Plentiful Plants

Daily eats of a Torontonian student

Do The Dew June 12, 2009

So I finished my giant honeydew today. In two parts, to start the day, and to finish it. This morning I discovered a pretty awesomely fantastic green monster combo, honeydew, a few lychees, spinach and chia seeds. So, so good!

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To work I brought a sald of julienned zucchini, cucumber, and carrot tossed in one of my favourite dressings that hasn’t seen the light of day in a long while, orange juice concentrate, sesame oil, salt and pepper. And a devil dawg patty on the side.

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When I got home from work in the afternoon my stomach was rumbling for a snack so I filled it up with a super ripe banana, All bran and soy milk.

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And this carton disappeared while I worked on finally catching up with my Google Reader.

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Then for dinner I was feeling super lazy so went pantry diving for something quick I picked up a while ago from the mark-down rack because the packages were slightly dented.

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I added water to the PC Instant Vegetarian Chili and microwaved with I took a peeler to a zucchini and came up with this super tasty plate for dinner. The chili was a bit spicy for me but turned surprisingly good after I added a small drizzle of molasses to take the edge off, and it can’t get any easier or faster. Plus while I do like making my own too, I do appreciate not having to eat chili now for the next week. I’m glad I have a few more of those up on the shelf.

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Along side there was a couple of slices of multigrain bread nabbed from the roomie, and for dessert, the rest of the honeydew. Yum.

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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!).

 

Superthick June 9, 2009

I ate my green monster with a spoon this morning, it was so thick. I went with a classic peach/mango combo today along with spinach, chia seeds, and ice instead of water. And it was soooooo gooood 🙂

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For lunch there was a salad mess of zucchini, carrot, and Devil Dawg with yogurt, mustard, and chive dressing.

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And a bowl of steamed kabocha with teriyaki sauce. I understand how this squash can be habit forming…

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And in the afternoon I snacked on blueberries and a non-fuzzy golden kiwi (with the skin!).

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When I got home I nabbed a dried peach before it could get in front of the camera while busy chopping up mushrooms for a giant stirfry. The rest of the bowl was filled with snow peas, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Shitake + snow peas + sesame has to be one of my all time favourite combos.

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And for dessert there was a large slice of juicy sweet honeydew. And I went back for a sliver more, of course.

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Steamy Creamy Kaboch-y June 7, 2009

So last night I had some breakfat/dinner after a few hours of evening napping before heading to work.  I experimented a bit with my greens and found some beets greens in the freezer which I used to make pancakes.  I used the same recipe from last weekend but subbed ~ 2/3 cup thawed beet greens for the other veggies. I think I used an extra T of cornmeal too, because I didn’t bother looking up my own recipe, and it was too long ago now for me to clearly remember what I did last night. This new combo turned out really well, especially topped with a mixture of yogurt and black bean dip. And on the side was a Devil Dawg patty and about twice the number of strawberries that made it onto the plate.

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When I got home in the morning I was starving, so I finished off the strawberries topped with yogurt and some freeze-dried strawberry filled granola I found in a bulk bin. Then I had another bowl of just the granola because I was hungry and tired and too lazy to get up and get something else.

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After a badly needed shower and doing laundry (subway tunnels are dirty, dirty places) I napped for a bit and woke up hungry again, so I finished off the granola, then discovered a fantastic flavour combination in a half a pita spread with hemp seed butter and homemade strawberry jam.

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That snack held me over nicely until a more reasonable dinner hour when I set my steamer to work again on a pile of kabocha and broccoli. Plus I stirfried some shitake mushrooms and snow peas in a bit of soy sauce. Kabocha is GOOD. I also think it may also be what my dad actually planted the year the buttercup squashes were tastier then usual. I’ve already requested collards greens for the garden this year, now I’ll need to see if there’s still time to plant kabocha!

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And for dessert I dug into some of the cutest peaches ever.

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I dare you to pass by Saturn peaches in the grocery store and NOT buy them! The pits are so tiny, peanut sized!

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The Other, Other Red Meat June 6, 2009

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So thins morning I went on an adventure. I finally figured out how to get onto the Don Valley Trail so I followed it up from the Riverdale Park entrance to Taylors Bush Park, then left the expressway behind and crossed the park over to Victoria Park Avenue. Then I took the subway part of the way home, stopping to pick up a few more groceries.

Before leaving I had a quick and delicious breakfast, Crunchy Peanut Butter Clif bar. Can I say YUM? This is a serious rival to Carrot Cake as my favourite Clif flavour, so peanutty.

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My very first design project in university was to analyze and design a replacement for this bridge. Oh what I could tell you about the Prince Edward Viaduct….

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There were lots of these flowers all along the valley.

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And little rapids in some spots.

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Giant planters by the DVP.

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And creek flowing over the path making a mini waterfall (there was a bridge a few meters away).

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When I got home I was hungry for a banana, straight up.

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Then I set to work on this week’s BSI recipe, featuring red bell peppers. I started by roasting two smallish red peppers under the broiler for about 10 minutes.

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Then peeling them. Beautiful.

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Then I made excellent use of the roasty result to make Smoky Roasted Red Pepper Seitan Sausages. However, I was making up the recipe a bit as I was going along, and the final product ended up reminding both me and the roomie of hot dogs (he actually made the suggestion first as they were steaming). So they’ve earned the nick name Devil Dawgs.

The ingredients:

1.5 cups gluten flour
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 roasted red peppers (about 2/3 cup)
1 T chili powder
1/2 T cinnamon
1/2 T maple syrup
1/2 T light soy sauce
1/2 t liquid smoke
~8 cloves roasted garlic (aka. all I had left in the fridge)
sprig each of rosemary and thyme

All the ingredients except the gluten and yeast went into a measuring cup, which I then filled up to the 1 cup line with water, then dumped into the blender for a twirl (no, not the cup itself).

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Then I combined the gluten and yeast, and added the liquids. And kneaded for a couple of minutes (kneading gluten feels it so fun). I discovered we’re out of aluminum foil, so I used wax paper instead to wrap the dough, which I divided into 8 peices. Some were sausage shaped, some were just patties.

And they took a 30 minute trip to the steamer (aka colander that fits nicely in a large pot with a few inches of boiling water).

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The wax paper doesn’t have the tensile strength of aluminum, so most of the sausages burst open as they steamed, and they weren’t wrapped very tightly to begin with, which lead to not-so-pretty shapes, but the seitan was nice and fluffy and delicious 🙂  The sweet peppers and maple with the chili and smoke really does taste like a hot dog, perfect summer recipe! The roomie informed me I would have to teach him how to make it.

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For lunch/dinner I had one of the patties in a pita with spinach, mustard, and relish. Along with a pile of carrot and celery sticks, and dollop of bean dip, and a few juicy lychees. The dip was a quick mix of 1.5 C black beans, juice of 1 lemon, a clove of raw garlic, and a spoon of hemp nut butter. A wonderful meal.

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Now I need a sleep before taking a midnight hammer to the subway tracks.  Enough with the mammoth posts already!

 

Have feet, will travel April 4, 2009

According to Google Maps I covered 21km today, not including walking while browsing in various stores and markets.  That’s not the most I’ve ever walked at once but it’s one of the larger (though not uncommon) numbers.  Last fall, on a Friday afternoon when we were still on summer hours, I walked home from work just so I could say it was possible, and that’s 30 km.  On a typical weekend day I probably only do 10, maybe 15 km.  The reason the number is so high today is because I went everywhere in the world (i.e. downtown TO) in search of the perfect items for my BSI:Avocado prize pack.  Of course if things keep going at this rate, I’ll get to keep the goodies for myself.  I won’t complain, I found some good stuff, but I’d rather share them!

I found someone far from home.

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I’m really glad I spent a good amount of time in St. Lawrence Market, mostly in the “World’s Most Ridiculous Bulk Food Store” (my name for the store, not it’s real name).  Its hiding at the north end of the basement of the building on the south side of Front St., if anyone ever goes looking for it, I forgot to take a look at the sign to see the real name.  The place is jam packed with SO MUCH STUFF.  Oodles of bulk bins, but also racks and racks of other things packed floor to ceiling (well, not quite tht high), and stuffed into any available nook and cranny.  So many good finds, and some were cheaper than anywhere else.  You will see them in the future, starting later in this post.

Spring is here! (I shouldn’t mention the 0 degree forecast for Monday).

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Anyways, I was so busy shopping today (and having fun!) I barely had time to eat.

I started with a breakfast of the last of the tuscan melon, topped with Grandma Emily’s Blueberry Cranberry Granola.

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Later in the morning I had a Cocoa Mole Larabar.  It was so good!  Just the right amount of spice, I was happy with my choice.  It was also the only thing I bought at Whole Foods, I was thoroughly unimpressed, nothing caught my eye.  Luckily, it was the only place on my list of places to visit today that did not deliver.

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On one of my stops home to drop off stuff I grabbed a gala apple and a handful of snow peas.

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And of course there was the obligatory sampling that occurs when you shop on a Saturday.  There some more yummy glazed nuts, really flavourful gouda, sausage made of local organic beef, amazing frozen yogurt at Blue Banana Market in Kensington (best new store ever! – I used to live a block away from it before it existed), and bits of tortilla chips dipped in a variety of tasty sauces.

And then there was also a piece of chocolate that was going to be in the BSI prize pack, but it ended up in a bag with some wet kale and the paper wrapper got soaked and kinda disintegrated, so I obviously had to eat it. It was Green and Blacks 71% Dark (not Canadian, but I get the impression it’s not widely available in the States), but have no fear, there is other chocolaty goodness for the prize pack instead, I don’t have pictures of the samples or the chocolate.  But I do have a picture of a tree that seems to have had a bit of a problem with gravity.

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So I’ve been wanting a rice krispie square for the longest time, but didn’t necessarily want to buy or eat of box of rice krispies or marshmallows, and would prefer a healthier alterntive.  I’ve seen marginally healthier alternatives around, but most are on the expensive side, close to a dollar per square, for a box of 5 or so squares.  Which leads me to find number 1 from the “World’s Most Ridiculous Bulk Food Store”.  I found a box of Source Salba (aka chia) Krispy rice bars, 8 bars for $3 (5-6$ in a regular grocery store).  I had one for a snack when I finally got home.  To borrow a phrase, HOLY YUM!  It’s has the perfect chewy rice krispie texture.  It’s definitely sweet, but not sickeningly so, and it has the most amazing fruity flavour that I can only assume is the flavour of the blue agave nectar, since I’ve never had blue agave plain before (only the dark).  I might be in love, it’s a perfect treat for my sweet tooth.

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Finally to finish the day I had a veggie filled dinner.  There was a pile (mostly hiding) of brussel sprouts sauteed in olive oil, salt and pepper, some egg white cooked with jo tsai/garlic chives, red and yellow pepper strips, and the last seitan sausage, browned in the pan after the sprouts to crisp up the outside.  With ketchup, and maple flakes for the sprouts, best idea ever.  I think I must make more seitan.  Tomorrow.  Now I’m all for getting ready for bed.

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My Lucky Day April 2, 2009

I got an awesome surprise today when I found out I won the cake giveaway over at Diet, Desserts and Dogs. So expect to see some chocolatey goodness here in the near future. Thank you Ricki!

My breakfast was a happy accident discovery. I’ve been wanting to try out blended oats, but me roomie is always asleep when I get up and have breakfast in the morning. So I figured I would try blending the oats at night, then microwaving the mix in the morning. I also had the rest of the tofu left over from last night’s scramble. So into the bowl went 1/4 cup rolled oats, 200 g soft tofu, ~1/4 cup of almond breeze, and a stick blender. Then I was smart enough to taste it before sticking it in the fridge. I discovered a lovely vanilla pudding texture/flavour with a bit of tofu aftertaste I wasn’t entirely happy with. So I blended in a small banana and created a deliciously creamy, no-cook, vegan banana pudding! I think it’s even more instant than pudding mixes because you don’t have to wait for it to set.

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This morning I added some walnuts and dried cranberries and feasted. I was a bit amused at the colouring though. Since it spent the night (covered) in the fridge, the banana caused the top couple of millimeters of pudding to oxidize brown, but it still tasted the same, and the texture was the same as when I first blended it, so refrigeration is definitely not necessary.

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My lunch at work was a container full of veggies and a seitan sausage. There was celery, carrot, red and yellow pepper, and cucumber.

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And in the afternoon I snacked on fruit, lots of it, I needed two containers to hold it all. There was a pear, a mandora tangerine (horribly sour, I didn’t finish it), kiwi, blackberries, and tuscan melon.

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And on the way home I munched on the rest of the Cocoa Coconut Cluster Elevate Me! bar, without taking a picture of it.

For dinner I fixed up an enormous salad filled with an entire romaine heart, zucchini, and red bell pepper.  I also seared the last seitan burger (there’s still 1 sausage) in a pan with olive oil, then added the juice from the other sour tangerine, and let it reduce to use as salad dressing.  Delicious.

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And dessert was a handful of walnuts, pecans, cashews, and maple almonds.  Now I’m going to relax with the new Clean Eating that showed up in the mail box.  A lucky day indeed.

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