Plentiful Plants

Daily eats of a Torontonian student

Best of Both Worlds June 2, 2009

This morning I was faced with a tough decision. I want both a green monster, and oatmeal. But not blended oats, I wanted something chewy. So I came up with what turned out to be a fantastically delicious compromise. I blended kale, a banana, vanilla, a couple spoonfuls of yogurt, and a splash of soy milk as a base. The I cooked up some oat bran in water and added it to the bowl. Then I sprinkled the lot with chia seeds and crumbled frozen raspberries. Then after the picture I stirred it all up (with some more berries) and let it sit while I cleaned up the kitchen. When I came back to the bowl I was treated to the most wonderful rice pudding like concoction. It was even the prefect temperature, I like my rice pudding chilled, and the frozen berries worked wonderfully to cool the oats to slightly below room temp. My stomach was happy this morning.

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For lunch I fixed up a whole whack of lettuce wraps. I stuffed big crunchy boston lettuce leaves with a can of sardines and leftover salad topping from yesterday (carrot, cucumber, zucchini, red pepper, asparagus, BBBV). A bit messy to eat, but very tasty, and there were napkins close by.

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And afternoon snackage was accomplished with a bowful of sweet cherries and crunchy cukes.

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When I got home I steamed a pile of broccoli, dug into my container of black beans, and combined them with avocado, parsley and salsa to make a tasty, messy bowl of dinner.

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And to finish the day there was a delightful ice cream sandwich.

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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.

 

Are you going to Scarborough Fair Bluffs? April 12, 2009

Today was a fun adventure to Scarborough Bluffs (33+ km > 3/4 marathon!). I’ve heard of them before, but never seen them, and going there has been on my todo list for a while.

But first breakfast, Peanut Toffee oats again. I cooked oat bran in unsweetened vanilla almond breeze, then topped it with peanut butter and toffee sprinkles. As delicious as ever.

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I passed by these.  They don’t seem to have been adversely affected by the snow and cold since last weekend

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I timed the affair so I would get to Bluffer’s Park around lunch time.

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I brought along some highly portable sustenance, a Raw Revolution Spirulina and Cashew bar, and a couple small bottle of water. The bar was delicous, but it a bit oily on the fingers. I especially liked the whole almonds and cashews hiding in it.

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Then I had fun taking some pictures.

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This little guy didn’t seem to mind that I was kneeling a couple feet away from him.

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He was much more interested in eating his grassy lunch.

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It’s not exactly yachting season yet…

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But there were a few people around.

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One of the nicer views of downtown TO on the way home from the Prince Edward Viaduct.

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By the time I got home I was starving for some early dinner, and luckily my roomie was just finishing a huge pot of stuff, and offered to share (aka he made way too much and wanted help eating it up). I know there’s rice, lentils, parsnips, broccoli, mushrooms, onions, and soy sauce involved.

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I also snacked on a plateful of snow peas, celery, and carrot along with a dollop of hummus.

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Later in the evening I was hungry again for a snack, and realized I might have gotten a bit of a sunburn on my face from being outside for >7 hours (oops), so I went in search of a source of antioxidants, figuring they could only help.

My eyes landed upon a box of acai berry juice that’s being hanging out in the pantry for a while. This was the first time I tried this, and the juice was really good, but I was a bit put off by the layer of brown/green fat on top of it (that’s supposed to be there, right?). I’m not sick now so I suppose it is. And if the antioxidants are fat-soluble, then they are now on my lips, which I can only suppose will help with the burn.

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I enjoyed the juice along with a piece of microwaved sweet potato with nutmeg, and a slice of Balderson 2 year old cheddar cheese.

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And now I’m ready for bed, good night!

 

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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Skule Nite! March 21, 2009

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

Ice Cream Inspiration March 17, 2009

This morning my bowl of oats got a flavour treatment borrowed from Ben and Jerry’s.  Chunky Monkey oat bran.  The oat bran was microwaved with unsweetened vanilla almond breeze, then I added a mashed banana, walnuts, and chocolate chips.  Delicious.

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For lunch I had a massive stirfry with red cabbage, carrot, broccoli slaw, button mushrooms, enoki mushrooms, onion, lemon juice, teriyaki soy sauce, and sesame oil.

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I topped the stirfry with a bit of chicken breast.  When I took this out for lunch, EVERYTHING was purple, even the bottom of the chicken.  But it still tasted good.

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Throughout the afternoon I snacked on a juicy grapefruit, a d’anjou pear, and sweet strawberries.

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The weather was beautiful out this afternoon, so I only took the subway partway home and walked the rest.  When I got to my apartment I was good and hungry for my dinner, an enormous romaine salad topped with yellow pepper, purple carrot, cucumber, pickled beet, sweet potato, vintage reserve cheddar, chicken breast, and orange juice dressing.

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The carrot couldn’t decide if it wanted to be purple or orange…

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And for dessert I had the last slice of strawberry pie.  I’m a bit sad to see it go.

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Where did the time go?

Sorry for skipping posting last night.  I was lazy over the weekend and never got around to doing my laundry.  Unfortunately, doing it last night turned into a great debacle involving a price increase, a need for certain kinds of change I didn’t have, a trip to the grocery store for change, and starting loads drying at different times.  All I can say to building management is that some warning would have been nice, especially about the kinds of coins the new machines accept.  Any way, when I finally finished my laundry after many, many trips up and down 5 floors of stairs (excersize, yay!), it was getting late, and I just wanted to go to bed so I uploaded my pictures so I could post now, in the morning.

Yesterday’s breakfast was a simply but tasty mix of oat bran microwaved in water and a bit of mascarpone ice cream, and topped with dried blueberries and cranberries and a big old scoop of peanut butter.

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Morning and afternoon snacks were a sugary hunk of baked sweet potato, red pepper strips, a golden delicious apple, and delicious fresh figs.

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For lunch I had chili again (there’s only one more meal’s worth, I swear!)

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For dinner I chopped up some red cabbage and collard greens,  sauteed them with Big Bull steak sauce, and topped with the pile with a dollop of garlic almond hummus (HUMBEQUE?).  It was a pretty good flavour combination, then again Big Bull can make just about anything taste good.

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And I finished off the night with another slice of strawberry pie.  You have to love pie you can eat with your hands.

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Some expensive yogurt…. March 15, 2009

This beautiful, relatively warm morning started out with a bowlful of oat bran, topped with the left over starbucks toppings and a few extra cashew pieces.

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I went on some morning adventures, were two things of note happened.  First, I discovered I need to buy a spring coat.  My winter coat was a bit too warm, and my old light coat is ridiculously large, which is a good thing, kind of a jarring reminder of how much smaller I am compared to a year ago, or even from last fall.

Second thing, I went to Pusateri’s for the first time.  It’s a small, super high end grocery store in Yorkville.  I’ve been curious about it for a while, but figured it would just be super expensive tings I wasn’t really interested like gourmet oils and vinegars and coffees.  Which it was in a way.  But the reason I finally went in is that I recieved a hot tip from a coworker that they carry non/low-fat greek yogurt.  And they do.  I was excited.  Though it was ridiculously expensive, so I limited my self to only 2 containers.  A 6oz Stoneyfield Farm Oikos with honey at $3.99 and a 6oz Vanilla Chobani and $3.39.  Yeah, expensive.  But worth it for an occasional treat.

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I ate the Chobani for a snack this afternoon.  It’s so good!  I’ve had Fage yogurt before , 0 and 2% (I might have smuggled three 500g containers home from my Christmas vacation in London, and enjoyed some while in the UK), and I’ve had the full 10% fat greek yogurt that is available in Canada.  Upon tasting the Chobani, a) it’s better than Fage, creamier and less tart (though this might be because it was sweetened), and b) why even bother with the full fat stuff at all?, Chobani 0% is just as good.  I thoroughly enjoyed the yogurt with some strawberries.

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Backtracking to lunch, I had a romaine salad topped with chili, and some deliciously flavourful Vintage Reserve Cheddar I found in the bits and pieces basket at Whole Foods.

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Late in the afternoon I snacked on a banana.

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For dinner, I trid something new.  I tossed some cauliflower with a bit of of oil and lots of Indian Masala seasoning, and roasted it. Simple, but it turned out wonderfully delicious.  I ate that along with some roasted chicken breast and a blob of hummus.

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And dessert was perhaps unsurprisingly, not one but TWO slices of strawberry pie.  I did get the roomie to eat half a pie too, and he gave it two thumbs up so it should disappear soon enough.

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And I might be munching on a handful of crunchy FoodShouldTasteGood Chocolate chips right now, but the camera won’t confirm that.

 

All Day Breakfast March 13, 2009

This wonderful morning start off with delightful CHOCOLATE! I had a bowl of oat bran made with unsweetened chocolate almond breeze, a spoonful of mascarpone ice cream, and topping with crunchy chia seeds and walnuts.

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Lunch time was a chili-licious experience.

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Along with a carrot and blackberries.

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I also had a Kashi Trail Mix bar later in the afternoon.

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And when I got home I grabbed a handful of Sahale Snacks Socorro Macadamia Nuts.

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For dinner I was craving breakfast food, so I whipped up a fluffly omlette using 1 egg and 3 whites, topped with some parmesan cheese. And I filled the plate with strawberries, sweet fresh figs, and a kiwi.

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And dessert was more fruity breakfast! A sliced banana topped with Kashi Honey Almond Flax cereal, dried cranberries, and the last of the chocolate almond breeze. I should go get some more of that stuff, it is very tasty.

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Mighty Green Mango March 10, 2009

This morning started off with a wonderful bowlful of oat bran.  I mixed in a spoonful of mascarpone ice cream, and sprinkled the oats with a handful of President’s Choice Berry Blend Sweetened Dried Fruit, and half a Ruth’s Hemp Power Chocolate Raspberry bar.

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The dried berries (cranberries, cherries, and blueberries) were given to me, I probably wouldn’t have bought them myself given that they’re sweetened with sugar and corn syrup, but I’m glad I tried them because they are really good, nice and plump with lots of blueberries.  Though, I’m still not likely to buy them next time I run out of dried fruit….

The bar was really good too.  It has a nice raspberry flavour, and the chocolate wasn’t too overpowering (it’s not dark chocolate).  And there are nice big pieces of nuts.  The texture is like a typical granola bar.

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Through the morning I sipped on Breakfast part 2, the other half of last night’s spinach/collard/mango/banana green monster.  I am pleased to report it held up quite well in the fridge overnight.  I detected no difference (though I’m not really sure why I thought there would be).

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For lunch and snacks, I brought along an apple with black berries, a container of celery, carrot, and grape tomatos, some hummus, and chili.

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I wasn’t really feeling the chili once I got around to lunch at work, so I ate the other stuff, and before leaving I dug out the last 2/3rds of an All Fruit Original Elevate Me! bar which I munched on while walking to the bus stop.  Here’s the evidence.

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Come dinner time I didn’t really know what I wanted so I figured I might as well finish my lunch.  I also had two broken up whole wheat matzo crackers for chili dipping.

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Now to come up with something for tomorrow’s lunch…I’m thinking not chili…