Whip Up Something New This Thanksgiving with Pets and People in Mind
The holidays are upon us, and while they are filled with time-honored traditions, there’s nothing that says we can’t add a little variety and spice to the menu to liven things up now and again.
While you may count on mom’s sausage stuffing and Aunt Peggy’s green bean casserole, we’ve got a recipe straight from Cocoa Beach’s very own Flavour Kitchen courtesy of chef Jason Bunin that just might become a new family favorite.
And speaking of family, don’t forget Fido and Spot this year when it comes to Turkey Day treats. We’ve got some pet-safe recipes for them, as well!
Black-Lacquered Candy Yams
“When candied yams are infused with vanilla licorice at your family dinner table, this surprise will become an instant classic Thanksgiving delight,” Jason says.
6 medium fancy yams, peeled and quartered
1 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup molasses
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon ginger puree
6 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon ground anise
1/2 cup scallions, chopped
1. On low heat, bring all ingredients except scallions to simmer. Cook until liquid is reduced by half.
2. Add yams and cook until soft, about 15 minutes.
3. Turn off heat and let sit for another 15 minutes in liquid.
4. Transfer yams onto plate and sprinkle with scallions.
Holiday Dog Treats
With all the people food during the holidays, it’s only fair to include the dogs in the feasting. Tip: If you decided to carve pumpkins this year for Halloween, don’t be in such a hurry to discard those shells. They can make the basis for healthy snack options for pets.
Pumpkin Cookie Recipe for Dogs
Yield: 10-15 cookies with an estimated 50-70 calories per cookie, depending on size.Ingredients
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons honey
1 large egg
1 tablespoon applesauce
3/4 cup and 2 tablespoons whole-wheat flour
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
2. Combine pumpkin puree, honey, egg and applesauce together with a mixer. Blend well.
3. Add flour and stir until all ingredients are fully combined.
4. Refrigerate for one hour or overnight and make the following day.
5. Bake for 18-22 minutes.
6. Cool before serving.
Homemade jerky from leftover white or dark turkey meat produces a crispy, crunchy treat that’s preservative-free and easy to make.
Pour between a 1/4 to a 1/2 cup of olive oil (depending on the amount of meat) in a sealable container or Ziplock bag, and add a few tablespoons of fresh parsley finely chopped and a little garlic powder.
Add leftover meat and burp the container or bag, shake, and let the mixture marinate for a few hours (or overnight if meat is overcooked or really dry).
Preheat oven to 150-160 degrees F. Remove meat from marinade and lay flat on drying racks over lined cookie sheets or directly on parchment paper. Slow cook with the oven door cracked a few inches for 3 to 5 hours, depending on thickness of meat. End product should be crispy and crunchy when done. Cool and store appropriately.
Note: Uncooked pumpkin, sweet potato and yam cut in 3/4-inch slices all make great healthy snacks for dogs when dehydrated, too. You can also puree leftover veggies, cranberry sauce and/or pumpkin pie filling mixed with or without a little gravy for another holiday treat dogs will love. Remember, everything in moderation.