This great kibble recipe is from the new cookbook, Dinner for Dogs by Henrietta Morrison. She is the founder of Lily’s Kitchen, a popular pet food company in the UK. She believes in proper food for dogs, and Lily, her Border Terrier, is her chief taster. See an interview with Henrietta as well.
This is a great dish as all of the ingredients, except the turkey, are cooked in one pot. You could, of course, just serve this as a stew, but I love the idea of being able to make your own kibble. It takes about an hour, but it’s very easy and also very empowering to make a food that has always been a bit of an industry secret.
Turkey is great as it’s very low in fat and very digestible, which makes it useful for dogs who are allergic to the usual protein sources—lamb, beef and chicken. Turkey is also handy as it’s readily available ground.
This is also a good hypoallergenic recipe that is free of wheat. You’ll notice I haven’t included peas, which always seem to be part of a dog’s menu these days. Peas can be hard to digest for some dogs and therefore can make them gassy.
1 cup and 1 tablespoon (200 g) brown rice
½ cup (100 g) lentils
5 cups (1¼ liters) water
3 medium carrots (200 g), peeled and chopped
1 medium sweet potato (200 g), scrubbed and chopped
1 apple, peeled, cored and chopped, or ½ cup (100 g) unsweetened applesauce
¾ cup (100 g) steel-cut oats
1¼ tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
2 small sprigs fresh rosemary, finely chopped
2¼ cups (500 g) ground turkey, about 18 ounces
¼ cup (50 ml) olive, sunflower or canola oil, plus additional oil for greasing
Put the rice and lentils into a saucepan and cover with the water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and cook for 20 minutes.
Once the rice and lentils are cooked, add the chopped carrots, sweet potato and apple to the saucepan. Stir in the oats and chopped herbs and gently simmer for 20 minutes more. Add an extra cup of water if the mixture is too dry. Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C.
Meanwhile, brown the ground turkey in a separate frying pan. You will need to keep stirring it while it is cooking to prevent it from sticking to the pan as it is very low in fat. It will take about 10 minutes to cook through.
Put half the cooked vegetable and grain mixture into a food processor with half the cooked turkey, add half the oil and pulse until the mixture resembles a thick purée.
Grease 2 cookie sheets and spread the mixture onto one of the sheets so that it is about ¼ inch (5 mm) thick. The mixture will spread slightly so leave a bit of room for this. It is important that the mixture is not too thick because it will prohibit the kibble from cooking through.
Repeat as above using the second cookie sheet and the remaining ingredients.
Place both cookie sheets into the preheated oven and bake for 45 minutes. Turn the kibble over so that it dries through, and cook for another 30 to 45 minutes. You should have what looks like two very large cookies. Make sure the kibble is completely cooked through, as any moist bits will get moldy after a couple of days. If it is not fully dried out, leave it in the oven for 20 minutes more.
Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F/160°C. Remove the “kibble cookies” from the oven, cool slightly and cut them into small pieces. Place the pieces back onto the cookie sheets and bake for an additional hour, or until the kibble is completely dried (but not burnt).
Remove the kibble from the oven and let cool completely. It should resemble pieces of broken pita bread. It will keep in the fridge for 10 days.
Per 4 ounces (100 g)