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Recipe - Cooking For The Fur Kids: Polenta

Stuck on what to cook for the fur kids? Why not try our delicious polenta recipe that is full of protein, easy to make and tastes great!

My latest ingredient: Polenta

My latest tryout is polenta and to my surprise both human and poodles were delighted, with licked plates each time. (Yes humans too). And most importantly for me it fits with the ‘easy peasy’ philosophy for fast, delicious and nutritious dinners.

What is polenta?

In case you didn’t know, polenta is from maize (which is dried corn) and is a northern Italian staple, and is frequently used in place of pasta.

When I tried it, I used the instant version, however cooking from scratch would be better but I don’t take 45 minutes to stir something through the week, I will try it sometime though.

Isn't corn bad for dogs?

There is much talk on the internet about corn being bad for dogs, and this stems from the pet food industry relying on cheap calories.

Corn is very plentiful in the USA and is used not only for feeding humans high fructose corn syrup (very bad) but feeding livestock as well, and dog food falls into this latter category.

Pet food often uses the protein in grain to meet their protein requirements (set by AAFCO) rather than animal protein.

In a nutshell, this leads to a diet very reliant on a product such as corn (because it has relatively high protein) and dogs just aren’t meant to eat that much of one thing, nor that much grain.

However, like all things, in moderation it is a great food to add to the dinner for variety.  About 25%-30% of the meal as carbohydrate is a good ratio.

Corn kernels will pretty much pass through the dog’s digestion without being absorbed, it needs to be broken down to be utilised. Polenta fits that bill well.

polenta being whisked and cooked

Polenta Recipe

I make it a little differently to the convention. Less liquid and using Chicken stock instead of milk.

  1. Ratio of 1:3 so for every cup of polenta you need 3 cups of liquid
  2. Bring chicken stock to boil
  3. Add polenta and stir briskly over heat till it thickens
  4. Add butter – stir, add parmesan and stir
  5. That’s it, add a little salt and pepper (check - if your stock has salt in it already you may not need more salt)

I found this thickness suited the dogs very well, as it formed into pieces rather than a more liquid, softer mash. We had it this way for dinner one night then rested the rest in a tray in the fridge to thicken more.

Cut into squares and pan fried with a little olive oil was even more delicious. Sprinkle with more parmesan cheese when serving.

Beanie’s Dinner

Lamb mince, polenta (made as above), broccoli, zucchini. Wellbeing Essentials to make that nutritional bridge to meet their needs.

beanie's dinner polenta lamb mince brocolli and zucchini

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