Plentiful Plants

Daily eats of a Torontonian student

Fruit Infusion May 28, 2009

I went a little bit crazy last night when I got up in the midle of the night and opened my window for some fresh air. Because when I woke up this morning my room was cold and dark and there was rain pouring outside (but not inside, because my window only opens a crack). Let’s just say, all plans for a green monster were quickly abandoned. But my breakfast was still nice and colourful, and the vita-mix still came in handy :-). I drew inspiration from Heather and cooked some oat bran, then blended it with kale, pumpkin pie spice, and a banana. Then topped the oats with a spoonful of coconut. And it was delicious, of course.

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Then I went a bit fruit crazy while preparing my lunch and snack. For lunch I fixed up a giant salad of spring mix topped with carrot, cucumber,red pepper, and a whole pile of mango. I was really enjoying the forkfuls of pepper and mango left at the end.

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For a snack I had an Ambrosia apple with raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries. Then I also had a few Kashi crackers offered to me by the cubicle-mate. They were supposed to be Honey Sesame, but they must have missed the powdering step at the manufacturing plants, because they were just plain, though still tasty.

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When I got home I was really hungry so I quickly grabbed small bowlful of Dorset Fruits, Nuts, and Seeds Cereal.

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For dinner I drew inspiration for this morning’s Hungry Girl email. I steamed a pile of asparagus and a salmon filet with lemon, and topped it with yogurt, lemon, and sage, then rolled it up in a tortilla. Absolutely wonderful wrap. Plus I had a Zucchini Spelt Muffin (the last one :() for dessert.

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And I can’t believe I didn’t know So You Think You Can Dance was on last night and missed it! At least I’ll make up for it by enjoying it even more tonight.

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I think I’m in love April 18, 2009

The good thing that I was hoping would work out today, did in fact happen. And as a result I’ve been having way too much fun in the kitchen.

But first breakfast. It was simple, and I wasn’t very hungy. I headed down to St. Lawrence Market and bought entire basket of russet apples, because they’re probably my favourite variety, and can be hard to find. So I had one along with a handful of Sahale Snacks Pomegranate Vanilla Cashews. Delicious.

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For lunch I fixed up a quick wrap with a La Tortilla Factory Multigrain wrap, cucumber, red pepper, dill pickle, egg white, and whole grain dijon. It satisfied my craving for tangy salty dills.

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In the afternoon I had an awesome green monster made with lots of spinach, a russet apple, a date, and water/ice.

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Then a bit later I had a bowlful of strawberry banana sorbet.

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And the rest of the sorbet topped with some raw pumpkin seed butter. I swear the butter looks A LOT greener in real life. It just refused to photograph green.

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Can you guess what I did in the lobby of a stranger’s apartment building with a wad of cash after lunch today?

I’ll give you a hint, here’s my dinner about 5 minutes before I ate it.

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I bought a VITA-MIX!!!!

And I love it. Thanks to craigslist it only cost me $275CND.  I’ve wanted one since I saw a demo at the CNE last summer, and when I saw it for that price I knew I had to act quickly.

I also made the almond milk that I used in the sorbet, since I just ran out of almond breeze anyway. And even with making all that stuff this afternoon/evening, there’s hardly any mess at all in the kitchen.

My dinner, after blending, became a beautiful carrot celeriac soup which contained ~1/3 celeriac root, 1 huge carrot, 1 small onion, 1 Kallo no salt veggie boullion cube, ~ cup water, pepper, thyme. And I ate half of that. I had celeriac for the first time as remoulade in France, and I fell in love with it, but this is the first time I’ve cooked with it myself, so I’m so happy the soup turned out very nicely.

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My Lucky Day April 2, 2009

I got an awesome surprise today when I found out I won the cake giveaway over at Diet, Desserts and Dogs. So expect to see some chocolatey goodness here in the near future. Thank you Ricki!

My breakfast was a happy accident discovery. I’ve been wanting to try out blended oats, but me roomie is always asleep when I get up and have breakfast in the morning. So I figured I would try blending the oats at night, then microwaving the mix in the morning. I also had the rest of the tofu left over from last night’s scramble. So into the bowl went 1/4 cup rolled oats, 200 g soft tofu, ~1/4 cup of almond breeze, and a stick blender. Then I was smart enough to taste it before sticking it in the fridge. I discovered a lovely vanilla pudding texture/flavour with a bit of tofu aftertaste I wasn’t entirely happy with. So I blended in a small banana and created a deliciously creamy, no-cook, vegan banana pudding! I think it’s even more instant than pudding mixes because you don’t have to wait for it to set.

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This morning I added some walnuts and dried cranberries and feasted. I was a bit amused at the colouring though. Since it spent the night (covered) in the fridge, the banana caused the top couple of millimeters of pudding to oxidize brown, but it still tasted the same, and the texture was the same as when I first blended it, so refrigeration is definitely not necessary.

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My lunch at work was a container full of veggies and a seitan sausage. There was celery, carrot, red and yellow pepper, and cucumber.

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And in the afternoon I snacked on fruit, lots of it, I needed two containers to hold it all. There was a pear, a mandora tangerine (horribly sour, I didn’t finish it), kiwi, blackberries, and tuscan melon.

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And on the way home I munched on the rest of the Cocoa Coconut Cluster Elevate Me! bar, without taking a picture of it.

For dinner I fixed up an enormous salad filled with an entire romaine heart, zucchini, and red bell pepper.  I also seared the last seitan burger (there’s still 1 sausage) in a pan with olive oil, then added the juice from the other sour tangerine, and let it reduce to use as salad dressing.  Delicious.

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And dessert was a handful of walnuts, pecans, cashews, and maple almonds.  Now I’m going to relax with the new Clean Eating that showed up in the mail box.  A lucky day indeed.

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Crunch time March 20, 2009

So I tend to not get anywhere close to my 6-7 servings of grains per day, but today was an exception.

I started out with a giant cereal bowl for breakfast.  In the mix is Nature’s Path Kamut Puffs, All Bran, Alpen cereal, a banana, and a few pumpkin seeds and cashew pieces, all sitting in unsweetened vanilla almond breeze.

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Later in the morning I dug into a golden delicious apple, a blood orange, and a nice ripe kiwi.

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For lunch there was a huge container of steamed broccoli, grape tomatoes, and an enormous carrot, along with ample amounts of hummus for dipping.

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On my way home from work I snacked on an Espresso Cocoa Crunch Elevate Me! bar.  It was okay.  I’m not a huge fan of coffee anyway, but I don’t think the coffee beans worked very well with all the sweet fruit, it was rather odd.  But the bar kept me full while I went on a grand grocery expedition which was extended by a few blocks of detour when a street closed for construction over the weekend between the time I entered a grocery store, and when I exited the store in  the generally pedestrian unfriendly area under a freeway.

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I got home not too long ago, and plan on going to bed soon.  I’m not very hungry, but know I should eat something, so I’m digging into a bowl containing the last bits of two boxes of Kashi cereal, GoLean and Honey Almond Flax.  Crunch, crunch….

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At least I managed to clear 3 boxes/bags off the shelf!  I finished the kamut puffs too…I’m starting to need new cereal…

 

Some expensive yogurt…. March 15, 2009

This beautiful, relatively warm morning started out with a bowlful of oat bran, topped with the left over starbucks toppings and a few extra cashew pieces.

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I went on some morning adventures, were two things of note happened.  First, I discovered I need to buy a spring coat.  My winter coat was a bit too warm, and my old light coat is ridiculously large, which is a good thing, kind of a jarring reminder of how much smaller I am compared to a year ago, or even from last fall.

Second thing, I went to Pusateri’s for the first time.  It’s a small, super high end grocery store in Yorkville.  I’ve been curious about it for a while, but figured it would just be super expensive tings I wasn’t really interested like gourmet oils and vinegars and coffees.  Which it was in a way.  But the reason I finally went in is that I recieved a hot tip from a coworker that they carry non/low-fat greek yogurt.  And they do.  I was excited.  Though it was ridiculously expensive, so I limited my self to only 2 containers.  A 6oz Stoneyfield Farm Oikos with honey at $3.99 and a 6oz Vanilla Chobani and $3.39.  Yeah, expensive.  But worth it for an occasional treat.

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I ate the Chobani for a snack this afternoon.  It’s so good!  I’ve had Fage yogurt before , 0 and 2% (I might have smuggled three 500g containers home from my Christmas vacation in London, and enjoyed some while in the UK), and I’ve had the full 10% fat greek yogurt that is available in Canada.  Upon tasting the Chobani, a) it’s better than Fage, creamier and less tart (though this might be because it was sweetened), and b) why even bother with the full fat stuff at all?, Chobani 0% is just as good.  I thoroughly enjoyed the yogurt with some strawberries.

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Backtracking to lunch, I had a romaine salad topped with chili, and some deliciously flavourful Vintage Reserve Cheddar I found in the bits and pieces basket at Whole Foods.

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Late in the afternoon I snacked on a banana.

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For dinner, I trid something new.  I tossed some cauliflower with a bit of of oil and lots of Indian Masala seasoning, and roasted it. Simple, but it turned out wonderfully delicious.  I ate that along with some roasted chicken breast and a blob of hummus.

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And dessert was perhaps unsurprisingly, not one but TWO slices of strawberry pie.  I did get the roomie to eat half a pie too, and he gave it two thumbs up so it should disappear soon enough.

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And I might be munching on a handful of crunchy FoodShouldTasteGood Chocolate chips right now, but the camera won’t confirm that.

 

El pot o’ Chili March 8, 2009

This morning started out with a delicious bowl of oat bran.  I’ve been missing my oats… I cooked the oat bran with water and lots of cinnamon, then topped them with half a banana, flaxseed, dried blueberries (yum!) and some cashew pieces.

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I also enjoyed a cup of tea with a splash of unsweetened vanilla almond breeze

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All morning there were beans boiling on the stove and towards lunch time I started putting together a big pot of chili for the week.  It was going to be my lunch, but then I was invited out to The Dumpling House in Chinatown.   I do love dumplings, and I couldn’t go home for chinese new year’s, so I missed my mom’s last month, so I went.  No pictures, but I had 8 dumplings with a variety of fillings, the two best being pork with chive and spinach with shitake mushroom.  I also had a spoonful of fried rice, and a spoonful of tasty noodles in hoisin sauce.

We sent to afternoon walking around chinatown and kensington, and when I got home I was hungry for a snack so I had a grapefruit, after a bit of a struggle pulling apart the segments.

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I also stuck a trayful of stuff in the oven to cook, including an entire head of garlic that I used to make some awesome hummus!  I think it’s amazing because I used roasted almond butter instead of tahini, along with the usual juice from one lemon, and head of roasted garlic!  It goes really well with celery.  I also snacked on a bit of freshly baked sweet potato.

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Dinner time rolled around and I made up a plateful of chili (you’re going to see a lot of it this week), a hunk of sweet potato topped with some delicious old cheddar my friend picked up in Kensington, a pile of old looking celery sticks, and a dollop of roasty hummus.

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That pot of chili included most of a head of cauliflower, onions (well caramelized with a bit of olive oil), carrots, corn, frozen lima beans, dry kidney, pinto and black beans, TVP, a can of diced tomatoes, a can of tomato paste, a little chili powder, and lots of massamun curry paste.

Now I must go clean up the kitchen a bit, pack a lunch for tomorrow, and watch some Amazing Race and Desperate Housewives before bed.

 

Rainy Friday… February 27, 2009

The daily oats were served on a bed of mashed banana and sprinkled with the rest of the Cashew Cookie Larabar, and served with a spoonful of Peanut Hazelnut Butter. I did like the bar better in the oats, not much different than if I had added nuts myself (though that is the point, is it not?)

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Mid morning I had a golden delicious apple.

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The apple slices were packed on top of part of my lunch, more collard fish rolls, yum. These wraps were stuffed with a can of sardines and topped with liberal amounts of honey mustard.  Tasty oily fish goodness.

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I also had some steamed broccoli and carrot slices with hummus, and some juicy grapes.

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Later in the afternoon, I broke out a container of Nature’s Path Optimum Rebound cereal. Because freeze dried bananas = good snacking.

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When I got home I felt like soup so I took out a neat package of soup mix I bought a while ago to make a pot.

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The mix comes in a sleeve with green and yellow split peas, barley, lima beans, alphabet pasta, and some dried mushrooms and other veggies.  I though it was rather cute.

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Unfortunately, the soup is simple and cute, but not very fast, it needs to simmer for a couple hours.  So in the meantime I’ m having some of the very few fridge ingredients remaining, a carrot with hummus and more grapes.

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Tomorrow is definately going to include grocery shopping.  And I’ll get a picture of the finished soup too since there is plenty for leftovers.  The kitchen is starting to smell nice though, I love split pea soup…