Blue Lemon Restaurants and Nicholas and Company Donate 8,000 Food Items to Five.12 Foundation to feed Hungry Kids in Utah Valley

HIGHLAND, Utah, March 10, 2019 – The local, fast-casual, gourmet restaurant chain, Blue Lemon, celebrated ten years in business by donating 10 percent of the sales made on its Feb. 25 birthday to the non-profit, Five.12. Food vendor, Nicholas and Company matched that donation and together the two local businesses were able to use the food supplier’s buying power to purchase 8,000 much-needed food items to help Five.12 fill Utah County school children’s backpacks to stave off hunger on the weekends.

Five.12 Foundation received a donation of 1,600 Granola Bars, 1,600 Nutri Grain bars, 1,600 individual boxes of Frosted Mini Wheats, 1,600 Snack Pack Puddings and 1,600 Ready-to-Serve Chicken Noodle Soups from the two companies.

“Blue Lemon has really demonstrated how much they care about the communities in which they operate their business and live,” said Nick Greer, founder of Five.12 Foundation, based in Alpine, Utah. “This week alone our volunteers will bag 1,600 packs of food for hungry children in Utah County.  Blue Lemon and Nicholas and Company have made a wonderful difference in these children’s lives.”

“We’re so grateful to our customers and friends who purchased breakfast, lunch or dinner in our five restaurants on Feb. 25, so we could provide a significant donation to the Five.12 Foundation. And we’re thrilled that our food vendor, Nicholas and Company, matched our donation for greater effect,” said Blue Lemon’s co-founder Aaron Day.

Blue Lemon operates fast-casual, gourmet restaurants in Highland, the City Creek Center in Salt Lake City, in Cottonwood Heights, Sandy and Farmington, Utah. Live With a Twist is the company’s motto, which means not only eating the restaurant’s fresh, gourmet food, but getting active and involved in the community in unique ways. For more information visit www.bluelemon.com.

About Blue Lemon

Blue Lemon was founded in 2009 by Utahns, Lychelle and Aaron Day, in an effort to provide families with fresh, seasonally-driven gourmet food with a unique twist of flavors and textures at an affordable price. Blue Lemon is passionate about helping its customers Live With a Twist through healthy nutrition and an active lifestyle. This commitment to health is also carried out at Blue Lemon through eco-friendly tactics such as sourcing from local providers and using recycled materials. The local restaurant, which was named among “The Top 40 Fast Casuals To Watch” by QSR Magazine, serves breakfast, lunch and dinner at its five locations in Highland, Cottonwood Heights, Sandy, City Creek and Farmington, Utah. Blue Lemon also provides catering services for private functions and business events. For more information visit www.bluelemon.com, @blue_lemon on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Deseret News: 10 years after it opened, Utah’s Blue Lemon is more of a family restaurant than ever

ALPINE — Math tests, football practices, dance competitions, family time — with six children between the ages of 5 and 14, Aaron and Lychelle Day have their fair share of tasks to complete, places to be and obstacles to overcome.

But one challenge they don’t endure — despite each of those six kids having different personalities, likes and dislikes — is picky eating.

“It’s not like most parents who deal with the pickiness of kids. My kids are not,” Aaron Day said. “They’ll try anything. I have one daughter that will try anything from sashimi to oysters to you name it, she’ll try it.”

What’s their secret?

“We’re really foodies at heart,” Aaron Day said. “… We really just enjoy food and enjoy the experience of trying new foods, and so we’ve always ventured out of our comfort zone and try new things.”

That love of food is not only something the Days have instilled in their children, it’s also something they hope permeates into every facet of their business. The Days are the founders of Blue Lemon, the Utah-based restaurant chain known for its “fast-casual gourmet” offerings and cerulean citrus logo.

On Feb. 25, Blue Lemon reaches its 10-year anniversary, a celebration the Days view as a milestone for both their business and their family. When the couple began the process to open their first Blue Lemon location in Highland in 2009, they had three daughters. Now the family has grown to include six children as Aaron and Lychelle Day have adopted their three sons in the years since opening Blue Lemon.

“Having our kids and our family grow with the concept and with Blue Lemon, it’s been really neat to see and sharing some of the experiences that we had with our kids and and having our kids involved is awesome,” Aaron Day said.

The concept for Blue Lemon developed out of a need the Days perceived in their own lives.

“There just really wasn’t anything in our local area down here in Highland that … we would want to go eat, for instance, to go on a date night but was also place we could also take the kids to and feel comfortable doing so,” Aaron Day said.

The Days, who live in Alpine, had also been experimenting in their own home with different types of eating — from vegan to vegetarian to an all-raw food diet — and wanted to provide a restaurant that had a “healthful eating aspect” to it as well.

“Really that’s what Blue Lemon’s menu was envisioned and born from,” Aaron Day said.

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Blue Lemon adopts the Utah Adoption Exchange for its holiday give-back effort

Blue Lemon Restaurant is inviting holiday shoppers to help them “adopt” the Utah Adoption Exchange, by making extra purchases of children’s clothing and dropping them off at their five locations through Dec. 14, 2018.

The clothing will be distributed to the Utah Adoption Exchange to distribute to foster children in the system who are waiting to be adopted. The restaurant will also donate 50 percent of sales for every Maple-glazed Chicken entree purchased on December 14, 2018 in all Blue Lemon locations, to the Utah Adoption Exchange.

“We’re a local restaurant and we work hard to embody our Live With a Twist brand which focuses on healthy food, community and conscious living,” said Aaron Day, Blue Lemon co-founder and CEO. “We’ve chosen to adopt one of our favorite charities, the Utah Adoption Exchange, for our holiday give-back effort because we have two adopted children of our own. We ask that when you’re purchasing presents for your family and friends, please keep in mind the great children who live in foster care and are waiting to be adopted. They can always use underwear, socks, pants, sweaters and coats to keep them warm this winter.”

“We greatly appreciate Blue Lemon’s partnership,” said Lindsay Kaeting, Utah Adoption Exchange Executive Director. “Every night, thousands of children in Utah’s Foster Care system go to sleep in a home that is not theirs, in a bed that is not theirs, with a family that is not theirs. The Adoption Exchange along with local businesses such as Blue Lemon, work to provide new items for these children for Christmas that they can call their own. A new coat, a nice pair of shoes or a warm blanket can help create a positive memory for these children during the holidays.”

We’re Sponsoring a Play Area!

In honor of playing, outdoor fun and awesome kids, we’d like to introduce the Blue Lemon Play Area at Station Park in Farmington.

Learning how to have an active lifestyle starts at an early age. And it’s not hard… kids just need to play outside! To help our younger generation do just that, we’re proud to be associated with this awesome play area.

We think Station Park is pretty cool, and we’re proud to have a restaurant there. So next time you make a visit to eat some Blue Lemon, come visit our play area, and take a turn on the slide. Bring your kids, and show them you’re an active person.

Join us for the ribbon cutting!

Date: Wed, June 7th
Time: 11am-2pm
Location: Station Park, Woodland Play Area

What’s going to happen?

Kids eat free all day, with purchase of any adult entree, at the Station Park location in Farmington.

  • Ribbon Cutting
  • ABC4 live broadcast
  • Playing on the playground!
  • Face painting, balloon artist, sugar cookies, and drinks
  • Blue Lemon Coupons and Menus
  • Streamers and blue clappers from Station Park
  • Station Park will have a prize wheel and gift card giveaway table.

Why play areas matter

In a day when childhood obesity and diabetes are on the rise, we want to do something about it. While blaming TV and video games might feel good, we believe that some broad cultural issues exist. Many kids don’t have access to nutritious food, and at the same time have easy access to junk food. Many kids aren’t given opportunities to be active every day. We can do better! They’re our children, for heaven’s sake.

Research shows that how a community is designed, and what elements it has, can greatly contribute to the health of children. This can affect things like obesity, diabetes, asthma, attention deficit disorder and more. Play areas and green spaces are important for their health.

Play areas also help:

  • Develop physical strength
  • Develop social skills
  • Develop emotional skills
  • Develop cognitive skills

We think Station Park is pretty cool, and we’re proud to have a restaurant there. So next time you make a visit to eat some nutritious and healthy Blue Lemon, come visit our play area, and take a turn on the slide. Bring your kids, and show them you’re an active person. They’ll follow your example.

Good Eats for Heart Beats

Blue Lemon AHA Give back night

Blue Lemon give back night, Feb. 25th

Heart disease is America’s #1 killer. Stroke is #5. Let’s do something about it.

On Feb. 25th from 6-9 pm, 15% of all proceeds from every Blue Lemon location will go to the American Heart Association. Let’s fight heart disease and stroke together!

The American Heart Association (AHA) is the largest voluntary health organization working to prevent, treat and defeat heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases. These diseases claim more than 813,804 American lives a year. At Blue Lemon, we support the missing of the AHA, and hope to make an impact in our communities. Accept the challenge to help fight heart disease and stroke. We cannot achieve our mission without each one of you!

For Blue Lemon, 2017 is the year we spread feelings of love and joy to everyone we can. We know pretty much everyone has been influenced by heart disease, stroke or cardiovascular disease, so supporting the AHA is one way we support the community. We want healthy hearts, and we want better lives for people with heart disease. This give back night seemed especially appropriate for the month of February, it being a month where love is the focus, and also American Heart Month.

Why do we like the AHA? Because they’re doing some awesome things. The AHA is behind a lot of advancements in the field of heart disease, especially for women.

For example…

  • They are behind research discovering the differences in how heart disease affects men versus women. This understanding leads to better outcomes.
  • Their movement has helped millions more take ownership over their cardiovascular health.
  • Their research has helped save more than 670,000 women’s lives.

Awareness is key, and we feel honored to help spread the word. Learn about your heart health, your risk factors, and how to be healthier!

And lastly, show love to those around you, and help your family be heart-healthy.

Why We Chose Pepsi, and Why We Introduced Stubborn Soda

The idea for Blue Lemon came when a husband and wife looked at the restaurant industry and realized that it was lopsided. Eating should be able to fuel us without negative side effects, but restaurants of this nature are few and far between. Blue Lemon offers a menu full of alternatives to traditional restaurant meals, meals that often leave us feeling heavy, sluggish and unhealthy. In this vein, we’ve switched our beverage options to Pepsi and Pepsi’s new cane sugar soda called Stubborn, because it allows us to offer more low calorie and zero calorie options, and gives our guests an option to avoid high fructose corn syrup.

This came about not just because we want to provide healthier beverage options, but because we asked our guests, and they want the same thing! Soda consumption is actually on the decline among many age groups, as people learn more about the dangers of high sugar consumption and high fructose corn syrup, a common ingredient in soda.

stubborn-soda-logoWe decided on Pepsi because it has more options with fewer calories, and because Diet Pepsi will now no longer be made with aspartame. This is a recent change, as Pepsi is starting to realize that people are demanding something more from their soft drinks.

What is Stubborn Soda?

PepsiCo recently launched these beverages, which include six natural flavors with no high fructose corn syrup. Black cherry, tarragon, root beer, lemon berry acai, agave vanilla cream, orange hibiscus and pineapple are the flavors.

Stubborn Soda is sweetened with Fair Trade Certified Cane Sugar, and we think it tastes awesome, and will compliment your meal well! These beverages are available now in all our locations.

Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala
SAUCE
Ingredients:
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 ½ teaspoons paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 ½ cups tomato puree
  •  ¾ cup water
  •  ½ cup heavy cream
  •  1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  •  ½ cup fresh chopped garlic
Directions:
  1. In a bowl whisk together the coriander, cumin, cardamom, nutmeg, paprika, cayenne and grated ginger
  2. In a sauce pan sauté the onion in the butter over medium high heat till well caramelized
  3. Turn down the heat to medium heat and stir in the ginger spice blend, then add tomato puree, water, heavy cream and salt then bring to a boil
  4. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes
CHICKEN:
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons peanut oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cilantro
Directions:
  1. Mix the yogurt, lime juice, 2 tablespoons peanut oil and garlic together and rub the chicken breasts with the mixture. Let the chicken sit while the sauce is being cooked
  2. Heat a pan to medium high heat and add the remaining peanut oil
  3. Once the pan is hot, cook the chicken breasts. If the chicken starts to char turn the heat down
  4. Once the chicken is cooked, dice the chicken and add it to the simmering sauce for about 5 minutes
  5. Season the dish with salt, pepper and fresh chopped cilantro

Chicken Tikka Masala

SAUCE
Ingredients:
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 ½ teaspoons paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 ½ cups tomato puree
  •  ¾ cup water
  •  ½ cup heavy cream
  •  1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  •  ½ cup fresh chopped garlic
Directions:
  1. In a bowl whisk together the coriander, cumin, cardamom, nutmeg, paprika, cayenne and grated ginger
  2. In a sauce pan sauté the onion in the butter over medium high heat till well caramelized
  3. Turn down the heat to medium heat and stir in the ginger spice blend, then add tomato puree, water, heavy cream and salt then bring to a boil
  4. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes
CHICKEN:
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons peanut oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cilantro
Directions:
  1. Mix the yogurt, lime juice, 2 tablespoons peanut oil and garlic together and rub the chicken breasts with the mixture. Let the chicken sit while the sauce is being cooked
  2. Heat a pan to medium high heat and add the remaining peanut oil
  3. Once the pan is hot, cook the chicken breasts. If the chicken starts to char turn the heat down
  4. Once the chicken is cooked, dice the chicken and add it to the simmering sauce for about 5 minutes
  5. Season the dish with salt, pepper and fresh chopped cilantro

Chicken Tikka Masala

SAUCE
Ingredients:
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 ½ teaspoons paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 ½ cups tomato puree
  •  ¾ cup water
  •  ½ cup heavy cream
  •  1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  •  ½ cup fresh chopped garlic
Directions:
  1. In a bowl whisk together the coriander, cumin, cardamom, nutmeg, paprika, cayenne and grated ginger
  2. In a sauce pan sauté the onion in the butter over medium high heat till well caramelized
  3. Turn down the heat to medium heat and stir in the ginger spice blend, then add tomato puree, water, heavy cream and salt then bring to a boil
  4. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes
CHICKEN:
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons peanut oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cilantro
Directions:
  1. Mix the yogurt, lime juice, 2 tablespoons peanut oil and garlic together and rub the chicken breasts with the mixture. Let the chicken sit while the sauce is being cooked
  2. Heat a pan to medium high heat and add the remaining peanut oil
  3. Once the pan is hot, cook the chicken breasts. If the chicken starts to char turn the heat down
  4. Once the chicken is cooked, dice the chicken and add it to the simmering sauce for about 5 minutes
  5. Season the dish with salt, pepper and fresh chopped cilantro

Living Fit and Being Blue

At Blue Lemon, we pride ourselves as progressive and forward-thinking—embracing healthy living and passing this along in the form of positive attitude and gourmet cuisine.  As part of our efforts to instill and encourage a healthy lifestyle amongst our employees, I challenged upper leadership to get in shape enough to hike six miles equipped with fifty pounds of gear for a high country backpacking trip.  We will hike in on day one, gaining nearly a thousand feet of elevation in the process.  Then we will set up camp for two nights, and then turn around and hike out the same way.

Even though team members already embodied the BL vision of a healthful, clean lifestyle, I was taken aback with the enthusiasm that this challenge was embraced.  What started off as a weekly hiking get-together quickly evolved to several-days-a-week workouts with staff at all levels—from executive leadership to general management to line cooks.  The workouts, of course, involved a lot of hiking.  However, trail running, crossfit, bootcamp, and traditional weight lifting have all been utilized to challenge and intrigue participants.  There were, of course, a couple of spills and falls, but nothing that inhibited effort in progression.  If anything, the adversity solidified determination.

BL aspires to be more than just a restaurant.  We value our place in the community and acknowledge the role we can have in changing the way people think and live.  I have learned that personal change must begin within and emanate outward.  The same is true with Blue Lemon.  This ideal is why we challenge ourselves to be better, and never being satisfied with the status quo.  Being better for Blue Lemon of course involves becoming more operationally efficient and increasing customer satisfaction.  But it does not stop there.  We also strive to practice what we preach.  It is through setting and meeting ever-better challenges, goals, and milestones in all areas of life that we encourage each other with support and accountability.  We must change the way we think about life in order to change the way we live.

The leadership hike is still on the docket, forthcoming in mid-July.  I look forward to spending this time with our great team, learning and growing together in the process.  While on the hike, we will be reviewing several leadership and development books.  I am sure that there will be valuable lessons and information that will come from this.  I will be sure to share and tell all about our adventure in a future post.

Regards,

Aaron Day

President & CEO

Shrimp and Pineapple Fried Rice

 

Garlic Lime Rice
2 teaspoons Olive Oil
3 cloves of Garlic, minced
1 Lime, zested
1 cup Jasmine Rice
2 cups water
Pinch of Salt

1. In a small, heat 2 teaspoons of oil on medium-high heat until hot and add the garlic. Cook for 30 seconds stirring frequently.
2. Add the rice, lime zest, water and salt then bring to a boil.
3. Once rice boils, cover and reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 11 – 13 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed.
4. Remove from heat and fluff the finished rice with a fork.
5. Set aside

Shrimp and Pineapple Fried Rice
12 ounces Shrimp
2 teaspoons Olive Oil
6 ounces Carrots, sliced
6 ounces Pineapple, small dice
1 Scallion, sliced (keep whites and greens separate)
1 Lime
3 Tablespoons Cashews, chopped
2.5 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
½ – 2 Tablespoons Sriracha (depending on desired heat)
Salt
Pepper
Garlic lime Rice

1. In a non-stick pan toast the chopped cashews stirring frequently about 2 – 3 minutes or until lightly browned, then set aside in a clean bowl.
2. Wipe the pan out and return back to the heat.
3. Heat 2 teaspoons of oil on medium, add the carrots and cook stirring occasionally, 2 – 3 minutes.
4. When the carrots are soft add the white bottoms of the scallions and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute, stirring constantly.
5. Add the shrimp and the pineapple to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Cook till the shrimp are opaque and fully cooked.
6. Add the garlic lime rice, soy sauce, toasted cashews, the juice of half the lime and as much Sriracha as you would like.
7. Cook for an additional 3 minutes, stirring frequently to combine all of the ingredients.
8. Garnish with the sliced green tops of the scallion.

Good Things Utah – Brandon Strebel