DinnerWorks.com – Meal-Assembly Centre

I heard about DinnerWorks.com over the radio last week on the way back home. So after dinner, I checked out DinnerWorks.com and found that they are the first meal assembly center in Vancouver. I have never heard of meal assembly centers before now — this is all new to me and I was very curious to find out more. Today, there are more than 700 of such centers in the United States — this is a new concept to Vancouver.

DinnerWorks is in the meal preparation business. They basically does everything for you except cook. The idea is simple — eliminate the stress and save some of the cost and time of meal preparation. And all it does is somewhat of an assembly line for food prep.

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Suanne signed up through the DinnerWorks.com website. DinnerWorks publish their schedule from which you choose a time you are expected to show up. They also publish the details of the menus — there are 12 delicious sounding menu items to select from.

On the website, you select your time and menu item you wanted. This will allow the folks in DinnerWorks to make sure that they have all the ingredients and food delivered FRESH just in time when you turn up.

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We had no problems finding the place and were very surprised how nice the setup was. For some reason, I thought that “food assembly” means some cold warehouse setting with concrete floors and all. The place was spanking clean — makes Suanne feel like an iron chef preparing a gourmet meal! 🙂 We like it. Why, we were even given a nice DinnerWorks apron to don — what is missing is a chef hat.

We were greeted by Chris Roscoe who jointly owns and operates DinnerWorks with his wife. Being new to meal assemblies, Chris were very patient in showing us everything we need to know.

They emphasize a lot on cleanliness and food hygiene. We were initially shown where the wash stations and gloves (should we need it) were. The place were very well equipped with all kinds of kitchen utensils. Most of what we need it is already placed for us in the station but should we need more, there are lots. Suanne wish that her kitchen is like that — I think she will spend more time in the kitchen cooking.

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Polly’s Cheese and Sausage Omelette

Polly is such a dear friend. She called last week saying that she wanted to come by and make me her special omelette. Polly said this is her kids’ favourite food and makes it quite often at home. Polly has always come across to me as someone who walks the extra mile for her family and friends. She has a good heart!

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Polly brought along her unique little pan which is designed for making omelette. I think she said that it’s Japanese — you know, the type that Japanese used to make thin yellow omelettes for sushi. I have never knew that were such a pan. I will try to look for them one of these days in the Osaka Supermarket. Maybe they carry it in their store.

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Polly even brought along all the required ingredients. The ingredients includes sliced sausage, cheese and chopped green onions. Polly also brought sea salt, which is said to be superior in taste than the normal table salt.

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Polly, thanks for keeping me company that afternoon. It was great having someone to chat over lunch.

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Pickled Mustard and Tofu Soup

Ben complained that he had not had home made clear soup for some time. I know what he wants. He wants something with some meat and tofu in the soup — old fashioned Chinese soup. This is what I call the Pickled Mustard and Tofu Soup, or in Cantonese the Hum Choy Tou Fu Tong … is that spelt right? 🙂

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One of the main ingredients is the chinese traditional tofu. This is the type that is a bit coarse, not like the smooth or soft type. The hum choy, or pickled mustard, is what give the soup it’s salty flavour. For meat, I bought some roasted pork feet from the chinese BBQ shop, you know, the ones that sell roasted pork. Roasted pork feet is cheap and costs only $1 each. I used three feet for this soup.

I know, I know … pork feet sounds gross. If you prefer you may use pork ribs, shoulder, etc. This soup tastes best with pork.

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Indian Vegetarian Curry

My good neighbour, Zee shared with me how to make a vegetarian curry dish. Zee is of Indian descent but she was born in Kenya. The Vegetarian Curry dish is a very versatile recipe as you can use an assortment of ingredients.

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For this recipe, Zee used kidney beans and cassava. Cassava is grown for its enlarged starch-filled roots, which contains a high concentration of starch. Cassava is used much like potato.

Click on link below for Ingredients and Cooking Instructions.

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Lucky Joy BBQ Restaurant on No 5 and Cambie

The family dined out at the Lucky Joy BBQ Restaurant a couple of weekends ago. Lucky Joy is located near the intersection of Cambie and No 5 in Richmond. It’s on a little strip mall where Panago Pizza is, across the road from Fruiticana.

We would not have found this place if not for the recommendation of Steve Lum. Steve and his family had always been someone we look up to a lot because we felt that their live journey is so similar to ours. We have always admired how they brought up his two boys and how committed they are in the Lord’s work.

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You know what we like about this place? It’s that the restaurant throws in free soup, free dessert and all-you-can-eat rice. We ordered the Dinner-for-Three option — costs about $33 not including tips. We get to choose three dishes from their menu of, oh, about 50 items?

For starters, we were given their soup-of-the-day, some mixed vegetable/meat soup.

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Since the rice is all-you-can-eat, we wanted to order dishes that has lots of gravy. Our first selection was the Fried Squid with Preserved Vegetable. It was good — liked the gravy and the “springiness” of the squid.

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3-in-1 Ipoh White Coffee

3-in-1’s are popular in Malaysia where I grew up in. You can find 3-in-1’s in many grocery stores in Vancouver but you will find that most of them are made in Malaysia. I always suspect that 3-in-1’s are only popular in Singapore and Malaysia. So, do you find that in your country too?

Anyway, White Coffee (or better know as Ipoh White Coffee) is a popular brew in Malaysia. White coffee is produced by roasting the beans with only margarine and without any sugar, resulting in a roast that is less dark, hence the term “white” coffee.

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We bought the “Ipoh White Coffee” 3-in-1’s from the Smart ‘N’ Save store in Lansdowne. Each pack (see below) costs $5.48 and contains 15 sachets in all.

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Shawarma from Abdul’s on Kingsway

Shahdad swore that the bestest Shawarma in Vancouver is found in Burnaby’s Abdul BBQ, He brought us to try it out and it was simply fabulous. So, over the weekend, I simply had to bring Suanne and try it herself.

Abdul’s BBQ is located in the Crystal Mall on Kingsway and Willingdon. It’s a small shop located facing Kingsway. You will not miss it driving past the Mall on Kingsway.

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Abdul’s is a small shop with about seating for 12 on the inside. Abdul also set up a couple of tables outside his shop. Ordering is very simple because he had very big pictures posters of his menu plastered on the outside.

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Shawarma (sometimes also spelt as shawerma) is a middle eastern way of cooking meat. Common meat used are beef, lamb and chicken. The meats are cooked on a rotating machine with sources of heat over a period of several hours.

Abdul has three shawarma machines, each skewered with beef, chicken and lamb. He said that he normally will finish selling all these food by the end of day. His business had steadily grown since he opened his outlet in the Crystal Mall. He told me that when he started he had only a quarter of what you see above and today he often had to turn away customers at the end of day because his is completely sold out.

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Jude’s Date, Nut, Chocolate Chip Cake

This is Minoo’s second recipe which is Jude’s Date, Nut and Chocolate Chip Cake. This is a cake filled with lots of goodies like honey, date, walnut and chocolate chip. This is quite a dense cake and it’s preferably bake in a shallow pan to prevent overbrowning of the edges while the inside is not fully cooked.

I have no idea why this is called Jude’s Cake. I tried googling it but came up with nothing on it at all. Anyone of you out there know why this is called Jude’s Cake? For all I know, Jude might just be someone Minoo knows.

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup chopped, pitted dates
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups flour (whole wheat or half unbleached white)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 8 to 10 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips

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Click on the link below for cooking instructions …

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