My dogs and I are trying to break our high-calorie habits.
It’s not easy. I am a hungry, hungry hippo. I love to cook and there are few things that satisfy my soul like creating, then savouring a great meal. My love of good food extends to my dogs and there is almost always a virtual cornucopia of treats in our house. Food is love, right? So what’s the big deal if we share an extra snack or two (or ten)?
Well, my big behind ripped a big hole in my pants today, for one thing.
Yeah. That wasn’t embarrassing at all. I could just see Kolchak covering his face with his paws, absolutely ashamed of me. Kol and Felix aren’t exactly looking svelte themselves. Felix is looking just a little too much like a teddy bear. Kolchak is starting to look like a sausage. We’ve all put on a little winter weight. It might be fine for the dogs; they’ve got those great fur coats to hide the extra pounds, but what about me? I just look extra chunky.
Kolchak is a wretched trouble maker.
Just a few days ago, the little scamp stole an acorn squash out of the grocery bag and spent an hour playing with it, gnawing on it and trying to get at the tasty flesh within. I assume that like always, he was just trying to drive me insane, but what if he was trying to tell me something.
It’s time to start eating a little healthier.
The hounds and the humans at Casa de Kolchak love winter squash. It makes for a great dog toy and an even better snack. It’s lightly sweet and flavourful with a great texture, plus it’s genuinely good for you. Winter squash is a good source of carotenoids, an antioxidant. It’s got some great anti-inflammatory properties and studies show that it has the power to help stabilize blood sugar levels and inhibit the formation of cholesterol in your cells. At less than 100 calories per cup, winter squash can help fill you up without bogging you down.
The best snacks are for sharing.
I’m a big believer that there is no “dog food” or “human” food. There’s just food and I love when good food is dog-friendly. Squash is an excellent way to share a snack with your dog. This easy recipe is great as a flavourful side dish or served with beans, as a tasty option for a “meatless Monday”. It’s also an awesome choice for a fresh dog snack. Kolchak & Felix go absolutely crazy over these simple treats, proof that Cooking with Dogs doesn’t have to be complicated.
Squash & Parmesan Bites
- 1 medium winter squash, like acorn or butternut
- 1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp. chopped fresh parsley (optional)
- ½ tsp. garlic powder
Preheat oven to 350F.
Winter squash can have a tough outer skin, so make sure you use a nice, sharp knife. Too many kitchen injuries are the result of using a knife that isn’t sharp enough to do the job right. Cut open squash and scoop out the seeds. (You can save them and toast them later, if you like.) Slice the squash into 1” widths and remove the peel. Chop into 1” cubes.
In a medium bowl, combine squash, parsley, garlic powder and cheese. Pour mixture into a baking dish and bake for 35 – 45 minutes, until tender, but still firm. Dog treats can be served as is, but the human treats will be even more delicious with a dash of salt and a liberal sprinkling of pepper.
Yum. I had no problem taste testing these “dog treats”.
The real critics around our house, though, are the dogs. Kolchak gives these four very enthusiastic paws up. Here is the before picture:
And here is the after. I said “Take it”, then immediately snapped a photo. Apparently, I was still too there was nothing left on Kolchak or Felix’s plate by the time I could snap the picture
Easy, delicious and nutritious?
That is our kind of treat. We can’t get enough squash. What other tasty Squash dishes could we share with our dogs? We’d love to hear about your favorites.
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.