You can prepare a homemade diet for your pet as easily as for your family. These pet recipes will help keep your family’s furry, best 4-legged companions happy and healthy. Here are a few of my personal pet tried-and-true kitchen creations offering dogs and cats five-star, lip smacking-good nourishment. They’ll thank you for years to come and be barkin’ and purrin’ for more.
Canine Cuisine for Dogs
Beef & Veggie Laboradoodle Lasagna
Makes 8 portions
2 tbsp olive oil
1 lb ground round beef
5 cups tomato sauce
4 tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley
3½ cups ricotta cheese
1 cup chopped cooked spinach,
¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 tbsp dried oregano
¾ tsp ground nutmeg
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
8 lasagna noodles, cooked until not
3 cups grated mozzarella cheese
1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
2. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the beef, crumbling it into the skillet. Cook; stir occasionally, until it is browned. Drain, and set aside.
3. Place the tomato sauce in a sauce pan. Add the beef and 2 tbsp parsley, and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.
4. In a mixing bowl, combine the ricotta, spinach, parmesan, oregano, nutmeg, pepper and remaining 2 tbsp of parsley; stir well.
5. Place 2 cups of the tomato sauce mixture in the bottom of a 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Arrange 4 lasagna noodles on top of the sauce. Spread half of the ricotta mixture over the lasagna and sprinkle with 1 cup of the mozzarella. Repeat the layers of sauce, noodles, ricotta and mozzarella.
6. Top with the remaining 2 cups of sauce and 1 cup mozzarella, sprinkled evenly over last layer.
7. Cover the dish loosely with aluminum foil, place it on a baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes. Then remove the foil and bake an additional 20 minutes. Remove the dish from the oven and allow it to stand 10 to 15 minutes or until it reaches room temperature before serving.
8. Note: For individual frozen portions, cut the baked lasagna into 8 pieces, placed in freezer containers with lids. Freeze only when cool. To reheat, defrost, cover with aluminum foil to bake at 350° F for 20 minutes.
Sesame Chow-Chow Chicken & Asparagus Pasta
Makes 6 portions
8 ounces linguine
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp brown sugar
6 tbsp chunky peanut butter
¼ cup soy sauce
6 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp hot chili oil
2 boneless, skinned and cooked
chicken breast halves
5 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
1 pound thin asparagus, trimmed
1 small cucumber, halved, seeded and
diced into ¼-inch pieces
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the linguine, cook at a rolling boil until just tender. Drain, rinse under cold water, drain again and set aside in a large mixing bowl.
2. Place the garlic, vinegar, brown sugar, peanut butter and soy sauce in a food processor. Process for 1 minute. With the motor running, slowly add the sesame and hot chili oils through the feed tube and process until well-blended.
3. Shred the chicken into 2-inch julienne strips, and then toss with the linguine. Add the sauce plus 4 tbsp of the sesame seeds and toss to coat well.
4. Cut the asparagus on the diagonal into 1-inch lengths. Blanch in a sauce pan of boiling water for 1 minute. Drain, rinse under cold water and pat dry.
5. Place the linguine and chicken in a large, flat serving bowl and arrange the asparagus on top. Sprinkle with cucumber and remaining 1 tbsp sesame seeds.
6. Serve at room temperature.
Shepherd’s Spicy Breakfast Turkey & Egg Patties
Makes 12 patties
1¼ lbs ground turkey
¼ cup chopped fresh basil leaves
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
1 clove garlic
1 tsp salt
½ tsp dried thyme leaves
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp dried red pepper flakes, crushed
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tbsp dried bread crumbs
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1. Combine all ingredients except the oil in a large mixing bowl; stir well, but do not over mix. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour.
2. Shape the turkey mixture into 12 patties about 2½ inches in diameter.
3. Heat the oil in a large skillet, brown the patties over medium heat, about 2 minutes per side. Then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the skillet and continue to cook, turning the patties occasionally, until they are crisp and cooked thoroughly, about 6 minutes.
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp soy sauce
4 salmon steaks (8 ounces each)
1 tbsp sesame seeds
½ tsp celery seeds
Sesame butter, chilled
1. Combine the marinade ingredients in a bowl. Add the salmon, turning to coat well in the mixture. Let stand, loosely covered, 1 hour.
2. Preheat oven to 350° F.
3. Spread out the sesame and celery seeds on a baking pan. Place the pan in the oven and toast the seeds until lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Check after 3 minutes; if the seeds are not done, shake the pan and continue to toast, but watch carefully to prevent burning. Remove from the oven and set aside.
4. Broil the salmon steaks 8 minutes per side. Serve with sesame butter. Sprinkle with toasted sesame and celery seeds.
Feline Cuisine for Cats
Cats are obligatory carnivores, unlike dogs and people, and most felines turn up their noses at anything that doesn’t offer a taste and smell to their liking. About 5.5 ounces of food per meal, twice a day, is ideal for most cats.
Most cats are either meat eaters or fish eaters, although occasionally cats consume both meat and fish.
Many cats enjoy chicken, chicken livers, lamb, beef, turkey, duck, veal and venison; many fish-loving cats relish salmon. Lean meat may be prepared in many ways—boiled, broiled, fried or grilled. Cats also enjoy vegetables such as puréed squash, finely grated zucchini, puréed carrots, creamed corn and white asparagus tips.
Feline Creamy Chicken Delight
Consists of 80 percent meat, 20 percent veggies
5 ounces baked chicken breast
2 tbsp creamed corn
2 tsp finely grated zucchini
1. Mix all ingredients together, add
¼ tsp extra virgin olive oil to enhances the smell and taste (also a source of essential omega-3 fatty acids).
2. Season with low-sodium tamari sauce (the brown sauce in which Chinese carryout is prepared), which is available at most local grocers.
Purrin’ Salmon Pate
6 ounces boneless, skinless salmon
½ cup finely chopped celery
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
¼ cup breadcrumbs
1 organic egg, beaten
½ cup distilled or spring water
1. Preheat oven to 325° F.
2. Mix all ingredients in a bowl.
3. Pack into a small fish-shaped mold and bake for 45 minutes.
4. Serve at room temperature.
Frosty Feline Fruity Delight
2 tbsp organic yogurt
1 tbsp raw cut oats
½ cup fresh squeezed orange juice
2 ounces fresh berries, mashed
½ mashed banana
¼ minced apple
1. Mix and blend the oats and banana. Add apples, orange juice and yogurt; mix; then add berries.
2. Serve fresh. Alternatively, freeze in ice cube trays and feed 1 fruit cube daily to keep kitty purring for more.