Plentiful Plants

Daily eats of a Torontonian student

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

Relishing Retinol June 11, 2009

There was only one thing missing after watching So You Think You Can Dance last night, no voting! My roomie and I had a a lot of fun actually voting during SYTYCD Canada last summer (after all, it was free). But it did mean I actually got to bed quickly after it was done instead of staying up to hit redial a bunch of times until I actually got through.

This morning I got up and was hungry for a green monster. It wasn’;y as mucky as yesterday’s, but not quite green either. In the super tasty mix was spinach, banana, blueberries, chia seeds, and Nutribiotics Mixed Berry Rice protein powder.

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For lunch I packed up the rest of the baked kabocha. I think I need to go buy some more this weekend, it’s so good. And stuffed in the empty spaces is snow peas.

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And also a sliced up devil dawg, carrots, and honeydew. I’m not lacking in the vitamin A department today, that’s for sure. At work I also had a handful of the cubicle-mate’s erroneously unflavoured Kashi crackers.

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And then, just as I was finishing dinner preparations the roomie came home with his parents and there was a kerfluffle of visiting and helping unpacking stuff, so while I thought I took a picture of my plate, my camera tells me otherwise.  But I had a zucchini/snow pea/black bean salad with yogurt/mustard/chive dressing along with a steamed sole fillet and half a whole wheat pita.  Very tasty, though the picture wouldn’t have been very nice anyways since it’s dark and rainy out (boo!).

 

Goopy Sludge and Recognition June 10, 2009

Let’s try and make this quick, I’ve got some SYTYCD waiting for me 🙂

Goopy sludge # 1 of the day, green brown monster.  On the fruit side I chose banana, peach, and frozen raspberries.  And since I knew the raspberries would muddle the monster anyways, the green side was covered by leftover beet greens that had been hidden in the fridge and almost forgotten about, plus a little spinach, and chia seeds.  1/2 cup of cooked greens looks so small but packs a lot of punch!

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My late morning snack consisted of a Chocolate Chip Peanut Crunch Clif bar.  It was good, very cookie like, the peanuts were a nice addition without being in-your-face peanutty like the peanut butter flavour.  I would have been even happier with more chocolate chips though.

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I was weird and swapped lunch and afternoon snack in the timing scheme of things since the clif bar did a good job of filling me up.  At lunch time I had a container of honeydew and blueberries.

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Then later in the afternoon I dipped my way through goopy sludge #2 of the day.  I food processor-ized black beans, chili paste, PB2, lime juice, soy sauce, and a bit of water for a tasty spread.

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And the dippers were carrot, cucumber, zucchini, and celery.

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For dinner I started off with more honeydew (it’s a big melon, and really tasty!) and kiwi while I was waiting on the oven.

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Then I had a fantastic serving of freshly baked kabocha, to which I added soy sauce when I got down to the  outer skin layer in order to make it super fabulous.

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And along side that was amaranth pilaf.  I found amaranth a while ago from the bulk bins, and finally decided to cook it up with onion, parsley and thyme that got caramellized first before adding the grains and water.  They’re so cute and tiny!  And the pilaf had a fun chewy texture.  Although there was a slight bitter taste, so I think I was supposed to rinse the amaranth first, like you would quinoa.  At least I know for next time, and it was still pretty good.

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And the recognition part of the day.  Every day I wake up and  look out my window to see a large billbord that is usually adorned with an advertisement for some CTV show.  Last year I wanted to ripe my eyes out a little bit after waking to Addison Sheppard for four months.  For the past few (3?) months the billboard has been bugging me because I didn’t know what show it was advertising.  I figure the title was hidden somehow in the gibberish behind the guy’s head but I could never pick it out.  This morning I was looking at the gibberish again and had a feeling I had seen it somewhere else recently.  I suddenly came to the realization that the advertisment is for The Listener!  Now I’m wondering why the sign has been up for months when the show only started airing last week (although apparently NBC aired it in March)…

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So Complicated June 4, 2009

I discovered today that my weekend is about to get complicated, but for a slightly fun reason. I get to do a track level inspection at a subway station. At 2am Sunday morning when the subway stops running -.-, because being electrocuted by the third rail while dragging a metal chain around and hammering at concrete is NOT fun. So I need to play with my sleep schedule a bit in the coming days…good thing I’ve had experience, being an engineering student and all.

My breakfast this morning have a sunny tropical theme, pina colada green monster! In the mix is kale, chia seeds, Nutribiotics plain rice protein, a little banana, pineapple, and a sprinkle of coconut. Hit the spot.

2009_06_04_monster

For lunch I made more progress on the bunch of celery sitting in the fridge by chopping it with some cucumber to make a salad bed. The toppings were black beans, avocado, salsa, lime juice, and yogurt. I’m out of peppers and carrots *tear*.

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There was also a pita and half a Maple Nut Clif bar.

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And cherries!

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For dinner I look in the seemingly mono-coloured fridge and fixed a boston lettuce salad topped with cucumber, avocado, and black beans. Plus a slash of orange in the form of juice concentrate from the freezer and a little raspberry red wine vinegar.

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And for dessert I’m taking this bowl of dried fruit salad with me for SYTYCD viewing, pineapple, peach, medjool, blueberries, and cherry flavoured craisins. And probably The Listener as well since I got sucked into it last night after unexpectedly seeing it was filmed in Toronto (Colm Feore in Trinity College = awesome!).

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Herb Overload June 3, 2009

I started my day with something a little bit different this morning. Pizza! My breakfast pizza featured an egg white crust, a little jarred pasta sauce, fresh sage, and a piece of Balderson 2 year old cheddar. It was very tasty after I removed some sage, that fresh stuff sure is strong!

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Accompanying my pizza was a small bowl of Kashi Flakes and Granola cereal with soy milk and banana.

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For lunch I fixed up a salad mess with celery, carrot, red pepper, black beans, yogurt, chives, and parsley. And I managed to assualt my taste buds again with a little too much parsley combined with the strongly flavoured outer ribs of a bunch of celery. Whoa! Along side the crunchy salad was a pita.

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Lunch dessert was a repeat from yesterday, cherries and cukes.

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In the afternoon my tastebuds recovered from a savoury overload with an awesometastic Coconut Cream Pie Larabar. I’ve never seen this flavour in stores before, so when I noticed it I grabbed one based on many other blogger’s raves about it. OH MY WORD it is GOOD! So soft and creamy and coconutty!

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For dinner I didn’t feel like cooking, and went a super simple route. Peanut butter, banana, and honey pita sandwich.  And I felt like a kid again.  Vegetables, what are those?

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Best of Both Worlds June 2, 2009

This morning I was faced with a tough decision. I want both a green monster, and oatmeal. But not blended oats, I wanted something chewy. So I came up with what turned out to be a fantastically delicious compromise. I blended kale, a banana, vanilla, a couple spoonfuls of yogurt, and a splash of soy milk as a base. The I cooked up some oat bran in water and added it to the bowl. Then I sprinkled the lot with chia seeds and crumbled frozen raspberries. Then after the picture I stirred it all up (with some more berries) and let it sit while I cleaned up the kitchen. When I came back to the bowl I was treated to the most wonderful rice pudding like concoction. It was even the prefect temperature, I like my rice pudding chilled, and the frozen berries worked wonderfully to cool the oats to slightly below room temp. My stomach was happy this morning.

2009_06_02_breakfast

For lunch I fixed up a whole whack of lettuce wraps. I stuffed big crunchy boston lettuce leaves with a can of sardines and leftover salad topping from yesterday (carrot, cucumber, zucchini, red pepper, asparagus, BBBV). A bit messy to eat, but very tasty, and there were napkins close by.

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And afternoon snackage was accomplished with a bowful of sweet cherries and crunchy cukes.

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When I got home I steamed a pile of broccoli, dug into my container of black beans, and combined them with avocado, parsley and salsa to make a tasty, messy bowl of dinner.

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And to finish the day there was a delightful ice cream sandwich.

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Nutty Snacks June 1, 2009

It was a dark and cloudy start to the week. At least until after I took pictures of my lunch. The sun was starting to come out by the time I had thrown together some breakfast. In the bowl is Allbran, Dorset Fruits, Nuts and Seeds Cereal, and soy milk. And on the side are some wonderfully sweet cherries (love!).

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For lunch I chopped up a giant salad. There was spring mix topped with carrot, cucumber, zucchini, red pepper, black beans, asparagus, and BBBV.

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Plus there were snacks, yogurt with blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, and walnuts.

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And later a Ruth’s Lemon Hazelnut bar. I think this is one of my all time favourite bars, love the crunchy nuts.  Although, I’m perfectly willing to give new bars a try, especially Fullbars, if I win them in Krista’s Contest!

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For dinner I went a simple and protein filled route. I found some ground turkey in the freezer and turned it into a burger wrapped in a tortilla with spring mix, lots of pickles, ketchup, and mustard. And there were a couple of medjool dates stuffed with sunflower seed butter for dessert which escaped the camera.

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I did see something that made me a little happy today though. Today a city-wide mandatory 5 cent fee for plastic bags came into effect. I walk by a grocery store just outside the exit from the subway on my way home from work, and today there were quite a few people stuffing items into their purses or carrying boxes and bottles in their hands. I mean, do you really need a second bag to carry a sleeve of bagels?  It made me happy that the fee was actually working to make them save the plastic instead of taking the convenient route and taking the bag. It doesn’t effect me because I already grocery shop with my reusable bag anyways (or stick things in my shoulder bag). Now I just hope everybody doesn’t start amassing huge collections of the heavier bags that don’t really end up saving much plastic. I only need two, and already rarely use the second one, because that’s the number of hands I have anyways.