Plentiful Plants

Daily eats of a Torontonian student

Cocoa Bean Bonanza July 26, 2009

Breakfast this morning was a simple bowl of snow peas, (particularly delicious) raspberries, and carrot filled with hemp nut butter and sprinkled with dulse.  Mmmm, dulse.

2009_07_26_breakfast

Lunch was a pretty fantastic salad.  I tossed a couple slices of cubed ShaSha Co. Ezekiel bread with orange juice concentrate, lemon thyme and finely julienned beets (my fingers came out the other side fully intact :)).  Then I served the mixture on a bed of red leaf lettuce and topped it with Marti cheese shavings.

2009_07_26_lunch

Then in the afternoon I had a bit of fun.  You know that cacao-date paste I made yesterday?  And the almonds that didn’t turn into almond milk?  Well I ground the almonds into a butter, mixed it with the date-cacao paste, shaped the mixture into balls and threw them into the freezer.

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Then I went out and bought a bar of President’s Choice Organic 70% dark chocolate.  And melted it.

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After a bit of dipping, rolling, and some chilling in the freezer I ended up with these rather wonderful little truffles.  The white is just condensation since I had just taken them out for the picture.

2009_07_26_truffles

I also used up the little bit of extra chocolate to roll some frozen banana chunks for a snack.  You know, along with licking the spoon and quality control checks and so forth.

2009_07_26_banana

Then, to add to the cocoa bean bonanaza I cooked up a HUGE pot of legumes.  I boiled 1/2 cup each pintos, chickpeas, adzuki, and black beans (which got their own pot to avoid dying everything else).  Then tossed the beans with a bag (~1 cup) each of thawed peas and asparagus from the freezer, a couple scoops of the pesto I made yesterday (maybe 3 T), the zest from a lemon and a lime, juice from half the lime, a pinch of salt, and a handful of parsley.  That big mess made one very large, very tasty bean salad.

2009_07_26_beans

You maybe wondering what I’m going to do with a whole plate of truffles and a ton of beans.  Well my former roommate and her then boyfriend-now husband are about to move to England for grad school, so we’re doing one last dinner and Settlers game night before they disappear.  I’m told there will be soup, and other people are bringing unknown items.  So I’m off for the night, but I’m bringing my camera 🙂

By the way, sometimes you can find smiles in the most unusual of places.  When I went on a mission to go buy chocolate this morning, I also found three bunches of marked down (but still very nice looking) organic bananas, which I hastily added to my basket for freezing purposes.  As I was leaving the grocery store there was a giant, thunderous down pour, and even with an umbrella, I (and everyone on the street at the time) ended up with soaked pants/socks/shoes/shirts/bags.  When I got closer to home, I passed by a homeless man standing on the sidewalk, holding out his hat.  But instead of asking for spare change, I heard “Spare ticket to Maui?”  He made me smile, and while I generally don’t carry cash, I came home with only two bunches of bananas, and he seemed happy.

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It Started Out Raw July 23, 2009

Breakfast this morning was a funny little green monster.  I’m not entirely sure I liked it.  I split it into two parts because I wasn’t very hungry when I woke up, and the second part had a really weird texture when I pulled it out.  It contained kale, frozen grapes, wheat grass ice cubes, chia seeds, and a handful of dates and almonds.  I think the lesson is almond milk > whole almonds and banana > dates.

2009_07_23_monster

My lunch was a wonderful salad, that I luckily packed into a container with a domed lid, because I definitely needed to extra room to fit everything in.  It contained zucchini, carrot, yellow pepper, snow peas, avocado, and Marti cheese.

2009_07_23_lunch

And later I snacked on a bunch if super ripe and delicious plums and blueberries.

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Then dinner is what started out raw.  I blended up a very tasty soup using king oyster mushrooms, a hunk of leek, kabocha, a Kallo no salt veggie stock cube, salt, and pepper.  Garnished with some delightful Live Food Bar Nacho Chips.  The soup tasted good, but then I quickly learned something.  If you eat kabocha raw, it kinda feels like the back of your thoat is swelling up and gets really scratchy.  So I quickly stopped, and poured the soup in a pan to cook for a bit.  At this point I was paranoid, so I left it on the stove for longer than it probably needed and ended up with a very tasty kabocha mash due to the amount of water that had boiled off.  But I happy ate it without feeling like I was going to suffocate 🙂  I also enjoyed a few more nachos (and lots of water to get rid of the icky throat feeling) while waiting for the soup to cook.

2009_07_23_soup

 

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.

2009_07_20_monster

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 🙂

2009_07_20_salad

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

2009_07_20_snack

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

2009_07_20_dates

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!

2009_07_20_dinner

 

S&M = Love July 18, 2009

This morning I finished off the last of my honeydew melon for breakfast.

2009_07_18_melon

Then I got busy doing things all day long, so lunch was some snacky items throughout the afternoon.  There were some carrots.

2009_07_18_carrots

Some dates and almonds.

2009_07_18_dates

A plum and an apricot.

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And a Kashi Trail Mix granola bar that I found hiding behind a bowl while cleaning up my pantry shelves.

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But the main event of the day was absolutely the modified S&M salad I fixed up for dinner. Instead of macadamia nut oil, I used part of my avocado and massaged it into romaine and baby spinach with freshly squeezed lime juice and salt. Then I topped the bowl with hemp seeds, flaked dulse, more avocado, tomato, fresh rosemary, and a broken up Radical Rosemary and Onion cracker from Live Food Bar, who appear to have started selling some of their stuff through the health food store around here. The rosemary crackers are great, but I also bought a pack of their Nachos, and tried a bite, and they are beyond fantastic! You know what else is fantastic? The salad. So good. And now I have lots of the required toppings (and dulse totally tastes like bacon-y seaweed) so I can eat it many, many more times. This makes me very happy 🙂

2009_07_18_s&msalad

And I suppose dessert was some of the super ripe and delicious pineapple I ate while chopping it up for the fridge. But, you know, sticky pineapple fingers and cameras don’t play well with each other. And for those of you who asked, my blender is a Vita-mix I got for (relatively) cheap off of Craigslist. And it was totally worth it, especially for super smooth leafy green packed green monsters, which I obviously quite enjoy. Now I’m contemplating the purchase of a dehydrator, but my roomie’s parents may have one they’ll donate to us, so I’ll hold off until I can experiment with that first.

PS. I love the mark down rack at the grocery store, I can’t wait to do something with these.

2009_07_18_mushrooms

 

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.

2009_07_17_monster

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

2009_07_17_lunch

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.

2009_07_17_soup

And some honeydew for dessert.

2009_07_17_melon

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 🙂

2009_07_17_tea

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!

 

Feeling a Little Nutty July 15, 2009

A little fruity, a little nutty, it’s been an uninspired day in the realm of my eats. I’ve been busy doing other things and just went with what was fast and easy.

It started off with breakfast. I enjoyed a slice of my roomie’s parent’s homemade zucchini bread (including homegrown zukes and walnuts from my parent’s tree), cherries, and Amazing Grass Superfood (the regular flavour) mixed in homemade vanilla almond milk. I don’t know if it was just the vanilla fooling my taste buds, but I swear this powder tasted like chocolate, when it was just the plain flavour. And that can only be a good thing, right? Two thumbs up for sure.

2009_07_15_breakfast

Later in the morning I enjoyed some sweet honeydew melon.

2009_07_15_honeydew

And for lunch, leftover sprouted amaranth tabouli, with extra parsley added.

2009_07_15_tabouli

And in the afternoon I snacked on some dates and almonds.

2009_07_15_almonddates

Then a super simple dinner of a kale/pineapple/banana green monster.

2009_07_15_monster

And an extra dose of dates and nuts in the form of an awesome Apple Pie Larabar.

2009_07_15_larabar

I really should make some sort of non-produce, non-dried fruit/nut snacky item to keep on hand without worrying about it going bad. And without a dehydrator. Any suggestions?

 

Lazy Summer Saturday July 11, 2009

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

2009_07_11_fruit

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.

2009_07_11_lunch

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

2009_07_11_mulberries

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

2009_07_11_almonds

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