Plentiful Plants

Daily eats of a Torontonian student

Southern Hemi Influence July 8, 2009

This morning started out with a tried and true monster combo, spinach, chia seeds, banana, and papaya.

2009_07_08_monster

For lunch I had yet another salad mess with asparagus, zucchini, red pepper, carrot, beet, avocado, and the rest of my nectarine, balsamic, and tarragon dressing.

2009_07_08_salad

Which was followed by a cinnamon raisin ezekiel sandwich stuffed with an awesome PB2, dried apricot, cinnamon and maple flake filling.

2009_07_08_sandwich

And in the afternoon I snacked on the rest of my mulberries.

2009_07_08_mulberries

Then for dinner I was craving something weird (for the season), orange. So I stopped by the grocery store and picked up a clementine which probably came from WAY south of the equator and used it to top a beet green salad which was dressed with sesame oil and orange juice concentrate. And along that I had a tower pile of steamed broccoli and a tiny beet topped with raw mole. And the whole plate got a sprinkling of sesame seeds to make it look a bit prettier.

2009_07_08_dinner

And dessert, dark chocolate!

2009_07_08_chocolate

Advertisements
 

Where has the week gone? July 3, 2009

This week felt like it flew by!  First I had Wednesday off, then Thursday I left the office to do some quick work at a subway station, which meant I got home really early, then today was the normal summer hours half day!  I guess I’ll make up for it by working Saturday night (Boo!).  It’s actually not that bad, kinda fun, but it does feel like it destroys the weekend a little bit.  But then Monday is a field trip to see a bridge in Huntsville!  Aside from the freeway up to Montreal a couple of times, and one road trip to Sault St. Marie via Tobermory 10 years ago (then back via Michigan), I’ve never been to any part of Ontario north of Toronto, so to me, Algonquin Park is considered WAY up north (keep in mind that Toronto is already ~100km north of where I grew up).  You know, as opposed to WAY WAY up north by Hudson Bay where nobody lives (apparently there’s a Polar Bear Provincial Park?) or even just Thunder Bay.

Anyway, on the the eats (I just spent forever being distracted by Google Maps!)  Breakfast this morning, I used another one of those super dark plums, along with blueberries, half a banana, chia seeds, and a big handful of kale in a tasty little green monster (I brought the rest to drink at work)

2009_07_03_breakfast

I also brought part one of lunch to work with me, broccoli, cucumber and baked kabocha drizzled with Ted Reader Peach Bourbon BBQ sauce.  Delicious.

2009_07_03_lunch

When I got home I was hungry for lunch part 2, chia oatgurt with a spoonful of PB2.

2009_07_03_oatgurt

Then lunch dessert/snacks, the last two Pumpkin Pie Bites.

2009_07_03_bites

And a sweet, juicy, super-ripe peach

2009_07_03_peach

For dinner I cleaned out the fridge with a GIANT salad containing the last of the lettuce and aspargus my parents brought me, cucumber, red pepper, chives, and the leftover tomato/avocado suace from yesterday.  And I’m pleased to report the mandoline was playing nicely today.

2009_07_03_salad

And to really clean out the fridge, I also finished the kabocha and broccoli, with a bit more BBQ sauce.

2009_07_03_kabocha

 

Is It Still A Zee-Bar If It Eaten In Canada? June 29, 2009

Breakfast this morning was trying to be a PB+J concoction, but it ended up being not-so-great. It tasted like it had tomato in it (which I DO NOT like). In the mix was kale, wheatgrass ice cubes, raspberries, and PB2. Raspberries + wheatgrass = not good. I chugged the mix down after adding a squirt of agave, but I think from now on the wheatgrass will be drunk buy itself.

2009_06_29_monster

Luckily my taste buds were made happy buy the snack I had later in the morning. I tried out the Honey Graham Z-Bar (Zed-Bar?) Krista gave me this weekend. It was pretty awesome, very cookie-like, I understand where all the blogger love is coming from. Thanks again Krista!

2009_06_29_zbar

For lunch I had the usual giant salad, lettuce, asparagus, carrot, cucumber, red pepper, green onion, and blended dill avocado dressing. I’m impressed at the dressing’s ability to stay green even though I blended it like 5 days ago, it doesn’t even taste very lemon-y, I only added some on top when I stuck it in the fridge.  It looks even greener in person than in this picture.

2009_06_29_salad

And afternoon snacks, tomato and the darkest plum I’ve ever seen.

2009_06_29_snack

For dinner I pulled a bag of frozen wax beans from the freezer, and a can of tuna from the pantry and stirfried them with olive oil, lemon juice, and lots of dill, chives, and green onion. It made a giant mountain of deliciousness.

2009_06_29_dinner

But I stil had a little room leftover for dessert, sweet strawberries. They’re starting to look a little grungy from being in the fridge, but I’d rather that than mold.

2009_06_29_strawberries

 

Hide the protein! June 16, 2009

I had something different for breakfast this morning.  When I made oatmeal this weekend I made extra and froze some.  This morning I took out one of those portions (oats and banana) and nuked it with extra water, chia seeds, PB2 and a few toffee sprinkles.  And along with it I had a Starbucks Fruit salad from the pile that had taken up residence in the fridge overnight, and a delicious giant lychee.

2009_06_16_breakfast

For snacking I brought to work with me a container of kabocha, two ways.  First as a sandwich with almond butter, and second cubed and drizzled with soy sauce.  Plus I brought a shitake mushroom because I had an empty space in the container, and I wanted to try one raw to see if I liked it.  I know I don’t like button/cremini mushrooms raw, but I thought I would give the shitake a try.  The verdict? Not so much.  But I did thoroughly enjoy those cherries for lunch dessert.

2009_06_16_snacks

Lunch itself was a giant salad of romaine topped with carrot, red pepper, snap peas, and tofu marinated in soy sauce/sesame oil/apple cider vinegar.  I seem to be developing a thing for soy sauce…and am running out….must stock up!

2009_06_16_salad

When I got home I had a tasty medjool, straight up.

2009_06_16_date

Then for dinner I got a bit creative.  My base was spinach flavoured shirataki noodles, steamed broccoli, and shitake mushrooms sauteed in a bit of olive oil.  Then I hid some protein in the sauce.  I blended a chunk of tofu with nutritional yeast, garlic powder, a splash of vinegar and water, salt and pepper.  And I was happy to discover it tastes really good, and actually cheesy!  But next time I either need to make a bigger batch, or use silken tofu, or both.  I made so little the sauce was flinging itself away from the blades and didn’t blend very smoothly.  So it doesn’t look very pretty, but it sure tasted good!

2009_06_16_dinner

 

Goopy Sludge and Recognition June 10, 2009

Let’s try and make this quick, I’ve got some SYTYCD waiting for me 🙂

Goopy sludge # 1 of the day, green brown monster.  On the fruit side I chose banana, peach, and frozen raspberries.  And since I knew the raspberries would muddle the monster anyways, the green side was covered by leftover beet greens that had been hidden in the fridge and almost forgotten about, plus a little spinach, and chia seeds.  1/2 cup of cooked greens looks so small but packs a lot of punch!

2009_06_10_monster

My late morning snack consisted of a Chocolate Chip Peanut Crunch Clif bar.  It was good, very cookie like, the peanuts were a nice addition without being in-your-face peanutty like the peanut butter flavour.  I would have been even happier with more chocolate chips though.

2009_06_10_clif

I was weird and swapped lunch and afternoon snack in the timing scheme of things since the clif bar did a good job of filling me up.  At lunch time I had a container of honeydew and blueberries.

2009_06_10_fruit

Then later in the afternoon I dipped my way through goopy sludge #2 of the day.  I food processor-ized black beans, chili paste, PB2, lime juice, soy sauce, and a bit of water for a tasty spread.

2009_06_10_dip

And the dippers were carrot, cucumber, zucchini, and celery.

2009_06_10_veggies

For dinner I started off with more honeydew (it’s a big melon, and really tasty!) and kiwi while I was waiting on the oven.

2009_06_10_kiwi

Then I had a fantastic serving of freshly baked kabocha, to which I added soy sauce when I got down to the  outer skin layer in order to make it super fabulous.

2009_06_10_squash

And along side that was amaranth pilaf.  I found amaranth a while ago from the bulk bins, and finally decided to cook it up with onion, parsley and thyme that got caramellized first before adding the grains and water.  They’re so cute and tiny!  And the pilaf had a fun chewy texture.  Although there was a slight bitter taste, so I think I was supposed to rinse the amaranth first, like you would quinoa.  At least I know for next time, and it was still pretty good.

2009_06_10_amaranth

And the recognition part of the day.  Every day I wake up and  look out my window to see a large billbord that is usually adorned with an advertisement for some CTV show.  Last year I wanted to ripe my eyes out a little bit after waking to Addison Sheppard for four months.  For the past few (3?) months the billboard has been bugging me because I didn’t know what show it was advertising.  I figure the title was hidden somehow in the gibberish behind the guy’s head but I could never pick it out.  This morning I was looking at the gibberish again and had a feeling I had seen it somewhere else recently.  I suddenly came to the realization that the advertisment is for The Listener!  Now I’m wondering why the sign has been up for months when the show only started airing last week (although apparently NBC aired it in March)…

2009_06_10_listener

 

Mildly Fantastic May 30, 2009

Happy Weekend Bloggies!

This morning I started out with a deliciously murky green monster.  In the mix was kale, and apple, chia seeds, cocoa powder, and PB2.

2009_05_30_monster

That moster provided excellent fuel for a morning of grocery shopping in which I picked up this week’s BSI ingredient, corn!  I bought one cob and proceeded to make the most amazing lunch ever!  I’ve had a jar of Simply Natural Pineapple Salsa sitting in the pantry for months but have been scared to try it because I’m not a huge fan of spicy, and store bought salsa tends to be too hot for me.  But Sophia‘s BSI choice provided the inspration to try it out.  So I took a look at what I had on hand and came up with what turned out to be a fantastically awesome (in my opinion at least) recipe for Corn Pancakes.

The ingredients for 4 3-inch pancakes (aka 1 serving):

2009_05_30_ingredients

1/4 cup spelt flour (I’m sure regular whole wheat, or even ground oats would work too)
1 T cornmeal
1/2 t baking powder
3 egg whites (100g), lightly beaten
1/3 cup corn (1/2 the ear, fresh as it can be coming from the USA, raw, but frozen should work just as well)
1/4 cup diced red pepper
1/4 cup chopped chives (I keep a bag of them in the freezer)
a dash of salt

plus avocado and salsa for toppings (the salsa is a must, avocado good but optional)

2009_05_30_chopped

Mix the powdery ingredients together, then add the egg whites, salt and veggies.  The batter will be pretty thin, but it puffed up enough in the pan to surround the veggie pieces.  Then cook in a pan like any other pancake, and plate with toppings.

2009_05_30_plateclose

The pancakes were great, the salsa was awesome (and actually mild, yay!), and together they made an fantastic lunch.  I loved the sweet bursts of corn in every bite.  If you’re not going to use salsa as a topping, I suggest adding more seasonings to the pancakes themselves along the lines of chili powder or onion, or else they might be a bit plain, but with salsa, the dish was perfect.

2009_05_30_lunch

The perfect bite.

2009_05_30_bite

Then later in the afternoon I tried out a dessert I picked up for the first time because it was on sale for a ridiculously low price and I needed to satisfy my curiousity.  A Skinny Cow ice cream sandwich.  It was so good!  I haven’t tried them before because I figured, being a low-fat ice cream concoction, they would taste pretty weird like the other one’s I’ve tried in the past, but this succeeded in tasting like real ice cream!  I almost want to go back to the store tomorrow to see if they have any left so I can stock up for the summer.

2009_05_30_icecream

Now I’m off the meet some friends for a sushi dinner, so I’ll be back tomorrow 🙂

 

Epic Fail May 8, 2009

Before getting to today’s slightly scarring experience, let’s back track to last night’s bed-time snack.  I tried my pumpkin chips (that I bought a feww weeks ago along with mushroom chips).  They were okay.  They get points for being non-greasy, but didn’t they have much, if any pumpkin flavour and they were a but dry, like over baked squash.  Not buying these again…but I must go back for the mushrooms, and to try the apple chips….

2009_05_08_chips

This morning I had my appetite slightly ruined by part one of the day’s failure, which I cover later, so I ended up being hungry, but with only 10 minutes before I had to be out the door.  So I quickly grabbed whatever, and ended up with a bowl of Kashi GoLean Crunch (more hiding under the yogurt), yogurt, banana, and the last of my PB2 ;_;.  At least this breakfast managed to take a bad taste out of my mouth, and by the end I was enjoying it (quickly!)

2009_05_08_breakfast

For lunch I continued with my veggie and fruit spree.  There was a container of snow peas, carrots, cucumber, celery, and red pepper with left over pumpkin soup for dipping.

2009_05_08_lunch

And a container with a mango and TWO apples, gala and golden delicious (in honour of Sharon 🙂)

2009_05_08_fruit

For dinner I tossed romaine in my new favourite yogurt/whole grain dijon/chive dressing and topped it with a steaming pile of broccoli.

2009_05_08_dinner

Now what was my scarring experience that started in the morning and ended with some kitchen experiments tonight?

Last weekend I bought a papaya. It was completely green, but so were the other ones in the pile at the (chinese) grocery store. I figured it would ripen on the counter. By this morning, the papaya was still green, but it was a bit softer than on Sunday, so I figured it must be ripe, but just be a different variety than usual, like how mangos come in different colours. So I sliced it open and found this.

2009_05_08_papaya

I was suspicious.  Mostly because I was at least expecting the seeds to look the same. So before cutting it up and adding it to my lunch, I licked it (what? I’m the only one who’s going to eat it anyway). It was HORRIFYING. It’s ridiculously astringent, like unripe persimmons (I’ve lost one or two to not being able to tell when those things are fully ripened). I was going to throw the whole thing out, but thought I would stick in the fridge at least for today to see if the internet offered any useful information about green papayas. I looked them up during a slow period at work and found suggestions to cook them.

I was skeptical, but I gave two methods a try tonight (I was NOT about to try it raw again, no matter how many recipes for thai green papaya salad I found). One chunk took a trip in the oven with cinnamon and honey, and another one was boiled by itself so I could try it and add things later if it tasted any better. Both methods worked to take away the astringency, but once that was gone, the papaya still had a weird taste to it that I was not enjoying. The baked version was slightly better simply because it was drowned in honey, but still not very good and I didn’t bother eating more than a bite of either dish.

2009_05_08_cooked papaya

At least the experience is over, and I know better for next time. And this counts as me trying a new food right? No matter how accidentally, and unsuccessfully? I must look for something (hopefully) better for Katie’s Challenge this weekend….

I did finish the night on a better note though with tasty, crunchy roasted chickpeas. I mixed one can of chickpeas with 2 T tahini and 1 T cinnamon and roasted them in the oven at 400 for about an hour. The first batched (pictured) was a bit over cooked because I stopped check them so often and waited too long, but the second batch was perfect, some crunchy, some slightly soft still on the inside, just the way I like them. And I hope the person I give them to tomorrow likes them too 🙂

2009_05_08_chickpeas