At 30-weeks pregnant, I can honestly say that my interest in food and cooking is alive and well, but it’s my energy levels that have become a problem. As soon as I entered my third trimester, it felt like I’d hit a wall–that slow and steady energy decline had started, and I knew it. Moving around is no-longer as easy, and my current main interest in life is just getting a good night’s sleep (I’ve already started to experience signs of that dreaded third-trimester insomnia).
As you can probably imagine, my desire to head to the grocery store and lug a bunch of heavy bags home on my own has pretty much gone out the window. My favourite major grocery store in my neighbourhood happens to be the Metro across from the St. Lawrence Market in downtown Toronto, the only problem is it also happens to be the furthest option out of the closest grocery stores to my house. While it does provide a good walk when I’m feeling up for it, the problem I often find is that I end up always buying more than I thought I would, especially when I catch sight of some of their great sales. Their organic meat and fish selection is definitely the best (and most affordable) of all the options in my area, and I tend to stock up when I see organic protein available at a great price.
Regardless of my pregnant state and the fact that I have an over-shopping habit when it comes to groceries, Metro has recently launched their online grocery in Ontario to offer freshness delivered to your door, which is honestly the best news ever for busy people who love getting great produce from Metro like I do.
Of course as soon as I had heard the news I jumped at the chance to try it out first-hand and test out the experience. In comparison to online shopping options from other major grocery stores, I found shopping through Metro.ca super easy and convenient. First of all, their search option works GREAT so if you’re in a rush you can quickly punch in exactly what you’re looking for. Since I’m an avid deal hunter, I also loved that you could easily browse everything that’s on sale in one place by clicking on the Flyer and Coupons tab–which is how I discovered my new weakness in life, McCain Sweet Potato Fries, on sale for $1.99 from $3.99, along with some other great deals like on my beloved organic meats!
I also noticed on the home page that they’re currently offering a promo that gets you $50 of free products and your next 3 deliveries FREE just for ordering from Metro.ca for the first time. Seriously, this promo is awesome and the selection of products you get is truly impressive–and you better believe I added that promo to checkout once I was ready to go.
Next came selecting my delivery time frame. I put my order in on Saturday afternoon and chose the 12-2pm time slot for the next day (same day delivery is available if you put your order in before 1pm that day). I loved that I got confirmation as soon as I put in my order, a notification when my order was being prepared, and the delivery arrived right on time at 1pm. YES!
Having everything delivered to my door was not only fast and convenient, but saved this tired mama-to-be some much needed energy to get in the kitchen and cook! Even if you’re not knocked up like I am, I know just how tiring it can be to a busy young professional living in downtown Toronto, which is why I’m excited to share this Quick Veggie Paella Recipe that’s made even easier when you have Metro Online Grocery drop everything you need off at your door. Keep reading for how to make it!
This recipe original hails from Ottolenghi’s Plenty cookbook and it’s one I make often when veggie guests come over. If you’re not serving a veggie-only crowd, I like to serve grilled sausages and shrimp on the side. I always substitute edamame for the fava beans (because they’re easier to find) and sometimes I switch up the rice for barley for a healthier twist. Since barley takes longer to cook and we’re all about convenience here right now, I’m providing the instructions with paella rice as featured in the original recipe, mainly because it takes half the time to cook!
Quick Veggie Paella Recipe
(serves 4 as a side)
What You Need:
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 Spanish onion, finely chopped
- 1 small red bell pepper, cut into strips
- 1 small yellow bell pepper, cut into strips
- 1/2 fennel bulb, cut into strips
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 cup Calasparra rice (or another short-grain paella rice)
- 6 1/2 tbsp good-quality sherry
- 1 tsp saffron threads
- 2 cups boiling vegetable stock
- 3/4 cup shelled frozen edamame beans
- 12 plum tomatoes, halved
- 5 small grilled artichokes in oil from a jar, drained and quartered
- 15 kalamata olives (pitted if desired)
- 2 tbsp roughly chopped parsley
- 4 lemon wedges
What To Do:
Heat up the olive oil in a pan, or a large shallow skillet, and gently fry the onion for 5 minutes. Add the bell peppers and fennel and continue to fry on medium heat for about 6 minutes, or until soft and golden. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more.
Add the bay leaves, paprika, turmeric and cayenne to the vegetables and stir well. Then add the rice and stir thoroughly for 2 minutes before adding the sherry and saffron. Boil down for a minute, then add the stock and 1/3 teaspoon salt. Reduce the heat to the minimum and simmer very gently for about 20 minutes, or until most of the liquid has been absorbed by the rice. Do not cover the pan and don’t stir the rice during the cooking.
Meanwhile, pour plenty of boiling water over edamame beans in a boil and leave for a minute, then drain well and leave to cool down. Now squeeze each bean gently to remove the skin and discard it.
Remove the paella pan from the heat. Taste and add more salt if needed but without stirring the rice and vegetables much. Scatter the tomatoes, artichokes and edamame over the rice and cover the pan tightly with foil. Leave to rest for 10 minutes.
Take off the foil. Scatter the olives on top of the paella and sprinkle with parsley. Serve with wedges of lemon.
(Story by Editor-in-Chief, Gracie Carroll)
*Please note that this post has been brought to you in paid partnership with Metro, all thoughts and opinions are our own*