Plentiful Plants

Daily eats of a Torontonian student

The Most Efficient Pitter July 20, 2009

I made a delicious green monster this morning thanks to the use of a fruit I’ve never blended before, cherries. In the process of pitting the cherries, I figured out the best tool to use to extract the pit it definitely your teeth fater cutting the cherry in half quickly, and your cheeks are the perfect storage locations for the pits so they don’t go flying everywhere. Of course you can only do this if you’re the one who will be eating the fruit, and this method probably shouldn’t be used in polite company, but you have to appreciate the tastiness factor of the food prep stage 😀 The other ingredients were collards greens, wheatgrass ice cubes, and banana.

2009_07_20_monster

For lunch I brought along an S&M salad of romaine, spinach, and zucchini dressed in mashed avocado, lime juice and salt. I threw the dulse/hemp/rosemary/raw cracker topping in a bag to prevent it from getting soggy before lunch, and it turns out I probably should have put the salt in the bag too because my salad was definitely wilted when I pulled it out to eat. I’ve done avocado and juice on lettuce before without it wilting, so I’m guessing it must have been the hygroscopic salt that caused the problem. At least it still tasted good 🙂

2009_07_20_salad

And for snacking I had some tomato, cucumber, and sweet, sweet pineapple.

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When I got home I dipped into the date and almond stash.

2009_07_20_dates

Then I eventually got around to throwing together some dinner.  Somehow I happened on a FANTASTIC combination of flavours while creating kabocha tacos!  Into collard wraps I stuffed tomato paste, slivered leek, big slices of king oyster mushroom, steamed kabocha (sliced thinly to steam faster), and a grating of Marti cheese.  The tomato paste/kabocha/cheese combo was amazing!

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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.

2009_07_17_monster

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!

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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Lazy Summer Saturday July 11, 2009

This morning I started off with a juicy peach and a sweet banana.

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Then I skipped my morning trip to the farmer’s market due to a brief but raging thunderstorm that passed through the city.  For lunch I enjoyed a plateful of collard wraps stuffed with tomato and dill, and dipped in hemp nut butter mixed with lemon juice.

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Plus I ventured outside to collect some more delicious mulberries for dessert.

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Later in the afternoon I snacked on a deconstructed Larabar, also known as a pile of almonds and dates.

2009_07_11_almonds

Then for dinner I used up the last little bit of Bob’s Red Mill Corn Bread mix that’s been sitting in the pantry for far two long (like literally two years…but it seemed fine to me).  There was only enough to make two corn bread rolls, and I paired one with a plateful of broccoli and a President’s Choice instant vegetarian chili.  And the cornbread mix turned out quite well considering I didn’t include the little bit of egg the recipe called for after reducing it, and it was just a little bit ancient (the only thing that was wrong is they it was very crumbly).

2009_07_11_chili

 

Amazingly Ridiculous July 10, 2009

This week has been crazy busy at work (but in a good way), and I don’t even get the weekend free!  We’ve broken the every other weekend pattern of Saturday night hammer tapping and will be heading back tomorrow.  But at least we should be able to finish tomorrow 🙂

This morning I wasn’t very hungry, so I started off with a slice of cinnamon raisin bread spread with almond butter.

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Then I mixed up a HUGE (1L!) brown monster, including a new ingredient.  In the mix went lotsa kale, two carrots, a giant banana, half a pint of blackberries, and the last of my brazil nut milk (1.5 cups?), plus a bit of ice.  It was delicious, and it lasted me all through work, and into the afternoon.

2009_07_10_monster

When I got home I was offered these beautiful cookies, made by my roomie.  Ginger crinkles are my absolute favourite cookie, so obviously, I had to have one…or two (they were small!).  They were good, but not quite as good as my mama’s recipe, but worth it none the less.  I really need to get that recipe from her.  And before the old note card in the recipe box completely fades would be a good idea too….

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I put up something I was entirely unimpressed with this afternoon. I went to pick up a package at the post office, but I had no idea what it could be. Turns out it was the sample pack of Amazing Grass I ordered, but it arrived in the most ridiculous manner.

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The actual packet would fit perfectly in a regular old envelope (maybe a bit too heavy, but that only costs an extra dollar or two), but for some reason, they were shipped in a giant box, and held in place with plastic wrapped air! Not only is this not the most environmentally friendly shipping approach, it isn’t exactly the most fiscally responsible choice either. The shipping was free for me, but I can’t imagine what the Amazing Grass people were thinking paying $18 to ship something worth $3, when it would have been just as easy to ship it for less (or even easier, they would have saved me a trip to the post office with limited opening hours if it fit in my mail box).

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Anyways,  for dinner I finished the last piece of meat (of mine, but not including fish) in the freezer.  I cooked up the some organic, 100% grass fed beef, then chopped up the pieces, mixed them with ketchup, mustard, and relish, and used them as a topping for a burger salad.  The base was red leaf lettuce, yellow pepper, and the last kumato that for some reason had escaped consumption all week long.

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Now I’m off to revel in the discovery that is the begining of a new season of Torchwood.  I love me some good old scifi TV. (I’m missing Stargate this summer!)  But first, you all should NOT enter Gina’s awesome Living Raw Food giveaway, because I’m just a little in love with S&M, but the book is just a bit too expensive for my money conscious brain to handle, and it’d be WAY easier to have my own copy than to lurk in the bookstore!

 

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.

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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.

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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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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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