Beat the lunch bag blues and think outside the lunchbox

Save time and money by tackling food waste and transforming leftovers

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 TORONTO, August 8, 2018 – A recent study revealed that every Canadian tosses away a staggering 170 kilograms of food on average each year. Our society as a whole wastes more than $31 billion in food resources, with 47% being generated by family households. As a result, food waste– from production, to legislation and especially consumption – has officially become a hot topic on the tip of everyone’s tongues. In reality, not much is being done and there is still a long way to go before we find a solution.

According to a survey conducted by Dalhousie University which explored Canadians’ food habits, 72% of Canadians said they bring their lunch to work. At Maille, we believe that an easy, realistic way to prevent food waste at home is to transform leftovers (that nobody wants nor eats) into truly delicious lunchbox creations. But don’t worry, you don’t need to be a Bocuse d’Or chef for what we have in mind… Thanks to their convenience and the myriad of flavour combinations using ingredients that you already have in the pantry or fridge at home, sandwiches have become a lunch time staple all over the world. Here in Canada, they are eaten on average more than 3 times a week – that’s an estimated 110-111 MILLION bread combinations prepared each week. Just in time to return to work and kick off the back-to-school season, we propose to cure the lunch bag blues by helping Canadians revamp the all mighty sandwich by going beyond the traditional ham and cheese into healthy waistline conscious, yet delicious creations.

Here are some tips to help you master the art of sandwich-making while cutting back on household food waste:

  1. Sauce it up!

We get it, eating that same roasted chicken for lunch and dinner twice in a row can get boring quick. However, those leftovers don’t have to be. Whip up a quick sauce or dip to create the base of a mouthwatering sandwich fit for a king!

Make your own aioli or hot sandwich dip to bring a whole new flavour profile to the meat you already have prepared and ready in the fridge.  Make roast beef shine with a spicy Asian-fusion sandwich dipping sauce.

  1. Go global!

From a Sunday morning BLT to tea-time cucumber and cream cheese concoctions, gyro to burrito, white to wheat, sweet to savoury, however you slice it, we’re a nation of sandwich-lovers.  But that is not only true of North Americans. The humble sandwich has grown to encompass global influences. Get inspired by the flavour-packed Banh-mi, a Vietnamese street snack consisting of pork, veggies, jalapeños and coriander served on baguette or by the Turkish doner kebab, a 3am late-night snack filled with shavings of lamb, vegetables and yogurt. No matter what tickles your taste buds, try new layering options that will bring new life to your lunches like this Chacarero inspired monster-sandwich originally from Chile. Serve it with a heap of turkey or steak piled high between a bread roll and topped with tomatoes, chili peppers and green beans.

  1. Cut back the carbs and go bun-less

Eating less carbs is always a good idea. Experiment with new alternatives to traditional bread.

  • Try using vegetables in lieu of buns. Layer your concoction in between lettuce leaves for a delicious low-calorie wrap. In addition to holding your filling well, it is an ideal solution for those looking to cut out gluten.
  • Use brown rice burger buns or tortillas or thick multigrain crackers such as Wasa. They are healthy alternatives that add a truly unique texture to your sandwich;
  • Entertaining? Try puff/phyllo pastry, bao buns, or stuffed savoury crepes – these are lighter, more delicate options that can be transformed into edible pieces of art that are sure to wow your guests at your next dinner party;
  1. A right and a wrong way to do it…

Did you know the way you place and layer your ingredients can completely alter the taste of your sandwich? Try these expert tips:

  • Balance your fillings – stick to a range of textures (silky, crunchy, dense, creamy) and flavours (fatty, fresh, spicy, tart) for a well-balanced sandwich;
  • Consider your ingredients – if you have a saucy meat, you will need a thicker, crustier bread (such as a baguette) so it can absorb and take on the flavour of the liquid;
  • Slice fillings down to size to ensure everything stays in place: thinly-sliced ingredients are easier to bite through, and will assure that your sandwich contents never end up running down your shirt or on the floor;
  • Strategize the placement and layering of your ingredients: meat and cheese should always sit at the bottom (as they are heavier, and denser in general), while your vegetables and crunchy elements are best at the top. A strategically-layered sandwich holds together better, ensures your bread never gets too soggy while helping you achieve optimal texture;
  • Spread your condiments directly onto the bread to get a burst of flavour in every bite. However, if you’re feeling adventurous, don’t be afraid to switch it up and break the rules – put your mustard or aioli directly on top of your protein for a complete game-changer!

Making lunch at night?

  • If you typically make your sandwich the night before, you’ll want to think ahead. Since it’s going to be a while before you get to dig in, spread on a thin layer of fresh butter onto your bread to prevent sogginess.
  • Warm vs cold: If you’re taking your sandwich out on an adventure, we recommend using cold ingredients and keep it chilled in a cooler or isolated lunch bag to maintain freshness. However, if you’re eating it right away at home, explored toasted breads, sautéed toppings and warm dips/sauces for a completely different flavour experience. If you’re office is equipped with ovens, bring your ingredients uncooked in sandwich bags or in a container and assemble them at work. Grill on a piece of aluminum foil at the center of the oven.

Expert tip: When you’re making warm/hot sandwiches, set aside any fresh vegetables you want to add to ensure they remain fresh and don’t turn into mush during the cooking process. Pop your sandwich into the oven open-faced to warm up meats, cheese and any grilled vegetables – then add the vegetables on top afterwards!

About La Maison Maille

With over 270 years of expertise, La Maison Maille sets the standard for Dijon mustard and is an ambassador of French culinary refinement around the world. Established by Antoine-Claude Maille in 1747, the house of Maille was the official supplier to the Kings of France and many European Royal Courts. Today, Maille is the leading premium producer of mustard, vinegar and French cornichons in France. It is the attention to detail that sets La Maison Maille apart – the carefully selected ingredients, the nuances of the recipes, the expertise in the methods used and the elegant black and gold packaging. The Maille product range includes Dijon Originale, A L’Ancienne Old Style, Au Miel Honey Dijon, and Raifort Horseradish mustard, as well as flavourful vinegars and Maille Cornichons. Maille is available at select gourmet grocery stores and supermarkets across Canada. For more information on Maille, please visit www.maille.ca.

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For more information, press images, or samples, please contact The PR Department at 416 535-3939 or [email protected]

 

Recipes

Tomato Avocado Burger
Prep time: approx. 20 minutes
Recipe serves 4
Utensils: medium non-stick pan or skillet, cutting board, knife, fork, skewers

Ingredients  
4 large tomatoes
1 lb (450g) organic ground beef
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ + ¼ tsp fine grain sea salt
1 tsp chili powder
1 ripe avocado, halved
2 tbsp Greek yogurt
1 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tsp Maille Honey Dijon Mustard
2 tsp fresh lime juice
¼ tsp ground cumin
A handful of alfalfa sprouts

Preparation:
Wash and cut the tomatoes in half horizontally. Scoop out the seeds and seeds membrane and set aside.

Place half of the avocado in a bowl and mash with a fork until almost smooth. Add yogurt, mayo, lime juice and cumin and stir to combine. Dice remaining half of the avocado and add it alongside ¼ teaspoon salt. Stir gently to combine. Set aside.

In a bowl, season ground beef with ½ teaspoon of salt, black pepper and chili powder and mix well. Divide into equal 4 portions and gently shape each portion into ½-inch thick patty.
Preheat grill (or grill pan) to medium-high heat. Grill patties 3 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness.

In the meantime, lightly grease with olive oil a medium non-stick pan or skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Cook halved tomatoes face down for 2 to 3 minutes, until they begin to brown. Flip and cook for 20 seconds on the other side so that they get a bit of color.

To assemble burgers, place a large pinch of sprouts on the bottom part of each tomato, top with a beef patty, add a generous swipe of Honey Dijon mustard to the patty and about 2 tablespoons of avocado sauce. Finish with the other half of each tomato.

Deluxe Sandwich
Prep time: approx. 20 minutes
Recipe yields 2 sandwiches.
Utensils: cutting board, knife, frying pan, skewers, grater

Ingredients:
2 large carrots
1 spring/green onion
1 organic lemon
50 g mayonnaise
2 tbsp Maille Old Style Dijon Mustard
½ tsp of paprika
Salt and pepper to taste
4 slices of white (or whole grain bread)
Extra virgin olive oil for frying
2 large eggs
4 slices of cheddar
25 g of swiss chard
4-5 slices of ham or pastrami (perfect use of leftover ham from holiday dinners!)
1 tbsp fried onions (for texture and an added crunch)

Preparation:
Wash and cut carrots, halving them lengthwise. Then, procced to wash spring onion, shake dry and cut into fine pieces. Rinse the lemon and pat dry.

For the sandwich spread, cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice into a small dish. Add mayonnaise, Maille Old Style Dijon mustard and paprika, stir and season with salt and pepper. Put this aside to be used as the spread at the end of the sandwich building process.

Toast 2 slices of white or whole grain bread on both sides (in a toaster or with butter in a grill pan). Roast carrots with a little bit of extra virgin olive oil until fully cooked (about 3 minutes). Crack egg into the same pan, season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 1 minute, turn and cover with cheddar and fry until golden brown (don’t overcook the yolk – you want it to be a bit runny in the middle). Brush bottom slice with a combination of mustard and mayonnaise. Garnish with swiss chard, slices of pastrami, fried egg, carrots, spring onions, fried onions and the top slice of bread.

Tip: For a vegetarian spin, simply replace the pastrami with smoked tofu or tempeh.