Plentiful Plants

Daily eats of a Torontonian student

Choco Power! May 9, 2009

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This morning I took a trip to St. Lawrence Market first thing to check out what was up for grabs (and to replenish my supply of chia seeds so I can bring back the green monster breakfasts). I was very happy to see more local produce available AND I found some excellent items to try for the CCV/K New Foods Challenge in order to redeem my papaya ordeal.

But first, before setting off I had an apple.

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I bought two new-to-me items, which get extra points in my books for being wild and foraged. Fiddleheads and wild leeks. I took my finds home with me and got to work on brunch. The internet had me paranoid about poisoning myself with the fiddle heads, so I boiled them first, then tossed them into a pan to sautee with the wild leeks, some portobello mushroom, and a little butter. The result was DELICIOUS (but would have looked nicer without the black mushroom…). I really liked the fiddleheads, they had a nice creamy texture with an artichokey-broccoli stalkish flavour. The leeks were what I expected, mild and tasty, but expensive enough that I’d rather just buy green onions. But I do hope the fiddleheads are still around next week. I also scrambled a couple eggs in the pan after the ferns were finished.

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Then for brunch dessert, despite knowing what was to come in the afternoon, I enjoyed one of the Cherry Chocolate Oatmeal cookies I made for my BSI entry this morning. After all, even though I had used the recipe before, I had to make sure this version turned out well before posting the recipe, didn’t I? It was a success.

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Now what was to come? Cake delivery! Ricky of Diet, Desserts and Dogs brought me this beautiful chocolate cake with sweet potato/orange icing that I won from here contest a while back. Thank you so much Ricky, it was great to meet you and HH!

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A few of my roomie and I’s friends came over this afternoon and we enjoyed cake and Wii Mario Party to celebrate the end of exams/some people’s graduations/grad school acceptances/and summer in general. I thoroughly enjoyed a slice. And then another, as did every one else. The cake was just so good, moist and perfectly chocolaty without being too sweet! It makes me want to buy Sweet Freedom just for this one recipe (p.s. you could also win a copy)! And everyone loved both the orange icing and the chocolate filling.

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I love that the cake must be relatively wholesome and healthy too because those two slices filled me up forever. I’m guessing it contains beets, am I crazy?

A whole 7 hours after eating that second piece of cake I started to get hungry again so I helped the roomie finished off his latest batch of Root Soup. I know it involved carrots, potatoes, parsnips, onions, rosemary, and chives at least, and was also very tasty. Though the bowl was quite full and I couldn’t finish it.

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All in all, today’s eats were wonderfully successful compared to yesterday. And I get to look forward to leftover chocolate cake tomorrow. Yum.

 

Where did spring go? April 24, 2009

It seems like spring has just started, yet tomorrow we’re set to jump into summer with a toasty high of 27!  That just seems a bit excessive.  But you can count on me mixing up some icy eats in the vita-mix.  But first what I ate today.

The day started with breakfast.  I have no greens left in the fridge OR freezer aside from romaine and the rest of the frozen asparagus.  And those seem wrong for a green monster.  So this morning I fixed up a veggie devoid smoothie (shocking, I know).  I drank up a tasty combination of Natura unsweetened soy milk, banana, Kaizen chocolate protein powder, PB2, and cocoa powder.  Pure choco-peanut-banana deliciousness.

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I actually sipped that all morning long, and also had a russet apple with peanut butter first thing.

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For lunch I had the rest of my pepper squash lentil soup.

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And in the afternoon I snacked my way through an orange, pear, tomato, carrot, and cucumber.

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Then for dinner I made a lazy-chefs salad, wherein I couldn’t be bothered to cut up the veggies into bite size pieces.  So my salad turned into romaine lettuce wraps filled with carrot, red pepper, and asparagus edamummus.

And for dessert I had poor man’s pie.  A slice of poppy seed rye bread topped with BUDD-AH and maple syrup instead of the traditional molasses, YUMMY.

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Testing new flavours… February 25, 2009

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So I’m a student, I’m careful with my money, I’m lucky enough to be very comfortable financially with no student debt. I’m willing the spend on some things, but there are others I just won’t dole out my hard earned cash for, my mother taught me to be thrifty. When it comes to food, I generally don’t buy what I can easily make myself much less expensively (and sometimes more healthily too). So while I don’t mind paying for a nice jar of organic peanut butter (chosing the most reasonably priced one), I can’t justify the purchase of another entire jar just because it has some simple flavouring added to it….at least not on a regular basis, a girl ocassionally has to treat herself…. So instead, I draw inspiration from tempting looking products and try replicating those flavours myself.

This morning I applied this method to my oatmeal, and it worked out wonderfully. The inspiration was the Peanut Butter & Co. Cinnamon Raisin Peanut Butter. The mixed bowl is above and it included a small banana mashed into my premade steel cut oats cooked in water, and mixed with PB2 (that I’m not a fan of reconstitued into regular peanut butter, but love mixed into things for the flavour), lots of cinnamon, and a big handful of raisins (mixed in, and on top). Delish, and kept me full for almost 5 hours, must have been the extra protein in the PB2.

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Lunch included a delightful mix of veggies and a huge dollop of homemade roasted garlic hummus. The veggies were the last of the mini bell peppers, steamed broccoli, and edamame. I love broccoli and hummus, the textures go so well together.

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Afternoon snacking included a pink cara cara orange, an organic gala apple, and a Toasted Nuts ‘n Cranberry Luna bar. I usually don’t eat many bars, but the Luna and Clif ones were on sale last week for a dollar each so I got one of each flavour that was a available. This means that I now get to try a whole bunch of flavours I’ve never had before (and bought a couple flavours I already know I like). So the nuts and cranberry flavour is new to me, and may I say holy yum? First of all it smells amazing, like a gourmet marshmallow, I was eating it extra slowly and holding it up to my face just to be able to smell it for longer. Luckily, I was sitting at my desk doing so and no one could see me and think I was too weird. And second, I liked that it was more like a typical granola bar without a coating on the top/bottom. It could have used a few more nuts (or they needed more toasting), there wasn’t much of a nutty flavour to me, but the cranberries were really good, not too sour. I’ll definately include this flavour next time I stock up.

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Dinner was another successful foray into the freezer, producing a wonderfully savoury meal.  On the left side is Europe’s Best Romanesco Concerto frozen veggie mix sauteed with shrimp, olive oil, garlic, and italian herbs.  On the right side is Europe’s Best frozen Baby Potatoes mixed with succotash.  Apparently not everybody knows what succotash is?  My roomie was thoroughly confused when I told him what I was making.  I made it the way my mom does, just corn, lima beans, a little butter, salt and pepper.  Wikipedia tells me you can add other veggies like tomatoes and peppers too and still call it succotash, and apparently, in Indiana, the lima beans are replaced with green beans.

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Succotash is especially divine when the lima beans are fresh.  Unfortunately, mine are a bit freezer burnt, but it was still okay.  On the other hand, I’m not at all likely to buy those potatoes again.  I think I got them because they’re precooked so I could add them to a fast meal, and I don’t eat potatoes very frequently so if I ever buy one with no clear plan for its use, it ends up sprouting on the counter waiting to be used, a fate the frozen variety would avoid.  But these potatoes had that offputting soggy commercial frozen veggie texture about them that I don’t particularly enjoy.  I’ll probably hide the rest in some pureed soup…

So the right side of the plate was alright, but the left side was downright delicious.

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