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Salads

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.

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!

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.

Make Better Salads

As simple as salads seem, sometimes when you make them yourself, they just don’t taste as good as restaurant salads. It’s not you, but it might be your technique. Here are some tips and tricks to perfect your healthy salad-making skills.

  • Always Use Fresh, In-Season Ingredients
    Produce always tastes best at the peak of freshness, which is why a quick trip to the farmer’s market could yield a great batch of salad ingredients.
  • Use A Salad Spinner
    Be sure to wash your greens and get them as dry as possible before starting your salad (the dressing will stick better). The paper towel method can be tedious and time-consuming, but a salad spinner is designed to effectively and efficiently dry your leaves. If you don’t have one already, you may want to consider investing in one.
  • Get Creative With Ingredients
    Lettuce doesn’t always have to be the base of your salad. Get creative and try quinoa or farro or even shredded carrots. In addition, you can change up your toppings. For example, you can try nuts or seeds or roasted veggies. Experiment with ingredients that you like and you just might discover your new favorite salad.
  • Add More Flavor
    Try adding fresh herbs into your salad base or squeeze some fresh lime or lemon juice over the top. And if you like spice, you can try fresh cracked pepper or something bolder like your favorite hot sauce. The possibilities are endless.
  • Balance Textures
    As with most other meals, you want to balance soft and creamy ingredients (ex. avocado, goat cheese) with something crunchy (ex. nuts, croutons). The contrasting textures often work well together.
  • Consider Your Protein
    Before adding your protein, think about the flavors that will complement what you already have. Rather than sticking to safe choices (shredded rotisserie chicken, unseasoned baked chicken), marinate your meat in spices/sauces that will work with your salad.
  • Add Cheese Just Before Eating
    If you’re adding cheese to your salad, be sure to shred or shave it just before you are about to eat. Pre-shredded cheese often dries out easier and loses flavor. By shaving or shredding your cheese just before your meal, you retain the moisture and flavor for a better tasting salad.
  • Want Creamier Salad Dressing?
    Sometimes your store-bought or home-made dressings can be a little on the thin side, causing it to simply slip right off your salad ingredients. When this happens, an easy way to thicken it up is to add some fat-free Greek yogurt. This will also give your dressing a creamier consistency without adding too many calories.
  • Dress Wisely
    While on the topics of dressings, be mindful of your dressing portions. Too much or too little dressing can really mess up a salad. It’s best to err on the lighter side since you can always add more dressing as needed, but you can’t take it away.

If you don’t want to make your salad at home, come on down to the Brick Your Neighborhood Deli! With our Mixed Greens salad, you choose the toppings and we do the work. Visit www.BrickMarketDeli.com for more information on our menu or call 909-596-5225 if you have any questions. You can also stay up-to-date by following us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.

A Salad A Day…

Salads tend to be underrated. As far as ingredients, they can be as simple or as elaborate as you would like, and you can find at least one on nearly every restaurant menu. Adding a salad to your diet almost daily can provide great healthful benefits, such as the following.

  • Fiber

Salads are a great source of fiber, and high-fiber diets can help lower cholesterol levels. Fiber also aids the digestive system and helps you feel fuller and eat less, which may result in weight loss.

  • Fruits & Vegetables

Eating salads can increase your intake of vegetables and fruits. In addition, these nutrient-rich plants can improve your overall health. Raw vegetables are a filled with excellent antioxidants which help protect our body from damage caused by free radicals. Research has also shown links between fruit and vegetable intake and lowered risks for diseases.

  • Cut Calories & Increase Satisfaction

Starting your meals with a small green salad (150 calories or less) can be helpful if you’re looking to lose weight. It can increase satiety and decrease the total number of calories eaten during your meal. In addition, you may want to aim make your salads bigger in volume by adding more veggies and using less dressing and other fatty toppings.

  • Good Fats

In order to better absorb the protective phytochemicals from your vegetables, it is best to eat them with a little good fat (such monounsaturated fat found in olive oil, avocado, and nuts).

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

Visit us in store to build your own Mixed Greens salad! We are located at 105 E. Arrow Hwy in Pomona, CA and open weekdays 7:00am-4:00pm and Saturdays 8:00am-4:30pm. See you soon!

Restaurant Dining Advice

When you don’t feel like cooking or simply want to get out of the house for a bit, dining at a restaurant is a great option. Let’s be honest, we all deserve to treat ourselves to a nice meal every now and then. Unfortunately, restaurants don’t always provide the healthiest options. To refrain from overindulging when dining out, keep these healthy restaurant tips in mind.

Pay Attention To Salads
Sure, salads seem like a healthy meal choice, but depending on the ingredients, you may end up with more than you expected. First of all, most restaurant portions are larger than normal. If possible, get a half order. Secondly, take a look at those toppings. Things like fried chicken, candied nuts, cheese, tortilla strips, and croutons can quickly add excess sugar, fat, and calories. Look for salads topped with lean protein and additional raw veggies. Lastly, order the dressing on the side and use it sparingly. You may lightly dip each bite in dressing or even use fresh salsa in lieu of dressing.

Skip The Dips
When you want to order an appetizer for the table, dips are usually an easy go-to. Unfortunately, these dips are often high in fat and calories, and commonly paired with bread, chips, or crackers, which offer high carbs and little nutrition. Instead, seek out raw or steamed seafood, or raw veggies with salsa as an appetizer. You can even order a side salad to help fill you up before your meal – just remember to watch those toppings and dressing.

Swap Your Sides
Trade your French fries, coleslaw, and mashed potatoes for a side of steamed vegetables or a baked potato. With the latter, you want to use just a bit of butter, and possibly top it with steamed veggies or fresh salsa.

Downsize Your Portions
As mentioned, portions are often oversized at restaurants. This can be especially problematic for those who feel driven to clean their plates. Instead, ask for a box as your meal arrives and pack half of your food to-go, which can help to prevent overeating. Or you can choose an appetizer as your entrée.

Water Is Better
You may not want to waste calories on a beverage when water is so refreshing and hydrating. Try a lemon or lime wedge to add some flavor. In terms of alcoholic beverages, you may want to opt for clear liquor and soda water with a lemon or lime to avoid excess calories and sugar.

Choose The Right Condiments
Much like toppings and dressings can sabotage a salad, the wrong condiments can sabotage your meal. Mayonnaise, ranch, Caesar dressing, honey mustard, and ketchup can be high in calories and sugars. Mustard, vinegar and lemon are better options for adding flavor to your foods. When all else fails, a bit of salt and pepper are fine alternatives as well.

Check The Menu Ahead Of Time
Doing a little research beforehand can help you decide what you’re going to order and how you will customize it. Preparing ahead of time can help you avoid giving into last-minute cravings because you can’t decide on a healthy option. It can even help you avoid restaurants with limited healthy options.

How do you keep your restaurant meals healthy? Share your own tips with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.

For delicious sandwiches and salads made fresh to order, visit the Brick Your Neighborhood Deli! Order online, call ahead, or come on in and dine with us.

Healthy Salads: Increase Your Veggie Intake

When it comes to increasing your veggie intake, healthy salads are a smart choice. While there are many ways to sabotage your healthy salad, there are also many ways to make it nutritious. For example, topping your greens with more raw veggies can provide you with a variety of vitamins and minerals.

Aside from getting the daily recommended intake, you want to consume diverse vegetables to get different nutrients. In addition, focus on more dark green and red and orange vegetables as they are more nutrient-dense and contain nutrients that we don’t usually get enough of (ex. folate, magnesium, potassium, dietary fiber, vitamins A, C and K).

Salad Greens
For a long time, iceberg, or head lettuce, was the main staple as a salad base. These days, common salad bases include Romaine and leaf lettuce (ex. green leaf, red leaf, butter, bibb), as well as spinach and kale. Not as popular, but gaining momentum are collard greens, escarole, mustard greens and turnip greens.

Lettuce greens contain nearly no calories nor sodium, and boast about a gram of fiber, a gram or two of carbohydrates, and barely a gram of protein per cup. Dark leafy greens such as spinach, romaine and leaf lettuce, contain more of certain nutrients (ex. vitamin A and C, potassium). Bottom-line: whichever salad base you choose, as long as you eat it, you are getting nutrients.

What can make or break your salad is the toppings and dressing. Adding more raw vegetables, such as cucumbers, peppers, or carrots, is a great option. It is the toppings like bacon, cheese, and fried chicken, as well as heavy, excessive amounts of dressing that you want to avoid.

Whether you’re eating at home or at a restaurant, here are some tips on keeping your salads healthy and nutritious.

At Home:

  • Try something new! Choose salad greens such as spinach, arugula, endive, escarole, or watercress as a base. Top your salad with colorful veggies such as radicchio, radishes, beets, peppers, and carrots.
  • Prep healthful salad toppers (cucumbers, peppers, red or green cabbage, carrots) ahead of time. That way, you can easily throw a healthy salad together.
  • Make use of leftovers, or simply enjoy a healthful dinner by creating an entrée salad.
  • Try adding nuts, seeds, olives, raisins, dried cranberries, wheat germ, or flax to your salads to create texture, crunch, and nutrition.
  • Make your own salad dressing by blending a healthy oil and your favorite vinegar, herbs, spices, and garlic in a food processor.

Salad Bar:

  • Start your salad base with a mound of greens – the darker the better. Then pile on the veggies.
  • If you must, allow yourself small portions of higher-calorie items such as cheese, pasta, or potato salad.
  • Ladle only a tablespoon or two of your favorite dressing, then spread it with drizzles of vinegar or squeezes of lemon wedges.

Fast Food Restaurants:

  • Use only a portion of the large packet of dressing.
  • When available, opt for half orders.
  • Avoid salads with high-fat items (ex. fried chicken, Chinese noodles, candied nuts, and cheese).

Sit-Down Restaurants:

  • Start with an appetizer salad to fill up.
  • Split a side or entrée salad (restaurant portions are often generous).
  • Request the kitchen go light on ingredients that are higher in fat and calories, such as avocado, cheese, and bacon.
  • Order salad dressing on the side – this will help you control the portion. Drizzle it gingerly or lightly dip each bite.

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

Enjoy a healthy salad or yummy sandwich with us today! We’re located at 105 East Arrow Highway in Pomona and we are open weekdays 7:00am-4:00pm and Saturdays 8:00am-4:30pm.