Plentiful Plants

Daily eats of a Torontonian student

Pesto Pasta Perfection July 29, 2009

I started the morning off a little differently today with a couple slices of ezekiel bread and a banana, opened the other way.

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Then later in the morning I snacked on some lovely cherries, and the last of my peas.

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Then for lunch I had one of the best zucchini pasta creations yet. Over julienned zucchini and leeks I poured a mixture of tomato paste, pesto, water, and the last of my Marti cheese. Absolutely perfect flavour combination.

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And then I snacked on some Live Food Bar Nachos. Love these too.

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When I got home I dove into a big old hunk of watermelon.

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And I just made this big salad to be enjoyed along with SYTYCD. My bowl is filled with red leaf lettuce, carrot, red pepper, cauliflower, broccoli, and a dressing made of mustard, Big Bull steak sauce, apple cider vinegar, and honey.

2009_07_29_dinner

 

Cocoa Bean Bonanza July 26, 2009

Breakfast this morning was a simple bowl of snow peas, (particularly delicious) raspberries, and carrot filled with hemp nut butter and sprinkled with dulse.  Mmmm, dulse.

2009_07_26_breakfast

Lunch was a pretty fantastic salad.  I tossed a couple slices of cubed ShaSha Co. Ezekiel bread with orange juice concentrate, lemon thyme and finely julienned beets (my fingers came out the other side fully intact :)).  Then I served the mixture on a bed of red leaf lettuce and topped it with Marti cheese shavings.

2009_07_26_lunch

Then in the afternoon I had a bit of fun.  You know that cacao-date paste I made yesterday?  And the almonds that didn’t turn into almond milk?  Well I ground the almonds into a butter, mixed it with the date-cacao paste, shaped the mixture into balls and threw them into the freezer.

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Then I went out and bought a bar of President’s Choice Organic 70% dark chocolate.  And melted it.

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After a bit of dipping, rolling, and some chilling in the freezer I ended up with these rather wonderful little truffles.  The white is just condensation since I had just taken them out for the picture.

2009_07_26_truffles

I also used up the little bit of extra chocolate to roll some frozen banana chunks for a snack.  You know, along with licking the spoon and quality control checks and so forth.

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Then, to add to the cocoa bean bonanaza I cooked up a HUGE pot of legumes.  I boiled 1/2 cup each pintos, chickpeas, adzuki, and black beans (which got their own pot to avoid dying everything else).  Then tossed the beans with a bag (~1 cup) each of thawed peas and asparagus from the freezer, a couple scoops of the pesto I made yesterday (maybe 3 T), the zest from a lemon and a lime, juice from half the lime, a pinch of salt, and a handful of parsley.  That big mess made one very large, very tasty bean salad.

2009_07_26_beans

You maybe wondering what I’m going to do with a whole plate of truffles and a ton of beans.  Well my former roommate and her then boyfriend-now husband are about to move to England for grad school, so we’re doing one last dinner and Settlers game night before they disappear.  I’m told there will be soup, and other people are bringing unknown items.  So I’m off for the night, but I’m bringing my camera 🙂

By the way, sometimes you can find smiles in the most unusual of places.  When I went on a mission to go buy chocolate this morning, I also found three bunches of marked down (but still very nice looking) organic bananas, which I hastily added to my basket for freezing purposes.  As I was leaving the grocery store there was a giant, thunderous down pour, and even with an umbrella, I (and everyone on the street at the time) ended up with soaked pants/socks/shoes/shirts/bags.  When I got closer to home, I passed by a homeless man standing on the sidewalk, holding out his hat.  But instead of asking for spare change, I heard “Spare ticket to Maui?”  He made me smile, and while I generally don’t carry cash, I came home with only two bunches of bananas, and he seemed happy.

 

Kawartha Ecological Growers CSA Love July 24, 2009

So before getting on with the food of the day, I have to give a major shout-out to Kat of Kat eats local in Toronto. You see, last Friday I was in a hurry to get to the registrar’s office before they closed, but on the way I passed by a table set up behind Hart House, full of veggies, with a crowd of people around it, and a big price list posted. I heard snippets of conversations that included “you can get either a large share of a small share”, “I have some extras of those you can buy”, “those are reserved for members”, etc.   It sounded like a CSA to me, and I was very intrigued, but like I said, in a hurry so I didn’t stop to investigate, though I had every intention of going back to check it out this week.

Meanwhile, I had left a comment to Kat that I was jealous of her Plan B CSA deliveries (deliveries are virtually impossible in my apartment building and their depots are not at all conveniently located or timed for me). Saturday morning she suggested I check our Kawartha Ecological Growers since they had different pick-up locations. Imagine my delight when I discovered they were the ones at Hart House! So this afternoon I very happily headed back to Hart House to hand over a check and pickup my very first share of goodies. I filled up my bag with beets, spinach, mixed basil, red leaf lettuce, cucumber, broccoli, peas, and raspberries. All organic (or close to organic but not certified), local, and BEAUTIFUL!

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Anyways, on the the food. For breakfast I dug in the fridge for the last of the greens and produced a fabulous chocolate milkshake concoction 🙂 In the mix is Chocolate Spirutein (candy, again), kale, collards, spinach, wheatgrass ice cubes, chia seeds, and a banana. And once again and brought most to work, but enjoyed a little at home with blueberries (chocolate covered blueberries = yum).

2009_07_24_monster

For lunch I fixed up a fabulous salad with romaine, zucchini, yellow pepper, carrot, dulse, pineapple salsa, avocado, and Marti cheese.

2009_07_24_lunch

After work I headed to Simply Bulk to stock up on a few items, and saw they had Peanut Butter Cookie Larabars, so I pounced. I got to Hart House early for the CSA, so I enjoyed a bar and a book in the courtyard of University College while I waited. OMG, this flavour is so GOOD! It seriously tasted just like a PB cookie.

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I also stopped to enjoy the flowers outside of Trinity College.

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And finally, for a very late dinner I did some space clearing in the fridge for my CSA goodies. I fixed up a salad of romaine, zuke, orange pepper, and snow peas tossed with sesame oil and lemon juice. And alongside that I steamed (definitely steamed…) the last of my kabocha, with tomato paste and a peach for dessert. I think the kabocha monster is in need of a dentist, but that’s just my opinion.

2009_07_24_dinner

 

The Most Efficient Pitter July 20, 2009

I made a delicious green monster this morning thanks to the use of a fruit I’ve never blended before, cherries. In the process of pitting the cherries, I figured out the best tool to use to extract the pit it definitely your teeth fater cutting the cherry in half quickly, and your cheeks are the perfect storage locations for the pits so they don’t go flying everywhere. Of course you can only do this if you’re the one who will be eating the fruit, and this method probably shouldn’t be used in polite company, but you have to appreciate the tastiness factor of the food prep stage 😀 The other ingredients were collards greens, wheatgrass ice cubes, and banana.

2009_07_20_monster

For lunch I brought along an S&M salad of romaine, spinach, and zucchini dressed in mashed avocado, lime juice and salt. I threw the dulse/hemp/rosemary/raw cracker topping in a bag to prevent it from getting soggy before lunch, and it turns out I probably should have put the salt in the bag too because my salad was definitely wilted when I pulled it out to eat. I’ve done avocado and juice on lettuce before without it wilting, so I’m guessing it must have been the hygroscopic salt that caused the problem. At least it still tasted good 🙂

2009_07_20_salad

And for snacking I had some tomato, cucumber, and sweet, sweet pineapple.

2009_07_20_snack

When I got home I dipped into the date and almond stash.

2009_07_20_dates

Then I eventually got around to throwing together some dinner.  Somehow I happened on a FANTASTIC combination of flavours while creating kabocha tacos!  Into collard wraps I stuffed tomato paste, slivered leek, big slices of king oyster mushroom, steamed kabocha (sliced thinly to steam faster), and a grating of Marti cheese.  The tomato paste/kabocha/cheese combo was amazing!

2009_07_20_dinner

 

Blend, Baby, Blend and an Impromtu Contest! July 17, 2009

It was so dark out today! Whenever I went to take a picture, the sun was very well hidden, and it kept threatening to start raining (spitting) but never quite came. Or I may have simple changed locations before the rain actually came in some cases.

Anyways, a blender action shot for breakfast. That monster contained a mango, chia seeds, and a whole lot of collard greens.

2009_07_17_monster

For lunch I had a salad mess containing cucumber, asparagus, carrot, red pepper and tomato with a Peach Bourbon BBQ sauce topping.

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And in the afternoon half a pint of raspberries and a banana dissappeared.

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I went to Whole Foods today for the first time in a couple of months, and spent some time browsing, which resulted me in sending too much money, but ending up with lots of fun new things to try. One of those things was a hunk of Marti cheese, which is a raw ewe’s milk cheese that to me tastes kinda like a cross between parmesan and muenster (aka pretty awesome). I used it as a topping for my dinner, a big bowl of blended soup containing zucchini, carrot, lots of red pepper, a couple small dates, thyme, sage, salt, pepper, and olive oil.

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And some honeydew for dessert.

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Another Whole Food purchase that I just tried is Stash Mint green tea powder. It’s made of regular tea leaves that are ground superfine so they dissolve instantly in cold water for iced tea. Unfortunately, I’m really not a fan, I even dumped out the rest of that glass. Though to be honest, I probably should have known I wouldn’t like it given my distaste for matcha green tea. So if you do like matcha, I say give it try, you’ll probably love it 🙂

2009_07_17_tea

So how about a quick, impromptu mini contest? If you do like matcha, or are just curious, leave a comment by Sunday night and I’ll randomly choose 3 people to mail a few packets of Stash Mint Green Tea Powder. I’d like to see some of you readers come out of the woodwork!

 

Feeling a Little Nutty July 15, 2009

A little fruity, a little nutty, it’s been an uninspired day in the realm of my eats. I’ve been busy doing other things and just went with what was fast and easy.

It started off with breakfast. I enjoyed a slice of my roomie’s parent’s homemade zucchini bread (including homegrown zukes and walnuts from my parent’s tree), cherries, and Amazing Grass Superfood (the regular flavour) mixed in homemade vanilla almond milk. I don’t know if it was just the vanilla fooling my taste buds, but I swear this powder tasted like chocolate, when it was just the plain flavour. And that can only be a good thing, right? Two thumbs up for sure.

2009_07_15_breakfast

Later in the morning I enjoyed some sweet honeydew melon.

2009_07_15_honeydew

And for lunch, leftover sprouted amaranth tabouli, with extra parsley added.

2009_07_15_tabouli

And in the afternoon I snacked on some dates and almonds.

2009_07_15_almonddates

Then a super simple dinner of a kale/pineapple/banana green monster.

2009_07_15_monster

And an extra dose of dates and nuts in the form of an awesome Apple Pie Larabar.

2009_07_15_larabar

I really should make some sort of non-produce, non-dried fruit/nut snacky item to keep on hand without worrying about it going bad. And without a dehydrator. Any suggestions?

 

Leftovers Galore July 14, 2009

This morning started out with a sweet and tasty green monster. In the mix was lots of kale, a banana, nectarine, and chia seeds.

2009_07_14_monster

For lunch I repeated my lunch from yesterday (I just made extra yesterday), with a salad mess of broccoli, zucchini, asparagus, red pepper, and a hemp nut butter/lemon/mustard dressing.

2009_07_14_lunch

I had the most wonderful snack, a fresh batch of oatgurt with a peach and a tiny drizzle of maple syrup. Absolutely delicious. And you can tell there are definitely bacteria growing when the lid of the container you put your snack in is puffing out when you go to open it in the afternoon. I’m counting on them being good bacteria considering they haven’t made me sick yet 🙂

2009_07_14_oatgurt

For dinner I used the rest of my sprouted amaranth mixed with tahini and lemon juice to make a tabouli type deal with parsley, sage, tomato, and carrot. It’s really good, plus there are even more leftovers for lunch tomorrow!

2009_07_14_dinner

And cherries for dessert.

2009_07_14_cherries