Plentiful Plants

Daily eats of a Torontonian student

All For Show July 22, 2009

When I got up this morning I fixed myself some quick brunch before heading back to work.  S&M salad.  I think this is becoming my lazy salad, I don’t have to pull everything out of the fridge and think to decide what I want, I just follow the ingredients list.  Today I even had the dulse, hemp seeds, and rosemary crackers already broken up and sitting in a baggie leftover from when I brought the salad to work a couple of days ago.

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I took along a snacky, blueberries and apricots.

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And dinner was a chips and dip plate.  Zucchini and carrot chips with mole.

2009_07_22_dinner

And dessert was going to be a simple peach, but since the mandoline was already dirty from slicing the zucchini, I fancied it up for the blog.  I sliced the peach thinly and drizzled it with a mixture of tahini, honey and water (tasty!) and a few sesame seeds, just for show.  And I’m going to enjoy it with some SYTYCD.  I can’t believe Wednesday’s already over!

2009_07_22_peach

 

What you do you mean tonight?

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.

2009_07_21_monster

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

2009_07_21_lunch

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

2009_07_21_bread

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.

2009_07_21_pineapple

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.

2009_07_21_kabocha

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.

 

Falafel-ly Yummy July 16, 2009

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Only half a day left to what has been a pretty crazy busy week! And it looks like I’ll actually get the weekend off, yay! All the better for going to see some wizarding action at the movies. However, tomorrow will also likely bring with it the posting of my tuition fees to my account, ewwww. I’m predicting $9400, which I know isn’t that much compared to some American schools, but compared to Arts and Science programs at most Canadian universities, that’s high! Silly engineering being a professional program.

Anyways, this morning started off a bit differently since I didn’t have to go to all the way up to work (in Markham) right away, only to Spadina Station for the morning. I thoroughly enjoyed a bowlful of oatgurt topped off with a peach and a spoonful of maple syrup. This bowl was truly divine!

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I was able to stop off again at home around noon to drop off my hard hat, vest, and safety boots and grabbed some melon while I was at it to hold me over for the ride up to work.

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Once there I munched through a container of cucumber, red pepper, carrot, and cherries. Plus I had most of a fresh whole wheat bagel I found in the work kitchen for someone’s birthday. And yes, I’ll admit it, that is a hair in my lunch and not on your computer screen. It was removed after the picture. At least it was my own 🙂

2009_07_16_lunch

I was a busy bee all afternoon and didn’t get home till almost 8, at which point I made sliders! Not your typical slider though. On a base of collard greens I stacked tomato, cucumber, Sol Falafel patties, and the tahini-lemon sauce they came with. Om nom nom. Those patties are pretty awesome.

2009_07_16_falafel

 

Feeling a Little Nutty July 15, 2009

A little fruity, a little nutty, it’s been an uninspired day in the realm of my eats. I’ve been busy doing other things and just went with what was fast and easy.

It started off with breakfast. I enjoyed a slice of my roomie’s parent’s homemade zucchini bread (including homegrown zukes and walnuts from my parent’s tree), cherries, and Amazing Grass Superfood (the regular flavour) mixed in homemade vanilla almond milk. I don’t know if it was just the vanilla fooling my taste buds, but I swear this powder tasted like chocolate, when it was just the plain flavour. And that can only be a good thing, right? Two thumbs up for sure.

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Later in the morning I enjoyed some sweet honeydew melon.

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And for lunch, leftover sprouted amaranth tabouli, with extra parsley added.

2009_07_15_tabouli

And in the afternoon I snacked on some dates and almonds.

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Then a super simple dinner of a kale/pineapple/banana green monster.

2009_07_15_monster

And an extra dose of dates and nuts in the form of an awesome Apple Pie Larabar.

2009_07_15_larabar

I really should make some sort of non-produce, non-dried fruit/nut snacky item to keep on hand without worrying about it going bad. And without a dehydrator. Any suggestions?

 

Leftovers Galore July 14, 2009

This morning started out with a sweet and tasty green monster. In the mix was lots of kale, a banana, nectarine, and chia seeds.

2009_07_14_monster

For lunch I repeated my lunch from yesterday (I just made extra yesterday), with a salad mess of broccoli, zucchini, asparagus, red pepper, and a hemp nut butter/lemon/mustard dressing.

2009_07_14_lunch

I had the most wonderful snack, a fresh batch of oatgurt with a peach and a tiny drizzle of maple syrup. Absolutely delicious. And you can tell there are definitely bacteria growing when the lid of the container you put your snack in is puffing out when you go to open it in the afternoon. I’m counting on them being good bacteria considering they haven’t made me sick yet 🙂

2009_07_14_oatgurt

For dinner I used the rest of my sprouted amaranth mixed with tahini and lemon juice to make a tabouli type deal with parsley, sage, tomato, and carrot. It’s really good, plus there are even more leftovers for lunch tomorrow!

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And cherries for dessert.

2009_07_14_cherries

 

Non-yogurt Dressing Love July 13, 2009

For breakfast this morning I was happy to blend up a green monster. This morning’s incarnation included a nectarine, a few frozen grapes, chia seeds, and kale.

2009_07_13_monster

For lunch I discovered the most fabulous salad dressing. Remeber when I was loving the yogurt/mustard/chives salad topping? This tastes like that (except without the chives, because I didn’t think to add them this morning). It was a mix of hemp nut butter, lemon jice, and mustard. I used it to dress a pile of broccoli, red pepper, and zucchini.

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Lunch dessert was blueberries and few brazil nuts.

2009_07_13_blueberries

Later in the afternoon I enjoyed a Coconut Cream Pie Larabar before heading home.

2009_07_13_larabar

For dinner I mixed up sprouted amaranth with a little lemon and tahini, then stuffed it into delicious collard wraps with a tomato. Not the cleanest thing to eat with tomato juice squirting everywhere despite my best containment efforts, but delicious none the less 🙂 Along side were some cherries. The rest of my blueberries disappeared to, but they were too sneaky for the camera.

2009_07_13_dinner

 

Mini-Monsoon July 6, 2009

When I got to work this morning we were sad to discover our field trip was to be delayed till later this week because it was “a mini monsoon” up north (my boss’ words) and they had in fact stopped construction for the day. So instead of discovering new physical territory today, I only discovered a new tasty protein powder. My morning green monster contained chia seeds, half a banana, brazil nut milk, Strawberry Spirutein, and a bunch of spinach. It literally tasted like CANDY. It’s pretty sweet, so it’s not something I’m planning on drinking it every day (not that I do that with protein powder anyways) but it’s nice to know about if I want something that’s more of a treat.

2009_07_06_monster

For lunch I fixed a fantastic salad mess of asparagus, carrot, zucchini, avocado, and chives dressed in a mixture of tahini and lemon juice. Love that dressing.

2009_07_06_salad

And lunch dessert was strawberries, raspberries, and CHu. I loved that by lunchtime, the CHu had “melted” and coated all the fruit perfectly (and deliciously!).

2009_07_06_berries

And later in the afternoon I dug into a Key Lime Pie Larabar. I think this a serious contender for my favourite Larabar flavour, YUM! And as you can see, I was in a bit of a rush leaving this morning, so I grabbed my keys, metropass, and larabar all in one feel swoop and didn’t bother taking the time to put the other stuff down to snap a picture. Which also led to me forgetting about hiding my mangled finger, but at least you don’t have to see the other side.

2009_07_06_larabar

For dinner I cooked up another salmon filet, this time with sesame oil, orange juice concentrate, and dill, then ate it on a bed of red leaf lettuce and tomato, with the excess pan juice as dressing, delicious.

2009_07_06_salmon

Then for dessert I was informed by the roomie that I must try a Dare Cocoa Chocolate Chip Cookie bar, and since he so kindly provided me with one, I did. Oh my goodness yummy! It’s a good thing I don’t have a whole box of them, because I can see them being seriously addictive.

2009_07_06_cookie

 

Epic Fail May 8, 2009

Before getting to today’s slightly scarring experience, let’s back track to last night’s bed-time snack.  I tried my pumpkin chips (that I bought a feww weeks ago along with mushroom chips).  They were okay.  They get points for being non-greasy, but didn’t they have much, if any pumpkin flavour and they were a but dry, like over baked squash.  Not buying these again…but I must go back for the mushrooms, and to try the apple chips….

2009_05_08_chips

This morning I had my appetite slightly ruined by part one of the day’s failure, which I cover later, so I ended up being hungry, but with only 10 minutes before I had to be out the door.  So I quickly grabbed whatever, and ended up with a bowl of Kashi GoLean Crunch (more hiding under the yogurt), yogurt, banana, and the last of my PB2 ;_;.  At least this breakfast managed to take a bad taste out of my mouth, and by the end I was enjoying it (quickly!)

2009_05_08_breakfast

For lunch I continued with my veggie and fruit spree.  There was a container of snow peas, carrots, cucumber, celery, and red pepper with left over pumpkin soup for dipping.

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And a container with a mango and TWO apples, gala and golden delicious (in honour of Sharon 🙂)

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For dinner I tossed romaine in my new favourite yogurt/whole grain dijon/chive dressing and topped it with a steaming pile of broccoli.

2009_05_08_dinner

Now what was my scarring experience that started in the morning and ended with some kitchen experiments tonight?

Last weekend I bought a papaya. It was completely green, but so were the other ones in the pile at the (chinese) grocery store. I figured it would ripen on the counter. By this morning, the papaya was still green, but it was a bit softer than on Sunday, so I figured it must be ripe, but just be a different variety than usual, like how mangos come in different colours. So I sliced it open and found this.

2009_05_08_papaya

I was suspicious.  Mostly because I was at least expecting the seeds to look the same. So before cutting it up and adding it to my lunch, I licked it (what? I’m the only one who’s going to eat it anyway). It was HORRIFYING. It’s ridiculously astringent, like unripe persimmons (I’ve lost one or two to not being able to tell when those things are fully ripened). I was going to throw the whole thing out, but thought I would stick in the fridge at least for today to see if the internet offered any useful information about green papayas. I looked them up during a slow period at work and found suggestions to cook them.

I was skeptical, but I gave two methods a try tonight (I was NOT about to try it raw again, no matter how many recipes for thai green papaya salad I found). One chunk took a trip in the oven with cinnamon and honey, and another one was boiled by itself so I could try it and add things later if it tasted any better. Both methods worked to take away the astringency, but once that was gone, the papaya still had a weird taste to it that I was not enjoying. The baked version was slightly better simply because it was drowned in honey, but still not very good and I didn’t bother eating more than a bite of either dish.

2009_05_08_cooked papaya

At least the experience is over, and I know better for next time. And this counts as me trying a new food right? No matter how accidentally, and unsuccessfully? I must look for something (hopefully) better for Katie’s Challenge this weekend….

I did finish the night on a better note though with tasty, crunchy roasted chickpeas. I mixed one can of chickpeas with 2 T tahini and 1 T cinnamon and roasted them in the oven at 400 for about an hour. The first batched (pictured) was a bit over cooked because I stopped check them so often and waited too long, but the second batch was perfect, some crunchy, some slightly soft still on the inside, just the way I like them. And I hope the person I give them to tomorrow likes them too 🙂

2009_05_08_chickpeas

 

Backwards April 19, 2009

I unintentionally ate backwards today.  Dinner for breakfast was a La Tortilla Factory Multigrain wrap filled with spinach, red peppers, cucumber, and the leftover Lemony Hummus Style Blended Quinoa.  The wrap was a bit over stuffed, which lead to messy eating, but it was da-lish.

2009_04_19_breakfast

For lunch I had a huge bowl of roasted goodies.  Cauliflower, celeriac, pepper squash, and brussel sprout were all tossed in olive oil, salt and pepper, and cisped up in the oven, and I ate the last of the pork tenderloin along with a drizzle of ketchup.

2009_04_19_lunch

Then I showed some restraint and only blended two things this afternoon, one of which I didn’t even eat, it’ll show up in lunches this week.  The consumed vita-mix treat was a green monster, almost the same as yesterday’s because it was so good, just spinach and a russet apple.

2009_04_19_monster

And later I just had to dig into this bag that I found in Chinatown this morning.  I bought the mushroom and pumpkin chips, but there were also green bean, apple, and I think pineapple (I might be making that one up)?  The mushroom ones, are really good.  The flavour is nice and mild shitake, not super overpowering like I was afraid of, and they aren’t greasy at all, just perfectly crunchy.

2009_04_19_mushroomchips

And to end the day’s eats, all I wanted was oatmeal.  And it has been a while, so I went with it.  Besides, it’s not like I haven’t eaten enough veggies yet today or anything.  Into the pot went steel cut oats, a banana, raisins, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.  Look at how dark the oats are, I like my bowl heavily spiced.  Then I topped everything off with more raisins, and Kashi GoLean Crunch.  It really hit the spot.  This was actually the first time I’ve made steel cut oats in a pot, and I liked that they were a lot chewier than my slowcooked version.

2009_04_19_oatmeal

And now for Sunday night CTV time, and new Desperate Houswives, finally!

 

Bright Sunshine and Lemons April 17, 2009

20°C

20°C!

That’s all I have to say.

Well not really, but it is beautiful outside 🙂

I started off my morning with a crunchy bowl of Nature’s Path Flaxplus Pumpkin Raisin Crunch cereal with unsweetened vanilla almond breeze. Could there be anymore raisins in a bowl? I love it.

2009_04_17_cereal

I made a big salad for lunch. You should recognize the veggies by now, I’ve got a lot of them in the fridge, spinach, snow peas, carrot, cucumber, red pepper, and pork tenderloin. And for dressing I added a bit of water to an almost empty bottle of honey mustard to get the stuff stuck on the sides.

2009_04_17_salad

In the afternoon I snacked on honeydew melon and a ya pear. I was rather amused to see the sticker on the pear said “yali” where you would normal find the variety name. I wonder who made that decision, since just “ya” is the variety name, like bosc, or bartlett, and “li” means pear in chinese.

2009_04_17_fruit

I also had a handful of almonds before heading home for the weekend.  The leftover smoothie from yesterday (kale, vanilla yogurt, orange juice concentrate)  I had as a morning snack.

2009_04_17_smoothie

For dinner tonight I fixed up my BSI: Lemon recipe! One of the things I love to use lots of lemon in is hummus, but plain old hummus seemed kinda borning for a BSI entry. I was considering more savoury oatmeal blended CCV style, but didn’t want the dish to be too goopy, I wanted a bit more texture. Then my eyes, which were looking at the assorted oat pile on the pantry shelf started to stray. They skipped over the rarely disturbed pasta boxes, and landed on a much more interesting grain, quinoa.

So may I present Lemony Hummus Style Blended Quinoa

The ingredients for 2 servings:

  • 1/2 cup quinoa, uncooked
  • juice and pulp from 1/2 lemon (or 2 TBSP lemon juice if you don’t want to surpreme the fruit)
  • zest from 1/2 lemon
  • 2 Tablespoons tahini
  • 6 cloves roasted garlic (remember, they get much milder after roasting)
  • salt to taste (I actually didn’t add any)

2009_04_17_bsi

First I simply boiled the quinoa in water, then drained it.

While the quinoa cooked I zested and supremed the lemon. Mainly because I love supreming citrus, so much fun 🙂 And I roast garlic in big batches and keep the cloves in a jar in the fridge, but otherwise it would take 20-30 minutes in a 400 degree oven lightly wrapped in aluminum foil.

Then I threw everything in the pot with the quinoa and gave it a whirl with the immersion blender. And promptly ate a serving over a bed of spinach and grape tomatoes for dinner. Best salad topper ever, lucious lemon goodness. Simply delicious.  This definitely goes on my list of recipes to make again.  The only change I might make is to cut the amount of tahini in half if I’m not going to use it as a salad topper because it does turn out very creamy with a full 2 TB.  Must be the blending at work.

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And for dessert my roomie spoiled me again (jealous yet?) by making oatmeal cookies.  That boy just has too much time on his hands now that it’s exam season.  And I might have had two.  So many treats this week, gah!

2009_04_17_cookies

And hopefully by tomorrow I’ll have one final awesome treat, but this one will last a lot longer, and I’ll be spoiling the roomie for a change.  Stay tuned for that (I’m really hoping it works out).