Plentiful Plants

Daily eats of a Torontonian student

Backwards April 19, 2009

I unintentionally ate backwards today.  Dinner for breakfast was a La Tortilla Factory Multigrain wrap filled with spinach, red peppers, cucumber, and the leftover Lemony Hummus Style Blended Quinoa.  The wrap was a bit over stuffed, which lead to messy eating, but it was da-lish.

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For lunch I had a huge bowl of roasted goodies.  Cauliflower, celeriac, pepper squash, and brussel sprout were all tossed in olive oil, salt and pepper, and cisped up in the oven, and I ate the last of the pork tenderloin along with a drizzle of ketchup.

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Then I showed some restraint and only blended two things this afternoon, one of which I didn’t even eat, it’ll show up in lunches this week.  The consumed vita-mix treat was a green monster, almost the same as yesterday’s because it was so good, just spinach and a russet apple.

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And later I just had to dig into this bag that I found in Chinatown this morning.  I bought the mushroom and pumpkin chips, but there were also green bean, apple, and I think pineapple (I might be making that one up)?  The mushroom ones, are really good.  The flavour is nice and mild shitake, not super overpowering like I was afraid of, and they aren’t greasy at all, just perfectly crunchy.

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And to end the day’s eats, all I wanted was oatmeal.  And it has been a while, so I went with it.  Besides, it’s not like I haven’t eaten enough veggies yet today or anything.  Into the pot went steel cut oats, a banana, raisins, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.  Look at how dark the oats are, I like my bowl heavily spiced.  Then I topped everything off with more raisins, and Kashi GoLean Crunch.  It really hit the spot.  This was actually the first time I’ve made steel cut oats in a pot, and I liked that they were a lot chewier than my slowcooked version.

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And now for Sunday night CTV time, and new Desperate Houswives, finally!

 

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).

 

Spoiled April 16, 2009

I’m loving the beautiful spring like weather outside.  I just wish I could actually spend more time outside during the day instead of being cooped up at work.  I suppose that’s what weekends are for….and summer hours, I did enjoy those Friday afternoons when I started my coop back in September.

Anyways this morning started out with a first for me.  A delicious Fitnessista breakfast cookie!  I used oats, Kaizen chocolate whey protein powder, almond butter, unsweetened vanilla almond breeze, and dried blueberries.  The cookie was a little too wet when I took it out of the fridge this morning (note to self, reduce liquids next time) so I stuck it in the microwave for a few minutes, and when it came out, I could actually lift the cookie off the plate, and eat it like…a real cookie!  It even had the same texture of an oatmeal cookie, I was quite pleased.

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While I was enjoying my cookie I packed up some lunch to take to work.  First there was a fruit side, honeydew melon, strawberries and the last of the mango.

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Then there was a veggies and protein side, snow peas, cucumber, carrot, red pepper, and roasted pork tenderloin.

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And finally there was a Cob’s bakery hot cross bun with Balderson Vinter’s cheddar.  This is where I was spoiled by the roomie again, he’s been giving me so many treats lately.  I was especially surprised by the fact that the bun contained choclate chips instead of raisins, obviously I didn’t look too closely at it before packing!  I think the bag must have contained a mix because I looked at one of the other buns and it definitely contained the usual raisins.

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When I got home I fixed up something I was planning to make yesterday before the surprise dinner.  I had been thinking about this combination anyways, but when I saw it on Oh She Glows, I had to go for it.  I fixed up a green monster with kale, Liberty Vanilla yogurt (I’ll save the cranberry granola for later), a big spoonful of orange juice concentrate, and water.

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A sweet and creamy combination.

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And for something solid I ate another hunk of pork, a dill pickle (yes, I might be slightly obessessed, the 2L jar in the fridge isn’t helping), and a spread of mustard on some Finncrisp Rye crackers.  A lovely salty, savoury contrast to the sweet smoothie.

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Sweet Satisfaction April 15, 2009

This morning got off to wonderful start with a bowl of Health Valley Spelt Flakes with cranberries and unsweetened vanilla almond breeze, and a pile of sweet honeydew melon.

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Late in the morning I dug into a Fuji apple and atualfo mango. The mango is a bit over-ripe, which makes it delicious, but I’m starting to get concerned it might go bad. But I should be fine if I finish it tomorrow, which is no hardship on my part 🙂

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For lunch I started out with some carrot, grape tomatoes, and steamed broccoli.

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The veggie goodness was followed by a hunk of roasted pork tenderloin, and couple of tiny sweet potatos that took a trip to the microwave before consumption.

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When I got home I was greated by a surprise treat.  My roomie and a friend were making a fancy dinner and they invited my to join in.  I had a delicious bowl of leek and potato soup.

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Followed by a piece of bread with a slice of Camembert and some Balderson Vinter’s Red Wine Cheddar  (aka some of the best cheddar I’ve ever had, and this wasn’t the first time).

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And a really good glass of wine, just a little sweet the way I like it.  I even went back afterwards to take a picture of the bottle for future reference.

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And for dessert I had some sweet and satisfying maple glazed almonds.  A wonderful humpday treat.

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A lot better than nothing April 13, 2009

Busy, yay! I finally got a bunch of stuff to do at work today, not exactly mind stimulating engineering work, mostly pulling reports together, but enough to make the time pass by quickly. On a completely different note, I think my antioxidant filled anti-sunburn plan from Saturday’s Scarborough Bluff adventure may have worked. Yesterday my face was still a little red, but didn’t hurt, and today it is simply tanned. Of course I have no idea if the burn would have been any worse/lasted longer without the acai juice (I need a control!), but it’s something to think about.

This morning started out with a simple yet delicious bowl of Grandma Emily’s Blueberry Cranberry granola with unsweetened vanilla almond breeze and mango.

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I might have snacked on a Source Salba Krispy Rice Square in the morning…

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For lunch I brought along the rest of my Coconut Curry Shepard’s Pie. I let it cool completely in the baking dish yesterday before transferring it over to the lunch container, and the cauliflower top held together much better than when it was still hot. The sauce also bubbled up over the topping in the oven, another reason to use more cauliflower.

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My afternoon snack was a crisp golden delicious apple and super sweet grape tomatoes.

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When I got home I was craving meat, which is odd for me, but who am I to ignore such a craving? Especially when I had some already cooked in the fridge? I finely chopped some roasted pork tenderloin, heated it with honey garlic barbeque sauce, and served it in romaine lettuce leaves (since I wasn’t really feeling any other veggies).

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And for dessert I had a Liberte vanilla yogurt with chocolate granola, sweet and delicious (almost a bit too sweet, I’m too used to plain now…)

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Now, I’ve been plagued recently with a case of phantom publishes the last few days, so let’s hope this post actually goes up tonight!

 

Happy Coconutty Easter!

This beautiful morning started out with tropic-oats.  I fixed up some oatmeal with water, a banana, coconut milk, and some Kashi GoLean Crunch.

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And to up the tropical factor, on the side I cleaned off some mango skins and pits.  Very elegantly, with a wet wash cloth by my side 🙂

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For lunch I continued the tropical theme, with a little Indian influence for my BSI: Coconut entry.  I made an impromptu Coconut Curry Shepard’s Pie, and it was quite delicious.

The filling was just a mix of what was in the fridge, asparagus, carrot, red pepper, snow peas, celery, and roasted pork tenderloin, abouts 3-4 cups worth.  The topping was simply mashed cauliflower, I used ~1/3 of a head (what I had), but I probably could have used more.  The whole dish was brought together with the Coconut Curry Sauce which was simply:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk (or more if you want)
  • 2 tbsp corn starch
  • 1/2 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley
  • salt, to taste

I boiled all the sauce ingredients until they were nicely thickened while I cut up the veggies.  I put the veggies and sauce in an oven dish, and mixed them up, and put them in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes.

Before the oven:

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During that time I steamed and mashed my cauliflower, then added that on top of the veggies and put the dish back in the oven for another 20 minutes.  I made 4 small servings, or two large ones.

Here’s a closeup with the cauliflower topping somewhat intact (the reason I would have used more, not that it affects taste).

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I had a large serving for lunch, very satisfying.

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Later in the afternoon I snacked on some crunchy carrots with sunflower seed butter, a slightly addictive combination.

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For dinner I fixed up a La Tortilla Factory Multigrain wrap filled with romaine lettuce, red peppers, canned flaked tuna, several dill pickles, and lots of whole grain dijon mustard.  Dillicious once again.

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And now I’m enjoying the last few Shasha Co. Gingersnaps while preparing myself to go back to work tomorrow after a long, leisurely weekend.  Well, after the Mentalist and Amazing Race tonight that is….

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Perhaps a bit premature… February 26, 2009

Summer is coming!

OK, not quite yet, we can work on spring first, but my breakfast tasted like summer, even if that flavour came via Florida.  And then when I went outside for work there was virtually no snow to be seen!  It had almost all melted, and it was above zero even though the sun had just come out.  Up where I work there was still snow.  In fact, it looked like it had snowed overnight, though it was starting to melt too…but that’s a different story…

My summer bowl of steel cut oats was mashed with a large helping of heated strawberries, and topped with goat cheese, flaxseed, and walnuts.  I’m really liking the goat cheese and something sweet oatmeal topping combination.

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I spent most of my day a work doing some serious engineering work which consisted primarily of photoshopping a bunch of images to match drawings I had in front of me but we can’t use because we’re required to make our own, identical versions.  Oh well, someone has to do it, and I am the student…

Lunch was a container of sauteed asparagus, pork tenderloin, onions, and mushrooms with balsamic vinegar.  There was also a sliced carrot involved, as well as a giant whole wheat matzo cracker.

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The cracker was hiding with a blood orange and a gala apple.

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I also enjoyed some Sahale Snacks Ksar Pistachios.

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Tonight I was in a weird food mood, I was hungry but didn’t want to eat or cook anything in particular.  Coupled with the fact that the fridge is looking rather barren, I ended up with a giant red leaf lettuce salad tossed with goddess dressing, and topped with grapes, corn, and the last of the pork tenderloin.  The corn and grape combination, though admitted odd, actually ended up being really good with the dressing.

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And finally, dessert was half a Cashew Cookie Larabar and a couple pieces of dried mango.  I’ve only had the banana cookie and chocolate mint Larabars before and wasn’t impressed with either, but I had stopped off to pick up some (sale!) Almond Breeze on the way home and this bar was marked down because it’ll expire soon, so I decided to give a nutty flavour a try.  It was pretty good, a bit dry for my tastes (though that could be because it’s old?).  I think it’ll make a good topping for tomorrows oats.  Overall, I don’t think I’m horribly enthusiastic about Larabars in general, but I’m not likely to say no it offered one.  For now I’d rather spend my money on other things.  Though I would like to try making my own, I do have a container of dates and lots of nuts and dried fruit in my cupboards….

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One colour at a time… February 24, 2009

I’ve been having some very monochrome meals today…

To start off was breakfast, a berry blue bowl of oats (hehe…I like alliteration).  Last night I got everything ready for quick morning assemblage.  In the appropriately coloured vessel went steel cut oats cooked with water, a Blueberry Delight Mott’s Unsweetened applesauce, dried blueberries, some Nature’s Path Blueberry Almond Muesli, ground flaxseed, a touch of cinnamon, and the last few lonely blueberries I bought over a week ago.

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After getting up I happily dug into this mountain.

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After mixing.

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And by the time I had finished breakfast and was about to head out the door, the sun had risen!  Please excuse the very dirty windows, I can’t clean the outsides…

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For lunch the theme was green.  Crisp creamy wraps made of red leaf lettuce, avocado, and pork tenderloin sprinkled with barbeque salt.

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Six times over.

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Snacks were a sea of red and orange, starting out with cute mini bell peppers stuffed with roasted garlic hummus.

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I also packed up a Cameo apple, and crunchy carrot slices.

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Amazingly enough, the sun was still out when I got home too!

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For dinner I made myself my favourite pasta dish, mushrooms, onion and collard greens sauteed in olive oil and balsamic vinegar and mixed with Eden Organics Kamut Spirals.  And for something new, I topped the plate with some lovely goat cheese, an excellent addition.  I’d say this plate was relatively brown…

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Now I’m going to relax with a cupful of grapes (red/purple!) and a book for the rest of the evening.

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And the award goes to… February 23, 2009

Last night for dinner I pulled a pork tenderloin out of the freezer and threw it into the oven along with a giant sweet potato.  When they were done reheating/roasting I plated some meat and potato wedges with a red leaf lettuce salad topped with mini bell pepper rings, goats cheese and goddess dressing.  The salad was perfect with the cheese and the dressing, they went so well together, I was very pleased.

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The sweet potato was glazed with Big Bull Steak Sauce, my favourite barbeque type sauce.  It’s made with awesome wholesome ingredients and comes from my hometown :-).  I fact, I won it in a draw last summer when I was working for the Chamber of Commerce, and got to chose the flavour based on advice from the makers themselves.

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After dinner I had a lovely dessert of a thinly sliced giant juicy Fuji apple while watching some Amazing Race.

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My rommie and I then settled in for some Oscar viewing fun.  We both fell in love with Penelope Cruz’s dress, were impressed by Hugh Jackman’s singing skills, and decided we need to make an effort to see Slumdog Millionaire.  I rarely ever watch movies, but enjoy watching the awards any way.  The only movies I’ve seen that were up for awards were The Duchess and Kung Fu Panda, both from in-flight entertainment.

By the time the Oscar’s had wrapped up, I was hungry again!  Teaches me to stay up past me bedtime…  So I had a delighful Kashi Cherry Dark Chocolate bar (that only had one lonesome cherry on it)  before hitting the sack.

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Several hours later, I got up to head back to work for the week.  But first, I enjoyed a wonderful bowl of steel cut oats. I usually cook up enough for the week and seperate them into individual containers on the weekend.  This bowl contains oats cooked in water, mixed with a spoonful of homemade mascarpone brown sugar ice cream, and topped with strawberry slices, chopped almonds and the other half of yesterday’s Carrot Cake Clif bar.

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This was the first time I’ve added a bar to oatmeal and I quite enjoyed the sweet, chewy chunks in my bowl, no wonder I see so many others doing it.

For lunch I brought with me the rest of the sweet potato (unglazed this time), baked striped bass, and juicy sweet peas frozen from my parents’ garden last summer, delish.

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Afternoon snacking consisted of more strawberries (they’re so good!), a Gala apple, and a Minneola orange.

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For dinner now I’m having a big bowl of green beans (also from frozen from my parents’ garden) tossed with more goddess, and some pork tenderloin.

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Dessert is some decadent dates dipped in peanut hazelnut butter, and a square of Cocoa Camino Mint Dark Chocolate.

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Yummy.