Plentiful Plants

Daily eats of a Torontonian student

Southern Hemi Influence July 8, 2009

This morning started out with a tried and true monster combo, spinach, chia seeds, banana, and papaya.

2009_07_08_monster

For lunch I had yet another salad mess with asparagus, zucchini, red pepper, carrot, beet, avocado, and the rest of my nectarine, balsamic, and tarragon dressing.

2009_07_08_salad

Which was followed by a cinnamon raisin ezekiel sandwich stuffed with an awesome PB2, dried apricot, cinnamon and maple flake filling.

2009_07_08_sandwich

And in the afternoon I snacked on the rest of my mulberries.

2009_07_08_mulberries

Then for dinner I was craving something weird (for the season), orange. So I stopped by the grocery store and picked up a clementine which probably came from WAY south of the equator and used it to top a beet green salad which was dressed with sesame oil and orange juice concentrate. And along that I had a tower pile of steamed broccoli and a tiny beet topped with raw mole. And the whole plate got a sprinkling of sesame seeds to make it look a bit prettier.

2009_07_08_dinner

And dessert, dark chocolate!

2009_07_08_chocolate

 

7 pounds of sweet June 14, 2009

I bought seven pounds of kabocha yesterday (it was going for 69 cents/lb!), 2 largish ones. And I steamed 1 whole one today to eat this week.

So breakfast part one was oatmeal cooked with a little banana, plus mango and cinnamon.

2009_06_14_oatmeal

Then breakfast part two was a chunk of warm kabocha with a spoonful of sunflower seed butter. Oh yum.

2009_06_14_kabocha

For lunch I fixed up a romaine salad topped with black beans, strawberries, and feta cheese.

2009_06_14_salad

Plus a Gena inspired (though probably not entirely raw) soup of zucchini, lime, a little Simply Organic Creamy Dill Dip mix (not raw?), and some extra dried dill. It was quite good, although would probably have been better with some avocado.

2009_06_14_soup

In the afternoon some people came over to play Wii, and I made muffins based off of this recipe, but replaced the applesauce and part of the carrot with mashed kabocha, flax with chia, and 2 T of the agave with blackstrap molasses, and used whole wheat pastry flour. And then cut the recipe in half. They were met with excellent reviews, very moist and gingerbready. I had one stuffed with runchy PB (because I really needed to eat more peanuts this weekend…) and finished the last one plain.

2009_06_14_muffin

And finally for dinner I had a plateful of steamed broccoli with pasta sauce for dipping, and a Tofurkey Beer Sausage donated by the roomie who has gone slightly crazy for them, and I have to agree, holy yum sausage!

2009_06_14_dinner

 

Epic Fail May 8, 2009

Before getting to today’s slightly scarring experience, let’s back track to last night’s bed-time snack.  I tried my pumpkin chips (that I bought a feww weeks ago along with mushroom chips).  They were okay.  They get points for being non-greasy, but didn’t they have much, if any pumpkin flavour and they were a but dry, like over baked squash.  Not buying these again…but I must go back for the mushrooms, and to try the apple chips….

2009_05_08_chips

This morning I had my appetite slightly ruined by part one of the day’s failure, which I cover later, so I ended up being hungry, but with only 10 minutes before I had to be out the door.  So I quickly grabbed whatever, and ended up with a bowl of Kashi GoLean Crunch (more hiding under the yogurt), yogurt, banana, and the last of my PB2 ;_;.  At least this breakfast managed to take a bad taste out of my mouth, and by the end I was enjoying it (quickly!)

2009_05_08_breakfast

For lunch I continued with my veggie and fruit spree.  There was a container of snow peas, carrots, cucumber, celery, and red pepper with left over pumpkin soup for dipping.

2009_05_08_lunch

And a container with a mango and TWO apples, gala and golden delicious (in honour of Sharon 🙂)

2009_05_08_fruit

For dinner I tossed romaine in my new favourite yogurt/whole grain dijon/chive dressing and topped it with a steaming pile of broccoli.

2009_05_08_dinner

Now what was my scarring experience that started in the morning and ended with some kitchen experiments tonight?

Last weekend I bought a papaya. It was completely green, but so were the other ones in the pile at the (chinese) grocery store. I figured it would ripen on the counter. By this morning, the papaya was still green, but it was a bit softer than on Sunday, so I figured it must be ripe, but just be a different variety than usual, like how mangos come in different colours. So I sliced it open and found this.

2009_05_08_papaya

I was suspicious.  Mostly because I was at least expecting the seeds to look the same. So before cutting it up and adding it to my lunch, I licked it (what? I’m the only one who’s going to eat it anyway). It was HORRIFYING. It’s ridiculously astringent, like unripe persimmons (I’ve lost one or two to not being able to tell when those things are fully ripened). I was going to throw the whole thing out, but thought I would stick in the fridge at least for today to see if the internet offered any useful information about green papayas. I looked them up during a slow period at work and found suggestions to cook them.

I was skeptical, but I gave two methods a try tonight (I was NOT about to try it raw again, no matter how many recipes for thai green papaya salad I found). One chunk took a trip in the oven with cinnamon and honey, and another one was boiled by itself so I could try it and add things later if it tasted any better. Both methods worked to take away the astringency, but once that was gone, the papaya still had a weird taste to it that I was not enjoying. The baked version was slightly better simply because it was drowned in honey, but still not very good and I didn’t bother eating more than a bite of either dish.

2009_05_08_cooked papaya

At least the experience is over, and I know better for next time. And this counts as me trying a new food right? No matter how accidentally, and unsuccessfully? I must look for something (hopefully) better for Katie’s Challenge this weekend….

I did finish the night on a better note though with tasty, crunchy roasted chickpeas. I mixed one can of chickpeas with 2 T tahini and 1 T cinnamon and roasted them in the oven at 400 for about an hour. The first batched (pictured) was a bit over cooked because I stopped check them so often and waited too long, but the second batch was perfect, some crunchy, some slightly soft still on the inside, just the way I like them. And I hope the person I give them to tomorrow likes them too 🙂

2009_05_08_chickpeas

 

Orange and Green May 7, 2009

Those two colours seem to have been the unintentional theme today.

It was dark and cold and rainy when I got up this morning, which made me want a warm breakfast.  So I threw some of the awesome Hewitt’s oats my mom gave me, some Dorset Fruits, Nuts, and Seeds cereal, cinnamon, and a banana in a pot with water.  That oatmeal is seriously good…

2009_05_07_breakfast

While my breakfast was cooking I was busy chopping up some fruit and veggies for work.  I filled the classy broken-cornered Rubbermaid container with carrot, red pepper, snow peas, cucumber, and steamed broccoli sprinkled with lime juice.  And I channeled my inner Picasso while packing everything up.

2009_05_07_lunch

The fruit side was covered by an orange, a granny smith apple, and blackberries.

2009_05_07_snack

For dinner I rediscovered the can of pumpkin that’s been hiding on the top shelf of the fridge.  Well, it was actually in plain view, but I tend to keep my food on the middle shelf, so if I stick something on the top shelf my eyes like to skip over it.  I sauteed more of the giant vidalia onion with mushrooms and soft tofu in olive oil, then mixed in pumpkin, water, pumpkin pie spice, maple syrup and a handful of chives, blended, then topped with a spoonful of yogurt for a delicious (and rather large!) bowl of soup.

2009_05_07_dinner

 

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 🙂

2009_04_26_yogurt

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.

2009_04_26_salad

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.

2009_04_26_godiva

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!).

2009_04_26_tea

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.

2009_04_26_dinner

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

2009_04_26_chocolate

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.

2009_04_26_bread

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

2009_04_26_apple

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.

2009_04_26_herbs

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.

2009_04_26_mint

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?

2009_04_26_plants

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

2009_04_26_cookbook

 

Colours of nature

I had a very green and brown day today, ending with the planting of beautiful green herbs in larger planters tonight.  But I’ll take pictures of those tomorrow when the sun comes out.

The morning started out with a very filling green monster containing spinach, grapes, and chia seeds.  Those chia seeds really do keep you going.  I set out in the beautiful weather for a grocery expedition and wasn’t hungry for lunch for nearly 6 hours!

2009_04_25_monster

When I did sit down for lunch I dug into a huge salad for romaine, cucumber, lentils, asparagus, and a russet apple with lemon juice dressing.

2009_04_25_salad

Then a few hours later I had a delicious bowl of oatmeal containing PC Multigrain Cinnamon Spice Oatmeal, another apple, a scoope of raspberry jam, and almond butter.

2009_04_25_oatmeal

And finally for a late dinner I had two red pepper tortillas filled withYves Veggie dogs and green pepper.  I got distracted cleaning the kitchen while I was making this and I realized when I sat down I took my asparagus edammumus out of the fridge, but it never made its way onto the wraps, so I went back and added it afterwards, just some extra green for the day.

2009_04_25_dogs

 

Happy Earth Day! April 22, 2009

For breakfast this morning I started out with a sweet and crunchy bowl of Dorset Fruits, Nuts and Seeds cereal tossed with a chopped russet apple, and almond milk.  A perfect bowl to start the day.

2009_04_22_beakfast

For lunch I dug into an awesome stirfry containing snow peas, tofu, shitake mushrooms, sesame oil, and teriyaki sauce (the soy-like kind).  The mushrooms were so flavourful, and at $4/lb, I can’t complain.

2009_04_22_stirfry

The stirfry was followed by soup made by blending pepper squash, lentils, thyme, sage, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves.  I made the cubicle-mate jealous with the scent of the soup when I heated it in the microwave at work (I’m usually lazy and eat my food at room temperature).

2009_04_22_soup

Then in the afternoon I sipped my way through this monster.  I kept the spinach, apple, strawberries, banana, and chia seeds cold until afternoon by using less water, and filling the bottle with ice cubes before leaving in the morning, it worked perfectly.

2009_04_22_monster

And when I finally made my way home tonight, I chopped up a pile of veg, tossed it with sage, thyme, dill, whole grain dijon, and olive oil.  Half an hour later I sat down to a giant steaming hot bowl of delicious roasted cauliflower, broccoli, carrot, and celeriac (the last of it) covered in a ketchupy drizzle.  Perfect warm me up food for the cold dreary weather outside.  And calorie-count.com tells me there are 20 g of protein (not complete, but a single meal doesn’t have to be) and 25 g of fiber in that bowl, and that’s not counting the seasonings!

2009_04_22_dinner