Plentiful Plants

Daily eats of a Torontonian student

Repeats allowed March 23, 2009

This morning I dug into a lovely bowl of steel cut oats. I finally made a slow cooker full again over the weekend weekend to enjoy, I’ve been missing them a bit despite my new love for oat bran. I topped the oats with PB2, dried blueberries and cranberries, a few chocolate chips, and the last of the jar of peanut hazelnut butter, delish!

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Later in the morning I dug into a container or strawberries, grapes, a Sonya apple, and a few grape tomatoes. My grocery store tells me that Sonya apples are a new variety, a cross between a gala and red delicious. I can tell you that it is tasty indeed, really sweet with the nice crisp texture of a gala apple. I wish I had bought more than one, hopefully they’ll still be there next weekend.

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For lunch I found an awesome new combination of flavours, lentils, yves italian veggie ground round, avocado, and Big Bull steak sauce. I mixed it all up and ate it as a dip with the carrot slices, yummy. It reminded me of all the good parts of all-dressed chips, without the vinegary salt burning your tongue (eww).

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I also had some of my Sweet Cabbage dessert soup, and it tastes even better the next day.

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When I got home I was hungry for a quick snack so I finished off a bag of Sahale Snacks Ksar pistachios. There were a lot of sesame seeds hiding in the bottom of the bag…

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Isn’t that a pretty flower?

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Then a bit later I fixed my self a salad. I debating between random veggie toppings for blog variety’s sake, or a repeat of my lunch. I’m afraid my lunch was so tasty I decided it was best to bore you and have exactly what I was craving, romaine topped with more lentil/yves/avocado/steak sauce mixture, and a few grape tomatoes. And it made a wonderful salad topper too.

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And I finished off the night with a handful of crunchy FoddShouldTasteGood Chocolate chips.

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BSI Cabbage: Sweet Cabbage Dessert Soup March 22, 2009

This morning started out a bit late after I slept in.  I was in the mood for something quick for breakfast, and there’s not much else faster than cereal, so I filled a bowl with Kashi Seven Whole Grain Puffs, and finished a box of Nature’s Path Blueberry Almond Muesli.  No more freeze dried blueberry blue milk for me.  There was also a bit of unsweetened vanilla Almond breeze involved.

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Later I had a blood orange and many cups of tea, mostly herbal.  I was working on clearing out the overflowing tea cupboard.  I discovered that Celestial Seasonings Strawberry Kiwi tea is really sweet, I actually went to check the package to see if there was somehow sugar hiding in the tea bag (there wasn’t).

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When I started to get hungry for lunch I got to work on this week’s BSI entry.  Christina chose cabbage as the ingredient of the week, and I had half a head of red cabbage already in the fridge.  I did some thinking and came up with a flavour combination that sounded good, if a bit odd.  So here you have a recipe for Sweet Cabbage Dessert Soup.  I just can’t decide weather it should be a regular soup or a dessert soup, since it turned out sweeter than I expected, and for some reason tastes really rich (but in a good way).  I had it for lunch and it filled me up nicely.

The soup ingredients to make about 4 cups are:

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1 onion, chopped
2 tsp almond oil (any not-strongly flavoured oil should be fine, my other choices were olive and sesame)
2 carrots, chopped (mine happened to be purple and yellow, but orange should be fine)
1/2 head red cabbage, roughly chopped
1 grapefruit, chopped
1 cup brewed mint tea
2 tsp dried mint
2 oz creme de cassis (black currant liquor)

I started out by caramellizing the onion very well in the oil.

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Then I added all the other ingredients, carrots on the bottom, in the tea to boil, cabbage on top to steam, brought the pot to a boil, and let them simmer for about ten minutes, until the carrots are tender  (remember, more liquids appear out of the veggies).  After a stir it looked like this.

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At which point I pureed the lot with my handy stick blender.  I like my pureed soup thick, so you might want to add some more mint tea or water at this point for a thinner consistency.

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And I topped the bowl with an optional spoonful of yogurt and more dried mint (although fresh would have been a prettier garnish).  Part way through enjoying my bowl I realized it reminds me of the rhubarb sauce my mom make every summer.  It would actually probably go really well chilled on ice cream.  I think I’m leaning towards calling it a dessert soup.

And since these giveways tie in so nicely,

This soup would be even better pureed super smooth in a vitamix such as the one is being given away over at Jumbo Empanadas

And instead of the creme de cassis, I’m betting a shot of POM would work well, and can be had for free with coupons from Oh She Glows.

Anyway, speaking of ice cream, later in the afternoon I treated myself to some half-fat Vanilla Haagen Dasz.  Yummy.  But multiple that bowl by 2, it was a half serving anyway.  I also nibbled on a few FoodShouldTasteGood Chocolate tortilla chips.

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Dinner time rolled around and I retrieved the half of the seitan burger I brought home last night from the fridge and made a new one.  Sitting on a whole wheat english muffin (organic from Whole Foods, really good) is romaine lettuce, the seitan patty, Big Bull Steak sauce, whole grain dijon mustard, broiled emmental cheese, and grape tomatoes.  A tasty burger indeed.  I should try making seitan some time….

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Now I have some Nature’s Path Optimum Rebound cereal waiting for me to snack on while watching the Sunday night CTV trifecta of The Mentalist, Amazing Race, and Desperate Houswives.  Before heading to bed so I can get up for work tomorrow….

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Ice Cream Inspiration March 17, 2009

This morning my bowl of oats got a flavour treatment borrowed from Ben and Jerry’s.  Chunky Monkey oat bran.  The oat bran was microwaved with unsweetened vanilla almond breeze, then I added a mashed banana, walnuts, and chocolate chips.  Delicious.

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For lunch I had a massive stirfry with red cabbage, carrot, broccoli slaw, button mushrooms, enoki mushrooms, onion, lemon juice, teriyaki soy sauce, and sesame oil.

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I topped the stirfry with a bit of chicken breast.  When I took this out for lunch, EVERYTHING was purple, even the bottom of the chicken.  But it still tasted good.

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Throughout the afternoon I snacked on a juicy grapefruit, a d’anjou pear, and sweet strawberries.

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The weather was beautiful out this afternoon, so I only took the subway partway home and walked the rest.  When I got to my apartment I was good and hungry for my dinner, an enormous romaine salad topped with yellow pepper, purple carrot, cucumber, pickled beet, sweet potato, vintage reserve cheddar, chicken breast, and orange juice dressing.

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The carrot couldn’t decide if it wanted to be purple or orange…

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And for dessert I had the last slice of strawberry pie.  I’m a bit sad to see it go.

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Where did the time go?

Sorry for skipping posting last night.  I was lazy over the weekend and never got around to doing my laundry.  Unfortunately, doing it last night turned into a great debacle involving a price increase, a need for certain kinds of change I didn’t have, a trip to the grocery store for change, and starting loads drying at different times.  All I can say to building management is that some warning would have been nice, especially about the kinds of coins the new machines accept.  Any way, when I finally finished my laundry after many, many trips up and down 5 floors of stairs (excersize, yay!), it was getting late, and I just wanted to go to bed so I uploaded my pictures so I could post now, in the morning.

Yesterday’s breakfast was a simply but tasty mix of oat bran microwaved in water and a bit of mascarpone ice cream, and topped with dried blueberries and cranberries and a big old scoop of peanut butter.

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Morning and afternoon snacks were a sugary hunk of baked sweet potato, red pepper strips, a golden delicious apple, and delicious fresh figs.

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For lunch I had chili again (there’s only one more meal’s worth, I swear!)

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For dinner I chopped up some red cabbage and collard greens,  sauteed them with Big Bull steak sauce, and topped with the pile with a dollop of garlic almond hummus (HUMBEQUE?).  It was a pretty good flavour combination, then again Big Bull can make just about anything taste good.

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And I finished off the night with another slice of strawberry pie.  You have to love pie you can eat with your hands.

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A bar review, already? February 20, 2009

This morning I got up and enjoyed a crunchy bowl of Kashi Honey Almond Flax cereal mixed with All-bran Original and unsweetened vanilla Almond Breeze.

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I then fought my way to work through the icy cold wind to work where, later in the morning, I had and Elevate Me! Banana Nut Bread bar.

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From their website, it seems as though these bars have been around for a while, but perhaps due to the fact they’re Canadian they haven’t made their way into the blogsphere yet?  Which is unfortunate because they seem like excellent candidates for general appreciation.  The bar is essentially a Larabar with a larger number of fruits in each flavour, mixed with whey protein isolate.  I find Larabars tend to be too sweet to eat all at once but I think these bars have a smaller amount of dates, which leaves room for more flavour from the other fruits to come through, and the protein powder gives the bar a bit of a creamy feel and more chew.  This particular flavour could either do with more banana, or could be renamed Apple Nut Bread.  It’s good, just not very bananay.  I’ve tried most of the flavours (missing the two with goji and acai berry) and so far I’ve liked them all.  While this bar isn’t my favourite, it’s in the upper half of the rankings.  I noticed these bars appeared in Whole Foods a couple weeks ago in Toronto, so perhaps they’re going to be widely distributed soon?  We shall see.

Later for lunch I had a spinach egg white omlette with a liberal dose of italian seasoning.

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Along with colourful bell peppers and celery with Nuts to You Nut Butter Inc. Mystery Butter 2

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What’s the mystery?  Peanut Hazelnut Butter, very tasty. (I don’t know why the picture shows almonds and cashews…that’s Mystery Butter 1…)

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Afternoon snack consisted of a blood orange (my favourite citrus fruit), a pear, and blueberries.

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Everything packed up.

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I got home late and  fixed up a quick stirfry to help in my quest to empty out the freezer that’s over flowing with oddly shaped packages that like to create avalanches every time my roommate or I open it.  The delicious plateful of food included extra firm tofu, cabbage, onion, carrot, corn, and edamame, all sauteed in sesame oil, lemon juice, and a dash of reduced sodium soy sauce.

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And now I think I’ll start to enjoy the weekend with a book and a nice hot cup of tea before bed.