Rice has been a staple in our home made dog food, doggy stew, for several years. The birds get a nice scoop of doggy stew every day through the winter too, and then there are all the ways we humans eat rice here as well. What would we do without rice?
As I was making Husband a pot of pea soup this week, it occurred to me that I could easily grow and store the peas for the little bit of pea soup we eat each winter, rather than buying them. In truth, I could probably make a pot of pea soup from the peas I saved for seed this year, and still have enough to plant come spring. And that's without even really trying- just the peas that we miss while picking fresh peas to eat raw, that get too fat and mature to eat the way we like. With just the slightest bit of effort and maybe another row or two in the garden, I could easily harvest enough dried peas to feed the beasts all winter. Peas grow incredibly well here, and I don't even have to bend over to pick them!
So what about nutrition? According to wikipedia- White Rice versus Green Peas, rice is a little higher in energy, while peas are higher in carbs, sugar, and protein. Peas also seem to win on the vitamin and mineral content. There's an interesting article on the history of pea soup as well. Somewhere along the line a nutritious winter staple became a rare winter treat.
Ok, so I'm comfortable with the nutritional value, the question is, what will the dogs think? Well, they certainly have no issue with gobbling up leftovers :) They don't get gassy upset stomachs like they are prone to with beans, either. A quick internet search reveals peas as a suitable veggie treat for dogs.
I think I will start mixing some dried peas into the doggy stew pot overnight, and gradually increase the amount they eat over the next few weeks. If they do well, we may have a solution.
Now what about us? I don't think pea soup will ever be a suitable replacement for chicken fried rice, however having a pot of soup (pea or otherwise) on the stove at all times is an age old tradition. Soup before or with a meal would probably be sufficient to replace the need for a side dish like rice.
Cabbage rolls? I think oats would be better suited than peas. Oatmeal works well in meatballs, meatloaf and salisbury steak. More growing to do!
Cream of mushroom rice? Well, we won't have any mushrooms to worry about, unless I find someone in the woods someday who will teach me whats safe to eat. :( Or unless I get off my butt and finally do something about growing my own. Not in the plans for this year though.