Plentiful Plants

Daily eats of a Torontonian student

I take it back April 7, 2009

I think Mother Nature decided to take my request for below zero weather a little too seriously. Definitely not spring-like today…

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Before venturing out in the cold this morning I had an awesome yogurty breakfast. In the bowl is strained plain yogurt, hiding applesauce, the last of the ground flaxseed, and a serving of Stephano’s Bakery Deluxe granola (that I had to take out of Biz’s BSI prize to reduce the package weight a little). I’m loving the strained yogurt, I picked up an actual large strainer a couple of weeks ago so I can do a whole container of yogurt at once, instead of one serving at a time in my tea strainer. And a full 24 hour strain is so worth the wait.

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For lunch I had a piece of baked basa fish along with a pile of carrot, red pepper, and cucumber. I’ve got a really good 5lb bag of carrots in the fridge, and they need to be eaten so they stop taking up so much space!

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In the afternoon I snacked on some sweet kiwi and strawberries, and just before coming home I worked my way through the other half of the Nutty Banana Boom Probar. I like how each bite of the Probar has something different in it. And the grain sweetened dark chocolate chips are really good, they’re soft instead of hard. Has anyone seen this kind of chocolate for sale anywhere before? The ingredients of the chocolate chips are whole grain malted barley and corn, cocoa powder, soy lecithin, and pure natural vanilla.

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For dinner I was inspired after seeing Vegan Dad’s post this morning and fixed up a wonderful mustard coated spread. I defrosted some frozen precooked baby potatoes in the microwave, then tossed them in a mix of stone ground mustard, whole grain dijon and soy milk along with some fresh asparagus. The potatoes and asparagus got a quick roast in the oven while I sauteed the last of my frozen shrimp in a pan with a little sesame oil and a few cloves of roasted garlic. I cleaned out the mustard bowl with chopped red and orange peppers and snow peas, then plated everything up and enjoyed 🙂

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Testing new flavours… February 25, 2009

2009_02_25_oatmeal

So I’m a student, I’m careful with my money, I’m lucky enough to be very comfortable financially with no student debt. I’m willing the spend on some things, but there are others I just won’t dole out my hard earned cash for, my mother taught me to be thrifty. When it comes to food, I generally don’t buy what I can easily make myself much less expensively (and sometimes more healthily too). So while I don’t mind paying for a nice jar of organic peanut butter (chosing the most reasonably priced one), I can’t justify the purchase of another entire jar just because it has some simple flavouring added to it….at least not on a regular basis, a girl ocassionally has to treat herself…. So instead, I draw inspiration from tempting looking products and try replicating those flavours myself.

This morning I applied this method to my oatmeal, and it worked out wonderfully. The inspiration was the Peanut Butter & Co. Cinnamon Raisin Peanut Butter. The mixed bowl is above and it included a small banana mashed into my premade steel cut oats cooked in water, and mixed with PB2 (that I’m not a fan of reconstitued into regular peanut butter, but love mixed into things for the flavour), lots of cinnamon, and a big handful of raisins (mixed in, and on top). Delish, and kept me full for almost 5 hours, must have been the extra protein in the PB2.

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Lunch included a delightful mix of veggies and a huge dollop of homemade roasted garlic hummus. The veggies were the last of the mini bell peppers, steamed broccoli, and edamame. I love broccoli and hummus, the textures go so well together.

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Afternoon snacking included a pink cara cara orange, an organic gala apple, and a Toasted Nuts ‘n Cranberry Luna bar. I usually don’t eat many bars, but the Luna and Clif ones were on sale last week for a dollar each so I got one of each flavour that was a available. This means that I now get to try a whole bunch of flavours I’ve never had before (and bought a couple flavours I already know I like). So the nuts and cranberry flavour is new to me, and may I say holy yum? First of all it smells amazing, like a gourmet marshmallow, I was eating it extra slowly and holding it up to my face just to be able to smell it for longer. Luckily, I was sitting at my desk doing so and no one could see me and think I was too weird. And second, I liked that it was more like a typical granola bar without a coating on the top/bottom. It could have used a few more nuts (or they needed more toasting), there wasn’t much of a nutty flavour to me, but the cranberries were really good, not too sour. I’ll definately include this flavour next time I stock up.

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Dinner was another successful foray into the freezer, producing a wonderfully savoury meal.  On the left side is Europe’s Best Romanesco Concerto frozen veggie mix sauteed with shrimp, olive oil, garlic, and italian herbs.  On the right side is Europe’s Best frozen Baby Potatoes mixed with succotash.  Apparently not everybody knows what succotash is?  My roomie was thoroughly confused when I told him what I was making.  I made it the way my mom does, just corn, lima beans, a little butter, salt and pepper.  Wikipedia tells me you can add other veggies like tomatoes and peppers too and still call it succotash, and apparently, in Indiana, the lima beans are replaced with green beans.

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Succotash is especially divine when the lima beans are fresh.  Unfortunately, mine are a bit freezer burnt, but it was still okay.  On the other hand, I’m not at all likely to buy those potatoes again.  I think I got them because they’re precooked so I could add them to a fast meal, and I don’t eat potatoes very frequently so if I ever buy one with no clear plan for its use, it ends up sprouting on the counter waiting to be used, a fate the frozen variety would avoid.  But these potatoes had that offputting soggy commercial frozen veggie texture about them that I don’t particularly enjoy.  I’ll probably hide the rest in some pureed soup…

So the right side of the plate was alright, but the left side was downright delicious.

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