I had a pound of ground buffalo 90/10 in my freezer, so I decided to use it for this dish. I highly recommend finding buffalo and trying it. It has a tangier, less fatty taste than beef. Any ground meat or poultry will work, but it will change the calorie count (courtesy of livestrong.com). This recipe makes only two complete layers. You can certainly make it taller by doubling the ingredients.
Eggplant Buffalo Lasagne
Eggplant and Buffalo Lasagne
3 small eggplants, sliced 1/4” lengthwise (use a mandoline if you have one) I used graffiti eggplants, which were lovely.
1# ground buffalo (or beef) 90/10 or less
1 small box cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 med onion, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 sm call tomato sauce
2 Tbl tomato paste
1 15 oz container part skim ricotta
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup shredded parmesan
1/4 tsp dried tarragon
2 tsp dried basil (separated)
1 tsp marjoram
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbl worcestershire sauce
Thinly slice the eggplant longways and put on a single layer on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and s/p. Roast in a 425F oven for about 10 mins, until it gets soft. When done, set aside. Turn oven down to 375F.
Put a large skillet over med hi heat and add olive oil, onions, peppers and mushrooms. S/P to taste. Turn down heat and cook over medium until they are softened but not brown; set aside.
In the same pan, add the crumbled buffalo (or beef) over med hi. Add garlic, worcestershire, tomato sauce, tomato paste, tarragon, 1 tsp basil, marjoram and cinnamon then sautée about 4 mins. S/P to taste. Turn off heat and let it stand.
Put one 15 oz container of part skim ricotta in a bowl with 2 beaten eggs and mix thoroughly. Add 1 tsp basil and s/p to taste.
Spray a 9×12 baking dish thoroughly with nonstick spray. Line bottom with eggplant slices, meat, veggies, ricotta and mozzarella. Do this procedure again. Over the top layer of mozzarella, sprinkle on the parmesan to get a lovely color on top.
Bake at 375F for about 40 minutes until bubbly and the top is browned.
My big 5-0 has come and gone. Meh. I did have a good birthday with gifties from my bestie Sonya and my beloved. Sonya got me a Rume bag with Misangela and a PURPLE UNICORN! She also got me a hard copy of The Girls of Atomic City and a Bad Cat calendar. Oh, and some cool purple spotted kitty earrings! Nick got me the Christine Ha cookbook, the Neil Gaiman/Chris Riddell illustrated collection with Fortunately the Milk, Coraline and Ocean at the End of the Lane and best of all: CATBUS!!
So, yeah. Birthday out of the way. I’m glad of that. The weirdness was that my brother called me the night before my birthday. YES, my brother. No one died, either. Despite how badly those people treat me, I still like to hear from them every now and then. The best bit of gossip from the call was that my niece’s useless twat of a babydaddy has also moved in with my brother. Presumably to babysit while the niece goes to school. Riiight. Free ride, anyone? My brother is supporting FIVE people on his meager salary. And let’s not forget paying the niece’s huge pregnancy bills. What a clusterfuck.
I’ve been having anxiety/panic attacks pretty regularly. Not huge deals, but annoying. For me, a panic attack is feeling trapped, short of breath, crying, sitting and staring blankly or sometimes outbursts of anger. In any mix. They suck no matter how they manifest. I’d love to have some xanax or something to take the edge off when I have them, but my useless doctor won’t give me a Rx. Because she hates me. Whatever, bitch, I got Dr Alcohol to get me through.
Went to see Straight No Chaser at the Fox Friday night. It was a really great show. I’ve never been to an acapella show and WOW is it awesome! The vocal percussionist was especially incredible – he made sounds for the whole show, every song. I don’t know how he keeps his voice up for that! At the end, they did a song with no amplification, which was by far, the most intense concert experience I’ve ever had. The whole house was SILENT. After a few rednecks got their “FREEBIRD” shouting out of the way, of course. You could have heard a pin drop in that theatre when the boys did their thing. AMAZING. If you get the chance, go see Straight No Chaser. It’ll change the way you think about concerts.
We went out and about yesterday and I finally got my Red Lobster fix. Maybe it’s because I was raised with it, but every now and then, I gots to get my Red Lobster on! Those biscuits! Our lovely server brought us a bag of biscuits to bring home which we are having for breakfast! YUM!
I’m feeling just fair for the most part. I’m very run down and tired almost all the time. I think *I* might have some sort of illness, too. Nick and I think that we both have autoimmune problems and we also think they’ll never get treated. I am 90% sure I’ve got overall autoimmune problems because 1. I’ve got inflammation constantly and 2. my mother has it. I think I’m going to look into dietary changes that might help.
In other news, we also now know that NuVision will be no more in 10-12 months. Walgreens has bought Rite Aid, so Rite Aid will not be a client, which means no NuVision. It’s good to have a definite deadline. But we still have no clue what we’ll do. We will continue to clean out all unneeded possessions and Nick will be selling off all the equipment at NuVision. So, this is it, kids. The end of an era. This time next year we may not even be in Atlanta. We shall see.
So, I took Missy to the vet for a checkup because she’s been reverse sneezing a bit and I wanted to get her weight checked since she’s been on the new TCFeline diet for about six weeks. (Slight wheeze was treated; reverse sneezing is probably allergy related.)
I am pleased to announce that the new diet is a smashing success! Missy has gone from 5.6# to 6.8# in six weeks! Her normal weight when she was at her prime was around 7#. She is better hydrated and overall seems much happier. She still has constipation issues, but I’m hoping those will get better as we go along.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to FEED your elderly cat as much wet food as they want. I am ashamed to say that since starting to feed Missy when she asks (about six times a day, 1 Tbl at a time; about 1/3 to 1/2 cup a day), she has really put on weight. That means it is MY FAULT that she was skinny in the first place. I was inadvertently starving my cat. That is a hard pill to swallow, but I’m just really happy that I’ve learned better and now I’ll do better.
I do still leave kibble out for her, but she generally avoids it except overnight when she gets the munchies. Other than that, she will not touch kibble. She has not liked kibble for several years and was trying to tell me to feed her more Wet Fud™ but I didn’t listen. Silly hooman. :-/
I’ve not checked her blood yet, so it’s yet to be seen if the higher protein diet has put more stress on her kidneys. I’m hoping the Kidney Gold supplement will help with that. If it is causing too much work for her kidneys, TCFeline also has a special diet mix for kidney impaired cats. We’ll be checking her numbers in the spring.
I’ve also added a digestive aid to see if that will alleviate her bowel issues.
It felt really good to see the vet’s reaction to how good Missy looks. She asked for all the info about the food and feeding, which I just sent her. I really hope that she can spread the gospel of proper homemade food, feeding freely and keeping our elderly cats – ALL our cats – happy and healthy. :)
So I made the decision to start making Missy’s food myself. At first, I thought “Eh, no big deal, I’ll whip up some chicken and rice and that’ll do it!” Um. NO. Fortunately for Missy, I had sense enough to do some research and I found out that felines, being obligate carnivores, cannot live on chicken meat and rice. Like, at all. The rice especially is horrible for cats. Too bad other pet owners don’t do their homework and starve their cats with a diet like this. :(
Amongst other things, I learned that the feline diet should consist of 80% protein, 10% fat and 10% carbs (at most). Cats in the wild do not eat carbs at all. Cats are completely unlike dogs when it comes to diet. Despite what the pet food industry insists, cats should not eat kibble alone (which I’ve known for a long time), or really at all. Kibble has way too much filler in the form of carbs. And despite what the pet food industry pushes, cats do NOT eat sweet potatoes, peas, beans or any sort of grain. Just because it sounds tasty to us does not mean it’s appropriate for our cats. Dogs? Sure. Feed them whatever. They are omnivores and scavengers in the wild. Cats are not dogs.
As I started to read and learn about the feline diet, I started a cart at vitacost.com with the supplements I’d need to make Missy’s food. It was complicated to decipher the various recipes and I didn’t want to buy a grinder to grind the meat with bones to make the raw food. I’m not even sure Missy would eat a totally raw diet. So I kept reading and reading and I came upon TCFeline.com. This site is a treasure trove for understanding the feline diet and learning to make a homemade food that is balanced. They also link to sellers of the premix for plain ground meat (without bones). AND the mix was the same cost as all the supplements I had in my cart. The 17oz bag is $53 plus s/h and makes about 8-10 batches of 2#. That’s a lot of food! Plus I don’t have to worry about measuring calcium and getting the calcium/phosphorus ratio right or any of that. This mix mimics the nutrients found in rodents, which is the primary food source of a wild cat. ALSO, this premix can be used in a cooked diet as easily as a raw one. Which is what I’m doing. I get 2# of ground meat (I used chicken and turkey for this first batch, next will be chicken and veal) and I cook it at low temp like this recipe suggests.
Missy’s kidney numbers have started to creep up, which is the reason I started looking into CKD dietary needs in the first place. I was surprised to find out that the standard low protein diet for cats with renal issues is actually NOT what you should do at all. There is a good study that was done to prove that low protein diets made no difference in cats with kidney disease. Knowing what I do about the feline diet, I am not surprised by this. While phosphorus is an issue, protein is not. More about chronic kidney disease in the older cat.
I also got an herbal supplement for Missy in addition to her new improved homemade food: Kidney Support Gold from PetWellbeing.com
Her new diet was started Sep 25 2015. Her Urea Nitrogen was 35 at this time. I’ll update this post with her new numbers in a few months. Hopefully, I’ll see improvement.
…for Fear and Loathing™. It’s autumn and my BIG birthday looms. Meh. I usually get a little melancholy this time of year and this year is no different.
I don’t have any big complaints, really. My family – or lack thereof – has been bothering me. I’ve been completely disowned, apparently, and although I’m better off without those people, it still bugs me that somehow I’m always the bad guy. It’s not fair and not true. It’s true that I do think they are militantly ignorant and act like uneducated hillbillies. I’ve got tons of proof of that. That does not mean I feel that I am “better” than they are, it means that I choose to live my life differently and I will not stop living my life as an intelligent, in control, educated adult to appease them. I don’t want to be like them, that doesn’t mean I am a bad person.
They choose to believe that I’m just a bad person who hates them and that’s that. Well, ok, but that’s not the truth.
I cannot do anything for them. I can’t make them get better Drs. I can’t make them take better care of themselves. I can’t make them do what’s necessary to get the care they need. I can’t make my brother listen. I can’t make any of them listen. As I’ve said, my parents could be dead for all I know. Since the big fight with my brother months ago, I’ve not heard a peep.
I guess it’s the not knowing that sucks.
Whatever. I can’t change them and they don’t want my input. I guess they can just sit in that house until they die. ::shrug::
Nick has been feeling bad again, so that’s probably part of my melancholy, too. I’m worried about him. We are pretty sure he has Lyme Disease. I bought a kit from IGenEx to get his blood tested for Lyme with the Western Blot method (the only accurate one, $500) and we are hoping that crazy Dr Erramilli will be onboard for the test and for longterm treatment. There are few Lyme literate Drs in the US and pretty much NONE in the SE US. I hope Erramilli will be willing to go on this journey with us. ::fingers crossed::
I’m just trying to stay positive until my birthday passes. I’ve got Heather coming in town in a few weeks, so that will hopefully be a diversion. I do need to start looking around for a tattoo shop to do our tattoos. They are going to be great!
Well, that’s enough of my whingeing. I’ll post a separate post about Missy Kat’s new diet.