Plentiful Plants

Daily eats of a Torontonian student

Tasty, Semi Healthy Fast Food? July 9, 2009

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I apologize for the lack-luster photos, but today has just been one of those days.

It all started when I got up super early in the morning to get to work to leave on a field trip (FUN!).  I was out of greens so I blended up some unusal ingredients and ended up with a surprisingly good smoothie.  In the mix is banana, avocado, lime, mint, cacao nibs, wheatgrass icecubes, and chocolate brown rice protein.

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Later in the morning I snacked on a super sweet and juicy apple.

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We had planned on getting back to the office around 1ish, so I had left my food there (except for the apple), but we ended up hanging around longer than planned to watch a girder being erected (on barges in the middle of a river, twas pretty cool), so on the way back, with options being limited in somewhat northern Ontario, we stopped at A&W for lunch.  I considered getting a side salad (or 2) to hold me over until we got back, but I was HUNGRY, so I ordered a Swiss Veggie Delight.  And I was quite pleased to discover it was good, like REALLY good!  My veggie patty experience is quite limited, but this one was very tasty, and very mushroomy, which went well with the cheese on the burger.  It was even served on a whole wheat bun.  I looked it up on the site afterwards, and the nutritional stats aren’t even that horrible, and the first (but definitely not the only) ingredient  in the patty is even portobello mushrooms.  If you’re ever end up at A&W, and want something more than a sad looking side salad, I definitely recommend their veggie burger.

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When we finally did get back to work, I happily dug into this bowl of blueberries.

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And when I finally got home, I at what I had made of lunch (and did not rephotograph despite better lighting conditions, due to the fact that everything was tossed around and messy in the container).  Julienned orange pepper and zucchini with raw mole.

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And for dessert, to match the burger, my last Skinny Cow ice cream sandwich.

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Mini-Monsoon July 6, 2009

When I got to work this morning we were sad to discover our field trip was to be delayed till later this week because it was “a mini monsoon” up north (my boss’ words) and they had in fact stopped construction for the day. So instead of discovering new physical territory today, I only discovered a new tasty protein powder. My morning green monster contained chia seeds, half a banana, brazil nut milk, Strawberry Spirutein, and a bunch of spinach. It literally tasted like CANDY. It’s pretty sweet, so it’s not something I’m planning on drinking it every day (not that I do that with protein powder anyways) but it’s nice to know about if I want something that’s more of a treat.

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For lunch I fixed a fantastic salad mess of asparagus, carrot, zucchini, avocado, and chives dressed in a mixture of tahini and lemon juice. Love that dressing.

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And lunch dessert was strawberries, raspberries, and CHu. I loved that by lunchtime, the CHu had “melted” and coated all the fruit perfectly (and deliciously!).

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And later in the afternoon I dug into a Key Lime Pie Larabar. I think this a serious contender for my favourite Larabar flavour, YUM! And as you can see, I was in a bit of a rush leaving this morning, so I grabbed my keys, metropass, and larabar all in one feel swoop and didn’t bother taking the time to put the other stuff down to snap a picture. Which also led to me forgetting about hiding my mangled finger, but at least you don’t have to see the other side.

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For dinner I cooked up another salmon filet, this time with sesame oil, orange juice concentrate, and dill, then ate it on a bed of red leaf lettuce and tomato, with the excess pan juice as dressing, delicious.

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Then for dessert I was informed by the roomie that I must try a Dare Cocoa Chocolate Chip Cookie bar, and since he so kindly provided me with one, I did. Oh my goodness yummy! It’s a good thing I don’t have a whole box of them, because I can see them being seriously addictive.

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Relishing Retinol June 11, 2009

There was only one thing missing after watching So You Think You Can Dance last night, no voting! My roomie and I had a a lot of fun actually voting during SYTYCD Canada last summer (after all, it was free). But it did mean I actually got to bed quickly after it was done instead of staying up to hit redial a bunch of times until I actually got through.

This morning I got up and was hungry for a green monster. It wasn’;y as mucky as yesterday’s, but not quite green either. In the super tasty mix was spinach, banana, blueberries, chia seeds, and Nutribiotics Mixed Berry Rice protein powder.

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For lunch I packed up the rest of the baked kabocha. I think I need to go buy some more this weekend, it’s so good. And stuffed in the empty spaces is snow peas.

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And also a sliced up devil dawg, carrots, and honeydew. I’m not lacking in the vitamin A department today, that’s for sure. At work I also had a handful of the cubicle-mate’s erroneously unflavoured Kashi crackers.

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And then, just as I was finishing dinner preparations the roomie came home with his parents and there was a kerfluffle of visiting and helping unpacking stuff, so while I thought I took a picture of my plate, my camera tells me otherwise.  But I had a zucchini/snow pea/black bean salad with yogurt/mustard/chive dressing along with a steamed sole fillet and half a whole wheat pita.  Very tasty, though the picture wouldn’t have been very nice anyways since it’s dark and rainy out (boo!).

 

Mystery Food June 5, 2009

I had something new to try in my green monster this morning, a packet of Vega Smoothie Infusion.

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I blended it up with kale and a banana. I think it was good, it definitely added a nice fruity flavour to the smoothie that could not be attributed to the banana, but the smoothie had a really strong bitter kale aftertaste that doesn’t usually happen it me, and I wasn’t really enjoying by the end. I didn’t add any more kale than usual so I wasn’t expecting that. Maybe the greens powder in the mix just pushed it over the top. If I buy it again I’ll definitely tone down on the added greenery, then it’ll probably be super tasty.  The monster was a darker shade of green than usual…

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It was a short day at work so all I brought with me was cherries and cukes and tea in anticipation of a late lunch at home. I was also factoring in the room I would need in my bag to lug home my hard hat and safety acessories. I did also thoroughly enjoy two Lindt truffles from the giant box someone left in the kitchen for their birthday, hazelnut and dark chocolate, yum!

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When I got home I wasn’t hungry yet so I had two medjools, then went on a shopping trip.

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In chinatown I came across this. And had no idea what it was, so I bought it, of course. I do love an adventure 🙂

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I was thinking it might be some sort of flower bud.

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But when I took a closer look at it, it sort of reminded me of corn. Really fat, red corn. So I tried peeling back the leaves.

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Nope, not corn. Then I was daring, and cut it in half. I started to revert back to my original hunch that it was a flower bud of some sort.

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So I entered a search into google, “asian edible flower bud red large”, and the internet’s magical powers let me figure out that I had bought a banana flower. It seems that it’s used a lot in the Thailand-Sri Lanka corner of the globe. It was really neat once I started to pull it apart properly. Under each leaf is a little row of flowers that eventually grow into bananas! And you’ll notice that once a leaf is broken, the sap oxidizes and turns black really quickly.

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Under that leaf…

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Eventually I decided to pull out all the little flowers, then finely chop the lighter coloured leaves. I soaked them both in lemon juice and water for a while, then sauteed them in sesame oil and sweet chili sauce.

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It was alright. Nothing special, not bad, not not particularly good either, along the lines of bamboo shoots or the tougher bits of artichokes. But now I know what it is. And it was a pain taking the stamens out of all the flowers, and the leaves tasted better anyways, so I’ll just discard the flowers if there is a next time.

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In the process of identifying this weird new food I was getting hungry, so I finished off the head of boston lettuce drizzled with light caesar dressing.

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And I also just had a pita with a bit of peanut butter. But this post doesn’t need anymore pictures, does it? Now off to bed with me so I can get up super early for an International Hiking Day adventure! And so I’ll be tired enough to nap in the evening in order to work tomorrow night.

PS.  (The other) Exciting grocery find of the week, I knew exactly what it was, too bad I couldn’t find it a couple weeks ago, Kabocha!

 

So Complicated June 4, 2009

I discovered today that my weekend is about to get complicated, but for a slightly fun reason. I get to do a track level inspection at a subway station. At 2am Sunday morning when the subway stops running -.-, because being electrocuted by the third rail while dragging a metal chain around and hammering at concrete is NOT fun. So I need to play with my sleep schedule a bit in the coming days…good thing I’ve had experience, being an engineering student and all.

My breakfast this morning have a sunny tropical theme, pina colada green monster! In the mix is kale, chia seeds, Nutribiotics plain rice protein, a little banana, pineapple, and a sprinkle of coconut. Hit the spot.

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For lunch I made more progress on the bunch of celery sitting in the fridge by chopping it with some cucumber to make a salad bed. The toppings were black beans, avocado, salsa, lime juice, and yogurt. I’m out of peppers and carrots *tear*.

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There was also a pita and half a Maple Nut Clif bar.

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And cherries!

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For dinner I look in the seemingly mono-coloured fridge and fixed a boston lettuce salad topped with cucumber, avocado, and black beans. Plus a slash of orange in the form of juice concentrate from the freezer and a little raspberry red wine vinegar.

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And for dessert I’m taking this bowl of dried fruit salad with me for SYTYCD viewing, pineapple, peach, medjool, blueberries, and cherry flavoured craisins. And probably The Listener as well since I got sucked into it last night after unexpectedly seeing it was filmed in Toronto (Colm Feore in Trinity College = awesome!).

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I passed! May 19, 2009

I passed the first test I’ve had in over a year!  Not that I was expecting to fail or anything, it was for a safety training course, multiple choice, and not exactly designed to make you fail.  But it’s fun to hear that I passed anyway, and to earn a new sticker for my hard hat.  And to get a pretty cool tour around and subway yard, including checking out the bottom of a subway car.

Breakfast this morning started with RED monster.  I blended up the stalks from my beet greens, a tomato, chia seeds, raspberries, grapes, and a Nutribiotic Mixed Berry Brown Rice Protein Powder packet.  Besides, being a fun electric pink, it was pretty good…after I added a big spoonful of maple syrup.  The beet green stalks were fine, but let’s just say I’m never adding a tomato again.  Luckily, the extra sugar solved the acidic problem.  I guess I still don’t like tomato juice after all these years.

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For lunch I brought a bagel-wich filled with avocado, tofu marinated in liquid smoke, and citrusy bean dip.  I was trying to go for a bacon type effect like actual smoked tofu (Pete’s really does taste like bacon), and while I didn’t really get it, the liquid smoke was still really good in the sandwich.

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I also packed some red pepper strips and a Chocolate Chip Clif bar (which I shared with the cubicle-mate who was also doing the training session).

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For dinner I fixed up two salads.  One featured a new vegetable for me, broccoli sprouts.

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I chopped up some romaine and carrots and topped them with the sprouts, and a big dollop of citrusy bean dip mixed with avocado.  The sprouts were really good.  They were a bit peppery, which went perfectly with the creamy dip.  Toronto sprouts has some pretty cool mixes, and I get the impression they’re quite widely available in the GTA (I bought mine from Loblaws, but I see them in most of the smaller health food stores around too). Though, their own store has just closed because they’re moving to a bigger location.

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The second salad was a fruity one. I chopped up honeydew, mango, (frozen) pineapple, banana, raspberries, and blueberries, then drizzled the bowl with a little agave syrup, simply delicious.

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Minty Green May 15, 2009

I had a couple surprises today, both of them fun things.

This first surprise was when I got up this morning and the roomie was gone!  Apparently he worked this morning, which means I was free to make as much noise as I wanted.  Enter the blender.  A foot long sprig of chocolate mint, chocolate rice protein powder, red kale, chia seeds, a banana and grapes.  Amazing.

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This protein powder was pretty good, a first time try for me.  I bought a berry flavoured one too.

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For lunch I repeated my salad mess.   They’re really tasty.  Today I included zucchini, tofu, orange pepper, yogurt, stone ground mustard, and a handful of chives.

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And lunch dessert was a granny smith apple with almonds.

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My second surprise of the day was when we finished all the work we could do on site, so we went home early!  Extra long weekend for the win, even though I didn’t actually work summer hours this week!

So I went for a long walk this afternoon, and at some point the idea of a sandwich for dinner popped into my head and sounded like the best idea in the world.  So I actually stopped into grocery store on the way home to pick up the necessary ingredients (I never do that).  I ended up with a whole wheat kaiser roll, sliced turkey breast, and herbed goat cheese.  At home I also added mustard, freshly picked parsley, tomato, and dill pickle.  It was a pretty awesome sandwich, and it made my stomach very happy 🙂

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