Sharing Food with Wildlife

Elk are the bane of my existence and I still love them.

Violet the Vixen

I talked about insect pests in another post but really our nemesis is wildlife. We’ve been determined to plant enough vegetables to provide fresh food for 1/2 the year. This summer, the elk ate about two-thirds of our apricots, a quarter of our cherries and peaches, tomatoes, peppers, and all my lettuce.

These are our javelina: Hector-dad, Betty-mom, Penny & Fido.

The javelina eat our flowers and shrubs, rabbits forage, and birds take whatever fruit they please.

I think the biggest problem is me. I have an unfortunate habit of naming my babies. We also provide water in our front yard pond and all the wildlife tell their friends the deer, squirrels, etc. to come visit when thirsty. We fill the 60 gallon pond back up again each morning.

We also sit outside between 4 and 5 AM just to catch sight of our wild family.

Our area has been in drought conditions too which makes us worry about our family when they aren’t around for more than a week.

I know if we lived in the old west, we wouldn’t be as lackadaisical about our missing food supplies but for us it’s just living our dream life in the mountains and seeing a glimpse into nature that many don’t.

We’ll continue sharing with wildlife as long as they come around and there’s a store to shop a few miles away. If that changes, I’ll cry.

Due to the rabbits, we garden in containers and have 20 in the yard. Here are a few pictures.

This is our edible lower patio also known as the crayola patio
More of the edible patio
Squash and hot peppers which the elk love
Line of tomato barrels with fencing around them
More elk fence around our tree garden but it hasn’t stopped them

If you have wildlife or gardening images, I would love to see them <3

Advertisements

Bugs, Worms, and Food

This little guy lives in my lemon balm and he get’s pretty feisty when I water. I’ve watched him grow from the size of a dime to the budding teenager he is now at about the size of a quarter. He’s been around for two months and I’ve also watched my lemon balm flourish.

Last year the white flies almost did this prized plant in and I’m so happy Lancelot decided to save my delicious smelling and tasting lemon plant.

This brings me to a huge problem we have when it comes to food.

BUGS: the good and the bad.

Although truthfully, they all have their place in nature and none are truly bad. Maybe I’ll just use the word ick instead because I’m not too fond of some little green worms who are using my kale to gain weight. This little guy was moved out of my garden this morning but I’m sure I didn’t find all his brothers and sisters.

My poor worm-eaten kale

So we’ve established there are some bugs I’m not fond of and I’m sure you have your share. Here’s the thing, bugs mean my plants are not sprayed with pesticides or governed by GMO manipulations. I grow plants the way they should be grown and I do everything possible to naturally help them thrive.

When the worms win I have no problem picking away their bite marks and eating the kale or spinach or chard. I’ve even brought in the day’s bounty and found the small green worms that are my nightmare this year and carried the little guy outside and placed him far from my veggies. Wash, eat, repeat.

We must get back to nature to heal!

This includes bugs and learning they aren’t a bad thing. If a salad in a restaurant comes with a worm, I don’t send it back. My thought process switches to survival and the fact the processed salad I’m about to eat might just have some healthy nutrients left that my body vitally needs, after picking off the worm of course 😉

Vegan BBQ Ribs

Vegan Ribs

We grill all year around, even in the snow, but since I’ve become vegan, we seem to be doing less and less of it. When we do, it’s grilled veggies for me. My husband tends to go my way and have a veggie wedgie burger or just my veggies. Last night I wanted something different so played around with a vegan rib recipe that needed tweaking to fit our diet guidelines (not all vegan recipes are healthy!). When I experiment this way, I never know what I’ll get. My husband prepared a large salad just in case. He asked what was in the ribs and I made him wait until after he ate them. He guessed tofu but he was wrong. The big surprise… these ribs are to die for!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: meat substitute, vegan, ribs, bbq, summer barbeque,
Cost: $8

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pea protein buy link on shopping list
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast buy link on shopping list
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp celery seeds substitute 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper less if using regular pepper
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2 tbsp natural peanut butter I make mine from scratch
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce organic is a must with soy sauce
  • 1 cup BBQ Sauce your favorite

Instructions

  • Lightly grease an 8 by 8 baking dish. I cooked my ribs first in my air-fryer and then on the grill. You can use your oven at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or the air-fryer on 350 for 20 minutes.
  • In a medium bowl, stir pea protein, nutritional yeast, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, celery, and pepper.
  • In separate bowl or measuring cup, whisk together warm water, peanut butter, liquid smoke, and soy sauce until peanut butter dissolves and is part of the liquid. Pour into bowl with dry ingredients and stir until a soft dough forms. Now use your hands and really mix the dough together.
  • Transfer dough into greased baking dish and press evenly until it fits the entire pan. Use a knife to cut your ribs into 2 sections of 1-inch slices. This allows you to separate them after cooking.
  • Place pan in preheated oven for 25 minutes on 350.
  • Remove from oven and coat with bbq sauce.
  • Now place directly on grill and cook until your ribs are a deep brown or blackened the way I like them for about 5 minutes, turn and quill the other side for another 5 minutes or so. Add more bbq sauce if desired and enjoy!

Grain Free Wraps/Tortillas

Vegan Grain Free Wraps

We use these for breakfast lunch and dinner with a slight variation listed in the instructions
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Course: Breakfast, Main Course
Keyword: vegan, wraps, gluten free,
Servings: 3
Author: The Healthy Grandma
Cost: $5

Equipment

  • Non-stick pan

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chick pea flour
  • 1/2 cup tapioca flour
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1.8 cups water

Instructions

  • Toss ingredients into high powered blender
    Mix on high for one minute
    Pour about 1/4 cup onto heated Teflon pan swirling around to cover bottom
    In about a minute the sides will peal up
    Using a plastic spatula, flip the wrap over and cook for about 60 second
    Place on plate and make the next one
    For crepes: Replace turmeric, garlic, onion powder with 1 teaspoon Stevia liquid & 1 teaspoon vanilla
    For Spinach Wraps: Replace turmeric, garlic, onion powder with 1/2 cup packed raw spinach


Tofu Medley in Place of Eggs

This is one of our favorites and I make enough to last the week so I can throw it on a spinach or turmeric wrap (recipe to come). It’s high in protein and for anyone who has heard the estrogen rumor regarding tofu, no worries. The female hormone in tofu/soybeans will affect plants not humans and it’s an excellent source of protein. Keeping you from tofu is one of the many old wives tales put out by the food industry to make you unhealthy. If you are on an egg restricted diet like me, this recipe is a must!

Ingredients

Block of extra firm ORGANIC Tofu

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

Any leftover veggies in your fridge that wet your appetite

1/2 Onion

3 broccoli florets

handful spinach

1/4 red pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

 

Prep your tofu

Carefully open your tofu and allow the water to drain. I will gently squeeze the tofu and remove excess water. Place the tofu on a towel, cover and place something heavy on top to get all the extra moisture out. Set to the side.

Prep your veggies

Wash and chop veggies into the size you prefer. I just toss the spinach in because it shrivels quickly

Instructions

Place the oil in a large pan on medium heat

Add veggies and move around the pan, coating the bottom of the pan in oil

Push the veggies to the side of the pan

Crumble tofu into pan and stir it to keep it from sticking

Cook for approximately 5 minutes and add the turmeric to the tofu and stirring it in

Cook for another 5 minutes

Push the tofu and veggies together to combine and cook for an additional 5 minutes

When ready, your tofu concoction will look like eggs and it tastes pretty darn close

Veggie Wedgy Burger

This summer barbecue favorite has turned into a staple in our home. Even my husband gives up steak and eats these veggie wedgies.

Ingredients:

1 cup chickpeas soaked over night or 1 can

1/2 cup tri-colors quinoa (I haven’t tried with plain quinoa

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 to 3 tablespoons water

Spices (spice to taste) cumin, paprika, garlic power, onion powder, black pepper

1/2 cup almond flour set aside. Spice to taste with the spice ingredients above

Directions:

Place chickpeas, quinoa, and oil in Ninja and mix until ground up. Add spices and mix again. Add water until the consistency is like raw hamburger. Form patties and place in spiced almond flour to coat. Cook in oven 350, on the grill on a piece of foil, or on stove top with a little cooking spray. We even cook these in our air fryer. They cook quickly so keep an eye on them. We like our a little chard when we grill. Use a lettuce wedge and you have a veggie wedgy!  

If you’re wondering about the BBQ veggies it’s a mix of what’s in our fridge. Zucchini, onions, tomatoes, red bell peppers, seasoned with garlic, onion, pepper and red peppers.