Plentiful Plants

Daily eats of a Torontonian student

Pesto Pasta Perfection July 29, 2009

I started the morning off a little differently today with a couple slices of ezekiel bread and a banana, opened the other way.

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Then later in the morning I snacked on some lovely cherries, and the last of my peas.

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Then for lunch I had one of the best zucchini pasta creations yet. Over julienned zucchini and leeks I poured a mixture of tomato paste, pesto, water, and the last of my Marti cheese. Absolutely perfect flavour combination.

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And then I snacked on some Live Food Bar Nachos. Love these too.

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When I got home I dove into a big old hunk of watermelon.

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And I just made this big salad to be enjoyed along with SYTYCD. My bowl is filled with red leaf lettuce, carrot, red pepper, cauliflower, broccoli, and a dressing made of mustard, Big Bull steak sauce, apple cider vinegar, and honey.

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All For Show July 22, 2009

When I got up this morning I fixed myself some quick brunch before heading back to work.  S&M salad.  I think this is becoming my lazy salad, I don’t have to pull everything out of the fridge and think to decide what I want, I just follow the ingredients list.  Today I even had the dulse, hemp seeds, and rosemary crackers already broken up and sitting in a baggie leftover from when I brought the salad to work a couple of days ago.

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I took along a snacky, blueberries and apricots.

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And dinner was a chips and dip plate.  Zucchini and carrot chips with mole.

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And dessert was going to be a simple peach, but since the mandoline was already dirty from slicing the zucchini, I fancied it up for the blog.  I sliced the peach thinly and drizzled it with a mixture of tahini, honey and water (tasty!) and a few sesame seeds, just for show.  And I’m going to enjoy it with some SYTYCD.  I can’t believe Wednesday’s already over!

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Peachy Keen For Non-Fried Green Tomatoes June 30, 2009

This morning’s green monster was pretty fantastic after yesterday’s disappointment. In the mix was kale, chia seeds, peach, and banana. So sweet and delicious.

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For lunch I had another big salad, the same mix of lettuce, carrot, red pepper, red tomato, asparagus, green onion, and Avocado Dill dressing. And I finished the avocado dressing, so I can make up something else now (not that it wasn’t delicious).

2009_06_30_lunch

Then for snackies I dug into raspberries, blueberries, and a Kumato. The kumato is an hierloom variety of tomato, and it seems to be pretty widely available. I give it two thumbs up, though it doesn’t taste much different for any other decent tomato. It does taste a lot better than you’re typical green (unripe) tomato, ie. the ones my sister was briefly obsessed with dousing in bread crumbs and pan frying the summer she watched the movie.

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When I got home I discovered that good old Matt and Sarma really know what they’re talking about. Brazil nuts make AWESOME milk! It might also have something to do with the 3 inch piece of vanilla bean I threw in the mix instead of extract. I’ve had a few vanilla beans sitting in the freezer for 3 years now, and that after I nabbed them out of my mom’s freezer where they had been since we bought them in Mexico Christmas of 2001, so I figured it was high time I used it in something. I didn’t really follow the RFRW recipe exactly, fiddling with it to make it a bit less calorie laden, I used 1 cup brazil nuts (pre-soaking), 6 cups water, 1/4 teaspoon stevia, and the vanilla bean, soaked while I was at work (at least 2 hours), then blended and strained in my milk-bag/old T-shirt. Creamy and delicious. I used Organic Traditions stevia, which is just the powdered leaf, and it tastes so good, no funky aftertaste like the Krisda stuff my roomie (mostly him) and I finally used up that’s bulked up with isomalt.

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I used some of the wonderful brazil nut milk to make dessert tonight, blending it with the last of my farmer’s market strawberries, ice, and a bit of honey for a creamy strawberry milkshake.

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But before dessert I happily dug into a salad of 1 small zucchini, 1 carrot, 5-6 stalks asparagus, ~1/3 c finely chopped pineapple, 1 T stone ground mustard, 1 T apple cider vinegar, 1/2 T honey, and a sprinkling of chopped roasted salted macademia nuts. So, so good.

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And a little extra dessert, dark chocolate goodness.

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Herb Overload June 3, 2009

I started my day with something a little bit different this morning. Pizza! My breakfast pizza featured an egg white crust, a little jarred pasta sauce, fresh sage, and a piece of Balderson 2 year old cheddar. It was very tasty after I removed some sage, that fresh stuff sure is strong!

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Accompanying my pizza was a small bowl of Kashi Flakes and Granola cereal with soy milk and banana.

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For lunch I fixed up a salad mess with celery, carrot, red pepper, black beans, yogurt, chives, and parsley. And I managed to assualt my taste buds again with a little too much parsley combined with the strongly flavoured outer ribs of a bunch of celery. Whoa! Along side the crunchy salad was a pita.

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Lunch dessert was a repeat from yesterday, cherries and cukes.

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In the afternoon my tastebuds recovered from a savoury overload with an awesometastic Coconut Cream Pie Larabar. I’ve never seen this flavour in stores before, so when I noticed it I grabbed one based on many other blogger’s raves about it. OH MY WORD it is GOOD! So soft and creamy and coconutty!

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For dinner I didn’t feel like cooking, and went a super simple route. Peanut butter, banana, and honey pita sandwich.  And I felt like a kid again.  Vegetables, what are those?

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Epic Fail May 8, 2009

Before getting to today’s slightly scarring experience, let’s back track to last night’s bed-time snack.  I tried my pumpkin chips (that I bought a feww weeks ago along with mushroom chips).  They were okay.  They get points for being non-greasy, but didn’t they have much, if any pumpkin flavour and they were a but dry, like over baked squash.  Not buying these again…but I must go back for the mushrooms, and to try the apple chips….

2009_05_08_chips

This morning I had my appetite slightly ruined by part one of the day’s failure, which I cover later, so I ended up being hungry, but with only 10 minutes before I had to be out the door.  So I quickly grabbed whatever, and ended up with a bowl of Kashi GoLean Crunch (more hiding under the yogurt), yogurt, banana, and the last of my PB2 ;_;.  At least this breakfast managed to take a bad taste out of my mouth, and by the end I was enjoying it (quickly!)

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For lunch I continued with my veggie and fruit spree.  There was a container of snow peas, carrots, cucumber, celery, and red pepper with left over pumpkin soup for dipping.

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And a container with a mango and TWO apples, gala and golden delicious (in honour of Sharon 🙂)

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For dinner I tossed romaine in my new favourite yogurt/whole grain dijon/chive dressing and topped it with a steaming pile of broccoli.

2009_05_08_dinner

Now what was my scarring experience that started in the morning and ended with some kitchen experiments tonight?

Last weekend I bought a papaya. It was completely green, but so were the other ones in the pile at the (chinese) grocery store. I figured it would ripen on the counter. By this morning, the papaya was still green, but it was a bit softer than on Sunday, so I figured it must be ripe, but just be a different variety than usual, like how mangos come in different colours. So I sliced it open and found this.

2009_05_08_papaya

I was suspicious.  Mostly because I was at least expecting the seeds to look the same. So before cutting it up and adding it to my lunch, I licked it (what? I’m the only one who’s going to eat it anyway). It was HORRIFYING. It’s ridiculously astringent, like unripe persimmons (I’ve lost one or two to not being able to tell when those things are fully ripened). I was going to throw the whole thing out, but thought I would stick in the fridge at least for today to see if the internet offered any useful information about green papayas. I looked them up during a slow period at work and found suggestions to cook them.

I was skeptical, but I gave two methods a try tonight (I was NOT about to try it raw again, no matter how many recipes for thai green papaya salad I found). One chunk took a trip in the oven with cinnamon and honey, and another one was boiled by itself so I could try it and add things later if it tasted any better. Both methods worked to take away the astringency, but once that was gone, the papaya still had a weird taste to it that I was not enjoying. The baked version was slightly better simply because it was drowned in honey, but still not very good and I didn’t bother eating more than a bite of either dish.

2009_05_08_cooked papaya

At least the experience is over, and I know better for next time. And this counts as me trying a new food right? No matter how accidentally, and unsuccessfully? I must look for something (hopefully) better for Katie’s Challenge this weekend….

I did finish the night on a better note though with tasty, crunchy roasted chickpeas. I mixed one can of chickpeas with 2 T tahini and 1 T cinnamon and roasted them in the oven at 400 for about an hour. The first batched (pictured) was a bit over cooked because I stopped check them so often and waited too long, but the second batch was perfect, some crunchy, some slightly soft still on the inside, just the way I like them. And I hope the person I give them to tomorrow likes them too 🙂

2009_05_08_chickpeas