Plentiful Plants

Daily eats of a Torontonian student

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).

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Mini-Monsoon July 6, 2009

When I got to work this morning we were sad to discover our field trip was to be delayed till later this week because it was “a mini monsoon” up north (my boss’ words) and they had in fact stopped construction for the day. So instead of discovering new physical territory today, I only discovered a new tasty protein powder. My morning green monster contained chia seeds, half a banana, brazil nut milk, Strawberry Spirutein, and a bunch of spinach. It literally tasted like CANDY. It’s pretty sweet, so it’s not something I’m planning on drinking it every day (not that I do that with protein powder anyways) but it’s nice to know about if I want something that’s more of a treat.

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For lunch I fixed a fantastic salad mess of asparagus, carrot, zucchini, avocado, and chives dressed in a mixture of tahini and lemon juice. Love that dressing.

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And lunch dessert was strawberries, raspberries, and CHu. I loved that by lunchtime, the CHu had “melted” and coated all the fruit perfectly (and deliciously!).

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And later in the afternoon I dug into a Key Lime Pie Larabar. I think this a serious contender for my favourite Larabar flavour, YUM! And as you can see, I was in a bit of a rush leaving this morning, so I grabbed my keys, metropass, and larabar all in one feel swoop and didn’t bother taking the time to put the other stuff down to snap a picture. Which also led to me forgetting about hiding my mangled finger, but at least you don’t have to see the other side.

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For dinner I cooked up another salmon filet, this time with sesame oil, orange juice concentrate, and dill, then ate it on a bed of red leaf lettuce and tomato, with the excess pan juice as dressing, delicious.

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Then for dessert I was informed by the roomie that I must try a Dare Cocoa Chocolate Chip Cookie bar, and since he so kindly provided me with one, I did. Oh my goodness yummy! It’s a good thing I don’t have a whole box of them, because I can see them being seriously addictive.

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All around the mulberry bush July 5, 2009

I was semi-starving when I got home from work this morning so I quickly grabbed a tomato, sliced it up, and covered it in leftover cheese sauce from yesterday. Excellent combination.

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Then I made the sad discovery that I had accidentally left out the quart of strawberries I got at the farmer’s market yesterday, and a whole bunch of them had gone moldy. So I nibbled on some while sorting through them and trimming up the good ones. Then I used a few as a topping for another bowl of chia oatgurt. I didn’t mean to fill the bowl quite so full, but there was so little left in the jar I just wanted to finish it. There’s also a big spoonful of CHu on there too, fantastic dish.

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However, I made up for the lost strawberries by making use of the 20 minute gap between starting a load of laundry and moving it to the dryer. I channeled my inner urban forager and filled up a 1L container with fresh, delicious mulberries from the tree in front of my apartment building. I’ve always thought mulberries don’t start until August, so I was very please when my roomie alerted me to the fact that the sidewalk was littered with them. And there are still plenty of unripe berries on the tree, so there as far more where these cam from.

I snacked on a few wonderful handfuls in the afternoon. I love mulberries so much! I remember sleeping over at my grandparent’s farm and picking them with bare feet, and my grandma helping me to scrub the stains off my feet afterwards.

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Along with a few figs.

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For dinner I made use of something else I foraged this morning on my walk home, day lilies! I started by sauteing beets and brussel sprouts in a little olive oil and salt. Then I made some Zesty-fied Balsamic Salmon. And finally I wilted beet greens and the petals from 3 day lilies. And garnished with a few L’Allegretto cheese shavings, and one more day lily. I loved the raw flower, plain, but I think the petals were a but lost with the strongly flavoured beet greens.

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And finally, some dessert chocolate.

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Peachy Keen For Non-Fried Green Tomatoes June 30, 2009

This morning’s green monster was pretty fantastic after yesterday’s disappointment. In the mix was kale, chia seeds, peach, and banana. So sweet and delicious.

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For lunch I had another big salad, the same mix of lettuce, carrot, red pepper, red tomato, asparagus, green onion, and Avocado Dill dressing. And I finished the avocado dressing, so I can make up something else now (not that it wasn’t delicious).

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Then for snackies I dug into raspberries, blueberries, and a Kumato. The kumato is an hierloom variety of tomato, and it seems to be pretty widely available. I give it two thumbs up, though it doesn’t taste much different for any other decent tomato. It does taste a lot better than you’re typical green (unripe) tomato, ie. the ones my sister was briefly obsessed with dousing in bread crumbs and pan frying the summer she watched the movie.

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When I got home I discovered that good old Matt and Sarma really know what they’re talking about. Brazil nuts make AWESOME milk! It might also have something to do with the 3 inch piece of vanilla bean I threw in the mix instead of extract. I’ve had a few vanilla beans sitting in the freezer for 3 years now, and that after I nabbed them out of my mom’s freezer where they had been since we bought them in Mexico Christmas of 2001, so I figured it was high time I used it in something. I didn’t really follow the RFRW recipe exactly, fiddling with it to make it a bit less calorie laden, I used 1 cup brazil nuts (pre-soaking), 6 cups water, 1/4 teaspoon stevia, and the vanilla bean, soaked while I was at work (at least 2 hours), then blended and strained in my milk-bag/old T-shirt. Creamy and delicious. I used Organic Traditions stevia, which is just the powdered leaf, and it tastes so good, no funky aftertaste like the Krisda stuff my roomie (mostly him) and I finally used up that’s bulked up with isomalt.

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I used some of the wonderful brazil nut milk to make dessert tonight, blending it with the last of my farmer’s market strawberries, ice, and a bit of honey for a creamy strawberry milkshake.

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But before dessert I happily dug into a salad of 1 small zucchini, 1 carrot, 5-6 stalks asparagus, ~1/3 c finely chopped pineapple, 1 T stone ground mustard, 1 T apple cider vinegar, 1/2 T honey, and a sprinkling of chopped roasted salted macademia nuts. So, so good.

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And a little extra dessert, dark chocolate goodness.

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Is It Still A Zee-Bar If It Eaten In Canada? June 29, 2009

Breakfast this morning was trying to be a PB+J concoction, but it ended up being not-so-great. It tasted like it had tomato in it (which I DO NOT like). In the mix was kale, wheatgrass ice cubes, raspberries, and PB2. Raspberries + wheatgrass = not good. I chugged the mix down after adding a squirt of agave, but I think from now on the wheatgrass will be drunk buy itself.

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Luckily my taste buds were made happy buy the snack I had later in the morning. I tried out the Honey Graham Z-Bar (Zed-Bar?) Krista gave me this weekend. It was pretty awesome, very cookie-like, I understand where all the blogger love is coming from. Thanks again Krista!

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For lunch I had the usual giant salad, lettuce, asparagus, carrot, cucumber, red pepper, green onion, and blended dill avocado dressing. I’m impressed at the dressing’s ability to stay green even though I blended it like 5 days ago, it doesn’t even taste very lemon-y, I only added some on top when I stuck it in the fridge.  It looks even greener in person than in this picture.

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And afternoon snacks, tomato and the darkest plum I’ve ever seen.

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For dinner I pulled a bag of frozen wax beans from the freezer, and a can of tuna from the pantry and stirfried them with olive oil, lemon juice, and lots of dill, chives, and green onion. It made a giant mountain of deliciousness.

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But I stil had a little room leftover for dessert, sweet strawberries. They’re starting to look a little grungy from being in the fridge, but I’d rather that than mold.

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Monarchs, Moms, Markets, and Moose! June 27, 2009

I woke up feeling artistic for breakfast this morning. My kabocha and raw mole monarch is approaching symmetry, right? I had another piece of kabocha too, but it would have ruined the picture.

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Then I set out for a morning at the markets with a fabulous blogger mom, Krista of Krista’s Kravings, and her beautiful daughter. I had a great time showing them around my favourite spots at both St. Lawrence and Kensington Markets. I even got Krista’s daughter to try durian, in the form of Durian Papaya jam, and she liked it! Krista particularly enjoyed a moose sighting, a remnant of the Moose In The City event 9 years ago (that long!?!)

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It’ll be great to have a repeat market adventure later this summer too, we didn’t even make it to Chinatown!

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When lunch time rolled around I finally got to dig into the veggies my parents brought my last week! I washed a bowl of lettuce and topped it with carrot, tomato, asparagus, feta cheese, and blended dill avocado dressing.

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And lunch dessert was a bowlful of strawberries and a caterpillar/slug/sea cucumber? The strawberries were delicious, the first local ones of the season, and I ate ate least twice the many throughout the afternoon. That brown thing was something new we discovered at The “World’s Most Ridiculous Bulk Food Store”, dried banana. I think it must have started out as a baby banana anyways, because I don’t see a whole regular sized banana shrinking quite that small, but it was quite good. It was a lot different than I was expecting, less sweet and kinda starchy/bready in texture instead of chewy, but I liked it.

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Then some time in the afternoon between talking on the phone with MY mom, and catching up on a couple days worth of Google Reader I completely lost track of time, so when I got hungry for dinner I went with something fast and easy. A bowlful of zucchini noodles with mole, and a peanut butter and pickle wrap.

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And then I enjoyed a movie with a big glass of superfast iced tea. This tea concentrate caught my eye in the grocery store the other day, though I didn’t do a very good job of reading the label. I thought it was unsweetened concentrate, but upon closer examination, it was sweetened with (non-artificial) cane sugar. Oh well, I added one packet to 1 L of water (instead of 500ml as suggested), and it tasted perfect to me, not too sweet but also not watered down. It’ll be handy to have these around for fast iced tea through the summer. Especially since the roomie has a habit of using all the ice in the freezer making his own iced tea (during the day, when I’m not home), then not restocking the supplies!

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Now hopefully tomorrow my pictures will be a bit less blurry. It took a lot more trys than it should have to get some of these pictures today. Playing golf for the first time yesterday really used muscles in my hands and forearms that aren’t normally used, when ever I go to press down with my finger to take a picture or to click the mouse, my finger starts shaking.  Obviously I wasn’t doing a very good job of taking advice to relax my hands!

 

I like it green June 25, 2009

I really, really do.

Green for breakfast: dino kale, strawberries, nectarine, chia seeds. And a very full glass, I almost added too much ice.

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Green for lunch: Cauliflower, asparagus, and carrot in a dressing of blended avocado, cucumber, dill, green onion, oregano, salt and pepper.

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Almost-green for snack: cherries and strawberries (the tops of the strawberries were green!). I also grabbed a handful of Kashi crackers just before heading out the door this morning, so they never made it into any picture.

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Green for dinner: zucchini noodles and steamed broccoli topped with lots of raw mole.

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Green for dessert: Steamed kabocha and hemp nut butter (the skin is green, and the butter is really pale green to my eyes). I missed my kabocha, but I finally made enough room in the fridge to steam some more!

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Out On The Town June 24, 2009

So I discovered half a carton of egg whites in the back of the fridge and figured I should probably eat them before they went bad. Which meant breakfast this morning was an imitation of my Sunday Fran’s breakfast. Egg white omlette with light feta cheese, dill, chives, oregano, and thyme. I liked mine better 🙂 And on the side I had a sweet and juicy tomato.

2009_06_24_breakfast

I went to a training thing for work today, and as a result, I unexpectedly went out to lunch with my coworkers (for free for me! fun perks :)). We went to New Generation Sushi, aka my (and most people that I know’s) favourite sushi place on Bloor St. I got the sushi lunch special which was the usual salad and miso soup with 7 pieces of sushi. Salmon, tuna, squid, tamago, crab, clam, and red snapper.

Then for dinner I had what I made for lunch, a salad mess of asparagus, carrot, red pepper, avocado, and mole sauce. But I added a bed of spring mix, a handful of Kashi crackers, and a spoonful of almond butter for the crackers.

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And I plan on enjoying a Ruth’s Lemon Hazelnut MacaPower bar during SYTYCD (I didn’t forget this week!)

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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.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Free fruit (and chocolate)! April 27, 2009

This morning started off with a relaxing breakfast enjoyed almost-outside, a hard boiled egg and a plateful of my BSI Morning Glory Bread. While rearranging my room yesterday I put a rocking sofa chair (is there a word for that?) beside the window, right where the breeze hits when I open my window the whole two inches wide. And I’ve discovered it makes a lovely little spot to look out (mostly at the sky) and enjoy a meal with some fresh air.

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For lunch I packed up the leftover balsamic asparagus and some orange dill Lake Erie striped bass from last night along with green pepper strips.

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As well as Liberty plain non-fat yogurt with Dorset fruits, nuts, and seeds cereal.

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And for snacks I had packed some strawberries and pineapple. But I didn’t eat them. But I’m including the picture to replace the fact I have no picture of what I did eat. Namely a little plate of mixed melon, kiwi, and blueberries, and a piece of a brownie. The fruit was leftover from a lunch meeting. And the brownies (as well as lemon squares) were brought in by my cubicle-mate for her birthday. And I knew they were from My Market Bakery in Kensington Market, so I has to try a piece, and as I suspected, it was amazingly delicious (with cherries on top!).

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For dinner I made use of some items I found lurking in the cupboard.  I made some sushi-esque wraps, both filled with orange pepper and asparagus edamummus, one wrap with only nori, and the other with both nori and rice paper.   They were some pretty tasty bites, I was pleased.

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Then I blended up the strawberries and pineapple I brought to work with ice and Celestial Seasonings Peach White tea to make a sweet smoothie.  Of which I only drank about half because it was too sweet for me…maybe I should have added greens…

2009_04_27_smoothie

Then for dessert I had a different kind of sweet, a couple of parnoosh dates mixed with 2 T of dried coconut.  I’ve never had a coconut cream pie larabar (and don’t those have almonds too?) but this sure was good.

2009_04_27_dessert

Now I think I’m going to mix up a breakfast cookie for tomorrow. Though I sure do wish I could make it using the peanut butter and protein powder I could win in Nicole’s 100th post giveaway over at Just Sweet Enough!

And another note, Marianne commented that she had never heard of poor man’s pie, which got me to googleing, and I couldn’t find ANYTHING about my version.  I found a bunch of recipes for what looks suspiciously like a pie-sized butter tart, and some bread pudding in a pie crust, but no mention of a simple slice of bread spread with butter and molasses.  Which just seems odd to me because that’s what my dad would always call it (and he often used corn syrup too, especially for us kids who didn’t like molasses so much by itself).  And I assume he got it from my grandma, who grew up in Alabama.  So maybe it’s a southern thing?  A southern thing that hasn’t managed to make its way to the internet yet?  Will I become famous for bringing it to light? 😉