Wed | Feb 24, 2021

Not Jus’ a Salad - Restaurant promotes healthy lifestyle for lunch

Published:Thursday | November 26, 2020 | 12:11 AMKrysta Anderson/Staff Reporter
Not Jus’ a Salad’s famous lentil mushroom veggie lasagna.
Not Jus’ a Salad’s famous lentil mushroom veggie lasagna.
The black bean sweet potato nuggets is a healthy spin on a popular favourite.
The black bean sweet potato nuggets is a healthy spin on a popular favourite.
Greek Garden Salad, anyone? Yes, please!
Greek Garden Salad, anyone? Yes, please!
ABOVE: The pan-seared chicken and black bean wraps come with a signature pumpkin-cauliflower ‘cheese’ sauce.
ABOVE: The pan-seared chicken and black bean wraps come with a signature pumpkin-cauliflower ‘cheese’ sauce.
Get into the healthy game with the lentil-sweet potato croquettes.
Get into the healthy game with the lentil-sweet potato croquettes.
The tasty pan-seared chicken and black bean wrap will have you filled and happy in no time.
The tasty pan-seared chicken and black bean wrap will have you filled and happy in no time.
A view of the brown stew chicken breasts with pumpkin-quinoa and fresh salad.
A view of the brown stew chicken breasts with pumpkin-quinoa and fresh salad.
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Not Jus’ a Salad. That’s the mantra and name of the restaurant taking a healthier approach to lunchtime.

With healthy food options such as lentil mushroom zucchini lasagna, the popular eatery finds creative ways to make good food, that’s not only good for you, but delicious too.

Take the lentil mushroom zucchini lasagna. Khadine Smith, director of operations, explained that the lasagna pasta is replaced with zucchini noodles. It is made vegan with lentil and mushrooms and hearty in its overall delivery, courtesy of the simmering, freshly made tomato sauce.

“We take items that we know people love, like lasagnas, pizzas and burgers, and we use different creative ingredients to make it even better because it tastes so good and it’s good for you,” she revealed.

It is a position firmly held by Al Neville Hall, the company’s executive director.

“80 per cent of deaths globally are lifestyle affiliated, and majority of that lifestyle has to do with eating disorders [or poor eating habits]. So, the creation of bad practices, like eating foods that should only be for snacking purposes or satisfying hunger as a quick fix, rather than for growth and nourishment, is becoming mainstream. That is what is killing us,” shared Hall.

He notes that it was important for him to become a part of the solution. It was there that he created a way to change the culture of food. With lunch being the main meal of the day, some skipping breakfast entirely and vetoing dinner altogether, he thought, why not start from there? “When it comes on to productivity, lunch determines whether you have a half-day or you go hard and have a full day,” he revealed.

Interestingly enough, the health discussion went a step further when he pointed out that when it comes to breakfast and dinner, the environment is usually controlled, and a person can prepare their preference. But during lunchtime, people, especially those in the corporate world, are slaves to what is provided around them, and that generally doesn’t align with being healthy.

He has also found himself debunking certain healthy food myths, like if the food is healthy, it has to be vegan, or because it’s vegan, it has to be healthy. Other misconceptions include because the food is healthy, persons can pile up their plate and eat continuously, throwing portion control out the window, or because the food is healthy, it’s supposed to be bland, taste like bush and be void of any real or rich flavour. Putting this food together in a tasty gourmet way, the restaurant is pushing the concept of what a healthy lifestyle is or ought to be.

Food is fuel. You are what you eat. With that in mind, Hall takes a scientific approach to eating, admitting, however, he can’t consume the same food all the time. He uses variety as the spice of his life. Passing down this personal practice to his business, he provides mouth-watering dishes and an extensive meal preparation plan for customers who are seeking lunch with a difference.

“We have been open a little over a year, and people have been gravitating towards the shift. We are getting the love regionally, so we’re planning to go big,” he told Food.

For more information, visit notjusasalad.com or follow @notjusasalad on Instagram.

krysta.anderson@gleanerjm.com