Shitake and Brussel Sprout Tacos

I don’t even know what to say about these.  They were quite possibly one of my favorite dinners I have ever made!  And I did it without the flavor enhancing help of oil making these bad boys 100% whole food.  I originally set out to make nut tacos but things got a little carried away and I ended up using the nut “meat” as more of a topping than the main filling.  I do apologize to those who like to follow recipes to a T because all of the spices in this yumminess are “to taste”.  Leif dug this and I even got our exchange student to eat his first round without Siracha–which is quite frankly a miracle since he puts it on EVERYTHING (including oatmeal and peanut better sandwiches).

Shitake and Brussel Sprout Tacos

Ingredients:

  • water for sauté
  • 2-4 cloves diced garlic
  • 8 oz Shikate mushrooms sliced
  • 2 cups sliced brussel sprouts
  • coriander
  • cumin
  • chili powder
  • onion powder
  • garlic powder
  • cayenne
  • salt
  • pepper

For Walnut “meat”

  • 1 cup walnuts
  • salt
  • pepper
  • cayenne
  • chili powder

Other:

  • guacamole
  • cabbage for “shells”
  • grain of choice–we had a wild rice and quinoa mix
  • shredded greens of choice

Directions:

  1. Heat water in a large skillet and add garlic when the water begins to simmer
  2. once garlic is slightly browned, add brussel sprouts and sauté for a few minutes
  3. Add mushrooms and spices and sauté until soft
  4. While mushrooms and sprouts are cooking, Put walnuts and spices in food processor and pulse until crumbled, set aside
  5. Mix up some guacamole–I just mashed some avo with lemon juice and garlic salt but make it however you like!
  6. Peel cabbage leafs to make “shells”
  7. To assemble, place bussel sprout and mushroom sauté in cabbage shell, add toppings–walnut meat, gauc, grains, and shredded greens.
  8. ENJOY!


Make Your Own (Vegan) Dog Food

Leif, Buddha, Sochi, Michael and our 3 new feathery friends (we're loving us some sweet hens)

Leif, Buddha, Sochi, Michael and our 3 new feathery friends (we’re loving us some sweet hens).  Love that my dog and my boy both are learning to love all beings (they both love to watch the chickens–Sochi is very gentle with them).

When we first adopted Sochi, I ran out and bought the sweet potato and salmon Costco dog food they recommend. Its normal to feed your dog dog-food, right? That’s what dogs need to be healthy, right? However, I felt a little guilty about it. How could I justify supporting an industry that is on its way to depleting our oceans fisheries–or in the case of farmed fish, that creates unhealthy conditions for fish and creates pollution. Not to mention, I worry about the pollutants in our fish supply and the risks associated with consuming animal products.

I began to do a little research–was it possible for a dog to thrive on a plant based diet? Of course I wanted to make sure that I was doing it safely and keeping Sochi’s best interest in mind. I began reading and talking to a few people. Josh’s co-worker told me that his last dog had died of kidney disease–the vet suspected it was from a diet rich in animal proteins. His vet suggested he put his other dog on a vegetarian diet. I read of other accounts of this online.

Dogs evolved as omnivores. They need a diet that is about 20% protein to thrive (compared to humans 8-12%) and of course need a healthy dose of fatty acids. This is totally do-able on a plant based diet (just as with humans) but special attention needs to be given to protein requirements, fats, and of course a wide variety of vitamins and minerals. I ordered a supplement called Vege-dog that I sprinkle on Sochi’s food to ensure she’s getting all she needs with her home-cooked goodness.

Also to note, we eat a TON of plants in our family and our food bill is quite high. I was worried that feeding another mouth would make this super expensive. BUT, fortunately, we are seasoned bin inspectors and a trip to our local produce bin (ahem- veggie dumpster) really off sets the cost. Also to note, there are several foods you should never feed your dogs as they can be toxic for your furry love bug–

Never feed your dog:

Grapes/Raisins

Garlic/Onions

Chocolate

xyitol (found in sugar free crap)

Alcohol (duh)

Raw Yeast/Bread Dough

Macadamia Nuts

Avocados

I’m posting this knowing full well that there will be people out there that think I’ve gone coo-coo. There is no doubt that dogs LOVE meat. I’ve had to wrestle Sochi for chicken wings thrown in the parking strip before (because I don’t want her to choke on bones/there’s crazy ass people out there that try to poison animals–true fact). I’m not going to freak out when she gets a hold of safe animal products. There’s a lady at the farmers market that sells home made doggie treats that Sochi is like head of heals in love with (she thinks the market is a place where people feed her delicious goodies). I’ll probably crack one of our hen’s eggs over her food for a treat every once in a while (our friends and family collect the rest).  Also, so you don’t think I’m depriving my sweet Sochi, I give her peanut butter treats I bought at Back to Nature pet shop down the road from us and I’m working on making our own PB treats for her.

Simple Plant Based Dog Food Recipe:

3 cups cooked whole grains (brown rice, quinoa, oats, millet, wild rice)

3 cups cooked lentils or beans (switch it up to provide variety)

2 medium cooked sweet potatoes

1 cup chopped greens (spianch or kale work great!)

1 cup other veggies (I use carrots or zucchini often)

1 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup flax oil

Preparation:

I chop all the veggies, cook the grains, lentils and sweet potatoes and then mix it all up in a big pot. Sochi eats about 1 1/2 cups 2 times a day (it seems like a lot but because its not as calorie dense as store bought food containing meat, it seems to be the right about for her. I sprinkle on a spoonful of vege-dog supplement once a day!

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Day 7! That’s a week! Woot woot!

Hellooooo Sunday! Let’s see, last Sunday I was quickly finishing up the wine and vegan bday cake lingering in the kitchen. This Sunday? Well I’m a full 7 days into the 21day cleanse and feeling good! Don’t get me wrong–there have been some tough moments. I had a pretty decent detox headache going on Friday night after the juice and smoothie feast and more than once I’ve had to grab hold of that sneaky devil on my shoulder that tells me that just one latte wont hurt. He’s right, it won’t destroy my health to have a latte but I’m working my butt off to clean out my body and mind–to press reset if you will– and lattes just aren’t in those cards.

Another interesting thing– the other night we were all cozy in bed, Josh and Leif asleep, and I had a strong emotional urge to go eat! Not a physical hunger but something in my deepens of my heart thought that maybe sneaking a midnight snack would somehow heal a part of me. I fought the urge to get out of bed, snuggled close to Leif and kissed him on the head and told myself, “Girl, you’ve got all the love you need right here! Don’t go out there in the cold!”

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Finally got both Lily and Leif to sleep on a stormy stormy day. Decided to stay in the car where it was warm and quiet and go for a drive around Point Defiance for some Peace.

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Lily gives crazy stare downs. Leif is wild and tried to steal his aunties breast milk

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Just when I had built the coolest tower of my life, Leif made a beeline for it and T-I-M-B-E-R!

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Lief and I slept in his room for the first time last night! J was not feeling hot and we didn’t want to catch it. Fun to camp in the “bush”!

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One of my favorite treats lately. Teechino is non-acidic and caffeine free (it’s herbal coffee) and a tiny bit of black strap molasses is so sweet and yummy and also have 20% of your daily iron! Whoot! Take that blood!

Dinner tonight!  So good--greens, purple cabbage, carrots, chickpeas, avo, hummus made sans salt and oil, sweet potatoes, pumpkin seeds,and nutritional yeast. And oh yes, a little squirt of Brags

Dinner tonight! So good–greens, purple cabbage, carrots, chickpeas, avo, hummus made sans salt and oil, sweet potatoes, a a bit of Amaranth (the grain I don’t eat enough of but love love love), pumpkin seeds,and nutritional yeast. And oh yes, a little squirt of Brags

Side View.

Side View.

 

Alright. Week 2.  Lets do it.