Plentiful Plants

Daily eats of a Torontonian student

Kawartha Ecological Growers CSA Love July 24, 2009

So before getting on with the food of the day, I have to give a major shout-out to Kat of Kat eats local in Toronto. You see, last Friday I was in a hurry to get to the registrar’s office before they closed, but on the way I passed by a table set up behind Hart House, full of veggies, with a crowd of people around it, and a big price list posted. I heard snippets of conversations that included “you can get either a large share of a small share”, “I have some extras of those you can buy”, “those are reserved for members”, etc.   It sounded like a CSA to me, and I was very intrigued, but like I said, in a hurry so I didn’t stop to investigate, though I had every intention of going back to check it out this week.

Meanwhile, I had left a comment to Kat that I was jealous of her Plan B CSA deliveries (deliveries are virtually impossible in my apartment building and their depots are not at all conveniently located or timed for me). Saturday morning she suggested I check our Kawartha Ecological Growers since they had different pick-up locations. Imagine my delight when I discovered they were the ones at Hart House! So this afternoon I very happily headed back to Hart House to hand over a check and pickup my very first share of goodies. I filled up my bag with beets, spinach, mixed basil, red leaf lettuce, cucumber, broccoli, peas, and raspberries. All organic (or close to organic but not certified), local, and BEAUTIFUL!

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Anyways, on the the food. For breakfast I dug in the fridge for the last of the greens and produced a fabulous chocolate milkshake concoction 🙂 In the mix is Chocolate Spirutein (candy, again), kale, collards, spinach, wheatgrass ice cubes, chia seeds, and a banana. And once again and brought most to work, but enjoyed a little at home with blueberries (chocolate covered blueberries = yum).

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For lunch I fixed up a fabulous salad with romaine, zucchini, yellow pepper, carrot, dulse, pineapple salsa, avocado, and Marti cheese.

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After work I headed to Simply Bulk to stock up on a few items, and saw they had Peanut Butter Cookie Larabars, so I pounced. I got to Hart House early for the CSA, so I enjoyed a bar and a book in the courtyard of University College while I waited. OMG, this flavour is so GOOD! It seriously tasted just like a PB cookie.

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I also stopped to enjoy the flowers outside of Trinity College.

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And finally, for a very late dinner I did some space clearing in the fridge for my CSA goodies. I fixed up a salad of romaine, zuke, orange pepper, and snow peas tossed with sesame oil and lemon juice. And alongside that I steamed (definitely steamed…) the last of my kabocha, with tomato paste and a peach for dessert. I think the kabocha monster is in need of a dentist, but that’s just my opinion.

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All For Show July 22, 2009

When I got up this morning I fixed myself some quick brunch before heading back to work.  S&M salad.  I think this is becoming my lazy salad, I don’t have to pull everything out of the fridge and think to decide what I want, I just follow the ingredients list.  Today I even had the dulse, hemp seeds, and rosemary crackers already broken up and sitting in a baggie leftover from when I brought the salad to work a couple of days ago.

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I took along a snacky, blueberries and apricots.

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And dinner was a chips and dip plate.  Zucchini and carrot chips with mole.

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And dessert was going to be a simple peach, but since the mandoline was already dirty from slicing the zucchini, I fancied it up for the blog.  I sliced the peach thinly and drizzled it with a mixture of tahini, honey and water (tasty!) and a few sesame seeds, just for show.  And I’m going to enjoy it with some SYTYCD.  I can’t believe Wednesday’s already over!

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The Most Efficient Pitter July 20, 2009

I made a delicious green monster this morning thanks to the use of a fruit I’ve never blended before, cherries. In the process of pitting the cherries, I figured out the best tool to use to extract the pit it definitely your teeth fater cutting the cherry in half quickly, and your cheeks are the perfect storage locations for the pits so they don’t go flying everywhere. Of course you can only do this if you’re the one who will be eating the fruit, and this method probably shouldn’t be used in polite company, but you have to appreciate the tastiness factor of the food prep stage 😀 The other ingredients were collards greens, wheatgrass ice cubes, and banana.

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For lunch I brought along an S&M salad of romaine, spinach, and zucchini dressed in mashed avocado, lime juice and salt. I threw the dulse/hemp/rosemary/raw cracker topping in a bag to prevent it from getting soggy before lunch, and it turns out I probably should have put the salt in the bag too because my salad was definitely wilted when I pulled it out to eat. I’ve done avocado and juice on lettuce before without it wilting, so I’m guessing it must have been the hygroscopic salt that caused the problem. At least it still tasted good 🙂

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And for snacking I had some tomato, cucumber, and sweet, sweet pineapple.

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When I got home I dipped into the date and almond stash.

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Then I eventually got around to throwing together some dinner.  Somehow I happened on a FANTASTIC combination of flavours while creating kabocha tacos!  Into collard wraps I stuffed tomato paste, slivered leek, big slices of king oyster mushroom, steamed kabocha (sliced thinly to steam faster), and a grating of Marti cheese.  The tomato paste/kabocha/cheese combo was amazing!

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S&M = Love July 18, 2009

This morning I finished off the last of my honeydew melon for breakfast.

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Then I got busy doing things all day long, so lunch was some snacky items throughout the afternoon.  There were some carrots.

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Some dates and almonds.

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A plum and an apricot.

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And a Kashi Trail Mix granola bar that I found hiding behind a bowl while cleaning up my pantry shelves.

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But the main event of the day was absolutely the modified S&M salad I fixed up for dinner. Instead of macadamia nut oil, I used part of my avocado and massaged it into romaine and baby spinach with freshly squeezed lime juice and salt. Then I topped the bowl with hemp seeds, flaked dulse, more avocado, tomato, fresh rosemary, and a broken up Radical Rosemary and Onion cracker from Live Food Bar, who appear to have started selling some of their stuff through the health food store around here. The rosemary crackers are great, but I also bought a pack of their Nachos, and tried a bite, and they are beyond fantastic! You know what else is fantastic? The salad. So good. And now I have lots of the required toppings (and dulse totally tastes like bacon-y seaweed) so I can eat it many, many more times. This makes me very happy 🙂

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And I suppose dessert was some of the super ripe and delicious pineapple I ate while chopping it up for the fridge. But, you know, sticky pineapple fingers and cameras don’t play well with each other. And for those of you who asked, my blender is a Vita-mix I got for (relatively) cheap off of Craigslist. And it was totally worth it, especially for super smooth leafy green packed green monsters, which I obviously quite enjoy. Now I’m contemplating the purchase of a dehydrator, but my roomie’s parents may have one they’ll donate to us, so I’ll hold off until I can experiment with that first.

PS. I love the mark down rack at the grocery store, I can’t wait to do something with these.

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I’ve got the Jicamas June 19, 2009

The fridge always gets so empty on Fridays.  Which is good in a way because it makes room for weekend shopping trips.  I guess that means I’m good at judging how much produce I’ll eat in a week?

Breakfast this morning was sweet and creamy and delicious, the last of  the kale, chia seeds, frozen banana, last of the blueberries and my last giant lychee. It turned out super dark green (thought the camera can’t really tell the difference). The only thing that would have made this monster better is a little Jay Robb action via Katie’s Giveaway!

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Short day at work so I just brought a little salad, the last few leaves of romaine topped with my last carrot, some peas and some tasty feta.

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When I got home I fixed up a snacky bowl filled with steamed kabocha, broccoli, cauliflower, red and green pepper, and cherries.

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Plus a some dried blueberries found themselves in my mouth.

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For dinner I was excited to try something new, almost raw sushi. No, I did not used cooked fish. I bought a jicama and processed it to rice-size, squeezed out a lot of water using a towel, then mixed it with some apple cider vinegar (if I had rice wine vinegar, I would have used it) and agave. My fillings were asparagus and shitake mushrooms which were sliced and soaked in teriyaki sauce (likely, not raw, not that I care that much) then had the excess liquid squeezed out of them. And my nori is toasted. But that definitely didn’t stop the rolls from being super delicious! I liked the jicama plain too, crisp and slightly sweet without being fruity, I should get some more for further experimentation. Plus I get to have more tomorrow because there’s extra rice 🙂

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And a late night snack of my own, properly flavoured Honey Sesame Kashi Crackers.

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I see seas of green June 17, 2009

…and red fruits too…

This whole coming up with a post title business can be hard work!

My breakfast this morning was not green.  More purple/brown, but very tasty.  The monster included kale, chia seeds, pineapple, and blueberries.

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For lunch I brought a sea of green salad, romaine, asparagus, green pepper, snap peas and lime juice/olive oil dressing.  And the waves were crested with light feta cheese.  (At least I’m trying to be entertaining!)

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And snacking, red fruits!  Lychee, cherries, and not-so-red but oh-so-delicious apricots.

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When I got home I was starving so I had a few peanuts and a handful of blueberries to tide me over through the cooking process.

For dinner I pulled a piece of lemon and herb flavoured sole out of the freezer and heated it up in the steamer along with cauliflower, and nuked some frozen peas.  I kept the fish in the vacuum wrapped package in the steamer and the fish was perfectly cooked even though I left it going for ~10 minutes longer than I intended!  I like this fool-proof cooking method.  My cauliflower was a bit soft, but it tasted fine when I tossed it and the peas with the extra marinating liquid from the fish (that sounds better than fish juice, right?).

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Then dessert, Skinny Cow ice cream sandwich, yum.

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Now how about some sun tomorrow, and no rain!

 

Hide the protein! June 16, 2009

I had something different for breakfast this morning.  When I made oatmeal this weekend I made extra and froze some.  This morning I took out one of those portions (oats and banana) and nuked it with extra water, chia seeds, PB2 and a few toffee sprinkles.  And along with it I had a Starbucks Fruit salad from the pile that had taken up residence in the fridge overnight, and a delicious giant lychee.

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For snacking I brought to work with me a container of kabocha, two ways.  First as a sandwich with almond butter, and second cubed and drizzled with soy sauce.  Plus I brought a shitake mushroom because I had an empty space in the container, and I wanted to try one raw to see if I liked it.  I know I don’t like button/cremini mushrooms raw, but I thought I would give the shitake a try.  The verdict? Not so much.  But I did thoroughly enjoy those cherries for lunch dessert.

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Lunch itself was a giant salad of romaine topped with carrot, red pepper, snap peas, and tofu marinated in soy sauce/sesame oil/apple cider vinegar.  I seem to be developing a thing for soy sauce…and am running out….must stock up!

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When I got home I had a tasty medjool, straight up.

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Then for dinner I got a bit creative.  My base was spinach flavoured shirataki noodles, steamed broccoli, and shitake mushrooms sauteed in a bit of olive oil.  Then I hid some protein in the sauce.  I blended a chunk of tofu with nutritional yeast, garlic powder, a splash of vinegar and water, salt and pepper.  And I was happy to discover it tastes really good, and actually cheesy!  But next time I either need to make a bigger batch, or use silken tofu, or both.  I made so little the sauce was flinging itself away from the blades and didn’t blend very smoothly.  So it doesn’t look very pretty, but it sure tasted good!

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