Like many busy parents, John Bornoty often found himself looking for healthy dinner options for his family, including his teenage son Jack. "I was always running around and I got very tired of eating the fast-food garbage that's out there," he explains. "I thought I could offer something for families who need a quick meal that's also nutritious." His big idea? The Big Salad.
His Grosse Pointe Woods spot caters to those looking for grab-and-go meals – and recently launched a "Bigger is Better" catering menu. Since opening in 2008, it's grown to six locations. They're united in one big goal: fare that's not fried.
"The Big Salad was built on the premise of customization. Customers can come in, order what they want and how they want it – and they get a healthy, reasonably priced meal designed to their tastes," says Bornoty, the founder and CEO.
And The Big Salad is all about options. Bornoty boasts that there are more than 17 million possible combinations for hungry visitors. Choose from 40 toppings and 30 different dressings for salads – along with sandwiches, wraps and soups.
Having a choice of ingredients just might inspire picky eaters to eat more greens. Bornoty has another key to enticing kids to enjoy their veggies: Lead by example. "Don't get me wrong, I like a good hamburger now and then. But if parents are eating healthy most of the time, kids will do the same." Get started with this recipe.
- Juice of 2 fresh lemons
- 2 garlic cloves, grated/crushed
- 4 tsp. 50/50 olive/vegetable oil blend (can substitute extra-virgin olive oil)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Pinch of sumac (optional)
- 1/2 head iceberg lettuce
- 1 large tomato, chopped
- 4 radishes, thinly sliced
- 1 peeled cucumber, chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 1/4 cup chopped mint or 2 Tbsp. dried mint
- 1 tsp. dry mustard
In a small bowl, add the ingredients of your dressings and use a spoon to gently mix together. Place in refrigerator for about 15 minutes to chill. Do not leave any longer, as the oil may begin to coagulate.
In a separate salad bowl, mix all ingredients. Chop iceberg so the pieces are edible but leave them large to ensure a good crunch with every bite. Pour dressing evenly around using as much or as little as you desire. Mix the salad and eat!
Tip: Add salt and pepper after you pour the dressing but before you mix the salad.