Tag Archives: Food

5 Tips for Grocery Shopping when you’re trying to save money

Ah, grocery shopping. The task we always leave until the last second, once we open the pantry and realize the only food we’ve got is a single apple and curry powder.

In this post, I’m going to give you 5 of my best tips and tricks for when you grocery shop, with the goal in mind of eating well and saving mucho dinero.

1. Buy your main source of protein in bulk and freeze ‘er

This tip applies to everyone irregardless of dietary preferences. Make sure that if you see a good deal on any source of protein that can be easily frozen, be it a box of chicken breasts (my weapon of choice), big slabs of tofu, or even veggie burgers, you stock up.

If you have a proper freezer (that can store anything below 0°C ), you can store bulk protein-rich foods for a remarkable amount of time: ground beef, for example, can be stored for up to 3-4 months, and chicken for up to 9(!). If you aren’t a meat eater, don’t worry: tofu can be stored for up to 5 months when frozen, even after being opened.

2. Make time, be a scavenger

This one may seem obvious, but it’s definitely still worth mentioning. If you’re able to get your main source of protein and one side (for example, frozen veggies or quinoa) in bulk, then you’re free to be more selective in your ‘one off’ meal buys at grocery stores.

For example, I usually take 20 minutes out of my week to troll the aisles of the Safeway near my house to look for deals. Safeway is definitely not the cheapest grocery store out there, but when you can afford to be picky knowing that you have fall-back meal at home if you don’t find anything, you’d be surprised at the good deals you’ll find!

3. Live by the flyer, die by the flyer

If you’re one of those people whose newspaper flyers follow a straight patch from mailbox to recycling bin, you’re missing out on a great way to find skookum deals every week. Big grocery stores usually put out a weekly flyer (if you don’t get it in-person, you’ll always be able to find it online) which has all of their best deals of the week. It’s basically all of the benefit of trolling the aises of these stores, without having to move fro your couch!

4. Don’t be afraid to look for food in unusual places

No, this doesn’t imply that you should be looking for scraps under your couch, it means that you can get surprisingly good prices on food at non-traditional food stores if you’re diligent enough. For example, Shoppers Drug Mart has a frozen food section which often features sales that blow other grocery stores’ out of the water. The reason for this is simply that they have to offer a wide selection to be seen as a legitimate place to buy groceries, but not that many people grocery shop there. As a result, things nearing expiry go on sale all the time for ridiculously cheap prices– last week I found $4.50 guacamole for $0.50 at my local Shoppers!

5. Avoid buying produce from big stores

Oftentimes, big box grocery stores like Safeway will sell very-well-presented produce for prices which look like highway robbery compared to smaller chains. The key is to know which smaller stores have particularly good deals on specific items. If you’re able to figure this out and have the time to shop around, there’s lots of savings to be had. I my case, I know a small market which has Gala apples on sale for $0.69/pound, which is a great deal. I’ll stock up on apples there, and when I happen to be in the vicinity of anther place like Triple A which has good prices on, say, oranges, I’ll stock up on those. It’s not entirely realistic to buy one type of fruit at a different establishment every time you need it, but by shopping around you’ll at least know where the real value is.

Toronto, Ontario

Summer 2017, I met up with my best friend in Toronto. We went to this Thai restaurant called PAI. When we first went in through those door, there were steps to go downstairs. It was a busy restaurant with people waiting inside and outside. The lighting was a bit dim so be careful of your steps. Don’t “judge a book by its cover”, the food was delicious!

We ordered the Khao Soi (top left), Kung tawt sa-moon prai (Garlic Shrimp) (top right), and Chef Nuit Pad Thai (bottom right). The food was amazing. The curry from the Khao Soi went so well with rice too.

When you order your food you get to pick the spicy level. We didn’t know what to expect, we either order mild or medium but I think we could’ve definitely went a lot higher because I couldn’t taste the spicy level. But keep in mind, I enjoy eating spicy food. When I go to Toronto again, I will definitely make a trip to PAI again. There were still a lot of things on the menu I would like to try.

PAI
ADDRESS: 18 Duncan St, Toronto, ON M5H 3G8
PHONE: +1 416-901-4724
WEBSITE: http://www.paitoronto.com/

Happy Pasta

Today, we’ll be going over the recipe for my most dependable recipe, one which is fantastic for both individual courses and meal prep: Happy Pasta.

The story behind why this dish is called Happy Pasta goes something like this: in the summer of 2015 I backpacked Europe with 3 of my friends, and for the first time had to both buy and cook the lions’ share of my own food. Shopping Paris’ supermarkets late at night after flying in, we very quickly realized that the best bang-for-your-buck meal possible was pasta. It’s cheap, it’s a great source of carbs, and it can taste very good.

The Happy in happy pasta is actually more of a variable based on the emotions you go through while preparing and eating the meal. During the course of our trip, we ate Happy Pasta (Paris), Sad Pasta (San Sebastian), and Salty Pasta (Dubrovnik).

Now that you know the backstory behind this simple but effective recipe, let’s go through how to make your pasta happy.

The ingredients

  • Spaghetti (400g-900g)
  • Ground Beef (500g-1kg)
  • Pasta Sauce (500g-1.75L)
  • Red Bell Pepper (1-2)
  • Cilantro (1/4 bunch-1/2 bunch)
  • Basil (2 leaves-5 leaves)
  • Chili flakes (to taste)

Prep

1.  Grab one pot for your spaghetti and one frying pan for your sauce. Fill your pot 2/3rds full of water and bring to a boil. Turn your frying pan’s burner to medium temperature and break up your ground beef in it, turning frequently.

2.  After making sure that your ground beef is evenly cooked (brown on all sides), drain the grease from your pan using paper towel, and place your frying pan back on the burner at low heat.

3.  On a cutting board (or your counter if you want to ruin your knives, I’m not judging), wash and prepare your bell pepper for cutting. Once your water is boiling, throw your spaghetti in (remember to salt the water first!).

4.  Chop up your bell pepper into small pieces. Make sure to stir your pasta periodically so that the noodles don’t become stuck together in clumps.

5.  Now tear/slice up your basil and cilantro. Cilantro, in my opinion, is the G.O.A.T. (greatest of all time) herb for cooking with, and basil adds a nice second flavor. However, many people disagree. The beauty of this dish is that you can use any herb or spice for this portion of the recipe to make it to your personal liking.

6.  Add your sauce to your meat, with the burner level still on low. Thoroughly mix in your sauce with your meat so that all chunks of beef are coated.

7.  Add your bell pepper and herbs to your meat and sauce, once again making sure that everything is mixed in well. Your burner level should still be on ‘low’. What this does is allows the herbs’ flavor to dissipate within the sauce, giving full flavor to every bite. It’ll also soften up your peppers, making them easier to pair with the meat.

8.  Let your sauce, once well-stirred, simmer for about 5 minutes.

9.  If you’d like to add some extra kick to your dish, you can add chili pepper flakes at this point. This is, of course, totally optional.

10.  Enjoy! Congrats, Chef, you have now made your own Happy Pasta for yourself to enjoy! Make sure that if you store your Happy Pasta into Tupperware for later, you distribute your sauce throughout the dish (one layer at the bottom, one in the middle, one at the top), so that you can avoid having to mix in a ton of sauce into a mountain of bare pasta later on.

 

I hope you enjoyed this recipe for Happy Pasta, check back later on for our next recipe: Helen’s Quinoa Salad!

Okinawa

During the summer of 2015, I travelled throughout Japan with my best friend. The last stop was Okinawa and we found this lovely breakfast location, C&C BREAKFAST. 

The food was delicious and it was so satisfying to have a nice breakfast. My favourite was definitely the fruit special pancake that we ordered. If you ever travel to Okinawa give this place a try. Don’t worry about not speaking Japanese, their menus have English and pictures to help you decide what you would like to eat. I would definitely visit again when I travel to Okinawa.

C&C BREAKFAST OKINAWA
ADDRESS: Japan, 〒900-0014 Okinawa Prefecture, Naha, Matsuo, 2−9−6 タカミネビル
PHONE: +81 98-927-9295
WEBSITE: http://www.ccbokinawa.com/

Off the Grid Waffle Bar

I’ve never been big on waffles but after trying Off the Grid Waffles in East Vancouver….oh boy has that changed! Decidant…moist… & oh so chocolaty *mmm mmm mmm* They offer an array of options: from a savory pizza waffle ($8) to a sweet Strawberry Nutella waffle ($7) (which you can also get in waffle cups! $6) […]

Yew Seafood + Bar

Hello again to all the foodies! Welcome back 🙂

Couple days ago, it was my 21st birthday and I wanted to share with you guys the birthday dinner I had!

This was my first time at the Yew seafood + bar restaurant and I was very excited to go! For any special occasions, I often go find a new seafood restaurant in Vancouver because seafood is my ultimate favourite. You can never go wrong! Yew seafood is located inside the Four Seasons Hotel, that is also connected to the Pacific Centre. Because it’s a restaurant in a high class hotel, I had high hopes for it and I can definitely say that it met up to my expectations! At first, I was very surprised with the interior and the aesthetic of the restaurant. It had a very high ceiling, extremely interesting interior inside but very luxurious. I also loved that it was an open kitchen, so you could see the chefs cooking the food and the kitchen’s environment as well. The service was also outstanding as my waiter was very kind and helpful to decide on our menus.

Here are some pictures of the inside of the restaurant:

 

Appetizer

We decided to order Tuna tartar as an appetizer to start with. I’m usually not a huge tuna person but I wanted to give it a shot and it was well worth a shot! The tuna was amazing with the sauce they had as it melted right as I put it in my mouth.

 

Main Dish

I ordered the Seafood pasta because you can never go wrong with seafood or pasta! I was pleasantly surprised with how well they cooked the seafood. It wasn’t over cooked or under cooked at all. It was simply great! The sauce was a lobster based bisque sauce, which was very rich and creamy.

My boyfriend ordered the Seafood Platter. The seafood platter included prawns, scallops, salmon and something. Not to mention, their plating was phenomenal. Very eye catching and well presented.

 

After all, I was very happy with the food at the Yew’s and I would definitely recommend this place if you’re looking for a meal to treat yourself! The restaurant, the food and the service is great and it’s definitely one of the most luxurious places I’ve been. Especially for any special occasions, it would be a great place to go!

Keep It Canada with Matty Matheson

Nic and I love food and recently I started watching food videos on Youtube with him before we go to bed. He introduced me to Munchies which is the food segment of Vice and here, we stumbled upon a glorious Canadian man by the name of Matty Matheson.

Toronto Life wrote a cool piece on Matty which you can view here! Born in New Brunswick and runs three restaurants in Toronto, Matty is the epitome of a fucking cool man. He gives no shit, lives life to the fullest and has a potty mouth that is incredible entertaining. With all of that, watching his Munchies videos on Youtube has given me life and appreciation for Canada as a whole like no other. Once a wild party man, Matty suffered a heart attack at the age of 29 and I believe that was an eye opener for him to get his life and cooking career in order.

On Munchies, he has two playlists which are his How-To and Keep It Canada segments. They’re absolutely hilarious, entertaining and well paced. Matty has an insane dose of energy and that energy reflects in each video and of course, the food he makes. What makes me respect and love this man even more is that he made a couple of Lord of The Rings references in a few Keep It Canada videos!!

Here are some of my favourites from both playlists,

So to you my bright readers, Canadians and non-Canadians, I summon you to watch every single video of Matty Matheson and be awed of his presence, language, style and culinary technique.

Dine Out #3: Forage

It’s March and I’m still writing about my Dine Out experience, that right there, tells you how slow I am at updating my posts 😌😌😌

Anyways, the next place I had tried out for my dine out 2017 experience was Forage. I’ve always wanted try this place, since it was hyped on Instagram and I was glad I was able to make a reservation into my schedule. Surprisingly, I had forgotten to take pictures of the place inside, so I don’t have that many pictures of the structure, layout and ambiance of the restaurant.

One of the first two signs you see before you head in.

The other visible sign outside. You make a left to enter the place!
I liked how they included what day it was for the dine out event.

Forage is located at 1300 Robson Street, Vancouver and right beside another restaurant called Timber. To get there, you could take the #5 bus or either walk down from Robson street. There is the option of driving to Forage as well, but, hey, remember, this is Downtown Vancouver and most people would probably suggest that wouldn’t be a the greatest idea ੧| ‾́︶ ‾́ |੭

The hallway of Forage. The structure and decorations are all made from sustainable and recycled goods.

The place itself, is not too big. There are a couple of big tables, to fit bigger parties, but the majority of tables were small. Our waiter had greeted us and told us that Forage takes pride in having all of their furniture, decoration and structures completely made from recycled and sustainable goods.

The cutest idea for a recycled light, ever  😄

It was clearly evident as the smallest of detail, such as the lamp that was on our table, had showcased what Forage embodies. Our waiter had also informed us that the food we were eating were grown locally.

Of course, I can’t forget to take pictures of the dine out menu.

Forage’s $30 set menu had more options for their appetizers and entrees, than their desserts, which was a bit disappointing, seeing how I have a sweet tooth. I was also surprised to hear that each guest only had a 2 hour limit to dine in, as the other dine out places I’ve tried, did not have one (′°︿°).  

🍴Food Snaps🍴

Appetizer – Westcoast Prawn and Seafood Chowder

From the website, “Served with chicharron, soft poached quail’s egg.” I like chowder, I’ve always have, so, I knew I wanted to get this appetizer when I read the menu online. There wasn’t anything bad about this dish, but at the same time, there wasn’t anything that popped out.

★★★☆☆

Entree – Roasted Keta Salmon

From the website, “Served with crispy cauliflower, cauliflower fondue and nettle gnocchi.” Surprise! This time I did not get the salmon, my bf did, instead 😛 However, I will say this, I regret not ordering this salmon dish as my entree, because it tasted so good (╹ڡ╹)╭ ~ ♡ The skin of the salmon was crispy, savory and the meat of the salmon basically melts in your mouth. 

★★★★★

Entree – Gelderman Farms Crackling Pork Belly

From the website, “Served with celeriac pomme puree, spiced rutabaga, Okanagan apple, and birch syrup chutney.” Basically, for the first couple of dine outs, my choice of entrees always ended up being a dish involving with salmon. This time, I chose differently, as I’m a huge fan of pork belly and didn’t want to miss out!

That being said, I did not like this dish at all 😡😡😡. The pork, which was the thing I was most looking forward too, was salty, and the apple frites made my lips itch and tingle. I was really disappointed with my entree. Granted, it made me full, but the taste was not good.

★☆☆☆☆

Dessert – Chocolate Hazelnut Bar

From the website, “Served with raspberry textures and white chocolate kefir cream.” After not being too pleased with my entree, I was hoping my dessert would be a lot better. Thankfully, it was ( ᐛ )و Everything blended well together, I would say, that I enjoyed the raspberry sauce with my hazelnut bar more than the white chocolate kefir cream.

★★★★☆

Dessert – Golden Ears Neufchatel Cheese Puff

I didn’t taste this dessert, only because I was full and couldn’t eat anymore. But, from what I was told, the dish was good and it wasn’t too much on the sweet side.

Recommendation?

For me, Forage has it’s good points, but it also has some bad points as well. I would say YES & NO for dining out at Forage. Yes, because the Salmon entree and the desserts were great! Though, I would say No, because the entree I got, was salty and not good at all, which ruined a part of my dining experience. Plus, I didn’t like the fact we had a time limit to eat.

However, it is up to you, whether you want to try Forage or not. If it’s a place that interests you, go ahead! But if it’s a place that you would rather pass up, that’s fine as well!

 

Tea Party; Vegan and Bomb AF – Part 2!

Find Part one at my friends Sharlyn’s Blog!

This year for For Christina’s 22nd birthday we hosted her an all exclusive vegan Tea party in the heart of Kitsilano. Christina has been a vegan for over 6 months now and tried multiple times to find a vegan-friendly High tea restaurant, however, did not find any. We took matters into our own hands and decided to make the food and tea ourselves. Sharlyn’s blog post showcases the preparation of the tea party. My blog post will focus on the outcome! We made croissant sandwiches, vegan muffins, cucumber sandwiches, vegan caesar salad sandwiches, and pastries. Anyway, I think I drank at least 8 cups of Darjeeling tea and ate the MOST delicious food. I am a vegetarian myself, hence I always appreciate vegans for their food! 

Here are a few pictures from our fun filled day including our table set up: 

 

The post Tea Party; Vegan and Bomb AF – Part 2! appeared first on Prab Bassi.

Nero Belgian Waffle Bar

Hey guys!

Today, I wanted to talk about one of my favourite dessert place in Downtown Vancouver.

If you live in Vancouver, you probably already heard about Nero Belgian Waffle Bar. It’s famous for its delicious and classic waffles they serve. They have two locations: Robson and Seymour. Due to high volume and its popularity among the people in Vancouver, they opened up a new store, which is located on Seymour street. They are both in the heart of downtown Vancouver, so many tourists and visitors can make a visit as well!

I’ve tried their waffles many times and I can definitely say that it’s one of the few waffles that taste great! Although I’ve never visited Belgium, I feel like Nero did a great job of giving the Canadian people a taste of what Belgium waffles taste like. The restaurant is always packed with people and often, there’s a waiting list, especially during weekend nights. However, the atmosphere of the restaurant is very energetic and fun! Not to mention, their staff are very kind and nice as well.

Here are the menus for the restaurant (found on http://www.nerowafflebar.com/)

They have a variety of choices of their waffles to choose from. One thing that I haven’t tried are the Mini liege waffles. They are smaller version of the waffles and they sell them separately or I’ve seen, coated with chocolate. I also haven’t tried any savoury brussels waffles but I personally don’t like waffles in a combination with other food. I like waffles that are simply with ice cream and fruits, just like a simple dessert!

Here are the Nero Classics that I tried last time I made a visit:

Heaven and Bresilienne 

The Heaven is with the strawberries and as you can imagine, the combination of strawberries, whipped cream and waffles are amazing! We don’t need any more description. I think the picture explains it all!

The Bresilienne was surprisingly very tasty as well. The roasted hazelnut and caramel was a great choice to pair with their classic waffles.

All and all, I definitely recommend this dessert place if you are stopping by in Downtown Vancouver. It’s a great dessert place to hop by if you’re a waffle-lover like me! 🙂

Please comment below what other dessert places I should visit and recommend me your favourite menu!

Nemesis Coffee

Nemesis Coffee

Address: 302 W Hasting St, Vancouver, BC.

Website: http://www.nemesis.coffee/

Last week, my friend and I went to a new cafe located in Gastown. We were interested in this cafe because it had a very unique product: Mocha served with shortbread and marshmallow. We both ordered this special mocha.

“Mocha” means “Chocolate” so in general most mocha would have chocolate sauce inside. The mocha from Nemesis Coffee was different because other than mixing chocolate sauce with espresso, it also had chocolate on the shortbread which would be perfect for chocolate lovers. Strangely, this mocha also had some alcoholic taste. It was unusual but I did like it. After all, who would say no to alcohol?

We went there after 4:00 pm. My friend was hungry. She would like to order some food but unfortunately, the barista told her that most of the food would only be served during lunch time. She finally ordered a scone. According to her, the scone was pretty good. We were sitting very close to their kitchen. While we were enjoying our mocha, I was also looking at their chefs who were preparing ingredients for the next day. It smelled really good so I have decided to come for their food  next time.

Probably because this cafe was recently opened, everything looked nice and clean inside the store. They are also offering pour-over coffee with beans from different origins.  I was quite confused by their washrooms at first because they did not have any signs indicating the sex on their doors. While I was standing in front of the washrooms and trying to figure out which one was for female, the barista beside me told me that I could use anyone since their washrooms were unisex. I think this detail was quite interesting and perhaps this would be more convenient for LGBTQ groups.

Their staff were really nice and friendly. Whenever I looked at them, they would always smile at me. Their prices were higher than most chain coffee shops such as Starbucks but considering that they had provided such a lovely environment, I would say that the prices were reasonable.

All in all, this cafe was a perfect spot for students to study, for friends to chat and for business people to relax or to work on laptops. It was not too far from SFU downtown campus so I would like to go there one more time to taste their food if I have time after school. I like their environment and their staff.