Blood, Bones and Flesh!!

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My dog loves it! He has an amazing coat, very calm temperament, and has managed to win himself a few rosette’s at a local charity dog show for his health, good looks and for being the best in the show. No this post isn’t about my dog at all but about what our dogs love the most – FOOD!

As popularly said, “We are a nation of dog-lovers.” And so we do everything possible to keep our best friends healthy and happy. Proper exercise, love and good diet is essential to keep a dog’s temperament and health tip top.

According to some research online, we spend about £411 per year on pet food, (but I am sure some of us spend more, especially the ones with multiple number of pets). Now that is a lot of money. I love my dogs and I like to see them enjoy their food as much as I enjoy mine. A dog would naturally find raw meat, bone etc more delicious than dry boring kibbles. But the dilemma is that, the kibbles promise to be complete food and we don’t have to worry about any lack of nutrition or added supplements. On the other hand though, raw diet is cheaper, more enjoyable and believe me or not if prepared properly much more healthier too, but it is hardwork chopping those vegetables, saving those left over rice for next day, defrosting frozen meat?! It is so easy to just buy a packet of dry food, shove a cup full on a bowl and offer it to your dog as if it is some gourmet recipe.

Now every time I tell people that my dog is on raw diet – some make faces, some judge and some I just can’t seem to convince that raw is much healthier, natural and cheaper way of feeding your pet especially dogs!

raw food

I feed Rustle raw food on a budget of less than £25 a month. Whereas when he was on dry kibbles only, I was paying about £60 to £80 a month. I mean if you are going to be lazy with dog food and you care enough for your dog you would prefer buying Iams or Hills Plan or the like than Pet Shop’s complete food. C’mon it’s human equivalent of ICELAND meat which I dare not eat! Yes call me a snob! I never buy horrendous value meat or poultry. So why should my dogs be treated badly, after all if they aren’t healthy, my bank balance won’t be healthy either with all those vet bills.

Anyhow, so I have rescued a new puppy. More about her in another post. And although she is on Iams at the moment, I am thinking of putting her on raw diet for her health reasons sooner than the shift I did for Rustle. To find inspiration and gain knowledge I often go back to reading this article below written by our Aunt Penny Taylor – who is an accomplished writer, owner of about 14 lurchers and ferrets. She loves taking her dogs out hunting and has some really good stories to tell. It is amazing to see this woman in total control of her 14 working dogs when out in the wild.

More about Penny and her book here:  Sky Publications. This book is very informative for novices who would like to consider raw diet. If not it also makes a good read for the ones who think raw diet is totally barmy and painstaking.

Here’s a chapter from her book that gives an insight into doggy health and benefits of feeding raw and negatives of feeding dry:

 Nutrition[1]

Let me know what do you feed your pet and what do you think of raw diet?

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Lentil and Cauliflower Curry

This recipe, although sounds and tastes very Indian; it is actually inspired by a South African relative of my ex-colleague. I had this curry for lunch when I was at a painting workshop in Steiner School.  It is easy to cook, healthy and most importantly tasty!

So let’s forget the same old boring and staple cauliflower and cheese, and add a bit of spice in our dinner menu…

lentil and cauliflower curry

Ingredients:

1 tsp cumin seeds

1tsp black mustard seeds

2 bay leaves

1 tbsp minced garlic and ginger

1 finely chopped chilli (optional ‘not’)

2 medium sized onions

2 medium tomatoes, chopped

1 medium potato, diced

1 small cauliflower cut into bite sized pieces

1tbsp tumeric

1.2 tsp chilli powder

1tsp cumin power

1tsp garam masala

2 tsp sugar

salt to taste

1/2 cup of red lentil

1 tin of coconut milk (or cream)

2tbsp oil (Ghee preferably)

Method:

Par cook the lentil and set aside.

In a pan, heat oil. When hot, add cumin and black mustard seeds. Once they start crackling, add bay leaves, garlic, ginger and chillies. Then add onions and fry. Once the onions turn translucent, add potatoes and cauliflower along with turmeric, chilli, cumin and garam masala powder with the sugar and salt. Fry for about 5 minutes and then add the tomatoes.

Let it cook in the tomato juices for a few minutes and once the tomatoes melt, add the lentil, coconut milk and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes or until the potatoes and cauliflowers are soft. Add water if necessary. Garnish with coriander.

Served best with hot plain white basmati, pitta bread (or chapati), pickle, yoghurt and a side of fried fish (in our case we had an omelette). But honestly, one can enjoy it as it is!

Tips:

For added flavour, as my mum often suggests for most curries, add a blob of ghee or butter and let it melt gently on the pot of curry and rice. To make it healthier, feel free to add your choice to vegetables like carrots, beans and peas all go very well.

Enjoy and let me know if it kept you warm on a cold winter’s night.

Pour Some Sugar On Me….

The song Pour Some Sugar On Me by Def Leppard (my teenage and dare I say all time favourite), for some might have some seductive motif to it, but I took it literally.

I braved the crisp winter so far by layering myself up but now it’s starting to make my skin tight and flaky – Yuck! It gets itchy and eventually sore.

So I made this body scrub to remove the dry skin and voila – it worked!

body scrub

Here’s the ingredients:

Muscovado Sugar (or any dark sugar, even white works just fine)

Table salt or sea salt

Baby Oil (I used the one with Aloe Vera as it smells nice – I am a fragrance freak)

Method:

Mix 1 part oil to every two parts of sugar and salt.

So I made my body/face scrub with 3 table spoon of Sugar and Salt Each. Then I mixed it well with 2 table spoon of baby oil.

Get into the hot bath or warm shower, then scrub all over including your face. Rinse it. Don’t use any soap. After coming out of the shower/bath simply moisturise yourself all over with the same baby oil (my choice) or any other lotion of your preference.

It works the first time. Try it and let me know what do you think.

It is cheap and easy. I use it every other day as my skin is very dry but one can increase the intervals as the skin starts feeling better. Ingredients are available almost all the time at home. Baby oil costs less than a £1. You can make a lot and preserve it in a jar for weeks.

It not only takes the dry skin off but also helps remove blackheads from your T-Zone leaving your face and body smooth like a baby.

And in reference to the song above, the end result of the scrub can be quite seductive to some too!