As the long weekend approaches and restrictions have eased, we’re getting ready to enjoy a few sunshine-filled days (hopefully) with our favourite people.
If you’re like us, delicious food has a massive part to play in the plans you make. But sometimes, the idea of having to go and do grocery shopping puts you off, so you end up ordering takeout. Sound familiar? This is us almost all the time.
So, when we learned that Urban Fare launched a new website and app with a free grocery pick-up service, we had to give it a try. We chose the store location closest to us, added a range of fresh and frozen items to our cart, placed our order, and selected a pick-up time that worked for our schedule — all in under 10 minutes.
Upon arrival after walking to the store, we showed our order number to the team at Guest Services, and our groceries were there, neatly bagged, and ready for us to take home. To our absolute joy, there were no long wait times or queues involved, making the entire process a breeze and allowing us to get home sooner to prepare the ultimate feast.
Getting comfortable with the grill
Okay, we’ll be the first to admit that grilling is new to us (sorry). But since it’s almost like a Canadian summertime rite of passage to be able to fire up a BBQ and dish up flame-grilled eats, we put our skills to the test with Urban Fare’s signature pork tomahawks and Western Canadian marinated chicken kabobs.
While the grill was warming up, we seasoned the pork tomahawk-cut loin chops with some salt, pepper, and olive oil. Already marinated with souvlaki, the chicken breast kabobs (raised without antibiotics) were ready to go straight on the lightly-spritzed-with-oil hot grill grates. Once the pork and chicken were seared, we had the stars of the show ready for our BBQ picnic.
Aromatic and packed with flavour, the juicy chicken kabobs were hands-down the best we’ve ever tasted. (There’s also no mess involved, as would be the case if marinating them yourself, which is a major plus!) Meanwhile, the pork chops, which we smothered in BBQ sauce before eating, were perfectly tender and seriously satisfying.
Staying simple with a salad
When it comes to preparing a summer salad to serve alongside grilled meats, you can easily keep it appetizing with just a few ingredients. For a little taste of Italy over the long weekend, we suggest an easy-to-make burrata salad. To ensure we made ours as tasty as possible, we used Bella Casara burrata — a soft Italian cheese with a creamy centre.
Using a box of Duet Baby Romanella tomatoes (yes, the full helping!) thinly sliced, Earthbound Farm organic baby arugula, and the heavenly burrata cheese, we had our express salad made. For added texture and flavour, we chopped some Western Family fresh sweet basil and sprinkled it on top with shaved almonds.
We opted for a drizzle of sweet balsamic for the dressing, but you could just as easily use olive oil or another dressing you already have in your pantry. Is this the crème de la crème of summer salads? We think so (cue hair flick emoji).
Indulging in guilt-free dessert
No matter how much food you plan to order, whatever you do, don’t forget to incorporate dessert into your long weekend celebrations. Having heard great things about Righteous Gelato, we decided to add two of the small-batch brand’s most popular flavours to our Urban Fare order: Roasted Pistachio and Salted Caramel.
We all know the first bite is with the eye, and these treats — made with all-natural colours — do not disappoint. From the golden caramel base and rich (yet exceptionally light and creamy) texture of the Salted Caramel to the lime green and elegantly smooth Dairy-Free Roasted Pistachio, we could see ourselves opting for a mix of dairy and non-dairy-based ice cream in the future after experiencing these delectable creations.
Pro tip: if you’re planning on bringing ice cream to your picnic, remember to double-up (or triple-up) on ice packs if it’s a sunny day. We made the rookie mistake of placing just one in our cooler box.
Ensuring a backup snack
We love snacking as much as anyone, so we always try to make sure we’ve got our cupboard stocked with at least one or two options — and the same goes for our picnic basket or cooler box. This reality led us to order Fresh Is Best, medium heat salsa and some Que Pasa grain-free sea salt chips for our backup snack (AKA, the snack we’d munch on before and after our grill-up).
For anyone who adores fresh salsa and wants to save time on making it this long weekend, Fresh Is Best is a no-brainer. Made with fresh chopped jalapenos, chili peppers, cilantro, chopped garlic, tomatoes, peppers, and more healthy ingredients, it tastes so good you might even feel like you made it yourself… for a split second.
Dunk chips into the salsa one by one and savour how the slightly spicy and zestful flavour complements the crunchy, saltiness of the chips. Snacking like this pre-and-post BBQ picnic is what it’s all about.
Urban Fare’s new website and app make it easier than ever to get ready for the long weekend early. You can place an order for today and pick it up later this afternoon or order for up to 30 days in advance. But before you do, be sure to check the location and hours of your nearest Urban Fare store.