The Main Ingredients…
And Dinner is served!
Warning! Long post ahead. Skip to the end if you just want the recipe
My mother-in-law wanted BBQ’d lamb chops for her birthday lunch, so I picked up some thick juicy ones from the butcher shop to take to her place. There were a couple left over, and you know I was all over taking those home for The Boys. Home cooked dog food is great in terms of repurposing your leftovers. A leftover lamb chop is not going to be in my lunch the next day, but it’s definitely drool worthy stuff for you know who!
From time to time, I’ll share what I would make in place of a processed meal, so I looked up the ingredients for a very popular brand of Lamb & Rice kibble. One of the more expensive ones at the grocery store. This is the ingredients label (without the list of vitamins, additives etc.)
Lamb Meal, Brewers Rice, Corn Meal, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, Corn Grits, Chicken By-Product Meal, Ground Whole Grain Barley, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Dried Beet Pulp, Chicken Flavor, Dried Egg Product, Potassium Chloride, Brewers Dried Yeast, Salt, Dicalcium Phosphate, Monosodium Phosphate, Caramel, Choline Chloride, Fructooligosaccharides PLUS a bunch of Vitamin and Mineral supplements.
Here are my own thoughts on these ingredients:
Lamb Meal: Lamb meal is rendered lamb tissues such as skeletal muscle, some bone and internal organs that have been dried and ground. I guess thats why it’s meal, not meat! Brewers rice: This is considered a by-product or leftover rice that is created when rice is milled, for beer making or pet food. This is neither a human grade ingredient nor is it a good source of nutrition. Corn Meal: Commonly used as an inexpensive protein source, corn is difficult to digest. Not a fan of corn in dog food. Ground Whole Grain Sorghum: Sorghum is the ground grain of the sorghum plant. This is ok, from what I gather, but have you ever bought it to cook for your own meal? Chicken By-Product: By-product is a “meat” mixture that includes other animal organs such as intestines, lungs, liver or any other kind of animal part. There are only three exceptions – hair, hoof, and horn. Bones, eyeballs and even underdeveloped baby chicken eggs could quite possibly a part of the animal by-products listed in many commercial pet food ingredients. I’m gonna barf. Ground whole grain barley: Good, would like to see this higher on the list. Corn Grits: Again, not a fan of corn fordogs. Chicken Fat: sounds ok, depending on how much.Dried Egg Product: sounds ok, but why is it listed as a “product” rather than simply Dried Egg? Dried Beet pulp: ok Chicken Flavour: Artificial Flavourings -If this food tasted any good it wouldn’t need fake chicken flavour added. Hello, 3 dressed up as a 9. Brewers Dried Yeast: cool Caramel: Assume for colour – mmm all brown pellets. Fructooligosaccharide: conflicting research on this “sweet thing”. Various vitamin and mineral supplements: I don’t think supplements are a replacement for whole foods – otherwise I’d be at the drive through for myself more often!
Are you grossed out yet? Well, here’s what I wish was in that bag of dog kibble!
Dog’s Dinner – Lamb & Rice
1 cup of brown rice
5 mini carrots
1/4 cup peas
1/2 small bunch of mint.
1/4 cup boiling water
TSP cider vinegar
1/4 tsp agave or raw honey
dash of sea salt
WHY I LOVE THESE INGREDIENTS:
Real Lamb – real meat for dogs – hello, very obvious!
Brown rice – more nutrition than something like brewers rice.
Fresh carrots and peas – hello vitamins and minerals and other nutritional benefits!
Mint – breath freshener, and I have heard it can reduce gas. In dogs, farty-pants!
Cider vinegar – the benefits to dogs are ENDLESS. Apparently it helps to keep fleas away, improves digestion, fur/coat, alleviates itching and more.
Agave nectar – alternative sweetener low glycemic index, I use this most of the time when baking dog treats and people goodies.
Raw honey – this is just one of natures wonders, we should all be eating it!
The lamb & rice without the mint sauce is a great dinner on it’s own BTW.
Get a small empty jar ready for this easy peasy mint sauce…Boil some water while you finely chop the mint. Add the mint to the jar, then the boiling water. Then, add the agave syrup or honey. Let it cool down in the jar for a while. Then you simply add the cider vinegar and sea salt, and shake it up (with the lid on, of course!)
And for the main, simply chop up the lamb chop, mix it together with cooked brown rice, carrots and peas (or other dog friendly veg) . Add some of the mint sauce and mix ‘er up! I press mine into a bowl and let it “form” in the fridge. (let’s not have rice kernels all over the floor!) Simply turn the bowl upside down and tap into your dog’s dish.
This is something we can all dig our teeth into. Mint sauce is a little fancy just for the dogs, no? Just leave your foods whole because using utensils keeps us civilized! Dig in..
and stay cool -