Lamb is quite popular in Italy where they have been raising sheep since the dawn of time. These animals provide wool, milk for cheese and ricotta, and of course meat. Especially in the spring lamb is generally served as a main course. Have I mentioned I'm half Italian? Hence, I love Italian food of which spaghetti and pizza are just the tip of this delicious cuisine.
Meat and poultry are rather expensive in Italy. Here in the U.S. I find lamb is also expensive so watch for sales and stock up when you can.
Kirby enjoys kibble with lamb not to mention I always end up having to share my lamb gyros with him so I decided to create a meal for him with ground lamb. It's an easy dish to make but plan ahead for the long cooking times for the squash and the loaves themselves.
Loaves of Lamb
Cook Time: 2 hours
Nutrition facts: 184 Calories, 81 Calories from fat Total fat: 9.0g or 14% (2.8g saturated fat, 0.0g trans fat)
- 1 lb ground lamb
- 1 cup cooked butternut squash*
- 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
- 1 cup crushed tomatoes
- 1 chopped red bell pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped mint
- 3 tablespoons parsley
- 1/4 teaspoon ground egg shell
- 2 tablespoons extra light olive oil
- In large bowl thoroughly combine all of the ingredients. I just use my hands to really work together all of this goodness.
- Place equal portions in greased mini loaf tins.
- Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour, 15 minutes until cooked through or reaches an internal temp of at least 160 degrees.
- Remove to a bakers rack and let cool.
These loaves have a very soft texture but will firm up somewhat as they cool. You could add whole oats to the mix before cooking for firmer loaves but I wanted these to be grainfree.
* Serve remaining butternut squash as a side dish with your meal or make some Butternut Bliss Cookies for your favorite canine. If you want to avoid this cooking process altogether replace the squash with cooked sweet potato, pumpkin pure, or a leafy vegetable like spinach or kale.
Lamb, which is great for the coat and skin, is a fatty, calorie dense meat often recommended for lean dogs to gain more weight so you may want to feed this meal sparingly if your dog is borderline chunky like Kirby.
The aroma wafting from the oven kept Kirby in or near the kitchen the entire time just hoping for a bite!
Instructions for Butternut Squash:
- Prepare squash by cutting in half lengthwise, removing seeds, and fibers. Place cut side up in ungreased baking dish. You can season sparingly with a little sea salt and real butter.
- Pour water in dish until 1/4 inch deep. Cover with foil and bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes or until tender.
- Remove from oven and let cool.
- Once squash is cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh and place in medium size bowl.
- Mash well.