SaladStop! and Specialty Food Retailers Inc. (SFRI) recently unveiled two new menu items at its “Eat Wide Awake, Live Wide Awake” press event in Tagaytay.
After checking in at Anya Resort & Residences, we proceeded to the house of Steven Sarmenta, SFRI executive vice president and general manager.
The cool Tagaytay air was especially bracing that night. Sarmenta’s home, surrounded with trees and shrubbery, made us feel close to nature.
The buffet spread was sumptuous. We were served roasted chipotle chicken, sliders and roast beef. There were also chopped greens, salsa, buttered rice, and a seafood boil of clams, corn, shrimp and mussels.
Of course, the main focus of the night were the two new SaladStop! dishes, which customers can try now until Sept. 8.
The first dish, Ahi Ono Grain Bowl, has carrots, cherry tomatoes, grated eggs, roast mushrooms, baby spinach, seared tuna, Japanese Wafu dressing and adlai. Ahi ono is Hawaiian for “delicious tuna.”
Notable among the ingredients of the Ahi Ono Grain Bowl is adlai, which is making waves in the food scene for being gluten-free, high in fiber and protein, as well as having anti-inflammatory properties.
The grain is also called the adlay millet, Chinese pearl barley or Job’s tear. It is grown in limited quantities in Bukidnon and Zamboanga.
The second dish is the Howdy! Salad and Wrap, which has romaine lettuce, grated eggs, cheddar cheese, cherry tomatoes, red onions, smokey ranch dressing and oat-breaded chicken.
It is tastier than the Ahi Ono variant, with its red onions and ranch dressing. The breaded chicken, cheddar cheese and lettuce are a nice foil to the stronger flavors of the other ingredients.
The following day, we proceeded to visit Kalye Luntian Farm in Alfonso, Cavite. The farm, a 20-minute drive from Tagaytay, supplies SaladStop!’s lettuce and other vegetable requirements.
“We supply about 1.8 tons of romaine lettuce to SaladStop! every week,” said Carlo Amoranto of Kalye Luntian Farm. “That’s excluding the others we grow here. It varies according to their requirements.”
The brand truly walks its farm-to-table talk. Knowing where one’s vegetables come from is an important part of today’s healthy lifestyle movement. The farm is orderly and clean, with its row of greenhouses and service buildings.
“It will take about a few weeks for them to grow,” said Amoranto of the neat rows of baby romaine lettuces. “We do everything we can to keep them comfy. We control the sunlight, the moisture, everything. If any of these factors change, the plants get stressed, and then they take root. We don’t want that. We want them to grow leaves, not to burrow deeper into the soil.”
SaladStop!’s “Eat Wide Awake” movement is a campaign on the importance of knowing what goes into your body—it should not only be delicious, but likewise nutritious.
It espouses the practice of eating consciously by considering the impact of everything we do on the environment.
“Making a difference starts with each of us. The biggest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it,” says SaladStop! director and cofounder Katherine Braha. “We are responsible for our actions and we can all make a difference. So let’s start now and spread the message of living wide awake.”
SaladStop! has hopped onto the whole steel straw trend, and is going a bit further—by advocating the use of bamboo cutlery.
SaladStop! customers can grab their own free set of steel straws and wooden cutlery until Sept. 8. They only need to collect 12 stamps from the purchase of a salad or a wrap. —CONTRIBUTED
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