Greek Lentil Salad

Hey everyone!

How’s life? Here it’s pretty busy! I started to work on a special project for the blog, hopefully, I’ll be able to make that happen quickly and share it with you guys!

It’s still a little coldish around here, but I decided that it was summer already. So I broke out the dresses, the BBQ, etc. I’ll be cold, but happy.

In this line of thought, I made a salad that goes great with most BBQ recipes, but mostly chicken marinated in yogurt (Find a recipe HERE).

Even better, this protein-packed recipe shall satisfy that vegetarian friend of yours, or your little sister who recently converted (Ya, you Laurence!) 

So here goes:

Greek Lentil Salad

Lentils are probably my favorite legume, they’re not super hard like chickpeas, mild in flavor, super versatile, and full of proteins! And they are CHEAP! My favorite word of all words! This recipe fed 3 as a main meal for less than $3 per portion, I call that a win!

Plus, this is very much a cut and chuck recipe. Cut all the ingredients, chuck in a bowl, add the vinaigrette and done! Fast, cheap, healthy… what more could you possibly want?

 

Greek Lentil Salad

Serves 3-4

 

Ingredients

  • 1 large can (540ml) of cooked lentils
  • 1 container (2-3 cups) of cherry tomatoes (I got the mixed colors cuz they pretty!)
  • 1/2-1 cup of feta cheese in small cubes
  • 1 cup of black olives (I buy the sliced ones because I have no patience to cut olives…)
  • A handful of fresh parsley
  • Your favorite vinaigrette (the one I used was 2 parts olive oil for 1 part lemon juice with a little bit of dijon mustard, salt, and pepper. But you can use a pre-made Greek vinaigrette or Italian would probably be fine as well)

 

Fork & Fantasy - Greek Lentil Salad 4

How to

 

  1. Cut the veggies and cheese to be bite-size
  2. Drain and rinse the lentils for a few minutes to get rid of the sticky liquid
  3. Prepare the vinaigrette by mixing 2 parts of olive oil with 1 part of lemon juice, mix with salt, pepper, and a bit of dijon mustard.
  4. Or use a store-bought vinaigrette, it’s your salad, you do you!
  5. Chuck everything in a bowl and mix well.
  6. Sprinkle with fresh parsley
  7. EAT ALL THE SALAD!

 

Fork & Fantasy - Greek Lentil Salad 3

 

Yeah, basically, you don’t even need a real recipe for this, easiest yet most filling salad!

Pictured above was my lunch that I brought to work, do you see those carrot chips?? A revelation! Chips and dips, but healthy! And still satisfying because of the actual crunch! I literally bought them like that but you could just like, slice carrot, with the same effect!

This recipe is also vegetarian, gluten friendly, and will ring you about 600 calories per serving (as a meal, not as a side) according to a website that calculated the calories per serving… not sure quite how accurate it is.

Fork & Fantasy - Greek Lentil Salad 1

So there you go,

Now go forth and enjoy BBQ season, and salad season, and no real cooking season!!!

Until next time,

 

Andreanne

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Corny Chicken Gnocchi

Hey everybody!

So, remember last week, when I thought it was spring? FOILED AGAIN! We’ll never have warm weather again… Canada has canceled spring and summer…

Because it’s still pretty cold, I want comfort food. But because it’s supposed to be spring already, I still want somewhat fresh summery food. See my dilemma here? Apparently, summer comfort food is like, ribs on the BBQ and stuff… Not happening at the moment. So I decided to create my own spring comfort food.

Fork & Fantasy- Corny Chicken Gnocchi Pinterest

Corny! Ah ah ah, get it? Allllright then…

So what inspires spring to me? Veggies. Asparagus and corn specifically. I wanted to add red onion to this recipe but forgot to buy any. If you want to try it, it’s probably delicious. Now, what inspires comfort food to me? Gnocchis and cream cheese! Sold.

Easy peasy, less than 10 ingredients, less than 10 steps, all of the flavor.

Corny Chicken Gnocchi

(Serves 4)

Ingredients

– 1 bag of gnocchi (fresh or “dry”) – 500g

– 3-4 cups of cooked chicken, diced.

– 1 bunch of asparagus

– 1 can of corn (regular, not creamy)

– 1/4 cup of cream cheese

– 1 tbls of summer savoury

– 1/4 cup of salted butter

– salt & pepper

Fork & Fantasy - Corny Chicken Gnocchi 3

How to

1. If your chicken is not cooked, cook it using your preferred method.

2. Cut the asparagus in small 1 inch pieces (or bigger, really, you’re the boss)

3. In boiling water, cook the gnocchi until they float to the surface. Reserve 2 cups of cooking water.

4. In a pan, melt the butter.

5. Add in the corn and the chicken. Season with the summer savoury, salt & pepper.

6. Add in the cream cheese, asparagus, and 2 cups of gnocchi water.

7. Drain the gnocchis then add to the pan.

8. Finish cooking for a few minutes for the sauce to coat the gnocchis.

9. EAT ALL THE GNOCCHI

 

Fork & Fantasy - Corny Chicken Gnocchi 1

 

There you go, that’s literally it. Perfect to comfort you on a weeknight between work and re-watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

No? Just me? Alright then, as usual, the cheese stands alone!

Let me know how it turns out if you make it!

Until next time,

 

Andreanne

Spring 2019 Favorites

Hello everyone!

Ahhh Spring, finally! We’re still having pretty cold days around here but the snow is gone! Related, flood season is upon us, even worse than last year’s… Do you guys have significant flooding where you live?

To get my mind off things, I selected a few of my current favorite things! There’s a bit of everything so I’ll go ahead and divide them into categories, let’s start!

Spring 2019 favorites

Books

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Spring 2019 favorites Book 2

Wizards! Magic! Love! Teenage Angst! This book is everything. You follow Simon Snow (The Mage’s Heir) through his last year at the Watford School for Magicks.

Sound familiar? Yeah, it was originally a fictional world inspired by Harry Potter used in another one of Rainbow Rowell’s books ‘Fangirl’.

Anyway, it is better to read ‘Fangirl’ first, but not necessary.

The sequel ‘Wayward Son’ is scheduled to come out in September 2019 and I can’t wait!

When life gives you demons by Jennifer Honeybourne

Spring 2019 favorites Book 1

Cute, funny and campy. Reminds me a bit of Buffy the Vampire Slayer in that way.

Shelby has been training to be an Exorcist, not super common for a high school girl! We follow her in her training and on the job, as well as in her daily school life.

Pretty cool story and a very fast read!

Beauty

Etude House Lip Tints

Spring 2019 favorites Lip tints

First of all, these are beyond cute! They look like popsicles!

Beyond the packaging, the formula is very nice, it leaves a sheer color on the lips that looks almost natural, just better.

You can layer them quite easily and they work great to make that gradient lip that is so popular around Asia.

Pretty cheap too, I got mine on Beautynetkorea and I paid less than $5 a piece.

Body Shop Skin Sponge

Spring 2019 favorites loofah

Sure is a loofah.

But that is the best damn loofah I ever had. Plus, exfoliating with this bad boy first got me the smoothest leg shave ever, that’s enough for me to buy a dozen.

The cherry on top on the sundae, however, is that this little exfoliating wonder is made out of recycled milk cartons. What? Yup! Recycling at it’s very best.

I’m apparently way late on this particular bandwagon too as they seem to have been making those for quite a while. Oh well, better late than never!

Fragrance

Atelier Cologne Stories

Spring 2019 favorites Fragrance

Atelier Cologne is my absolute favorite brand of perfume.

This little package is super neat because you get to try a lot of scents for a much smaller price ($25 at Sephora, just in case you want to check it out)

My personal favorite from this particular set is ‘Orange Sanguine’, my all time favorite from the brand is ‘Figuier Ardent’, but all the scents are so nice!

Bath and Body Works Aromatherapy Candle

Spring 2019 favorites Candle

Eucalyptus & Spearmint, not sure if this relieves my stress whatsoever but it smells so very nice.

Fresh but not too much like citrus can sometimes be, you know? No? Just me then…

Major plus too, it’s strong enough to cover the wet dog smell in my house so there’s that.

TV SHOWS

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina part 1 & 2

Spring 2019 favorites TV show 2

Sabrina the teenage witch got a makeover, and it’s dark.

It’s also feminist, inclusive AF, a little spooky and all around awesome! Do yourself a favor and watch it on Netflix. It has about 20 episodes so it’s not a huge commitment.

For those of you unfamiliar with the original, Sabrina is a half-witch, half-mortal. On her 16th birthday, she has to choose which world she’ll be a part of forever. Quite the decision… or is it?

That being said, I think that this is a show that will become cult, like ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ or ‘Charmed’.

Go check it out, Praise Satan!

Spring 2019 favorites TV Show 2 gif

Nightmare High

Spring 2019 favorites TV show 1

Yes, it is a Korean TV Show.

BUT, not only is it on Netflix, but it’s only 12 episodes of 15 minutes. You can handle subtitles for 3h I’m sure.

The episodes are so short but the storyline is still super convoluted and compelling. A new homeroom teacher shows up, but somehow, he seems to know an awful lot about the student’s personal lives… There’s also this contract business that has to be signed with blood…

Absolutely check it out, it’s amazing!

Spring 2019 favorites TV Show 1 gif

Food

I’ve been craving noodles and spicy food in general, which is not great for my diet…

I had Jjajangmyeon a few times (even got my picky friend Kim to try it and she loved it) It’s just so savory and just comfort food enough for those dark rainy spring days.

You can check out my post about it HERE

Fork & Fantasy - Jjajangmyeon 2

I have also been going out to eat far too often…

My current favorites are Subway (yeah, I know…) and any kind of pizza.

Actually, I’m thinking of having an entire post dedicated to my search for the perfect frozen pizza… Is that a good idea? I mean, it’s probably going to happen either way but, would you like it?

That’s it for today guys, hope you enjoyed these favorites of mine and do let me know in the comments if there’s new stuff I should try. Some favorite of yours maybe?

Until next time,

Andreanne

Easy Jjajangmyeon

Hello everyone!

This week I want to share with you my personal recipe for Jjajangmyeon!

It’s not 100% authentic, I modified the recipe a bit for my personal taste. If you want a recipe that’s closer to the classic recipe, I suggest THIS ONE by Maangchi.

First, what is even Jjajangmyeon?

Jjajangmyeon or 짜장면 is a noodle dish with black bean sauce that is really popular in Korea. The dish, while Chinese by origin, is one of the most popular take-out food in Korea (according to my knowledge gathered from Korean Dramas, if you want to know more about those, go HERE)

This post is coming just in time too as it is common for single people to eat this dish on April 14th (Following Valentine’s Day on Feb 14th – girls give boys chocolate, and White Day on March 14th – Boys give chocolate to girls) which is known as ”Singles Day”.

This blog is now actually informative, What? Yeah, I know!

So long story short, I LOVE Jjajangmyeon, if I go to a Korean restaurant, there’s like a 50% chance that I’ll order it. Fair warning, the black bean paste can be a little bitter depending on what kind you buy, we’ll talk about how to get it not too bitter.

Here we go!

Jjajangmyeon pinterest

 

So, your first steps will depend on what kind of paste you buy, if you buy Black Bean Paste or Chunjang 춘장, you’re essentially getting crushed black beans. It’s salty and bitter. Your very first step will be to basically deep fry it and then add sugar. Most likely, you will buy Black Bean Sauce or Jjajang 자장, which has already been fried and had sugar added. Just a thing to be mindful of when you buy the ingredients at the Korean Grocery Store (or you know, Sobeys, where I got my Jjajang)

 

 

 

Easy Jjajangmyeon

(Serves 2-3 people)

 

Ingredients

  • 3 packs of noodles (I like to use Hokkien style stir-fried noodles, but you can use udon noodles or even ramen noodles)
  • 1/2lbs ish of pork (I use any cut that’s on sale really but the best is lean pork belly)
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 tbsp of Jjajang (like, heaping spoons, close to 1/4 cup really) 
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp hoisin
  • 1/4- 1/2 cup of water
  • 2 tbsp sugar (or maple syrup if ya fellin’ fancy)

 

Fork & Fantasy - Jjajangmyeon 4

How to

  1. If you bought Chunjang, you want to start by frying it in a pan with canola oil, don’t cheap out on the oil either, fry that baby up! Then reserve for later.
  2. Start boiling water in a separate pot for the noodles.
  3. Dice the zucchini and onion
  4. Add the sesame oil to a pan and heat up on high heat for 30 sec- 1 minute then add the pork. Lower the heat to medium-high.
  5. Add the diced onion and garlic, sweat for a few seconds, then add the zucchini to the pan.
  6. Add in the fried Chujang or the Jjajang straight from the jar.
  7. Add the hoisin sauce, sugar, and half the water. Adjust consistency of the sauce by adding more water progressively. Lower the heat to medium.
  8. Cook the noodles during this step.
  9. Drain the noodles and separate them in bowls.
  10. Add the Jjajang pork mixture to the bowls.
  11. Mix well
  12. EAT ALL THE NOODLES!

Fork & Fantasy - Jjajangmyeon 6

Voilà! Again, this is not a traditional Jjajangmyeon, classic recipes also include potatoes and Korean radish… as well as a bunch more steps. This is my EASY version for lazy people!

You can modify this recipe as you wish, obviously, your kitchen = your rules!

If you make it, let me know how it turned out and if you loved it as much as I do! If you’re not feeling these, you might want to try my Udon Pork Stir Fry

This is all for this week peeps!

 

Until next time,

 

Andreanne

 

Red Yogurt Chicken

Hi everyone!

What’s up? Is it Spring yet where you are? Here in Canada, it’s starting to feel like it’s going to happen pretty soon, getting a little bit warmer, a little sunnier…

I can’t WAIT for summer guys, it’s been a looong winter and I’m super over it!

Also, I think my cat hurt one of her legs because she’s limping a tiny bit, the fur mama in me is keeping an eagle eye on her and, hopefully, she just pulled something or slept weird… we’ll see. Any cat parent out there has some advice? Let me know!

Ok so now, what exactly is ”Red Yogurt Chicken”? It’s chicken, duh, marinated with yogurt and too many red things to name them all in the name of the recipe! So I just went with ”red” even though the finished product isn’t really red… Misleading? Maybe…

Let’s get to it!

Red Yogurt Chicken Pinterest

 

So for some reason, on the pictures, my chicken looks kinda dry, but fear not, it’s delicious and – moist – (yeah, I know a lot of people hate that word… I don’t get it…). 

It’s so easy to make too, literally just stick the chicken in a bag or bowl with the marinade around lunchtime, or even in the morning before work, and when you get back home BAM! Awesome chicken!

 

Red Yogurt Chicken

Serves 4

 

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1 1/2 cup of Greek Yogurt (the fat percentage doesn’t matter so 0% is fine!)
  • 2 tbsp of Sundried Tomato paste (or sundried tomato pesto if you are in a pinch)
  • 1/4 cup of Club House Roasted Garlic and Red Pepper seasoning
  • 1 tbsp Canola oil or Coconut oil

 

Red Yogurt Chicken 2

 

How to

  1. Mix all of the marinade ingredients
  2. Add to a bowl or bag with the chicken, making sure all the chicken is covered
  3. Marinate at least 3h (I wouldn’t go more than 8h)
  4. Cook the chicken thoroughly in a pan or skillet, turning 2-3 times for more uniform cooking (internal temperature should be at least 165F or 75C if you care about that stuff) using canola or coconut oil.
  5. I served mine with asparagus that I stuck in the oven in a foil packet with salt, pepper, and olive oil at 375F for about 25min. This would also be great with greek type potatoes or any type of veggies!
  6. EAT ALL THE CHICKEN

Seriously, that simple… It’s almost embarrassing to put on here but it was really good!

Red Yogurt Chicken 1

So yeah, very minimal effort, like… very minimal and yet super tasty (and healthy) chicken breasts!

Here is the seasoning mix by the way

 

 

It’s pretty versatile and very tasty, I like it. I also like their Garlic Plus mix and a few others, pretty good stuff!

You can check out the Salmon recipe I made with their Garlic Plus mix —- HERE

So this is it for this week! Hopefully, my cat will feel better, and I’ll get thin from eating so healthy (unlikely)

Until next time,

 

Andreanne

Garlic Salmon & Butternut Squash Noodles

Hi everyone!

Man, what a weekend! My mom was in town so we went hard on the food. Nice cheeses, this fantastic pizza place downtown, carbs-a-palooza… It was awesome, but now my body needs vitamins.

So here is my Garlic Salmon with Butternut Squash Noodles! I don’t have a spiralizer, but thankfully, my grocery store caters to my lazy needs! Are the spiralizers even worth it? I mean, technically I could shred my veggies with similar results, right? No? Am I being blind to the wonders of the spiralizer right now?

Anywho, let’s get to it!

Fork and Fantasy- Garlic Salmon and Butternut Squash Noodles

Garlic Salmon & Butternut Squash Noodles

Serves 2 (+ ”noodles” leftovers)

Ingredients:

  • Salmon Filets (2)
  • 2 tsp Olive oil
  • 2-4 tsp of Garlic Plus spice mix (Club House)
  • 1 package of Butternut Squash noodles (or 1 medium sized Butternut Squash spiralized)
  • 1 tbsp of Butter
  • 1/4 cup of crushed Hazelnuts
  • 1 clove of Garlic, crushed or minced.
  • 1/2-1 tsp of Parsley
  • 1/2-1 tsp of Thyme
  • 1/4 cup of White Wine

How to:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375F
  2. Place your Salmon filets on a piece of foil, brush with olive oil and Garlic Plus.
  3. Close your foil packet, put in preheated oven and cook for about 20 min (depending on the thickness of your fish, you might want to go a little over or a little under)
  4. While the salmon is in the oven, melt your butter in a pan.
  5. Sauteed the garlic and hazelnuts in the butter until fragrant.
  6. Add in the herbs and the white wine
  7. Let reduce until you have about 3/4 of the amount of liquid left.
  8. Add in the noodles and cook for 5-15 min, depending on the desired level of crunchiness (I go about 10, soft, yet crunchy)
  9. Serve the salmon on the noodles, whole or flaked.
  10. EAT ALL THE SALMON!

Fork and Fantasy- Garlic Salmon and Butternut Squash 1

For my Weight Watchers peeps, you’ll be happy to know that this recipe is only about 10 points per portion (probably even less since I had noodles leftovers)

For my KETO peeps, yes, you can replace the oil and butter by Ghee or Coconut oil, I would recommend ghee to not alter the taste.

Fork and Fantasy- Garlic Salmon and Butternut Squash 4

So here you go for this week, hope you’ll enjoy it!

As always, do let me know if you make this recipe and what you thought of it!

Also, small poll, would any of you guys be interested to have pictures of the actual making of the recipe or are the pictures of the finished product enough? Let me know!

 

Until next week!

 

Andreanne

NuPasta Review and Recipe Fail!

Hi everybody!

Get ready for this week’s post because it’s quite the trainwreck!

Actually, first of all, how is everyone’s March Break going? Mine is quite uneventful, my mom is supposed to visit next weekend though so that should be fun!

Alright, back to my biggest fail of 2019 (so far)…

www.forkandfantasy.com

What is NuPasta you ask? What an excellent question! NuPasta is a low calorie, gluten-free, organic, keto, vegan, and high fiber pasta substitute. Say what? Yeah, I know!

So what is it made of? Konjac. You know, the Asian plant that we can make face cleansing sponges with? The very same.

Was it good? By itself, yes. In the recipe that I made, a world of no.

See, the thing is that (no matter what Google says on the matter) NuPasta has a pretty strong taste. Not a bad taste, by any means, but strong. It’s hard to describe but it’s earthy, somewhat a little fishy, and lowkey mushroomy. The sauce I made did NOT work with those flavours… not even a little….

IMG_5020195930

Now, I won’t give you the exact recipe, because it was so very bad.

Just know that I used heavy cream, a pack of Epicure seasoning (totally wasted that btw), chicken, broccoli and a bit of white wine. An excellent combination on regular pasta, yet absolutely horrible on Konjac pasta. Why? I’m not sure. The flavours of the sauce and pasta were completely wrong together, to the point that I went back to the kitchen to make regular pasta to replace the NuPasta with.

IMG_2620195932

Doesn’t it look delicious? It really does eh? Now picture me, in my kitchen at like 9pm, removing the konjac noodles by hand, sliding the sauce off them with my bare fingers to try to salvage that shipwreck of a meal.

Cue to myself adding the sauce to the regular pasta thinking ”Ah yes, this will be much better now!”. Now, close your eyes and imagine the look of pure sadness and desperation when I realized that the sauce was now infused with the taste of the NuPasta.

I am standing in my kitchen, with bits of sauce still stuck under my nails from scraping it off the noodles, looking at my plate in disgust. What a fail. I ate it. Angry bites full of resentment and bitterness, but I did finish the thing. I already wasted the Konjac Noodles, I wasn’t about the waste the whole thing…

Now, I believe that those noodles would be mighty fine with some butter, mushrooms, salt, and pepper. Or maybe even with a bit of Miso paste. But no more creamy sauce for me. Especially not one including parmesan cheese and white wine.

Though I was glad about the wine, if only to drink the rest of the bottle to help me get the pasta down…

If you so happen to have a great recipe with those (one that does not taste like death and misery) PLEASE do let me know!

I did not give up on those and I want to try them again! Let me know if you do!

Until next time,

Andreanne

Thai Coconut Pork

Hi everyone!!

This week I decided to go back to a recipe so here comes the Thai Coconut Pork!

I’m not a huge meat eater, and I feel like a lot of people who don’t eat all that much meat are all about chicken. Don’t get me wrong, I do like meat (chicken included) but it’s expensive and I do just as well without it… When I do eat meat, I’m all about pork. It’s just more savory and flavourful… I don’t know, pork is my favorite!

So on Tuesday night, I whipped this recipe up. As usual, I tried my best for the measurements but you might need to adjust them a bit according to your taste. I was inspired by the Coconut Curry Meatballs that came in the GoodFood box a few weeks ago, but I obviously switched it up a bit.

You’ll also notice that the recipe includes broccoli, which is not very Thai, but it was a case of  ”we-need-to-eat-those-today-because-I-don’t-want-to-throw-them-out”. Which happens quite a lot in my house, mostly because I am the absolute worst at meal-planning…

Here goes:

thai coconut pork

Thai Coconut Pork

(Serves 2)

 

Ingredients:

  • 1lbs of Pork (I used tenderloin because that’s what I had, but you can use other cuts)
  • 2-3 Green Onions
  • 2 cups of broccoli florets
  • 1 can of Coconut Cream
  • 3 Tbsp of Thai Mild Yellow Curry Paste
  • Juice of 2 limes (or about 4 Tbsp of lime juice)
  • 1-2 Tbsp of Peanut Butter
  • 1-2 Tsp of Fish Sauce
  • 1/2 of a Thai Chili (or a whole one if you can handle more heat than me…)
  • Sesame Oil
  • Salt and Pepper

 

How to:

  1. Cut the green onions to the desired size (I chop mine pretty thin since my husband is not the biggest fan)
  2. Cut the broccoli in florets
  3. Heat up the sesame oil in a pan on Medium-High heat. Once hot, add the pork and brown on all sides.
  4. Season with Salt and Pepper
  5. Add in the curry paste, cook for about 30 sec- 1 min
  6. Add in half of the lime juice and scrape the curry that stuck to your pan
  7. Add in the green onions and broccoli and mix it around for about 30 sec
  8. Add the can of Coconut Cream (at this point you’ll need to help it break down as it is much thicker than Coconut Milk)
  9. Once the Coconut Cream is dissolved properly and warm, add in the peanut butter, fish sauce, and Thai chili.
  10. Let simmer on medium heat for about 15 min or until the sauce has reached the desired thickness.
  11. Taste and add the remaining lime juice if needed. You can also add in more salt and Pepper and/or Fish Sauce.
  12. Serve immediately by itself or with rice/ rice vermicelli. (I used Jasmine Rice)
  13. EAT ALL THE PORK!

 

Notes:

  • If you are allergic to peanuts, feel free to replace by other nut butter or omit it entirely, it’s still gonna be delicious.
  • You can replace the Coconut Cream by Coconut Milk, to adjust the texture, use a little bit of Corn Starch in cold water (slurry)
  • Feel free to use more Thai Chilis, I am, once again, a spice wimp so I just want the tiniest of spicy kick.

 

photoeditor_20190123_095906182 (1)

 

You’ll notice that the sauce might separate a bit towards the end, it’s normal, just the oil from the Coconut Cream and the Peanut Butter that wants to live on its own. I personally just mix it all in my rice anyway so it doesn’t bother me.

That’s it for this week guys, I’ll see you next Wednesday.

Until then, follow me on Instagram for daily food and pets (mostly)  @annegvall or click on the Instagram button on the right side!

Have a good week!

 

Andreanne

Goodfood Box Full Review

Hello everybody!

I am back with another meal box review. I know, again, right? Well, another one of my friends gave me a free ”Goodfood” box this time! Shout out to my girl Megan for the free goods!

Also, even though I got this box for free, this is NOT a sponsored post, just to let you guys know!

Goodfood

I’ll follow the same format as I did for the ”HelloFresh” box but I’ll try my best to stay objective and not only compare them to each other.

Here we go!

 

Shipping and Packaging

It didn’t start all that great for me when I did not, in fact, get my box on December 26th… Until I looked up the website and saw that, because of the Holidays, deliveries would be delayed and I would get my box on the 28th instead. Well… okay I guess. I was still slightly frustrated to be honest. On the 28th, however, I got my box bright and early (around 9:30am, which was great because I was on vacation but not awesome if I would have been at work… oh well…).

 

The meals are divided into plastic bags, that come in a huge insulated cardboard box. The website seemed to be saying that the plastic is recyclable (Unless you live in a place that sucks at recycling, like me!). The meat was packaged nicely with ice packs under the bags and another layer of insulated cardboard.

Once again, I am slightly doubtful of how this would fair in 30 degrees Celsius weather, especially if it gets delivered so early but I’m gonna go ahead and assume that they have a ”summer plan”.

 

 

Now, in the meal bags, most of the ingredients were packaged in extra Ziploc-type plastic bags which I find just adds to the plastic that I cannot recycle here. I wish the ingredients would have been loose in the bag whenever possible. The little containers for sauces and the likes were pretty sturdy though, I’ll be able to re-use them, which is nice.

I do not recall seeing anything on the website regarding the ice packs, I just kept them in the freezer for now.

Freshness of Ingredients

Unfortunately, some of my ingredients were not as fresh as they could have been. One recipe called for Thai basil, which was either really wilted or had frozen to death… Either way, I couldn’t use it. Since it was only a garnish it’s not too bad but it was still a little disappointing.

Otherwise, the rest seemed pretty fresh. The meat seemed fresh and well packaged.

 

Recipes and Instructions

The recipes were very simple and easy to follow. They came on large cardstock paper that you can keep on file. You can also access the recipes on the website.

I couldn’t find an app, I’m not sure if it’s in the works or not.

The timings for cooking were fairly accurate, the recipes were very quick to make, which is perfect for weeknights!

 

Meals

Pork Meatballs in Thai Coconut Curry

 

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Mine and my husband’s favorite of the week by far! To the point that I already made it again with ingredients that I purchased specifically for it.

This is the recipe that called for the Thai basil for garnish, clearly, it was glorious without it as well. It’s not the prettiest of recipes, but it was oh so tasty.

The recipe was easy to follow and was done in about 30-40 minutes, mostly because I’m slightly paranoid about fully cooking my meat since I got salmonella a few years back. Now I know that salmonella is for poultry and that pork is usually safe to eat even slightly undercooked, but this was ground pork and I’m not taking any chances dammit!

The only modification I made when I made this recipe again is that I added an egg and a bit of panko breadcrumbs to make the meatballs hold a little better.

Besides that, perfect recipe, super fragrant and delicious. The Thai chili gave it the perfect kick (I only put half of one cuz we all know I’m a spice wimp).

Final rating:  5/ 5

Whiskey-Rubbed Pork Chops with Scalloped Potatoes

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Was it good? Yes. Did I call my mom to tell her how good it was? No.

It was good, but it didn’t rock my world. I may have been biased since the first meal of the week had been so fabulous, we may never know…

My husband said he liked the spice rub, and now I wish I knew exactly what was in it… Same for the vinaigrette. It’s very convenient for the night of, that some things are pre-made, but not if you want to re-create the recipe…

For me, the scalloped potatoes were the real MVP of this meal, but then again, I LOVE scalloped potatoes (they’re the main reason why I chose this meal). I did have to cook them about 15 minutes longer than the recipe card said, but that might be more of a personal preference than an actual mistake in the cooking time.

All in all, a fine meal, but not necessarily one that will become a staple in our house.

Final rating: 3/ 5

Peanut Butter Dumplings

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So, I really dropped the ball on this one. Remember how, in my last post, I mentioned my husband’s allergy to mushrooms?

Well, guess who got too excited when she saw this meal that she didn’t read the description? Yup, this girl. So I did not, in fact, notice that these guys were vegetarian shitake mushrooms dumplings.

Yeah. GO me, right?

Since I was far too tired that day to make 2 different types of dumplings, I made the executive decision to use frozen pork dumplings that I had in the freezer. GASP! I know! I used the mushrooms and cabbage to make myself some Bibimbap later in the week.

The peanut sauce was delicious, my husband came back after eating one dumpling to dump the rest of the sauce on his plate. Always a good sign in my book.

I will definitely make that sauce again since we love dumplings, we have it fairly often and one can get tired of the soy sauce-rice vinegar combo.

The green beans were fresh and crisp, nothing groundbreaking about them but they were good.

Final rating: 4.5/ 5


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This concludes my ”Goodfood” box review!

Final conclusion. Would I buy this box again? Probably. I liked that it was slightly less expensive than ”HelloFresh” and the meals were more up my alley. This is something that I would order when my husband is away for work and I can order anything I want ahahah no dealing with Mr.Picky-Eater!

I did enjoy the large selection of meals to choose from, especially their ”Artisan” meal which is much fancier for a small added price. Ex. Porter House Steaks, Lobster Risotto, etc. They also have ”Easy Prep” boxes as well as boxes tailored for those who are gluten sensitive or lactose intolerant, which is a very nice touch.

I also saw on their website that they have a program where for every box purchased, ”Goodfood” makes a donation to Canadian organizations that help provide breakfast or lunch for school children in need. I like that. As a kid, I went to a primary school in a low-income area and, while I always had breakfast before school, a lot of my classmates didn’t. The school was part of a breakfast program that provided milk and granola bars or fruits 3 times a week and I know that it made a huge difference with a lot of kids. So kudos to ”Goodfood” for helping out, well done!

Is it still more expensive than grocery shopping? Yes. Once again, we have to weigh in convenience VS cost. It’s not something that I personally would order every week, but the website lets you skip weeks when you don’t want to order.

All in all, the ”Goodfood” box is a great product. You can check out their website for more info if you are interested in ordering. They usually have pretty good deals for the first order (or you can get a free box from a regular subscriber like me!)

This is it for this week! From now on, I’ll try to post every Wednesday, so keep an eye out!

Until next time,

Andreanne

Hello Fresh Box full Review!

Hi everyone!

Long time no see, so long in fact that I had to re-familiarize myself with this website… Not good… That being said, for 2019, I plan on posting once a week. Stay tuned!

Anywho, if you follow me on Instagram (and if you’re not, you should  @annegvall ) you would know that last week,  I reviewed a Hello Fresh box!

HELLO FRESH BOX

Now, I got the box for free from my friend Laura, apparently, if you get the boxes every week, every so often they give you a free box to give to someone. Neat right? So, while I wasn’t overly enthusiastic about the box, it’s nearly a week of groceries for free so yeah, I tried it!

To make this simple, I’ve decided to divide this review into categories of sort, let’s start with:

 

Shipping and Packaging

I was lowkey worried about getting meat shipped by mail to be honest, turns out, I didn’t have to worry, the packaging is very well thought out.

They delivered around 5:30pm on Monday night (the app said that delivery was guaranteed before 8pm) so that was perfect for me as I tend to have dinner a bit later anyway. If you have kids, you might want to plan something non-box provided for Monday night dinner though.

The meals are divided into paper bags that come in a huge box. The box is ”insulated”, it’s cardboard, but silvery-thermos looking inside. I was still a bit worried about the meat, thinking it was in the paper bags. Low and behold, it’s not. It’s actually under the paper bags, separated by cardboard, and living with 3 huge Ice Packs. Super cozy… in a freezing sorta way!

All in all, everything was cold and nice. Now, I’m not quite sure how those Ice Packs would fare on my porch during the summer but for now, it was fine. \ EDIT: Upon reading this review, Laura (who gave me the free box) wrote to me letting me know that, in the summer, the meat and ice packs are packed in an insulated bag at the bottom of the box to stay cold for longer. \

Before you ask (because you care about my blog THAT much and you would ask, I just know it) yes, it is a lot of plastic. Most of it they try to keep cardboard or paper, and if you’re the type who uses produce bags at the grocery store it’s not more plastic than that.

Most of the plastic (baring the stuff wrapping the meat) is recyclable, as long as your province isn’t absolutely useless in terms of recycling (*cough* New Brunswick *cough*) and the ice packs you can return to them for re-use or recycle the wrapping, so, they are trying. Is it perfect? No, but then again, I’m pretty certain that no meal box is.

 

 


Freshness of Ingredients

All of the ingredients I had in my box were super fresh. The fresh herbs weren’t wilted, the meat was good quality and still cold when I opened the box. I have absolutely zero complaints about the freshness of ”Hello Fresh”, everything was in stellar condition and the quality of all the ingredients was great.

 


Recipes and Instructions

The recipes were very easy to follow, in fact, if you download the app, you can follow the recipes step-by-step. It even has individual timers per step. For example, say step 2 is to let the onion simmer for 2 min, you’ll get a 2 minutes timer. It’s really well thought out.

The recipes were all beginner’s level I would say, especially with the step-by-step instructions. You also get a paper recipe card to keep in your files, since you can’t go back to the app’s recipe once the week is over. Well, you can, they’re just a little harder to find. You can also tag your favorite recipes to find them more easily.

Also, as I stated before, the meals are separated into paper bags, so there is no risk to use the ingredients for the wrong recipe. It comes in handy since most recipes required garlic, and using it all in the first recipe would have driven away vampires for decades…

 

 


Meals

Simple Lamb Ragù

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This was super easy to make, however, I did take some liberties with the recipe… First of all, as some of you know, my husband is allergic to mushrooms. I love mushrooms. Like, really really love mushrooms. So when my husband is away, I put mushrooms in EVERYTHING I make. Yeah… I added mushrooms.

Taste-wise, it was delicious. A liiiiittle bit sweet for my taste, but I think children would love it. If I was to make this recipe again, I would omit the sugar and add some hot sauce. That being said, it was really good and I thoroughly enjoyed it. From the meals I had, it was my favorite (It’s kind of a tie for favorite between this one and the chicken empanadas). 

Final rating:  4.5/ 5

 

Chicken Yakitori Bowl

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This one may have been my husband favorite, I think it’s a tie between this one and the chicken empanadas.

Again, I took liberties with the recipe, I steamed my rice instead of making it on the stove. I’m fairly certain that it didn’t change the taste of the recipe.

It was pretty good, basically tasted like the stuff you would get at the mall food court, in a good way. Now I make a LOT of Asian food so this wasn’t groundbreaking to me, however, it was good. I liked the idea of adding seasoned seaweed on top, made for a nice crunch and I’ll probably use that on several recipes of mine. The sauce was also tasty, a tiny bit salty maybe, but that might be why my husband liked it so much!

Final rating: 3.8/ 5

 

Cheesy Chicken Empanadas

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So. Very. Delicious! The chicken filling was spicy and cheesy, just perfect!

The charred corn was a revelation, basically no seasoning and yet, it was so flavourful! The combo with the bell pepper was great, I will definitely make that again.

The only thing I would change would be to use a different dough. While the puff pastry was absolutely delicious, it was also a tiny bit greasy. If (when) I make that recipe again, I might use pizza dough or something similar. Would that make it a hot pocket instead of an empanada? Maybe. Would it make it easier to eat 4 in a row? Absolutely!

Final rating: 4.5/ 5

 

Pan Seared Steak

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I’ll start by mentioning that I’m not big on steak, or potatoes for that matter. I’m generally not a slice of meat and starch kinda gal. So the fact that I didn’t enjoy this meal all that much doesn’t mean a lot.

The meat quality was good, but if I’m honest, I found the whole meal pretty bland. It wasn’t seasoned much and for me, who is not a big fan of meat, it was kind of a letdown.

The real star of this meal was the garlic-herbs butter. That was delicious. I eventually gave up on the meat altogether (my husband was happy to finish it on his own)  and used the rest of the butter on the potatoes and beans. I will definitely make this butter again, or use the same spice mix for some kind of dip. With greek yogurt maybe?

Final rating: 3/ 5 


 

There you have it. My full review of a ”Hello Fresh” box.

Final conclusion. Would I buy this box again? Maybe. If the meals looked really interesting one week, maybe. For me, who doesn’t have kids, the price outweighs the convenience of the ”Hello Fresh” box. It’s a lot more expensive for me to buy the box than to buy individual groceries. As I love cooking and I’m not super rushed to get dinner on the table every night, I will keep going grocery shopping.

However, if time or indecision is more of the essence for you, or if you don’t enjoy spending time in the kitchen, ”Hello Fresh” might be an excellent option. The box in itself was great. Good quality of ingredients, easy recipes that makes tasty food and shipped straight to your door.

”Hello Fresh” is an all-around excellent product, whether or not it’s for you is more about your lifestyle than about the box itself.

Finally, I would like to remind you, dear reader, that even though I got this box for free from a friend, this is NOT a sponsored post. All opinions are my very own!

 

Until next time!

 

Andreanne