If your dog is itchy and getting hot spots, the culprit could be the wheat in his kibble. Consider switching him to a home-prepared, wheat-free diet rich in whole grains, meat and vegetables. This savory beef polenta is incredibly delicious and nutritious, as well as quick and easy to whip up.
Mix the yeast, lecithin granules, kelp powder, eggshell powder and sodium ascorbate together in the 1-quart container. Place 1/2 tablespoon of this mixture in a bowl and set aside. Cover the storage container and store in the refrigerator for future meals.
Saute the ground beef until no pink remains. Drain off the fat and set the meat aside. Place frozen sweet peas in the small pot, cover with water and cook for a few minutes until tender, then drain. Chop the fresh parsley and add to the peas. Peel, then grate the carrots into the measuring cup, then pour into the small pot and set aside.
Bring powdered milk and water to a boil. Add the cornmeal to the water quickly with a whisk, and blend until the mixture is smooth. Cover the pot and turn the burner down to simmer. Cook about 10 minutes or until the cornmeal is soft and mushy. Blend in the eggs and cheese with the wooden spoon while the mixture is still hot.
Let the polenta cool for about 10 minutes. Blend in the healthy powder you made in Step 1, 1/2 teaspoon eggshell powder, apple cider vinegar, vitamin E and sauteed beef. Fold the veggies into the polenta. Pour the polenta into the casserole dish, then let set on the countertop or in the refrigerator. To ensure the polenta has cooled enough to serve, insert your finger into the center of the casserole. When room temperature, cut into squares. For portion control, spoon into a measuring cup and serve to your best friend.
This polenta makes about 11 cups of food, each with 230 calories. Suggested daily ration is based on your dog's size as follows: toy -- 1 1/2 to 2 cups, small -- 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 cups, medium -- 6 to 7 cups, large -- 8 cups, giant --10 cups.
Double, triple or cut the recipe in half, depending on how many dogs you have. For quick and easy meals, cook the polenta in larger batches and freeze individual portions -- that way you're prepping and cooking only once or twice a week.
Choose organic cornmeal when available.
Omit the beef for a vegetarian polenta.
Substitute other cooked veggies, such as corn scraped off the cob, peas, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, pumpkin and peeled winter squash. Add fresh chopped vegetables like alfalfa sprouts, zucchini with the peel, lettuce and mixed greens.
For an even cheesier version, add a couple of tablespoons of Parmesan cheese, or sprinkle a little over the top of each serving.
Make your own economical eggshell powder -- one whole eggshell makes about 1 teaspoon of powder. Wash the eggshells immediately after cracking and let them dry. When you have about a dozen shells, bake them on a cookie sheet in an oven set at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes. Grind the shells to a fine powder with a blender, mortar and pestle or seed grinder. Ensure there are no sharp, gritty pieces left in the powder, and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Items You Will Need
- 1 quart storage container with lid
- Large pot with lid
- Vegetable peeler
- Small bowl
- Measuring cup
- Measuring spoons
- Large wooden spoon
- Cheese grate
- Chopping knife
- Frying pan
- Small saucepan
- Large casserole dish
- 2 cups nutritional or brewer's yeast
- 1 cup lecithin granules
- 1/4 cup kelp powder
- 2 tablespoons eggshell powder plus 1/2 teaspoon
- 1/4 teaspoon sodium ascorbate
- 2 cups lean ground beef
- 2 fresh carrots
- 1/2 cup frozen sweet peas
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1 cup powdered milk
- 2 cups coarse cornmeal
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup low-fat grated cheddar cheese
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 400 IU vitamin E
- Pet Education.com: Food Allergies
- Dr. Richard Pitcairn's Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats; Dr. Richard H. Pitcairn, D.V.M., Ph.D. and Susan Hubble Pitcairn
- Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images