Hannah Kaminsky is a recipe developer, photographer, and dog lover living in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is the author of Real Food, Really Fast, Sweet Vegan Treats, and many more cookbooks, which always include at least one treat for our four-legged friends. You can find more of her work at BitterSweetBlog.com.
Note: This recipe is meant as a sweet treat, the same way you might treat yourself to a cookie or cupcake. It is not intended to be a daily topping on your dog's food.
What's the secret sauce that makes homely biscuits remarkable meals and covers a multitude of sins should you burn the roast on Thanksgiving Day? Gravy, that simple, savory sauce, has your back. By definition, the word itself also means “something additional or unexpected that is pleasing or valuable,” which is an equally appropriate description for this classic pan sauce.
Traditionally made from pan drippings and thickened with flour or starch, conventional gravy is certainly delicious, but leaves a bit to be desired for anyone with dietary restrictions. Canines and people both can pour it on thick when that magical sauce is built upon a bean base instead. Every bit as delicious as one seasoned with meat, this plant-based version employs the humble lentil for body, no fillers, thickeners, or stabilizers required.
Nutritional dynamos, lentils offer a world of health benefits to any animal, big or small. Particularly noted for their fiber and protein content, this tiny but mighty legume promises increased satiety; a big boon for notorious grazers (or table scrap-beggars.) A laundry list of essential minerals, such as potassium, iron, folate, and magnesium, just for starters, comes wrapped up in the package, too. Don’t forget about those dried herbs, which are potent not just for their condensed taste! Both thyme and rosemary contain powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, shown to slow aging and improve overall cognition. Play your cards right, and you can definitely teach an old dog new tricks!
Speed through this recipe by simply blending one (14-ounce) can of cooked, drained lentils with the remaining ingredients if you don’t have time to start from scratch. To be worthy of the dinner table, consider adding 2 tablespoons of soy sauce for a bit of an umami boost, and don’t be afraid to dabble with seasonings. Rubbed sage is a distinctive taste that immediately tastes like a fall feast with just a pinch. Though this batch yields a generous amount for one pup, I have a feeling your good boy (or girl) won’t be the only one tempted to partake.
Good Boy Gravy
1/2 Cup Dry Green and/or Brown Lentils
3 Cups Low-Sodium Vegetable Stock
1 Teaspoon Dried Thyme
1 Teaspoon Dried Rosemary
Combine the lentils, vegetable stock, and dried herbs in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cover, bring to a boil, and then reduce to a gentle simmer. Cook for about 30 minutes, until the lentils are soft and falling apart. The mixture should still be fairly soupy.
Remove from the heat and stir vigorously to break down the lentils further. Alternately, transfer the mixture to your food processor or blender to thoroughly puree. The gravy will continue to thicken as it cools. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.
Makes About 3 Cups
How’d it Turn Out??
Did you make Good Boy Gravy for your favorite pup(s)? If so, we want to see it! Tag us @WildEarthPets on Instagram or Facebook so we can share all the creative and tasty ways that you treat your dog!
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