We’ve been watching what we eat here at Casa de Kolchak.
It’s not really about losing weight, more about having the vim and vigor to get out there and enjoy life. You can’t really enjoy a beautiful hike along the river when you’re feeling weighted down by a cheeseburger. Kolchak is a cross between a pug and a beagle, two breeds that tend to waddle when they get a little pudgy and he definitely felt a little rounder than normal lately. So, we’ve been behaving. Most of the time.
Occasionally, you have to give into a craving.
For me this week, that craving was fried zucchini sticks. I love these things. Crisp on the outside, warm and tender on the inside. Lots of tasty dipping sauce. I’m practically drooling as I write about them.
Too bad it’s not exactly a great treat for pups or their people.
Fried foods aren’t exactly good for us. As humans, fried foods can be a splurge; a tasty treat to be enjoyed occasionally, but for our dogs? Fried foods are off limits, absolutely all the time. Fatty foods, like ones fried in oil, put your dog at risk for pancreatitis, causing fever, vomiting, pain, jaundice and more. Once your dog gets pancreatitis, it can change their life forever, limiting the things they can eat and affecting their quality of life. It’s definitely not worth the risk.
So, how can I satisfy that craving and make a snack we could all enjoy?
We decided to try baked zucchini chips. It’s a really simple idea. Take slices of delicious zucchini and bread them with a little parmesan in there, and bake them until they’re all hot and crispy. I loved them.
If this was a home run for me, then the dogs thought it was a grand slam.
Felix actually loved the warm baked zucchini the best and he was content to let Koly clean up his leftover crust. Kolchak almost got himself into major trouble. He’s a big fan of anything that has cheese, but he seemed to enjoy these more than most. Good thing these snacks were for sharing.
For the dogs, I didn’t bother dipping them in messy sauce, plus I got a little lazy and used a jar sauce. Most jar sauces are made with onions, which are another major no-no for dogs.
Want to try these tasty treats for yourself?
They are really easy to make and you can adjust this recipe, so that you can enjoy these with your dogs, even if they eat a grain free diet, like mine do. Here’s what you need:
1 c. panko bread crumbs or potato crumbs (like those used to make instant mash)
1/3 c. fine grated parmesan cheese (like the kind that comes in shakers)
2 egg whites
Preheat oven to 425F.
In a small bowl, mix together the bread or potato crumbs and the parmesan cheese. In a second bowl, beat together two egg whites.
Thinly slice the zucchini. If you have a tool like a mandolin, this is a great time to use it.
Coat each slice of zucchini in the egg whites, and then cover them in the breading mixture. I sprinkled a little extra on top for a bit of extra crunch. I really like a crunchy chip. Lay out chips on a baking sheet.
Pop them in the oven for 10 minutes, until they are golden brown on the bottom. Flip them over and put them back in the oven for another 10 – 15 minutes. Serve while still hot and enjoy.
All the tastiness of a zucchini stick; none of the guilt.
Want a hot tip? These chips get a little soggy once they’ve been out a while, but a few minutes under the broiler and they crisp up again.
I served mine with a tasty lemon poppy seed dip. What kind of dip would you choose?
Meet our Cooking with Dogs Contributor Jodi:
Jodi is a canine nutrition and small animal naturopathy student hailing from beautiful Vancouver, BC. (That’s in Canada, eh?) She loves to experiment in the kitchen, creating tasty (and healthy) treats for her two dogs, Felix & Kolchak and the rest of her family. Jodi’s blog, Kol’s Notes follows the antics of the irrepressible Kolchak as he celebrates good food, good friends and the good life.