Plentiful Plants

Daily eats of a Torontonian student

Double the Chocolate, Double the Fun July 19, 2009

I apologize for the complete lack of pictures today.  I had every intention of bringing my camera to lunch because we had been planning to go to a fancy-ish restaurant for Summerlicious, but I ended up leaving it on my desk in the hurry to leave the apartment.

Breakfast this morning was a tasty, though grainy mixture of collard greens, wheatgrass ice cubes, vanilla almond milk, stevia, agave, and cacao nibs (the hard grainy bits).  It was drunken with a lot of stirring in between, which was completely worth it for the chocolatey goodness.

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For lunch, my roomie and I had the intention of hitting up a Summerlicious restaurant, with today being the last day and all. After perusing the menus, we found a couple of restaurants with what looked like particularly tasty options. Unfortunately, last night we figured out that Pangea was either all booked up, or closed, so we switched our plans over to Midi Cafe. But when we got there for lunch, it was also closed! These restaurants seriously need to post their opening hours (or more specifically, days) on their websites. So instead, we headed over to Urban Herbivore, which I’ve been wanting to check out for a while, mainly due to my roomie’s raving about the incredible awesomeness of the sandwiches. He got a sandwich, and I tried a bite of the sesame tempeh inside, which was delicious in an incredible way that made me not hate tempeh like my only other tempeh experience did (plain, grilled from Fresh). I ordered a build your own salad with mixed greens, carrot, cucumber, green beans, broccoli, mixed bean sprouts, beets, sunflower seeds, and citrus herb dressing. DELICIOUS! The sprouts, beets, and the sunflower seeds made the salad, I have got to get on growing my own sprouts.

Then we went to see Harry Potter (fun!, even though it somewhat abruptly skipped over huge sections of the book, and I have no recollection what so ever of the Weasley’s house burning down). After the movie we hit up Starbucks for free drinks, mine being a tall iced coffee with soy, and did some wandering around over to an old used book store the roomie loves in Little Portugal before he headed to work and I meandered some more on the way home.

For dinner I broke out some more dulse for a tasty pasta salad made of tofu shirataki noodles, mashed avocado, red pepper, lemon juice, and lots of the seaweed. And along side that I enjoyed some pineapple, a granny smith, and organic milk chocolate with hazelnuts (twice what made it into the picture).

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And it would appear I did a poor job of selling the Stash green tea powder, with my not liking it and all, so Krista, Cindy and Caroline,  may you please be so kind as to email me your mailing addresses (plentifulplantsATgmailDOTcom) so I can send the goodies your way 🙂

 

Just say no! July 2, 2009

To recreational slicing!…but that part comes last.

It was dark and dreary when I got up this morning so my pictures aren’t so nice, but I started the day with a tasty shot of wheatgrass juice with a big squeeze of lime.

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As well as a bowl of chia oatgurt with the leftover raw strawberry jam I made yesterday.

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For lunch I brought a mini, super strength green monster (less water than usual) of kale and peach.

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And some kabocha with ketchup.

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Plus some Pumpkin Pie Bites. I had two, the rest were for sharing.

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When I got home I got myself into trouble.  I bought a mandoline slicer yesterday, but had to go back to exchange it this afternoon because 2/3 pieces in the box were missing.  So when I brought it home today, I was excited to try it out.  I managed to do a very nice job of julienning zucchini, but then I went to far.  I was going to blend some tomatoes, but I wanted to see how well the mandoline would do slicing them.  So just for fun I started slicing.  It wasn’t particularly easy due to the thick skin and non-serrated mandoline blade, but it was working well enough.  Then I was a bit too forceful and slipped and sliced into two of my finger tips!  The ironic thing was that I was using the handguard.  A few minutes before hand, I was very slowly, feeding the last slice of zucchini through without the guard, and my roomie warned me to be careful, but it wasn’t until I switched back to using the safety device I hurt myself!  I’ll spare you picture, but let’s just say washing my hair tonight it going to be tricky, a one handed affair.

So I was starving, but I wanted to wait for the bleeding to stop before proceeding with dinner preparatations, so I started off with the Starbucks Raspberry Peach yogurt parfait that was hanging out in the fridge.

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A while later I finished making my real dinner.  I came up with this in my head way before seeing Gena’s post yesterday, but it’s so tasty it deserves a shoutout, plus Guacanara is a pretty fantastic name.  I blended two tomatoes (kumatos!) and an avocado with a few sprigs each of rosemary, thyme, and sage from my window garden.  So, so good!

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Did anyone else notice the green/red pattern throughout the day like I just did?

 

Scuffy new shoes May 13, 2009

I did a very thorough job of scuffing up a brand new pair of shoes today.  I bought my work boots four years ago and didn’t end up needed them at the time.  So this morning, when I got to go on site for the first time, my shoes were still shiny and perfect.  Not so much anymore…spending a few hours crawling around scaffolding hammering at the roof will do a quick job of scratching up the toes of steel-toed boots.  But had fun doing it 🙂  There’s even the bonus that I got to leave home over an hour before I usually do, and got back an hour earlier too because a big chunk of my commute was cut away and our working hours were a bit shorter to allow for travel time for some people from the office to the site.

In anticipation of a busy, and different kind of workday I enjoyed a leisurely and large breakfast.  I started with a bowl of Kashi High Fibre Flakes and Granola cereal with strawberries and milk.

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Then I dug into two sunnyside up eggs topped with chopped sage, and paired with orange pepper strip.  Delicious, and held me over very well until lunch.

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Lunch I fixed up a  mess salad of broccoli, zucchini, and chicken breast tossed in yogurt, whole grain dijon, and a handful of chives.  Tasty and refreshing, as usual.

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Plus I had a Nature’s Path Optimum Energy Peanut Butter Bar.  The bar was really good, kind of like a peanut butter cookie, but less sweet (which is a good thing).  I would have liked it if the peanut flavour was a bit stronger, but it was tasty regardless.

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When I got home I finished my lunch salad with the addition of a handful of dried cherries (and didn’t take a picture, sorry).

Then when I was hungry for dinner I stared in the fridge indescisively for a while, then finally blended up a slighty disgusting looking but very tasty brown monster.  In the mix was red kale, an apple, and frozen raspberries.

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Followed by a Starbucks Peach and Raspberry Yogurt Parfait.  Apparently they’ve stopped using Splenda to sweeten their yogurts…

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And finally for dessert was a square of dark chocolate.  Talk about a weird food mood….

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Good Friday Indeed April 10, 2009

Well I ‘ve enjoyed my day off, and now there’s still a whole weekend to come!  I did some very useful and fun things today, namely shopping for a spring coat and some shirts that actually fit.  All of which I got excellent deals for :-), a coat and 3 nice shirts for <100$, thank you Winners.

The day started off with something I haven’t made in seemingly forever, pancakes!  I started off with a package of Multigrain Instant oatmeal, then mixed it in the food processor with 3 egg whites, 2 tbsp unsweetened vanilla almond breeze, a little (maybe 1/2 tsp) baking powder, and after mixing, a handful of raisins.

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I topped the pancakes with some peanut butter and more raisins.  Then after a few bits I felt something was missing, and I realized there was nothing sweet in the mix, so I sprinkled the plate with ~1/2 tbsp sucanat, and the problem was solved.  The pancakes were nice a fluffy though, which was a pleasant surprise since I kinda made the recipe up since I was too lazy to turn on my computer and search for an actual pancake recipe of this type, and I didn’t remember the recipe I used to use, and don’t have any cottage cheese anyways.

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I took lunch with me shopping.  It was simple and Kettle Corn Probar and a fuji apple.  Not a fan of the Kettle Corn flavour…I think it might have been the fennel seed that did it, never was a fan.  It was edible, and I ate the whole bar, but I think they could do with losing a few of the herbs on the ingredients list, namely the fennel and fenugreek.  Actually, now that I look it up, it might have been the epazote leaf that I’ve never heard of before and may have discovered I object to…..  At least the corn kernels were fun.

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On may way home I stopped by Starbucks to redeem a free drink from filling out an online survey.  An invitation to take the survey is printed on random receipts, and when people leave their receipts with the survey printed on them at the till, the roomie brings them home to me, and sometimes I actually fill them out 🙂  It was a non-fat iced latte that I sweetened with stevia when I got home.

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For dinner I was feeling a lack of colour so far in the day so I fixed up a plate of crunchy veggies.  I had asparagus, snow peas, a carrot, red pepper, and celery.

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I worked through that plate while waiting for the oven to produce these crispy sweet potato fries.  I made them with olive oil, dried thyme, parsley, sage and (herby, not red salty) poultry seasoning…because we’re out of italian herbs (the HORROR, we go through bags of the stuff).  And I enjoyed the fries with a drizzle of ketchup, and the rest of my cashew fruit juice.

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Some expensive yogurt…. March 15, 2009

This beautiful, relatively warm morning started out with a bowlful of oat bran, topped with the left over starbucks toppings and a few extra cashew pieces.

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I went on some morning adventures, were two things of note happened.  First, I discovered I need to buy a spring coat.  My winter coat was a bit too warm, and my old light coat is ridiculously large, which is a good thing, kind of a jarring reminder of how much smaller I am compared to a year ago, or even from last fall.

Second thing, I went to Pusateri’s for the first time.  It’s a small, super high end grocery store in Yorkville.  I’ve been curious about it for a while, but figured it would just be super expensive tings I wasn’t really interested like gourmet oils and vinegars and coffees.  Which it was in a way.  But the reason I finally went in is that I recieved a hot tip from a coworker that they carry non/low-fat greek yogurt.  And they do.  I was excited.  Though it was ridiculously expensive, so I limited my self to only 2 containers.  A 6oz Stoneyfield Farm Oikos with honey at $3.99 and a 6oz Vanilla Chobani and $3.39.  Yeah, expensive.  But worth it for an occasional treat.

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I ate the Chobani for a snack this afternoon.  It’s so good!  I’ve had Fage yogurt before , 0 and 2% (I might have smuggled three 500g containers home from my Christmas vacation in London, and enjoyed some while in the UK), and I’ve had the full 10% fat greek yogurt that is available in Canada.  Upon tasting the Chobani, a) it’s better than Fage, creamier and less tart (though this might be because it was sweetened), and b) why even bother with the full fat stuff at all?, Chobani 0% is just as good.  I thoroughly enjoyed the yogurt with some strawberries.

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Backtracking to lunch, I had a romaine salad topped with chili, and some deliciously flavourful Vintage Reserve Cheddar I found in the bits and pieces basket at Whole Foods.

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Late in the afternoon I snacked on a banana.

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For dinner, I trid something new.  I tossed some cauliflower with a bit of of oil and lots of Indian Masala seasoning, and roasted it. Simple, but it turned out wonderfully delicious.  I ate that along with some roasted chicken breast and a blob of hummus.

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And dessert was perhaps unsurprisingly, not one but TWO slices of strawberry pie.  I did get the roomie to eat half a pie too, and he gave it two thumbs up so it should disappear soon enough.

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And I might be munching on a handful of crunchy FoodShouldTasteGood Chocolate chips right now, but the camera won’t confirm that.

 

Happy (Strawberry) Pi Day! March 14, 2009

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This morning I had a lovely time sleeping in, finally catching up on that hour lost last weekend, before getting myself up and running some errands.  On the way home I stopped by Starbucks to redeem a coupon I’ve been carrying around for a while since finding it in my mailbox.

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What a lot of packaging….

My Perfect Oatmeal was surprisingly good, I wouldn’t start buying it on a regular basis at 3 or 4 dollars a bowl (I didn’t really pay attention), but it’s nice to know it exists if I ever need something to eat and have no better options.  I do have another coupon that expires in April, so I will definitely be getting it  again sometime soon.  I used half of each topping packet, both the nuts and berries were really nice, but the brown sugar was one hard lump.

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I had breakfast quite late so lunch was light but tasty.  I threw some broccoli slaw, enoki mushrooms, and a bit of roasted chicken breast into the wok with a little teriyaki sauce and water to encourage steaming.

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I also had a steaming cup of Stash organic black and green Earl Grey Tea, really nice!  And a handful of almonds.

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And now the exciting bit.  I’m a geek, and I like to celebrate the fact that today is Pi Day (3.14, think about it), so I knew that this weekend I wanted to make a pie.  I couldn’t decide what to put in my pie, until I remembered to check out this week’s BSI.  Strawberry pie? Yes, please! I have a good kitchen scale, so I tend to weigh my ingredients, but the volumes should be the same, I was checking as I went along.

The Crust:

1/3 cup quick oats (40 g)
2 tbsp whole wheat flour (15 g)
2 tbsp almonds (12 g)
2 tsp sucanat, or brown sugar (6 g)
1/8 tsp salt
1 tbsp almond oil, or vegetable oil (15 g)
1 tbsp water (15 g)

Throw everything except the oil and water into a food processor, and blend until the almonds are ground.

Whisk together water and oil until relatively uniform, and add to food processor, blend until combined, the dough will be crumbly but holds together when squeezed.

This gave me enough dough to cover two 6 inch pie plates, it should be enough to cover a regular size 8 inch pie plate (A=πr2, A(2x6inch)=56.4 in2, A(8inch)=50.3 in2). Sorry.

Bake the shells for ~10 minutes at 400 degrees, until golden, and let cool.

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That picture was taken before baking.

When I was making the crust, I also sliced the strawberries and tossed them with sugar to let the juice come out, and started draining the yogurt.

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A few hours later, I started on the filling:

1.5 tblsp sucanat, or brown sugar (13 g)
1.5 cups sliced strawberries (220 g)
1/2 cup plain nonfat greek yogurt, or drain 3/4 cup regular yogurt (Canada = no nonfat greek yogurt)
2 tbsp gelatin powder (14 g, the plain, unflavoured/sweetened kind)
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp strawberry jam

First I boiled the water,  dissolved the gelatin, and let the mix cool a bit.

Then I mixed everything except the jam, and two tablespoons of the gelatin water together.  And divided the mixture between the two pie crusts.

I reheated the 2 tbsp of gelatin water with the jam until they melted together, and drizzled it over the two pies.

Then refrigerated the pies for a couple hours until set.

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At which point I happily enjoyed a piece for a snack (1/4 pie, or 1/8 of the recipe is about 100 calories!)

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I’m really pleased how this turned out, it’s just sweet enough, not tart at all from the yogurt, and the almondy crust works really well with the berries.  The jam drizzle looks nice, but doesn’t taste very strong, and I think the pie is already quite pretty, so I’ll either skip it next time, or add more jam for extra flavour impact.

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