Plentiful Plants

Daily eats of a Torontonian student

Sleepy Sunday July 12, 2009

So I didn’t nap before going to work last night, and instead drank a couple cups of coffee (mixed with freshly made almond milk and vanilla sugar). Oh my goodness, I am not used to caffeine. I was WIRED all night long. I think I’ve only had coffee one other time in the past year (and never have been a regular drinker), and it was just a single shot of espresso in a (latte art) latte, so I guess I kind of forgot how much coffee is too much. I also had the second piece of corn bread and a couple of carrots. I had everything set up for a picture, but apparently I didn’t actually take it, because it is nowhere to be found on my camera.

My stomach was slightly unhappy with my coffee consumption, so when I got home all I had before sleeping the morning away was a nectarine.

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When I got up I enjoyed a banana spread with hemp nut butter.

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Then while I was doing laundry, every time I walked by the sixth floor in the stairwell I could smell the most delicious salmon burger someone had cooked up. So for dinner I thawed a salmon fillet and marinated it in teriyaki sauce before panfrying. Along with that I finally tried out my first can of artichoke hearts, sauteed with olive oil and red onion, and tossed with whole wheat spaghetti. The final dish was good but I don’t think I’m a huge fan of the canned artichokes, I definitely couldn’t eat them plain…I’ll be sticking to the fresh ones in the future.

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And for dessert, lacking in the veggie department but feeling unambitious in the food prep department, I mixed up a packet of Amazing Grass Kidz Superfood with water. Very tasty indeed. I’m interested in finding out how different the kids version tastes from the regular chocolate superfood powder. One note, the powder sure doesn’t do a very good job of staying in suspension in water, constant stirring is a necessity.

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And now it’s time for more sleep, good night! (And some more green stuff tomorrow, I promise)

 

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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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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Golf Tourney! June 26, 2009

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So I was a bad food blogger today. I took a picture of breakfast but right now I’m tired and don’t feel like getting up to get my camera. It was just a green monster anyways with kale, chia seeds, banana, papaya, and pineapple. I had one earlier this week, go look at that post if you’re really curious.

Today was a golf tournament at work! And it was so much fun! I had never even seen a golf club in real life before today (excluding mini-putt), and I must say I wasn’t as horrible as I was anticipating. I happened to be in a team with my cubicle mate (also a golf newbie) and one of the best golfers in the company, and since we were playing in the way where you each move up to the previous best shot, we won! I actually putted our only birdie! Though I won’t mention the number of times I missed a birdie shot for a par (though the other two did the same thing :))

So anyways, lunch was a big juicy BBQ beef burger topped with ketchup, mustard, relish, pickle, and tomato. Then dinner was a big plateful of salad (mostly spring mix with some radishes and tomato), steamed carrots and green beans, a giant, delicious piece of grilled salmon, and a whole wheat dinner roll. I was pleasantly surprised with the healthful-ness of the dinner offerings. Though I did avoid the big pasta salad, enormous baked potatoes, and huge slabs of steak. Seriously, my salmon had to have been at least 6 ounces, but the steak was probably in the 10 oz range. Plus I had a small square of carrot cake for dessert.

Now I’m in desperate need of a shower and bed. After all I have places to be and people to meet tomorrow morning, and I’ll be sharing the fun, promise!

 

I see seas of green June 17, 2009

…and red fruits too…

This whole coming up with a post title business can be hard work!

My breakfast this morning was not green.  More purple/brown, but very tasty.  The monster included kale, chia seeds, pineapple, and blueberries.

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For lunch I brought a sea of green salad, romaine, asparagus, green pepper, snap peas and lime juice/olive oil dressing.  And the waves were crested with light feta cheese.  (At least I’m trying to be entertaining!)

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And snacking, red fruits!  Lychee, cherries, and not-so-red but oh-so-delicious apricots.

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When I got home I was starving so I had a few peanuts and a handful of blueberries to tide me over through the cooking process.

For dinner I pulled a piece of lemon and herb flavoured sole out of the freezer and heated it up in the steamer along with cauliflower, and nuked some frozen peas.  I kept the fish in the vacuum wrapped package in the steamer and the fish was perfectly cooked even though I left it going for ~10 minutes longer than I intended!  I like this fool-proof cooking method.  My cauliflower was a bit soft, but it tasted fine when I tossed it and the peas with the extra marinating liquid from the fish (that sounds better than fish juice, right?).

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Then dessert, Skinny Cow ice cream sandwich, yum.

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Now how about some sun tomorrow, and no rain!

 

Relishing Retinol June 11, 2009

There was only one thing missing after watching So You Think You Can Dance last night, no voting! My roomie and I had a a lot of fun actually voting during SYTYCD Canada last summer (after all, it was free). But it did mean I actually got to bed quickly after it was done instead of staying up to hit redial a bunch of times until I actually got through.

This morning I got up and was hungry for a green monster. It wasn’;y as mucky as yesterday’s, but not quite green either. In the super tasty mix was spinach, banana, blueberries, chia seeds, and Nutribiotics Mixed Berry Rice protein powder.

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For lunch I packed up the rest of the baked kabocha. I think I need to go buy some more this weekend, it’s so good. And stuffed in the empty spaces is snow peas.

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And also a sliced up devil dawg, carrots, and honeydew. I’m not lacking in the vitamin A department today, that’s for sure. At work I also had a handful of the cubicle-mate’s erroneously unflavoured Kashi crackers.

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And then, just as I was finishing dinner preparations the roomie came home with his parents and there was a kerfluffle of visiting and helping unpacking stuff, so while I thought I took a picture of my plate, my camera tells me otherwise.  But I had a zucchini/snow pea/black bean salad with yogurt/mustard/chive dressing along with a steamed sole fillet and half a whole wheat pita.  Very tasty, though the picture wouldn’t have been very nice anyways since it’s dark and rainy out (boo!).

 

Mystery Food June 5, 2009

I had something new to try in my green monster this morning, a packet of Vega Smoothie Infusion.

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I blended it up with kale and a banana. I think it was good, it definitely added a nice fruity flavour to the smoothie that could not be attributed to the banana, but the smoothie had a really strong bitter kale aftertaste that doesn’t usually happen it me, and I wasn’t really enjoying by the end. I didn’t add any more kale than usual so I wasn’t expecting that. Maybe the greens powder in the mix just pushed it over the top. If I buy it again I’ll definitely tone down on the added greenery, then it’ll probably be super tasty.  The monster was a darker shade of green than usual…

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It was a short day at work so all I brought with me was cherries and cukes and tea in anticipation of a late lunch at home. I was also factoring in the room I would need in my bag to lug home my hard hat and safety acessories. I did also thoroughly enjoy two Lindt truffles from the giant box someone left in the kitchen for their birthday, hazelnut and dark chocolate, yum!

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When I got home I wasn’t hungry yet so I had two medjools, then went on a shopping trip.

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In chinatown I came across this. And had no idea what it was, so I bought it, of course. I do love an adventure 🙂

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I was thinking it might be some sort of flower bud.

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But when I took a closer look at it, it sort of reminded me of corn. Really fat, red corn. So I tried peeling back the leaves.

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Nope, not corn. Then I was daring, and cut it in half. I started to revert back to my original hunch that it was a flower bud of some sort.

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So I entered a search into google, “asian edible flower bud red large”, and the internet’s magical powers let me figure out that I had bought a banana flower. It seems that it’s used a lot in the Thailand-Sri Lanka corner of the globe. It was really neat once I started to pull it apart properly. Under each leaf is a little row of flowers that eventually grow into bananas! And you’ll notice that once a leaf is broken, the sap oxidizes and turns black really quickly.

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Under that leaf…

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Eventually I decided to pull out all the little flowers, then finely chop the lighter coloured leaves. I soaked them both in lemon juice and water for a while, then sauteed them in sesame oil and sweet chili sauce.

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It was alright. Nothing special, not bad, not not particularly good either, along the lines of bamboo shoots or the tougher bits of artichokes. But now I know what it is. And it was a pain taking the stamens out of all the flowers, and the leaves tasted better anyways, so I’ll just discard the flowers if there is a next time.

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In the process of identifying this weird new food I was getting hungry, so I finished off the head of boston lettuce drizzled with light caesar dressing.

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And I also just had a pita with a bit of peanut butter. But this post doesn’t need anymore pictures, does it? Now off to bed with me so I can get up super early for an International Hiking Day adventure! And so I’ll be tired enough to nap in the evening in order to work tomorrow night.

PS.  (The other) Exciting grocery find of the week, I knew exactly what it was, too bad I couldn’t find it a couple weeks ago, Kabocha!

 

Best of Both Worlds June 2, 2009

This morning I was faced with a tough decision. I want both a green monster, and oatmeal. But not blended oats, I wanted something chewy. So I came up with what turned out to be a fantastically delicious compromise. I blended kale, a banana, vanilla, a couple spoonfuls of yogurt, and a splash of soy milk as a base. The I cooked up some oat bran in water and added it to the bowl. Then I sprinkled the lot with chia seeds and crumbled frozen raspberries. Then after the picture I stirred it all up (with some more berries) and let it sit while I cleaned up the kitchen. When I came back to the bowl I was treated to the most wonderful rice pudding like concoction. It was even the prefect temperature, I like my rice pudding chilled, and the frozen berries worked wonderfully to cool the oats to slightly below room temp. My stomach was happy this morning.

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For lunch I fixed up a whole whack of lettuce wraps. I stuffed big crunchy boston lettuce leaves with a can of sardines and leftover salad topping from yesterday (carrot, cucumber, zucchini, red pepper, asparagus, BBBV). A bit messy to eat, but very tasty, and there were napkins close by.

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And afternoon snackage was accomplished with a bowful of sweet cherries and crunchy cukes.

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When I got home I steamed a pile of broccoli, dug into my container of black beans, and combined them with avocado, parsley and salsa to make a tasty, messy bowl of dinner.

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And to finish the day there was a delightful ice cream sandwich.

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Fruit Infusion May 28, 2009

I went a little bit crazy last night when I got up in the midle of the night and opened my window for some fresh air. Because when I woke up this morning my room was cold and dark and there was rain pouring outside (but not inside, because my window only opens a crack). Let’s just say, all plans for a green monster were quickly abandoned. But my breakfast was still nice and colourful, and the vita-mix still came in handy :-). I drew inspiration from Heather and cooked some oat bran, then blended it with kale, pumpkin pie spice, and a banana. Then topped the oats with a spoonful of coconut. And it was delicious, of course.

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Then I went a bit fruit crazy while preparing my lunch and snack. For lunch I fixed up a giant salad of spring mix topped with carrot, cucumber,red pepper, and a whole pile of mango. I was really enjoying the forkfuls of pepper and mango left at the end.

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For a snack I had an Ambrosia apple with raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries. Then I also had a few Kashi crackers offered to me by the cubicle-mate. They were supposed to be Honey Sesame, but they must have missed the powdering step at the manufacturing plants, because they were just plain, though still tasty.

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When I got home I was really hungry so I quickly grabbed small bowlful of Dorset Fruits, Nuts, and Seeds Cereal.

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For dinner I drew inspiration for this morning’s Hungry Girl email. I steamed a pile of asparagus and a salmon filet with lemon, and topped it with yogurt, lemon, and sage, then rolled it up in a tortilla. Absolutely wonderful wrap. Plus I had a Zucchini Spelt Muffin (the last one :() for dessert.

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And I can’t believe I didn’t know So You Think You Can Dance was on last night and missed it! At least I’ll make up for it by enjoying it even more tonight.