Survival of the Fittest : Why Healthy Lunch Options Are 'Not Just Salads'

Lunch-on-The-Go at Not Just Salads is one of the healthiest options in the neighborhood. Think Chop’t in NYC – with unlimited parking. Named for the build-your-own-salad bar where vegetables like carrots and peppers come together over mixed greens or baby spinach with accents like bacon bits and sun flower seeds, crispy noodles and black olives, it is a dieters dream.  A destination in healthy take-out - the locals pack in daily for lunch - the home-made processing of it all makes them a stand-out in a neighborhood sea of dinghy dining options.    (Build your own salad starts at $6.49). Make your healthy lunch exotic with mandarin oranges or throw in Feta cheese and slivered almonds for a sophisticated option. Add some protein with ham, chicken and even crispy shrimp options and top it all off with one of 13 dressings including a house specialty : White Zinfandel. One salad catches my eye - the Queen Albacore Salad – spring mix and romaine with red cabbage and red onion, solid white albacore, Gorgonzola cheese, apple and cranberry with walnuts ($7.99). Stefanie MacMilan-Haible is behind the counter, taking orders and phone calls and managing her staff of 6. Take-out orders are being run in and out the door, the tables are absolutely filled and the wait staff is courteous and helpful. Just behind the counter — in plain sight—a salad savant is chopping away at a select combination of fresh produce and fancy accent toppings for a regular guest who is excitedly awating her salad. She is conversing with Haible like they’re sisters. The friendliness in this place is palpable.

Stefanie’s dream became a reality when her now husband Theodore – a business and finance major— sat down with her to develop a business plan. Stefanie, a massage therapist, was looking for a way to channel her drive and ambition and share her love for healthy eating. Thus, Not Just Salads was born. The relationship developed as did the business. After several years in a small kitchen on River Rd. the two decided to expand the concept and the space.  A move to their current location in the Destinta plaza preceded the market crash by 6 short months. They never gave up hope and they faced the trials and tribulations of that tough economic time together. Their business survived and the couple was married in September of last year.

Stefanie and Ted often put in 12 hour days. Their sauces, soups, many of their dressings are their chili (both traditional and vegetarian - $3.99) are all seasoned with originality. The meat options are of the finest and most reputable brands. New to the store, wine ($5) and beer options ($4 - $5) and delicious desserts by Lorrain’s Taste of Heaven. And, not so new to the store but always a favorite – Protein Shakes and Smoothies ($4.50). The Ideal Protein weight loss product is a staple in Not Just Salads, a big hit with boot camp athletes (next door) on their post-workout crave. chicken pesto wrap - delicious!

Traditional deli sandwiches ($4.99 - $10.99), fancy pressed paninis ($6.99), signature sandwiches and burgers ($5.99 - $7.99) are also on the menu. Sweet potato fries are a nice sweet touch in comparison to salty drive through fries. Low carb wraps are available for an additional $1. Not Just Salads215 quassaick ave new Windsor 561-5550Daily SoupsFree Delivery on $15 min purchase