Plentiful Plants

Daily eats of a Torontonian student

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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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


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



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.


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


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


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.


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



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.


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.


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.


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.


Late in the afternoon I snacked on a banana.


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.


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.


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


More pie, anyone? March 14, 2009

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I had fun playing with my food before dinner for the sake of Pi Day.  I  shaped some of my veggie-ful chili and baked sweet potato in to sheppard’s pie.  And it was delicious.


And I finished the day with another slice of strawberry pie.  It’s too good to resist.  Good thing the roomie will be back tomorrow to help me eat them.


Happy (Strawberry) Pi Day!

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This morning I had a lovely time sleeping in, finally catching up on that hour lost last weekend, before getting myself up and running some errands.  On the way home I stopped by Starbucks to redeem a coupon I’ve been carrying around for a while since finding it in my mailbox.


What a lot of packaging….

My Perfect Oatmeal was surprisingly good, I wouldn’t start buying it on a regular basis at 3 or 4 dollars a bowl (I didn’t really pay attention), but it’s nice to know it exists if I ever need something to eat and have no better options.  I do have another coupon that expires in April, so I will definitely be getting it  again sometime soon.  I used half of each topping packet, both the nuts and berries were really nice, but the brown sugar was one hard lump.


I had breakfast quite late so lunch was light but tasty.  I threw some broccoli slaw, enoki mushrooms, and a bit of roasted chicken breast into the wok with a little teriyaki sauce and water to encourage steaming.


I also had a steaming cup of Stash organic black and green Earl Grey Tea, really nice!  And a handful of almonds.


And now the exciting bit.  I’m a geek, and I like to celebrate the fact that today is Pi Day (3.14, think about it), so I knew that this weekend I wanted to make a pie.  I couldn’t decide what to put in my pie, until I remembered to check out this week’s BSI.  Strawberry pie? Yes, please! I have a good kitchen scale, so I tend to weigh my ingredients, but the volumes should be the same, I was checking as I went along.

The Crust:

1/3 cup quick oats (40 g)
2 tbsp whole wheat flour (15 g)
2 tbsp almonds (12 g)
2 tsp sucanat, or brown sugar (6 g)
1/8 tsp salt
1 tbsp almond oil, or vegetable oil (15 g)
1 tbsp water (15 g)

Throw everything except the oil and water into a food processor, and blend until the almonds are ground.

Whisk together water and oil until relatively uniform, and add to food processor, blend until combined, the dough will be crumbly but holds together when squeezed.

This gave me enough dough to cover two 6 inch pie plates, it should be enough to cover a regular size 8 inch pie plate (A=πr2, A(2x6inch)=56.4 in2, A(8inch)=50.3 in2). Sorry.

Bake the shells for ~10 minutes at 400 degrees, until golden, and let cool.


That picture was taken before baking.

When I was making the crust, I also sliced the strawberries and tossed them with sugar to let the juice come out, and started draining the yogurt.



A few hours later, I started on the filling:

1.5 tblsp sucanat, or brown sugar (13 g)
1.5 cups sliced strawberries (220 g)
1/2 cup plain nonfat greek yogurt, or drain 3/4 cup regular yogurt (Canada = no nonfat greek yogurt)
2 tbsp gelatin powder (14 g, the plain, unflavoured/sweetened kind)
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp strawberry jam

First I boiled the water,  dissolved the gelatin, and let the mix cool a bit.

Then I mixed everything except the jam, and two tablespoons of the gelatin water together.  And divided the mixture between the two pie crusts.

I reheated the 2 tbsp of gelatin water with the jam until they melted together, and drizzled it over the two pies.

Then refrigerated the pies for a couple hours until set.


At which point I happily enjoyed a piece for a snack (1/4 pie, or 1/8 of the recipe is about 100 calories!)



I’m really pleased how this turned out, it’s just sweet enough, not tart at all from the yogurt, and the almondy crust works really well with the berries.  The jam drizzle looks nice, but doesn’t taste very strong, and I think the pie is already quite pretty, so I’ll either skip it next time, or add more jam for extra flavour impact.