Plentiful Plants

Daily eats of a Torontonian student

I think I’m in love April 18, 2009

The good thing that I was hoping would work out today, did in fact happen. And as a result I’ve been having way too much fun in the kitchen.

But first breakfast. It was simple, and I wasn’t very hungy. I headed down to St. Lawrence Market and bought entire basket of russet apples, because they’re probably my favourite variety, and can be hard to find. So I had one along with a handful of Sahale Snacks Pomegranate Vanilla Cashews. Delicious.

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For lunch I fixed up a quick wrap with a La Tortilla Factory Multigrain wrap, cucumber, red pepper, dill pickle, egg white, and whole grain dijon. It satisfied my craving for tangy salty dills.

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In the afternoon I had an awesome green monster made with lots of spinach, a russet apple, a date, and water/ice.

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Then a bit later I had a bowlful of strawberry banana sorbet.

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And the rest of the sorbet topped with some raw pumpkin seed butter. I swear the butter looks A LOT greener in real life. It just refused to photograph green.

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Can you guess what I did in the lobby of a stranger’s apartment building with a wad of cash after lunch today?

I’ll give you a hint, here’s my dinner about 5 minutes before I ate it.

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I bought a VITA-MIX!!!!

And I love it. Thanks to craigslist it only cost me $275CND.  I’ve wanted one since I saw a demo at the CNE last summer, and when I saw it for that price I knew I had to act quickly.

I also made the almond milk that I used in the sorbet, since I just ran out of almond breeze anyway. And even with making all that stuff this afternoon/evening, there’s hardly any mess at all in the kitchen.

My dinner, after blending, became a beautiful carrot celeriac soup which contained ~1/3 celeriac root, 1 huge carrot, 1 small onion, 1 Kallo no salt veggie boullion cube, ~ cup water, pepper, thyme. And I ate half of that. I had celeriac for the first time as remoulade in France, and I fell in love with it, but this is the first time I’ve cooked with it myself, so I’m so happy the soup turned out very nicely.

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Sweet and Sunny Friday March 27, 2009

What a warm and beautiful sunny day, I’ll accept yesterday’s rain along with today’s sun if it means winter is really over. This lovely Friday morning started out with a sweet treat for breakfast. Rooting around in the cupboard last night I found a jar of toffee sprinkles my roomie brought home from the ‘bucks ages ago. Throwing caution to the wind I added a liberal dosing of the tasty artificially flavoured corn syrup bits on top of my steel cut oats mixed with ground flax. A little bit, once in a while won’t kill me. And they were good, especially along with the spoonful of amazing Maranatha organic creamy peanut butter. Peanut Toffee Buzz is a Clif bar flavour, right? I entirely understand the flavour combination now. I also happily consumed my last cute little red delicious apple. Alas, no more “just for kids” fruits for me.

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Later in the morning I tested a new (to me) variety of apple, Piñata, it was good, but I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between it and a gala without the label sticker. I also had a juicy blood orange. The apple is not pink inside, that’s just a drop of juice from the orange, it was making itself difficult to seperate into sections.

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For a late lunch I munched my way through a giant pile of veggies along with some egg white fried in a bit of sesame oil. There was raw red and green pepper strips, carrot slices, and steamed broccoli.

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For some reason I was starving by the end of the afternoon, I had no emergency snacks, and there were donuts and muffins in the kitchen due to birthdays.  So after resisting for a while, I finally chose a Tim Horton’s Wheat Carrot Muffin.  I only ate the top though.  I forgot how greasy store bought muffins can be…

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Since I wasn’t starving any more, I took a detour on the way home from work and stopped by Planet Organic. They have two locations in the northern outskirts of Toronto and one in Missisauga (as well as BC, Edmonton, Calgary, and Halifax). Nomally I wouldn’t go to a grocery store so far from home, but someone mentioned them to me and out of curiousity I checked out their website. I saw on their flyer that a) Clif bars are on sale for a decent price, not the lowest ever, but decent and b) they say they have 13 flavours available. Now I don’t know about you other Canadians, but I can only count 7 flavours of clif bars I’ve seen in stores. So I had to go check them out. The fact that it’s a nice day for a walk helped.   And with images of apricots, blueberry crisp, and white chocolate macadamia nuts in my head, I set out.  Unfortunately, they lied a little and they cheated a little.  They lied because there were only 11 flavours, and they cheated because 11 includes the number of Luna bar flavours (I guess technically they’re Clif bars too).  Grrrr.  Ironically, there was one flavour I haven’t seen anywhere else, Peanut Toffee Buzz.  So as an ode to my breakfast I pick up a couple.  I probably won’t go back to Planet Organic though, over all they’re more expensive for the same products that are available in more convenient locations for me.

I tried a bite of the Clif bar when I got home.  It was good, but not great compared to the incredile discovery that was my oat toppings.  The bar needed more peanutyness.

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Eventually for a late dinner I fixed up a quick salad of spinach, red pepper, carrot, lime juice, parmesan, and the last of the Sahale Snacks Socorro Macadamia nuts.  Nice and flavourful.

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Repeats allowed March 23, 2009

This morning I dug into a lovely bowl of steel cut oats. I finally made a slow cooker full again over the weekend weekend to enjoy, I’ve been missing them a bit despite my new love for oat bran. I topped the oats with PB2, dried blueberries and cranberries, a few chocolate chips, and the last of the jar of peanut hazelnut butter, delish!

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Later in the morning I dug into a container or strawberries, grapes, a Sonya apple, and a few grape tomatoes. My grocery store tells me that Sonya apples are a new variety, a cross between a gala and red delicious. I can tell you that it is tasty indeed, really sweet with the nice crisp texture of a gala apple. I wish I had bought more than one, hopefully they’ll still be there next weekend.

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For lunch I found an awesome new combination of flavours, lentils, yves italian veggie ground round, avocado, and Big Bull steak sauce. I mixed it all up and ate it as a dip with the carrot slices, yummy. It reminded me of all the good parts of all-dressed chips, without the vinegary salt burning your tongue (eww).

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I also had some of my Sweet Cabbage dessert soup, and it tastes even better the next day.

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When I got home I was hungry for a quick snack so I finished off a bag of Sahale Snacks Ksar pistachios. There were a lot of sesame seeds hiding in the bottom of the bag…

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Isn’t that a pretty flower?

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Then a bit later I fixed my self a salad. I debating between random veggie toppings for blog variety’s sake, or a repeat of my lunch. I’m afraid my lunch was so tasty I decided it was best to bore you and have exactly what I was craving, romaine topped with more lentil/yves/avocado/steak sauce mixture, and a few grape tomatoes. And it made a wonderful salad topper too.

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And I finished off the night with a handful of crunchy FoddShouldTasteGood Chocolate chips.

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All Day Breakfast March 13, 2009

This wonderful morning start off with delightful CHOCOLATE! I had a bowl of oat bran made with unsweetened chocolate almond breeze, a spoonful of mascarpone ice cream, and topping with crunchy chia seeds and walnuts.

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Lunch time was a chili-licious experience.

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Along with a carrot and blackberries.

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I also had a Kashi Trail Mix bar later in the afternoon.

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And when I got home I grabbed a handful of Sahale Snacks Socorro Macadamia Nuts.

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For dinner I was craving breakfast food, so I whipped up a fluffly omlette using 1 egg and 3 whites, topped with some parmesan cheese. And I filled the plate with strawberries, sweet fresh figs, and a kiwi.

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And dessert was more fruity breakfast! A sliced banana topped with Kashi Honey Almond Flax cereal, dried cranberries, and the last of the chocolate almond breeze. I should go get some more of that stuff, it is very tasty.

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A Different Chocolate Chip March 7, 2009

This morning started off with a tiny, cute, crisp red delicious apple.

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I also dug into a bowl of Nature’s Path Blueberry Almond Muesli with some plain yogurt.

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After that tasty start to the day I headed out for some more grocery shopping.  I spent $11.31 on more produce at the grocery store.

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Then I headed out to a health food store (Essences of Life in Kensington Market) and Whole Foods.  I spent $12.72 at the health food store and $9.49 at Whole Foods (the teas and nuts, both on sale!).  There were also a couple of medjool dates purchased, but they got lost in the bottom of my bag and didn’t make it into the picture.

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At 2/$2 these were literally calling my name.  Though I didn’t buy one of each flavour this time, there was also a Hemp Power Cocoa Mocha one and a Flax Power Tropical Fruits bar.  My roomie tells me he’s had the Lemon Hazelnut before and it’s pretty good…

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When I finally got home I dug into a quick and tasty salad.  The bowl held romaine tossed in my homemade goddess dressing, a carrot, cucumber, red pepper, a bit of avocado and a small sprinkling of parmesan cheese.

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Later, lunch dessert/snack was some amazing Sahale Snacks Socorro M academia Nut mix.  Seriously good.  I think this is my favourite of these mixes of far (but only because the Dauphine mix taught me I don’t like candied ginger, which was easily picked out).  I’ve never really had macadamia nuts before, aside from the occasional white chocolate macadamia cookie, but I might have to search for them in the bulk section now because they are SO delicious!  I can’t decide which side looks better.

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Dinner time rolled around and I fixed some red and white quinoa using dried parsley, lemon juice, water, and some Kallo Low Salt Vegetable stock.

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I also sauteed a pile of collard greens with mushrooms, onion, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar, and topped them with goat cheese.

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A delightful meal.

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A while after my delicious dinner, I made a wonderful dessert that would not be possible had I not seen this post on Kath Eats Real Food in which she was so lucky to receive a boxful of Food Should Taste Good chips.  I’ve seen these chips in stores before, but I’ve never been much of a chip person so I largely ignored them.  But one word caught my eye in her photo.  Chocolate.

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I’m a huge fan of sweet and savoury combinations, and these perfectly chocolately and salty chips are DIVINE!  I was even lucky enough to buy them at the right store.  They were $3.29 at Essences of Life, but they don’t take coupons anymore, so I couldn’t use the $1 off I had printed out.  But I bought them there anyway.  Which was great because the same chips at Whole Foods are $5 per bag, so I still ended up saving 70 cents, in a way.  Silly Whole Foods, good thing you made up with it with your Stash and Sahale sales…

Anyway, the chips made a lovely dessert spread with a bit of peanut hazelnut butter and topped with banana slices.  A delicious end to the day.

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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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Chocolate and greens February 22, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — plentifulplants @ 5:37 pm
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Last night I stayed up far too late watching Project Runway Canada and had two tasty snacks while doing so.

First, there was some bread slathered in tahini topped with honey dates.  I was sad to discover when I opened the bag of bread that one whole loaf (about the size of a sub roll) was starting to go moldy (I made 3 loaves last weekend).  So I cut off all the crusts and ended up with some very square pieces.  They still tasted good though.  I need to remember next time to put some bread in the freezer since my roommate and I don’t eat it very quickly.

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I topped of the night with some chocolaty treats.  A piece of Earl Grey chocolate and a Caramel Nut Brownie Luna bar.  I had never had this flavour bar before and was pleasantly surprised by the layer of caramel on top, very good.

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This morning for breakfast I finished off the bread, spreading it part with hummus, and part with strawberry, blackberry, acai jam.

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I also mixed up a thick berry-licious smoothie using silken tofu and blueberries.

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For lunch I had a big steaming bowl of chili paste and pumpkin spicy spinach soup topped with extra firm tofu cubes that were sauteed in olive oil and cinnamon.

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Unfortunately the tofu cubes sank before I could take a picture.  But I really enjoyed their cinnamony crusts.

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The smooth soup was enjoyed with some crunchy Sahale Snacks Ksar Pistachios.  So good, especially because I love pumpkin seeds, perfectly sweet with a hint of spice and chewy fig chunks.

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After a few hours of Mario Party Wii fun with the roomie I had a hot cup of tea with half a Carrot Cake Clif bar.

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Now I need to think about coming up with something for dinner before the Oscars start.  Don’t want to miss the red carpet….