Plentiful Plants

Daily eats of a Torontonian student

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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May I have some more? April 8, 2009

Work that is…

Only one more day left this week! Which is great because I’ve been ridiculously bored at work, practically nothing to do. The thing is, the senior engineers know I have nothing to do, I’ve told them, but they are all gone in meetings all the time and don’t have anything to give me. It’s times like these I miss school… It wouldn’t be so bad, not having anything to do for 7.5 hours a day, but it’s the fact that I waste another 2.5-3 hours commuting to a different location to do nothing that really annoys me. At least there are plenty of blogs out there to entertain me, and I get paid 🙂 And there is a project that should start soon, as soon as some of us do a one-day training course, a site inspection that will involve field trips and hard hats and everything 🙂

I was starving when I woke up this morning so I fixed up a really big breakfast to fill me up. I spread strawberry, blackberry, and acai jam over TWO slices of rye bread with muesli, and topped the plateful with a slice Fuji apple. This sweet breakfast did an excellent job of making my stomach happy.

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For lunch I had a salad of romaine, red and orange peppers, snow peas, and jo tsai/garlic chives. There’s whole grain dijon under the veggies, and honey mustard on top. I think I’m going on a mustard kick, it’s making such a good dressing (my mustards aren’t very spicy at all).

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That was followed but a pile of carrots, celery, and delicious basa fish.

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Then in the afternoon I snacked on honeydew melon and blackberries. I think this honey dew is the best one I’ve ever bought! It’s super flavourful without being too sweet or too soft. So refreshing. I’m so happy I paid the extra dollar for a honeydew instead of a cantaloupe in the grocery store last weekend!

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For dinner I retrieved a serving of TVP chili from the freezer and served it over a bed of kale sauteed in olive oil and orange juice concentrate. That has to be one of my favourite was to cook kale, not bitterness left. I might have also quickly gnawed through a carrot while I was waiting for the chili to heat…

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And dessert was some strawberries and half the pistachio Larabar Mark sent me for winning the Eggs BSI a couple of weeks ago. The bar was so good! It was much more moist than other Larabars I’ve had, I wonder what kind of dates they use… And later I decided I was still hungry so I had the other half too 🙂

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Sun and warmth! April 5, 2009

This morning I tried out my Dorset Fruit, Nuts, and Seeds cereal as oatmeal. It was so good! I used a bit too much liquid, so I added a handful of plain oatmeal after taking the bowl out of the microwave the first time, but the results were amazing! The fruit plumped up beautifully and added so much flavour to the oats. This stuff is so much better than those packets of instant oatmeal, yet just as fast and easy to make. I made the oatmeal with a mix of water and unsweetened vanilla almond breeze, and added a sliced banana.

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Close to lunch time I was feeling like a green monster, so I made a huge one. There was kale, frozen broccoli (I bought it and discovered I hate the texture when it’s cooked, so this is a good way to use it up), frozen mango, frozen blueberries, and unsweetened vanilla almond breeze.

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After taking the picture of the blender I added a lot of water to get it to blend properly, and also a banana because it was starting to taste watered down. I really need a better blender…

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The Monster was huge! It made 3 glasses worth that I sipped over the course of a couple of hours. I swear the last glass was greener than the first, it wasn’t just the lighting.

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Mid-afternoon I snacked on a bowl of Cinnamon Puffins, and tested out some Shasha Co. Spelt Ginger Snaps. The ginger snaps were so good (the puffins too of course)! I picked up a package for the BSI prize pack, but I had only tried the non-spelt variety before, so of course I had to get two packages to try them myself as well. I stopped after only a couple cookies though (they’re small), but I wanted more. I love ginger snaps/cookies/bread.

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Dinner featured find number two from the “World’s Most Ridiculous Bulk Food Store”. La Tortilla Factory Multigrain Wraps. 100 calories for a huge wrap with not-too-weird ingredients (but a whole lot of them)? Yes, please. I’ve had the regular whole wheat ones before when I found them on my trip to the Low Carb Grocery last fall, and wasn’t a fan of the funny soy-ish aftertaste. So when I saw soy was lower on the ingredients list of the multigrain variety I figured I would give them a try. I’m glad I did, they are quite good, no funny aftertaste. They have the same chewy/gluteny texture as the whole wheat wraps, but I was expecting it this time around, and I kind of liked it. Though the texture did surprise me the first time I tried the La Tortilla Factory wraps.

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I filled my wrap with yellow pepper, jo tsai/garlic chives, and sole pan fried in a little sesame oil. And I paired it was a bowl of grated broccoli stems and carrot that mixed into a slaw with freshly strained plain yogurt and Big Bull Steak Sauce. Good salad combination.

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And for dessert during the Mentalist later this evening (Amazing Race isn’t on?) I have find number three from the “World’s Most Ridiculous Bulk Food Store”. A Nutty Banana Boom Probar. I nibbled on the corner after taking the picture and I think I’m in love. Way tastier than just about any other bar I’ve ever tried. Cutting the bar in half makes the price ($3.50) and calories totally worth it. Unfortunately, I have the feeling these are not usually available at the the bulk food store because there were only two flavours there, and they are about to expire. So I have a Kettlecorn Probar to try within the next couple of weeks too, lucky me 🙂

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Hopefully by tomorrow morning I’ll have some fun sorting through BSI entries and announcing a winner!

 

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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Rain, rain, go away April 3, 2009

Come again on a week night or day?  At least it looks like Saturday afternoon and Sunday will be alright.

Breakfast was a cheerful affair.  I had a slice of Rye bread with muesli spread with peanut butter, a banana, and some clumpy dried blueberries.

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The slice of bread is huge, I cut it into 2.  It has a really strong tangy rye flavour that’s good with something spread on it, but I’m not a hug fan of it plain.  The bread is quite dense and a bit crumbly, it made a good PB&B sandwich for breakfast.

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For lunch I had a head of romaine topped with TVP chili, literally sliced off the block from the freezer.  I’m happy to report the lettuce touching the cold chili did not wilt before the chili melted.

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In the afternoon I snacked on a red delicious apple, an ataulfo mango, and the rest of the blackberries.  Love that mango.

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And for dinner I had broccoli tacos!  There were two small WellnessFoods.com whole wheat tortillas, steamed broccoli, whole grain dijon mustard, red and yellow pepper, jo tsai/garlic chives, and Galaxy Nutritional Foods Veggie cheddar flavour soy cheese.  The tacos/wraps were really good.  The cheese was given to me by my roomie who after eating part of the block decided he didn’t really care for it.  It definitely wasn’t very cheese-like, but I think it went pretty well with the broccoli and large amounts of dijon in the taco.  Personally, not being a vegetarian, let alone vegan, if I wanted cheese, I would just buy the real stuff.  My roomie thinks the same way.  I can’t say there’s anything particularly bad about the veggie cheese, it’s just not real cheese.  I don’t plan on buying it myself anytime soon, but won’t reject it if given to me.  And now that I think about it, it is better than Kraft Singles in the flavour department.

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Happy April Fool’s Day! April 1, 2009

Anything funny happen to anyone?  My work was boring, nobody even mentioned playing any tricks.  Oh well.  My cubicle-mate said that all the light bulbs in her boyfriend’s office had been switched to red.

However, it seems as though WordPress played a joke on me a bit early yesterday.  I could have sworn I hit publish on yesterday’s post.  In fact, I must have because I submitted the post to Foodbuzz.  But when I just went to edit this post (I started writing it at work), yesterday’s showed up as a draft too.  And I went to my blog and yesterday’s post was gone!  Weird.  But fixed now, I hope.  On to other business.

Breakfast was a mashed banana topped with some Allbran cereal, unsweetened vanilla almond breeze, raisins, pumpkin seeds, and maple glazed almonds.  Those are some good almonds.

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I packed up a pile of fruits and veggies for snacks/lunch.  There’s a grapefruit, red delicious apple, tuscan melon (looks and tastes like cantaloupe on the inside, has stripes on the outside), kiwi, carrot, celery, steamed broccoli, and roasted chicken breast.  Basically, an abundance of delicious nibbles.

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In the afternoon I also tried a Ruth’s Tropical Fruit Flax Power bar.  It was interesting, very seedy.  It was good but it didn’t have much of a tropical flavour, more just a light sweetness.  It wasn’t too sweet or too hard, and I quite liked the texture.  Although you really need to check your teeth when you’re done with it.  I’m glad I tried it, and it was perfectly edible, but I probably wouldn’t buy it again if I had the choice to try a different flavour instead.

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When I got home I snacked on a few algerian dates and a square of a Cocoa Coconut Cluster Elevate Me! bar.  This flavour is my favourite Elevate Me! flavour.  It has an awesome chocolatey flavour that matches perfectly with the fruit in it.  Who ever wins this week’s BSI: Avocado (for which I am eagarly awaiting entries) should expect to get one of these in their prize pack.

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For dinner I fixed a tofu scramble with a punch of flavour.  In the mix is mushrooms, jo tsai (no, I don’t know if that’s the actual ping ying), and soft tofu sauteed in sesame oil and a little soy sauce with red pepper for colour.  I love jo tsai, which I see tends to be called garlic chives in english.  My parents have always had a ton of it in the garden, and every summer my mom uses it in fillings for various chinese dumplings , pockets, and dishes (none of which I know the english names for).  It has an awesome garlic/onion flavour but better.  I bought mine in Chinatown (it’s way too early for it to be up in the garden around here), and big bunch was 75 cents.  My roomie was jealous of how awesome my dinner smelled as I was cooking it.

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