A Man, A Can and a Plan

Word of Advice: Find a life partner who can and/or likes to cook. Having the shared responsibility of cooking relieves some stress due to time constraints during the work week. It can also be more fun when both of you are in the kitchen trying to create a delicious dish.

As we grow older, the free time we have on the weekend becomes more and more precious. Between spending time with family, running errands (e.g. grocery shopping) and tidying up the place, it leaves little time to socialize. When there are lots of social gatherings on the weekend, grocery shopping does not always occur. What happens then?

Jimmy, my husband, has been a fan of Men’s Health magazine for a long time. There is always a section called “A man, a can and a plan”. This section is dedicated to the readers who are trying to learn to cook with ingredients commonly found in the pantry.

Many of my clients think that dinner has to be very gourmet each and every night. That’s not true. The reality is we are all busy individuals who need to put something on the table in ideally 30 minutes or less.

The End Result? Pasta with Axiany Tomatoes and Sardines. Pasta doesn’t take long to cook. Once the pasta is cooked, he decided to sauté the pasta in some garlic and oil. As we had leftover Axiany tomatoes, Jimmy threw them in and sautéed the tomatoes as well.If we had leftover broccoli or rapini, we would have thrown that in as well. The final touch included opening up a can of sardines. I personally don’t like much heat in my food; therefore, I did not add some hot chilli flakes but Jimmy loves spice so he added some chili flakes for some kick.

3 ingredient meal

Recently, on our way home from France, we flew through Lisbon. At the airport, we passed by this store (Comur) which sold canned fish. Normally, in North America, canned goods are usually regarded as budget food. Sardines are considered budget food as a can of sardines can go for as little as 99 cents CAD. The minimum price of a box of sardines at this store was 7 Euros. Naturally, as a Registered Dietitian, I was intrigued to find out why these sardines cost so much. The most expensive item we saw at the store was 40 Euros. It was a canned squid! Don’t worry, we stuck to the 7 Euro option. 😉

7 euro sardines

Jimmy and I both were curious what was so special about this can of sardines which cost 7 Euros. When we came back to Toronto, we went hunting for different types of sardines.  We noticed that the majority of sardines are packed in soybean oil or canola oil; however, the more expensive options ($4-$6 CAD a can) would be packed in olive oil.

We did a blind taste test (Jimmy took sardines out of each package and let me taste it on a plain white plate); I was able to taste the difference between the two cans. The 7 Euro can of sardines definitely tasted and looked a lot better. 🙂 It was well worth the price. Jimmy and I both have learned now that sardines can also be considered a gourmet food.

taste test

Have you ever heard of the Comur Brand? They have a wide variety of canned fish including sea bream, seabags, white mullet, sprat, class fish, horse mackerel, calamari, smoked trouts, smoked salmon, tuna, mackerel, smoked mussels, baked codfish, smoked cod fish, sardines and octopus. Would you pay a premium to try these products?

Food For Thought: Do you like sardines? As an alternative to salmon, sardines can also be a source of omega-3 fats in addition to being a great source of calcium as you would eat the bones as well.

Leave a Reply