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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Leftovers Galore July 14, 2009

This morning started out with a sweet and tasty green monster. In the mix was lots of kale, a banana, nectarine, and chia seeds.

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For lunch I repeated my lunch from yesterday (I just made extra yesterday), with a salad mess of broccoli, zucchini, asparagus, red pepper, and a hemp nut butter/lemon/mustard dressing.

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I had the most wonderful snack, a fresh batch of oatgurt with a peach and a tiny drizzle of maple syrup. Absolutely delicious. And you can tell there are definitely bacteria growing when the lid of the container you put your snack in is puffing out when you go to open it in the afternoon. I’m counting on them being good bacteria considering they haven’t made me sick yet 🙂

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For dinner I used the rest of my sprouted amaranth mixed with tahini and lemon juice to make a tabouli type deal with parsley, sage, tomato, and carrot. It’s really good, plus there are even more leftovers for lunch tomorrow!

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And cherries for dessert.

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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.

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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.

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Lunch dessert was blueberries and few brazil nuts.

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

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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.

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Amazingly Ridiculous July 10, 2009

This week has been crazy busy at work (but in a good way), and I don’t even get the weekend free!  We’ve broken the every other weekend pattern of Saturday night hammer tapping and will be heading back tomorrow.  But at least we should be able to finish tomorrow 🙂

This morning I wasn’t very hungry, so I started off with a slice of cinnamon raisin bread spread with almond butter.

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Then I mixed up a HUGE (1L!) brown monster, including a new ingredient.  In the mix went lotsa kale, two carrots, a giant banana, half a pint of blackberries, and the last of my brazil nut milk (1.5 cups?), plus a bit of ice.  It was delicious, and it lasted me all through work, and into the afternoon.

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When I got home I was offered these beautiful cookies, made by my roomie.  Ginger crinkles are my absolute favourite cookie, so obviously, I had to have one…or two (they were small!).  They were good, but not quite as good as my mama’s recipe, but worth it none the less.  I really need to get that recipe from her.  And before the old note card in the recipe box completely fades would be a good idea too….

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I put up something I was entirely unimpressed with this afternoon. I went to pick up a package at the post office, but I had no idea what it could be. Turns out it was the sample pack of Amazing Grass I ordered, but it arrived in the most ridiculous manner.

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The actual packet would fit perfectly in a regular old envelope (maybe a bit too heavy, but that only costs an extra dollar or two), but for some reason, they were shipped in a giant box, and held in place with plastic wrapped air! Not only is this not the most environmentally friendly shipping approach, it isn’t exactly the most fiscally responsible choice either. The shipping was free for me, but I can’t imagine what the Amazing Grass people were thinking paying $18 to ship something worth $3, when it would have been just as easy to ship it for less (or even easier, they would have saved me a trip to the post office with limited opening hours if it fit in my mail box).

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Anyways,  for dinner I finished the last piece of meat (of mine, but not including fish) in the freezer.  I cooked up the some organic, 100% grass fed beef, then chopped up the pieces, mixed them with ketchup, mustard, and relish, and used them as a topping for a burger salad.  The base was red leaf lettuce, yellow pepper, and the last kumato that for some reason had escaped consumption all week long.

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Now I’m off to revel in the discovery that is the begining of a new season of Torchwood.  I love me some good old scifi TV. (I’m missing Stargate this summer!)  But first, you all should NOT enter Gina’s awesome Living Raw Food giveaway, because I’m just a little in love with S&M, but the book is just a bit too expensive for my money conscious brain to handle, and it’d be WAY easier to have my own copy than to lurk in the bookstore!

 

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).

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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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Relishing Retinol June 11, 2009

There was only one thing missing after watching So You Think You Can Dance last night, no voting! My roomie and I had a a lot of fun actually voting during SYTYCD Canada last summer (after all, it was free). But it did mean I actually got to bed quickly after it was done instead of staying up to hit redial a bunch of times until I actually got through.

This morning I got up and was hungry for a green monster. It wasn’;y as mucky as yesterday’s, but not quite green either. In the super tasty mix was spinach, banana, blueberries, chia seeds, and Nutribiotics Mixed Berry Rice protein powder.

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For lunch I packed up the rest of the baked kabocha. I think I need to go buy some more this weekend, it’s so good. And stuffed in the empty spaces is snow peas.

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And also a sliced up devil dawg, carrots, and honeydew. I’m not lacking in the vitamin A department today, that’s for sure. At work I also had a handful of the cubicle-mate’s erroneously unflavoured Kashi crackers.

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And then, just as I was finishing dinner preparations the roomie came home with his parents and there was a kerfluffle of visiting and helping unpacking stuff, so while I thought I took a picture of my plate, my camera tells me otherwise.  But I had a zucchini/snow pea/black bean salad with yogurt/mustard/chive dressing along with a steamed sole fillet and half a whole wheat pita.  Very tasty, though the picture wouldn’t have been very nice anyways since it’s dark and rainy out (boo!).

 

Superthick June 9, 2009

I ate my green monster with a spoon this morning, it was so thick. I went with a classic peach/mango combo today along with spinach, chia seeds, and ice instead of water. And it was soooooo gooood 🙂

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For lunch there was a salad mess of zucchini, carrot, and Devil Dawg with yogurt, mustard, and chive dressing.

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And a bowl of steamed kabocha with teriyaki sauce. I understand how this squash can be habit forming…

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And in the afternoon I snacked on blueberries and a non-fuzzy golden kiwi (with the skin!).

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When I got home I nabbed a dried peach before it could get in front of the camera while busy chopping up mushrooms for a giant stirfry. The rest of the bowl was filled with snow peas, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Shitake + snow peas + sesame has to be one of my all time favourite combos.

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And for dessert there was a large slice of juicy sweet honeydew. And I went back for a sliver more, of course.

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The Other, Other Red Meat June 6, 2009

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So thins morning I went on an adventure. I finally figured out how to get onto the Don Valley Trail so I followed it up from the Riverdale Park entrance to Taylors Bush Park, then left the expressway behind and crossed the park over to Victoria Park Avenue. Then I took the subway part of the way home, stopping to pick up a few more groceries.

Before leaving I had a quick and delicious breakfast, Crunchy Peanut Butter Clif bar. Can I say YUM? This is a serious rival to Carrot Cake as my favourite Clif flavour, so peanutty.

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My very first design project in university was to analyze and design a replacement for this bridge. Oh what I could tell you about the Prince Edward Viaduct….

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There were lots of these flowers all along the valley.

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And little rapids in some spots.

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Giant planters by the DVP.

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And creek flowing over the path making a mini waterfall (there was a bridge a few meters away).

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When I got home I was hungry for a banana, straight up.

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Then I set to work on this week’s BSI recipe, featuring red bell peppers. I started by roasting two smallish red peppers under the broiler for about 10 minutes.

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Then peeling them. Beautiful.

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Then I made excellent use of the roasty result to make Smoky Roasted Red Pepper Seitan Sausages. However, I was making up the recipe a bit as I was going along, and the final product ended up reminding both me and the roomie of hot dogs (he actually made the suggestion first as they were steaming). So they’ve earned the nick name Devil Dawgs.

The ingredients:

1.5 cups gluten flour
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 roasted red peppers (about 2/3 cup)
1 T chili powder
1/2 T cinnamon
1/2 T maple syrup
1/2 T light soy sauce
1/2 t liquid smoke
~8 cloves roasted garlic (aka. all I had left in the fridge)
sprig each of rosemary and thyme

All the ingredients except the gluten and yeast went into a measuring cup, which I then filled up to the 1 cup line with water, then dumped into the blender for a twirl (no, not the cup itself).

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Then I combined the gluten and yeast, and added the liquids. And kneaded for a couple of minutes (kneading gluten feels it so fun). I discovered we’re out of aluminum foil, so I used wax paper instead to wrap the dough, which I divided into 8 peices. Some were sausage shaped, some were just patties.

And they took a 30 minute trip to the steamer (aka colander that fits nicely in a large pot with a few inches of boiling water).

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The wax paper doesn’t have the tensile strength of aluminum, so most of the sausages burst open as they steamed, and they weren’t wrapped very tightly to begin with, which lead to not-so-pretty shapes, but the seitan was nice and fluffy and delicious 🙂  The sweet peppers and maple with the chili and smoke really does taste like a hot dog, perfect summer recipe! The roomie informed me I would have to teach him how to make it.

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For lunch/dinner I had one of the patties in a pita with spinach, mustard, and relish. Along with a pile of carrot and celery sticks, and dollop of bean dip, and a few juicy lychees. The dip was a quick mix of 1.5 C black beans, juice of 1 lemon, a clove of raw garlic, and a spoon of hemp nut butter. A wonderful meal.

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Now I need a sleep before taking a midnight hammer to the subway tracks.  Enough with the mammoth posts already!

 

Nutty Snacks June 1, 2009

It was a dark and cloudy start to the week. At least until after I took pictures of my lunch. The sun was starting to come out by the time I had thrown together some breakfast. In the bowl is Allbran, Dorset Fruits, Nuts and Seeds Cereal, and soy milk. And on the side are some wonderfully sweet cherries (love!).

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For lunch I chopped up a giant salad. There was spring mix topped with carrot, cucumber, zucchini, red pepper, black beans, asparagus, and BBBV.

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Plus there were snacks, yogurt with blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, and walnuts.

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And later a Ruth’s Lemon Hazelnut bar. I think this is one of my all time favourite bars, love the crunchy nuts.  Although, I’m perfectly willing to give new bars a try, especially Fullbars, if I win them in Krista’s Contest!

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For dinner I went a simple and protein filled route. I found some ground turkey in the freezer and turned it into a burger wrapped in a tortilla with spring mix, lots of pickles, ketchup, and mustard. And there were a couple of medjool dates stuffed with sunflower seed butter for dessert which escaped the camera.

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I did see something that made me a little happy today though. Today a city-wide mandatory 5 cent fee for plastic bags came into effect. I walk by a grocery store just outside the exit from the subway on my way home from work, and today there were quite a few people stuffing items into their purses or carrying boxes and bottles in their hands. I mean, do you really need a second bag to carry a sleeve of bagels?  It made me happy that the fee was actually working to make them save the plastic instead of taking the convenient route and taking the bag. It doesn’t effect me because I already grocery shop with my reusable bag anyways (or stick things in my shoulder bag). Now I just hope everybody doesn’t start amassing huge collections of the heavier bags that don’t really end up saving much plastic. I only need two, and already rarely use the second one, because that’s the number of hands I have anyways.

 

Way, Way Up North May 31, 2009

You learn something new every day. Today I learned that Hudson’s (and James) Bay is considered part of Nunavut, and therefore Ontario and Nunavut share borders. I wouldn’t have guessed that off the top of my head had someone asked me yesterday. Though in my defense, Nunavut had only just become a territory when I was in elementary school, so our geography books were slightly outdated. Now why was I looking at Google Maps of the northern reaches of Quebec, that’s the last item on the agenda today, you have to wait and see.

Let’s start with breakfast. Twas simple, a Starbucks Raspberry Peach Yogurt Parfait. But it served me well on a shopping expedition with the roomie through the windy streets of Toronto.

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Just before leaving I had a few dates as well. I took said roomie to Whole Foods for the first time, and made him fall in love a little. Though he did an excellent job of making me spend a small fortune on tea, and I only got one box! We also enjoyed a few samples, but were stuck by the oddity of providing mustard samples on slices of hot dog in a semi-health food store that sells ample vegetarian products. I was expecting the lovely saleswoman to pull out a bag of pretzel sticks, and instead she surprised me by taking the lid off of a crock pot revealing an overflowing bowl of wieners!

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When we finally arrived back at the apartment for lunch I fixed up a mexican fiesta dipping bowl. In the dip went black beans, corn, red pepper, avocado, yogurt, lime juice, and pineapple salsa. And the dipping vessels of choice were zucchini slices.

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I tries to take and action shot but my camera was being uncooperative and refusing to focus, and I was hungry so I gave up trying.

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Then for dinner I stuffed a pita with spring mix, pickles, the last of the tofurkey, mustard and ketchup. And my sides were the last cheesy dinosaurs and a few juicy sweet apricots.

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Then there was dessert. I’d noticed a new kind of tea at Whole Foods a while ago, and while I was very intrigued, it was pretty expensive so I’ve been leaving it on the shelf. Today the roomie managed to convince my to buy it because a) there was a flavour sampler box, and b) it not THAT expensive if you compare it to buying a cup of tea in a coffee shop (which I rarely do, but that’s besides the point). In the end I’m happy I did because at least the flavour I tried tonight is pretty amazing. And it was $9 for the box if you’re curious, I usually pay $2.50, maybe $3 for a box of 20 bags of Stash or Yogi or other teas.

The tea is Northern Delight from Inukjuak, Quebec. They use plants from the arctic tundra to make traditional Inuit herbal teas.

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We randomly drew flavours tonight, I got Cloudberry, which was fantastic. It reminded me a lot of Teopia’s Matecchino (ironically enough, considering Krista’s recent purchase), except it’s even better than what I remember Teopia’s tea tasting like when I had it several years ago. The roomie drew Arctic Blend, and he really enjoyed it too.

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Now to head to bed for the start of a new work week.