Pre-Made Meals Done Right: The Bella Market

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it many more times: I love Bella Bistro and the Bella Market. Their attention to detail is impeccable, they always source locally and as a result their food quality is s top notch. I wrote about The Bella Market when they first opened and now that they’ve been open a few months,  I want to share with you how much I love their pre-made meal options. As someone who loves to cook and doesn’t love buying processed frozen meals from the grocery store, their pre-made meals are perfect when I’ve had a busy week. When I visit Bella, the staff are always happy to share their culinary expertise and I love how excited they get about their food! I appreciate how they can always share a personal experience and insight on anything I am considering picking up.

Martina helped me pick out a couple of meal options so that I could share my experience with you. I broke it down into three categories: At home date night, family dinner and hosting a friend. Learn a little more about their pre-made meals and what my favourite picks are below!

 

At Home Date Night

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Take home:

  • Marsala duck legs
  • Sonset farms spelt salad with roasted leeks, broccoli tomatoes and pumpkin seeds
  • Sourdough loaf (made in house)

Experience: On a Friday night when you’re tired, you’ve run out of groceries and want to have a good dinner but don’t want to spend a ton of money on a meal out – Bella has simple solutions. We try the Marsala Duck legs with a spelt salad and I used some sides that we had at home – couscous, green beans and mushrooms. The Duck legs are ready in no time, they only require a quick thaw in a pot of water and a bit of time in a preheated cast iron skillet (or oven pan) and they are good to go! It took me about half an hour to whip together this meal and it was delicious. The marinade on the duck takes away any gamey flavour and is so savoury. My husband is not a foodie at all — his typical response to incredible food is “it was alright” — and he said a few times as we ate, “This is so good! It’s like a restaurant.” I like all food but when my husband reacts with such enthusiasm, I know it’s legit. I highly recommend the Marsala duck legs. For $18 for two legs with restaurant quality, I consider it worth it.

 

Family Dinner

ACS_0015Take home:

  • Three cheese Mac and cheese with gruyere

Experience: I can’t get down with grocery store bought frozen meals. I just don’t consider it real food. And I love a baked Mac and cheese but don’t ever think to make it myself from scratch. We make the three cheese mac and cheese in just under an hour in the oven and it is so savoury. You can tell they don’t cheap out on the cheese — like everything you can expect from Bella — it’s good quality. The packaging makes it look deceivingly smaller than it actually is. We have tons of leftovers after three hefty servings (the leftovers are even more flavourful). And if we were to make a couple of veggie sides we would be able to make it stretch more I’m sure. I would consider picking up one of these for new parents to save them from needing to cook a meal. So easy and so good.

 

Hosting Friends

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Take home:

  • two bags of the croutes made from their baguettes
  • olives marinated in house with garlic lemons and peppercorns
  • artisan chèvre balls made with Crosswind Farm goat cheese, lemon, black pepper and rosemary
  • “Bonnechere” cheese from Back Forty and the spelt salad with roasted leeks, broccoli tomatoes and pumpkin seeds as well as a sourdough loaf
  • raspberry lemon loaf
  • orange brioche cinnamon bun

Experience: I love having my girlfriends over for chats and treats and while I sometimes get into a cooking and baking mood — that is not always the case. A handful of goodies from Bella can go a long way! The entire spread is amazing but our favourites from this are the chèvre cheese balls spread on top of the croutes. The croutes are the perfect amount of savoury garlic flavour and the chèvre is so creamy and so bright thanks to the lemon. So good. I also really love the raspberry loaf! And if you haven’t had an orange brioche cinnamon bun from The Bella Market then you should just stop what you’re doing right now (after you finish reading this, of course lol ) and go get one. Life changing goodness.

The west end is so lucky to have this gem of a market. They source their foods locally, make as much as they can in house and they do such an amazing job. If you need to do prepared meals, this is the way to do it!

Keep up with The Bella Market on Facebook
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This post is sponsored by The Bella Market. Please note, I would never write about something I do not believe would be beneficial to my readers.

 

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