They also absorb dressing more easily.

For a firmer potato with creamy dressing, moderately waxy potatoes like Yukon gold or red potatoes hole their shape and don’t break down as quickly. This will provide a great contrast of textures.

Pieces
You want to maintain uniformity in potato pieces to ensure even cooking. If you have pieces that vary drastically in sizes, you will have some undercooked and some overcooked pieces.

Don’t Overcook
With that said, do not overcook your potatoes, unless you want to make mashed potatoes. You want to heat the water and potatoes to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and keep an eye on the pot. When the pieces are just tender, drain the water from the pot. The residual heat will keep the pieces cooking a bit longer.

Don’t Undercook
The crunchy element of your potato salad should come from the celery or pickles you mix in, not from undercooked potatoes. Undercooked potatoes are often a result of adding potato pieces to boiling water instead of warming them up in cold water. By doing so you run the risk of having only the outsides cooked before the insides are done all the way through.

Seasonings
When foods come straight from the fridge, the flavors are often muted. To combat this, cook potatoes in well-salted water and make sure that you use a boldly flavored dressing.

After you’ve mastered prepping your potatoes, you can experiment with different flavor combinations. Here are a few ideas:

  • Seasoned Rice Vinegar / Toasted Sesame Oil / Green Onion / Red Pepper / Jalapeno
  • Bacon / Mayo / Spicy Brown Mustard / Dill Pickles / Garlic / Celery / Green Onions
  • Sour Cream / White Wine Vinegar / Fresh Dill / Pickles / Shallots / Smoked Salmon
  • Cider Vinegar / Pickled Jalapenos / Cilantro / Corn / Green Onions
  • Horseradish / Mayo / Bacon / Chives / Radish Slices

What’s your go-to potato salad recipe? Share with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest!

Add our delicious Potato Salad, made fresh in house, to your favorite signature sandwich today! Order online, visit in store, or get our food delivered via DoorDash or UberEATS.

Healthy Tips For Dining Out

There are several reasons for dining out at a restaurant. Whether it’s a new hot spot you’ve had your eye on, for a social gathering, or simply a much-needed break from the kitchen, you deserve a nice night out. And while it is great to treat yourself, it does not mean you have to abandon your diet completely.

Despite hidden calories and large portions, there are ways to create a delicious and healthy restaurant dining experience.

Healthier Choices

  • Just say no to appetizers, which are usually loaded with unnecessary calories. If you want to start with an appetizer, a green salad with dressing on the side is a better option.
  • To prevent overeating, you should aim to fill half of your plate with fruit and/or vegetables (and no, potatoes do not count), and the other half with lean protein and whole grains.
  • Skip the sodium-laden soups. Instead, go for a salad, which offers less sodium and more potassium-rich veggies.
  • Restaurant portions are notorious for being oversized, so, if you can, order a lunch portion, box up half of your meal for later, or split an entrée with a friend.
  • As tempting as they may be, bypass the complimentary bread or chips. These fillers will just stuff you with unnecessary and empty calories and carbs.

Salads

  • Choose Darker Greens – Darker greens have more nutrients per serving than the popular romaine or iceberg lettuce.
  • Pick A Good Protein – Good protein choices include egg whites, egg slices, grilled tofu, tuna, beans, chicken, and seafood.
  • Cut The Cheese – You really don’t need the cheese, do you? Skip the excess calories, saturated fat, and sodium that cheese provides.
  • Smart Toppings – Instead of adding crunch from oily, refined flour (crispy wontons, croutons) and salty sodium bombs (olives, bacon), add crisp veggies and fruit to add more texture and flavor. Load up on nutrient-dense toppings such as broccoli, carrots, chickpeas, black beans, edamame, roasted peppers blueberries, mango, or strawberries.
  • Dress Better – It’s always wise to get the dressing on the side so that you can control how much or how little dressing you use. You may even be able to create your our dressing using oil and vinegar.

Sandwiches

  • Whole Wheat > White Bread – Always a better choice as it provides more nutrients. And please note that “multigrain” may mean more white flour than whole wheat.
  • Avoid Wraps – Unless they are whole grain, skip the wraps (they can have up to as many calories as white bread). Or try a lettuce wrap. You can drop refined grains for whole food. And if you’re feeling adventurous, turn your sandwich into a salad.
  • Craving a sandwich? Opt for a half sandwich, half salad combo. That way, you can get your sandwich fix while taking in more vegetables, too.
  • Smart Sides – When it comes to side dishes, opt for fresh fruit or steamed veggies over chips or bread.

Coffee

  • Choose Nonfat Milk – If you don’t particularly like nonfat, take baby steps and do half nonfat, half 2% milk.
  • Pros & Cons Of Non-Dairy Milk – Soy milk provides around 8g of protein per cup, but depending on the brand, they may have added sugar. Almond milk may have less sugar, but also less protein. Skip the coconut milk as it is low in protein and high in saturated fat.
  • Skip The Whipped Cream – Save yourself from excess calories and saturated fat.
  • Skip The Syrup – Sugar-free syrups may be made with unsafe sweeteners, but if you must, ask for a single pump of regular syrup.
  • Order Brewed Coffee and make your own modifications (one packet of sugar adds about 20 calories.

How do you stay healthy when you dine out? Share your tips with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.

At the Brick Your Neighborhood Deli, we serve a variety of signature sandwiches and salads made to order. Visit us in store, online or have our food delivered via DoorDash or UberEATS. We also provide catering for business lunches, special events and parties. Call 909-596-5225 to learn more!

Crafting Better Salads At Home

Salads are often seen as boring diet food, but they don’t have to be boring. When making salads at home, they may fall flat in comparison to store bought or restaurant salads, but there are ways to get around these issues. Here are the best salad tricks to ensure you are making a yummy salad at home.

  • Wash & Dry The Leaves Thoroughly
    You want to start your salad with clean and dry leaves to ensure that your salad dressing adheres to the leaves. Most of us simply rinse our greens under the sink, but dunking them into a bowl full of water and massaging the dirt out is more effective. Rather than using paper towels, invest in a salad spinner to thoroughly dry the leaves.
  • Salt The Dressing
    All too often this step is forgotten, but adding salt to the dressing can make all the difference. Whether you’re making a fancy dressing or simply using oil and vinegar, adding salt will help to enhance flavors and improve your salad overall. To take it a step further, try a flavored salt.
  • Use Varying Textures
    Using contrasting textures will help to elevate your salad experience. Crunchy nuts, creamy cheeses, and chewy dried fruits are great toppings that will keep each bite of salad unique and delicious.
  • Create Balanced Flavors
    Aside from varying textures, you want to keep your flavors diverse yet balanced. Your salad should have salty, sweet, acidic and bitter flavors by way of protein, fruit, vinaigrette, and greens. Get creative and represent as many flavor profiles as possible.
  • Opt For Seasonal Greens
    We all know seasonal produce tastes better when in season, but did you know that lettuce and other greens have their seasons too? In the winter, warm up to kale and Brussels sprouts, and in the spring and summer, choose butter lettuce and romaine.
  • Measure Equal Amounts Of Toppings
    If you’ve ever been served a salad that was skimpy on ingredients, you know how disappointing that can be. When making your own, use the proper portions and try to use equal measurements of all the salad toppings. This is especially important for salads such as the Cobb.
  • Toast The Nuts
    Did you know that toasting nuts helps to enhance their flavor and texture? Next time you plan on adding almonds, cashews, walnuts, or other nuts, toast them first. But remember to cool them to room temperature before topping your salad.
  • Experiment With Different Oils & Vinegars
    Much like flavored salt in your dressing can add more flavor, using different oils and vinegars can push your salad even further. While balsamic vinegar and olive oil are often the go-to, opt for infused or other variations of oils and vinegars, such as avocado oil, walnut oil, rice vinegar, sherry vinegar, or Champagne vinegar.
  • Toss In Delicate Herbs & Flowers
    This trick not only adds more flavor, but also a pop of color to enhance your salad presentation. Try mint, basil, parsley, fennel fronds, or dill. Be adventurous and add edible flowers if they are available to you – they add a peppery flavor.
  • Add A Luxurious Topping
    Save these toppings for last for more impressive presentation and a sophisticated, unique flavor. Think blue cheese, duck confit, quail eggs, or bone marrow.

Share your own special salad tips and tricks with us and your peers on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Enjoy our fresh salads and signature sandwiches made to order at the Brick Your Neighborhood Deli. Visit us in store or have our food delivered via DoorDash or UberEATS. We’re open weekdays 7:00am-4:00pm and Saturdays 8:00am-4:30pm.

Packed Lunches Don’t Have To Be Boring

Whether you are trying to maintain a healthy diet, save money, or both, packing lunch is a smart option. However, after a while, you may run out of ideas or grow tired of your lunch routine. You can avoid this by making adjustments here and there. Here are some tips to keep your lunch healthy and exciting.

Salads
Salads are a healthy, easy, and delicious choice for lunch. Greens are very nutritious, containing vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber. However, salads can get boring day after day if you stick to the same basic ingredients.

An easy way to reinvent your salad is to try a different base. Some great alternatives include massaged kale, baby romaine, cabbage, or bok choy.

Another way to change things up is to look at your protein source. You can either replace it with a new protein, or simply add another to enhance the flavors and textures of your salad. Try tofu, tempeh, shelled edamame, kidney beans, brown rice, chickpeas, or lentils, all of which are excellent plant-based protein sources.

Lastly, your dressing can really make your salad ingredients shine. Instead of reaching for your preferred store-bought variety, make your own. There are plenty of recipes available online, some as simple as oil and vinegar and spices.

Sandwiches
There are plenty of ways to get creative with your sandwiches. For starters, if you use classic white bread for your sandwiches, try using whole grain or sourdough for a change. You can even try pita or other flatbreads to create a pita pocket, gyro or wrap.

Aside from that, you can try different sandwich toppings, or even use last night’s leftovers as a filling. And you can ditch mayo or mustard (or both) for a smear of avocado, hummus, or another flavorful spread. The possibilities are endless.

Snacks
Go for a variety of healthy snacks instead of a main dish. This variety can make you look forward to lunch more so than before. These can also help sustain your energy throughout the day. Try a healthy mix of sweet and savory snacks, from veggies and hummus to easy energy bites and more.

Rethink Meal Prep
Meal prep is a great way to save time and eat healthy, but with repetitive meals, lunchtime can get dull. Rather than ditching meal prep all together, try prepping some basic ingredients and creating meals that vary from day to day. Don’t be afraid to try new flavor combinations or think outside of the box.

Pack Realistically
Sure, you want to eat a healthy meal, but will a plain kale salad really satisfy your midday hunger? On paper it may sound like a great and healthy meal, but you may be disappointed come lunch time. Consequently, this disappointment may lead you to fall back on unhealthy habits. Instead, heed the aforementioned tips and pack a tasty, healthy lunch you know you will enjoy.

If you need a break from your own lunches, you can join us six days a week for breakfast or lunch. We are located at 105 E. Arrow Highway in Pomona, CA (on the northeast corner of E. Arrow Hwy and Garey Ave – next to Johnny’s).

Connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.