Plentiful Plants

Daily eats of a Torontonian student

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.

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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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Herb Overload June 3, 2009

I started my day with something a little bit different this morning. Pizza! My breakfast pizza featured an egg white crust, a little jarred pasta sauce, fresh sage, and a piece of Balderson 2 year old cheddar. It was very tasty after I removed some sage, that fresh stuff sure is strong!

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Accompanying my pizza was a small bowl of Kashi Flakes and Granola cereal with soy milk and banana.

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For lunch I fixed up a salad mess with celery, carrot, red pepper, black beans, yogurt, chives, and parsley. And I managed to assualt my taste buds again with a little too much parsley combined with the strongly flavoured outer ribs of a bunch of celery. Whoa! Along side the crunchy salad was a pita.

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Lunch dessert was a repeat from yesterday, cherries and cukes.

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In the afternoon my tastebuds recovered from a savoury overload with an awesometastic Coconut Cream Pie Larabar. I’ve never seen this flavour in stores before, so when I noticed it I grabbed one based on many other blogger’s raves about it. OH MY WORD it is GOOD! So soft and creamy and coconutty!

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For dinner I didn’t feel like cooking, and went a super simple route. Peanut butter, banana, and honey pita sandwich.  And I felt like a kid again.  Vegetables, what are those?

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Mildly Fantastic May 30, 2009

Happy Weekend Bloggies!

This morning I started out with a deliciously murky green monster.  In the mix was kale, and apple, chia seeds, cocoa powder, and PB2.

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That moster provided excellent fuel for a morning of grocery shopping in which I picked up this week’s BSI ingredient, corn!  I bought one cob and proceeded to make the most amazing lunch ever!  I’ve had a jar of Simply Natural Pineapple Salsa sitting in the pantry for months but have been scared to try it because I’m not a huge fan of spicy, and store bought salsa tends to be too hot for me.  But Sophia‘s BSI choice provided the inspration to try it out.  So I took a look at what I had on hand and came up with what turned out to be a fantastically awesome (in my opinion at least) recipe for Corn Pancakes.

The ingredients for 4 3-inch pancakes (aka 1 serving):

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1/4 cup spelt flour (I’m sure regular whole wheat, or even ground oats would work too)
1 T cornmeal
1/2 t baking powder
3 egg whites (100g), lightly beaten
1/3 cup corn (1/2 the ear, fresh as it can be coming from the USA, raw, but frozen should work just as well)
1/4 cup diced red pepper
1/4 cup chopped chives (I keep a bag of them in the freezer)
a dash of salt

plus avocado and salsa for toppings (the salsa is a must, avocado good but optional)

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Mix the powdery ingredients together, then add the egg whites, salt and veggies.  The batter will be pretty thin, but it puffed up enough in the pan to surround the veggie pieces.  Then cook in a pan like any other pancake, and plate with toppings.

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The pancakes were great, the salsa was awesome (and actually mild, yay!), and together they made an fantastic lunch.  I loved the sweet bursts of corn in every bite.  If you’re not going to use salsa as a topping, I suggest adding more seasonings to the pancakes themselves along the lines of chili powder or onion, or else they might be a bit plain, but with salsa, the dish was perfect.

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The perfect bite.

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Then later in the afternoon I tried out a dessert I picked up for the first time because it was on sale for a ridiculously low price and I needed to satisfy my curiousity.  A Skinny Cow ice cream sandwich.  It was so good!  I haven’t tried them before because I figured, being a low-fat ice cream concoction, they would taste pretty weird like the other one’s I’ve tried in the past, but this succeeded in tasting like real ice cream!  I almost want to go back to the store tomorrow to see if they have any left so I can stock up for the summer.

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Now I’m off the meet some friends for a sushi dinner, so I’ll be back tomorrow 🙂

 

Chocolate Heaven April 21, 2009

Today was a busy day at work, I never even got a change to open my gmail/reader, let alone start writing this post.  I even stayed half an hour late in order to finish up one section of what I was doing so I can start a new one tomorrow.  Makes up for all those days of nothing to do a few weeks ago.

I started off with a slice of toasted ezekiel bread with strawberry, blackberry, acai jam.

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It was a small breakfast, but I made up for it by sipping on a giant, quite thick monster all morning long.  This decadant tasting treat contained a ton of spinach, soft tofu, TWO bananas, and cocoa powder.  So creamy, chocolatey delicious.

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For lunch I had a giant Kath and Kelsey inspired salad.  The based was romaine, carrot, cucumber, and red pepper.  Then on top I mashed a can of sardines (alas, same brand but just packed in water), and mixed them with mustard, dried dill, and dill pickles.  Mustard + dill = amazing, can’t believe I’ve never had that combination before.

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In the afternoon I snacked on a contained of tomato, starfruit, and bosc pear.  For those who are interested, a good starfruit, is firm, with no green left, but only the smallest possible amount of brown at the edges.  And I hear they do ripen on the counter if the store only has partly green ones.  And you can eat the entire thing.  And they’re very yummy, the flavour’s subtle, not hit you over the head strong or sweet, but they taste refreshingly tropical.

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One my way home I dug into a Chia Razz Weil Bar.  Very good, I love the raspberry flavour.

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And for dinner I was feeling lazy, so I nabbed myself a fresh sesame bagel from a platter in the kitchen at work, and spread half with asparagus edamummus, and had the other half with nuked egg whites and some ridiculously good dill havarti.  And surprisingly now, a few hours later, I’m still full.  The bagel was pretty big, but it was white bread, I wasn’t quite expecting that, but I won’t complain.

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Moving Day April 20, 2009

This morning at work was moving day for some people (not me, but I helped with some of the furniture rearranging). My company’s been hiring a bunch of people recently, and one person left on Friday to move back to China, so there was cubicle/real office dominos happening as a section of the office’s cubicle walls were also rearranged to make room for new desks. And now every one in Structures is together again, no more exiles to the land of Highways. Infrastructure engineering = recession proof, lucky for me when I actually graduate next year 🙂

The day started out with a sweet and crunchy bowl of Health Valley Spelt Flakes with Cranberries topped with a russet apple, and my homemade almond milk (14 cents/litre instead of $2 = score!, partly due to my cheap $5 2lb bag of almonds I got at Christmas)

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Then throughout the morning I polished off this huge spinach, strawberry, banana, orange green monster. I made this last night to avoid waking the roomy at 6am, and I completely wasted a smoothie-worth of ingredients because I added the peel with the orange half. Grrr, Vita-mix told me I could do it, and my favourite cranberry relish recipe is just a bag of cranberries, a whole orange, and sugar chopped up, but in the smoothie the orange peel was disgustingly bitter. Never again. But completely delicious sans pith.

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For lunch I dug into a huge romaine salad. I chopped up grape tomatoes, carrot, cucumber, snow peas, and red pepper for the topping and mixed them all with homemade asparagus edamummus. And at the last minute I threw on some microwaved egg whites.

The asparagus edamummus is just 2 parts asparagus, 1 part each chickpeas and edamame, and roasted garlic/tahini/lemon/salt. And it’s very yummy if I do say so myself.

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Then later in the afternoon I snack on some honeydew melon and starfruit. And I was quite happy to discover I chose quite a good starfruit, sweet, flavourful, and juicy.

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I battled my way through the wind and rain on the way home and enjoyed the leftover roasted veggies from yesterday for dinner. The celeriac, cauliflower, and pepper squash (no more brussel sprouts, boo!) took a trip to the oven first though to reheat, along with a few slices of tofu covered in teriyaki sauce.  And I also finished off the mushroom chips.  The plate may look a bit boring and uncolourful, but it sure tasted good.  And the warm food (and a change of clothes) was a welcome relief from the cold, damp commute after getting soaked between work and the bus stop.  My umbrella was definitely not useful in today’s wind.

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After an Episode of Eli Stone, and a phone call home I decided I was still hungry, so for dessert I sliced up a banana and topped it with pumpkin seed butter and almond milk.  Delicious mashed up.

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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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No point crying over… April 14, 2009

A cracked shell?

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This cute little guy was given to me this morning by my cubicle-mate who brought back a bag full of these key chains from her quick holiday in New York City this weekend. The contents of each box are random and we all had fun seeing who got which key chain.

This morning’s breakfast was a large slice of fresh Cob’s Bakery Flaxseed bread spread with lovely roasted almond butter, and a banana.

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For lunch I packed up some veggies, snow peas, red pepper, and carrot.

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As well as a bowlful of Dorset Fruits, Nuts, and Seeds cereal.

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And in the afternoon I snacked on strawberries and super sweet and delicious mango.

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For dinner I started with a crunchy plate of more carrot, Finncrisp rye crackers, and hummus.

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Then I made a perfectly tangy wrap with a La Tortilla Factory Multigrain wrap, spinach, tuna, a little microwaved egg white, dill pickles, and hefty spread of whole grain dijon mustard (under the spinach)

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And now I must go investigate this Dr. Who Easter special I’m told is available for the watching…

 

Happy Un-Friday! April 9, 2009

Breakfast this morning was a crunchy nutty bowl of cereal.  In the mix was Kashi Seven Whole Grain Puffs, Nature’s Path Leapin Lemurs, and Cinnamon Puffins.  Then I threw on some very well camouflaged cranberry glazed almonds, and unsweetened vanilla almond breeze.  To really nut-ify the bowl I mixed some PB2 into the almond breeze first, the result was quite tasty.

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I had a few containers packed up to take to work.  I even packed them before the sun went down last night! The first was full of delicious honeydew.

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The second was a veggie packed mix of red pepper, snow peas, and sweet carrot slices.

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And the third held a juicy blood orange, blackberries, and last piece of basa fish, and some fried egg  whites.

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My dinner didn’t look very pretty, but it was tasty.  I cooked up oat bran with jo tasi/garlic chives, nutritional yeast and salt.  Then I steamed some cauliflower.  And to finish it off, I blended the two pots together, CCV/K style, yummy creamy mushy mess.  That’s worthy of an extra entry or two in Katie’s chocolatey giveaway isn’t it (there’s still time to enter!)?

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And dessert was something special, cashew pudding.  But it was cashew fruit instead of nut, and it was made simply of the juice and chia seeds.  And it was delicous.  I just had to try the juice when I saw it for sale, it tastes tropicaly, kind of a cross between pear and pineapple, but not tart at all, sort of creamy, I like it.  And I still have half the box to do something with, lucky me 🙂

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Have feet, will travel April 4, 2009

According to Google Maps I covered 21km today, not including walking while browsing in various stores and markets.  That’s not the most I’ve ever walked at once but it’s one of the larger (though not uncommon) numbers.  Last fall, on a Friday afternoon when we were still on summer hours, I walked home from work just so I could say it was possible, and that’s 30 km.  On a typical weekend day I probably only do 10, maybe 15 km.  The reason the number is so high today is because I went everywhere in the world (i.e. downtown TO) in search of the perfect items for my BSI:Avocado prize pack.  Of course if things keep going at this rate, I’ll get to keep the goodies for myself.  I won’t complain, I found some good stuff, but I’d rather share them!

I found someone far from home.

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I’m really glad I spent a good amount of time in St. Lawrence Market, mostly in the “World’s Most Ridiculous Bulk Food Store” (my name for the store, not it’s real name).  Its hiding at the north end of the basement of the building on the south side of Front St., if anyone ever goes looking for it, I forgot to take a look at the sign to see the real name.  The place is jam packed with SO MUCH STUFF.  Oodles of bulk bins, but also racks and racks of other things packed floor to ceiling (well, not quite tht high), and stuffed into any available nook and cranny.  So many good finds, and some were cheaper than anywhere else.  You will see them in the future, starting later in this post.

Spring is here! (I shouldn’t mention the 0 degree forecast for Monday).

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Anyways, I was so busy shopping today (and having fun!) I barely had time to eat.

I started with a breakfast of the last of the tuscan melon, topped with Grandma Emily’s Blueberry Cranberry Granola.

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Later in the morning I had a Cocoa Mole Larabar.  It was so good!  Just the right amount of spice, I was happy with my choice.  It was also the only thing I bought at Whole Foods, I was thoroughly unimpressed, nothing caught my eye.  Luckily, it was the only place on my list of places to visit today that did not deliver.

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On one of my stops home to drop off stuff I grabbed a gala apple and a handful of snow peas.

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And of course there was the obligatory sampling that occurs when you shop on a Saturday.  There some more yummy glazed nuts, really flavourful gouda, sausage made of local organic beef, amazing frozen yogurt at Blue Banana Market in Kensington (best new store ever! – I used to live a block away from it before it existed), and bits of tortilla chips dipped in a variety of tasty sauces.

And then there was also a piece of chocolate that was going to be in the BSI prize pack, but it ended up in a bag with some wet kale and the paper wrapper got soaked and kinda disintegrated, so I obviously had to eat it. It was Green and Blacks 71% Dark (not Canadian, but I get the impression it’s not widely available in the States), but have no fear, there is other chocolaty goodness for the prize pack instead, I don’t have pictures of the samples or the chocolate.  But I do have a picture of a tree that seems to have had a bit of a problem with gravity.

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So I’ve been wanting a rice krispie square for the longest time, but didn’t necessarily want to buy or eat of box of rice krispies or marshmallows, and would prefer a healthier alterntive.  I’ve seen marginally healthier alternatives around, but most are on the expensive side, close to a dollar per square, for a box of 5 or so squares.  Which leads me to find number 1 from the “World’s Most Ridiculous Bulk Food Store”.  I found a box of Source Salba (aka chia) Krispy rice bars, 8 bars for $3 (5-6$ in a regular grocery store).  I had one for a snack when I finally got home.  To borrow a phrase, HOLY YUM!  It’s has the perfect chewy rice krispie texture.  It’s definitely sweet, but not sickeningly so, and it has the most amazing fruity flavour that I can only assume is the flavour of the blue agave nectar, since I’ve never had blue agave plain before (only the dark).  I might be in love, it’s a perfect treat for my sweet tooth.

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Finally to finish the day I had a veggie filled dinner.  There was a pile (mostly hiding) of brussel sprouts sauteed in olive oil, salt and pepper, some egg white cooked with jo tsai/garlic chives, red and yellow pepper strips, and the last seitan sausage, browned in the pan after the sprouts to crisp up the outside.  With ketchup, and maple flakes for the sprouts, best idea ever.  I think I must make more seitan.  Tomorrow.  Now I’m all for getting ready for bed.

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Sweet and Sunny Friday March 27, 2009

What a warm and beautiful sunny day, I’ll accept yesterday’s rain along with today’s sun if it means winter is really over. This lovely Friday morning started out with a sweet treat for breakfast. Rooting around in the cupboard last night I found a jar of toffee sprinkles my roomie brought home from the ‘bucks ages ago. Throwing caution to the wind I added a liberal dosing of the tasty artificially flavoured corn syrup bits on top of my steel cut oats mixed with ground flax. A little bit, once in a while won’t kill me. And they were good, especially along with the spoonful of amazing Maranatha organic creamy peanut butter. Peanut Toffee Buzz is a Clif bar flavour, right? I entirely understand the flavour combination now. I also happily consumed my last cute little red delicious apple. Alas, no more “just for kids” fruits for me.

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Later in the morning I tested a new (to me) variety of apple, Piñata, it was good, but I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between it and a gala without the label sticker. I also had a juicy blood orange. The apple is not pink inside, that’s just a drop of juice from the orange, it was making itself difficult to seperate into sections.

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For a late lunch I munched my way through a giant pile of veggies along with some egg white fried in a bit of sesame oil. There was raw red and green pepper strips, carrot slices, and steamed broccoli.

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For some reason I was starving by the end of the afternoon, I had no emergency snacks, and there were donuts and muffins in the kitchen due to birthdays.  So after resisting for a while, I finally chose a Tim Horton’s Wheat Carrot Muffin.  I only ate the top though.  I forgot how greasy store bought muffins can be…

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Since I wasn’t starving any more, I took a detour on the way home from work and stopped by Planet Organic. They have two locations in the northern outskirts of Toronto and one in Missisauga (as well as BC, Edmonton, Calgary, and Halifax). Nomally I wouldn’t go to a grocery store so far from home, but someone mentioned them to me and out of curiousity I checked out their website. I saw on their flyer that a) Clif bars are on sale for a decent price, not the lowest ever, but decent and b) they say they have 13 flavours available. Now I don’t know about you other Canadians, but I can only count 7 flavours of clif bars I’ve seen in stores. So I had to go check them out. The fact that it’s a nice day for a walk helped.   And with images of apricots, blueberry crisp, and white chocolate macadamia nuts in my head, I set out.  Unfortunately, they lied a little and they cheated a little.  They lied because there were only 11 flavours, and they cheated because 11 includes the number of Luna bar flavours (I guess technically they’re Clif bars too).  Grrrr.  Ironically, there was one flavour I haven’t seen anywhere else, Peanut Toffee Buzz.  So as an ode to my breakfast I pick up a couple.  I probably won’t go back to Planet Organic though, over all they’re more expensive for the same products that are available in more convenient locations for me.

I tried a bite of the Clif bar when I got home.  It was good, but not great compared to the incredile discovery that was my oat toppings.  The bar needed more peanutyness.

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Eventually for a late dinner I fixed up a quick salad of spinach, red pepper, carrot, lime juice, parmesan, and the last of the Sahale Snacks Socorro Macadamia nuts.  Nice and flavourful.

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