Plentiful Plants

Daily eats of a Torontonian student

A horrible mistake September 17, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — plentifulplants @ 4:46 pm

So now that the first week of classes is over, I’m pleased to report I’m very happy with all my course choices.  Engineering project finance and management looks like it’s going to be a bit of a pain, but it was the only course I was required to take all year, so I’ll live with it.  I LOVE the Linguistics prof, she’s very well spoken and makes the class very interesting.  It might help that Maggie’s been fueling my excitement for the course since a couple of days after I signed up for it.  The only bad thing is that the course is Tuesday nights!  Which means no So You Think You Can Dance Canada for me.  *Tear*  I was having fun watching Emanuel Sandhu actually dance instead of just skate on the ground.

Anyway, on to the food.  This is what’s been on my plate recently.

I whipped up a batch of Kristen’s Creamy-n-Soft Cauliflower Soup.  “Twas muy delicioso, especially with a dollop homemade spaghetti sauce I made by reducing a jar of canned tomatoes I nabbed from my mom’s pantry with caramellized onions, garlic and a bunch of herbs (lots of basil) and nutritional yeast.

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I rediscovered my long neglected jar of hemp seed butter, enjoying some spread on carrots with kombu seaweed tossed in miso on the side.

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I faced something I’ve been fearing since I first heard about in the blog world.

My roomie actually mentioned hearing about and wanting to try Kombucha when we went out to eat at Live.  I noticed it at Essences of Life a while ago, but have been to scared to try it.  Since I had a willing partner in crime, I figured it was time to give it a try.

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His and hers glasses of green tea with lemon flavour.  I believe they also have oolong, oolong with pear and ginger, and jasmine tea with grape.  I was a bit discouraged when I sniffed the bottle after opening, it smelled like vinegar!

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The verdict?  It actually tasted quite pleasant.  As long as I didn’t take too deep a breathe as I was sipping (or drank it out of the bootle, I suppose) it just tasted like fizzy iced green tea with lemon, quite yummy.  I’m glad I’ve tried kombucha now, but at $3/8.5 oz bottle I’m not likely to make it a routine purchase.  The roomy liked it too.

This morning I took my first stab at a non-smoothie raw breakfast.  There was a slight mishap when I made some sunflower seed milk with rather unappetizing results, but a box of almond milk I bought a  while ago came to the recuse, even if it wasn’t raw anymore.  In my bowl was sprouted buckwheat that dried on the counter overnight to get a little crunchy again, wild elderberries, almond milk, and amazon bliss.  Holy yum.

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Lunch was equally tasty.  I dug into a tub of the best storebought hummus ever with the aid of a plateful of veggies.  Seriously, Morrocan Style from Metro, if you can, go try it!

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Sea Greens and Berries September 14, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — plentifulplants @ 2:18 pm

Anyone know what these are?  I’ve never had them before.  But my roomie tells me they make excellent pie.

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Under the right circumstances they remind me of a winter forest.  They also made a tasty lunch dessert.

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Yet another unusual CSA goody, these elderberries were wonderful following a salad featuring on of my recent obsessions.  Seaweed.  Corn too, but seaweed is the theme for this post.  My tasty salad was made of raw corn, tomatoes, green peppers, green beans, red onion, lime juice, and kombu kelp.

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Seaweed has also found its way into another new grocery purchase, Hatcho miso paste.  Ive had the tasty soup with both kombu.

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And wakame.  I love that both these seaweeds rehydrate super fast in a little warm water, like one or two minutes, then are ready to go.

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And of course dulse has still been finding its way onto salads of the leafy green sort.  This one was with more hazelnut oil massaged kale.  And corn of course, tis the season.

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Have you taken the sea veggie plunge?

 

Tommy Thompson Park September 13, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — plentifulplants @ 7:45 pm

Some times I want to spend some time pretending I’m in the county.

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Of course, where I grew up the main water feature is a river, not a lake.

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But Tommy Thompson Park is still a great place to go for a weekend walk through the wilderness.

The bird watchers were out in full force this weekend.

But the city is never all that far away.

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The final destination is the lighthouse.

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Which is a good place to sit down and enjoy the view (even if the light house itself isn’t that nice).

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Dream of being a sailor like this guy.

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And enjoy some lunch (kale, papaya, pear green monster in this case).

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It’s just too bad I left my hard hat at home.

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High in the Sky September 11, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — plentifulplants @ 7:55 pm

Last weekend I convinced my wonderful roomie/best friend to spend his last day off work before school started accompanying me to the CNE Air Show.  I’m an engineering geek.  Planes make me happy.  Especially ones doing cool tricks.  The following are probably more pictures than you care to see (they get bigger too!).  With an inukshuk for good measure.

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When we started to tire of the air show, we figured we should make good use of the metropass we bought for the day and head up to a restaurant we’ve both been wanting to try for a while (he actually mentioned it to me first!).  Did anybody guess Live Food Bar?  When we finally sat down for a super late lunch/early dinner we were starving! (we arrived when the kitchen had just closed so we hung out at a nearby Shopper’s Drugmart where I found the Popchips to wait for it to open again).

We both want to try everything!  We finally decided to split a Raw Combo which had a salad with agave mustard dressing (which unfortunately I wasn’t a huge fan of) and sample size portions of lasagne, ravioli (daily special), pizza, and thai spring rolls.  Please excuse the slightly demolished lasgne and a missing raviloi, we were hungry and I almost forgot to grab a picture.  All the dishes were AMAZING, but I especially fell in love with the thai spring rolls, they were phenomenal.  I’m definitely ordering those if/when I go again.  I also particulary liked the buckwheat crust for the pizza, so much so that I went and bought a whole bag of buckwheat the next day to experiment with (the kernels are pretty good all alone!).

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After demolishing that appetizer-like plate of food we were brought our mains.  I had a High Vibe Salad which was made mostly of kelp noodles.  It was good, but had a bit too much of the dressing (or maybe I just don’t like cilantro enough).  I rinsed the leftover noodles and goodies and added them to the raw marinara dish from yesterday’s post, which was wonderful.  It was fun seeing the little tails growing out of the mung beans a couple days later.

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The roomie ordered some sort of tofu/quinoa fritter dish that doesn’t appear to be on the menu on their website, but he thoroughly enjoyed it too.  I seem to remember there being something special hiding in between those two giant hunks of tofu, but I can not for the life of me recall what it might have been.  And he’s not home right now for me to ask him what it was called.  I had a bite of the fritter and it was tasty, though surprisingly soft and mushy inside.

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Live was wonderful, everything I was hoping it would be.  It was just too bad we were too full for dessert!  I suppose this means there must be a next time!

And to show some more veggie love, this was my dinner tonight, after coming home from a long arduous 3 hour long school week :). I don’t even have class again until 5pm Monday.

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I massaged the kale with salt, lemon juice, dill, and hazelnut oil my mom gave me a sample of which she picked up at Soiree Quebec a while ago.  The hazelnut oil was fantastic, so flavourful! Luckily the sample is quite large – 100ml.  I’m just scared to investigate how much it costs to buy a whole bottle.  And yes, I did eat out of the mixing bowl to save on dishes.

 

Summer Summary September 10, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — plentifulplants @ 7:59 pm

So my two weeks of vacation are rapidly coming to an end as school officially starts tomorrow. I’ve missed blogging, but I’ve been so busy since coming home I haven’t had the time to sit down and go through all my pictures at the end of the day! But I’m back now, yay! I’ve even managed to get almost caught up on my google reader this afternoon, I’m only one day behind!

In an attempt to not bombard you with a giant post, I’ll split things up over the next few days. First up tonight are some notable food moments from the past couple of weeks.

A couple of weeks ago a friend and I went to Chinatown Festival and we tried out some takoyaki (squid balls). I was fun watching them being made while waiting in line.

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We also saw Vietnamese (I think) fruit and veggie carvers. Of course, we didn’t eat any of this.  I think that carrot turtle is absolutely adorable!

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My more normal days have been filled with lots of peachy green monsters (I might be suffering slightly from a case of yellow hands, but I’m not too bothered) and salads that tend to look like variations on this with avocado, (awesome) corn, broccoli, cauliflower, dulse, and sunflower seeds for good measure depending on the day. I’ve also fallen in love with balsamic vinegar and olive oil for dressing.

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I’ve munch my way through some for this delicious shefu tofu too.  It makes a really good salad topper, or pain as a fast, highly portable and filling snack as long as you have something to wipe the oily residue off of  your fingers.  Both the lightly seasoned and BBQ flavours are equally delicious in different ways (and both have sunflower seeds, which are awesome).  And surprisingly enough, Whole Foods of all places it the cheapest place to get it from what I’ve seen, by 40 cents a package (which contains two vacumn sealed piles).

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I LOVE watermelon, it always has been, and probably always will be my favourite fruit. Am I really weird for eating the seeds (I don’t chew them)? I shared this bowl with my roomie while spending some time with the Wii and he insisted on getting another bowl to spit the seeds into.

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I’ve had some fun with CSA goodies. First there was fresh edamame (boiled, and sprinkled with salt). I’ve had them shelled before, but this was my first time popping them out of their shells.

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And the day before I went home, I used my “extra” CSA dollars to get some honeycomb instead of more veggies I wouldn’t be around to eat. My great uncle used to have bee hive, so I remember trying honeycomb before, a long, long time ago.  I still found it delicious spread on a slice of bread with peanut butter.

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Speaking of spreads, I scored some Artisana Amazon Bliss for 4 bucks (down from 11) since it was about to expire! I’ve been dying to try this stuff.  Unfortunately, all the jars of Cacao Bliss at the same store have best before dates almost a year away. So far I’ve tried a bit on an apple, and it was delightful, though surprisingly sweet. Now I need to get my hands on some plain coconut oil, or just a cleaver so I can hack open some fresh, cheap Chinatown coconuts myself.

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I also found Popchips in a Shopper’s Drugmart with a particularly large grocery section. I got the BBQ flavour, and they were very tasty indeed. Loved the light crunchy-ness.

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A few days ago I mixed up a batch of Gena’s Red Pepper Marinara, and it was absolutely delicious! I had it first on a pile of zucchini noodles and kelp noodles which will be elaborated upon in a post to come.

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Then the rest went into a pile of green (and wax, and purple) beans, carrot, and the leftover zucchini from the day before. It was even better the second day because I let some of the water/tomato juice drain off. I used a whole large tomato instead of cherry tomatoes, and I think I should have seeded it first because there was a big watery mess left at the bottom of the first bowl.

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Finally, partly as an experiment, and partly because they went on sale and I wanted to try them, in the last week I went through a pack of Stoneyfield Mango/Peach and Blueberry/Pomegranate yogurts. Both were good, with the mango being my favourite, but the experiment gave me some valuable information. I haven’t had any, or at least very little dairy for quite a while before this, so eating 8 yogurts in the span of 5 days first showed me what people mean when they say it’s mucus forming (kinda gross). Then the pimples! Gah! Over the last 5 or 6 months my skin has been approaching something close to the level of clearness (aka bumpy with nothing big) it was at when I finished a course of Accutane seven years ago (my grandmother gave all her offspring and most of my cousins a serious acne gene). So I was understandably frustrated when the yogurt caused my face to break out again. At least it was nothing too serious, and it’s starting to go away now. In other words, I think I might be off the dairy for good.

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Am I allowed to be classified a somewhat (high?) raw, mostly vegan, occasional pescatarian, pretty rare omnivore?

Tomorrow’s post: my roomie and I celebrated the end of summer last weekend with a visit to a restaurant we’ve both been wanting to try for months, can you guess what it was?

 

Long Time No Blogging August 25, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — plentifulplants @ 2:27 pm

Hola bloggies!

Sorry for disappearing for a while. I’ve been mad busy both at work and at home what with the impending school year and all. At least I’m happy to report I won the fight for good Arts and Science electives (Intro to Language and Contemporary Architechture if you’re interested) that fit into my timetable AND had room left in them (this was key, engineers get last choice, boo!) plus I found myself a thesis supervisor and have a pretty good idea about the topic. I fixed my computer problems buying a new one (mine was over 4 years old anyways), but then my Internet mysteriously died over the weekend. I asked my roomie to call Rogers though since he’s usually home during the day, so hopefully it should be back soon.

I’ve been spending lots of time with friends, helped by the fact that a ton of historic sites in Toronto are free on the weekends (score for the garbage strike!). And we went one some foodie adventures to the Chinatown festival (authentic takoyaki, bbq lamb, watermelon juice, and my first taste of a churro), I tried gelato fir the first time (shared almond, hazelnut, and pistachio, all YUM), and on a search for dinner one night when we happened on a tasty restaurant, Chimichanga, where I had mexican food for the first time outside of Mexico, and one of my friends had mexican for the first time period (and discovered she loves guacamole!). I’ll have pictures to post once the internet at home works again.

Other than restaurant meals, I’ve been working my way through tons of CSA veggies (corn heaven, and a massive supply of zucchini and green beans), and fruit (figs!, peaches, plums, blueberries) and many green monsters as per usual.

Though I must admit, I’ve kinda enjoyed not blogging for a while, most because I spent a lot of time during the evenings last week writing a huge report about my internship, and was rather “writing-ed” out. Plus there’s the fact that the complete lack of sunlight when I’m eating breakfast and packing lunch, and quickly dwindling light/cloudiness when I get home for dinner does not inspire me to take photos.

But that will all change soon! This is my last week at work (and of commuting for 2.5+ hours a day, yay!), then I have almost 2 weeks of vacation before school starts (my last year!). My first class just has to be on Friday afternoon, talk about a welcome back. But that’s just because I have no class on Thursday (shocking) and I have a tutorial on Friday morning that doesn’t start till the second week. My timetable looks eerily empty this year, partly because fourth year/grad courses tend not to have labs, and they have shorter tutorials, plus one of my courses this fall is thesis (and therefore has no set time on the schedule). There’s only about 15 hours of class time per week compared to the 30+ in first and second years and 25 or so in third year. Although we are just talking class time here, not homework time, and there is the thesis. Let’s just say there should be plenty of time for blogging on the horizon.

I am going home for a bit next week, but after that I should get back to a more regular blogging schedule. However, I’ve been finding myself making big batches of things and eating them over a few meals, which beside being a perfectly enjoyable way to eat, I like both from a time saving stand point, and because it cuts down on stressing about making something different all the time for the blog’s sake. So I think I might switch to post every couple of days and just show you when I make something new? Either way, when life settles down a bit sometime next week, expect to see me back on the blog, I’m starting to miss you all!

Lots of love,

Ruth

 

Uncooperative Electrons August 5, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — plentifulplants @ 6:22 pm

Sorry for disappearing last night, I had a couple tussles with technology. First, as I was going to take a picture of my dinner, my camera battery died. Which wasn’t all that surprising after I realized I hadn’t charged it in a month or so. That’s actually pretty impressive, Canon.

The second upset was when I rather clumsily knocked over a bottle of water on my desk and it splashed onto my laptop. And several of the keys stopped working. Which made writing a post rather garbled with many more typos than usual. So I’m writing this up a work today, and really hoping that my keyboard starts working again when I got home and turn on my computer tonight. Otherwise, you’ll just get a picture of dinner with no explanation  :)

Breakfast yesterday was a green monster, kale, chia, banana, and frozen mixed berries.

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For lunch I had a giant salad made of cabbage, zucchini, green onion and a sauce made of pesto, tomato paste, and water. I love this cabbage, it’s really mild tasting, and makes great “noodles” along with the zucchini.

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For a snack I had black raspberries. YUM!

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For my unpictured dinner I had a big salad of spring mix topped with beet, carrot, peas, walnuts, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil.

Then for breakfast this morning I had the same green monster as yesterday, and skipped the repeat photo. Why does it seem like the sun is suddenly rising much later than it used to?

For lunch I had leftover cabbage salad from yesterday’s lunch topped with cucumber and carrot.
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And in the afternoon a Key Lime Pie Larabar. I think this is my favourite.

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Dinner is another salad with cabbage, spring mix, green onion, carrot, cucumber, peas, black raspberries, and balsamic vinear.

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And dessert!  Cherry Nirvana Purely Decadent Ice Cream with extra cherries, yum!

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So it looks like I’m going to be disappearing this weekend too! I’m headed up to Ottawa for a couple of days (really just Saturday and Sunday morning plus lots of driving) with my parents to visit my sister who is finishing up a co-op placement at the hospital there. I’ve never been, any suggestions as to what to see/do/eat? I’m thinking the Museums of Agriculture and Science and Technology look fun and not too expensive, plus one of the arty ones. Why can’t our national museums be free like they are in England?

And the keys still don’t work.  Argh.  I’ve resorted to copy and pasting.  I think I’m going to have to get a new keyboard to plug into my laptop…  Why do I have to use g, h, ‘, ctrl, and backspace so often?

 

 
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