Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Cooking for the pooch


If you've never cooked for your dog, the recent pet food recalls suggests that this is a good time to start. Regardless of how high quality a brand of pet food claims to be, it’s still processed in a factory, and there is no substitute for getting nutrition directly from natural whole foods.

My best friend is my dog Zabar. I found him outside of Zabar’s, and he turned out to be quite a foodie. I spent that last very rainy Sunday cooking some meals for him as it was the perfect day to spend time in the kitchen.

Roast turkey and sweet potatoes.
Zabar loves turkey so I decided to roast a turkey breast, and bake some sweet potatoes. This is an easy thing to do. I simply placed an Empire Kosher turkey breast in a large roasting pan, sprinkled it with salt (just a pinch because too much seasoning is bad for the pooch) and baked it at 375 degrees for approximately two hours.

I wrapped the sweet potatoes in tinfoil and placed them in the oven alongside the turkey. I prefer to use Newman’s Own Organic sweet potatoes, but any organic sweet potato or yam will do.

Soon the apartment smelled like Thanksgiving. After the turkey was cooked and cooled, I cut most of it off the bone and blended it in a Cuisinart with the sweet potatoes and some of the pan gravy. I then divided the mixture into separate portions for Zabar. 

Just before serving it, I mixed in a tablespoon of plain (not vanilla) organic yogurt. Portion size varies depending on how much your dog eats so do not overfeed. “Lean dog, long race,” as a wise veterinarian used to say to me.

Salmon and broccoli.
Zabar inhaled his dinner (I also ate the turkey and sweet potatoes for din, hold the yogurt) and then gave me a few lick kisses of thanks. If you feel like making large quantities of food, you can just pop in another turkey breast and more sweet potatoes and freeze the mixture in individual portions until you need them.

For someone who either orders in or eats every meal out, I know this is a big deal. But, it’s much healthier and satisfying to prepare food yourself. The possibilities are endless and anybody can create a healthy, economical, delicious and dog-friendly meal.

I was in Citarella earlier this week and saw some beautiful salmon. Salmon is full of omega-3s which are good for all of us animals.

So next time you are pressed for time and want a quick dinner, pop by Citarella and pick up a salmon filet and a head of broccoli. Steam the broccoli on the stove or in the microwave with some water, and sautée the salmon for a few minutes. Mix up the salmon, broccoli, and either some cottage cheese or yogurt, and I guarantee your dog will love it. See for yourself ...

— Jordana Z.
Zabar in a food coma.
NYSD Poll: Cutest Dog?
Cornelia Guest's Gigi (1.)
Anne Pyne's Louis XIV (2.)
Cece Cord's Tiger (3.)
Patsy Tarr's Choo Choo (4.)
Bruce Bierman's Rocky (5.)
Bill Berloni's Chico & Chloe (6.)
Michael Sapolin's Compass (7.)
Robert Rufino's Windsor (8.)
Natalia Miyar's little pooch (9.)
Frances Hawyward's Amigo (10.)

Comments? Contact Jordana here.