Black Bean Burgers

Black Bean Burgers

First let me say I do believe dogs are carnivores meaning they need meat in their diet in order to thrive.  Having said that this is a nice change for Kirby which amazingly almost tastes like beef. I wasn't sure if he would enjoy these since he loves meat but he practically wolfed them down so they have been added to the rotation meal list.

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Sheperd's Pie

Sheperd's Pie

This classic savory pie is traditionally prepared from leftovers.  Meat and vegetables are moistened with gravy, transferred to a pie plate, and then topped with mashed potatoes. The pie is so named because it was often made with lamb or mutton. Since it’s made from leftovers, feel free to use any ground meat, veggies, and seasonings which are deemed to be dog friendly.

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Hamburger Helper Canine Style

Hamburger Helper Canine Style

I used to make Hamburger Helper often for my children who loved it.  I still make it once in a while now since it’s easy and convenient. I like to provide Kirby a variety of meals so this is his canine variation. He has quite a few meals with potatoes or brown rice for his carbs so I always make this one with pasta for a nice change. I

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Turkey Veggie Burgers

Turkey Veggie Burgers

Some dogs are said to be sensitive to grains which can cause allergies. Some say the allergies are grain related, others say the allergies are starch related.  Then there are those who say allergies are caused from repetitive digestion of the same ingredient. I honestly don't know what is true because neither Kirby or our fosters have experienced any allergies so I haven't had to learn more. (Knock on wood)

 

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Breakfast Muffins

This is something I bake once in a while for the girls at work but can be adapted for your dog. Kirby loves good food and these grain free muffins are always a nice change for him on those special mornings. I try to add eggs to his treats and meals when I can since they help maintain his shiny coat.

You can pick and choose the ingredients your pup likes best for the filling. For less calories try using turkey sausage. Kirby likes these made with real bacon bits too. Spinach is so good and so under utilized but any finely chopped veggie will work. Try different cheeses - mozzarella, Parmesan, goat, and feta. The possibilities are endless making this an easy favorite for both humans and canines.

Breakfast Muffins

Breakfast Muffins

Quick, easy, and you can choose the ingredients your pup likes best for the filling.

Yields: 12 muffins
Prep Time:
Cook Time:

Nutrition facts:
195 Calories, 140 Calories from fat
Total fat: 14.2g or 22% ( 5.1g saturated fat, 0.0g trans fat)

Ingredients

  • 1 lb mild ground sausage*
  • 1 cup chopped frozen spinach
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup low fat or 2% milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon safflower oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground egg shell

Directions

  1. In a large pan cook the sausage. When almost cooked stir in the cayenne pepper. Drain well and place in a medium size bowl
  2. Finely chop the spinach and remove any excess moisture with paper towels.
  3. Mix the spinach and cheddar cheese into the meat.
  4. Evenly spoon this mixture into an oiled (I use olive oil spray) 12 cup muffin tin. If you are making this the night before, cover with foil and place in the refrigerator
  5. In a medium size bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, and oil. I then poured mine in a two cup measuring cup, covered with foil, and placed in the refrigerator.
  6. Pour an even amount of the egg mixture into each muffin tin. Throw some extra cheddar cheese on top if you want
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 16 minutes. Remove and let cool.
  8. Run a flat knife around the edges to remove the muffins.

These muffins can be frozen. Just thaw and warm in the microwave for about 15 seconds.

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Lemon Ricotta Cookies

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Lemon Ricotta Cookies

This recipe is very different from what I usually bake for Kirby.  It's still on the healthy side but I have to admit a little fancier and a little fatter.  Maybe a lot fatter which probably isn't a good idea for my little chunky monkey.  But it is almost Easter which deserves something special.

The truth is I love to eat lemon cookies covered in confectioners sugar.  Not the diet kind, the real kind. Kirby likes to beg for bites to which I can't seem to say no.  This is my "healthier" version of a basic Italian recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 3/4 cup corn flour*
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 packet Stevia (1/4 teaspoon)**
  • 2 Tablespoons True Lemon or lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

Preparation Instructions:

1.  In large bowl thoroughly combine all ingredients.  

2.  Using a teaspoon drop the batter onto parchment lined cookie sheet.

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3.  Press a fork into the tops of each one to flatten.

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4.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes until bottoms are golden brown.  

5.  Remove and let cool on wire cooling racks.

Even sweeter? Cream cheese frosting on top!  Not an everyday treat but perfect for a special day!

*The corn flour gives the cookies that yummy yellow color. Research suggests corn is not easily digestable for dogs so I rarely use it.  Oat flour would work just as well.

For the humans - add more sugar, lots more sugar!

** All of the research I have done shows there is no health risk to dogs as long as you are using pure stevia so check the label.  Do not feed to cats!  If in doubt check with your veterinarian or leave out of recipe.

Tasty Tuna Treats

I wanted to make Kirby a special new treat since he would be boarding for the first time over the next few days.  Searching my pantry I discovered I was out of quite a few ingredients. Message to self - take a trip to to the grocery store soon.  Since I didn't have time to run to the grocery store I thought I would improvise with what I had and hope for the best.  Fortunately Kirby gave it four paws up!  Seriously I think there's a cat inside that dogger! 

Tasty Tuna Treats

Tasty Tuna Treats

A can of tuna in the cabinet is the beginning of a delish dog treat!

Yields: 100+ – 1" squares
Prep Time:
Cook Time:

Nutrition facts: Calories: 12
Calories from fat: 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 - 5 oz cans tuna fish
  • 1 tablespoon Salmon Oil*
  • 1 1/2 cups organic spelt flour**
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup water

Instructions:

  1. Drain the tuna, saving the liquid.
  2. Puree the tuna with the oil.
  3. Take the saved liquid and add enough water to make 1/2 cup.
  4. Thoroughly combine all of the ingredients in a medium bowl.
  5. Using a spatula spread out the mixture on a greased or parchment lined jelly roll pan. (If you really want to cut cookie shapes then you can reduce or omit the water or add more flour until you have a better consistency to work with) .
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Turn off the oven and let sit for another 20 minutes with the door slightly ajar.
  7. Remove to cutting board. Slice into small pieces using pizza cutter.

These can keep in an air tight container in the refrigerator for several weeks.

* You can substitute light olive oil or coconut oil. I like to add salmon oil to Kirby's dry kibble - it's great for his skin and coat.  

** You can use brown rice flour or whole wheat flour.  Spelt which has a mild nutty flavor is naturally high in fiber, contains significantly more protein than wheat, is also higher in B complex vitamins, and both simple and complex carbohydrates.  Another important benefit is that some gluten-sensitive people have been able to include spelt-based foods in their diets. Flour made from this versatile grain can be substituted for wheat flour in breads, pasta, cookies, crackers, cakes, muffins, pancakes and waffles.