Food

Adapting to a new definition of healthy

BJ’s bumps up nutrients while keeping calories and cost in check.
quinoa salmon bowl

The views from customers at BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse were clear: “The perception of health has shifted from counting calories to adding more nutrient-rich foods,” says Scott Rodriguez, the chain’s VP of culinary and kitchen innovation. While BJ’s lower-calorie Enlightened Menu was performing well, generating 76% additional sales chainwide since its 2014 launch, guest surveys and server feedback showed that customers wanted more—more options, and more value for their money. So late last year, BJ’s revamped its better-for-you menu to put more focus on superfoods and nutrient-packed choices. One of the first items to get a makeover was the salmon quinoa bowl. “Salmon and quinoa have more calories, but offer good fats and whole grains—two positives,” says Rodriguez. 

Roasted Salmon Quinoa Bowl

The dish now includes a larger portion of salmon to address customer concerns about the price. Rodriguez still wanted to keep the calorie count below 795, so to free up calories, he cut the more caloric quinoa with brown rice in a 50-50 ratio. He also replaced the asparagus with tomatoes and added an extra helping of fresh baby spinach to boost antioxidants. 

Smart swaps

Instead of...Try this...
3.5 ounces salmon7 ounces salmon
QuinoaHalf quinoa, half borwn rice
AsparagusSpinach and tomatoes

 

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