Plentiful Plants

Daily eats of a Torontonian student

A Different Chocolate Chip March 7, 2009

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


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.


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.


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…


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.


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.


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


A delightful meal.


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.


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.



Two times the bran March 1, 2009

This morning started out with some new breakfast excitement.  I made a bowl of oatbran!  And it is wonderful, it might just replace my love of steel cut oats (though I still have a whole bag of those so I’ll be alternating for a while).  I made the bowl in the microwave with unsweetened vanilla almond breeze and water.  I wanted to test the microwave to see if I could quickly make them on week day mornings, which apparently I can.  I topped the bowl with simple but delicious almond butter, homemade mascarpone brown sugar ice cream, and a few raisins.


For lunch I had half a giant Fuji apple, collard greens with hummus, and some basa fish baked with herbs and lemon (really good!)




I met up with a friend this afternoon, and among other things, we saw Slumdog Millionaire, excellent movie.  At the movie I dug into a Black Cherry Almond Clif Bar and one of the best ever green tea candies.  Here’s the proof.


I eventully came home to make dinner, which I had been working on in stages throughout the day.  Unfortunately, I kinda failed…  It tastes great, but it didn’t turn out the way it was supposed to.  I attempted to make Kath and Matt’s awesome whole wheat pizza crust. The only thing I changed about the recipe was I added half a cup of wheat bran to the biga, and I don’t think that would have changed anything. Where I think I went wrong was spreading the dough out too thinly for the final crust…and I just ended up with very tasty flat bread, one a pizza, and the other half as plain flatbread. So I’m going to have to try the recipe out again, leave out the bran, and make only one thick pizza instead of two thin flatbreads.


Any way, I topped the pizza with Big Bull Steak Sauce, sauteed onion, mushrooms, and asparagus, and the other half of lunch’s Fuji apple.


Then I paired half the pizza with some salad made of grated carrots, Goddess Dressing, and raisins.


It was a good dinner, it just wasn’t what it was supposed to be…

Now I’m going to make some lunch for tomorrow, and relax with the copy of Clean Eating magazine I finally caved in and bought. I signed up for a subscription in early January, and was hoping to get the current issue in the mail, but it hasn’t come yet so I figure the subscription will start with the next issue…


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.


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.


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


I also enjoyed some Sahale Snacks Ksar Pistachios.


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.


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….



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.


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.



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


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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




Edible Bowls and Goddess Goodness February 21, 2009

This lovely morning started with me sleeping in a couple hours later than I usually get up, then getting up and making myself a wonderfully sweet and savoury bowl of oatmeal that completely disappeared!

I cooked some oatmeal in water with wheat bran and at the end stirred in some melon that I scooped out to make the bowl, half a small cantaloupe, a little larger.


The melony bowl of oats was topped with what looks like a mountain of goat cheese and dried cranberries.


Well, I lie when I say the bowl was completely eaten.  But it is rather environmentally friendly….


I spent the rest of the morning, and into the afternoon grocery shopping and running errands.  I takes me several hours because I walk everywhere, and like to shop in several different directions.  Though, I do enjoy myself doing so.  There were ice sculptures being set up on the sidewalks!  I wish I could have taken pictures, but my camera battery was charging at home.

When I got home I was pretty hungry but wanted to start a couple cooking projects, so I had a quick container of yogurt with Nature’s Path Pumpkin Flaxplus granola and a touch of stevia.


I then set to work in the kitchen, transforming these ingredients into something I’ve been seeing a lot of and was eager to try.


And I must agree, if mine turned out anything like like the store bought or original recipe version, it is absolutely delicious.  What did I make?  Well, I’m a bit unwilling to pay $5 for a bottle of something so high in fat and calories, so instead instead of Annie’s Naturals, I drew some inspiration from FatFree Vegan Kitchen and whipped up a batch of gorgeous goddess dressing.  I don’t know if it tastes the same as Annie’s, but I’m definitely falling in love with it.


The ingredients, all thrown into a (mini) food processor, yielding 12 tablespoons dressing:

  • 1/3 package (100 g) lowfat silken tofu
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 tbsp dried tarragon
  • 3 finely chopped green onions (green part only, no white)

My version (using the Calorie Count Recipe Analyser) works out to 18 calories/tbsp, 1.4 g fat, .8 g protein, .7 g carbs, and 50 mg sodium.

The dressing made it’s first appearance in my very late lunch of fish wraps.  The outside is my favourite winter green, collards, which where spread with dressing and rolled around some baked Lake Erie striped bass.


The fishy goodness was paired with a juicy pink cara cara orange.


Meanwhile, all afternoon I had had a pot of chickpeas simmering on the stove and when they were cooked through, I again made use of the food processor to produce a batch of roasted garlic hummus.  The creamy spread was sprinkled with green onions and enjoyed with a pile of celery and cucumber slices.


Now it’s getting to be time to catch up with some TV, Monk and Psych are calling my name.  I’ve been eating meals very late today so I’ll probably have a more substantial snack before bed, but I’ll post it tomorrow.