Plentiful Plants

Daily eats of a Torontonian student

Weirdest Sandwich Ever July 28, 2009

I’m starting to notice (at least when it’s not cloudy) the the sunn is rising later and later.  My breakfast and lunch pictures turned out quite dim.  But they still look better this way than with flash.  My morning monster is a mix of spinach, mango, peach, and chia seeds.

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For lunch I threw together a giant salad containing red leaf lettuce, red pepper, broccoli, dulse, avocado, lime juice, Marti cheese, pumpkin seeds, and peas.

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And in the afternoon I munched on a couple of plums, and juicy raspberries.

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Then for dinner I made the weirdest sandwich I’ve ever seen, that turned out to be wonderfully delicious.  Inbetween two slices of ezekiel bread is peanut butter, thinly sliced beet root, tomato paste, and a big ol’ stack of beet greens. Peanut butter, beet, and tomato, a wonderful combination, who knew? (well, I kinda had an inkling, which is why I made it…).  And on the side was red pepper strips and a pile of plump cherries.

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How about a sandwich innard close up?

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Cocoa Bean Bonanza July 26, 2009

Breakfast this morning was a simple bowl of snow peas, (particularly delicious) raspberries, and carrot filled with hemp nut butter and sprinkled with dulse.  Mmmm, dulse.

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Lunch was a pretty fantastic salad.  I tossed a couple slices of cubed ShaSha Co. Ezekiel bread with orange juice concentrate, lemon thyme and finely julienned beets (my fingers came out the other side fully intact :)).  Then I served the mixture on a bed of red leaf lettuce and topped it with Marti cheese shavings.

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Then in the afternoon I had a bit of fun.  You know that cacao-date paste I made yesterday?  And the almonds that didn’t turn into almond milk?  Well I ground the almonds into a butter, mixed it with the date-cacao paste, shaped the mixture into balls and threw them into the freezer.

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Then I went out and bought a bar of President’s Choice Organic 70% dark chocolate.  And melted it.

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After a bit of dipping, rolling, and some chilling in the freezer I ended up with these rather wonderful little truffles.  The white is just condensation since I had just taken them out for the picture.

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I also used up the little bit of extra chocolate to roll some frozen banana chunks for a snack.  You know, along with licking the spoon and quality control checks and so forth.

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Then, to add to the cocoa bean bonanaza I cooked up a HUGE pot of legumes.  I boiled 1/2 cup each pintos, chickpeas, adzuki, and black beans (which got their own pot to avoid dying everything else).  Then tossed the beans with a bag (~1 cup) each of thawed peas and asparagus from the freezer, a couple scoops of the pesto I made yesterday (maybe 3 T), the zest from a lemon and a lime, juice from half the lime, a pinch of salt, and a handful of parsley.  That big mess made one very large, very tasty bean salad.

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You maybe wondering what I’m going to do with a whole plate of truffles and a ton of beans.  Well my former roommate and her then boyfriend-now husband are about to move to England for grad school, so we’re doing one last dinner and Settlers game night before they disappear.  I’m told there will be soup, and other people are bringing unknown items.  So I’m off for the night, but I’m bringing my camera 🙂

By the way, sometimes you can find smiles in the most unusual of places.  When I went on a mission to go buy chocolate this morning, I also found three bunches of marked down (but still very nice looking) organic bananas, which I hastily added to my basket for freezing purposes.  As I was leaving the grocery store there was a giant, thunderous down pour, and even with an umbrella, I (and everyone on the street at the time) ended up with soaked pants/socks/shoes/shirts/bags.  When I got closer to home, I passed by a homeless man standing on the sidewalk, holding out his hat.  But instead of asking for spare change, I heard “Spare ticket to Maui?”  He made me smile, and while I generally don’t carry cash, I came home with only two bunches of bananas, and he seemed happy.

 

Blend, Baby, Blend and an Impromtu Contest! July 17, 2009

It was so dark out today! Whenever I went to take a picture, the sun was very well hidden, and it kept threatening to start raining (spitting) but never quite came. Or I may have simple changed locations before the rain actually came in some cases.

Anyways, a blender action shot for breakfast. That monster contained a mango, chia seeds, and a whole lot of collard greens.

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For lunch I had a salad mess containing cucumber, asparagus, carrot, red pepper and tomato with a Peach Bourbon BBQ sauce topping.

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And in the afternoon half a pint of raspberries and a banana dissappeared.

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I went to Whole Foods today for the first time in a couple of months, and spent some time browsing, which resulted me in sending too much money, but ending up with lots of fun new things to try. One of those things was a hunk of Marti cheese, which is a raw ewe’s milk cheese that to me tastes kinda like a cross between parmesan and muenster (aka pretty awesome). I used it as a topping for my dinner, a big bowl of blended soup containing zucchini, carrot, lots of red pepper, a couple small dates, thyme, sage, salt, pepper, and olive oil.

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And some honeydew for dessert.

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Another Whole Food purchase that I just tried is Stash Mint green tea powder. It’s made of regular tea leaves that are ground superfine so they dissolve instantly in cold water for iced tea. Unfortunately, I’m really not a fan, I even dumped out the rest of that glass. Though to be honest, I probably should have known I wouldn’t like it given my distaste for matcha green tea. So if you do like matcha, I say give it try, you’ll probably love it 🙂

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So how about a quick, impromptu mini contest? If you do like matcha, or are just curious, leave a comment by Sunday night and I’ll randomly choose 3 people to mail a few packets of Stash Mint Green Tea Powder. I’d like to see some of you readers come out of the woodwork!

 

Overtime ?!? July 7, 2009

So for the first time ever, I worked unplanned, slightly emergency overtime today. Which means it is now ridculously late on a weeknight to be doing a post. And yet here I am.

For breakfast I whipped up a spinach, banana, chia, brazil nut milk smoothie. I love the creaminess that comes from just a little milk.

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For lunch I had a salad mess of red pepper, asparagus, carrot, and avocado. The dressing was inspired by a dessert sauce I saw when flipping through Living Raw Food on the weekend, I blended up a nectarine, balsalmic vinegar, and tarragon. And it made an excellent salad dressing!

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I also had a slice of cinnamon raisin ezekiel bread with almond butter.

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And I snacked on a bowlful of mulberries and raspberries in the afternoon.

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I ended up wishing I had brought more food to work with me, because when I got home 3 hours later than usual I was STARVING, and a banana, a couple handfuls of mulberries, and a few dates may have very quickly disappeared. Too quickly for the camera even!

Then I didn’t feel much ike doing any food preparation, so I dug a can of Health Valley Black Bean soup from the depths of the pantry and heated it up with a few dashes of salt and chili powder to up the flavour impact.

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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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Pika, Pika, July 4, 2009

PikaCHU!  I made the most fantastic Emily inspired concoction today, but it comes last!

The morning started off with a fantastic creamy, and refreshing green monster. In the mix is kale, watermelon, lime, and brazil nut milk. And I drank it out of a bowl japanese style, because it was too big for a glass 🙂

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For lunch I whipped up a cheesy sort of sauce, melting some agar in boiling water first, then blending it with more brazil nut milk, garlic powder, nutritional yeast, chives, green onion, fresh thyme, salt and pepper. That tasty sauce was poured over a bead of shredded brussel sprouts and chopped carrot, and topped with a few shavings of L’Allegretto cheese. It made one delicious, peppery (the sprouts!) salad.

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Then later in the afternoon some snacking happened. First was raspberries.

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Then one (or three) giant, flattened figs.

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And a handful or two of craisins.

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Then after a long nap I woke myself up with wheatgrass juice and blueberries.

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And now I’m about to enjoy a bowl of chia oatgurt with CHU. CHU (sounds so much better than CHBU) being a wonderful 1:1 combination of chocolate hazelnut butter (I food processer-ized hazelnuts with a few cacao nibs) and brazil nut milk (sweetened with stevia and vanilla). It’s SO GOOD!

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And I’m planning on bringing a Ginger Snap Larabar to work with me tonight.

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It’s Canada Day July 1, 2009

Up Canada way
On the first day of July!

Gotta love Stompin’ Tom 🙂

I made an honest attempt at patriotic breakfast art, which slightly failed due to runny ingredients. I started with a base of Heather inspired oatgurt, which I blended with water, chia and stevia powder. Then I took a pair of scissors to a cereal box for the application of strawberry “jam”, strawberries blended with agave and chia for thickening.

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While both ingredients were pretty fantastic, both separately, and together, they were a bit too runny to for proper stencil application. But you can figure out what that’s supposed to be, right?

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Lunch was a super tomato-y affair. Regular tomato, kumato, avocado, carrot, and pineapple salsa mixed with fresh parsley (which was amazing with bites of avocado).

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Then mid-afternoon I played around a bit in the kitchen and produced these tasty little Pumpkin Pie Bites.

I used:
~ 1 cup whole dates, which I chopped before processing
1/4 cup dried coconut
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 T water
~1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

I threw the first four ingredients in the food processor and chopped until combined (my dates were a bit dry, so you may not need the water). Then I formed the mixture into balls, and rolled them in the pumkpin seeds.

Pretty darned delicious, if I do say so myself. I snacked on a couple of them.

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For dinner I de-rawed/veganed myself for a plate of chicken baked with Peach and Bourbon BBQ sauce, baked kabocha, and steamed Europe’s Best Nature’s Balance frozen veggie mix. The kabocha received and dose of ketchup post photo-op.

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I used this Ted Reader’s sauce for the chicken, and it was really good, unexpectedly spicy, but good.

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And I’ve got some dessert waiting for me during SYTYCD, almost a repeat of yesterday, brazil nut milk blended with frozen raspberries (it was freezer clean out sort of night).  I would totally go see some fireworks, but all the displays except Ontario Place have been cancelled due to the outdoor city workers strike, so I assume Ontario Place is going to be over packed and the street car will be crazy to get home on at a reasonable hour to go to bed to get up for work tomorrow.  Though they will also have fireowkrs on Saturday night, s I might go see those.

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PS. I’m insanely jealous of Gina right now, I was hanging out in Chapter’s today browsing through Living Raw Food ($48, seriously? that’s not what the exchange rate is these days), and if I could go to 105degrees Academy, I totally would.

 

Peachy Keen For Non-Fried Green Tomatoes June 30, 2009

This morning’s green monster was pretty fantastic after yesterday’s disappointment. In the mix was kale, chia seeds, peach, and banana. So sweet and delicious.

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For lunch I had another big salad, the same mix of lettuce, carrot, red pepper, red tomato, asparagus, green onion, and Avocado Dill dressing. And I finished the avocado dressing, so I can make up something else now (not that it wasn’t delicious).

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Then for snackies I dug into raspberries, blueberries, and a Kumato. The kumato is an hierloom variety of tomato, and it seems to be pretty widely available. I give it two thumbs up, though it doesn’t taste much different for any other decent tomato. It does taste a lot better than you’re typical green (unripe) tomato, ie. the ones my sister was briefly obsessed with dousing in bread crumbs and pan frying the summer she watched the movie.

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When I got home I discovered that good old Matt and Sarma really know what they’re talking about. Brazil nuts make AWESOME milk! It might also have something to do with the 3 inch piece of vanilla bean I threw in the mix instead of extract. I’ve had a few vanilla beans sitting in the freezer for 3 years now, and that after I nabbed them out of my mom’s freezer where they had been since we bought them in Mexico Christmas of 2001, so I figured it was high time I used it in something. I didn’t really follow the RFRW recipe exactly, fiddling with it to make it a bit less calorie laden, I used 1 cup brazil nuts (pre-soaking), 6 cups water, 1/4 teaspoon stevia, and the vanilla bean, soaked while I was at work (at least 2 hours), then blended and strained in my milk-bag/old T-shirt. Creamy and delicious. I used Organic Traditions stevia, which is just the powdered leaf, and it tastes so good, no funky aftertaste like the Krisda stuff my roomie (mostly him) and I finally used up that’s bulked up with isomalt.

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I used some of the wonderful brazil nut milk to make dessert tonight, blending it with the last of my farmer’s market strawberries, ice, and a bit of honey for a creamy strawberry milkshake.

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But before dessert I happily dug into a salad of 1 small zucchini, 1 carrot, 5-6 stalks asparagus, ~1/3 c finely chopped pineapple, 1 T stone ground mustard, 1 T apple cider vinegar, 1/2 T honey, and a sprinkling of chopped roasted salted macademia nuts. So, so good.

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And a little extra dessert, dark chocolate goodness.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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Holy Mole de Tofu! June 22, 2009

Breakfast started the day simply with a pile of blueberries, raspberries, cherries, and strawberries.

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As well as a big glass of Chocolate Mint Vitasoy.

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For lunch I brought along left over Tropical Kale salad with an amazing side of tofu.  Sandwiched in the tofu slices is raw mole made from the recipe in Raw Food, Real World, and it is amazing!  It doesn’t taste quite like the mole I’ve had in Mexico, but it’s still really good.  And the recipe was so simple compared to some other that I’ve seen with about a billion ingredients in them.  It’s more chocolatey and bit sweeter than regular mole, but I kinda like it that way.  The only complaint I have about the recipe is the fact that I now have almost 1 litre of sauce hanging out in the fridge!  I definitely need to package some up for the freezer, so it will be nice to have this tasty sauce on hand for a long time to come.

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Snacking was accomplished with a carrot and a handful of super sweet strawberry tomatoes.

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For dinner I had all the ingredients handy to make some more almost raw sushi rolls, but then I did a rather horrible job of slicing them up.  My knife was just not cooperating.  The tasty nuggets are stuffed with jicama rice, green onion, red pepper, asparagus and avocado.  With a splash of soy sauce.

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And for dessert, a pile of perfectly RIPE papaya.

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