How to: Use Walmart.ca Grocery Pick-Up and Make Grab-and-Go Breakfast Frittata

December can be a real son of a gun.

I won’t lie friends.  As I write this post, I have about 86 things on-the-go and I’m struggling to get my act together. Don’t get me wrong, decorating the tree, using copious amounts of butter for my holiday baking and watching my 1-year-old lose her mind (in a bad way) on Old Saint Nick’s lap, totally gives me the Christmas warm and fuzzies.

But having to juggle all that with work, commuting, holiday parties, dog walks, exercise, laundry, dinnertime and grocery shopping? How ‘bout no?

PS, I’m calling your bluff if you tell me you don’t hope for your kid to be a little scared of Mall Santa. Why? Best photos ever.

Point is life is busy. Add a hectic holiday schedule in to the mix and, well, my Christmas goose is cooked.

Lately I’ve been looking for ways to streamline…life, in any way I can, so when Dara and I were approached to work with Walmart Canada in promoting their urban Toronto Walmart.ca Grocery Pick-Up service through Penguin Pick-Up, I thought, “Gee, what perfect timing.”

I know Walmart Supercentres (which carry groceries) have been a thing for a long while, but in my 13 years of living in the heart of this great city, I haven’t lived close enough to one to consider them a viable option. Having somewhere to grocery shop close to home is #1 on my list of “Reasons I Shop Where I Shop.”

With their new walmart.ca grocery pick-up locations at Yorkville, Yonge & Davisville, Leslieville and Harbourfront, Walmart is now officially in the hunt for my hard earned grocery dollars.

First, let me briefly tell you how it works. Then, I’ll give you the inside scoop on why it’s kind of great. Finally, a recipe (obvs)!

You can visit Walmart.ca or download the Walmart Canada app on to your Smartphone. The app will take you through a quick tutorial to show off some of its cool features.

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The online shopping aisles, which allow you to browse by category, are both intuitive and easy to navigate. You can also browse by Rollback items (sale items) in each category, so it’s like you’re carrying the flyer in one hand and pushing your cart with the other (that’s what I call streamlining).

If you know what you’re looking for, you can also use the search engine.

*Warning: if you search ‘yogurt’ be prepared for over 200 hits! The variety is actually staggering.

Add and remove items from your virtual cart as you go and when you’re all set choose a location  and a two-hour time window for pick-up. You can even pick up same day via Penguin Pick-Up, for orders placed before 11 am.

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Side note: If you’re feeling weird about someone else picking produce for you, let me tell you that, first, I totally get it (I was there too) and second, don’t. Their experienced shoppers are awesome and pick the best of the best. Truly, I couldn’t have picked better myself.

I picked up my order at the Leslieville Penguin Pick-Up location, where the entrance and parking are well marked.  A nice young man came to greet me at my car window with a tablet and confirmed my order with a piece of ID then proceeded to load up the trunk.  I was in and out under 5 minutes. Guys, 5 minutes!!! (more streamlining!)

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On top of the obvious time savings, another reason I like this service is the quality guarantee. If you’re not totally happy with any product in your order, you’ll be credited or refunded without fuss by calling customer service. I was even reminded of this when I picked up my order.

Finally, and this is the big one, you save money. Like, a seriously decent amount. With Toronto real estate and rental rates soaring and the cost of food also on the rise, peeps like Dara and I, who also appreciate good quality fresh food, are looking outside the box to find new options. The prices online are the same great in-store prices Walmart is known for.

Here’s a new recipe using fresh groceries from my most recent pick-up order. I wanted to choose something that showcases fresh produce, you know, the me being-a-dietitian thing.

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These simple grab–and-go breakfast frittatas are a quick, healthy, get-out-the-door-before-traffic-is-a-disaster breakfast. Make 12 at a time and freeze what you don’t eat within a couple of days and heat them with a quick zip in the microwave when you’re ready for more.

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Customize as you will, but always be sure to cook your fillings thoroughly before adding the egg and baking. You want to avoid too much moisture.

 

img_0609img_0613img_0617I wish you luck in your holiday streamlining too, friends!

Erin

Grab and Go Breakfast Frittatas

Serves 6
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
Total time 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 9 Large eggs (beaten)
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 Tsp salt (divided)
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 Small onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 red bell pepper (finely chopped)
  • 227g cremini or white mushrooms (finely chopped)
  • 3 Cups fresh chopped spinach
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 75g)

Note

I love this Bon Appetit Guide to Making a Perfect Frittata and used their great guidelines to make these.

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350F. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk and a 1/4 tsp of the salt.
2. In a large frying or sauté pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and mushroom and cook until most of the moisture is cooked out and they begin to brown, about 5-7 minutes. Add red pepper and cook until softened, another 2-3 minutes. Using tongs, mix in spinach and remove from heat once it begins to wilt. Season with the remaining 1/2 tsp of salt.
3. Spray the inside of a 12 cup muffin pan thoroughly with cooking spray or brush with butter. Divide the vegetable mixture among the cups, about 2 tbsp each. Using a ladle, pour egg mixture over top, filling each cup about 3/4 of the way. Sprinkle each with crumbled feta cheese.
4. Bake for 18-20 minutes until frittatas are puffed and very lightly browned around the edges. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes, and run a small spatula or knife around the edge of each cup to remove them.
5. Eat within 2-3 days if refrigerating or freeze in packs of two, first by wrapping them in paper towel and then transferring to small freezer bags. Reheat in microwave for about 1 minute on high in the paper towel (depending on your microwave you may need more or less).

 

How to: Make your own – Spanakopita (Greek Spinach and Cheese Pie)

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Well hello, savoury delicious pie.

Please get in my belly.

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I looove this recipe.  Spanakopita is one of the most recognizable greek dishes. I’ve  always assumed the recipe would be too involved to make at home.

I’ve been dead wrong.

The list of ingredients is easily accessibly and assembly is a snap.

You. Yup, all of you. You can do this one at home and impress the masses.

It’s a great vegetarian main dish. It’s perfect for a potluck. It’s ideal to stick your fork into and eat right out of the pan. errr.

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The original recipe calls for fresh spinach, but to speed things up I’ve recommended frozen.  I’ll use 2-3 packages of the no name chopped spinach.  I also really like the Cooking Greens brand.  It comes in little pucks which defrost quickly and easily and seem to contain less moisture – no need to squeeze out excess liquid.

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I’ve also used Tre Stelle cheese for this recipe.  I find it widely available, reasonably priced and the quality of both their ricotta and feta are excellent (award winning, actually).

True greek feta is a combination of both sheep and goat milk cheese (the ratio varies).  It has a stronger flavour than Tre Stelle’s feta which is a cow’s milk product (made from 100% Canadian Dairy. Woop!).  If you’re looking for a more traditional flavour, Tre Stelle is now making a goat and cow’s milk feta.

I will disclose here that Tre Stelle approached How to Eat with the request to post a recipe using its cheese(s) in return for a small renumeration.  For the record, we get requests like these from time to time and will turn them down if it’s not something we would use in a recipe on our own.  These cheeses are great, with or without sponsorship k?

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Phyllo is available in the freezer section, usually with the pie crusts, at most grocery stores.  To thaw, allow it to sit overnight in the fridge, or for about an hour at room temperature.

Although I’ve never done it myself, if you know you won’t be using the remaining dough for a while, the interweb tells me phyllo dough can tolerate refreezing.  Otherwise it can remain in the fridge for a couple of weeks if you want it on-hand to whip up other delicious pastry thingies.

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If you would like to make a double batch or if you’re super organized and you’re making this way in advance, this is the step in which you would freeze it (pre-baking).  When you do want to bake it, it’ll take a bit longer – closer to an hour.

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Serving this golden beauty with a greek salad on the side is like, super awesome.

Now…

Opa!

Erin
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Spanakopita (Spinach and Cheese Pie)

Serves 6
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 40 minutes
Total time 55 minutes
Website Lightly adapted from All Recipes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup olive oil (divided)
  • 1 Large yellow onion (chopped)
  • 1 bunch green onions (chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 600 - 900g frozen chopped spinach thawed and squeezed of excess moisture (quantities within this range all work well - you will get a thicker pie with more spinach.)
  • ½ cup chopped parsley
  • 2 Large eggs (lightly beaten)
  • ½ cup ricotta cheese
  • 1½ cup crumbled feta cheese (about 200 grams)
  • 8 sheets phyllo dough

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly oil a 8" x 11" baking dish.
2. In a sauté pan, heat 3 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add yellow and green onions and garlic and sauté until soft, about 4 minutes.
3. In a large bowl, combine onion mixture with spinach and add parsley, eggs, cheese. Mix until evenly incorporated.
4. Lay one sheet of phyllo dough in baking dish and brush lightly with olive oil. Repeat process with three more phyllo sheets. Dough will hang over edges.
5. Spread spinach mixture evenly into pan and fold overhanging phyllo onto spinach.
6. Layer 4 sheets of remaining phyllo on top of dish, brushing with olive oil between each sheet. Tuck overhanging dough under and down the sides of the baking dish.
7. Bake for 30-40 minutes until golden brown.


How to: Make your own – Indian Saag with Tofu

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I just realized…this post can totally do double duty as a St. Patrick’s Day post.

Because green!

I was a skeptic the first time I tried saag (with paneer, a fresh indian cheese) many moons ago.  It’s not super, um, visually appealing let’s say.  But the flavour.  The flavour, guys!

I can’t even remember where I tried it first, but I feel like I’ve been let down by many bona fide indian restaurants in the years since that first taste.

IMG_3065This recipe first came to me at a book club meeting.  We read a book with an indian theme  so we went ahead and planned an indian themed potluck.  My friend Joanne brought the original slow cooked version of the recipe and it was flipping delicious.

Guys, for real, this one’s a triple threat.

It’s quick, it’s healthy and it’s jam packed with flavour.

I’ve made it a few times now and have tweaked the recipe to work as a 30 minutes stovetop meal.

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I’ve used my microplane to grate the garlic and ginger, but mincing both would be fine and dandy.

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Baking the tofu is a step that you could skip if needed.  I find pre baking with a little salt and pepper gives it a bit more flavour and improves the texture, giving it a ‘meatier’ feel.  If you can find indian paneer, use it.  It’s awesome.  I’ve also made this with haloumi cheese that I cubed and panfried first. Also damn yummy.

The following is a little step-by-step.

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Serve with your choice of brown or white rice and if you’re really feeling the indian vibe, make a batch of our homemade naan to go along with.

Erin

Indian Saag with Tofu

Serves 6
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
Total time 30 minutes
Website Adapted from the Slender Kitchen's Healthy Saag Paneer

Ingredients

  • 1 packet extra firm tofu (drained and cut in to 1" cubes)
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced or grated)
  • 3 tablespoons ginger (minced or grated)
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 600g frozen chopped spinach
  • 150g fresh spinach (washed)

Note

Using the fresh spinach toward the end of cooking gives the dish a more vibrant green colour.  If prepping this dish in advance, hold off on adding the fresh spinach and blending until you're almost ready to serve.

Directions

1. Pre-bake your tofu to give it a firmer, chewier texture, pre-heat oven to 400F. Toss tofu cubes with a pinch of salt and pepper and bake on a lined baking sheet for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Set aside.
2. In a large pot or dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger and sauté for about a minute. Add garam masala, coriander, cumin and cayenne and sauté for another minute until fragrant.
3. Add salt tomato sauce, coconut milk, and frozen spinach. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes until all the spinach is thawed.
4. Add fresh spinach, cover and cook for about 2 minutes until spinach is wilted.
5. Using an immersion or countertop blender, blend until spinach leaves are broken up into small pieces.
6. Add tofu and serve with rice and naan.

How to: Quickie Meal – Italian Cheese Tortellini Soup

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I don’t mean to brag or anything, but this is a really super awesome recipe.

And I’m not lying when I say it’s a legit 15 minute meal.

It also involves parmesan cheese. Therefore >> automatic success.

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Weeknight cooking can be a real b, am I right?

I get that.

Cooking a balanced meal from scratch isn’t always realistic.

Relying on canned goods, packaged broths and frozen vegetables can drastically reduce prep time.  So use them!

Ain’t no shame.

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These fresh cheese tortellini make my life so much easier.  I buy the large package (1kg) and freeze half for another quick weeknight meal down the road. There are a number of brands available.  I choose the one with the fewest weird ingredients.

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This one wee clove of garlic is the only thing that requires a touch of prep for this recipe.  Assuming you don’t count using a can opener as prep work.

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A quick sauté of the aromatics, which helps bring out their flavour, and you’re off to the races.IMG_1034 IMG_1076

Make changes and substitutions to your heart’s desire, too.  Use chicken rather than veggie broth. Add kale instead of spinach.  Swirl in a tablespoon of pesto for added oomph.  Go bananas with the parmesan cheese.

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Mostly importantly…grab a seat, preferably by a fire with a big juicy glass of red, and enjoy.

Erin

Italian Cheese Tortellini Soup

Serves 5 - 6
Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 10 minutes
Total time 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive or canola oil
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 1 tablespoon dried italian seasoning
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1l vegetable or chicken stock
  • 400g fresh or frozen cheese tortellini
  • 200g frozen spinach

Directions

1. Heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and italian season and sauté for about a minute.
2. Add can of tomatoes and stock, raise heat to high and bring to a boil. Add tortellini and cook per package directions (usually 5- 7 minutes). In the final 2 minutes of cooking, add frozen spinach.
3. Season with salt and pepper to taste and top with freshly grated parmesan, if desired.