Plentiful Plants

Daily eats of a Torontonian student

Fruits and Peanuts June 13, 2009

…is all I ate today….well, almost…apparently sleeping in messes up my eating habits…

For breakfast, the trail mix fest started with a nectarine, strawberries, and some tasty roasted peanuts.

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And a bit later there was a medjool stuffed with almond butter.

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Then a series of snacks throughout the afternoon, since I didn’t really feel like preparing a proper meal. I had a juicy slice of mango.

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About 3 times this many dried papaya chunks.

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More peanuts, the evidence.

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I broke the pattern a bit by pulling out the sandwich maker and sliding a bit of dill havarti between two bread slices.

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And I made a nice refreshing treat, which I enjoyed while reading outside on my apartment building’s patio, and works wonderfully with this week’s BSI ingredient over at The Ungourmet, watermelon.

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Watermelon Ice Cream
. Twas beyond simple. I had some watermelon chunks in the freezer from the last melon I bought, so I threw ~ 3 cups of big chunks into the blender with ~1/3 cup plain, unsweetened soy milk, and blended until smooth. Absolutely delicious, and refreshing.

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Then I just spent 1/2 and hour listing around the kitchen thinking I should make a salad or something for appearances sake, but realized I’m really not hungry, so I probaby shouldn’t. I promise, I’ll come up with something more entertaining tomorrow!

 

The Other, Other Red Meat June 6, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — plentifulplants @ 4:28 pm
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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!

 

Mildly Fantastic May 30, 2009

Happy Weekend Bloggies!

This morning I started out with a deliciously murky green monster.  In the mix was kale, and apple, chia seeds, cocoa powder, and PB2.

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That moster provided excellent fuel for a morning of grocery shopping in which I picked up this week’s BSI ingredient, corn!  I bought one cob and proceeded to make the most amazing lunch ever!  I’ve had a jar of Simply Natural Pineapple Salsa sitting in the pantry for months but have been scared to try it because I’m not a huge fan of spicy, and store bought salsa tends to be too hot for me.  But Sophia‘s BSI choice provided the inspration to try it out.  So I took a look at what I had on hand and came up with what turned out to be a fantastically awesome (in my opinion at least) recipe for Corn Pancakes.

The ingredients for 4 3-inch pancakes (aka 1 serving):

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1/4 cup spelt flour (I’m sure regular whole wheat, or even ground oats would work too)
1 T cornmeal
1/2 t baking powder
3 egg whites (100g), lightly beaten
1/3 cup corn (1/2 the ear, fresh as it can be coming from the USA, raw, but frozen should work just as well)
1/4 cup diced red pepper
1/4 cup chopped chives (I keep a bag of them in the freezer)
a dash of salt

plus avocado and salsa for toppings (the salsa is a must, avocado good but optional)

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Mix the powdery ingredients together, then add the egg whites, salt and veggies.  The batter will be pretty thin, but it puffed up enough in the pan to surround the veggie pieces.  Then cook in a pan like any other pancake, and plate with toppings.

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The pancakes were great, the salsa was awesome (and actually mild, yay!), and together they made an fantastic lunch.  I loved the sweet bursts of corn in every bite.  If you’re not going to use salsa as a topping, I suggest adding more seasonings to the pancakes themselves along the lines of chili powder or onion, or else they might be a bit plain, but with salsa, the dish was perfect.

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The perfect bite.

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Then later in the afternoon I tried out a dessert I picked up for the first time because it was on sale for a ridiculously low price and I needed to satisfy my curiousity.  A Skinny Cow ice cream sandwich.  It was so good!  I haven’t tried them before because I figured, being a low-fat ice cream concoction, they would taste pretty weird like the other one’s I’ve tried in the past, but this succeeded in tasting like real ice cream!  I almost want to go back to the store tomorrow to see if they have any left so I can stock up for the summer.

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Now I’m off the meet some friends for a sushi dinner, so I’ll be back tomorrow 🙂

 

Like a Hippie May 23, 2009

I felt like such a hippie buying this yesterday.

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Check out that protein!

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In order to truely try out this new food for the first time, I ate some straight up for breakfast.

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I have to say Raw Hemp Nut Butter is okay.  I’m not crazy about it plain, but I can see it being good mixed into things.  It smells a bit peanutty, but the flavour is very earthy and creamy.  It seems like it’s well suited to savoury applications like tahini.  I’m looking forward to experimenting with it at least.

The rest of my breakfast was a tasty smooth green monster.  This fruity mix included kale, chia seeds, banana,  pineapple, and a lime.  I love the lime addition every time I do it.

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For lunch I was a bit flummoxed as to what I wanted, so I started out with a fruit salad.  In the bowl is strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, peach, and watermelon.  I can’t believe I paid $4/lb for a peach.  But I was craving new summery fruit, and at least it was organic, from the States as opposed to Chile, and tasted awesome!  I love drupes.

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After that sweet mix I decided I wanted oatmeal, so I cooked up a serving with water and topped it with more sweetness, Danone Activia Red Fruits and Cereals yogurt. Mmmm…

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In the afternoon I snacked on some highly amusing cheese.  Someone ripped a bag open in the grocery store so the individual packets were marked down for super cheap.

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For dinner I fished out a serving of Coconut Curry Shepard’s Pie from the freezer.  It doesn’t look very pretty, but it still tasted good.

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And I finished off the night with another sweet note, a bowlful of wonderful watermelon.

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Brought to you by the letter… May 17, 2009

B!  I noticed an unintentional theme to today while going back through my photos, beets, banana, beans, berries, bagel, balsalmic…  I seemed to be going through a certain section of the dictionary and eating all edible entries!

Let’s start off with another letter B, BSI: Bananas, courtsey of Lara at Thinspired. For breakfast this morning I fixed myself a beautiful bowl Banana Breakfast Pudding, which I originally accidentally made here. The recipe is simple, one banana, 1/3 package (~1/2 cup) soft silken tofu, 2-3 T water, and 1/3 cup oatmeal. Immersion blender, plus toppings = delicious 🙂

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Though I would like to add a note that the quick cooking oats I used the first time blended more smoothly than the old-fashioned kind I used today. And my toppings of choice were raspberries and honeydew, sweet and summery.

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For lunch I did a bit of chopping and trimming and came up with a fresh and flavourful salad of steamed green beans and beet root dressing with yogurt, apple cider vinegar, and tarragon. And on the side were two apricots that I picked up this morning, simply because they amused me in their extreme pointyness and non-fuzzyness (that are unfortunately a bit lost in the 2D photo). They were surprisingly too, apparently they’re “the first of the season”.

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In the afternoon I snacked on half a bagel spread with strawberry, blackberry, and acai jam.

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And a piece of chocolate. Cocoa Camino is awesome chocolate, but they could have added a few more (and larger) nut and berry pieces. Though the full size bar might have larger chunks in it, I may have to investigate that some time.

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I was especially excited for dinner today after buying the beets in the morning. I usually don’t buy beets, because later in the summer I can easily get my fill for free from the parent’s garden, plus typically, I don’t even eat the root (that’s what compost piles are for, right?), just the greens, and grocery store beets tend to have pathetic greens. But today, I found a giant pile of beets sitting in the organic produce section with lots of BEAUTIFUL greens, and before I could even think about it, I found a bunch in my basket!

So for dinner tonight I sauteed the greens with sweet onion, tofu, olive oil, and a giant handful of parsley, thyme, and sage. Plus I pan “grilled” a portabello mushroom with balsamic vinegar and topped it with herbed goat cheese and tomato slices. Best dinner in a long time, the beet greens were so good!

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And I did a even did a good job of trimming up my bountiful window herb garden. It’s grown a bit in the past three weeks, hadn’t it? I’ve even been cutting away at it before today…

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And now for what will surely be a good Desperate Housewives finale, and getting ready to NOT go to work tomorrow, yay!

 

BSI: Cherries Entry May 9, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — plentifulplants @ 2:18 pm
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I hope this isn’t too late to be entered into this week’s BSI over at Simply Fabulous Now.  Leah might have to deduct points though for my being a bad student and not paying close enough attention to due dates ;_;

So this exclusive BSI entry must be a quick one.  The recipe of choice is Cherry Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies.  I based a recipe off of one I’ve been using for a while for fairly healthy cookies.  Ive made them as trail mix cookies, chocolate candy cane, and now a super tasty chocolate cherry combination.

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The recipe for 12 cookies:

  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup wheat bran
  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 25 g dried cherries (3 T?), chopped
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 2 T cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 3 T agave nectar (I’ve also used honey in the past)
  • 2 T water

And the directions are the standard mix wet, mix dry, mix together, make into cookie shapes on pan (they don’t spread), and bake for ~15 minutes at 325.  The batter will be quite wet, but it ends up with nice soft cookies so it’s alright.

Friends and roomie approved for all incarnations 🙂

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Come back later for more new food, and awesome baked (but not by me) goods.

 

A glorious morning BSI April 26, 2009

This morning I was excited for my BSI:almonds breakfast entry after waiting for it for most of yesterday.  I wanted to try to make a raw food type bread, but I don’t have a proper dehydrator, so I knew it wouldn’t be actually raw, which I’m okay with, because it’s still delicious.  So may I present:

Morning Glory Bread

Ingredients (I used the official weights in brackets):

  • 1/2 a small pinapple (350 g)
  • 2 carrots (135 g)
  • 1 apple (100 g)
  • 1 cup almonds (95 g)
  • 1/3 cup raisins (60 g)
  • 5 T dried unsweetened coconut (30 g)
  • zest of one orange (15 g)
  • 1 T cinnamon

Directions:

I grated the carrots, pureed the pineapple, apple and orange zest, and roughly ground the almonds, then mixed everything together, and spread the mixture out on a lightly greased, aluminum foil covered cookie sheet.  Then I dried the mix in the oven set at ~175 (below the 200 marking on the dial) for ~6 hours.

The recipe divided up in 6 servings worked out to about 50 g of bread per serving after drying with 210 calories, 11 g fat, 26 g carbs, 6 g fibre, 15 g sugar, 5 g protein.

I tore up a slice of the bread over a bowlful of plain yogurt mixed with leftover pineapple puree for breakfast and it was delicious.  I gave some to the roomie and a friend of ours that came over in the afternoon and they both love it too.  My friend even said it tasted like her mom’s carrot cake.  I’m definitely happy with this kitchen experiment 🙂

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For lunch I had a red leaf lettuce salad topped with a mix of carrot, lentils, green pepper and asparagus edamummus.  And a handfull of dill pickles.  And the rest of the yogurt and pineapple (without bread), but I’m not including the picture because this post already has enough pictures coming and I’ll spare you the scrolling.

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In the afternoon I had a taste of Godiva chocolate liqueur our friend brought over (just a couple of sample bottles) mixed with Natura unsweetened soy milk, so tasty, especially in the mini martini glass.

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And had many cups of (Golden Mint Tea Co. Monk’s Blend aka Pomegranate Vanilla) tea in the cutest mug ever that I found in the dollar store (go year of the tiger!).

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For dinner we threw a bunch of stuff into the oven, asparagus tossed in balsamic vinegar, sweet potato fries, and striped bass with orange juice concentrate and dried dill.

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Then dessert was a piece of this Theobroma dark chocolate, more yum.

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Then I got hungry for a snack so I pulled a slice of ezekiel bread fom the freezer, toasted it, ans spread on some strawberry, blackberry, and acai jam and sunflower seed butter.

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And now I am munching on a russet apple before getting ready for bed.

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And because I promised yesterday, these are the herbs I bought and planted yesterday. First is the big box filled with parsley, sage, golden thyme, rosemary, and tarragon.

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Then there’s the chocolate mint.  I tested a leaf before I bought it, and it tastes AMAZING, exactly like mint chocolate!  Can’t wait to use it, I’m thinking it’ll make an excellent green monster ingredient.

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And I also upgraded the container size for my spider plant.  It’s roots had started growing out of the drainage hole of it’s old container.  The yogurt is a much better fit.  I also cleaned and rearranged my room today, making a good spot to put plants by the south facing window.  I’m considering trying to grow cherry tomatoes…I know I’ll need to pollinate them myself, but has any one tried planting these indoors before?

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And finally I found this old school entertainment in the laundry room.

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