My (Almost) Vegetarian Life – Reducing my Carbon Footprint

I used to make my own dog food and my own dog treats and then things got hectic and I stopped doing it. Instead, I bought what I thought was the healthiest dry food for my dogs. It cost me an arm and a leg and couple of toes, but I soon came to the realization that home made, natural food is a lot better than anything store bought. I’m still not exactly sure what’s in the dry dog food, but I know that most of it is not good for them no matter what the ads say. I still have very little time to cook elaborate meals for my dogs – or for the humans, for that matter – so I approached it differently this time. I started saving all the kitchen scraps – potato & carrot peelings, broccoli and cauliflower leaves, tomato ends and left overs from our fridge.

To all this I added some really cheap meat like pork bones with very little meat on them (actually, there’s more meat than you think on them), soup bones, chicken livers and chicken hearts – put it all in the slow cooker and got on with my life. The result – a really delicious dog food that is healthy and lasts about 5 days in the fridge. I feed this to them every evening and it’s gone in 5 seconds. It’s costing me half the price of the expensive dry dog food and it’s much better for them.

I’ve also been saving the kitchen scraps that the dogs won’t eat, for our compost heap (read about our vegetable garden here) and to make vegetable broth.

We have reduced our weekly garbage from 3 bags down to half a bag and that makes me very happy.

I’ve been making a little extra supper every night and taking it to work for my lunches. Not only is it delicious, it’s saving me a lot of time and money making lunches every night.

We’ve been going to our local Farmer’s Market every Saturday for the last few weeks and buying fresh farm vegetables grown locally. If you’ve never eaten locally grown farm vegetables, you’re missing something amazing. I can’t describe how wonderful and fresh the taste is except to say that once you’ve tasted locally grown vegetables, or even vegetables you’ve grown yourself, you’ll never want to buy store-bought vegetables again. While we’re waiting for our own vegetables to grow, we’re loving the local Farmer’s Market here. You don’t need acres of land to grow your own. We grew tomatoes, lettuce, carrots and broccoli last year in containers on our townhouse deck last year.

This week’s menu is mostly favourites from past menus with a new recipe or two:

Monday : Left over Beef & Cabbage Soup from last week, Spelt Bread. We tried Spelt bread for the first time last week and fell in love. It tastes like the most delicious whole grain bread you’ve ever had and makes really good toast. It’s excellent with soups and stews.

Tuesday : Vegetarian Meatballs from Ikea – you can buy 1kg of these from Ikea and they last 4 or more meals for us.
Mediterranean Olive Oil Pasta

Wednesday : Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie. We have fallen in love with this recipe. If you didn’t know better, you would think there was meat in this dish. It freezes really well and is excellent the next day for lunches.

Thursday : Shrimp Taquitoes, Broccoli Pesto Couscous Risotto

Friday : Date Night 🙂

Saturday : Zucchini Rollatini, Grilled Corn Salad with Feta

Sunday : Chicken & Broccoli Stir Fry. I bought the most beautiful broccoli at our Farmer’s Market this weekend – freshly picked on Saturday morning. I’ll be using it for this recipe.

Until next time …





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