Plentiful Plants

Daily eats of a Torontonian student

Kawartha Ecological Growers CSA Love July 24, 2009

So before getting on with the food of the day, I have to give a major shout-out to Kat of Kat eats local in Toronto. You see, last Friday I was in a hurry to get to the registrar’s office before they closed, but on the way I passed by a table set up behind Hart House, full of veggies, with a crowd of people around it, and a big price list posted. I heard snippets of conversations that included “you can get either a large share of a small share”, “I have some extras of those you can buy”, “those are reserved for members”, etc.   It sounded like a CSA to me, and I was very intrigued, but like I said, in a hurry so I didn’t stop to investigate, though I had every intention of going back to check it out this week.

Meanwhile, I had left a comment to Kat that I was jealous of her Plan B CSA deliveries (deliveries are virtually impossible in my apartment building and their depots are not at all conveniently located or timed for me). Saturday morning she suggested I check our Kawartha Ecological Growers since they had different pick-up locations. Imagine my delight when I discovered they were the ones at Hart House! So this afternoon I very happily headed back to Hart House to hand over a check and pickup my very first share of goodies. I filled up my bag with beets, spinach, mixed basil, red leaf lettuce, cucumber, broccoli, peas, and raspberries. All organic (or close to organic but not certified), local, and BEAUTIFUL!

2009_07_24_csa

Anyways, on the the food. For breakfast I dug in the fridge for the last of the greens and produced a fabulous chocolate milkshake concoction 🙂 In the mix is Chocolate Spirutein (candy, again), kale, collards, spinach, wheatgrass ice cubes, chia seeds, and a banana. And once again and brought most to work, but enjoyed a little at home with blueberries (chocolate covered blueberries = yum).

2009_07_24_monster

For lunch I fixed up a fabulous salad with romaine, zucchini, yellow pepper, carrot, dulse, pineapple salsa, avocado, and Marti cheese.

2009_07_24_lunch

After work I headed to Simply Bulk to stock up on a few items, and saw they had Peanut Butter Cookie Larabars, so I pounced. I got to Hart House early for the CSA, so I enjoyed a bar and a book in the courtyard of University College while I waited. OMG, this flavour is so GOOD! It seriously tasted just like a PB cookie.

2009_07_24_larabar

I also stopped to enjoy the flowers outside of Trinity College.

2009_07_24_trinity

And finally, for a very late dinner I did some space clearing in the fridge for my CSA goodies. I fixed up a salad of romaine, zuke, orange pepper, and snow peas tossed with sesame oil and lemon juice. And alongside that I steamed (definitely steamed…) the last of my kabocha, with tomato paste and a peach for dessert. I think the kabocha monster is in need of a dentist, but that’s just my opinion.

2009_07_24_dinner

 

Feeling a Little Nutty July 15, 2009

A little fruity, a little nutty, it’s been an uninspired day in the realm of my eats. I’ve been busy doing other things and just went with what was fast and easy.

It started off with breakfast. I enjoyed a slice of my roomie’s parent’s homemade zucchini bread (including homegrown zukes and walnuts from my parent’s tree), cherries, and Amazing Grass Superfood (the regular flavour) mixed in homemade vanilla almond milk. I don’t know if it was just the vanilla fooling my taste buds, but I swear this powder tasted like chocolate, when it was just the plain flavour. And that can only be a good thing, right? Two thumbs up for sure.

2009_07_15_breakfast

Later in the morning I enjoyed some sweet honeydew melon.

2009_07_15_honeydew

And for lunch, leftover sprouted amaranth tabouli, with extra parsley added.

2009_07_15_tabouli

And in the afternoon I snacked on some dates and almonds.

2009_07_15_almonddates

Then a super simple dinner of a kale/pineapple/banana green monster.

2009_07_15_monster

And an extra dose of dates and nuts in the form of an awesome Apple Pie Larabar.

2009_07_15_larabar

I really should make some sort of non-produce, non-dried fruit/nut snacky item to keep on hand without worrying about it going bad. And without a dehydrator. Any suggestions?

 

Non-yogurt Dressing Love July 13, 2009

For breakfast this morning I was happy to blend up a green monster. This morning’s incarnation included a nectarine, a few frozen grapes, chia seeds, and kale.

2009_07_13_monster

For lunch I discovered the most fabulous salad dressing. Remeber when I was loving the yogurt/mustard/chives salad topping? This tastes like that (except without the chives, because I didn’t think to add them this morning). It was a mix of hemp nut butter, lemon jice, and mustard. I used it to dress a pile of broccoli, red pepper, and zucchini.

2009_07_13_lunch

Lunch dessert was blueberries and few brazil nuts.

2009_07_13_blueberries

Later in the afternoon I enjoyed a Coconut Cream Pie Larabar before heading home.

2009_07_13_larabar

For dinner I mixed up sprouted amaranth with a little lemon and tahini, then stuffed it into delicious collard wraps with a tomato. Not the cleanest thing to eat with tomato juice squirting everywhere despite my best containment efforts, but delicious none the less 🙂 Along side were some cherries. The rest of my blueberries disappeared to, but they were too sneaky for the camera.

2009_07_13_dinner

 

Mini-Monsoon July 6, 2009

When I got to work this morning we were sad to discover our field trip was to be delayed till later this week because it was “a mini monsoon” up north (my boss’ words) and they had in fact stopped construction for the day. So instead of discovering new physical territory today, I only discovered a new tasty protein powder. My morning green monster contained chia seeds, half a banana, brazil nut milk, Strawberry Spirutein, and a bunch of spinach. It literally tasted like CANDY. It’s pretty sweet, so it’s not something I’m planning on drinking it every day (not that I do that with protein powder anyways) but it’s nice to know about if I want something that’s more of a treat.

2009_07_06_monster

For lunch I fixed a fantastic salad mess of asparagus, carrot, zucchini, avocado, and chives dressed in a mixture of tahini and lemon juice. Love that dressing.

2009_07_06_salad

And lunch dessert was strawberries, raspberries, and CHu. I loved that by lunchtime, the CHu had “melted” and coated all the fruit perfectly (and deliciously!).

2009_07_06_berries

And later in the afternoon I dug into a Key Lime Pie Larabar. I think this a serious contender for my favourite Larabar flavour, YUM! And as you can see, I was in a bit of a rush leaving this morning, so I grabbed my keys, metropass, and larabar all in one feel swoop and didn’t bother taking the time to put the other stuff down to snap a picture. Which also led to me forgetting about hiding my mangled finger, but at least you don’t have to see the other side.

2009_07_06_larabar

For dinner I cooked up another salmon filet, this time with sesame oil, orange juice concentrate, and dill, then ate it on a bed of red leaf lettuce and tomato, with the excess pan juice as dressing, delicious.

2009_07_06_salmon

Then for dessert I was informed by the roomie that I must try a Dare Cocoa Chocolate Chip Cookie bar, and since he so kindly provided me with one, I did. Oh my goodness yummy! It’s a good thing I don’t have a whole box of them, because I can see them being seriously addictive.

2009_07_06_cookie

 

Pika, Pika, July 4, 2009

PikaCHU!  I made the most fantastic Emily inspired concoction today, but it comes last!

The morning started off with a fantastic creamy, and refreshing green monster. In the mix is kale, watermelon, lime, and brazil nut milk. And I drank it out of a bowl japanese style, because it was too big for a glass 🙂

2009_07_04_monster

For lunch I whipped up a cheesy sort of sauce, melting some agar in boiling water first, then blending it with more brazil nut milk, garlic powder, nutritional yeast, chives, green onion, fresh thyme, salt and pepper. That tasty sauce was poured over a bead of shredded brussel sprouts and chopped carrot, and topped with a few shavings of L’Allegretto cheese. It made one delicious, peppery (the sprouts!) salad.

2009_07_04_lunch

Then later in the afternoon some snacking happened. First was raspberries.

2009_07_04_raspberries

Then one (or three) giant, flattened figs.

2009_07_04_fig

And a handful or two of craisins.

2009_07_04_craisins

Then after a long nap I woke myself up with wheatgrass juice and blueberries.

2009_07_04_wheatgrass

2009_07_04_blueberries

And now I’m about to enjoy a bowl of chia oatgurt with CHU. CHU (sounds so much better than CHBU) being a wonderful 1:1 combination of chocolate hazelnut butter (I food processer-ized hazelnuts with a few cacao nibs) and brazil nut milk (sweetened with stevia and vanilla). It’s SO GOOD!

2009_07_04_oatgurt

And I’m planning on bringing a Ginger Snap Larabar to work with me tonight.

2009_07_04_larabar

 

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!

2009_06_03_pizza

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

2009_06_03_cereal

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.

2009_06_03_lunch

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

2009_06_03_snack

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!

2009_06_03_bar

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?

2009_06_03_dinner

 

What do you mean I need to go to work today? May 20, 2009

So it’s been a whole week since I went to the office, but this morning I had to go all the way up to work and spend the sitting in my cubicle. Don’t get me wrong, I like the work I get to do at the office (when I actually get work to do), but it was fun to do something more active and involved last week will doing the site inspection. At least we’re going to start inspecting another subway station soon, and it’ll take longer because we’re doing the WHOLE station instead of a couple of pedestrian passageways. Plus the station is even closer to home for me, I’ll probably just walk there 🙂
Before heading our for the commute this morning I crunched on a carrot with sunflower seed butter (which was amazing, I need to remember to eat this more often) as well as a Ginger Snap Larabar. I loved this bar, it has to be my favourite so far. I’ve been meaning to by ground ginger forever, and this bar will likely remind me to do it this weekend so I can replicate it.

2009_05_20_breakfast
For lunch I reverted back to the salad mess (can you tell I’m likeing these?). This incarnation contained caulifower, orange pepper, canned salmon, broccoli sprouts, and citrusy bean dip. Broccoli sprouts + bean dip = brilliant.

2009_05_20_lunch

I also brought along the (somewhat) daily green monster. This mix included spinach, kale, chocolate mint, chia seeds, banana, mango, and a few frozen grapes.   But I never got aroung to drinking it a work, so I’m having it for dinner instead.  Minty, fruity love.

2009_05_20_monster

I did also have a 100 calorie pack of shortbread cookies from a very large pile in the kitchen at work for lunch dessert.  I doubt I’ll get hungry again before I go to bed, but if I do I’ll tack it onto tomorrow’s post.  My computer keeps telling me it want’s to turn itself off to update, so I’m taking it as a sign to read a novel for the rest of the evening.

 

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.

2009_04_08_breakfast

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).

2009_04_08_salad

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

2009_04_08_fish

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!

2009_04_08_fruit

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…

2009_04_08_chili

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 🙂

2009_04_08_dessert

 

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.

2009_04_04_car

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).

2009_04_04_flowers

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.

2009_04_04_breakfast

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.

2009_04_04_larabar

On one of my stops home to drop off stuff I grabbed a gala apple and a handful of snow peas.

2009_04_04_snack

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.

2009_04_04_tree

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.

2009_04_04_ricekrispie

2009_04_04_ingred1 2009_04_04_nutri1

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.

2009_04_04_dinner1

2009_04_04_dinner2

 

Skule Nite! March 21, 2009

2009_03_21_laugh

Today was a good fun and laughs with friends kind of day.

I started out with a big fruity breakfast bowl of oat bran.  I cooked the bran in Celestial Seasonings Contry Peach Passion Tea with a banana, then topped the bowl with dried cherries, a medjool date, a few walnuts, and some pistachios.  Delicious.

2009_03_21_breakfast

I also drank the rest of the peach tea, and some earl grey, with a variety of dishes.

2009_03_21_tea

I spent the afternoon seeing Skule Nite with friends, which is an awesomely hilarious musical/sketch comedy show put on every year by UofT engineers (and others) about engineering life and pop culture in general.

2009_03_21_prog

Before I left, I wasn’t hungry for lunch but I knew dinner was a long way off so I snacked on a carrot covered in tasty sunflower seed butter.

2009_03_21_carrot

I also grabbed an Apple Pie Larabar to have at intermission.  I found a Larabar flavour I like, in fact I really like it!  I’m a sucker for sales, and I think the issues I had with the larabars I had tried before were that the flavours were too simple, I could get the same effect with a date and few nuts.  So when I saw them on sale a while ago I decided to give them one more chance, and bought a handful of bars with more unique flavours and spicing in them than the cashew cookie and banana bread I had tried before.  Apple Pie = a success.  There will be more to come.

2009_03_21_larabar

We headed out to dinner after the show at Vegetarian Haven. I got the grilled seitan burger, it was delicious and enormous!  Here’s a picture of the half of the burger I took home.  The patty is about an inch thick, I plan to cut it half and make a whole new burger out of it.  The burger is on a nice herby bun with alfalfa sprouts, lettuce, cucumber, tomato, and grilled eggplant, peppers and zucchini.  And it came with a side salad topped with raw peppers, zucchini, mushrooms, and a very fragrant rosemary olive oil vinagrette.  There were also blue corn tortilla chips (which hid at the bottom of the box), but I don’t really like those.

2009_03_21_burger

It felt odd but good getting a lot of compliments today.  I saw a lot of people who haven’t seen me since the end of last school year (aka about 90 pounds ago) and I got a few “Wow, you lot good”s.  I’ve never really been complimented on how I look before, and especially coming from a bunch of 21/2/3 year olds who don’t normally talk about anyone’s weight/appearance, it was a nice feeling.  I have started getting comments from the secretaries at work, but they go about it like they’re looking more for advice, and always seem disappointed that I don’t offer a quick faddy fix, just excersize and counting calories.  It just feels different coming for someone you’re own age (guys even) than someone 20 years older, I kinda like it.