It seems like everyone’s lives are so busy these days, I know mine is. Finding time to cook can be challenging when I’m busy chasing after the 2 year old twins, Harper and Sadi. Actually keeping them safely out of the kitchen so I can cook is the biggest challenge! But now that my daughter Jenny and her sons, Dion and Devon, have moved back home with me preparing meals is a must. I usually cook dinner at least 4 nights a week, but now that they’re back we prepare 3 meals a day almost everyday.
In my life my Slow Cooker or Crock Pot has been a lifesaver! It really makes cooking dinner that much easier, toss everything in the pot in the morning, forget about it, and serve for dinner! One of my family’s favorite slow cooker dinners is Pot Roast.
It’s really the best way to make pot roast in my opinion. You can toss in just about any cut of meat, I like to use chuck roasts, and it turns out tender and juicy. For a bit of variety I like to add different herbs and spices to my pot roast. One of our favorites is this Italian Herb Pot Roast. We eat it with steamed white rice, but really it’s hearty enough to serve by itself, specially if you toss in lots of potatoes and other veggies.
Fresh herbs and Balsamic vinegar is the secret to this tasty pot roast. It’s a great way to use some of the herbs in my kitchen garden! If you don’t grown your own herbs you can buy some at your local farmer’s market or grocery store.
Here’s the recipe!
3-4 Pound Chuck Roast
3 Cups Beef Broth
1 Cube Beef Broth – crush and stir into the liquid in the pot
2 Cups Baby Carrots
1 Large Onion – cut in chunks
6-8 Small Yukon Gold Potatoes – scrubbed clean, cut in half
Do you have a finicky dog? Do you have to mix canned dog food or toppers with dry? Are you tired of buying expensive toppers or cans? If you said yes to one or all of these questions read for my homemade dog food topper recipe!
We have a 20 month old Siberian Husky named Cannoli. For months now we’ve been trying to put some weight on her, the vet told us she’s about 8 pounds under weight. I’ve read that putting and keeping weight on a Siberian Husky of this age can be challenging, it’s even more challenging when said pup is a picky eater.
Her regular dog food is Blue Wilderness, the vet tells me this is a great food for her. I keep several flavors on hand to mix up the taste as she seems to get tired of having the same one for every meal. I know she’s spoiled, but all out critters are. Well a few months ago she basically stopped eating all her dry food, we ended up feeding the wild birds. (Cannoli lives on our covered patio).
I tried to change her feeding times thinking she just wasn’t hungry as soon as she woke up, she’s a late starter and prefers to lounge as soon as we let her out of her crate. (Yes we crate her at night for her own safety, she gets into things and we don’t want her to eat a frog or some other dangerous thing she may find around the yard.) Well, that didn’t work and instead of gaining weight she was loosing.
I finally decided to try mixing some wet food with the dry, first trying out Blue Wilderness Toppers, little pouches of wet food you put on top of the dry food. She liked that, but it cost almost $2 a pouch! Since I feed her twice a day that cost $4 a day! Ok, so mixing wet with dry worked, just had to find a cheaper alternative.
I tried cans of Blue Wilderness, there are 2 types, the pate and the grills. The pates are ground paste of wet food, she didn’t like it. The grills are chunks of meat and veggies in some sort of gravy, she loved them. So the cans cost just under $4 each, and a can will last for 2 days. I only use about a half cup per meal. Cheaper than the Toppers, but when you add up the cost it’s about $60 a month and that’s on top of the $60+ we spent on dry food.
I still thought I could get the cost down, so I chatted with our dog trainer. We agreed that making toppers would be just as good if not better than buying canned food. I was hesitant to make my own food even though I know many folks do. If you’re going to feed your pet strictly homemade food you need to get recipes that will address your pet’s nutritional needs and supplement what is missing. Good quality dog food is nutritionally balanced for pets, homemade dog may not be and you may need to give your dog supplements. Having said that, we agreed that toppers are just for taste and Cannoli would still get all the nutritional benefits of Blue Wilderness dry food.
I found that making the topper in my crock pot was real easy. It’s pretty much like making stew! I managed to cook up a pot that should last about a month for less than $15. That’s a big savings! Best of all Cannoli loves it!
A small caveat just in case you’re tempted to make a big pot of stew for dinner and use the leftovers as dog food toppers, don’t! Most of us use onions, garlic, and salt to make our stews taste good, those ingredients are not good for your dog! In fact onions and garlic are on the poisonous list! (If you don’t use any of these ingredients in your stew, then I suppose you can give the dog left overs.) For the most part you add no seasonings to dog food.
On the bright side, a homemade dog food topper is probably healthier than anything you buy in a can. After all you’ll be using real meat and veggies, not by products and no additives!
I froze my dog food topper in small plastic containers, each one with enough topper to last a few days. I defrost and store a container in the fridge as I need it.
Again, this recipe is not meant to replace store bought dog food. It may not meet all of your dog’s nutritional needs. It is meant to be used as a topper or wet mix in to your regular dog food to make it more appetizing for finicky pups. If you want to replace your pet’s food with homemade dog food please talk to your vet and do your research for recipes that will meet all your pet’s nutritional needs and if needed give your pet supplemental vitamins and minerals as directed by your vet.
Here’s my recipe, hope your pooch loves it as much as Cannoli does.
*for smaller dogs cut the meat and veggies smaller
3 Pound Chuck Roast cut into small cubes
3 large Carrots sliced into rounds
3 large potatoes cut into small cubes
1/2 Pound string beans chopped into bite size pieces
2 Cups no onion no garlic broth – if using commercial broth try Fody Chicken Soup Base it has no onions or make your own from beef bones
3 cans water
3 Tbls. flour
1 Cup water
Place chuck roast cubes into crock pot.[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
Add veggies, pour in broth and water (use the broth can to measure the water), stir.
Set the crock pot on low for 8 hours.
Half way through dissolve flour in water and stir in to stew. Replace cover and cook until done.
Store topper in air tight freezer containers.[spacer height=”-50px” id=”7″]
Homemade Dog Food Topper
Healthy dog food topper to mix with dry food. Made with real chunks of beef and vegetables steeped in gravy.