Tuesday, 14 May 2013

The healthy fruity vegetarian sandwich.

Last weekend I had two meaty dinners of epic deliciousness. First, my family celebrated mother's day on Saturday night with an amazing pulled pork dinner that my mother put together. And on Sunday, I went to Ottawa with one of my friends to attend the ComicCon that was happening there. For dinner, I decided to take him to Fatboys Southern Smokehouse. I discovered this place last year on Canada day with my family. And we stuffed ourselves with huge smoked ribs, more pulled pork and the most delicious fried chicken I have ever had in my life so far. After that, my digestive system decided to go into emergency digestion mode and I have been digesting all this meat for two days. Needless to say, when it was time to grab lunch on Monday, I opted for a light vegetarian meal.

A colleague of mine suggested that I try this place called Frais Café. It is located near my work on Beaver Hall just south of René Lévesque. It's a little sandwich, salad and soup shop; kind of like a fancy Cultures. They had a couple of vegetarian options and the one that got my attention was a pear and brie sandwich. I ordered that with a minestrone soup and it was delicious! Then I thought "hey! I can do that!" And so I did. That evening, I went grocery shopping and got my stuff together and made myself an amazing lunch. Let me show you what I did.


  • Raisins and nuts muesli bread from Moulin Rouge bakery
  • Arugula lettuce
  • Hummus (I got the roasted garlic one to add another dimension of flavour)
  • Pears
  • Brie cheese


It's a sandwich. So, it's just a matter of putting all this stuff together between two slices of bread. You can do a PB&J sandwich? Then you can do this too.

First off, slice a pear into thin slices, making sure you remove the core.

Spread hummus on both slices of bread and add the pears.

Slice the Brie cheese lengthwise and add to the sandwich along with the Arugula lettuce and drizzle with a little bit of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Add some chips and some salted mixed nuts for a little extra protein and you got yourself a well balanced vegetarian sandwich meal.

This was absolutely delicious. Sweet and salty at the same time. I love it! And the key here is the bread. If you can't find this kind of bread, just get regular multi-grain bread. Don't use raisin bread like the Sun Maid one. This is too sweet and has cinnamon and stuff. If you can't have nuts, try something else for the protein like a bean salad or quinoa salad.

That's gonna be my lunch for the week!

Monday, 6 May 2013

Quick Chicken Tikka Masala

Remember when I made that vegetarian lentil curry? I made too much and ended up with some extra. I decided to freeze it for later. Well, I've been extra lazy these past couple of weeks, eating plain sandwiches for lunch and also a shit-ton of frozen leftover Chinese fried rice. So, I decided I was going to eat the curry now. Except, I realized I barely had enough to last me two days with a fresh batch of rice. So, in order to make at least 4 meals for the week, I decided I'd add some chicken. But, to accompany an Indian dish, I decided to spice it up in the same way. Which is why I made chicken tikka masala.

Tikka means chunks. Masala, I think, means spicy or is a name for a blend of spices. That's basically what this is. Chicken cut into chunks, marinated with a blend of spices. The recipe is basically like the chicken shish taouk that I made a while back. You combine yogurt, spices, garlic, ginger, tomato paste and lemon juice to make the marinade, marinate the chicken for an hour (it's best if you can leave it over night) and then put it on skewers and cook in the over for about 25-30 min. Here is the recipe in more details.


  • 1 cup plain yogurt. (I used 0% greek yogurt, but any kind of plain yogurt will work)
  • 1/2 can of tomato paste
  • 2 tbs ginger paste (I had ginger puree)
  • 2 tbs garlic
  • 1 tbs sage (I didn't have any coriander on hand, otherwise use 1 cup finely chopped coriander.)
  • 3 tbs garam masala
  • 1 tsp chili flakes
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 4 chicken breasts


First, mix all the ingredients above (except the chicken) into a bowl and mix.

I had slightly too much lemon juice in mine. I corrected it above in the ingredients.

Whisk all that up into a nice uniform mixture.

Cut your chicken breasts into cubes.

Dump the cubes into the marinade, cover with plastic cling wrap and refrigerate for an hour or a day, or whatever time you have available to do other stuff.

While the chicken was marinating, I made some extra basmati rice. Pretty much the same way I made it in my vegetarian lentil curry post. I added a few drops of rose water this time to make it a little perfumy. An hour later, I took out the chicken and skewered it, put it in a deep cooking dish and put it in the oven at 400 Fahrenheit, for about 30 mins, turning it over halfway at 15 minutes.

The chicken came out great! Along with the rice and lentil curry as a side dish, I'm going to be able to feed myself for another week with minimum effort! Yay!