a peek inside the fishbowl

30 Apr, 2008

Dinners and desserts

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Recipes and Food

I was grocery shopping last night and my cart was filled with blues and greens. Blue = PC Blue menu. Green = the organic. I have been better at remembering to bring my shopping bins and the produce bags that I made. I’m so proud. Have I mentioned I’ve been getting compliments from total strangers on my bags?

Listen up Loblaws: if you’re really serious about your commitment to the environment you have to give your customers the option to purchase reusable produce bags as well as reusable grocery bags.

It’s high time I update you all on the current state of our dinners.

For a more detailed look at what I’ve been eating you can mosey over to my foodlog page.

These have been my favourite dinners so far during this Healthy Eating Challenge.

- chicken thighs w bbq sauce (recipe from the PC website), roasted asparagus, romaine lettuce & 1/2 tomato with PC Blue Menu Soy & Ginger dressing (yum!), fingerling potato.  

-  broiled salmon fillet (a PC recipe – a keeper!), 1/3ish cup brown rice, sauteed snow peas, 1.5 servings baby spinach salad with strawberries and toasted walnuts and olive oil/balsamic dressing. 

- buffalo chicken wrap (made with two PC Blue Menu Reduced Fat Breaded Chicken Strips, PC Blue Menu Flax Tortillas, romaine lettuce, buffalo sauce, sauteed onion), 1/2 tomato, green leaf salad. The kids ate their chicken on the side, and their wraps with cheese, red peppers and lettuce. Emma likes the flax tortillas (as do I.) Sarah and her father prefer the whiter variety.

- on another occasion we also ate the wraps with premade coleslaw and lightened-up creamy coleslaw dressing. (I added extra raw red cabbage into mine)

– I am a big fan of the PC Blue Menu Soy Burger. In fact I might never go back to beef again. I also like it on MY ALL TIME FAVOURITE BUN, with lick of low-fat mayo, lettuce, and pickled jalapenos for extra kick. Have I mentioned how much I like the bun? It’s like someone went over a regular bun with a rolling pin. They’re the opposite of their Gigantico line of buns, of which I’ve never been a fan. I’d rather taste the burger, not the bun thankyouverymuch. The buns must be really popular because the store always seems to be sold out.

Here’s the sad part of the burger story. I cannot convince Mark to try a veggie burger. And my kids don’t really even like regular burgers all that much. I KNOW. THAT SOUNDS TOTALLY CRAZY. I can hardly believe it myself. FOR WHAT CANADIAN KID DOES NOT LIKE HAMBURGERS???!? Well hello, let me introduce you.  Emma will only eat a burger if it’s cut up into “fingers,” separate from the bun. Sarah will eat it. Sometimes.


– I really liked the PC Blue Menu Cauliflower-Topped Shepherd’s Pie, but my family didn’t, so it won’t make an appearance in our house again. I’m kind of sad about this because it’s a healthy alternative to (what would be) an old favourite in some families and I truly like fauxtatoes (a.k.a. mashed cauliflower.) My children, however, don’t like it when their food is mixed up like this in one dish. It makes me crazy, but I have to deal with it. The PC Blue Menu Chicken Pie unfortunately falls into this category is well. (But I have to say I liked the Shepard’s Pie better than I liked the Chicken Pie.)

PC Blue Menu Garlic & Herb Chicken Skewers – were too salty for my liking. I used the rest of the package for DIY pizza, for which they seemed more suited. I won’t be buying it again.

PC Blue Menu Mandarin Chicken Breasts. They come 8 in a package and cost $17.99. I gulped and bought it anyway. They tasted ok (although they are a twee bit high in sodium, 450 mg per serving). This kind of product strikes me as the kind of thing I can (and do) prepare myself with minimal effort, using fresh chicken as well. So why buy? Speaking of which, I prefer the Prime chicken. It’s got a better colour to it. And the chickens aren’t fed animal by-products *shudder*

Other big hits:

PC Blue Menu Demi-Baguette (a half-size version of this) – Chewy, flavourful, made with whole grains…. and dare I say … it’s actually better than the ACE Bakery whole wheat baguette. And you know how I feel about ACE, right? I like the demi-baguette because the regular size is too big for our family. I could easily eat 5 or 6 slices in one sitting. *sigh*

PC Blue Menu Soft Cookies – the kids love them, so I love them. They’re a healthy cookie! And each contains 2 g of fibre. That’s good news for someone like me who doesn’t do a lot of baking.

PC Blue Menu Apple Crisp – Mark has a recipe (it’s his mother’s, actually) for apple crisp that can only be defined as Sheer Apple Crisp Heaven. It is sweet. It is sensational. It is sinful. It is a slice of deliciousness. It also contains a brick of butter (among other things) and probably clocks a cool 800 calories per serving.  The PC version is only 150 calories per serving, and it makes a nice dessert for the end of a meal. The box says it’s made with Northern Spy apples. It occurred to me that if Loblaws advertised that their products were made with Canadian ingredients – say in this case, apples – I would be much more likely to buy them. Wouldn’t you?

By way of a sidebar … the PC website allows users to comment on their products. I enjoyed reading the comments on this one. One person said, and I quote: “It bearly served a family of four.” I think I may have yelled at my computer screen when I first read that. Uh, it barely served their family of four? Clearly this person has an altogether different concept of what DESSERT is. In my view, dessert is a small serving – A SMALL BIT – of sweetness to round out a good meal. If a 650g box of apple crisp isn’t cutting it for you, well, I suggest you fill up on a few more veggies FIRST.

What say you? I would love to hear your dessert theories. :) Or your comments on any of the products I’ve mentioned above?

What’s on your dinner menu tonight? For us: it’s PC Blue Menu Meat Lasagna. :)


4 Responses to "Dinners and desserts"

1 | Mary Lynn

April 30th, 2008 at 11:00 am


I totally agree the PC burgers first buns are the yummiest.

If you like Indian food at all, another Blue Menu item I had success with was the Blue Menu Korma Sauce. I made a chicken Korma, but with lots and lots of vegetables in there, too (onions, red peppers, broccoli and zucchini). I served it with a brown & wild rice mix. My husband thought it was great and was surprised when he came across the jar after dinner and realized it had been a reduced-fat meal.

2 | smothermother

May 1st, 2008 at 7:45 am


Love the thin PC buns. They rock. The broiled salmon recipe looks really good. Might try it on the bbq this weekend.

3 | BeachMama

May 1st, 2008 at 10:27 am


Andrea, Thank you so much for sharing your PC blue menu experiences with us. I would not have tried those buns but since you say they rock, I will. And I may buy the soy burgers too as I am not as much of a fan of red meat burgers as hubby.

I also really appreciate the ‘dessert’ comments from you. Sad but true, Hubby thinks dessert is a half a box of Chips Ahoy!!! And I realized the other week that when Hubby gorges himself I feel like I need to have a bigger portion or I will not get any. I reminded him that a few years ago when we were both nice and slim, we didn’t eat dessert every day! Time for us to get back to proper portions.

Thanks again,
Anna – who is thinking of making some produce bags too!

4 | Catherine

May 3rd, 2008 at 1:04 pm


One interesting note…next time you buy the thin PC Buns compare nutrional content with that of a “regular” hamburger bun. You’ll find it’s the same. You think you’re eating less carbs because the bun is smaller but in fact you are not.

comment form:


Have a great summer at Saunders Farm!

Mrs Tiggywinkle's - the best toy store in Ottawa

Click me!


Stay in touch

Me and my pet projects

Ottawa Bucket list

Subscribe via email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • Jinjer: I love that dog figurine so much!!!!
  • Dani: It's morrel season. Woot! https://photos.app.goo.gl/bE76iBETEpkDGU7w5
  • andrea tomkins: I will definitely check that out Tiana!
  • Yana: There is one near the train in Carleton Uni
  • Tiana: Oh there's a great book, if you haven't read it already - Gathering Moss by Robin Wall-Kimmerer.
  • Quail: Mushrooming is a fantastic hobby. Take a course in late September. These fun fall outings are usually very productive and often led by keen experts.
  • a peek inside the fishbowl » Blog Archive More about mushrooms - a peek inside the fishbowl: […] week I shared a quick recipe for mushrooms on toast. I deeply regret not running out and shoring up my mushroom supplies because I have a se

The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark. We have two daughters: Emma (19) and Sarah (17). I am the managing editor of our community newspaper, the Kitchissippi Times. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

If you'd like to contact me, please use this form. If you're so inclined, you can read more about me here. Thank you for visiting!


E-book alert!

Shopping Embargo e-book promo

My right hand is actually a camera

Connect with me at these places too!

Piper is on Instagram

On the nightstand

All hail the mighty Twitter