How to have (more) fruits, veggies and other healthy stuff at home

Updated: Mar 25

There are certain benefits to running a food chain like SaladStop!.

One is you get to eat healthy every day – a good thing especially in times like these.

“With SaladStop! open, we eat SaladStop! daily,” admits Katherine Braha, the director of Fresh Creation Holdings in Singapore, the company behind SaladStop! and Heybo.

“Because we’re busy during the day, most of the time we just eat the food at our outlets rather than come back home late and then cook.”

There are certain benefits to having a food chain like SaladStop! too. As customers, we can order our choice of salads, wraps and grain bowls. And they have plenty.

With outlets in Singapore, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, South Korea, Japan and Spain, SaladStop! uses fresh, ethically and sustainably sourced ingredients to support farmers and food producers in the region.

They are also committed to “Eat Wide Awake” – that is, to being conscious of our eating habits’ impact on the environment; to knowing and being responsible about where our food comes from; and to lead a healthy lifestyle.

“I’ve been a big advocate of the ‘Eat Wide Awake’ movement in the sense that I’ve been a vegan for many years. I was a vegetarian at the start and then moved to veganism a few years ago,” Katherine recounts.

“For me, it’s also very important to ensure that there’s a lot of variety on the menu, and to give those options to customers. Our salad bar is 85% vegan, so it’s mostly plant-based.

“We’re doing a lot of our own plant-based patties too – so just very high-protein ingredients that people can choose from. It’s also about giving meat lovers an alternative, and hopefully (get them) to switch to a more sustainable, plant-based diet.”

Change it up

Aside from getting our fruits, veggies and other healthy ingredients from SaladStop! in the form of a salad, wrap or grain bowl (they deliver!), we can buy these foods and create our own salad, wrap or grain bowl at home.

It’ll help keep us sharp and occupied as we stay indoors.

Because if we can manage it, we wouldn’t want our dishes to feel, taste and look the same (at least for most of the time). 😊 Katherine offers a few easy and simple suggestions.

#1 Have your ingredients raw

#2 Use heat

If you can, “put the salad on a pan, heat it up, and eat it warm,” she recommends.

#3 Go undressed

“I don’t like things that are covered in too much gravy, sauce or oil,” Katherine admits.

“I enjoy just putting some veggies in the oven with herbs, salt and pepper on top, and having that as a warm meal. Any veggies that I put in the oven and grill are my kind of favourite veggies at the moment.”

#4 Get a sweet replacement

“I have a big passion for fruits. I love absolutely all fruits,” she relates.

“I’m actually eating a lot of dates now. Dates replace chocolates or any kind of sugary food really well. It gives you the feeling that you’ve had something sweet, but still with all the fibre, vitamins and nutrients.

“It’s also an easy snack. You can just open it up and have some almond butter or peanut butter inside. This gives it a more wholesome feel.”

So what makes a tasty grain bowl?

Oops, sudden change of subject… I ask because I haven’t had a lot of grain bowls (I usually go for salads and wraps), so my experience is rather limited. 😬

Since Katherine’s here and I’m reminded of grain bowls (and how good they can be), I want to try my hand in it.

I think grain bowls are incredibly filling. It’s like an all-in-one kind of… thing 😁 – and depending on the ingredients you choose, you can have so much variety.

Here’s what you need to check, says Katherine:

#1 The freshness of the ingredients

“Everything is made from scratch. You’re not using anything dried or powdered.”

#2 The ingredients are cooked correctly

For example, “For the pumpkin to be grilled enough so that it’s soft on the inside and grilled on the outside,” she maintains.

“The same kind of applies to all the veggies – that they’re not too soft or hard, or overcooked. I think it makes a grain bowl retain those flavours, in that the ingredients themselves have all of the flavours. It’s not necessarily just adding a lot of gravy or sauce on them.”

For starters…

Katherine gives us an idea of what to put in our next grain bowl, and it’s her favourite combination:

Pumpkin + cauliflower rice or quinoa + mushrooms + warm capsicum + spiced chickpeas

“Again, I don’t add any dressing. I like it when there’s a good combination of moisture. It comes from the pumpkin, which is a little bit softer. There’s also the dryness of the quinoa; and then there’s the spiced chickpeas, which has some gravy inside. It’s a perfect mix.”

Going for quinoa? Follow SaladStop!’s steps to achieving fluffy quinoa. ↓

Missing dessert?

If you’re like me, no meal is complete without it. On top of your salad, wrap or grain bowl, make time to whip up SaladStop!’s vegan snickers bar and nut-free granola. You’ll find yourself making more (and storing the leftovers for yourself).

We hope we’ve given you a few exciting tips to try for your next healthy lunch and dinner. 😊

For more, follow SaladStop! on Facebook and Instagram; Heybo, too, is on Facebook and Instagram.