Plentiful Plants

Daily eats of a Torontonian student

Kawartha Ecological Growers CSA Love July 24, 2009

So before getting on with the food of the day, I have to give a major shout-out to Kat of Kat eats local in Toronto. You see, last Friday I was in a hurry to get to the registrar’s office before they closed, but on the way I passed by a table set up behind Hart House, full of veggies, with a crowd of people around it, and a big price list posted. I heard snippets of conversations that included “you can get either a large share of a small share”, “I have some extras of those you can buy”, “those are reserved for members”, etc.   It sounded like a CSA to me, and I was very intrigued, but like I said, in a hurry so I didn’t stop to investigate, though I had every intention of going back to check it out this week.

Meanwhile, I had left a comment to Kat that I was jealous of her Plan B CSA deliveries (deliveries are virtually impossible in my apartment building and their depots are not at all conveniently located or timed for me). Saturday morning she suggested I check our Kawartha Ecological Growers since they had different pick-up locations. Imagine my delight when I discovered they were the ones at Hart House! So this afternoon I very happily headed back to Hart House to hand over a check and pickup my very first share of goodies. I filled up my bag with beets, spinach, mixed basil, red leaf lettuce, cucumber, broccoli, peas, and raspberries. All organic (or close to organic but not certified), local, and BEAUTIFUL!

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Anyways, on the the food. For breakfast I dug in the fridge for the last of the greens and produced a fabulous chocolate milkshake concoction 🙂 In the mix is Chocolate Spirutein (candy, again), kale, collards, spinach, wheatgrass ice cubes, chia seeds, and a banana. And once again and brought most to work, but enjoyed a little at home with blueberries (chocolate covered blueberries = yum).

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For lunch I fixed up a fabulous salad with romaine, zucchini, yellow pepper, carrot, dulse, pineapple salsa, avocado, and Marti cheese.

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After work I headed to Simply Bulk to stock up on a few items, and saw they had Peanut Butter Cookie Larabars, so I pounced. I got to Hart House early for the CSA, so I enjoyed a bar and a book in the courtyard of University College while I waited. OMG, this flavour is so GOOD! It seriously tasted just like a PB cookie.

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I also stopped to enjoy the flowers outside of Trinity College.

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And finally, for a very late dinner I did some space clearing in the fridge for my CSA goodies. I fixed up a salad of romaine, zuke, orange pepper, and snow peas tossed with sesame oil and lemon juice. And alongside that I steamed (definitely steamed…) the last of my kabocha, with tomato paste and a peach for dessert. I think the kabocha monster is in need of a dentist, but that’s just my opinion.

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The Most Efficient Pitter July 20, 2009

I made a delicious green monster this morning thanks to the use of a fruit I’ve never blended before, cherries. In the process of pitting the cherries, I figured out the best tool to use to extract the pit it definitely your teeth fater cutting the cherry in half quickly, and your cheeks are the perfect storage locations for the pits so they don’t go flying everywhere. Of course you can only do this if you’re the one who will be eating the fruit, and this method probably shouldn’t be used in polite company, but you have to appreciate the tastiness factor of the food prep stage 😀 The other ingredients were collards greens, wheatgrass ice cubes, and banana.

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For lunch I brought along an S&M salad of romaine, spinach, and zucchini dressed in mashed avocado, lime juice and salt. I threw the dulse/hemp/rosemary/raw cracker topping in a bag to prevent it from getting soggy before lunch, and it turns out I probably should have put the salt in the bag too because my salad was definitely wilted when I pulled it out to eat. I’ve done avocado and juice on lettuce before without it wilting, so I’m guessing it must have been the hygroscopic salt that caused the problem. At least it still tasted good 🙂

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And for snacking I had some tomato, cucumber, and sweet, sweet pineapple.

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When I got home I dipped into the date and almond stash.

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Then I eventually got around to throwing together some dinner.  Somehow I happened on a FANTASTIC combination of flavours while creating kabocha tacos!  Into collard wraps I stuffed tomato paste, slivered leek, big slices of king oyster mushroom, steamed kabocha (sliced thinly to steam faster), and a grating of Marti cheese.  The tomato paste/kabocha/cheese combo was amazing!

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Double the Chocolate, Double the Fun July 19, 2009

I apologize for the complete lack of pictures today.  I had every intention of bringing my camera to lunch because we had been planning to go to a fancy-ish restaurant for Summerlicious, but I ended up leaving it on my desk in the hurry to leave the apartment.

Breakfast this morning was a tasty, though grainy mixture of collard greens, wheatgrass ice cubes, vanilla almond milk, stevia, agave, and cacao nibs (the hard grainy bits).  It was drunken with a lot of stirring in between, which was completely worth it for the chocolatey goodness.

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For lunch, my roomie and I had the intention of hitting up a Summerlicious restaurant, with today being the last day and all. After perusing the menus, we found a couple of restaurants with what looked like particularly tasty options. Unfortunately, last night we figured out that Pangea was either all booked up, or closed, so we switched our plans over to Midi Cafe. But when we got there for lunch, it was also closed! These restaurants seriously need to post their opening hours (or more specifically, days) on their websites. So instead, we headed over to Urban Herbivore, which I’ve been wanting to check out for a while, mainly due to my roomie’s raving about the incredible awesomeness of the sandwiches. He got a sandwich, and I tried a bite of the sesame tempeh inside, which was delicious in an incredible way that made me not hate tempeh like my only other tempeh experience did (plain, grilled from Fresh). I ordered a build your own salad with mixed greens, carrot, cucumber, green beans, broccoli, mixed bean sprouts, beets, sunflower seeds, and citrus herb dressing. DELICIOUS! The sprouts, beets, and the sunflower seeds made the salad, I have got to get on growing my own sprouts.

Then we went to see Harry Potter (fun!, even though it somewhat abruptly skipped over huge sections of the book, and I have no recollection what so ever of the Weasley’s house burning down). After the movie we hit up Starbucks for free drinks, mine being a tall iced coffee with soy, and did some wandering around over to an old used book store the roomie loves in Little Portugal before he headed to work and I meandered some more on the way home.

For dinner I broke out some more dulse for a tasty pasta salad made of tofu shirataki noodles, mashed avocado, red pepper, lemon juice, and lots of the seaweed. And along side that I enjoyed some pineapple, a granny smith, and organic milk chocolate with hazelnuts (twice what made it into the picture).

2009_07_19_dinner

And it would appear I did a poor job of selling the Stash green tea powder, with my not liking it and all, so Krista, Cindy and Caroline,  may you please be so kind as to email me your mailing addresses (plentifulplantsATgmailDOTcom) so I can send the goodies your way 🙂

 

Blend, Baby, Blend and an Impromtu Contest! July 17, 2009

It was so dark out today! Whenever I went to take a picture, the sun was very well hidden, and it kept threatening to start raining (spitting) but never quite came. Or I may have simple changed locations before the rain actually came in some cases.

Anyways, a blender action shot for breakfast. That monster contained a mango, chia seeds, and a whole lot of collard greens.

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For lunch I had a salad mess containing cucumber, asparagus, carrot, red pepper and tomato with a Peach Bourbon BBQ sauce topping.

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And in the afternoon half a pint of raspberries and a banana dissappeared.

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I went to Whole Foods today for the first time in a couple of months, and spent some time browsing, which resulted me in sending too much money, but ending up with lots of fun new things to try. One of those things was a hunk of Marti cheese, which is a raw ewe’s milk cheese that to me tastes kinda like a cross between parmesan and muenster (aka pretty awesome). I used it as a topping for my dinner, a big bowl of blended soup containing zucchini, carrot, lots of red pepper, a couple small dates, thyme, sage, salt, pepper, and olive oil.

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And some honeydew for dessert.

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Another Whole Food purchase that I just tried is Stash Mint green tea powder. It’s made of regular tea leaves that are ground superfine so they dissolve instantly in cold water for iced tea. Unfortunately, I’m really not a fan, I even dumped out the rest of that glass. Though to be honest, I probably should have known I wouldn’t like it given my distaste for matcha green tea. So if you do like matcha, I say give it try, you’ll probably love it 🙂

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So how about a quick, impromptu mini contest? If you do like matcha, or are just curious, leave a comment by Sunday night and I’ll randomly choose 3 people to mail a few packets of Stash Mint Green Tea Powder. I’d like to see some of you readers come out of the woodwork!

 

Falafel-ly Yummy July 16, 2009

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Only half a day left to what has been a pretty crazy busy week! And it looks like I’ll actually get the weekend off, yay! All the better for going to see some wizarding action at the movies. However, tomorrow will also likely bring with it the posting of my tuition fees to my account, ewwww. I’m predicting $9400, which I know isn’t that much compared to some American schools, but compared to Arts and Science programs at most Canadian universities, that’s high! Silly engineering being a professional program.

Anyways, this morning started off a bit differently since I didn’t have to go to all the way up to work (in Markham) right away, only to Spadina Station for the morning. I thoroughly enjoyed a bowlful of oatgurt topped off with a peach and a spoonful of maple syrup. This bowl was truly divine!

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I was able to stop off again at home around noon to drop off my hard hat, vest, and safety boots and grabbed some melon while I was at it to hold me over for the ride up to work.

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Once there I munched through a container of cucumber, red pepper, carrot, and cherries. Plus I had most of a fresh whole wheat bagel I found in the work kitchen for someone’s birthday. And yes, I’ll admit it, that is a hair in my lunch and not on your computer screen. It was removed after the picture. At least it was my own 🙂

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I was a busy bee all afternoon and didn’t get home till almost 8, at which point I made sliders! Not your typical slider though. On a base of collard greens I stacked tomato, cucumber, Sol Falafel patties, and the tahini-lemon sauce they came with. Om nom nom. Those patties are pretty awesome.

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Non-yogurt Dressing Love July 13, 2009

For breakfast this morning I was happy to blend up a green monster. This morning’s incarnation included a nectarine, a few frozen grapes, chia seeds, and kale.

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For lunch I discovered the most fabulous salad dressing. Remeber when I was loving the yogurt/mustard/chives salad topping? This tastes like that (except without the chives, because I didn’t think to add them this morning). It was a mix of hemp nut butter, lemon jice, and mustard. I used it to dress a pile of broccoli, red pepper, and zucchini.

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Lunch dessert was blueberries and few brazil nuts.

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Later in the afternoon I enjoyed a Coconut Cream Pie Larabar before heading home.

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For dinner I mixed up sprouted amaranth with a little lemon and tahini, then stuffed it into delicious collard wraps with a tomato. Not the cleanest thing to eat with tomato juice squirting everywhere despite my best containment efforts, but delicious none the less 🙂 Along side were some cherries. The rest of my blueberries disappeared to, but they were too sneaky for the camera.

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Lazy Summer Saturday July 11, 2009

This morning I started off with a juicy peach and a sweet banana.

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Then I skipped my morning trip to the farmer’s market due to a brief but raging thunderstorm that passed through the city.  For lunch I enjoyed a plateful of collard wraps stuffed with tomato and dill, and dipped in hemp nut butter mixed with lemon juice.

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Plus I ventured outside to collect some more delicious mulberries for dessert.

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Later in the afternoon I snacked on a deconstructed Larabar, also known as a pile of almonds and dates.

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Then for dinner I used up the last little bit of Bob’s Red Mill Corn Bread mix that’s been sitting in the pantry for far two long (like literally two years…but it seemed fine to me).  There was only enough to make two corn bread rolls, and I paired one with a plateful of broccoli and a President’s Choice instant vegetarian chili.  And the cornbread mix turned out quite well considering I didn’t include the little bit of egg the recipe called for after reducing it, and it was just a little bit ancient (the only thing that was wrong is they it was very crumbly).

2009_07_11_chili

 

Where did the time go? March 17, 2009

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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Bringing back the chili March 12, 2009

Apparently some bus drivers don’t deal well with disrupted routines.  There was an accident this morning near the entrance into a big, multi platform, off road, bus stop this morning, which caused all the busses which needed to get to the terminal to have to drive through a parking lot detour to get to the platforms.  My bus driver simply ending up providing a bumpy ride by driving over some curbstones (I don’t think the parking lot was designed for long buses).  However, my cubicle-mate’s bus driver went in the wrong direction when he was leaving the terminal!  And to make matters worse (for the people on the bus trying to get to work) the next stop in the opposite direction is a 12 minute bus ride away (according to google maps, 5 km with lots of left turns in morning traffic on major roads), and the bus driver didn’t want to attempt to turn around anywhere else!  Let’s just say, she arrived quite late.

Anyway, this morning started out with a nice bowl of peanut butter goop, a.k.a Alpen cereal, with unsweetened vanilla almond breeze and some PB2.

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I had a repeat of yesterday’s sandwich for lunch, ezekiel bread, romaine, chicken, hummus and dried cranberries.  It is very good.  There was also a baked sweet potato involved, as a side, it didn’t make its way into the sandwich.

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For snacks I brought a red delicious apple, a carrot, and half a red pepper.

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And at the last minute I grabbed the last half of my Ruth’s Chocolate Raspberry Hemp Power bar.  I’m glad I did too because my cereal bowl wasn’t very big and I got hungry again well before lunch time.

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For dinner I decided to reintroduce the chili that’s been patiently waiting in the fridge for me to eat.  I also had some of the smaller collard green leaves for dipping since I’ve noticed a lack of green over the last couple days.

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And now I’m enjoying a hot cup of Tazo Berry Blossom White Tea.

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Mighty Green Mango March 10, 2009

This morning started off with a wonderful bowlful of oat bran.  I mixed in a spoonful of mascarpone ice cream, and sprinkled the oats with a handful of President’s Choice Berry Blend Sweetened Dried Fruit, and half a Ruth’s Hemp Power Chocolate Raspberry bar.

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The dried berries (cranberries, cherries, and blueberries) were given to me, I probably wouldn’t have bought them myself given that they’re sweetened with sugar and corn syrup, but I’m glad I tried them because they are really good, nice and plump with lots of blueberries.  Though, I’m still not likely to buy them next time I run out of dried fruit….

The bar was really good too.  It has a nice raspberry flavour, and the chocolate wasn’t too overpowering (it’s not dark chocolate).  And there are nice big pieces of nuts.  The texture is like a typical granola bar.

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Through the morning I sipped on Breakfast part 2, the other half of last night’s spinach/collard/mango/banana green monster.  I am pleased to report it held up quite well in the fridge overnight.  I detected no difference (though I’m not really sure why I thought there would be).

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For lunch and snacks, I brought along an apple with black berries, a container of celery, carrot, and grape tomatos, some hummus, and chili.

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I wasn’t really feeling the chili once I got around to lunch at work, so I ate the other stuff, and before leaving I dug out the last 2/3rds of an All Fruit Original Elevate Me! bar which I munched on while walking to the bus stop.  Here’s the evidence.

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Come dinner time I didn’t really know what I wanted so I figured I might as well finish my lunch.  I also had two broken up whole wheat matzo crackers for chili dipping.

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Now to come up with something for tomorrow’s lunch…I’m thinking not chili…