Thursday, April 30, 2009

Picky Vegetable Loving Dogs

Meet Gizmo and Emma. They're my two chihuahua mix fur babies. Gizmo (the brown one) was a birthday gift from my husband when we first started dating. When I got him, he could fit in the palm of my hand! We had him for a couple of years before we got Emma. She is a dog of the streets, yo. My husband saw her one day when she ran into the school he was working at. He told me about it and I begged him to get her if she came back again. On the third day, he brought her home. We waited a few weeks to see if anybody reported a missing dog or responded to our found dog ad...but nada. It's been one big, happy family ever since! Although, Emma is driving me crazy right now! She is bored with her kibble and refuses to eat it. This happens with them every couple of years.
Lately, the only way I've been getting them to eat their food is by mixing ridiculous amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables in it. They especially love apples, carrots, zucchini, frozen peas, frozen mixed vegetables and broccoli (if it's finely chopped). This is giving me great hope that I can up their intake of fresh produce and purchase less and less kibble. I've also been thinking about making their dog treats as well because it's so much cheaper.
Anyway. To any of you who have vegan dogs...kudos! I started Gizmo out on a vegan diet, but I don't know how I feel about it. Towards the end of Gizmo's trial period of veganism, he would barely eat and his coat was getting brittle. So I tried a variety of dog foods and he settled on Nutro. When he got bored with that, we moved onto Pedigree.
But now Emma is bored with Pedigree. These dogs are killing me. Right now I've been mixing rice into the vegetables until I can transition them into another dog food. Any recommendations for a good brand?

And something that the dogs have been obsessed with recently...sweet potato chews. I always get mine from Target. They are so much better than raw hides which make me want to vomit just touching them. My dogs cannot get enough of these. Though, I suppose they are just as easy to make in a dehydrator....

Speaking of...I will officially begin rawdom tomorrow. I plan to at least eat 95% raw until my birthday (June 6th...27 like what?!). I'm not sure what I will be eating but I am definitely all over some mangoes, bananas, watermelon and raw fajitas. There is lots of posting ahead. Happy Thursday to all!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Brinner's a Winner

As Scrubs comes to an end, I find myself obsessed with the idea of brinner. For those of you unfamiliar with it, brinner is breakfast at dinner time. Turk once asked Carla to make it for their anniversary.
Because I like to walk on the wild side, I made this really delicious sweet potato hash and the pancakes from Joy of Vegan Baking. So good. The hash had white sweet potato, red pepper, onion and Vegan Dad's corned beef. So flippin good. I added some cinnamon to the pancakes and it was on! They were so fluffy and buttery. Me likey!

And, of course, it's just not brinner without a tasty bev-er-rahg. So I had some Kahlua and rice milk. Mmmm.
Lucky for me, there were leftovers this morning so I could take pictures! And...and...I made Torque's fried egg thingy, which can be found in this PPK thread. I used 1/4 cup tapioca starch, a little less than 1/4 cup water, and added black pepper on top with the other spices. Definitely a great way to start the day...or night!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Convenience Eating and Changing Times

A couple of weeks ago my husband and I spent close to 30 bucks in Soup Plantation. We had never ever been before, but we thought that it seemed like a good idea. I mean, how unfriendly could it be? It's a soup and salad bar.

Let me tell you something. There is absolutely nothing satisfying about the lack of vegan options in this place. The salad bar was fine...maybe a bit too much meat. The dressings were kinda craptacular. If they didn't have dairy in them, they most certainly had honey. So I settled for low fat Italian and French...which were the only clean ones.

Out of the 6 soups that were being served, I could only eat two. The hot bar had not one single bread option that didn't include dairy or eggs. And at the end of this disappointing ride, the entire dessert bar was dairy and gelatin. Oh, except for the shriveled up grapes and pineapple. Yum!

It was then that I decided I could make this at home for much less money with better quality ingredients. So I went home and chopped a bunch of veggies. I packed them in tupperware and spent the next couple of days eating salad. How simple this made my life! Now, I'm the first to admit that I don't like salad all the time, but I do love how easy it is. Plus, throwing some beans in there or tofu maybe...makes it feel super substantial. So no more salad bars for me. I already despise buffets, but to know that I can't even get a good deal at a salad bar is disturbing to me.

In other news, I'm trying to figure out where to take this here blog. I keep coming back to the fact that I want to live more of a raw foods lifestyle, but it is going to be super expensive and/or time consuming for me to get essential things. I was thinking about starting small and accumulating more over time. A bag of cacao powder here, a Vitamix get the picture. I may be able to con my husband into getting me an Excalibur for my birthday. I currently have a dehydrator without temperature control and it's circular. It's definitely a bit frustrating.

Right now this blog has little direction. However, I do find myself most inspired by the raw community lately and maybe that will be my muse. I do promise more blogging and more reading of the blogs. Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got some dishes to do.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Nut Cheeze

Is this thing on? I've been avoiding this blog out of sheer laziness for two months. It is such a pain to get photos off my camera because of this archaic laptop. Anyway. Since last I wrote, I have become mildly obsessed with nut cheezes. I'm trying to vary my diet because of a former soy dependence. Plus, making my own cheeze is so much cheaper it's pretty disturbing.
So I decided to make a raw muenster cheeze out of cashews. I consider it my own recipe, but it was adapted when I thought about combining the recipe for basic cashew cheeze from The Raw Freedom Community and the muenster recipe from The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook. I tweaked a lot of things for what I consider a better flavor. The end result was a huge 3 cup block of cheezy greatness! Just a warning: this recipe is incredibly time consuming. It could take up to three or four days if you make your own rejuvelac.
Raw Muenster Cheeze
3 cups raw cashews, soaked overnight (8-12 hours)
2 tbsp rejuvelac (or water)
Juice of 1 small lemon (about 2 tbsp)
3 acidophilus capsules (just the powder, discard the capsule part)*

¼ cup nutritional yeast
1 tbsp tahini
½ tsp onion powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ tsp dry mustard
¼ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp ground caraway seeds


Drain and rinse soaked cashews. Blend in a food processor or high powered blender until fairly smooth, scraping down sides along the way. Add rejuvelac, lemon juice and acidophilus. Blend until smooth, then scrape into cheesecloth and place in a strainer positioned inside a bowl. If you do not have cheesecloth, I have used a fine mesh strainer and placed a paper towel over the nut mixture. It works fine. Let this sit overnight.

Add remaining ingredients and nut mixture into a food processor. Blend until everything is incorporated.

Take some plastic wrap and spray/brush with oil. Sprinkle with paprika and place the wrap in whatever mold you want. Carefully spoon the nut mixture into the mold and cover with wrap. Place in the fridge and wait several hours for it to firm up.

This is best if let to sit in the fridge uncovered for a few more hours, in order for the outside layer to harden and the flavors to meld.

Enjoy with raw crackers, tortilla chips, or whatever you like!

*Acidophilus can be found in a health store in the vitamin section. It is often used as a yogurt starter. You could also use a bit of miso instead.
Above is a variation of Ani Phyo's raw Black Pepper Cheeze. I subbed in a cup of sunflower seeds, soaked them and the cashews, and added miso and tahini. I also covered it like her red pepper patty variation. Ultimately, I've decided I hate sunflower seeds in cheeze. Like...alot. But it looks pretty.