Plentiful Plants

Daily eats of a Torontonian student

Cocoa Bean Bonanza July 26, 2009

Breakfast this morning was a simple bowl of snow peas, (particularly delicious) raspberries, and carrot filled with hemp nut butter and sprinkled with dulse.  Mmmm, dulse.

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Lunch was a pretty fantastic salad.  I tossed a couple slices of cubed ShaSha Co. Ezekiel bread with orange juice concentrate, lemon thyme and finely julienned beets (my fingers came out the other side fully intact :)).  Then I served the mixture on a bed of red leaf lettuce and topped it with Marti cheese shavings.

2009_07_26_lunch

Then in the afternoon I had a bit of fun.  You know that cacao-date paste I made yesterday?  And the almonds that didn’t turn into almond milk?  Well I ground the almonds into a butter, mixed it with the date-cacao paste, shaped the mixture into balls and threw them into the freezer.

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Then I went out and bought a bar of President’s Choice Organic 70% dark chocolate.  And melted it.

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After a bit of dipping, rolling, and some chilling in the freezer I ended up with these rather wonderful little truffles.  The white is just condensation since I had just taken them out for the picture.

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I also used up the little bit of extra chocolate to roll some frozen banana chunks for a snack.  You know, along with licking the spoon and quality control checks and so forth.

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Then, to add to the cocoa bean bonanaza I cooked up a HUGE pot of legumes.  I boiled 1/2 cup each pintos, chickpeas, adzuki, and black beans (which got their own pot to avoid dying everything else).  Then tossed the beans with a bag (~1 cup) each of thawed peas and asparagus from the freezer, a couple scoops of the pesto I made yesterday (maybe 3 T), the zest from a lemon and a lime, juice from half the lime, a pinch of salt, and a handful of parsley.  That big mess made one very large, very tasty bean salad.

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You maybe wondering what I’m going to do with a whole plate of truffles and a ton of beans.  Well my former roommate and her then boyfriend-now husband are about to move to England for grad school, so we’re doing one last dinner and Settlers game night before they disappear.  I’m told there will be soup, and other people are bringing unknown items.  So I’m off for the night, but I’m bringing my camera 🙂

By the way, sometimes you can find smiles in the most unusual of places.  When I went on a mission to go buy chocolate this morning, I also found three bunches of marked down (but still very nice looking) organic bananas, which I hastily added to my basket for freezing purposes.  As I was leaving the grocery store there was a giant, thunderous down pour, and even with an umbrella, I (and everyone on the street at the time) ended up with soaked pants/socks/shoes/shirts/bags.  When I got closer to home, I passed by a homeless man standing on the sidewalk, holding out his hat.  But instead of asking for spare change, I heard “Spare ticket to Maui?”  He made me smile, and while I generally don’t carry cash, I came home with only two bunches of bananas, and he seemed happy.

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Blend, Baby, Blend and an Impromtu Contest! July 17, 2009

It was so dark out today! Whenever I went to take a picture, the sun was very well hidden, and it kept threatening to start raining (spitting) but never quite came. Or I may have simple changed locations before the rain actually came in some cases.

Anyways, a blender action shot for breakfast. That monster contained a mango, chia seeds, and a whole lot of collard greens.

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For lunch I had a salad mess containing cucumber, asparagus, carrot, red pepper and tomato with a Peach Bourbon BBQ sauce topping.

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And in the afternoon half a pint of raspberries and a banana dissappeared.

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I went to Whole Foods today for the first time in a couple of months, and spent some time browsing, which resulted me in sending too much money, but ending up with lots of fun new things to try. One of those things was a hunk of Marti cheese, which is a raw ewe’s milk cheese that to me tastes kinda like a cross between parmesan and muenster (aka pretty awesome). I used it as a topping for my dinner, a big bowl of blended soup containing zucchini, carrot, lots of red pepper, a couple small dates, thyme, sage, salt, pepper, and olive oil.

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And some honeydew for dessert.

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Another Whole Food purchase that I just tried is Stash Mint green tea powder. It’s made of regular tea leaves that are ground superfine so they dissolve instantly in cold water for iced tea. Unfortunately, I’m really not a fan, I even dumped out the rest of that glass. Though to be honest, I probably should have known I wouldn’t like it given my distaste for matcha green tea. So if you do like matcha, I say give it try, you’ll probably love it 🙂

2009_07_17_tea

So how about a quick, impromptu mini contest? If you do like matcha, or are just curious, leave a comment by Sunday night and I’ll randomly choose 3 people to mail a few packets of Stash Mint Green Tea Powder. I’d like to see some of you readers come out of the woodwork!

 

All around the mulberry bush July 5, 2009

I was semi-starving when I got home from work this morning so I quickly grabbed a tomato, sliced it up, and covered it in leftover cheese sauce from yesterday. Excellent combination.

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Then I made the sad discovery that I had accidentally left out the quart of strawberries I got at the farmer’s market yesterday, and a whole bunch of them had gone moldy. So I nibbled on some while sorting through them and trimming up the good ones. Then I used a few as a topping for another bowl of chia oatgurt. I didn’t mean to fill the bowl quite so full, but there was so little left in the jar I just wanted to finish it. There’s also a big spoonful of CHu on there too, fantastic dish.

2009_07_05_oatgurt

However, I made up for the lost strawberries by making use of the 20 minute gap between starting a load of laundry and moving it to the dryer. I channeled my inner urban forager and filled up a 1L container with fresh, delicious mulberries from the tree in front of my apartment building. I’ve always thought mulberries don’t start until August, so I was very please when my roomie alerted me to the fact that the sidewalk was littered with them. And there are still plenty of unripe berries on the tree, so there as far more where these cam from.

I snacked on a few wonderful handfuls in the afternoon. I love mulberries so much! I remember sleeping over at my grandparent’s farm and picking them with bare feet, and my grandma helping me to scrub the stains off my feet afterwards.

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Along with a few figs.

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For dinner I made use of something else I foraged this morning on my walk home, day lilies! I started by sauteing beets and brussel sprouts in a little olive oil and salt. Then I made some Zesty-fied Balsamic Salmon. And finally I wilted beet greens and the petals from 3 day lilies. And garnished with a few L’Allegretto cheese shavings, and one more day lily. I loved the raw flower, plain, but I think the petals were a but lost with the strongly flavoured beet greens.

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And finally, some dessert chocolate.

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Pika, Pika, July 4, 2009

PikaCHU!  I made the most fantastic Emily inspired concoction today, but it comes last!

The morning started off with a fantastic creamy, and refreshing green monster. In the mix is kale, watermelon, lime, and brazil nut milk. And I drank it out of a bowl japanese style, because it was too big for a glass 🙂

2009_07_04_monster

For lunch I whipped up a cheesy sort of sauce, melting some agar in boiling water first, then blending it with more brazil nut milk, garlic powder, nutritional yeast, chives, green onion, fresh thyme, salt and pepper. That tasty sauce was poured over a bead of shredded brussel sprouts and chopped carrot, and topped with a few shavings of L’Allegretto cheese. It made one delicious, peppery (the sprouts!) salad.

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Then later in the afternoon some snacking happened. First was raspberries.

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Then one (or three) giant, flattened figs.

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And a handful or two of craisins.

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Then after a long nap I woke myself up with wheatgrass juice and blueberries.

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And now I’m about to enjoy a bowl of chia oatgurt with CHU. CHU (sounds so much better than CHBU) being a wonderful 1:1 combination of chocolate hazelnut butter (I food processer-ized hazelnuts with a few cacao nibs) and brazil nut milk (sweetened with stevia and vanilla). It’s SO GOOD!

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And I’m planning on bringing a Ginger Snap Larabar to work with me tonight.

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Where has the week gone? July 3, 2009

This week felt like it flew by!  First I had Wednesday off, then Thursday I left the office to do some quick work at a subway station, which meant I got home really early, then today was the normal summer hours half day!  I guess I’ll make up for it by working Saturday night (Boo!).  It’s actually not that bad, kinda fun, but it does feel like it destroys the weekend a little bit.  But then Monday is a field trip to see a bridge in Huntsville!  Aside from the freeway up to Montreal a couple of times, and one road trip to Sault St. Marie via Tobermory 10 years ago (then back via Michigan), I’ve never been to any part of Ontario north of Toronto, so to me, Algonquin Park is considered WAY up north (keep in mind that Toronto is already ~100km north of where I grew up).  You know, as opposed to WAY WAY up north by Hudson Bay where nobody lives (apparently there’s a Polar Bear Provincial Park?) or even just Thunder Bay.

Anyway, on the the eats (I just spent forever being distracted by Google Maps!)  Breakfast this morning, I used another one of those super dark plums, along with blueberries, half a banana, chia seeds, and a big handful of kale in a tasty little green monster (I brought the rest to drink at work)

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I also brought part one of lunch to work with me, broccoli, cucumber and baked kabocha drizzled with Ted Reader Peach Bourbon BBQ sauce.  Delicious.

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When I got home I was hungry for lunch part 2, chia oatgurt with a spoonful of PB2.

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Then lunch dessert/snacks, the last two Pumpkin Pie Bites.

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And a sweet, juicy, super-ripe peach

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For dinner I cleaned out the fridge with a GIANT salad containing the last of the lettuce and aspargus my parents brought me, cucumber, red pepper, chives, and the leftover tomato/avocado suace from yesterday.  And I’m pleased to report the mandoline was playing nicely today.

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And to really clean out the fridge, I also finished the kabocha and broccoli, with a bit more BBQ sauce.

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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?

 

Out On The Town June 24, 2009

So I discovered half a carton of egg whites in the back of the fridge and figured I should probably eat them before they went bad. Which meant breakfast this morning was an imitation of my Sunday Fran’s breakfast. Egg white omlette with light feta cheese, dill, chives, oregano, and thyme. I liked mine better 🙂 And on the side I had a sweet and juicy tomato.

2009_06_24_breakfast

I went to a training thing for work today, and as a result, I unexpectedly went out to lunch with my coworkers (for free for me! fun perks :)). We went to New Generation Sushi, aka my (and most people that I know’s) favourite sushi place on Bloor St. I got the sushi lunch special which was the usual salad and miso soup with 7 pieces of sushi. Salmon, tuna, squid, tamago, crab, clam, and red snapper.

Then for dinner I had what I made for lunch, a salad mess of asparagus, carrot, red pepper, avocado, and mole sauce. But I added a bed of spring mix, a handful of Kashi crackers, and a spoonful of almond butter for the crackers.

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And I plan on enjoying a Ruth’s Lemon Hazelnut MacaPower bar during SYTYCD (I didn’t forget this week!)

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