Taking Advantage of Summer’s Colour and Bounty – Not Your Ordinary Lunch Box Sandwiches

Leave a comment

This ain’t no ordinary kiddie lunch box lunch ūüėȬ† It’s been really fun mixing and matching vegetables and sandwich fillings with whatever we have in the fridge for the week and getting fresh bread from the bakery.¬† If you like mixing things up and hate eating the same thing twice in a row, you’re like me.¬† It’s quite fun, actually, challenging myself to get creative with combinations.¬† It’s like playing a sandwich puzzle, haha!¬† Here’s¬†a thorough photo recap of some of my sandwich lunches over the past few months.

  • Sandwich #1: turkey, baby spinach, red and yellow baby bell peppers, hot banana peppers, sweet vidalia onions, mozzerella cheese on a submarine bun
  • Sandwich #2:¬†oven roasted turkey, mesclun salad spring mix, green, red, and orange bell peppers, alfalfa sprouts, sweet onions on a kaiser bun with cantaloupe¬†on the side
  • Sandwich #3: roast beef, baby romaine, roma tomatoes, mozzerella cheese, cilantro, lemon dill hummus spread on a¬†wheat bun
  • Sandwich #4: roast chicken, alfalfa banana sprouts,¬†hot banana peppers, avocado on a wheat bun¬†

The Name’s Sprout…Alfalfa Sprout. Here’s My Partner Banana Pepper. And We’re Fabulous in a Sandwich!

1 Comment

I’ve become very amoured with alfalfa sprouts with just about everything, and I’ve recently developed quite a crush on hot banana peppers too!¬† After eating my fab grilled cheese sandwich from T&T Bakery and Caf√©¬†I thought to myself, “why in the world have I not been eating banana peppers more??”¬† And so began the hunt for a decent jar of the spicy stuff to add my growing list of sandwich fillings.¬† My tolerance for spicy food is certainly not sky high, but I can take a bit of heat.¬† I’m finding it really fun to try out different veggie combinations in my sandwiches and to switch things up whenever I can.¬† Mushrooms, grilled zucchini, bell peppers, spinach, arugula, herbs, different lettuces and cheeses –¬†I love them¬†all and the combinations are endless.¬†¬†¬†

Part of the reason why I’ve suddenly become so inspired by sandwiches within the last little while has a¬†bit to do with the great bread¬†my mum and¬†I consistently get from our local bakery, and¬†it¬†also has to do with something my friend Wini brought up almost a month ago.¬† She wanted to find great vegetarian and vegan sandwiches around the city and since then, I’ve been on the hunt not just for her, but for me as well.¬† I’ve found¬†several amazing ones to tuck into my “sandwich portfolio” along the way (grilled vegetables on tomato foccacia!¬† Breaded eggplant and basil on a crusty baguette!) and I’m on the lookout for as many great sammies as possible.¬† Part of¬†the issue, I think, is that there’s a lack of creativity with fillings.¬† Lettuce and tomato just don’t¬†cut it anymore (or did they ever?) so it makes it all the more fun and challenging to find something¬†fabulous and worth eating out for.¬†¬†Experimenting¬†in the kitchen allows me to try out different combinations of flavours and it inspires me to look¬† for¬†creativity elsewhere.

Although not vegetarian, it was a tasty sandwich if I do say so myself!¬† A pepperoni sandwich with mozzerella cheese, baby spinach, alfalfa sprouts, and hot banana peppers on crunchy kaiser bun!¬† Crunchy, spicy, and all sorts of yummy.¬† The sandwich experiments are delish and the vegetarian and vegan sandwich hunt in the city continues on.¬† I’m really excited to share my discoveries when I eventually gather up a good-sized selection and I have a few places in mind to try out, so keep an eye out for my full on report by summer!¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†

The Sandwich Kick Continues – Alfalfa and Peppers and Cucumbers, Oh My! Fresh Kaisers from Raymerville Bakery

3 Comments

I wasn’t lying when I said I was on a sandwich rampage.¬† All I could think of when I woke up yesterday morning was sinking my teeth into some fresh crunchy bread and turkey and veggies.¬† For your viewing pleasure today: the lovely sandwich I made for lunch yesterday!¬† Mum and I went on a grocery and bakery run yesterday morning and we picked up the fresh kaiser buns from Raymerville Deli and Bakery¬†($0.45 each, or $4.50 for a dozen) that my brother and I love so dearly.¬† Oh gosh, these kaiser buns are just divine.¬† They are the size of your face and they are crunchy and soft at the same time.¬† You know they’re delicious when you can envision yourself eating one without anything on it.¬† And that’s saying a lot about bread considering most people would wrinkle their nose if they had to eat bread all by its lonesome!¬†

A few packs of fresh deli meat and a few tons of fruits and vegetables later and we were good to go.¬† I made myself a kaiser sandwich with some oven roasted turkey, mozzerella cheese, a little mayo and honey mustard (what you see peeking out underneath the top bun), baby spinach, alfalfa sprouts, cucumbers, and green bell peppers.¬† This thing was so big my jaw cracked every time I tried to fit it in my mouth (it’s not as painful as it sounds.¬† Actually, it’s not painful at all.¬† I have a weird cracky jaw).¬† I “mmm”ed my way through lunch and even though everyone else had devoured their sammies and made fun of me for only getting through a third of mine by that time , I’d like to think that I’m the winner because I get to savour my sandwich the longest ūüėÄ

*****

Raymerville Deli & Bakery is located within the strip plaza right at the intersection of McCowan Rd. and Ramerville Drive south, on the east side of McCowan (Carlton Rd. is on the west side of McCowan).  It’s about a 10 minute walk (or a 2 or 3 minute drive) from Markville Mall.  They are closed on Mondays.

Because I Love Black Beans and Avocado That Much! A Black Bean Burrito My Way

1 Comment

Following from yesterday’s Fresh post, I’m going to continue declaring my love for black beans!¬† I loved my black bean burrito dish from Fresh SO much that I wanted to create my own version.¬† And¬†oh my goodness was this ever delicious and satisfying.¬† We had a bunch of whole wheat tortillas left over from a previous tortilla night (you know, those nights when you make a batch of chicken or ground beef, make some salsa, chop up a bunch vegetables, that kind of thing) and I had a great idea: make bean burrito filling to go with it!¬†¬†

It was really fun preparing for this meal just because it felt like it was coming more from me than it was from my mum who does the cooking in the house, you know?¬† From the grocery shopping to the black bean mashing with¬†my potato masher,¬†it felt good to see a meal from start to finish.¬† Not to mention that even though my family isn’t vegetarian, it’s been so cool seeing them embrace more vegetarian meals and foods.¬† Even my carnivore of a brother loves the soy cheese I bought!¬† ūüėĬ† He was little weirded out by my meat-less meal, but hey, if I can get him to really like soy cheese, I’ll eventually be able to get him to eat a meal without meat one day!¬† The black beans were from President’s Blue Menu and they were really good.¬† A few rinses in the colander and they were good to go.¬† I had myself a field day with this meal: lots of baby spinach,¬†a handful of alfalfa sprouts, mashed black beans, wedges of avocado with freshly¬†squeezed lime juice, and a dollop of sour cream with a sprinkling of green onions.¬† SO YUMMY.¬† Dinner is served! ūüėÄ

Don’t Get Fresh With Us…Or Maybe You Can – Black Bean and Vegetarian Deliciousness at Fresh!

7 Comments

Me and Fresh were finally introduced over the holiday season and I must say, we have become close friends.¬† We had an instant connection from the beginning and Fresh enjoys my company very much.¬† Fresh serves me food and I eat it.¬† It’s win-win for everyone ūüėĬ† *laughs*¬† In all seriousness though, I can’t believe it actually took me¬†so long to eat at Fresh and I was sad that I missed out on my first Fresh dinner with friends¬†from out of town back in November.¬† My friend Wini raved about the food here and after salivating over everything on their menu online, it was just a matter of time before Fresh and I became acquainted.¬† But I redeemed myself for my tardiness over the holidays with an awesome lunch and lunch date with my dear friend Katrina from The Demure Muse¬†and it was truly one of my favourites meals EVER, on top of being a really sweet holiday get-together with a friend I don’t get to see often enough ‚̧

Fresh lives up to its name in food, in decor, and all-around feel.¬† Everything is bright and cheery and as a nutty scrapbooker, the walls look like patterned scrapbook paper and that makes me happy!¬† Beautiful colours of green, brown, orange, blue, and magenta burst from the menu and decor and even though the spaces are tighter, it really gives off a warm, communal vibe.¬† The kind of place where you enjoy the company of friends along with conversation with your next door table and waitress or waiter!¬† It makes you feel GOOD and it’s a mega popular joint¬†that fills up fast!¬† And it’s a vegetarian and vegan haven.¬† Almond, tofu, and veggie burgers, cornbread,¬†curries, soups, noodle bowls, wraps and burritos, and fruit smoothies, protein shakes, and fresh fruit juice are just SOME of¬†the mouth-watering menu items.¬†¬†Fresh makes it their priority to¬†be socially¬†and environmentally conscious¬†with their food, so they offer wheat and gluten-free options, as well as cheese that is rennet-free (rennet being the digestive enzymes found in the stomaches of cows).

I love me some beans.¬† I love bean spread, bean salad, bean chili, and especially bean burritos!¬† The lovely thing about Fresh is that you have the option of enjoying their burritos and wraps in either the grilled whole wheat tortilla or without the tortilla and instead on a bed of greens.¬† Not don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the grilled goodness of a tortilla as much as the next person, but to have everything IN my burrito ON a bed of leafy green salad for me to fork (or rather chopstick) and stuff in my mouth?!¬† Inhaling Munching mouthful after mouthful of yummy wrap filling and soft greens, OH.MY.GOD.¬† And this dish was OH.MY.GOD. ten times over.¬†

The black bean burrito, with spicy black beans, avocado,¬†lots of alfalfa sprouts,¬†diced cucumber and red onion,¬†freshly chopped cilantro, and slices of tomato on the side as well as Fresh’s signature coleslaw.¬† Oh!¬† And I added gorgonzola cheese to it too!¬† And¬†I munched and washed it down with a yummy glass of lemonade sweetened with agave ūüôā¬† This¬†dish was all sorts of amazing.¬† It was warm and so wholesome and the black beans¬†had the texture and consistency of soft beans and bean spread and the combination of this with the avocado, gorgonzola, and alfalfa was just yummy and crunchy and creamy…oh gosh, I just want to¬†stuff my face into a whole plate of it now!

I enjoyed my food and eating experience SO MUCH here.¬† It’s one of those places that I can go back over and over and over and not get bored.¬† I get excited about going and trying everything I possibly can off their menu.¬† It makes me all warm and fuzzy knowing that everything¬†is truly delicious and wholesome and full of love and heart.¬† This outing was¬†special all around, not just with the food but also with¬†the company and it’s¬†food memories like these that I really cherish and keep close to my heart.

*****

Fresh currently serves 3 locations in downtown Toronto:

  1. 326 Bloor St. West (right off the intersection of Spadina Ave. and Bloor St. West, just east of Spadina)
  2. 894 Queen St. West (at the intersection of Crawford St. and Queen St. West, near Trinity Bellwoods Park)
  3. 147 Spadina Ave. (near the intersection of Spadina Ave. and Queen St. West, a block south of Queen)

Big hugs and thanks to Katrina for the picture of me!

Scrapbooking materials used: blue, lime green, emerald green, and tangerine orange cardstock (Recollections); green pinstriped patterned paper (Recollections); blue striped patterned paper;¬†alphabet stickers (K & Company); chipboard adhesive button embellisments (WT Westrim Crafts); orange butterfly pebble clip (‘M’ Making Memories); snowflake embellisment stickers (Recollections); medium scallop circle paper punch (ek success); circle paper punch (marvy uchida); corner rounder (ek success); scallop edge scissors (Prova Craft).