Plentiful Plants

Daily eats of a Torontonian student

Mystery Food June 5, 2009

I had something new to try in my green monster this morning, a packet of Vega Smoothie Infusion.

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I blended it up with kale and a banana. I think it was good, it definitely added a nice fruity flavour to the smoothie that could not be attributed to the banana, but the smoothie had a really strong bitter kale aftertaste that doesn’t usually happen it me, and I wasn’t really enjoying by the end. I didn’t add any more kale than usual so I wasn’t expecting that. Maybe the greens powder in the mix just pushed it over the top. If I buy it again I’ll definitely tone down on the added greenery, then it’ll probably be super tasty.  The monster was a darker shade of green than usual…

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It was a short day at work so all I brought with me was cherries and cukes and tea in anticipation of a late lunch at home. I was also factoring in the room I would need in my bag to lug home my hard hat and safety acessories. I did also thoroughly enjoy two Lindt truffles from the giant box someone left in the kitchen for their birthday, hazelnut and dark chocolate, yum!

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When I got home I wasn’t hungry yet so I had two medjools, then went on a shopping trip.

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In chinatown I came across this. And had no idea what it was, so I bought it, of course. I do love an adventure 🙂

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I was thinking it might be some sort of flower bud.

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But when I took a closer look at it, it sort of reminded me of corn. Really fat, red corn. So I tried peeling back the leaves.

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Nope, not corn. Then I was daring, and cut it in half. I started to revert back to my original hunch that it was a flower bud of some sort.

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So I entered a search into google, “asian edible flower bud red large”, and the internet’s magical powers let me figure out that I had bought a banana flower. It seems that it’s used a lot in the Thailand-Sri Lanka corner of the globe. It was really neat once I started to pull it apart properly. Under each leaf is a little row of flowers that eventually grow into bananas! And you’ll notice that once a leaf is broken, the sap oxidizes and turns black really quickly.

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Under that leaf…

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Eventually I decided to pull out all the little flowers, then finely chop the lighter coloured leaves. I soaked them both in lemon juice and water for a while, then sauteed them in sesame oil and sweet chili sauce.

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It was alright. Nothing special, not bad, not not particularly good either, along the lines of bamboo shoots or the tougher bits of artichokes. But now I know what it is. And it was a pain taking the stamens out of all the flowers, and the leaves tasted better anyways, so I’ll just discard the flowers if there is a next time.

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In the process of identifying this weird new food I was getting hungry, so I finished off the head of boston lettuce drizzled with light caesar dressing.

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And I also just had a pita with a bit of peanut butter. But this post doesn’t need anymore pictures, does it? Now off to bed with me so I can get up super early for an International Hiking Day adventure! And so I’ll be tired enough to nap in the evening in order to work tomorrow night.

PS.  (The other) Exciting grocery find of the week, I knew exactly what it was, too bad I couldn’t find it a couple weeks ago, Kabocha!

 

Dillicious April 1, 2009

I felt like switching things up a bit today and had snack type food for breakfast, and breakfast type food for snack.  Which means I started off the morning with a banana spread with sunflower seed butter and an apple.

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Late in the morning I had a seitan burger, green pepper, and a carrot.  The steak sauce in the picture I used for dipping my lunch

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For lunch I did a complete repeat of last night’s dinner.  More butternut squash fries, sliced zucchini, and roasted chicken breast.  That is one good meal.  Am I weird in that I usually hate cooked zucchini but love it raw?  It just gets so mushy when it’s cooked.

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My afternoon snack was some Dorset Cereals Fruits, Nuts, and Seeds cereal.

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Dorset cereals have been gazing at me from the grocery store shelves, longing for me to pick them up for years now.  But for some reason I never did.  I don’t know why, this one is pretty awesome and I don’t see how any of the other flavours could go wrong.  I think that might be one of the problems, too many awesome sounding flavours and I could never decide which one to try first.

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All the cereals are packed with dried fruits, nuts and seeds (30-60% depending on the flavour) along with rolled grains and flakey bits.  The thing that provoked me to finally buy a box is that the Fruits, Nuts and Seeds variety now contains pumpkin seeds.  I love pumpkin seeds.  And I’m so glad I did because this cereal is seriously good, you can tell all the add-ins are seriously high quality (and chilean flame raisins are incredible!). I also like that there is no extra sugar added (besides the sweetened banana chips) and I’d like to try cooking this up like oatmeal. I think next time I should try a berry heavy variety….

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When I got home all I wanted was pickles.  I figure that wouldn’t make much of a dinner, so I filled the meal out with a romaine heart with some caesar dressing, and plate of Mary’s Herb crackers and cheddar cheese.

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My roomie introduced me to the pickles and cheese combination years ago, and I must admit, it is oddly addicting.

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And dinner ended with a sweet dessert of Algerian dates dipped in peanut butter.

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