Plentiful Plants

Daily eats of a Torontonian student

Mango Mint Madness June 8, 2009

Note to self: Catch up on sleep tonight.

After thoroughly enjoying the movie One Week last night, which made me want to take a road trip across the country, or at least to Northern Ontario, where I’ve never been, it took forever to fall asleep. Which meant I was very reluctant to get up this morning. But my green monster started to wake me up by the time I left for work. In the mix was banana, mango, chia seeds, chocolate mint, and a couple handfuls of spinach. Om nom nom…

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Later in the morning I snacked on these biscotti thins that were found in the work kitchen. Well, technically I ate a different package, and brought these home for a picture…and because they were really good.

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For lunch I brought the left over steamed broccoli and kabocha, sprinkled with soy sauce, along with a carrot and celery. And a Devil Dawg, which the cubicle-mate tried and loved and requested the recipe for 🙂

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And for and afternoon snack there was handful of snow peas with bean dip, and the rest of the Saturn peaches.

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Then finally, for dinner I had a giant spin-zuke-shroom salad doused in BBBV.

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Plus a delicious homemade (not by me) peanut butter granola bar. Only half of it made it onto the plate though, the crumbly bits went directly from bag to mouth.

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Steamy Creamy Kaboch-y June 7, 2009

So last night I had some breakfat/dinner after a few hours of evening napping before heading to work.  I experimented a bit with my greens and found some beets greens in the freezer which I used to make pancakes.  I used the same recipe from last weekend but subbed ~ 2/3 cup thawed beet greens for the other veggies. I think I used an extra T of cornmeal too, because I didn’t bother looking up my own recipe, and it was too long ago now for me to clearly remember what I did last night. This new combo turned out really well, especially topped with a mixture of yogurt and black bean dip. And on the side was a Devil Dawg patty and about twice the number of strawberries that made it onto the plate.

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When I got home in the morning I was starving, so I finished off the strawberries topped with yogurt and some freeze-dried strawberry filled granola I found in a bulk bin. Then I had another bowl of just the granola because I was hungry and tired and too lazy to get up and get something else.

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After a badly needed shower and doing laundry (subway tunnels are dirty, dirty places) I napped for a bit and woke up hungry again, so I finished off the granola, then discovered a fantastic flavour combination in a half a pita spread with hemp seed butter and homemade strawberry jam.

2009_06_07_pita

That snack held me over nicely until a more reasonable dinner hour when I set my steamer to work again on a pile of kabocha and broccoli. Plus I stirfried some shitake mushrooms and snow peas in a bit of soy sauce. Kabocha is GOOD. I also think it may also be what my dad actually planted the year the buttercup squashes were tastier then usual. I’ve already requested collards greens for the garden this year, now I’ll need to see if there’s still time to plant kabocha!

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And for dessert I dug into some of the cutest peaches ever.

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I dare you to pass by Saturn peaches in the grocery store and NOT buy them! The pits are so tiny, peanut sized!

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The Other, Other Red Meat June 6, 2009

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So thins morning I went on an adventure. I finally figured out how to get onto the Don Valley Trail so I followed it up from the Riverdale Park entrance to Taylors Bush Park, then left the expressway behind and crossed the park over to Victoria Park Avenue. Then I took the subway part of the way home, stopping to pick up a few more groceries.

Before leaving I had a quick and delicious breakfast, Crunchy Peanut Butter Clif bar. Can I say YUM? This is a serious rival to Carrot Cake as my favourite Clif flavour, so peanutty.

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My very first design project in university was to analyze and design a replacement for this bridge. Oh what I could tell you about the Prince Edward Viaduct….

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There were lots of these flowers all along the valley.

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And little rapids in some spots.

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Giant planters by the DVP.

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And creek flowing over the path making a mini waterfall (there was a bridge a few meters away).

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When I got home I was hungry for a banana, straight up.

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Then I set to work on this week’s BSI recipe, featuring red bell peppers. I started by roasting two smallish red peppers under the broiler for about 10 minutes.

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Then peeling them. Beautiful.

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Then I made excellent use of the roasty result to make Smoky Roasted Red Pepper Seitan Sausages. However, I was making up the recipe a bit as I was going along, and the final product ended up reminding both me and the roomie of hot dogs (he actually made the suggestion first as they were steaming). So they’ve earned the nick name Devil Dawgs.

The ingredients:

1.5 cups gluten flour
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 roasted red peppers (about 2/3 cup)
1 T chili powder
1/2 T cinnamon
1/2 T maple syrup
1/2 T light soy sauce
1/2 t liquid smoke
~8 cloves roasted garlic (aka. all I had left in the fridge)
sprig each of rosemary and thyme

All the ingredients except the gluten and yeast went into a measuring cup, which I then filled up to the 1 cup line with water, then dumped into the blender for a twirl (no, not the cup itself).

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Then I combined the gluten and yeast, and added the liquids. And kneaded for a couple of minutes (kneading gluten feels it so fun). I discovered we’re out of aluminum foil, so I used wax paper instead to wrap the dough, which I divided into 8 peices. Some were sausage shaped, some were just patties.

And they took a 30 minute trip to the steamer (aka colander that fits nicely in a large pot with a few inches of boiling water).

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The wax paper doesn’t have the tensile strength of aluminum, so most of the sausages burst open as they steamed, and they weren’t wrapped very tightly to begin with, which lead to not-so-pretty shapes, but the seitan was nice and fluffy and delicious 🙂  The sweet peppers and maple with the chili and smoke really does taste like a hot dog, perfect summer recipe! The roomie informed me I would have to teach him how to make it.

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For lunch/dinner I had one of the patties in a pita with spinach, mustard, and relish. Along with a pile of carrot and celery sticks, and dollop of bean dip, and a few juicy lychees. The dip was a quick mix of 1.5 C black beans, juice of 1 lemon, a clove of raw garlic, and a spoon of hemp nut butter. A wonderful meal.

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Now I need a sleep before taking a midnight hammer to the subway tracks.  Enough with the mammoth posts already!

 

Jiggle in a Wigglin’ Spree May 22, 2009

As promised, last night there was spice cake, with maple icing even. Don’t mind the flat appearance of the cake, my roomie bought an old cookbook from the 1930s and made a few radical substitutions. He used whole wheat pastry flour instead of white (though we were wondering if they even had white flour back then), and he used 1T butter plus 1 1/4 cups 1% milk instead of 1 cup cream and 1/4 cup milk. So while the wasn’t very light and fluffy, it did taste absolutely delicious. And the icing recipe called for Log Cabin Syrup, but we upgraded it to maple, which was fantastic with the spice cake 🙂

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This morning I started out with a SUPER strong green monster. I wanted to actually drink it at home, instead of bringing it with me to work, and I want to have enough room left over to enjoy part two of breakfast, so I used the usual amount of kale (3-4 leaves), a foot long sprig of mint, only half a banana (instead of 1 plus a few chunks of other fruit), 1 T of chia seeds (instead of 2), and enough water to make a bit over a cup of green monster (instead of 3-4 cups). Let’s just say it was a bit stronger than I anticipated, but I drank it.

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And I was still hungry enough to fully enjoy this big plateful of watermelon chunks (that didn’t fit into the big container destined for the fridge nor the bag for the freezer, so obviously it had to ALL be eaten this morning).

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For lunch I had delicious (and out of focus) spinach salad topped with beets, carrot, and Back to Basics Balsamic Vinaigrette.

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When I got home from work in the middle of the afternoon I had an extra sliver of spice cake…or two.

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And for dinner I had another salad that did an excellent job of cleaning out the fridge at the end of the week. This one was a base of romaine, spinach, and hidden broccoli sprouts which I piled high with grape tomatoes, two fried eggs, “grilled” portobello mushroom, and lots citrusy bean dip (in order to finish the container). I grilled the mushrooms in a sandwich maker, and it worked surprisingly well (though no grill marks), I’m glad I had that idea. It helped that the mushrooms happened to be bread slice sized to start with.

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And another idea I’m glad I had produced a lovely dessert I’m enjoy right now. Stash Goji Berry Green Tea + gelatin + agave nectar = wiggly jiggly goodness. This might become my go-to summer dessert, it’s pretty awesome. I started out by mixing the agave with the tea + gelatin, but the jello didn’t taste very sweet after it had set. So I mashed up the jello a little with my spoon and stirred in a drizzle more of agave, which gives the perfect amount of sweetness surrounding each bit. Next time, I’ll skip the agave in the jello and just add it at the end. I’d love to get my hands on some coconut chai to make jello out of, that sounds really good to me.

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And I’m planning on a bit of chocolate later, Green and Black’s Milk Chocolate to be exact.

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Unfortunately, it looks like I’m going to have to sit out of this week’s BSI over at Say Yes to Salad, I can’t find kabocha ANYWHERE! I’ll have to try one more time tomorrow and go up to Whole Foods.  I did puchase (what I hope will be) a pretty awesome new food though.  But you have to wait til tomorrow to see it 🙂

 

Ready to Dance? May 21, 2009

This morning I woke up to the tastiest of green monsters, kale, banana. pineapple, and chia seeds. Then I proceeded to waste some time attempting to take a more interesting than usual picture of the drink with a pouring action shot. I think I failed. I had no time to arrange things for proper lighting or camera propage.

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Later in the morning I dug into two Activia yogurts. And you can multiple this photo by two to represent the yogurts I had before going to sleep last night. So creamy and good.

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For lunch I fixed up a giant salad. It started with baby spinach, carrot, cucumber, grape tomatos, and broccoli sprouts. Then it was topped with steamed edamame and broccoli. And it was finished with a giant dollop of citrusy bean dip. Perfect mix of flavours and textures (though now that I think about it, I could have added some crunchy nuts).

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And late in the afternoon I dug into my favourite Clif bar, Carrot Cake.

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Dinner was engineered as a way to consume a condiment I just had to make. It started with reading about some one else “lovin” the recipe, and was meant to be when I got home and my roomie told me he made it for lunch and it was amazing. The Back to Basics Balsamic Vinegrette from ED&BV. I used almond oil and maple syrup, and it was truly delicious, my taste buds were pleased. The chosen dressing vehicle was boiled beets and tofu. The beets were particularly wonderful. And as a side note, my roomie made the Savoury French (Puy) Lentils for dinner, and I had a bit, and they were also pretty fantastic. He’s been busy copying recipes into his notebook….

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I’ve also been told there are plans to make a spice cake tonight, so I’m saving room for a little dessert later.

On the way home something mildly exciting happened. I saw Sunny Fong (aka. winner of the last season of Project Runway Canada). I stood beside him on the bus, then followed him onto the subway. Well, I didn’t actually follow him, I even stopped to buy next week’s metropass, but he must have been held up somewhere else because I ended up right behind him again on the escalator down to the platform. I wasn’t even entirely sure it was him, because he had a cold so his voice is scratchy when he was talking to his friend beside him, and he was wearing big sunglasses, but the hair was the same, and I checked the tatoos once I got home and they did indeed match. And that’s my fun story for the day.

Now who’s ready for some summer television goodness?  So You Think You Can Dance starts tonight!

 

What do you mean I need to go to work today? May 20, 2009

So it’s been a whole week since I went to the office, but this morning I had to go all the way up to work and spend the sitting in my cubicle. Don’t get me wrong, I like the work I get to do at the office (when I actually get work to do), but it was fun to do something more active and involved last week will doing the site inspection. At least we’re going to start inspecting another subway station soon, and it’ll take longer because we’re doing the WHOLE station instead of a couple of pedestrian passageways. Plus the station is even closer to home for me, I’ll probably just walk there 🙂
Before heading our for the commute this morning I crunched on a carrot with sunflower seed butter (which was amazing, I need to remember to eat this more often) as well as a Ginger Snap Larabar. I loved this bar, it has to be my favourite so far. I’ve been meaning to by ground ginger forever, and this bar will likely remind me to do it this weekend so I can replicate it.

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For lunch I reverted back to the salad mess (can you tell I’m likeing these?). This incarnation contained caulifower, orange pepper, canned salmon, broccoli sprouts, and citrusy bean dip. Broccoli sprouts + bean dip = brilliant.

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I also brought along the (somewhat) daily green monster. This mix included spinach, kale, chocolate mint, chia seeds, banana, mango, and a few frozen grapes.   But I never got aroung to drinking it a work, so I’m having it for dinner instead.  Minty, fruity love.

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I did also have a 100 calorie pack of shortbread cookies from a very large pile in the kitchen at work for lunch dessert.  I doubt I’ll get hungry again before I go to bed, but if I do I’ll tack it onto tomorrow’s post.  My computer keeps telling me it want’s to turn itself off to update, so I’m taking it as a sign to read a novel for the rest of the evening.

 

I passed! May 19, 2009

I passed the first test I’ve had in over a year!  Not that I was expecting to fail or anything, it was for a safety training course, multiple choice, and not exactly designed to make you fail.  But it’s fun to hear that I passed anyway, and to earn a new sticker for my hard hat.  And to get a pretty cool tour around and subway yard, including checking out the bottom of a subway car.

Breakfast this morning started with RED monster.  I blended up the stalks from my beet greens, a tomato, chia seeds, raspberries, grapes, and a Nutribiotic Mixed Berry Brown Rice Protein Powder packet.  Besides, being a fun electric pink, it was pretty good…after I added a big spoonful of maple syrup.  The beet green stalks were fine, but let’s just say I’m never adding a tomato again.  Luckily, the extra sugar solved the acidic problem.  I guess I still don’t like tomato juice after all these years.

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For lunch I brought a bagel-wich filled with avocado, tofu marinated in liquid smoke, and citrusy bean dip.  I was trying to go for a bacon type effect like actual smoked tofu (Pete’s really does taste like bacon), and while I didn’t really get it, the liquid smoke was still really good in the sandwich.

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I also packed some red pepper strips and a Chocolate Chip Clif bar (which I shared with the cubicle-mate who was also doing the training session).

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For dinner I fixed up two salads.  One featured a new vegetable for me, broccoli sprouts.

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I chopped up some romaine and carrots and topped them with the sprouts, and a big dollop of citrusy bean dip mixed with avocado.  The sprouts were really good.  They were a bit peppery, which went perfectly with the creamy dip.  Toronto sprouts has some pretty cool mixes, and I get the impression they’re quite widely available in the GTA (I bought mine from Loblaws, but I see them in most of the smaller health food stores around too). Though, their own store has just closed because they’re moving to a bigger location.

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The second salad was a fruity one. I chopped up honeydew, mango, (frozen) pineapple, banana, raspberries, and blueberries, then drizzled the bowl with a little agave syrup, simply delicious.

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