Plentiful Plants

Daily eats of a Torontonian student

Scuffy new shoes May 13, 2009

I did a very thorough job of scuffing up a brand new pair of shoes today.  I bought my work boots four years ago and didn’t end up needed them at the time.  So this morning, when I got to go on site for the first time, my shoes were still shiny and perfect.  Not so much anymore…spending a few hours crawling around scaffolding hammering at the roof will do a quick job of scratching up the toes of steel-toed boots.  But had fun doing it 🙂  There’s even the bonus that I got to leave home over an hour before I usually do, and got back an hour earlier too because a big chunk of my commute was cut away and our working hours were a bit shorter to allow for travel time for some people from the office to the site.

In anticipation of a busy, and different kind of workday I enjoyed a leisurely and large breakfast.  I started with a bowl of Kashi High Fibre Flakes and Granola cereal with strawberries and milk.

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Then I dug into two sunnyside up eggs topped with chopped sage, and paired with orange pepper strip.  Delicious, and held me over very well until lunch.

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Lunch I fixed up a  mess salad of broccoli, zucchini, and chicken breast tossed in yogurt, whole grain dijon, and a handful of chives.  Tasty and refreshing, as usual.

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Plus I had a Nature’s Path Optimum Energy Peanut Butter Bar.  The bar was really good, kind of like a peanut butter cookie, but less sweet (which is a good thing).  I would have liked it if the peanut flavour was a bit stronger, but it was tasty regardless.

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When I got home I finished my lunch salad with the addition of a handful of dried cherries (and didn’t take a picture, sorry).

Then when I was hungry for dinner I stared in the fridge indescisively for a while, then finally blended up a slighty disgusting looking but very tasty brown monster.  In the mix was red kale, an apple, and frozen raspberries.

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Followed by a Starbucks Peach and Raspberry Yogurt Parfait.  Apparently they’ve stopped using Splenda to sweeten their yogurts…

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And finally for dessert was a square of dark chocolate.  Talk about a weird food mood….

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Chocolate Heaven April 21, 2009

Today was a busy day at work, I never even got a change to open my gmail/reader, let alone start writing this post.  I even stayed half an hour late in order to finish up one section of what I was doing so I can start a new one tomorrow.  Makes up for all those days of nothing to do a few weeks ago.

I started off with a slice of toasted ezekiel bread with strawberry, blackberry, acai jam.

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It was a small breakfast, but I made up for it by sipping on a giant, quite thick monster all morning long.  This decadant tasting treat contained a ton of spinach, soft tofu, TWO bananas, and cocoa powder.  So creamy, chocolatey delicious.

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For lunch I had a giant Kath and Kelsey inspired salad.  The based was romaine, carrot, cucumber, and red pepper.  Then on top I mashed a can of sardines (alas, same brand but just packed in water), and mixed them with mustard, dried dill, and dill pickles.  Mustard + dill = amazing, can’t believe I’ve never had that combination before.

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In the afternoon I snacked on a contained of tomato, starfruit, and bosc pear.  For those who are interested, a good starfruit, is firm, with no green left, but only the smallest possible amount of brown at the edges.  And I hear they do ripen on the counter if the store only has partly green ones.  And you can eat the entire thing.  And they’re very yummy, the flavour’s subtle, not hit you over the head strong or sweet, but they taste refreshingly tropical.

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One my way home I dug into a Chia Razz Weil Bar.  Very good, I love the raspberry flavour.

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And for dinner I was feeling lazy, so I nabbed myself a fresh sesame bagel from a platter in the kitchen at work, and spread half with asparagus edamummus, and had the other half with nuked egg whites and some ridiculously good dill havarti.  And surprisingly now, a few hours later, I’m still full.  The bagel was pretty big, but it was white bread, I wasn’t quite expecting that, but I won’t complain.

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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.

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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).

 

Happy Un-Friday! April 9, 2009

Breakfast this morning was a crunchy nutty bowl of cereal.  In the mix was Kashi Seven Whole Grain Puffs, Nature’s Path Leapin Lemurs, and Cinnamon Puffins.  Then I threw on some very well camouflaged cranberry glazed almonds, and unsweetened vanilla almond breeze.  To really nut-ify the bowl I mixed some PB2 into the almond breeze first, the result was quite tasty.

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I had a few containers packed up to take to work.  I even packed them before the sun went down last night! The first was full of delicious honeydew.

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The second was a veggie packed mix of red pepper, snow peas, and sweet carrot slices.

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And the third held a juicy blood orange, blackberries, and last piece of basa fish, and some fried egg  whites.

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My dinner didn’t look very pretty, but it was tasty.  I cooked up oat bran with jo tasi/garlic chives, nutritional yeast and salt.  Then I steamed some cauliflower.  And to finish it off, I blended the two pots together, CCV/K style, yummy creamy mushy mess.  That’s worthy of an extra entry or two in Katie’s chocolatey giveaway isn’t it (there’s still time to enter!)?

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And dessert was something special, cashew pudding.  But it was cashew fruit instead of nut, and it was made simply of the juice and chia seeds.  And it was delicous.  I just had to try the juice when I saw it for sale, it tastes tropicaly, kind of a cross between pear and pineapple, but not tart at all, sort of creamy, I like it.  And I still have half the box to do something with, lucky me 🙂

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Why is there snow falling? March 30, 2009

Seriously, there was undeniably snow falling out of the sky this morning.  At least it didn’t stick around, that would have been really crazy.  So anyways, after yesterday’s pictureless post, and this morning’s BSI interlude, it’s time to get back to more normal proceedings. Let’s start with breakfast.

I stocked up my almost empty cereal shelf this weekend and dug into a bowl of super crunchy fun first thing today. In my bowl is Health Valley spelt flakes with cranberries, Nature’s Path Leapin’ Lemurs (hehehe…), Barbara’s Bakery Cinnamon Puffins, unsweetened vanilla almond breeze, and extra dried cranberries. A much more noisy breakfast than usual.

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Later in the morning I dug into a container packed with strawberries, mango, and blackberries, all sweet and delicious.

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For lunch I had leftover pureed cauliflower with paprika and nutritional yeast, a homemade seitan burger, carrot slices, and green pepper strips. I’m quite proud of my seitan, I like it a lot.

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I was hungry when I got home so I snacked an english crumpet with strawberry, blackberry and acai jam while waiting for my dinner to come out of the oven.  I love how the jam melts down into all the crevices.

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The main event was a plateful of (olive oil and thyme) butternut squash fries and raw zucchini slices along with some roasted chicken breast. Well worth the wait. The plate got a dose of ketchup after the picture. And I might have made extra b-nut fries for lunch tomorrow.

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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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Crunch time March 20, 2009

So I tend to not get anywhere close to my 6-7 servings of grains per day, but today was an exception.

I started out with a giant cereal bowl for breakfast.  In the mix is Nature’s Path Kamut Puffs, All Bran, Alpen cereal, a banana, and a few pumpkin seeds and cashew pieces, all sitting in unsweetened vanilla almond breeze.

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Later in the morning I dug into a golden delicious apple, a blood orange, and a nice ripe kiwi.

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For lunch there was a huge container of steamed broccoli, grape tomatoes, and an enormous carrot, along with ample amounts of hummus for dipping.

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On my way home from work I snacked on an Espresso Cocoa Crunch Elevate Me! bar.  It was okay.  I’m not a huge fan of coffee anyway, but I don’t think the coffee beans worked very well with all the sweet fruit, it was rather odd.  But the bar kept me full while I went on a grand grocery expedition which was extended by a few blocks of detour when a street closed for construction over the weekend between the time I entered a grocery store, and when I exited the store in  the generally pedestrian unfriendly area under a freeway.

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I got home not too long ago, and plan on going to bed soon.  I’m not very hungry, but know I should eat something, so I’m digging into a bowl containing the last bits of two boxes of Kashi cereal, GoLean and Honey Almond Flax.  Crunch, crunch….

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At least I managed to clear 3 boxes/bags off the shelf!  I finished the kamut puffs too…I’m starting to need new cereal…