Food & Dining Reviews

Why is Fun Food so Damn Bad?

We all have our favourite comfort foods, our go-to-crowd-pleaser meals for gatherings and  special events, our must-have bits and pieces (pickled herring at Christmas, ugh), and our signature, day-to-day dishes. The signature dishes are generally easy to make, nutritious, and don’t take a lot of time to make. The fun meals, the ones that make us stand out in the crowd and bring massive raves from folks who taste them however, are the ones that might just likely be the food that adds to our demise.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not preaching here. I love things slathered in garlic butter, thick sirloin steaks on the bbq, with a good 1/4 inch slab of fat and intense marbling. I love gravy, especially on Yorkshire puddings and mashed potatoes. Pizza. Gyros. Chevapi. Burek. I could go on for hours.

My partner signed up for a bbq challenge at work on Feb 14, and it was her job to create a wicked sampler plate done on the bbq. She chose to make Onion Bombs. These are wicked. TRUST ME!


Fresh off the BBQ!




All you do is take a pound of lean ground beef, a pound of ground pork, a whole bunch of spices (salt, pepper, paprika, Slap Ya Mama (available in hot sauce stores in Ottawa and the outlying area. Some stores, such as Pepper Palace no longer carry it due to price confliction with Amazon) basil, rosemary, Vegeta, cayenne, etc…whatever you have in the house). Hand mix the meats and spices, and roll into meatballs. Then, take a large number of onions (we prefer red), cut the tops and bottoms off, and peel them back to make onion shells. Next, put a meatball between 2 shell halves. Once that is done, wrap each shell in 2-3 pieces of raw bacon, hold together with tooth-pics soaked in water, then slather in bbq sauce and bbq, basting with more sauce.

The result is pure heaven.




The expulsion from the onion bombs however, is disheartening.


Ugh….so much flavour, and yet, so bad.

Fat. Lots and lots of fat. Sure, fat bleeds out as you cook, but how much remains? Yeah, we all need a percentage of fat in our daily diet, but not like this.


The morning after, congealed fat.

We both had onion bombs after the bbq competition, but it was one each (not a lot of leftovers) for 2 days. We went heavy on whole food/plant based add-ons to go with them, to try and balance out our meat consumption.

We are doing pretty good at maintaining a whole food/plant based diet, but we slip sometimes. Pizza one night, then 2 weeks later, sirloin steaks on the bbq, with lots of fat. It’s not an easy process to follow, when we both are over 40, and have those years of mindless consumption behind us, but we try.

If you are interested in eating better, you can check these websites and videos out. They really do give wicked alternatives to meat. Trust me on this…..I liked veggies before, but wasn’t a fan of the “salad with dinner” bullshit options. Faux tuna salad made with cashews? Wicked!


Make tuna melts…brilliant!


Avocado and tomato on toast for breakfast? Frigging brilliant!


I slice my tomato thinly, at work. people are curious, and jealous.

Vegan Mac n’ Cheese? Not too shabby (I went too heavy with the sauce). No picture for this one, as the picture and reality do not equate. The taste however, is pretty damn good.

Lentil Bolognese with sweet potato pasta?  Heaven!!! (I also added tofu “spaghetti”. Wow. Yum).


Even the boy enjoys this. Weird….


Vegan/Paleo potato skins? Hell, yes! (i’m becoming a fan of sweet potato, since there is no maple syrup in this).

spuds…thank you!!

BBQ cauliflower salad with ranch dressing?  Hell, even my partner loved this!


Really damn good. Seriously.

So, yeah…..feeling sluggish and bloated? Want to do something for your body. Give them a shot.

If you want to learn more, and always take everything with a grain of salt, you can check out these videos, usually found on Netflix or YouTube:

Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead

Forks over Knives

A couple of websites with wicked and FREE recipes:

Don’t get me wrong, we will continue to bbq meat and make beef jerky in the dehydrator; albeit on a much smaller level, but we are evermore being mindful of what we as humans consume, and the damage it does to the planet as a whole, and ourselves.

Consume wisely.

Categories: Bad Food, Clean Food Dirty Girl, Eat Well, Fat or Fit, Food, Food & Dining Reviews, Food can Kill, Good Food, Joe Cross reboot, Knowledge, Learning, Mindful Consumption, Plant Based, Reboot, Vegan, Vegetarian, Whole Food, Whole Food/Plant Based, | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Reagan On The Road ( Feasting in Split, 2015)


I’m Boo

Hello, again! It’s me, Reagan! You know, the handsome-as-hell Bassador, regaling you with tails of food, frolic and adventure whilst travelling (mostly food, to be honest). I left off last time with details of a wonderful meal in Zagreb, Croatia. I pick up the tale, the next day, (21-22 Dec 2015) where we had our first meals in Split. Don’t get me wrong, Lady and I (we left the old man back in Canada, at a lovely kennel) had some munchies here and there, picked up some staples from the grocery store, had a drink or two on the main promenade in Split, but we really needed sleep. So we did. The next day, however, we had sights to see and food to sample! So we did!


Whole Latte Love!

After sight-seeing, Lattes, and pointing out parts of Split to Lady (I was here on R&R during the latter part of the Balkan war), we needed solid food. Something that Lady could eat, as she has a Gluten intolerance (no wheat, rye, barley, oats or spelt). I also have an egg intolerance. That, and what self-respecting Dog would eat a mushroom? Seriously!!??!?




We found exactly what we needed inside the walls of the Diocletian Palace.


One of many entrance to the Diocletian Palace in Split.

What’s not to love about Cafe-Bistro NoStress??                                                                             It’s all there in the name!


Cafe-Bistro NoStress, Split, Croatia.

After explaining the food allergies to the wicked waiter, who let me sit at the big people table instead of on the ground, we ordered wine and a starter. Who doesn’t love red wine and a meat/cheese platter (charcuterie board)? I mean, other than Vegan folk?

While we sipped and nibbled, Lady plotted out our further adventures. I would have helped, but I lack opposable thumbs and to be honest, English isn’t my strong point. Howling and sniffing are where my skills lie.


A wonderful view of a square in the Palace, from the Bistro NoStress.

That and I kept getting off the chair to piddle and sniff other dogs. Hey, when in Rome, right?

Our lunches came, Cabbage Rolls for me, and Lady had homemade sausage and sauerkraut.

We chatted, Lady plotted, she rubbed my belly a few times, then it was off for more sight-seeing, a nap for us, then out to soak up some night life and have dinner…but that’s another story!

More to follow. just be patient. I can’t use the computer when the old man is around. He gets weird. No idea why.

For more travel details, check out the blog Lady writes, Steph The Wayward Pilgrim.


Categories: Balkans, Croatia, Europe, Food, Food & Dining Reviews, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Food! OMG OMG OMG!! I LOVE Food! And sleeping. And protecting my pack from squirrels!


Your host, squirrel fighter and guide to great eats everywhere. And snoofles. You may call me Boo.

Hello. For those of you who don’t know me (your loss), I’m Reagan. While it’s obvious I am a dog, let me assure you that I am the most handsome 10 year old Bassador out there. I’ve been with my papa for that whole time (he rescued me, and we’ve had grand adventures), and with Lady for 8 years.

My contribution to this wee Blog is simple. I’m going to review places where we eat. Don’t worry, as I am a master of disguise, and no-one ever guesses I shouldn’t be there!  Note: As of the weekend of 4/5 February 2017, all food reviews will be filed under Reagan On The Road. Please enjoy them! First up: Dining in Split, Croatia.

December 21st, 2015: Restoran PLUS ZAGREB. (CROATIA)

Last month, Lady and I left the 40-something (closer to 50 in reality) funny looking kid at the kennel and hopped on a plane to the Balkans. Yup, travel food is even better than local food! We overnighted from Montreal to Zagreb, Croatia and suffered quietly through airplane food (this was better than cardboard, but not by much). We skipped food at the airport (way too similar to gruel), hopped the shuttle from the airport to the main bus terminal to get tickets to Split, and then sought out something decent to nosh on.

Now, don’t forget, Lady has a food allergy; she can’t eat wheat, gluten, rye, barley, etc. That disqualifies her from all the little mom ‘n pop bakery kiosks that are everywhere. Too bad, because Burek is to die for. More on Burek later!

Bus Station Diner

Food; 30 feet from the “Sexy Shop”. Weirdos.

We wandered a bit, and then found a very likely candidate for lunch, a cafeteria-style diner, just up the steps from the “Sexy Shop”. Yes, a porn store at the bus station. Meh.

After checking out the menu, Lady and I chatted with the staff, who wonderfully fiddled with the daily offerings to make sure Lady could have lunch. Viola: 2 chicken breasts (from the grill, never touching the gravy on the steam line), fried cabbage, a regional version of scalloped potatoes and a very simple salad (which included a form of pickled beets). A note; the salads encountered across the region were simple, hearty and served with oil and vinegar dressing. You could actually taste the veggies. Not sure why you would want to. Vegetables are what my food eats, but I digress. Lady raved, so it’s all good.



Food for Lady

Gluten Free!

For myself, the choice was a no-brainer: Cevapi. Food of the gods. It had been almost 12 years since I had this “belly-rub, snoofle and soup-bone”(hey, all heaven to a pupster like me) treat.


Food of the Gods. Kneel!! Hail!!

Cevapi (or Cevapcici) is simple: mixed ground meat (beef, lamb, sometimes pork), spices, grilled to a very warm and moist (juices) state, served on a very fluffy pita-like flatbread known as Somun, with raw white onions, Ajvar (a medium-spicy vegetable paste – which replaces ketchup), a bit of salt and in some locations, with a soft, house-made cheese similar in taste to Buffalo Mozzarella, but with the consistency of thick sour cream or cottage cheese. Heaven on earth. Better than cat litter-box treats! Not by much, but enough!

All this food, including white wine, Orangina, and a Karlovachko beer for 94 Kuna. Which, in real money is $18.62.


November 2015: Rockin’ Johnny’s in Kanata.

Last weekend, I took Lady there for a breakfast treat. We were both up early, for some odd reason, oh yeah, I had to piddle, and it’s not cool if I do it in the house. I donned my disguise-of-the-day (looking like a 40-something guy on crutches with nerd glasses and bad hair) and off we went!

Rockin’ Johnny’s is as you can guess, a throwback to a 1950’s diner, with kitch on the walls and great music. A nice mix of young and old, and the fantastic smell of grease (light, not offensive), spuds, coffee and best of all, meat! You know the kind with many names, Sausage, Ham, Bacon, etc…Papa says it all comes from one single animal, but we all know the old man drinks and he was on pain killers for almost 7 months. I’m calling “bunk” on that one!

Our lovely server Gladys came around, provided coffee and took our orders. Lady and I perused the local newspapers (well, I looked at the pictures, as my English skills are not that great) and chatted while our order was being made. And when it arrived, it was everything I could have wished for!!

THREE kinds of MEAT! Homefries! Toast! Best of all, NO EGGS or silly vegetables. Who eats mushrooms anyway??

Lady had the Johhny Breakfast, with Gluten free toast. Both meals were good old fashioned food, and together with 2 endless cups of coffee (which made me have to piddle again) came to just over 20$ with tip.

Out on a weekend morning, and it’s rainy or windy? Try Rockin’ Johnny’s for solid food and great atmosphere. Give a good nod to the older fella near the back, the gent with the wavy dark hair and Blue Suede Shoes. He deserves it.


The Johnny special!

Categories: Food, Food & Dining Reviews, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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