Sunday, April 25, 2010

Little Sheep Hot Pot

We've had hot pot before, but Little Sheep hot pot experiences have been a nice change. With restaurants in Toronto (Ontario), Montreal (Quebec), San Diego (California), Houston (Texas), Japan, Macao, and Taiwan, to name a few, it has proved to be a popular restaurant. They company also sells hot pot mixes to bring their soups to your home.

A few years ago, my parents first experienced the Little Sheep hot pot in Montreal. Then in 2009, Little Sheep Hot Pot came to Ottawa. I was treated to their hot pot on a night with my mom and brother, Andrew. (I remember taking pictures, but I'm not sure where they went.) Spiced with herbs and peppers, their broth is totally different from the simple hot pot dinners I've been accustomed to. Instead of using a nice light broth and relying on the ingredients in the hot pot for flavour, Little Sheep's soups have flavour before you even begin - although the soup still tastes a lot better at the end.

Well, two nights ago, we were planning to make Phnom Penh noodles for dinner, my dad suggested we have hot pot instead since he found that some watercress were on sale in a Chinese grocery store. Then when we dropped by my grandma's house, my uncle brought out a Little Sheep hot pot broth mix that he purchased at T&T. Apparently the mixes are sold at a variety of other Chinese stores.

I had wanted to have some noodles and it's a good thing, too, cause the soup was very tasty with the rice noodles - even as we were just starting the meal.

Taken with my uncle's Blackberry, here are some pictures.

A close up of the soup.

And an overall shot.
We had shrimp, slices of pork, beef balls, bok choi, watercress, tofu, tofu puffs, rice noodles, and glass noodles. We were missing two things though. Ice and a good drink to help cool us down from the heat.

We laughed every time someone choked on the spiciness of the soup, until it happend to us. The hot pot was refilled twice, which helped us finish almost everything on the table. Everyone left the table full and happy. And you know what? I think you should try Little Sheep hot pot out, even if it's at home with one of their hot pot stock mixes.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

A Greek-Inspired Wrap – July 24, 2009

I briefly considered skipping over this post since it’s only a sandwich, but then I realized that simple foods like this were the driving force behind The Diet. I would have starved to death if I couldn’t eat such flavourful and healthy meals.

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Start with a single chicken breast. Slice it in half so that you end up with two smaller chicken breasts with the same spread. Continue to slice it thinly until you end up with many thin strips of chicken breast. Marinate in a splash of soy sauce, splash of balsamic vinegar, a few spoonfuls of non-creamy salad dressing, salt, and pepper. Set aside.

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Prepare the vegetables. Slice zucchini and eggplant lengthwise into quarter-inch thick strips. If they’re too thin, they’ll cook too quickly over the grill, and you’ll lose the tender bite. Quickly throw together another batch of the marinade above, and toss in the eggplant. Clean and slice the red pepper into quarters.

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Slice cucumbers into sticks, thinly slice red onions, and bring out the condiments (zesty Italian salad dressing, red pepper hummus, feta cheese, and my special garlic mayo).

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The garlic mayo was nothing more than four or five cloves of garlic, minced and stirred into a few spoonfuls of mayonnaise with a squirt of Sriracha hot sauce. It’s one of the smelliest sauces I’ve ever encountered, and it definitely leaves you with terrible breath. I don’t recommend this to be eaten around anyone else but family.

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Assemble with warmed pitas and a little bit of everything. This was awesome straight off the grill, but it tasted good the next day, too! I found that the vegetables tasted flat after they cooled, so I stored them in a container with leftover marinade. The grilled vegetables soaked up the liquid, lending it a different flavour the next day.

I really enjoyed this because it filled me up without too much junk. Of course, the feta and the garlic mayo probably weren't great for The Diet, but it's all about using them in moderation for the flavour. Next time I make this, I'll cut the zucchini and eggplant thicker for a meatier bite to the sandwich/wrap. The thin slices turned mushy on the grill, and the texture turned me off a little. On the whole, this little dish was one of my favourite Diet-friendly recipes last summer!


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