Tag Archives: lunch

Lunch in a Jar, Pt. 3: Coconut Barley w/ Zucchini, Asparagus & Feta

4 Apr

I love kitchen tools whether they’re essential or absurd (who DOESN’T need a hot dog slicer??). On that note, I think spiralizers fall right in the middle: you don’t neeeeeeed one but they’re neat! Why not have fun with your food and eat it in a different way? Inspired to bust out this particular gadget, I based my next lunch jar on using it on some zucchini. I also made up some chewy coconut and lime barley, tossed in some salty feta and added in bright, blanched asparagus and corn. Lots of flavour and super filling, I’m making it again next week!


Makes 3.


1 zucchini, peeled and spiralized (or, in a pinch, use a peeler to cut into ribbons and then slice those ribbons thinly)
5-10 stalks of asparagus, diced
1 c corn
1c barley
3 tb shredded, unsweetened coconut
1/2 lime, juiced
handful of cilantro, roughly chopped
1/3 c feta, crumbled
drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar


1.Place 3 cups of liquid (water, broth, coconut milk) in a pot along with 1 cup of uncooked barley and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, stir, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Once cooked to desired chewiness, add in the shredded coconut, lime juice and cilantro. Taste and adjust seasonings to your preference. Set aside to cool.

2. Meanwhile, bring a small pot of water to a boil to blanch the corn and asparagus. Once the water has boiled, toss in the veggies and cook for just a couple of minutes. Drain the pot and put the veggies into ice water to stop the cooking process. Remove and set aside.

3. Layer your ingredients: barley, asparagus, corn, zucchini & feta. If you’ve got any leftover cilantro, you can toss that on top, too. When you’re ready to eat, toss in a little extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar and you’re set!



Holy Chuck, That Was a Tasty Burger

6 Oct

I happen to be lucky enough to work for a company that does a grocery order every week, negating my need to seek out or bring lunch with me 95% of the time. On those days when I just don’t want to make something with my own two hands,  I can venture out and have my choice of Japanese, Vietnamese, Thai, deli, Italian, health food….it goes on. I tend to opt for the deli or Vietnamese; however, when invited out by a friend to try the brand-spankin’ new burger place in the work ‘hood, who am I to say no?

Holy Chuck Burger opened on Yonge St. just south of St. Clair and has been attracting a steadily growing number of customers. The owners are clearly aiming to make it a fun place to pop in and happily chat with customers as they chow down on messy, delicious, occasionally-gigantic burgers. On my maiden Holy Chuck burger voyage I opted for the cheeseburger (two patties) with caramelized onions, ketchup, mustard, lettuce & tomato. Adding in the fries was definitely a good idea but sharing them with my lunch companion was an even better idea. I’m sure I could’ve finished them, but I suspect it’s for the best I didn’t. They were hot, perfectly fried and nicely seasoned with salt and parsley. All in all, the cheeseburger was pretty much the perfect size for me: while filling, it’s not so gluttonous that you couldn’t eat more than one a month.

Photo courtesy of Eyeline Imagery.

The cheeseburger itself was a glorious mess and I mean that in the best way possible. The griddle-cooked beef was crispy on the outside but still juicy on the inside as evidenced by the trail it left running down my hands. You’re going to need napkins, people, and plenty of them. If the burger isn’t juicy, why would you want it anyway?

And did my lunch partner and I stop at the burger and fries? Oh, hell no. We went in for the deep-fried Twinkie for dessert. As I exclaimed to Johnny, the joint’s co-owner, it’s like a deep-fried sugar bomb and that is just fine by me. My friend and I agreed that we felt like we should be at a fair eating this slightly insane dessert. Considering that the cold weather is on its way, this might be the perfect way to recreate some summertime memories! I understand that there is also a concoction involving bacon-wrapped cookie dough that is battered and deep-fried (notice a delicious, fatty theme here, folks?). I can hear your arteries hardening and your drool hitting the ground.

I am so happy that we have such a fun place in the neighbourhood to go. I understand there are some changes to come, but rest assured that the classics will remain on the menu and there are vegetarian options that look great! If you’re in the area – or even if you’re not – get yourself over to Holy Chuck Burgers. Don’t forget to grab a ton of napkins – you will make a mess.

Holy Chuck on Urbanspoon

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