a peek inside the fishbowl

31 Jan, 2012

Foodiemergency a.k.a there’s nothing to eat in the house. Now what?

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Recipes and Food

We have had a bunch of those days lately. You know what I’m talking about, right? When menu planning has fallen by the wayside due to work/illness/stunning lack of motivation and the last thing you feel like doing is chopping veggies for a stir fry or slapping together a gee dee meat loaf.

It’s tempting to go the fast food route, it really is, but there are a few other things you can do to make a dinner that is a notch healthier.

1) Breakfast for dinner. It’s probably everyone’s standby. Last week we had bacon, scrambled eggs, chopped fresh cantaloupe, and something we like to call raisin-french-waffle-toast for dinner. (Basically, take some sliced grocery store raisin toast, dip in egg, and cook in a waffle iron. It is AMAZING. And the only way my eldest will eat egg.)

2) Grocery store roast chickens. I’ve written about this before. It’s amazing what you can do with a chicken or two. The other day we cut one up, simmered it in PC butter chicken sauce, and served it with basmati rice and store-bought naan bread (although you could make your own). Even the kids ate it. THE. KIDS. ATE. IT.

Butter chicken, the gateway dish to Indian food!

3) Shawarma. Mark and I are big fans of shawarma (a middle-eastern sandwich with a filling of seasoned chicken or beef, garlic mayonnaise, onion, tomato, pickled turnip and parsley among other things). In the past we’ve had take out from a place down the street and only bought hummus and pita for the girls. A couple weeks ago, on a whim, we decided to try their family meal and buy extra pita bread from a local middle-eastern corner store. It was so good I just about died. And there was So Much Food. We had it for dinner AND lunch the next day. It made a dozen sandwiches. I kid ye not.

Pictured below is just one of two huge trays:


The other one contained all the meat, rice, and roasted potato. It was a great meal and the kids really liked making their own sandwiches.

Which begs the question, where’s your favourite place to get shawarma in Ottawa?

In related foodie news, I wanted to take a moment to tell you all about an exciting new gig. I am the new editor/content manager for a soon-to-be launched website called Recipes.ca. We’re on Twitter and Facebook and will soon be announcing our official launch. I’ve had lots of sneak peeks and I know this new site will be immensely popular with anyone who loves to eat. Like me. :) I hope you join us!

10 Responses to "Foodiemergency a.k.a there’s nothing to eat in the house. Now what?"

1 | Brenda A.

January 31st, 2012 at 1:15 pm


On the look out for the best shawarma place! LOVE IT!

2 | Kaitlin

January 31st, 2012 at 1:23 pm


Congrats on the new gig!

My favourite place when we lived in Westboro was Shish Kabob House, on Carling at Broadview. They’re really friendly, and the meat is always fresh and moist.

That said, downtown there is a fantastic place called Shawarma Palace, which is the best I’ve had in the city.

3 | Binki

January 31st, 2012 at 2:20 pm


Shawarma….. mmmmmmmmm.

Agree with Kaitlin. Best Shawarma that I have tried (and loved) is Shawarma Palace on Rideau (Sandy Hill). Mountainous servings and cool atmosphere (all walks of life). In our hood, I like Istanbuli on Holland. Friendly, clean, fast and good.

4 | Don (@foodiePrint)

January 31st, 2012 at 2:43 pm


Favourite place to get shawarma is Shawarma Palace on Rideau Street. Yes, there is another location on Carling, but the newr location doesn’t get the same traffic as the one on Rideau, whose lines can stretch out the door and onto the street.

This is the shawarma we compare others too! Giant meat columns! Always fresh. Enormous platter.

Ottawa sure has A LOT of shawarma options!

Best charcoal grilled chicken though is in a neighbourhood near you tho! Les Grillades on Holland Avenue :)

5 | Anne

January 31st, 2012 at 3:30 pm


I’m a huge fan of The Garlic King on Montreal road.

Their garlic sauce is amazing. I also really like Shawarma Chef in Orleans. I think there is a shawarma place on every corner in Orleans.

6 | TorontoMom

January 31st, 2012 at 4:50 pm


Hate to burst you bubble that Shawarma is a healthy alternative…I was under the same impression until the Toronto Star ran the this article – . Yikes! But is still delicious!


7 | Kaitlin

January 31st, 2012 at 5:42 pm


Les Grillades is incredible – definitely where I go when I’m working at Tunney’s.

TorontoMom: As the article says, it’s not as bad when you split it. When we go to Shawarma Palace, we get a sandwich and a medium order of fattoush salad to share. We figure that it works out to closer to 1,000 calories (still a lot, but we’re left feeling fuller because of the salad). You can do similar things with the platter, so that you control the amount that you’re eating.

8 | andrea

February 1st, 2012 at 11:03 am


I have yet to visit the Garlic King. I think we will have to make a special trip.

TorontoMom: I think a lot of the fat/calories come from the garlic mayonnaise. If you order a platter you can make smaller sandwiches with less meat and more veg. I don’t see anything wrong with that! :)

9 | Gwen

February 1st, 2012 at 11:57 am


We swear by the Garlic King on Montreal Road (used to be on St. Joseph in Orleans) So. Good. It’s the garlic sauce. A must try :) Now you have me craving shawarma :)

10 | Jim

February 2nd, 2012 at 11:53 am


Reddit just asked this question… they voted for Castle Shwarma on Rideau.

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The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human offspring: Emma (24) and Sarah (22). During the day I work as a writer at the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. 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, travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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