Zero Waste Dogs (Part 1)

Does your best friend have paws and a tail?

Same.

Her name is Bindi and she is the sweetest little pit-mix. Her days consist mostly of snuggling and then running around and accompanying me on hikes and outdoor activities.

As cute as she is, she’s definitely made me get more creative with my zero-waste lifestyle. There are many things a loving pooch needs: food, baths, toys, treats, collars, leashes, to-go snacks, breath fresheners… you get the point. So just how do we live a zero waste lifestyle without neglecting our four-legged fur babies? Take a peek at either my recent VLOG post or the more detailed descriptions below!

BATHING

Typically, bathing your pup consists of plastic bottles filled with specialized shampoos and conditioners. If you live in a city (or the suburbs of one), consider looking up self-service dog washing facilities. These places have large drums of shampoos and conditioners for your pet AND they have stalls where you can walk in, secure your dog with the provided hook and collar to the washing area and proceed to wash him/her without getting your carpets at home soaked. The drums of product are often-times connected to hoses and you can simply flip a switch on to get the hose provided to dispense that particular product in your water.

Where I go (Treats Unleashed) also provides brushes for both dry and wet grooming, ear cleaner with cotton balls, towels, and a drying hose connected to the back wall. The dirty towels are taken and dry-cleaned to be re-used. However, do consider the hose if your doggie can tolerate it because it will cut down on water and energy waste used by the facility in washing and drying the towels! Waterproof aprons are also provided for your comfort!

Search “self-service dog wash near me” online to find a station close to you!

For those of you who do not have immediate access to a dog wash or for personal reasons need to be washing your pup at home, try using Dr. Bronner’s solid castile soap as a shampoo and then following up with a rosemary rinse for your dog. You can also use some coconut oil to rub into their fur and provide not only healthy skin, but a shining coat as well.

ROSEMARY DOG RINSE

1 heaping TSP dried rosemary

2 Cups boiling water

*Optional: one lemon for a brighter coat

Directions:

If using the lemon, cut into thin slices.

Mix the dried rosemary and lemon slices in with the boiling water and let sit for 10-15 mins before straining into a jar.

Pour the completely cooled mixture over your pup after you have finished shampooing and rinsing him/her. Do not rinse this mixture off, instead proceed to drying your dog. If using a towel, pat dry your pup instead of hard rubbing which would cause the mixture to be rubbed off

COCONUT OIL COAT CONDITIONER

1/4 rolled oats (blended until only a fine powder remains)

2 TBLS coconut oil

1 TBLS olive oil

1/2 cup warm-hot water

Optional additions (choose one):

*3 drops lavender essential oil to soothe the skin

*3 drops rosemary essential oil to help with conditioning

*3 drops peppermint essential oil to perfume coat

Directions:

Mix all ingredients together and blend for a creamy mix. Pour into a jar to use.

After shampooing and rinsing your pup, scoop out this mixture and rub into your dogs fur. Let sit for 5 minutes and then gently rinse off with warm water and dry your dog as normal.

DOG FOOD BAGS

Another problem you may run into if you purchase food for your dog versus making it yourself is how on earth to recycle your dog food bags! Most pet food bags are recycling #81 which IS NOT recyclable as is *face-palm*. Recycling #81 materials are plastic and paper layered on top of each other. However, paper and plastic have to be separated from each other in order to be processed for recycling.

From here, you have three options: peel apart the layers of paper and plastic (it should be 2-4 layers) and put them in the correct recycling bins, re-use the bags to create cool crafts which I will link to here: http://www.thriftyfun.com/tf96950438.tip.html , choose a brand of dog food that offers a free recycling mail-in program such as Wellness and Core through http://www.terracycle.com/en-US/

You can also choose to make your own dog food! Here are a few of my favorite places to go to for dog food recipes:

https://www.caninejournal.com/homemade-dog-food-recipes/

http://www.vegan-heartland.com/2012/06/making-your-own-vegan-dog-food.html

http://damndelicious.net/2015/04/27/diy-homemade-dog-food/

If you make your own dog food, be sure you are getting their required nutrients in and check with your vet first!

This infograph from herepup.com offers some basic knowledge on what dogs can and can’t eat!

Can Dogs Eat Bananas

 

 

Hopefully you found this article helpful!

Let me know what you think! There will be more Zero Waste Pet blog posts to follow!

Enjoy the dog kisses,

-D

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When To Use Egg Replacers

oAs a vegan, at some point or another, you will stumble upon the perfect recipe all to find out that it requires eggs in some form or another. This wouldn’t be that much of an issue to me before I became zero-waste since I could go pick up a packet of egg-replacer at the store and call it a day, but alas I needed something without packaging.

So fear not, I have here a list that explains not only how to use these lovely zero waste egg replacers, but WHEN to use them and what recipes they will do best in! I even have a solution for those of you who miss eating macaroons and meringues!

You can also follow along on my vlog at Little Green Goddess where I upload videos every Tuesday!

Vegan Egg Replacers

Baking Soda + White Vinegar

1 tsp baking soda + 1tsp white vinegar = 1 egg

Great for fluffy baked goods such as muffins and sponge cakes

 

Ground Chia or Flax Seeds

1 TBLS either ground flax or chia seeds + 3 TBLS water = 1 egg

*stir mixture and set aside in the fridge for 15 mins prior to use for gel to thicken

*Put seeds in a high powered blender or use a mortar and pestle to grind

Has a slightly nutty taste

Great in Breads, pancakes, and brownies

 

Bananas

3/4 of a mashed banana = 1 egg

Adds a hint more of sweetness to a recipe

Great in cookies, muffins, and cakes

 

Applesauce ( or any puree such as pumpkin or sweet potato)

1/3 Cup = 1 egg

Makes recipe a tad bit more dense

Great in cookies

 

Agar Agar Powder

1 TBLS agar agar powder + 1TBLS water = 1 egg

Whisk water and powder together, refrigerate for 15 mins, whisk again and then use

Use when a recipe calls for no more than two egg whites

**I find this in my bulk aisle, although it may not be everywhere

 

Aquafaba (bean liquid)

The liquid you get when you soak and cook chickpeas

3 TBLS = 1 egg

Beat until white and fluffy

Perfect for making vegan mayo, meringues, mousses, macaroons etc.!

 

The next two get a courtesy listing since they are not entirely zero waste (unless you make your own tofu), but do offer quite a bit as an egg replacer

Silken Tofu

1/4 Cup pureed silken tofu = 1 egg

**Use for recipes that call for lots of eggs such as custards and quiches

**Creates a very Eggy texture

Firm Tofu

**Sautee any amount with oil and spices while gently smashing into the pan with a wooden spoon to

Create scrambled “eggs” either as a breakfast, or addition to other dishes such as stir fry

**Adding 3 TBLS nutritional yeast and 1/4 tsp Himalayan pink salt per box of tofu will create that egg taste

Happy Baking!

-D

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Vegan Pantry Staples

“Hey Siri, what is the best vegan substitute for milk in chocolate cake?”

Sound familiar? Same.

When I made the switch to becoming Vegan I had literally no idea what I should be buying weekly as staples or even what substitutes would be best for what recipe.

Here’s what I found out: being vegan is about an entirely new lifestyle. If you’re planning on being a vegan, I highly recommend giving up on the notion that you will eat the same things… but with non-dairy or meat substitutes. Life will get complicated with all the time spent measuring and Googling replacements. You may not realize it now, but those two minutes spent asking Siri what a good replacement is will get frustrating. Instead, be open to trying new tastes and textures! You’ll be shocked at how delicious the alternatives are!

Completely changing your diet without the right tools is like working on a car without any spare parts. Sure, you could just use what you have already, but what happens when you need a new engine and can’t build it out of your old car seats?

You go get yourself a new engine. That’s what happens.

When you go Vegan, get yourself a new engine and let go of any preconceived ideas about what you think you will be eating and embrace foods from all cultures and places. Becoming Vegan is less like limiting your options and more like expanding your perspective on what you can enjoy meal-wise.

This is what you need to have at all times in order to survive in a plant-based diet:

*note that in the key, any items listed as having packaging can be made from a bulk item to create a zero Waste option

Key: BLK = Found in bulk section, R= packaging is recyclable, C= packaging or skin is Compostable

*Note: recycled and compostable packaging does depend on brands, however the ones I denote do come in brands that allow for this

*Note: for bulk items, bring your own container into the store and write the tare ( weight of the container without anything in it) on the container so that you know how much to pay for at the check-out.

  • Flour ( about 2.5 lbs per week)  BLK
  • Sugar ( 2 lbs will go a long way) BLK
  • Salt (Sea Salt) BLK
  • Pepper BLK
  • Non-Dairy Milk : Soy, Coconut, Almond, and other… Almond Milk is heavier and sweeter than soy, but soy has better potential to be used in cooking because of it’s lack of flavor. Coconut is great in Asian cooking and in desserts. Any of them unsweetened will work perfectly fine in cooking, however they do come in flavors for general drinking. You could also buy raw almonds, soybeans, oats etc to make this zero Waste R
  • Cashews ( 3 lbs per week) You can use this to create sauces and “cheeses” for creamier recipe. *Buy raw and unseasoned BLK
  • Nutritional Yeast: ( .5 lb) This will give “cheese” sauces their flavor BLK
  • Baking Powder: non- aluminum BLK R
  • Baking Soda (used for everything from cleaning to cooking) BLK R
  • Rice ( choose your favorite! Mine is jasmine or brown) BLK
  • Quinoa ( I alternate weeks that I buy quinoa with weeks that I buy rice) BLK
  • Pasta (If you want quick and easy meals, pasta is a must! Penne proves to be very versatile) R
  • Coconut Oil: There are two main types of organic coconut oil- refined and unrefined.
    • Refined: Not much flavor, made from dried coconuts, heats to 400 degrees F
    • Unrefined: Coconut flavor, made from fresh coconuts, heats to 350 degrees F
    • I go back and forth between them, but have found I prefer refined for cooking, so long as it is organic. R
  •  White Miso Paste! If you want delicious Japanese soups in ten minutes and creamy flavorful sauces, this is your jam. *Make sure that this says it is vegan on the label. Traditional Miso Paste is made with Dashi which contains flakes from fish. R
  • Vegannaise: This guy is so/so. If enjoyed mayonnaise previously, then go ahead and pick up a bottle to make the transition easier, but I don’t find I need it anymore. R
  • Bananas: These bad boys are going to be your best friend. From overnight oats and quick smoothies to decadent desserts and ice-creams, bananas are a must. *Wash organic bananas lightly after purchase because flies tend to lay eggs in the peel and then you’ll have annoying fruit flies for days on end. C
  • Earthbalance Vegan Butter sticks: Perfect in pies or on bread, I pick up one pack each week. C R
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil: You probably already have this, but believe it or not, it is offered in the bulk section of some markets! Bring that bottle and reuse! BLK
  • Vinegar: White and Apple Cider. Also found in the bulk section, these goodies are great for fast flavor or for household cleaning and beauty hacks!
  • Oats! I prefer using regular rolled oats over the quick rolled, but that is personal preference BLK
  • Herbs: * All are in bulk sections and compostable. If fresh, buy in season at Farmer’s markets.
    • Basil: fresh and dried
    • Oregano: dried
    • Thyme: dried
    • Rosemary: dried
    • Allspice: comes powdered
    • Cinnamon: Powdered for cooking and baking, but sticks for infusing
    • Nutmeg: Powdered is much easier, unless you prefer the struggle of grating a tiny nut
    • Paprika: comes powdered
    • Parsley: Dried, but fresh parsley is also lovely on pastas and in soups
    • Chili: Comes powdered
    • Red Peppers: Comes crushed
    • Cumin: Whole AND powdered
    • Ginger: I buy my ginger whole and use a mortar and pestle to grind it as I use it medicinally, but many prefer the powdered version
    • Curry: Comes powdered in many flavors depending on the cuisine
    • Onion and Garlic: Both come powdered
    • Vegetable Broth: Comes powdered to reduce packaging! (Crazy, right?!)
    • Turmeric: if you are used to Indian cooking, like I am, this is a staple
  • Fruits and Veggies: Eat in season! There’s a great list of what is in season when on  http://www.cuesa.org/eat-seasonally/charts/vegetables You can search by season, or by recipe! C
  • Odds and Ends:
    • Onions:2 large yellows a week are fine for cooking, but red onions are delicious on sandwiches and in salads
    • Shallots: These sweeties are a chef’s secret weapon. Spicy and tangy, you can create masterful recipes with one or two a week
    • Garlic! Buy it fresh! Store in open air and you have meals for weeks
    • Bread: There are plenty Vegan options available, but look for my post on some favorites coming soon!
    • Condiments: Mustard, Ketchup, Soy Sauce, Worchestichire Sauce, Soy Ginger Sauce…. the list is endless, but many of these can be made at home, so check back here for some recipes coming shortly!

There are so many others I could add on, but this is the list I wish I had when I did grocery shopping for the first time on my own. Disregarding being Vegan for a moment, most people that I have met don’t even know what herbs are which and how you should use them! Tagging along with that, there are so many other people that count on meat as the center of the meal that when that is taken away they are uncertain of what else there could possibly be to eat. If this is you, have no fear! I promise that together we will have you licking your fingers and begging for more “rabbit-food”.

Here’s a quick chart of what flavors you can achieve with certain herbal blends from Visual.ly.com

Happy eating! Check back soon for some scrumptious meals and tips on buying bulk!

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Zero Waste Vegan Choc-Chip Pancakes

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE pancakes. However, I keep running into two major problems. 

  1. All the pancake mixes I find seem to be in boxes…in plastic bags within them 
  2. Eggs and milk are often used 

And as easy as it is to just replace the dairy and eggs in the pancakes, I’d rather just have a recipe that didn’t call for them at all. Not to mention, having a pancake mix free of plastic and cardboard waste would be RAD. 

So, here you are! I’ve come up with a base recipe that you can add ingredients to (such as blueberries) for yourself! 

Zero Waste Vegan Pancakes

  • 1 cup + 2 TBLS non-dairy milk
  • 1 Cup Flour 
  • 2 tsp agave* optional for a sweeter pancake
  • 1 large over-ripe banana (almost fully black in color)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 TBLS organic canola oil
  • Coconut oil to cook with 
  1. Smash banana into a thick paste and add agave (if using), non-dairy milk, and vanilla. Mix well 
  2. Add flour and mix 
  3. Add 1/2 C of the mix-in of your choice (chocolate chips, fruit, nuts) 
  4. Heat pan over medium heat and add a bit of coconut oil.
  5. Cook the pancakes on one side till you can see a golden brown outline around the edges then flip once and cook the other side through
  6. Serve and enjoy! 

P.S. The Lucky’s Market on Manchester in St. Louis, Missouri has bulk vegan mini chocolate chips 

Enjoy! 

-D

 Root Vegetable Hash

Probably one of the easiest “recipes” (if you can even call it that) is to make roasted root veggies as a breakfast hash. 

It ends up being a very satisfying and filling brunch meal. Usually, I will just toss any root veggies I have on hand in, but I always include russet potatoes and red onions. The onions caramalize in the oven giving this savory dish a nice sweet finish without adding any sweeteners. 

To me, this is lick-your-lips good and hopefully you’ll agree! 

Root Vegetable Hash 

Preheat Oven: 375F

  • 1-2 russet potatoes
  • 1 large carrot
  • 2 medium parsnips
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1/2 red onion 
  • 3 TBLS High Temp Cooking Oil
  • 1 tsp salt 
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme 
  • 1 TBLS dried thyme (or 1 1/2 TBLS if no fresh thyme is available)
  • 1/2 Tsp garlic powder 
  1. Preheat your oven to 375F and grease a baking pan with oil
  2. Chop all veggies into very small cubes including half the onion then toss into a large bowl
  3. Heat the oil up on medium and pour over veggies 
  4. Add spices and herbs then spread out one layer thick on baking sheet 
  5. Bake for 30 mins, stirring/flipping vegetables around at the 15 min mark
  6. Let cool and serve in your favorite dish! 


Happy eating! 

-D

Vegan BBQ “Wings”

Okay, I won’t bore you with the details of my life because these wings are the BOMB. Seriously. And they can be made without purchasing anything out of the ordinary. I’ve seen many recipes for these on Pinterest, but none of them seemed to capture that smokiness and subtle sweetness in the batter. And then BAM! Today, I got hungry and made my own! Here you go! 

Ingredients: 

1 Head of Cauliflower

2 1/2 Tsp garlic powder

2 1/2 Tsp Paprika

1 TBLSP chili powder 

1 C flour (+more to thicken)

3/4 unsweetened soy milk (or other non-dairy milk

Oven: 450F

  1. Break the cauliflower apart into smaller florets. 
  2. Cut any large florets into smaller bite sized pieces
  3. Combine flour and milk with whisk until thickened. Adding more milk or flour to get a brownie-batter type thickness
  4. Add spices and whisk some more 
  5. Dip the florets into the batter, fully coat, and shake off excess
  6. Lay the florets on a greased baking sheet (use any oil you would like to grease it
  7. Bake for 20 mins or until golden brown 
  8. Take out and coat in your favorite BBQ sauce (or any other sauce of your choosing) with a brush 
  9. Put back in oven for 10 mins to glaze the sauce on
  10. Take out and brush on one final coat of your sauce! 

Enjoy!! ❤