Homemade Dog Treats Made with Juicing Leftovers

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I have been doing a lot of juicing lately. I have read so many places that juicing helps your body heal by delivering a straight shot of nutrients to your system. Since I still have torn abdominal muscles and damaged ligaments from my pregnancy, I have been doing anything I can to help my body heal. I have been starting off most mornings with a glass of carrot/beet/apple/ginger/spinach juice before breakfast. After I am finished running these goodies through the juicer, I have all this leftover fibery pulp. Adding the fiber to the compost bin is definitely one good way to use the leftovers, but I kept thinking that there must be a few better uses for this great fiber that I could whip up.

I often make some homemade dog treats for our dogs with carrots (recipe here), so I know they are fans of veggies. For my first experiment in reusing the fiber leftovers, I decided to make some dog treats. Our dogs have been going nuts over these treats, and I can barely make enough to keep up with their requests for them! These are so far their favorite treats of any they have had.

I love finding ways to utilize every last bit of nutrients, and will post another recipe tomorrow that I whipped up using the juicing leftovers! It reminds me of a funny quote from one of my favorite shows, Gilmore Girls, about chef Sookie:

Ingredients:
3 cups of vegetable/fruit fiber leftover in juicer
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup beef broth (I use homemade beef broth leftover from my pot roast recipe, coming soon)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Mix all ingredients together in stand mixer. Scoop a small amount of batter into silicone baking squares. You can find the tray that I use here. Bake in oven for 35-40 minutes, until cooked though to center. Take out and cool on wire rack (mine can be found here).

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The Perfect Snack a.k.a. Street Vendor Style Chili Lime Cucumbers

Street Vendor Style Chili Lime Cucumbers

In the theme of replicating street vendor food treats, like yesterday’s post, I wanted to share my favorite easy snack. it is especially great during the summer when cucumbers are in season and plentiful. Every time I see a street vendor selling cucumbers, I cannot resist getting one. 🙂

Ingredients:
1 peeled and sliced cucumber
juice of 1 lime
salt
chili powder

When the street vendors make it, they toss all the ingredients in a bag and shake to blend the ingredients together. I usually just put everything together in a bowl and mix to make sure all of the cucumber pieces get coated, but either way works!

Better-Than-Street-Vendor Hot Dogs Recipe

Better-Than-Street-Vendor Hot Dogs

In most parts of Los Angeles, you can often find street vendors selling some amazing bacon wrapped hot dogs. We never see any in the part of the city where we live, so I decided to make my own version of this greasy yummy mess. Plus, by making it myself, I can make sure it is actually free of my long list of food allergens. I was even able to find some hot dog buns from Ener-G that have no wheat gluten, dairy, soy, or egg! They were surprisingly tasty!

Ingredients:
1 diced green bell pepper
1/2 diced red onion
1 diced tomato
2 very finely chopped cloves of garlic
butter or margarine (I used the dairy-free, soy-free Earth Balance margarine)
juice of two limes
dash each of salt & pepper
bacon
hot dog
hot dog bun

I started by adding some margarine to a pan and cooking the bell pepper, onion, tomato & garlic over medium heat. After a couple of minutes cooking, I added in the juice from two limes, and the salt & pepper. I continued cooking until the onions were cooked through.

Next, I removed the vegetable mixture from the pan and set it aside in a dish. Then I wrapped the hot dogs with the bacon, and cooked them in the pan until the bacon was cooked to my liking.

I heated up the Ener-G buns in the microwave, which helps soften them up a little, then assembled everything together. They tasted even better than how I remember the street dog versions! The recipe above made enough topping for 6 hot dogs. Perfect for summer entertaining!

Lamb Kabobs Recipe

My grandfather used to make some amazing kabobs that everyone in our family remembers fondly. He used to say that his recipes were from his Lebanese mother’s family recipes. After both of my grandparents on my mom’s side had passed away, I found a middle eastern cookbook in their kitchen with two very well-worn pages; a tabbouleh recipe and a kabobs marinade recipe (two things that he cooked frequently). Unfortunately, we will never know if he was actually following these recipes, and whether or not his mother’s recipes actually existed. I tried the kabob recipe in the book, and after some experimentation and modification to my own tastes, I came up with a similar version that my husband and I love. I can’t remember if it is exactly like my grandfather used to make, but we think this version is pretty darn tasty.

Ingredients:
16 oz. can of peeled tomatoes
juice of 1 lemon
1 yellow onion, diced
2 dried bay leaves, crumbled
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tsp garam masala
salt & freshly ground pepper
lamb steak
chopped vegetables for skewers

I start by crushing the diced onion in a mortar and pestle to release some of the juices. Then I combine the onion, tomatoes, lemon juice, bay leaves, olive oil, garam masala, salt and pepper into a large bowl and mix to create marinade.

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I use a jar of peeled tomatoes from our garden, but regular canned tomatoes can be substituted.
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The marinade before mixing it all together.
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Then I trim the excess fat off the lamb steak, and cut it into cubed chunks.
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Once the lamb is cut up, I put it in the marinade and let it sit in the fridge as long as possible, usually a full day. When we are ready to cook them, I skewer the lamb chunks on with some chopped veggies, and grill them on the barbeque. I usually put them with some red and yellow bell peppers, onion, mushrooms, and sometimes some cherry tomatoes. The final result is shown below!5

Balsamic Scallops & Gnocchi

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I absolutely love gnocchi, and was so excited to find some frozen gnocchi recently that are both egg-free and gluten-free. I decided to do something a little different with the gnocchi than what I usually do and paired them with scallops. If you have never had gnocchi before, they are delicious little Italian potato dumplings, and a great substitute for pasta. They are very filling so you don’t need as much as you would with pasta.

Ingredients:

frozen scallops (I used 6 scallops per person)
frozen gnocchi
cherry tomatoes
fresh basil
balsamic vinegar
lemon
3 cloves of garlic
olive oil
salt & pepper

I started by lightly browning the garlic in a few tablespoons of olive oil. While that heated up, I started boiling the water for the gnocchi. Once the garlic is lightly golden, I crushed the garlic and reduced the heat to low. Then I added about 5 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, the juice from one lemon, salt & pepper. I put in the scallops, and covered while they cooked. Once the scallops were about halfway cooked, I turned them over in the pan. When the scallops were closed to being finished cooking, I added in a bunch of cherry tomatoes with the scallops to lightly cook. I also added the gnocchi into the boiling water.

Gnocchi cooks very quickly, so once they were all floating at the top, I strained out the water and rinsed the gnocchi. I combined the gnocchi, scallops and tomatoes and topped with the balsamic mixture left in the pan. To finish the dish, I topped it with a few leaves of julienned fresh basil. So easy and so delicious!

Shepherd’s Pie: Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Soy-free, & Egg-free

shephard's pie - gluten, dairy, soy & egg-free

One of our favorite frozen dinners from Trader Joe’s has been their pre-made shepherd’s pie. Unfortunately, now that I have cut wheat gluten, soy & dairy out of my diet for the baby, those frozen dinners are no longer an option for me. I decided to try making my own version, with none of the offending allergens, and we loved the end result! The best part…it made enough for dinner that night, and the other half frozen for another night. It was a little more time consuming than most of the dinners I usually make, but since we love it so much, it was definitely worth the effort.

I started with making this soy sauce alternative, recipe found here. I modified the ingredients a little and used 1 1/2 cups of organic beef broth instead of the boullion cubes and water.

For the shepherd’s pie, I started with the recipe from Alton Brown, found here. However, many of those ingredients listed are on my avoid list. Below is my list of modified ingredients. I used ground turkey instead of ground lamb since that was what I had on hand. I also made a couple of other changes, to add even more veggies into the recipe. 🙂

For the potatoes:
1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes
1/4 cup almond milk
2 ounces Earth Balance soy-free margarine
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 Ener-G Egg replacerFor the meat filling:
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 cup chopped onion
4 carrots, peeled and diced small
3 stalks of celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 container ground turkey
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-free All Purpose Flour
1 can tomato paste
1 cup beef broth
1 teaspoon soy-alternative sauce
2 teaspoons freshly chopped rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon freshly chopped thyme leaves
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
1/2 cup frozen English peas

I didn’t have to make many changes to the process Alton listed. The only notable change was with the potatoes. Since I added almond milk instead of half and half, they were a little runny. After combining the potatoes, almond milk and margarine, I brought it all to a low boil and cooked for a few minutes until thickened.Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/shepherds-pie-recipe2/index.html?oc=linkback

Turkey, Quinoa & Mixed Veggies Casserole

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One thing that I used to make fairly regularly for dinner before our son was born was a turkey and couscous casserole. Since there are quite a few things that I am now avoiding eating after noticing reactions from the baby via my breastmilk, I am trying to modify some of my old standbys so they are now free of wheat gluten, dairy & soy (as well as no egg or chicken for my own allergies). Since couscous is made from wheat, I decided to try using quinoa instead. Very similar to the couscous I am used to using, but it has the added benefits of being higher in protein and gluten-free!

I started by cooking four servings of quinoa in water in a medium saucepan. In a separate pan, I added some olive oil, two cloves minced garlic and half a package of ground turkey. I cooked the turkey until opaque, then added in about a cup and a half of beef broth. After that, I added in a variety of veggies: red and yellow baby tomatoes, chopped yellow squash (blanched and frozen from the garden), peeled and chopped sweet potatoes, and baby spinach. Once the quinoa was finished cooking, I added that into the mix as well, added salt & pepper to taste, and cooked for a few more minutes. Super easy, and I had extras to save for later!