Plentiful Plants

Daily eats of a Torontonian student

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…

 

I take it back April 7, 2009

I think Mother Nature decided to take my request for below zero weather a little too seriously. Definitely not spring-like today…

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Before venturing out in the cold this morning I had an awesome yogurty breakfast. In the bowl is strained plain yogurt, hiding applesauce, the last of the ground flaxseed, and a serving of Stephano’s Bakery Deluxe granola (that I had to take out of Biz’s BSI prize to reduce the package weight a little). I’m loving the strained yogurt, I picked up an actual large strainer a couple of weeks ago so I can do a whole container of yogurt at once, instead of one serving at a time in my tea strainer. And a full 24 hour strain is so worth the wait.

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For lunch I had a piece of baked basa fish along with a pile of carrot, red pepper, and cucumber. I’ve got a really good 5lb bag of carrots in the fridge, and they need to be eaten so they stop taking up so much space!

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In the afternoon I snacked on some sweet kiwi and strawberries, and just before coming home I worked my way through the other half of the Nutty Banana Boom Probar. I like how each bite of the Probar has something different in it. And the grain sweetened dark chocolate chips are really good, they’re soft instead of hard. Has anyone seen this kind of chocolate for sale anywhere before? The ingredients of the chocolate chips are whole grain malted barley and corn, cocoa powder, soy lecithin, and pure natural vanilla.

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For dinner I was inspired after seeing Vegan Dad’s post this morning and fixed up a wonderful mustard coated spread. I defrosted some frozen precooked baby potatoes in the microwave, then tossed them in a mix of stone ground mustard, whole grain dijon and soy milk along with some fresh asparagus. The potatoes and asparagus got a quick roast in the oven while I sauteed the last of my frozen shrimp in a pan with a little sesame oil and a few cloves of roasted garlic. I cleaned out the mustard bowl with chopped red and orange peppers and snow peas, then plated everything up and enjoyed 🙂

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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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BSI Eggs: Not-Your-Normal Egg Roll March 24, 2009

Time for another BSI entry so soon?  We’ll get to that later.

This morning I came with with a delicious creation with my serving of slowcooked steel cut oats.  I made my version of apple pie oatmeal.  In the mix is the oatmeal, a small chopped red delicious apple, a spoonful of homemade mascarpone brown sugar ice cream for extra sweetness, and copious amounts of pumpkin pie spice.  I stirred that all up with a heaping spoon of ground flax, then topped the bowl with nice plump raisins, crunchy pumpkin seeds, and a spoonful of amazing roasted almond butter.  Yum!  I would usually have mixed in all the toppings, but for once I decided to pick up spoonfuls of oatmeal and dip each bite in the almond butter.  Amazing!  You can taste the nuttyness so much more this way, I dont think I’m ever going to mix in my nut butters again!

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I managed to fill my fridge with an abundance of tasty fresh produce this weekend, and my lunch reflects some of the offerings.  I brought to work with me a veggie container packed with a carrot, yellow and orange peppers, grape tomatoes, cucumber, and steamed broccoli.

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And I brought along a whole wheat english muffin filled with flavourful emmental cheese and ketchup (which I nuked a bit before eating to get nice and melty).

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There was a also fruit container filled with a sweet, juicy minneola orange, mango, grapes, and strawberries. Although I only ate the orange at work, and apparently I never managed to take a picture of this container, oops. I’m sure you can imagine what an orange looks like, now add a knobby thing on top of it and you’ve got a minneola.

For dinner I decided to make something with the carton of egg whites hanging out in the fridge, something worthy of being my BSI entry thanks to Mark over at Training Feul’s brilliant choice of eggs (the whites count, right?)!

I was also looking for a fun excuse to make more of the wonderful lentil mixture I discovered yesterday, besides cut avocados don’t last long anyway. The answer was a wrap!

The recipe is simple enough, 3 egg whites (I measured 100g), and a little bit of oil on the pan to allow a crust to form (you need this even for a non-stick pan in my experience). All you do is lube up the pan (I used less than half a teaspoon of oil), get it hot, and pour in the egg whites. Then don’t touch them until they’re fully set and the bottom is nicely browned. With minimal pan shaking or prodding with a spatula you should end up with tasty wrapper ready for filling. The only trick is to use a big enough pan that the whites can spread out thin enough to be flexible for wrapping afterwards, and let it cool a bit before wrapping so it doesn’t tear easily/burn your fingers.

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I filled my egg wrapper with spinach and lentil/yves italian veggie ground round/avocado/Big Bull steak sauce mixture and rolled the whole thing up.

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This made for a lovely dinner paired with the rest of the fruit I didn’t eat at work. The mango (ataulfo) was amazing, I’m so glad mango season is starting in Mexico (since I know there’s no way I’m going to get local mangoes in Toronto, global warming’s not that fast)!

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El pot o’ Chili March 8, 2009

This morning started out with a delicious bowl of oat bran.  I’ve been missing my oats… I cooked the oat bran with water and lots of cinnamon, then topped them with half a banana, flaxseed, dried blueberries (yum!) and some cashew pieces.

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I also enjoyed a cup of tea with a splash of unsweetened vanilla almond breeze

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All morning there were beans boiling on the stove and towards lunch time I started putting together a big pot of chili for the week.  It was going to be my lunch, but then I was invited out to The Dumpling House in Chinatown.   I do love dumplings, and I couldn’t go home for chinese new year’s, so I missed my mom’s last month, so I went.  No pictures, but I had 8 dumplings with a variety of fillings, the two best being pork with chive and spinach with shitake mushroom.  I also had a spoonful of fried rice, and a spoonful of tasty noodles in hoisin sauce.

We sent to afternoon walking around chinatown and kensington, and when I got home I was hungry for a snack so I had a grapefruit, after a bit of a struggle pulling apart the segments.

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I also stuck a trayful of stuff in the oven to cook, including an entire head of garlic that I used to make some awesome hummus!  I think it’s amazing because I used roasted almond butter instead of tahini, along with the usual juice from one lemon, and head of roasted garlic!  It goes really well with celery.  I also snacked on a bit of freshly baked sweet potato.

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Dinner time rolled around and I made up a plateful of chili (you’re going to see a lot of it this week), a hunk of sweet potato topped with some delicious old cheddar my friend picked up in Kensington, a pile of old looking celery sticks, and a dollop of roasty hummus.

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That pot of chili included most of a head of cauliflower, onions (well caramelized with a bit of olive oil), carrots, corn, frozen lima beans, dry kidney, pinto and black beans, TVP, a can of diced tomatoes, a can of tomato paste, a little chili powder, and lots of massamun curry paste.

Now I must go clean up the kitchen a bit, pack a lunch for tomorrow, and watch some Amazing Race and Desperate Housewives before bed.

 

Perhaps a bit premature… February 26, 2009

Summer is coming!

OK, not quite yet, we can work on spring first, but my breakfast tasted like summer, even if that flavour came via Florida.  And then when I went outside for work there was virtually no snow to be seen!  It had almost all melted, and it was above zero even though the sun had just come out.  Up where I work there was still snow.  In fact, it looked like it had snowed overnight, though it was starting to melt too…but that’s a different story…

My summer bowl of steel cut oats was mashed with a large helping of heated strawberries, and topped with goat cheese, flaxseed, and walnuts.  I’m really liking the goat cheese and something sweet oatmeal topping combination.

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I spent most of my day a work doing some serious engineering work which consisted primarily of photoshopping a bunch of images to match drawings I had in front of me but we can’t use because we’re required to make our own, identical versions.  Oh well, someone has to do it, and I am the student…

Lunch was a container of sauteed asparagus, pork tenderloin, onions, and mushrooms with balsamic vinegar.  There was also a sliced carrot involved, as well as a giant whole wheat matzo cracker.

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The cracker was hiding with a blood orange and a gala apple.

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I also enjoyed some Sahale Snacks Ksar Pistachios.

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Tonight I was in a weird food mood, I was hungry but didn’t want to eat or cook anything in particular.  Coupled with the fact that the fridge is looking rather barren, I ended up with a giant red leaf lettuce salad tossed with goddess dressing, and topped with grapes, corn, and the last of the pork tenderloin.  The corn and grape combination, though admitted odd, actually ended up being really good with the dressing.

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And finally, dessert was half a Cashew Cookie Larabar and a couple pieces of dried mango.  I’ve only had the banana cookie and chocolate mint Larabars before and wasn’t impressed with either, but I had stopped off to pick up some (sale!) Almond Breeze on the way home and this bar was marked down because it’ll expire soon, so I decided to give a nutty flavour a try.  It was pretty good, a bit dry for my tastes (though that could be because it’s old?).  I think it’ll make a good topping for tomorrows oats.  Overall, I don’t think I’m horribly enthusiastic about Larabars in general, but I’m not likely to say no it offered one.  For now I’d rather spend my money on other things.  Though I would like to try making my own, I do have a container of dates and lots of nuts and dried fruit in my cupboards….

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One colour at a time… February 24, 2009

I’ve been having some very monochrome meals today…

To start off was breakfast, a berry blue bowl of oats (hehe…I like alliteration).  Last night I got everything ready for quick morning assemblage.  In the appropriately coloured vessel went steel cut oats cooked with water, a Blueberry Delight Mott’s Unsweetened applesauce, dried blueberries, some Nature’s Path Blueberry Almond Muesli, ground flaxseed, a touch of cinnamon, and the last few lonely blueberries I bought over a week ago.

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After getting up I happily dug into this mountain.

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After mixing.

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And by the time I had finished breakfast and was about to head out the door, the sun had risen!  Please excuse the very dirty windows, I can’t clean the outsides…

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For lunch the theme was green.  Crisp creamy wraps made of red leaf lettuce, avocado, and pork tenderloin sprinkled with barbeque salt.

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Six times over.

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Snacks were a sea of red and orange, starting out with cute mini bell peppers stuffed with roasted garlic hummus.

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I also packed up a Cameo apple, and crunchy carrot slices.

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Amazingly enough, the sun was still out when I got home too!

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For dinner I made myself my favourite pasta dish, mushrooms, onion and collard greens sauteed in olive oil and balsamic vinegar and mixed with Eden Organics Kamut Spirals.  And for something new, I topped the plate with some lovely goat cheese, an excellent addition.  I’d say this plate was relatively brown…

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Now I’m going to relax with a cupful of grapes (red/purple!) and a book for the rest of the evening.

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