Plentiful Plants

Daily eats of a Torontonian student

There’s a Toe in My Furkey May 27, 2009

The sun was being incredibly uncooperative this morning. As in it was too busy hiding behind rain clouds to shed natural light on my breakfast and lunch. It brought me back to the dark days of winter, alas.

In order to brighten things up a bit I went tropical with my green monster. Kale, chia seeds, banana, and mango. Plus lots of ice since I took it with me to work to sip through the morning.

2009_05_27_monster

At home I did have a Zucchini Spelt Muffin.

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For lunch I packed a wrap stuffed with Tofurkey, red pepper, spring mix, dino cheese, and lots of mustard. I had also packed a salad but ended up having it for dinner instead.

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In the afternoon I snacked on a giant Honeycrisp apple and some cucmber slices.

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For dinner I had the salad I made for lunch, zucchini, red pepper, carrot, and aspargus with BBBV (Back to Basics Balsamic Vinegrette) except I proteinfied it with scallops sauteed in an extra splash of balsamic vinegar.

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And finally dessert was a handful of raisins and craisins. Plus a camera shy spoonful of crunchy PB.

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Mixing things up April 28, 2009

This raining day started out with a mishmash breakfast of a beautiful bartlett pear, and egg with salt and pepper, and a breakfast cookie made simply of oatmeal, pumpkin, a few raisins, pumpkin pie spice, and a little stevia.  Random, but delicious.  I’ve been putting off a craving for pumpkin for a while because I needed to come up with something to do with the rest of the giant can.  I’ll think I’ll try freezing some.

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Lunch was a slightly unphotogenic hodgepodge of fridge finds, red pepper, carrot, cucumber, lentils, snow peas, tofu and asparagus edamummus.  Again, random but delicious.

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And in the afternoon I enjoyed a blended green monster of a banana, a russet apple, lots of spinach, and a couple spoonfuls of chia seeds.

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When I got home I put the can of pumpkin to use to make sauce for a plate of steamed broccoli.  The sauce contains red onion and mushrooms sauteed in a little olive oil, then tossed with pumpkin, soft tofu, salt, pepper, and dried sage.  And with a sprinkle of lime juice on top, it turned into a delicious plate of food 🙂

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And to finish the night, dessert was a delightful fruit and cheese affair.  Pineapple and brie to be exact.  This Allegro low-fat brie tastes rather amazing, I wasn’t missing triple creme brie in the least (well, that’s probably because I haven’t had any in years and forget just how tasty it is), and was perfectly happy to save the 40 or so cals per ounce.

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A glorious morning BSI April 26, 2009

This morning I was excited for my BSI:almonds breakfast entry after waiting for it for most of yesterday.  I wanted to try to make a raw food type bread, but I don’t have a proper dehydrator, so I knew it wouldn’t be actually raw, which I’m okay with, because it’s still delicious.  So may I present:

Morning Glory Bread

Ingredients (I used the official weights in brackets):

  • 1/2 a small pinapple (350 g)
  • 2 carrots (135 g)
  • 1 apple (100 g)
  • 1 cup almonds (95 g)
  • 1/3 cup raisins (60 g)
  • 5 T dried unsweetened coconut (30 g)
  • zest of one orange (15 g)
  • 1 T cinnamon

Directions:

I grated the carrots, pureed the pineapple, apple and orange zest, and roughly ground the almonds, then mixed everything together, and spread the mixture out on a lightly greased, aluminum foil covered cookie sheet.  Then I dried the mix in the oven set at ~175 (below the 200 marking on the dial) for ~6 hours.

The recipe divided up in 6 servings worked out to about 50 g of bread per serving after drying with 210 calories, 11 g fat, 26 g carbs, 6 g fibre, 15 g sugar, 5 g protein.

I tore up a slice of the bread over a bowlful of plain yogurt mixed with leftover pineapple puree for breakfast and it was delicious.  I gave some to the roomie and a friend of ours that came over in the afternoon and they both love it too.  My friend even said it tasted like her mom’s carrot cake.  I’m definitely happy with this kitchen experiment 🙂

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For lunch I had a red leaf lettuce salad topped with a mix of carrot, lentils, green pepper and asparagus edamummus.  And a handfull of dill pickles.  And the rest of the yogurt and pineapple (without bread), but I’m not including the picture because this post already has enough pictures coming and I’ll spare you the scrolling.

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In the afternoon I had a taste of Godiva chocolate liqueur our friend brought over (just a couple of sample bottles) mixed with Natura unsweetened soy milk, so tasty, especially in the mini martini glass.

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And had many cups of (Golden Mint Tea Co. Monk’s Blend aka Pomegranate Vanilla) tea in the cutest mug ever that I found in the dollar store (go year of the tiger!).

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For dinner we threw a bunch of stuff into the oven, asparagus tossed in balsamic vinegar, sweet potato fries, and striped bass with orange juice concentrate and dried dill.

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Then dessert was a piece of this Theobroma dark chocolate, more yum.

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Then I got hungry for a snack so I pulled a slice of ezekiel bread fom the freezer, toasted it, ans spread on some strawberry, blackberry, and acai jam and sunflower seed butter.

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And now I am munching on a russet apple before getting ready for bed.

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And because I promised yesterday, these are the herbs I bought and planted yesterday. First is the big box filled with parsley, sage, golden thyme, rosemary, and tarragon.

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Then there’s the chocolate mint.  I tested a leaf before I bought it, and it tastes AMAZING, exactly like mint chocolate!  Can’t wait to use it, I’m thinking it’ll make an excellent green monster ingredient.

2009_04_26_mint

And I also upgraded the container size for my spider plant.  It’s roots had started growing out of the drainage hole of it’s old container.  The yogurt is a much better fit.  I also cleaned and rearranged my room today, making a good spot to put plants by the south facing window.  I’m considering trying to grow cherry tomatoes…I know I’ll need to pollinate them myself, but has any one tried planting these indoors before?

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And finally I found this old school entertainment in the laundry room.

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Purple monster and a meme. April 23, 2009

So we turned the heat off over a month ago in our apartment, and refuse to turn it back on.  As a result, it’s been a bit chilly the past few days, especially with no sunlight to warm things up through all the south and west facing windows.  So this morning I warmed up with a big bowl o’ oat bran.  I nuked it with almond milk and a banana before topping it with crumbly pumpkin seed butter and raisins.  An excellent bowl of oats to start off the day.  Though I am considering attempting to add a little oil to the pumpkin seed butter to make it more….buttery.

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That bowl kept me nicely satisfied right until lunch time when a pulled out a romaine salad topped with red pepper, cucumber, lentils, and asparagus edamummus.  This was the best salad I’ve had in a while, the red pepper, lentils and edamummus together were awesome.

And because Caroline asked, I did make the hummus myself and it contains approximately 2/3 cup each chickpeas and edamame, 1 trimmed 340 g bunch raw aspargus, 1 T tahini, 2 T lemon juice, half a head of roasted garlic, and a little salt.  And a trip in the Vita mix for an awesome smooth store bought texture my food processor has never given me.

2009_04_23_salad

In the afternoon I started drinking a purple monster containing frozen broccoli, frozen blueberries, and soft tofu.  Unfortunately it didn’t taste very good because I threw in too much tofu and the berries have been in the freezer forever and had no flavour left, so I only drank about half of it.

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Luckily I had also brought along a Chocolate Almond Fudge Clif Bar.  My fridge was suddenly looking very barren after the huge veggie bowl last night.  This is the first time I tried this flavour, and I wasn’t particularly impressed, probably won’t buy it again.  It’s either too sweet or not enough chocolate, or both.

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For dinner I fixed up another awesome stirfry, same as yesterday except instead of snow peas I found a bag of asparagus in the freezer, the last bag of frozen veg from my parent’s garden last year.  In the mix was tofu, shiitake mushrooms, asparagus, sesame oil and teriyaki sauce.  Along side I enjoyed a perfectly ripe, local greenhouse tomato.

2009_04_23_dinner

Then for dessert, to make up for the dissapointing blueberry smoothie earlier in the day I enjoyed a Source Salba Blueberry bar.  And it was delicious.  It’s a bit high in sugar, but the agave nectar they use makes all their bars taste amazing.  Perfect for the occasional treat.

2009_04_23_salba

And finally, because Amanda tagged me:

8 Things I’m Looking Forward To:
1. Going back to school in September
2. Going home next weekend for my mom’s birthday
3. Possibly going to San Francisco next year
4. Losing another 50-60ish pounds
5. Switching to summer hours and having Friday afternoons off again
6. A certain cake in a couple of weeks
7. St. Lawrence Farmer’s Market opening for real in the summer
8. Iron Ring! (and finding myself a good job/career afterwards)

8 Things I Did Yesterday: (yesterday was a pretty uneventful day…)
1. Spent the entire day at work happily occupied with real engineering work 🙂
2. Got off the subway and walked part way home, even though it was kinda cold.
3. Watched an episode of Bones.
4. Used my Steel Design Code for the first time in over a year (concrete dominates for sure).
5. Taught the roomie how to use the Vita-Mix.
6. Finished the entire crossword on the ride to work.
7. Walked under a series of roof slabs I had spent the day calculating that they failed under the current safety codes.
8. Ate a ton of veggies.

8 Things I Wish I Could Do:
1. Speak Mandarin (yes, I’m stealing it from Amanda, it’s technically my first language, but I mostly forgot it when I started kindergarten)
2. Magically lose 50-60ish pounds RIGHT NOW (right up there with winning the lottery without entering).
3. Run, but I’m working on it.
4. Have a small outdoor garden.
5. Figure out a thesis topis for next year.
6. Eat what ever I want without having calories matter (doesn’t everyone?)
7. Be better about keeping in touch with people.
8. Be more outgoing/sociable in general.

8 Shows I Watch: (in no particular order, and not all-inclusive)
1.  Boston Legal (but it’s done now…)
2. Monk
3. Psych
4. Eureka
5. Eli Stone
6. Project Runway
7. Chuck
8. Bones

8 People I’m Tagging:

I’m assuming if this meme has found it’s way to me, most other people have been tagged already, if you want to do it, go ahead 🙂

 

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.

2009_04_19_breakfast

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.

2009_04_19_lunch

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.

2009_04_19_monster

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.

2009_04_19_mushroomchips

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!

 

Good Friday Indeed April 10, 2009

Well I ‘ve enjoyed my day off, and now there’s still a whole weekend to come!  I did some very useful and fun things today, namely shopping for a spring coat and some shirts that actually fit.  All of which I got excellent deals for :-), a coat and 3 nice shirts for <100$, thank you Winners.

The day started off with something I haven’t made in seemingly forever, pancakes!  I started off with a package of Multigrain Instant oatmeal, then mixed it in the food processor with 3 egg whites, 2 tbsp unsweetened vanilla almond breeze, a little (maybe 1/2 tsp) baking powder, and after mixing, a handful of raisins.

2009_04_10_oatmeal

I topped the pancakes with some peanut butter and more raisins.  Then after a few bits I felt something was missing, and I realized there was nothing sweet in the mix, so I sprinkled the plate with ~1/2 tbsp sucanat, and the problem was solved.  The pancakes were nice a fluffy though, which was a pleasant surprise since I kinda made the recipe up since I was too lazy to turn on my computer and search for an actual pancake recipe of this type, and I didn’t remember the recipe I used to use, and don’t have any cottage cheese anyways.

2009_04_10_breakfast

I took lunch with me shopping.  It was simple and Kettle Corn Probar and a fuji apple.  Not a fan of the Kettle Corn flavour…I think it might have been the fennel seed that did it, never was a fan.  It was edible, and I ate the whole bar, but I think they could do with losing a few of the herbs on the ingredients list, namely the fennel and fenugreek.  Actually, now that I look it up, it might have been the epazote leaf that I’ve never heard of before and may have discovered I object to…..  At least the corn kernels were fun.

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2009_04_10_apple

On may way home I stopped by Starbucks to redeem a free drink from filling out an online survey.  An invitation to take the survey is printed on random receipts, and when people leave their receipts with the survey printed on them at the till, the roomie brings them home to me, and sometimes I actually fill them out 🙂  It was a non-fat iced latte that I sweetened with stevia when I got home.

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For dinner I was feeling a lack of colour so far in the day so I fixed up a plate of crunchy veggies.  I had asparagus, snow peas, a carrot, red pepper, and celery.

2009_04_10_veggies

I worked through that plate while waiting for the oven to produce these crispy sweet potato fries.  I made them with olive oil, dried thyme, parsley, sage and (herby, not red salty) poultry seasoning…because we’re out of italian herbs (the HORROR, we go through bags of the stuff).  And I enjoyed the fries with a drizzle of ketchup, and the rest of my cashew fruit juice.

2009_04_10_friesjuice

 

Happy April Fool’s Day! April 1, 2009

Anything funny happen to anyone?  My work was boring, nobody even mentioned playing any tricks.  Oh well.  My cubicle-mate said that all the light bulbs in her boyfriend’s office had been switched to red.

However, it seems as though WordPress played a joke on me a bit early yesterday.  I could have sworn I hit publish on yesterday’s post.  In fact, I must have because I submitted the post to Foodbuzz.  But when I just went to edit this post (I started writing it at work), yesterday’s showed up as a draft too.  And I went to my blog and yesterday’s post was gone!  Weird.  But fixed now, I hope.  On to other business.

Breakfast was a mashed banana topped with some Allbran cereal, unsweetened vanilla almond breeze, raisins, pumpkin seeds, and maple glazed almonds.  Those are some good almonds.

2009_04_01_breakfast

I packed up a pile of fruits and veggies for snacks/lunch.  There’s a grapefruit, red delicious apple, tuscan melon (looks and tastes like cantaloupe on the inside, has stripes on the outside), kiwi, carrot, celery, steamed broccoli, and roasted chicken breast.  Basically, an abundance of delicious nibbles.

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2009_04_01_veggies

In the afternoon I also tried a Ruth’s Tropical Fruit Flax Power bar.  It was interesting, very seedy.  It was good but it didn’t have much of a tropical flavour, more just a light sweetness.  It wasn’t too sweet or too hard, and I quite liked the texture.  Although you really need to check your teeth when you’re done with it.  I’m glad I tried it, and it was perfectly edible, but I probably wouldn’t buy it again if I had the choice to try a different flavour instead.

2009_04_01_flax

When I got home I snacked on a few algerian dates and a square of a Cocoa Coconut Cluster Elevate Me! bar.  This flavour is my favourite Elevate Me! flavour.  It has an awesome chocolatey flavour that matches perfectly with the fruit in it.  Who ever wins this week’s BSI: Avocado (for which I am eagarly awaiting entries) should expect to get one of these in their prize pack.

2009_04_01_elevate1

For dinner I fixed a tofu scramble with a punch of flavour.  In the mix is mushrooms, jo tsai (no, I don’t know if that’s the actual ping ying), and soft tofu sauteed in sesame oil and a little soy sauce with red pepper for colour.  I love jo tsai, which I see tends to be called garlic chives in english.  My parents have always had a ton of it in the garden, and every summer my mom uses it in fillings for various chinese dumplings , pockets, and dishes (none of which I know the english names for).  It has an awesome garlic/onion flavour but better.  I bought mine in Chinatown (it’s way too early for it to be up in the garden around here), and big bunch was 75 cents.  My roomie was jealous of how awesome my dinner smelled as I was cooking it.

2009_04_01_dinner

 

BSI Eggs: Not-Your-Normal Egg Roll March 24, 2009

Time for another BSI entry so soon?  We’ll get to that later.

This morning I came with with a delicious creation with my serving of slowcooked steel cut oats.  I made my version of apple pie oatmeal.  In the mix is the oatmeal, a small chopped red delicious apple, a spoonful of homemade mascarpone brown sugar ice cream for extra sweetness, and copious amounts of pumpkin pie spice.  I stirred that all up with a heaping spoon of ground flax, then topped the bowl with nice plump raisins, crunchy pumpkin seeds, and a spoonful of amazing roasted almond butter.  Yum!  I would usually have mixed in all the toppings, but for once I decided to pick up spoonfuls of oatmeal and dip each bite in the almond butter.  Amazing!  You can taste the nuttyness so much more this way, I dont think I’m ever going to mix in my nut butters again!

2009_03_24_oatmeal

I managed to fill my fridge with an abundance of tasty fresh produce this weekend, and my lunch reflects some of the offerings.  I brought to work with me a veggie container packed with a carrot, yellow and orange peppers, grape tomatoes, cucumber, and steamed broccoli.

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And I brought along a whole wheat english muffin filled with flavourful emmental cheese and ketchup (which I nuked a bit before eating to get nice and melty).

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There was a also fruit container filled with a sweet, juicy minneola orange, mango, grapes, and strawberries. Although I only ate the orange at work, and apparently I never managed to take a picture of this container, oops. I’m sure you can imagine what an orange looks like, now add a knobby thing on top of it and you’ve got a minneola.

For dinner I decided to make something with the carton of egg whites hanging out in the fridge, something worthy of being my BSI entry thanks to Mark over at Training Feul’s brilliant choice of eggs (the whites count, right?)!

I was also looking for a fun excuse to make more of the wonderful lentil mixture I discovered yesterday, besides cut avocados don’t last long anyway. The answer was a wrap!

The recipe is simple enough, 3 egg whites (I measured 100g), and a little bit of oil on the pan to allow a crust to form (you need this even for a non-stick pan in my experience). All you do is lube up the pan (I used less than half a teaspoon of oil), get it hot, and pour in the egg whites. Then don’t touch them until they’re fully set and the bottom is nicely browned. With minimal pan shaking or prodding with a spatula you should end up with tasty wrapper ready for filling. The only trick is to use a big enough pan that the whites can spread out thin enough to be flexible for wrapping afterwards, and let it cool a bit before wrapping so it doesn’t tear easily/burn your fingers.

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I filled my egg wrapper with spinach and lentil/yves italian veggie ground round/avocado/Big Bull steak sauce mixture and rolled the whole thing up.

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This made for a lovely dinner paired with the rest of the fruit I didn’t eat at work. The mango (ataulfo) was amazing, I’m so glad mango season is starting in Mexico (since I know there’s no way I’m going to get local mangoes in Toronto, global warming’s not that fast)!

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Layers of ‘Liciousness March 19, 2009

This morning started out with a wonderfully crunchy bowl of Kashi GoLean cereal with a banana, cinnamon, raisins, and unsweetened vanilla almond breeze.  The rest of the banana is hiding under the cereal.

2009_03_19_breakfast

Later in the morning I munched on a tasty Ruth’s Lemon Hazelnut Maca Power bar.  This bar is really good, it’s more pineapple hazelnut than lemon with big pieces of dried pineapple and plentiful nuts, and I love the chewyness of the hempseeds.  It’s a really good flavour combination that I haven’t seen anywhere else.

2009_03_19_bar

For lunch I dug into a container of sweet potato (the skin is hiding underneath), Yves Italian Veggie Ground Round, lentils, cucumber, and Big Bull steak sauce.  I mixed everything up before eating it, and it was delicious, sweet and savoury at the same time.

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Then for a snack I had strawberries and yogurt, a wonderfully simple combination.

2009_03_19_yogurt

And finally for dinner I had a heaping plate of layers.  Starting from the bottom is onions and mushrooms caramelized  in olive oil and thyme, quinoa, steamed broccoli slaw, sole, and a topping of whole grain dijon mustard and a bit of parmesan cheese.  A lot of flavours again, but the end product was scrumptious (to borrow a word from the delightful Sharon)!

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Now I’m finishing the night with the rest of the fruit salad.

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Two times the bran March 1, 2009

This morning started out with some new breakfast excitement.  I made a bowl of oatbran!  And it is wonderful, it might just replace my love of steel cut oats (though I still have a whole bag of those so I’ll be alternating for a while).  I made the bowl in the microwave with unsweetened vanilla almond breeze and water.  I wanted to test the microwave to see if I could quickly make them on week day mornings, which apparently I can.  I topped the bowl with simple but delicious almond butter, homemade mascarpone brown sugar ice cream, and a few raisins.

2009_03_01_breakfast

For lunch I had half a giant Fuji apple, collard greens with hummus, and some basa fish baked with herbs and lemon (really good!)

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I met up with a friend this afternoon, and among other things, we saw Slumdog Millionaire, excellent movie.  At the movie I dug into a Black Cherry Almond Clif Bar and one of the best ever green tea candies.  Here’s the proof.

2009_03_01_movie

I eventully came home to make dinner, which I had been working on in stages throughout the day.  Unfortunately, I kinda failed…  It tastes great, but it didn’t turn out the way it was supposed to.  I attempted to make Kath and Matt’s awesome whole wheat pizza crust. The only thing I changed about the recipe was I added half a cup of wheat bran to the biga, and I don’t think that would have changed anything. Where I think I went wrong was spreading the dough out too thinly for the final crust…and I just ended up with very tasty flat bread, one a pizza, and the other half as plain flatbread. So I’m going to have to try the recipe out again, leave out the bran, and make only one thick pizza instead of two thin flatbreads.

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Any way, I topped the pizza with Big Bull Steak Sauce, sauteed onion, mushrooms, and asparagus, and the other half of lunch’s Fuji apple.

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Then I paired half the pizza with some salad made of grated carrots, Goddess Dressing, and raisins.

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It was a good dinner, it just wasn’t what it was supposed to be…

Now I’m going to make some lunch for tomorrow, and relax with the copy of Clean Eating magazine I finally caved in and bought. I signed up for a subscription in early January, and was hoping to get the current issue in the mail, but it hasn’t come yet so I figure the subscription will start with the next issue…