Plentiful Plants

Daily eats of a Torontonian student

Brought to you by the letter… May 17, 2009

B!  I noticed an unintentional theme to today while going back through my photos, beets, banana, beans, berries, bagel, balsalmic…  I seemed to be going through a certain section of the dictionary and eating all edible entries!

Let’s start off with another letter B, BSI: Bananas, courtsey of Lara at Thinspired. For breakfast this morning I fixed myself a beautiful bowl Banana Breakfast Pudding, which I originally accidentally made here. The recipe is simple, one banana, 1/3 package (~1/2 cup) soft silken tofu, 2-3 T water, and 1/3 cup oatmeal. Immersion blender, plus toppings = delicious 🙂

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Though I would like to add a note that the quick cooking oats I used the first time blended more smoothly than the old-fashioned kind I used today. And my toppings of choice were raspberries and honeydew, sweet and summery.

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For lunch I did a bit of chopping and trimming and came up with a fresh and flavourful salad of steamed green beans and beet root dressing with yogurt, apple cider vinegar, and tarragon. And on the side were two apricots that I picked up this morning, simply because they amused me in their extreme pointyness and non-fuzzyness (that are unfortunately a bit lost in the 2D photo). They were surprisingly too, apparently they’re “the first of the season”.

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In the afternoon I snacked on half a bagel spread with strawberry, blackberry, and acai jam.

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And a piece of chocolate. Cocoa Camino is awesome chocolate, but they could have added a few more (and larger) nut and berry pieces. Though the full size bar might have larger chunks in it, I may have to investigate that some time.

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I was especially excited for dinner today after buying the beets in the morning. I usually don’t buy beets, because later in the summer I can easily get my fill for free from the parent’s garden, plus typically, I don’t even eat the root (that’s what compost piles are for, right?), just the greens, and grocery store beets tend to have pathetic greens. But today, I found a giant pile of beets sitting in the organic produce section with lots of BEAUTIFUL greens, and before I could even think about it, I found a bunch in my basket!

So for dinner tonight I sauteed the greens with sweet onion, tofu, olive oil, and a giant handful of parsley, thyme, and sage. Plus I pan “grilled” a portabello mushroom with balsamic vinegar and topped it with herbed goat cheese and tomato slices. Best dinner in a long time, the beet greens were so good!

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And I did a even did a good job of trimming up my bountiful window herb garden. It’s grown a bit in the past three weeks, hadn’t it? I’ve even been cutting away at it before today…

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And now for what will surely be a good Desperate Housewives finale, and getting ready to NOT go to work tomorrow, yay!

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Minty Green May 15, 2009

I had a couple surprises today, both of them fun things.

This first surprise was when I got up this morning and the roomie was gone!  Apparently he worked this morning, which means I was free to make as much noise as I wanted.  Enter the blender.  A foot long sprig of chocolate mint, chocolate rice protein powder, red kale, chia seeds, a banana and grapes.  Amazing.

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This protein powder was pretty good, a first time try for me.  I bought a berry flavoured one too.

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For lunch I repeated my salad mess.   They’re really tasty.  Today I included zucchini, tofu, orange pepper, yogurt, stone ground mustard, and a handful of chives.

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And lunch dessert was a granny smith apple with almonds.

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My second surprise of the day was when we finished all the work we could do on site, so we went home early!  Extra long weekend for the win, even though I didn’t actually work summer hours this week!

So I went for a long walk this afternoon, and at some point the idea of a sandwich for dinner popped into my head and sounded like the best idea in the world.  So I actually stopped into grocery store on the way home to pick up the necessary ingredients (I never do that).  I ended up with a whole wheat kaiser roll, sliced turkey breast, and herbed goat cheese.  At home I also added mustard, freshly picked parsley, tomato, and dill pickle.  It was a pretty awesome sandwich, and it made my stomach very happy 🙂

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A Different Chocolate Chip March 7, 2009

This morning started off with a tiny, cute, crisp red delicious apple.

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I also dug into a bowl of Nature’s Path Blueberry Almond Muesli with some plain yogurt.

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After that tasty start to the day I headed out for some more grocery shopping.  I spent $11.31 on more produce at the grocery store.

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Then I headed out to a health food store (Essences of Life in Kensington Market) and Whole Foods.  I spent $12.72 at the health food store and $9.49 at Whole Foods (the teas and nuts, both on sale!).  There were also a couple of medjool dates purchased, but they got lost in the bottom of my bag and didn’t make it into the picture.

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At 2/$2 these were literally calling my name.  Though I didn’t buy one of each flavour this time, there was also a Hemp Power Cocoa Mocha one and a Flax Power Tropical Fruits bar.  My roomie tells me he’s had the Lemon Hazelnut before and it’s pretty good…

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When I finally got home I dug into a quick and tasty salad.  The bowl held romaine tossed in my homemade goddess dressing, a carrot, cucumber, red pepper, a bit of avocado and a small sprinkling of parmesan cheese.

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Later, lunch dessert/snack was some amazing Sahale Snacks Socorro M academia Nut mix.  Seriously good.  I think this is my favourite of these mixes of far (but only because the Dauphine mix taught me I don’t like candied ginger, which was easily picked out).  I’ve never really had macadamia nuts before, aside from the occasional white chocolate macadamia cookie, but I might have to search for them in the bulk section now because they are SO delicious!  I can’t decide which side looks better.

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Dinner time rolled around and I fixed some red and white quinoa using dried parsley, lemon juice, water, and some Kallo Low Salt Vegetable stock.

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I also sauteed a pile of collard greens with mushrooms, onion, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar, and topped them with goat cheese.

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A delightful meal.

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A while after my delicious dinner, I made a wonderful dessert that would not be possible had I not seen this post on Kath Eats Real Food in which she was so lucky to receive a boxful of Food Should Taste Good chips.  I’ve seen these chips in stores before, but I’ve never been much of a chip person so I largely ignored them.  But one word caught my eye in her photo.  Chocolate.

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I’m a huge fan of sweet and savoury combinations, and these perfectly chocolately and salty chips are DIVINE!  I was even lucky enough to buy them at the right store.  They were $3.29 at Essences of Life, but they don’t take coupons anymore, so I couldn’t use the $1 off I had printed out.  But I bought them there anyway.  Which was great because the same chips at Whole Foods are $5 per bag, so I still ended up saving 70 cents, in a way.  Silly Whole Foods, good thing you made up with it with your Stash and Sahale sales…

Anyway, the chips made a lovely dessert spread with a bit of peanut hazelnut butter and topped with banana slices.  A delicious end to the day.

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Rough day yesterday… March 3, 2009

Sorry, no post yesterday.  First, I couldn’t seem to get any sleep Sunday night, then my stomach decided to rebel against me some time after breakfast Monday morning and I felt horrible all day long.  Luckily, I had plenty to do at work to take my mind off things, so the day didn’t pass as excruciatingly slowly as it could have.

The offending breakfast?  Pizza crust Flatbread spread with peanut hazelnut butter and raspberry jam.

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Sometime in the afternoon I had some fruit to try to settle my stomach, honeydew and strawberries.  But that plan didn’t work out too well.

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So by the time I got home, all I wanted to do was go to bed, which I did after a long hot shower and some tylenol and pepto bismol (no picture of those…)

Then this morning, at ~4:30am, the fire alarm in my apartment building went off.  By this time I felt much better, and had had a some what alright night’s sleep due to going to bed so early.   Since I was starving from eating practically nothing yesterday, I made a fruity bowl of oat bran.  The oat bran was nuked in the microwave with water, half an apple, nutmeg, cinnamon, dried cranberries, and a spoonful of mascarpone brown sugar ice cream.  I thoroughly enjoyed the bowl topped with some pecan pieces and paired with the other half of the gala apple and a spoonful of (amazing) Maranatha Organic Creamy Peanut Butter.  And some Amazing Race at a very early hour.

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Eventually I headed off to work with a pizza sandwich (the last two pieces of Sunday’s pizza, sandwiched with some goat cheese).

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As well as a container of celery sticks, red bell pepper strips, and hummus.

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When I came home I was starving and pulled the rest of the lemon baked basa fish out of the fridge.

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Then I also steamed some swiss chard and reheated some roasted purple yam.  The chard got a drizzle of the best peanut lime sauce ever.  Simply PB2, lime juice, massaman curry paste, and water.

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And I may have gone back for the rest of the yam pieces…

Now I look forward to relaxing the rest of the evening and getting a really good night’s sleep.

 

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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And the award goes to… February 23, 2009

Last night for dinner I pulled a pork tenderloin out of the freezer and threw it into the oven along with a giant sweet potato.  When they were done reheating/roasting I plated some meat and potato wedges with a red leaf lettuce salad topped with mini bell pepper rings, goats cheese and goddess dressing.  The salad was perfect with the cheese and the dressing, they went so well together, I was very pleased.

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The sweet potato was glazed with Big Bull Steak Sauce, my favourite barbeque type sauce.  It’s made with awesome wholesome ingredients and comes from my hometown :-).  I fact, I won it in a draw last summer when I was working for the Chamber of Commerce, and got to chose the flavour based on advice from the makers themselves.

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After dinner I had a lovely dessert of a thinly sliced giant juicy Fuji apple while watching some Amazing Race.

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My rommie and I then settled in for some Oscar viewing fun.  We both fell in love with Penelope Cruz’s dress, were impressed by Hugh Jackman’s singing skills, and decided we need to make an effort to see Slumdog Millionaire.  I rarely ever watch movies, but enjoy watching the awards any way.  The only movies I’ve seen that were up for awards were The Duchess and Kung Fu Panda, both from in-flight entertainment.

By the time the Oscar’s had wrapped up, I was hungry again!  Teaches me to stay up past me bedtime…  So I had a delighful Kashi Cherry Dark Chocolate bar (that only had one lonesome cherry on it)  before hitting the sack.

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Several hours later, I got up to head back to work for the week.  But first, I enjoyed a wonderful bowl of steel cut oats. I usually cook up enough for the week and seperate them into individual containers on the weekend.  This bowl contains oats cooked in water, mixed with a spoonful of homemade mascarpone brown sugar ice cream, and topped with strawberry slices, chopped almonds and the other half of yesterday’s Carrot Cake Clif bar.

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This was the first time I’ve added a bar to oatmeal and I quite enjoyed the sweet, chewy chunks in my bowl, no wonder I see so many others doing it.

For lunch I brought with me the rest of the sweet potato (unglazed this time), baked striped bass, and juicy sweet peas frozen from my parents’ garden last summer, delish.

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Afternoon snacking consisted of more strawberries (they’re so good!), a Gala apple, and a Minneola orange.

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For dinner now I’m having a big bowl of green beans (also from frozen from my parents’ garden) tossed with more goddess, and some pork tenderloin.

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Dessert is some decadent dates dipped in peanut hazelnut butter, and a square of Cocoa Camino Mint Dark Chocolate.

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Yummy.