I Ate This: Roti John (of a distinctly non-halal kind)

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So this is one of those interesting concoctions that turn up in the places where East meets West.

I believe it’s found in both Singapore and Malaysia and possibly other parts of South-East Asia as well.

“Roti” is Malay for bread, and “John” presumably a convenient catch-all name to refer to Westerners that local hawkers could pronounce.

The story is that some enterprising Malay hawker had a Caucasian customer, possibly called John, who always loved to order an onion omelette to go along with his french loaf when he patronized the stall.

One day, said hawker decided to fuse the omelette with the bread itself, and Roti John was born.

These days, besides merely onions, the omelette will contain some type of minced meat – mutton, chicken or sardines usually, as it’s primarily served by Malay or Indian hawkers that serve halal Muslim food.

It also comes drenched with plenty of oil that the bread gets fried in, and plenty of cheap chili sauce and mayonnaise, and is sort of like that sinful (yet ridiculously tasty) indulgence of a cheap hot dog drowning in more condiments and sauce than actual sausage.

The slightly less unhealthy solution is to make it at home, of course.

Take a baguette loaf.

The authentic version uses a softer inexpensive type of bread, probably more like a Vietnamese baguette than a crusty French one, but meh, I like crusty bread.

Slice it up, preferably going for maximum surface area to be exposed to the eggy goodness.

Make your egg batter with 1-3+ beaten eggs, depending on how much bread you have to coat.

Stir in already-cooked minced meat of your preference. For authenticity, try minced beef, chicken or mutton, flavored with salt and curry powder.

Lazy people like me may prefer to just mash in some sardines or tuna, or in this case, luncheon meat aka SPAM – which being pork, immediately turns it non-halal. Whoops. Good thing I’m not serving it, just eating it all like a glutton. (There goes the low-carb diet for this meal. Two steps forward, one step back.)

If you weren’t starving like me and ready to get to cooking, chopping in some onions and green chili would definitely make it more tasty. Me, I clean forgot.

If you lack curry powder for that authentic feel, just spice it up like your favorite omelette – black pepper, herbs, whatever.

Dip your bread in the egg, dunking one side like French Toast, and spoon some of the meat mixture on that side.

Then toss it onto a frying surface, with as much or as little oil / butter as you dare to use:

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Let the omelette side cook through till it doesn’t stick to the pan, then flip it to toast the other side.

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When it’s all crispy and toasty, it’s done.

Essentially, it’s savoury French Toast.

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For that truly authentic touch, feel free to drown it in sweet chili sauce and mayonnaise.

But really, it tastes fine without it too.

I Ate This: Two-Cheese Omelette and Toaster Oven Roasted Vegetables

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Sudden craving for a oozing cheesy omelette.

So I made one.

Two beaten eggs, some shredded fresh dill and black pepper, aged cheddar cheese and parmesan crumbled in.

There’s some shredded chicken stuffed inside too, but that’s just because there were leftovers in the fridge.

Syl beat me to posting about roasted vegetables, so I won’t reinvent the wheel, but I’ve been recently into them ever since I figured out that my oven toaster (or toaster oven) was perfectly capable of roasting vegetables. (Duhhh. Right?)

I needed to get back to avoiding too much refined carbs and eating more vegetable carbs anyway, so I was sitting around trying to puzzle out how I could find more lazy ways to get more vegetables in my diet beyond salads and boiling leafy green stuff. (Let’s not even talk about stir-frying, too much time in the kitchen and slaving over a fire.)

I mean, some days, you don’t even feel like boiling water because it’s a pain to stand there and wait for the water to boil, before putting your veggies in, and after that, they taste like… boiled water.

You certainly don’t feel like breaking out your massive oven tray and lining it with foil and going through a big preheating production and massive electrical bill just to roast a small quantity of vegetables, to say nothing of the washing up afterwards.

But you know, lining a small metal tray with foil, piling some cut vegetables coated with olive oil onto it, sticking it in a toaster oven and setting it for 15 minutes… then walking away and going off to read some Reddit posts or watch some television until the cheery little “ding” announces the newly redolent veggies, a little shrunken and glistening with caramelized natural sugars, are ready to be consumed…

…that you can do.

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And yes, they’re also good smothered with cheese.

Zucchinis, red peppers, and eggplants have all been the recent recipient of this.

And if you’ve never tried French beans aka green beans prepped this way, DO.

They’re as addictive as french fries, and probably a little healthier.

Just do a Google image search for “roasted green beans” and don’t say I didn’t warn you if you get sudden cravings.

Also fantastic with these vegetables and some pan-fried salmon is this anchovy and caper miracle sauce from Nom Nom Paleo.

Lazy person that I am, I merely microwave-melted the tinned anchovies, stirred in capers and extra olive oil to taste. Didn’t have red pepper flakes, so added a dash of my ground chili paste instead. No lemon juice or parsley neither, but those are all extras anyway.