Plentiful Plants

Daily eats of a Torontonian student

Have you ever seen… May 1, 2009

A disassembled escalator?  This has been hanging out on the subway platform all week.

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I start my Friday morning in celebration or the weekend with chocolate!  My morning monster contained banana, chia seeds, cocoa powder, and spinach.  But multiply that glass by 1 litre (I added a lot of water and brought most of it to work with me).

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For lunch I enjoyed the spread at the company staff meeting.  I had some plain spring mix topped with orange and grapefruit slices, a couple slices of watermelon (yum!) and honeydew, a giant strawberry, and half a wrap stuffed with veggies and some sort of chicken breast salad with a tasty herby dressing.

Then I  took some more fruit to my desk.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many giant strawberries all in one place before!  Being the second round, this was one of the SMALLER berries left.

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And right now I’m munching on a red leaf lettuce salad topped with carrot and a bit of TVP chili I found hanging out in the freezer.  And enjoying a delicious dessert I wish I had come up with earlier, a russet apple (the normal part) and what I’m going to call PB3 (the special part).  What it PB3?  Parnoosh date tossed in dry PB2.  And it’s awesome.  Now all that’s left to start the week end is to wait for my roomie’s dad to come pick us up (my parents are bringing us back, yes, we come from the same town and have known each other since kindergarten).  See you next week 🙂

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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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BSI Cabbage: Sweet Cabbage Dessert Soup March 22, 2009

This morning started out a bit late after I slept in.  I was in the mood for something quick for breakfast, and there’s not much else faster than cereal, so I filled a bowl with Kashi Seven Whole Grain Puffs, and finished a box of Nature’s Path Blueberry Almond Muesli.  No more freeze dried blueberry blue milk for me.  There was also a bit of unsweetened vanilla Almond breeze involved.

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Later I had a blood orange and many cups of tea, mostly herbal.  I was working on clearing out the overflowing tea cupboard.  I discovered that Celestial Seasonings Strawberry Kiwi tea is really sweet, I actually went to check the package to see if there was somehow sugar hiding in the tea bag (there wasn’t).

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When I started to get hungry for lunch I got to work on this week’s BSI entry.  Christina chose cabbage as the ingredient of the week, and I had half a head of red cabbage already in the fridge.  I did some thinking and came up with a flavour combination that sounded good, if a bit odd.  So here you have a recipe for Sweet Cabbage Dessert Soup.  I just can’t decide weather it should be a regular soup or a dessert soup, since it turned out sweeter than I expected, and for some reason tastes really rich (but in a good way).  I had it for lunch and it filled me up nicely.

The soup ingredients to make about 4 cups are:

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1 onion, chopped
2 tsp almond oil (any not-strongly flavoured oil should be fine, my other choices were olive and sesame)
2 carrots, chopped (mine happened to be purple and yellow, but orange should be fine)
1/2 head red cabbage, roughly chopped
1 grapefruit, chopped
1 cup brewed mint tea
2 tsp dried mint
2 oz creme de cassis (black currant liquor)

I started out by caramellizing the onion very well in the oil.

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Then I added all the other ingredients, carrots on the bottom, in the tea to boil, cabbage on top to steam, brought the pot to a boil, and let them simmer for about ten minutes, until the carrots are tender  (remember, more liquids appear out of the veggies).  After a stir it looked like this.

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At which point I pureed the lot with my handy stick blender.  I like my pureed soup thick, so you might want to add some more mint tea or water at this point for a thinner consistency.

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And I topped the bowl with an optional spoonful of yogurt and more dried mint (although fresh would have been a prettier garnish).  Part way through enjoying my bowl I realized it reminds me of the rhubarb sauce my mom make every summer.  It would actually probably go really well chilled on ice cream.  I think I’m leaning towards calling it a dessert soup.

And since these giveways tie in so nicely,

This soup would be even better pureed super smooth in a vitamix such as the one is being given away over at Jumbo Empanadas

And instead of the creme de cassis, I’m betting a shot of POM would work well, and can be had for free with coupons from Oh She Glows.

Anyway, speaking of ice cream, later in the afternoon I treated myself to some half-fat Vanilla Haagen Dasz.  Yummy.  But multiple that bowl by 2, it was a half serving anyway.  I also nibbled on a few FoodShouldTasteGood Chocolate tortilla chips.

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Dinner time rolled around and I retrieved the half of the seitan burger I brought home last night from the fridge and made a new one.  Sitting on a whole wheat english muffin (organic from Whole Foods, really good) is romaine lettuce, the seitan patty, Big Bull Steak sauce, whole grain dijon mustard, broiled emmental cheese, and grape tomatoes.  A tasty burger indeed.  I should try making seitan some time….

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Now I have some Nature’s Path Optimum Rebound cereal waiting for me to snack on while watching the Sunday night CTV trifecta of The Mentalist, Amazing Race, and Desperate Houswives.  Before heading to bed so I can get up for work tomorrow….

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Ice Cream Inspiration March 17, 2009

This morning my bowl of oats got a flavour treatment borrowed from Ben and Jerry’s.  Chunky Monkey oat bran.  The oat bran was microwaved with unsweetened vanilla almond breeze, then I added a mashed banana, walnuts, and chocolate chips.  Delicious.

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For lunch I had a massive stirfry with red cabbage, carrot, broccoli slaw, button mushrooms, enoki mushrooms, onion, lemon juice, teriyaki soy sauce, and sesame oil.

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I topped the stirfry with a bit of chicken breast.  When I took this out for lunch, EVERYTHING was purple, even the bottom of the chicken.  But it still tasted good.

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Throughout the afternoon I snacked on a juicy grapefruit, a d’anjou pear, and sweet strawberries.

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The weather was beautiful out this afternoon, so I only took the subway partway home and walked the rest.  When I got to my apartment I was good and hungry for my dinner, an enormous romaine salad topped with yellow pepper, purple carrot, cucumber, pickled beet, sweet potato, vintage reserve cheddar, chicken breast, and orange juice dressing.

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The carrot couldn’t decide if it wanted to be purple or orange…

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And for dessert I had the last slice of strawberry pie.  I’m a bit sad to see it go.

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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.