Plentiful Plants

Daily eats of a Torontonian student

Falafel-ly Yummy July 16, 2009

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Only half a day left to what has been a pretty crazy busy week! And it looks like I’ll actually get the weekend off, yay! All the better for going to see some wizarding action at the movies. However, tomorrow will also likely bring with it the posting of my tuition fees to my account, ewwww. I’m predicting $9400, which I know isn’t that much compared to some American schools, but compared to Arts and Science programs at most Canadian universities, that’s high! Silly engineering being a professional program.

Anyways, this morning started off a bit differently since I didn’t have to go to all the way up to work (in Markham) right away, only to Spadina Station for the morning. I thoroughly enjoyed a bowlful of oatgurt topped off with a peach and a spoonful of maple syrup. This bowl was truly divine!

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I was able to stop off again at home around noon to drop off my hard hat, vest, and safety boots and grabbed some melon while I was at it to hold me over for the ride up to work.

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Once there I munched through a container of cucumber, red pepper, carrot, and cherries. Plus I had most of a fresh whole wheat bagel I found in the work kitchen for someone’s birthday. And yes, I’ll admit it, that is a hair in my lunch and not on your computer screen. It was removed after the picture. At least it was my own 🙂

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I was a busy bee all afternoon and didn’t get home till almost 8, at which point I made sliders! Not your typical slider though. On a base of collard greens I stacked tomato, cucumber, Sol Falafel patties, and the tahini-lemon sauce they came with. Om nom nom. Those patties are pretty awesome.

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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.

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Later in the morning I enjoyed some sweet honeydew melon.

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

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

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

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

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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?

 

Mystery Food June 5, 2009

I had something new to try in my green monster this morning, a packet of Vega Smoothie Infusion.

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I blended it up with kale and a banana. I think it was good, it definitely added a nice fruity flavour to the smoothie that could not be attributed to the banana, but the smoothie had a really strong bitter kale aftertaste that doesn’t usually happen it me, and I wasn’t really enjoying by the end. I didn’t add any more kale than usual so I wasn’t expecting that. Maybe the greens powder in the mix just pushed it over the top. If I buy it again I’ll definitely tone down on the added greenery, then it’ll probably be super tasty.  The monster was a darker shade of green than usual…

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It was a short day at work so all I brought with me was cherries and cukes and tea in anticipation of a late lunch at home. I was also factoring in the room I would need in my bag to lug home my hard hat and safety acessories. I did also thoroughly enjoy two Lindt truffles from the giant box someone left in the kitchen for their birthday, hazelnut and dark chocolate, yum!

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When I got home I wasn’t hungry yet so I had two medjools, then went on a shopping trip.

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In chinatown I came across this. And had no idea what it was, so I bought it, of course. I do love an adventure 🙂

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I was thinking it might be some sort of flower bud.

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But when I took a closer look at it, it sort of reminded me of corn. Really fat, red corn. So I tried peeling back the leaves.

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Nope, not corn. Then I was daring, and cut it in half. I started to revert back to my original hunch that it was a flower bud of some sort.

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So I entered a search into google, “asian edible flower bud red large”, and the internet’s magical powers let me figure out that I had bought a banana flower. It seems that it’s used a lot in the Thailand-Sri Lanka corner of the globe. It was really neat once I started to pull it apart properly. Under each leaf is a little row of flowers that eventually grow into bananas! And you’ll notice that once a leaf is broken, the sap oxidizes and turns black really quickly.

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Under that leaf…

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Eventually I decided to pull out all the little flowers, then finely chop the lighter coloured leaves. I soaked them both in lemon juice and water for a while, then sauteed them in sesame oil and sweet chili sauce.

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It was alright. Nothing special, not bad, not not particularly good either, along the lines of bamboo shoots or the tougher bits of artichokes. But now I know what it is. And it was a pain taking the stamens out of all the flowers, and the leaves tasted better anyways, so I’ll just discard the flowers if there is a next time.

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In the process of identifying this weird new food I was getting hungry, so I finished off the head of boston lettuce drizzled with light caesar dressing.

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And I also just had a pita with a bit of peanut butter. But this post doesn’t need anymore pictures, does it? Now off to bed with me so I can get up super early for an International Hiking Day adventure! And so I’ll be tired enough to nap in the evening in order to work tomorrow night.

PS.  (The other) Exciting grocery find of the week, I knew exactly what it was, too bad I couldn’t find it a couple weeks ago, Kabocha!

 

Fruit Infusion May 28, 2009

I went a little bit crazy last night when I got up in the midle of the night and opened my window for some fresh air. Because when I woke up this morning my room was cold and dark and there was rain pouring outside (but not inside, because my window only opens a crack). Let’s just say, all plans for a green monster were quickly abandoned. But my breakfast was still nice and colourful, and the vita-mix still came in handy :-). I drew inspiration from Heather and cooked some oat bran, then blended it with kale, pumpkin pie spice, and a banana. Then topped the oats with a spoonful of coconut. And it was delicious, of course.

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Then I went a bit fruit crazy while preparing my lunch and snack. For lunch I fixed up a giant salad of spring mix topped with carrot, cucumber,red pepper, and a whole pile of mango. I was really enjoying the forkfuls of pepper and mango left at the end.

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For a snack I had an Ambrosia apple with raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries. Then I also had a few Kashi crackers offered to me by the cubicle-mate. They were supposed to be Honey Sesame, but they must have missed the powdering step at the manufacturing plants, because they were just plain, though still tasty.

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When I got home I was really hungry so I quickly grabbed small bowlful of Dorset Fruits, Nuts, and Seeds Cereal.

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For dinner I drew inspiration for this morning’s Hungry Girl email. I steamed a pile of asparagus and a salmon filet with lemon, and topped it with yogurt, lemon, and sage, then rolled it up in a tortilla. Absolutely wonderful wrap. Plus I had a Zucchini Spelt Muffin (the last one :() for dessert.

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And I can’t believe I didn’t know So You Think You Can Dance was on last night and missed it! At least I’ll make up for it by enjoying it even more tonight.

 

Chinese Bakery Day May 24, 2009

Breakfast this morning started out with an Activia Peach and Cereals Yogurt.

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And it finished with raspberries, blueberries, and a handful of trail mix.  Which included awesome macadamia nuts.

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I’ve been craving chinese bakery buns for a while now, and while it is rather unhealthy, it’s a rare occurance, so I figure it’s okay to indulge once in a while.  I paid a visit to chinatown and came out with a few goodies.  For lunch I had some steamed sticky rice with chicken in it, and a hot dog roll.  Plus grape tomatoes and half a small romaine heart drizzled in Back to Basics Balsamic Vinagrette for a little green.  Why is chinese bakery bread so good? (I know, lots of fat, no fiber).

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All afternoon I was drinking lots of this.  And it was delicious and refreshing.  Chocolate mint, lemon slices, ice and water.

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Late afternoon I made a batch of Zucchini Spelt Muffins from ED&BV.  I made half the recipe but still made 9 muffins because my silicone muffin liners are small.  They turned out really well, and they taste so good!  I’m looking forward to having them for breakfasts and snacks for the rest of the week.

For dinner I made zucchini fries tossed in teriyaki sauce and a tuna sausage.  I was really impressed by the sausage, from what I can tell it’s just chopped up chunks of tuna (ie. no filler) that have been seasoned and stuffed into the casing.  I don’t know what brand it was though, I just found them individually packaged on styrofoam trays like the other fresh fish fillets in the seafood case at Metro.  And double dinner dessert was a Zucchini Spelt muffin and a red bean mochi from the bakery.  I love me some glutinous rice.

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And now that laundry’s done I need to make my bed and go to sleep.  I accidentally stayed up until almost four last night (this morning?) reading, but was still up by eight, so I am TIRED tonight.

 

Backwards April 19, 2009

I unintentionally ate backwards today.  Dinner for breakfast was a La Tortilla Factory Multigrain wrap filled with spinach, red peppers, cucumber, and the leftover Lemony Hummus Style Blended Quinoa.  The wrap was a bit over stuffed, which lead to messy eating, but it was da-lish.

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For lunch I had a huge bowl of roasted goodies.  Cauliflower, celeriac, pepper squash, and brussel sprout were all tossed in olive oil, salt and pepper, and cisped up in the oven, and I ate the last of the pork tenderloin along with a drizzle of ketchup.

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Then I showed some restraint and only blended two things this afternoon, one of which I didn’t even eat, it’ll show up in lunches this week.  The consumed vita-mix treat was a green monster, almost the same as yesterday’s because it was so good, just spinach and a russet apple.

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And later I just had to dig into this bag that I found in Chinatown this morning.  I bought the mushroom and pumpkin chips, but there were also green bean, apple, and I think pineapple (I might be making that one up)?  The mushroom ones, are really good.  The flavour is nice and mild shitake, not super overpowering like I was afraid of, and they aren’t greasy at all, just perfectly crunchy.

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And to end the day’s eats, all I wanted was oatmeal.  And it has been a while, so I went with it.  Besides, it’s not like I haven’t eaten enough veggies yet today or anything.  Into the pot went steel cut oats, a banana, raisins, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.  Look at how dark the oats are, I like my bowl heavily spiced.  Then I topped everything off with more raisins, and Kashi GoLean Crunch.  It really hit the spot.  This was actually the first time I’ve made steel cut oats in a pot, and I liked that they were a lot chewier than my slowcooked version.

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And now for Sunday night CTV time, and new Desperate Houswives, finally!

 

Bright Sunshine and Lemons April 17, 2009

20°C

20°C!

That’s all I have to say.

Well not really, but it is beautiful outside 🙂

I started off my morning with a crunchy bowl of Nature’s Path Flaxplus Pumpkin Raisin Crunch cereal with unsweetened vanilla almond breeze. Could there be anymore raisins in a bowl? I love it.

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I made a big salad for lunch. You should recognize the veggies by now, I’ve got a lot of them in the fridge, spinach, snow peas, carrot, cucumber, red pepper, and pork tenderloin. And for dressing I added a bit of water to an almost empty bottle of honey mustard to get the stuff stuck on the sides.

2009_04_17_salad

In the afternoon I snacked on honeydew melon and a ya pear. I was rather amused to see the sticker on the pear said “yali” where you would normal find the variety name. I wonder who made that decision, since just “ya” is the variety name, like bosc, or bartlett, and “li” means pear in chinese.

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I also had a handful of almonds before heading home for the weekend.  The leftover smoothie from yesterday (kale, vanilla yogurt, orange juice concentrate)  I had as a morning snack.

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For dinner tonight I fixed up my BSI: Lemon recipe! One of the things I love to use lots of lemon in is hummus, but plain old hummus seemed kinda borning for a BSI entry. I was considering more savoury oatmeal blended CCV style, but didn’t want the dish to be too goopy, I wanted a bit more texture. Then my eyes, which were looking at the assorted oat pile on the pantry shelf started to stray. They skipped over the rarely disturbed pasta boxes, and landed on a much more interesting grain, quinoa.

So may I present Lemony Hummus Style Blended Quinoa

The ingredients for 2 servings:

  • 1/2 cup quinoa, uncooked
  • juice and pulp from 1/2 lemon (or 2 TBSP lemon juice if you don’t want to surpreme the fruit)
  • zest from 1/2 lemon
  • 2 Tablespoons tahini
  • 6 cloves roasted garlic (remember, they get much milder after roasting)
  • salt to taste (I actually didn’t add any)

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First I simply boiled the quinoa in water, then drained it.

While the quinoa cooked I zested and supremed the lemon. Mainly because I love supreming citrus, so much fun 🙂 And I roast garlic in big batches and keep the cloves in a jar in the fridge, but otherwise it would take 20-30 minutes in a 400 degree oven lightly wrapped in aluminum foil.

Then I threw everything in the pot with the quinoa and gave it a whirl with the immersion blender. And promptly ate a serving over a bed of spinach and grape tomatoes for dinner. Best salad topper ever, lucious lemon goodness. Simply delicious.  This definitely goes on my list of recipes to make again.  The only change I might make is to cut the amount of tahini in half if I’m not going to use it as a salad topper because it does turn out very creamy with a full 2 TB.  Must be the blending at work.

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And for dessert my roomie spoiled me again (jealous yet?) by making oatmeal cookies.  That boy just has too much time on his hands now that it’s exam season.  And I might have had two.  So many treats this week, gah!

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And hopefully by tomorrow I’ll have one final awesome treat, but this one will last a lot longer, and I’ll be spoiling the roomie for a change.  Stay tuned for that (I’m really hoping it works out).