Plentiful Plants

Daily eats of a Torontonian student

What you do you mean tonight? July 22, 2009

This post is either super late or super early.  Yesterday (this?) afternoon I was at work and my cubicle mate comes in, sits down, gives me a pouty face and says “Spadina tonight.”  So I just home from work at 5am.  The annoying bit is that we went on a weeknight because what we were doing should only have taken a 1-2 hours (you get more time on the weekend when the subways don’t start till 9am), but because other people were working in the same area, removing covers from things we had to inspect, we had to wait for them to move before proceding several times and weren’t able to finish.  So we”l have to go back another night.

Anyways yesterday’s breakfast was a tasty little monster containing chia seeds, kale, peach, and strawberries.  And I made a double batch to take the extra to work for an afternoon snack.

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Lunch was a simply delightful salad of zucchini, carrot, and yellow pepper topped with raw mole from the freezer.

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Pre evening nap I had an english muffin with tahini and raspberry jam.

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And I finished off the super ripe and delicious pineapple.  I’ve gotten a several comments about how good this pineapple looks, and it is indeed perhaps the best pineapple I’ve ever tasted.  But I can’t even give any tips on how to choose a good one, because I bought this off of the mark down rack, and it was already cut in half (for $1) so I see the amazing deep yellow colour before buying it.  There is a chance it was organic though, given the store it came from, but there was no sticker on it besides the printed price tag on the plastic wrap.

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Dinner part 2, before heading to work was some kabocha fries dipped in tomato paste and a scoop of my roomie’s heavenly homemade leek and potato soup.

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And now I’m debating between going to work extra early (ie when the subway opens in 1/2 an hour) and leaving when I get tired, or sleeping and going in the afternoon.  However, I’m getting more and more tired as I type this so I’ll probably take the latter route.  I do think sthe rest of the strawberries are going to disappear first though.

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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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Choco Power! May 9, 2009

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This morning I took a trip to St. Lawrence Market first thing to check out what was up for grabs (and to replenish my supply of chia seeds so I can bring back the green monster breakfasts). I was very happy to see more local produce available AND I found some excellent items to try for the CCV/K New Foods Challenge in order to redeem my papaya ordeal.

But first, before setting off I had an apple.

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I bought two new-to-me items, which get extra points in my books for being wild and foraged. Fiddleheads and wild leeks. I took my finds home with me and got to work on brunch. The internet had me paranoid about poisoning myself with the fiddle heads, so I boiled them first, then tossed them into a pan to sautee with the wild leeks, some portobello mushroom, and a little butter. The result was DELICIOUS (but would have looked nicer without the black mushroom…). I really liked the fiddleheads, they had a nice creamy texture with an artichokey-broccoli stalkish flavour. The leeks were what I expected, mild and tasty, but expensive enough that I’d rather just buy green onions. But I do hope the fiddleheads are still around next week. I also scrambled a couple eggs in the pan after the ferns were finished.

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Then for brunch dessert, despite knowing what was to come in the afternoon, I enjoyed one of the Cherry Chocolate Oatmeal cookies I made for my BSI entry this morning. After all, even though I had used the recipe before, I had to make sure this version turned out well before posting the recipe, didn’t I? It was a success.

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Now what was to come? Cake delivery! Ricky of Diet, Desserts and Dogs brought me this beautiful chocolate cake with sweet potato/orange icing that I won from here contest a while back. Thank you so much Ricky, it was great to meet you and HH!

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A few of my roomie and I’s friends came over this afternoon and we enjoyed cake and Wii Mario Party to celebrate the end of exams/some people’s graduations/grad school acceptances/and summer in general. I thoroughly enjoyed a slice. And then another, as did every one else. The cake was just so good, moist and perfectly chocolaty without being too sweet! It makes me want to buy Sweet Freedom just for this one recipe (p.s. you could also win a copy)! And everyone loved both the orange icing and the chocolate filling.

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I love that the cake must be relatively wholesome and healthy too because those two slices filled me up forever. I’m guessing it contains beets, am I crazy?

A whole 7 hours after eating that second piece of cake I started to get hungry again so I helped the roomie finished off his latest batch of Root Soup. I know it involved carrots, potatoes, parsnips, onions, rosemary, and chives at least, and was also very tasty. Though the bowl was quite full and I couldn’t finish it.

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All in all, today’s eats were wonderfully successful compared to yesterday. And I get to look forward to leftover chocolate cake tomorrow. Yum.

 

Sweet Satisfaction April 15, 2009

This morning got off to wonderful start with a bowl of Health Valley Spelt Flakes with cranberries and unsweetened vanilla almond breeze, and a pile of sweet honeydew melon.

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Late in the morning I dug into a Fuji apple and atualfo mango. The mango is a bit over-ripe, which makes it delicious, but I’m starting to get concerned it might go bad. But I should be fine if I finish it tomorrow, which is no hardship on my part 🙂

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For lunch I started out with some carrot, grape tomatoes, and steamed broccoli.

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The veggie goodness was followed by a hunk of roasted pork tenderloin, and couple of tiny sweet potatos that took a trip to the microwave before consumption.

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When I got home I was greated by a surprise treat.  My roomie and a friend were making a fancy dinner and they invited my to join in.  I had a delicious bowl of leek and potato soup.

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Followed by a piece of bread with a slice of Camembert and some Balderson Vinter’s Red Wine Cheddar  (aka some of the best cheddar I’ve ever had, and this wasn’t the first time).

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And a really good glass of wine, just a little sweet the way I like it.  I even went back afterwards to take a picture of the bottle for future reference.

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And for dessert I had some sweet and satisfying maple glazed almonds.  A wonderful humpday treat.

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Where have all the pictures gone? March 29, 2009

I was a bad food blogger today.  I forgot to grab my camera while in a rush to leave home this morning, and spent the rest of the day eating out without coming back to the apartment to pick it up!

I did manage to snap a photo of my breakfast though (even though the sun was hiding behind rain clouds).  I simply nuked some oat bran with unsweetend vanilla almond breeze and topped the bowl a pinch out of every single bag of nuts and dried fruits (and chocolate chips!) on the shelf.  Let’s call it trail mix, the list is a bit long.  But multiple the amount in the picture by about two, I ate down a layer and added more trail mix, then repeated.  There’s also a sprinkle of raw sucanat around the edge of the bowl and spoonful of sunflower seed butter, which were only on the first layer.  It was one good bowl of oats.

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Before leaving I made a batch of black bean brownies using this recipe as a base and modifying it to look like this.

  • 1 3/4 cups kidney beans, rinsed and drained (since I didn’t have a full 2 cups)
  • 150 g egg whites (4 or 5 whites)
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sucanat
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda (because apple sauce is acidic)
  • 1/2 cup walnut pieces

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The brownies are quite good, I could tell they had beans in them, but in a good way.  This is coming from a half-asian who likes red bean paste in chinese desserts.  I got the same response from my (non-asian) friends who tried them.  They are quite soft though, I think I might reduce the liquids a bit if/when I make them again.  I cut up the batch into 12 100ish calorie brownies.  And this picture is the reason I forgot my camera, it was in my bag and I took it out to snap the cut brownie before packing them up.

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Alas, that is the end of the piccies…I went out to lunch at Hank’s Cafe.  Hank’s is the new Jamie Kennedy cafe, basically a replica of Gilead with a cool espresso machine.  It’s right beside the Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar on Church street.  Both cafes have (usually) really good quality soups, salads, sandwiches, and desserts.  Unfortunately the soup of the day, White and Yellow Carrot soup was too salty for me, but one of my friends also got it and loved it.  I should have asked to sample it before ordering, grr…  I have had some incredible soups there before though.  I tried bites of other’s pot roast stew and beet salad, and both were amazing.  I made up for my soup disappointment in the healthiest way possible and got one of the best ever oatmeal raisin cookies for dessert.  But I was most upset I forgot my camera due to my latte.  Which besides tasting amazing (I’m not a huge coffee drinker, and this had absolutely no need for sugar), was covered in beautiful latte art.  Two of the best baristas in Canada work at Hank’s and while neither were working at lunch today, they have taught their peers well and my latte was wonderfully decorated with a lineup of whimsical hearts.  I definately recommend Hank’s (or Gilead) for any one who wants an almost garanteed delicious, fast lunch in downtown Toronto (just ask to sample the soup first!, but the sandwichs (espcially mushroom) and baked goods are sure bets).  Cheap too, you can easily eat for less than $10.

I spent the afternoon playing Settlers of Catan and Wii at a friend’s gathering and we all dug into a potluck dinner.  I brought the rest of my foccacia and the brownies.  I tried a piece of Cuban fried plantain/milk fritter thing (I forget what it’s called) and some veggies with roasted red pepper hummus for apps.  For the main course I had some roasted chicken and portobella mushroom, and greek salad with amazing feta (minus the olives for me, can’t make myself like those things despite trying several times, including in spain).  And dessert was a black bean brownie with a scoop of vanilla froyo.  So many sweets today!

And to make up for a lack of pictures today, I’ll add this, another one of my roomie’s orchids.

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And don’t forget to head over the Strawberry Shortcake for a Simply awesome 100th post celebration giveaway!

Now I should head to bed so I can get up to head to work in six hours.  And I have some exciting news for tomorrow that requires a decision I need to sleep on…

 

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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Yummy Hummich March 11, 2009

I’ve been busy working on Skule(TM) related stuff so I need to try to get this post together quickly.

This morning started out with a delightful bowl of Nature’s Path Optimum Rebound cereal with a splash of unsweetened chocolate almond breeze.  And a cup of mint tea.

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For lunch I brought along a sandwich, a Fuji apple, a banana, and a Clif Oatmeal Raisin Walnut bar.

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The sandwich was particularly wonderful.  I took the advice of the beautiful Amy at Coffee Talk and added dried cranberries to my hummus sandwich (hummwich!), along with some chicken breast and romaine.  It was delicious.  I was also trying Ezekiel bread for the first time, and it was really good.  I also like how it’s easy to get a slice or two out of the freezer quickly without worrying about the rest going bad, though I guess I could do this with any bread….

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There were also some grape tomatoes involved.

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For dinner I heated up a can of Health Valley black bean soup.

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And now I’m munching on a bowl of yogurt with (homemade by my mom, and picked myself) strawberry jam and Kashi Honey Almond Flax cereal.

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