Married to the Empire

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Kidney Thing

Calvin's diagnosis of kidney disease this week has lit a small fire under my rear to take better steps in helping my husband with his own kidney disease. Animal proteins are the hardest for the kidneys to process, so my meat-loving husband really does need to cut back. Out of the 3 dinners I've cooked this week, 2 have been vegetarian.

He's not thrilled about eating vegetarian, but I do try to make things interesting. Monday night we had the Lentil-Rice Casserole from Amy Dacyczyn's Complete Tightwad Gazette. It's a simple, but tasty recipe that can be thrown together in less than 5 minutes. The directions call for baking it in the oven, but I make it in the crockpot. As basic as this meal is, I've even served it to guests, who loved it.

Also on Monday, I stopped into Half-Price Books and purchased Vegetarian Fast Food. Tuesday's dinner was spiced chickpeas. That recipe pretty much consisted of canned chickpeas cooked with onion, garlic, cumin seeds, and salt and pepper. Put it all in a pita with a mix of mayo and plain yogurt, along with whatever veggies you want (we used spinach, red bell pepper, and tomato), and you have a tasty dinner!

He may grumble about the lack of meat, but Steven does enjoy what I make without it.

The harder thing right now is Calvin's diet. The boys are doing well with the renal food mixed in with Eukanuba. (We're gradually switching them over.) Doogie hasn't thrown up yet, so that's encouraging. What makes this hard is that Calvin is used to little meat treats. Calvin has become accustomed to asking for (and getting) tiny bits of meat when it's being prepared. Last night I made Beef Bourguignon, and it was so hard not giving him a tiny piece of raw beef. He stood at my feet and screamed an begged, and I had to be tough.

Y'all, I'm not even allowed to give him tuna anymore.

Thankfully, we tried something new a couple of months ago. The water we drain out of tuna cans is always pungent with the smell of fish, so we tried giving the tuna water to the boys. They lapped it up excitedly, then barely touched the tuna we gave them. (I guess the tuna water filled them up.) I asked the vet if he could still have that, and she said yes! I'm so grateful for that because I think I'd be sobbing if I had to deny my boy his favorite thing in the world. You should hear the screaming around here when a can of tuna is opened!


Cathy VanPatten said...

It's kind of expensive, but the book Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz has some great recipes. If gluten isn't an issue, the book has the most amazing seitan pot pie recipe (I think it's called the All-American Pot Pie). So yummy--better, I think, than chicken pot pie. And I love chicken pot pie!

Sue said...

I'm sorry about Calvin's diagnosis. And believe me, I feel your pain when it comes to denying your cat the things they beg for. Bella is on a crazy "Duck & Green Pea" allergy food trial, and I can't give her ANYTHING else. I feel like such a stooge when I make a sandwich and she looks on hopefully (she loves lunchmeat).

Ewokgirl said...

Thanks for the cookbook recommendation, Cathy. I've put it in my Amazon wishlist. (That's what I do with any book I want to think about or buy later.) I'll have to see a copy in person before I make up my mind about it. The reviews are certainly promising! But me and my food issues... I have to make sure the recipes are stuff I can/will eat. Vegan kinda scares me.

Sue, I hope Bella is all right. I've heard of dogs eating food made with kangaroo meat for allergies. I hadn't heard about the green-pea-and-duck diet for cats. When Doogie was on a prescription neutral diet years ago, I didn't even bother to look at what was in his food!

And yeah, denying Calvin is raw meat was rough, but I don't even want to think about the next time I make a sandwich with deli meat. He loves the stuff! *sigh* Tough love is hard, especially when you don't speak the same language to explain why you're being mean!

Vader's Mom said...

It would be hard to deny hubby & "kids" something that they really love. I'll keep you in my prayers over that one!!

The chickpea recipe sounds delish. I'll have to look into that one!