Vegan Dog Kibble

Bonnie

For 2012 Vegan Month of Food (Vegan MoFo) I planned to blog about transitioning Bonnie to a vegan diet, but The 508 happened and Vegan MoFo sign-up came and went. I missed deadline. Not that I had much time for blogging this month anyway.

For now, in honor of the last day of Vegan MoFo 2012, I’m sharing our (so far) best recipe for vegan kibble. It’s based on the “No Soy Kibble” from the VegeDog recipe sheet, with inspiration from “Mini Seitan Bites” in 500 Vegan Recipes. Bonnie loves those! It has quite a lot more fat than the VegeDog recipes. I’ve always given my dogs higher fat foods, and added vegetable oil to that, because their skin and fur seems healthier, especially in this dry climate.

If you’d asked me a few months ago when I started switching Bonnie to vegan food, I would have sworn that, while I wouldn’t mind cooking up lentils and rice for her, I would NEVER bake vegan kibble!! Ah well. For several reasons, that went out the window pretty quickly:

  1. Bonnie is a VERY picky eater. She won’t eat the same thing more than a few times in a row. This has always been true. No matter the food. Although it’s contrary to standard American dog feeding advice, the more variety the better for Bonnie.
  2. You can’t really leave your dog for a week with a dog sitter and ask her to cook 2 meals a day for your dog … unless you have a much bigger dog sitting budget than I do.
  3. The pre-made kibble Bonnie likes (Evolution Diet, both flavors) is expensive! (Also see point #1.) (Note: She also likes Evolution canned food. Also expensive! It’s a stretch to say she likes it, but if she’s hungry and hasn’t had it recently, she’ll eat Natural Balance Vegan, which is available at PetCo.)
4 days food for Bonnie.
1/2 the batch. This is about 8 meals (4 days food) for Bonnie.

Given, that I rotate different foods, and Bonnie weighs less than 30 pounds so she doesn’t eat a lot, I make about one batch of homemade kibble a month. Altogether it takes about an hour. I figure saving several chickens from battery cages, and giving my dog food she likes is worth 1 hour per month. I’ve tried making bigger batches, but it doesn’t really save much time. I can’t fit more than this on my two pizza stones without making the kibble thicker. Thicker turns out chewier. Bonnie likes that ok, but seems to like the small, crispy kibble the best. And it seems to keep a little better. I usually store a few meals in the fridge and the remainder in the freezer, just to make sure it stays as fresh as possible.

Oat-Tahini-Herb Kibble
Makes about 12 cups

Preheat oven to 325°F

Wet Ingredients

  • 1 c quick oats soaked in
  • 4 c water
  • 2 T Soy Sauce

Dry Ingredients (mix together the following)

  • 3 c vital wheat gluten
  • 4 c whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 c VegeYeast
  • 2 T VegeDog
  • 3/4 t soy lecithin (optional)
  • 2 t dry basil
  • 2 t dry oregano
  • 2 t dry thyme

Blend dry ingredients with:

  • 3/4 c tahini (or peanut butter)
  • 1/4 c olive oil

Add wet ingredients and knead about 4 minutes. I use a stand mixer with dough hook for mixing, blending and kneading steps.

Line pizza stone with parchment paper (unless you have an hour to chip kibble off your pizza stone after baking!) Roll dough out on parchment paper to a thickness of 1/4″-3/8″. No thicker than 1/2″. Score with pizza cutter or knife. I try for about 1/4″x1/4″ squares. Sometimes, for a change, I make bigger squares 3/4″-1″. That size is also good for peanut butter “sandwiches”.

Dough rolled and scored
Dough rolled out and scored with pizza cutter. It’s dog food. It doesn’t need to be perfect!

Bake 45 min to 1 hour and 20 min. I’ve always baked at least 1h 20m, but nearly always have to double baking times in recipes so I’m guessing most people will be closer to 45 min. (Yes, I have an oven thermometer. Altitude?)

I usually remove the edge pieces when they start to brown. Then return the stone and middle pieces back to the oven.

Options
You can try different dog-safe herbs and spices. Tahini seems to be more flavorful than peanut butter.

Try not to eat it all yourself. It’s for your pup!

Kibble after baking
Fresh out of the oven!

Spicy pinto bean breakfast

So my morning went like this:

  • Coffee
  • Apple Pie Lara Bar (I don’t often eat Lara Bars, but Vitamin Cottage had them on sale a few weeks ago, thus they’ve appeared twice in two days.)
  • Get road bike ready to go
  • Dress
  • Take Bonnie for a 30 min ride around the neighborhood with the mountain bike (exercise for her, warm-up for me)
  • 4 x 4 min/2 min intervals on road bike, planned 6 x, but power dropped significantly on #4
  • 8 min Crossfit AMRAP 7 back squats, 7 chest-to-bar (w/ assistance band for me)
  • Spicy pinto beans on toast

Spicy pinto beans on toast

The spicy pinto beans were not all that spicy, but it’s a more interesting title. I had some pinto beans leftover from yesterday that I’d simmered for a few hours with 1/2 c. beer, 1 veggie boullion cube and a few cherry tomatoes. This morning I added about 1/4 c. red sauce leftover from a tamale dinner I’d made for friends a few weeks ago. I simmered that over very low heat for about 15 min then poured over toast. A corn tortilla would probably be more appropriate, but I didn’t have any. And pinto beans over toast always reminds me of one of my favorite childhood meals; pinto beans over toast with ketchup!

This is the recipe I use for red sauce. It’s the “Classic New Mexico Red Chile Sauce” in Hot and Spicy Meatless by Dave Dewitt, Mary Jane Wilson and Melissa T. Stock. I’ve had it about 15 years and it’s one of my favorite cookbooks. Not all recipes are vegan, but most that are not can easily be made so, especially now that we have Daiya.

10-12 dried whole New Mexican red chiles
1 large onion chopped
3 cloves garlic chopped
3 c. water

Toast chiles in 250° F oven for 10-15 min. Crumble chiles into sauce pan. I usually use a big stovetop wok. Add other ingredients and bring to a boil. Simmer 20-30 min. Puree in blender until smooth. Simple, yummy, perfect red sauce!