Going Vegetarian with Homemade Veggie Bones

Yesterday, Tallulah and I joined our human mommy/personal chef in the kitchen to whip up a batch of Veggie Bones. Tallulah supervised as Mommy assembled the ingredients:

  • 3 cups minced parsley
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped carrots
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella or parmesan cheese (we went for the parmesan, and Mommy gave it a fine chop)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2-3/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons bran (we used oat bran)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 to 1 cup water

In one bowl, Mommy combined the parsley, carrots, cheese, and olive oil. In another, she mixed the whole wheat flour, bran, and baking powder. Then she poured the dry ingredients into the veggies, gradually added 1/2 cup of water, and mixed to make a moist but not wet dough. If you’re trying this at home, you might need to add a little extra water. We eventually used just a bit over one cup.

Then came my second favorite part of any dog treat recipe: cleaning the mixer beaters.

I even let Tallulah get in on the action. When we’d finished, Mommy could have put those beaters right back into the drawer  . . . but she didn’t, opting instead to let them take what Tallulah and I thought was a totally unnecessary spin in the dishwasher. But back to the actual baking process.

Mommy kneaded the dough for about a minute and put half of it onto a surface sprinkled with some whole wheat flour. Then she rolled the dough out to 1/2-inch thickness and cut it into little bone shapes before placing the cut-out treats onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. (Mommy wrapped the remaining dough in plastic wrap, sealed it in a ziplock bag, and popped it into the freezer so that we can make more treats another day.)

At this point, I will admit that I was super excited that I do not have opposable thumbs. You see, if I did, I might have had to do the whole kneading, rolling, and cutting thing. Instead, I enjoyed a nice little nap. I even left the pre-baking quality control duties up to Tallulah. She seemed pleased with the work that our mommy had done and gave her the ok to place the cookie sheet into the oven, which was preheated to 350F. Then my little sister and I sat back and waited about 20 to 30 minutes for our Veggie Bones to come out. We knew they were ready when they were browned and slightly hardened.

Remember just above when I told you that cleaning the mixer beaters is my second favorite part of any dog teat recipe? Any guesses what my favorite part might be? Yep . . . it’s tasting the final product. After the Veggie Bones came out of the oven, we let them cool and harden just a bit more. While I was happy to let Tallulah cover pre-bake quality control, I took full responsibility for guaranteeing the quality of the post-bake product. After all, being the older sibling does come with some advantages. And my verdict? Simply superb! If you’re looking for a healthy homemade treat, these Veggie Bones are just the thing. BONE appetit . . . and try to keep the drool to a minimum. 😉


The Missy Award–It’s All About the Animals

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I have spent so much of the last month jet-setting around the country (ok, I just hopped into my chariot for a one-hour drive to New Orleans), dining in restaurants to celebrate my birthday (technically, I celebrated my birthday by dining outside of a restaurant), and rolling in extremely putrid things (now that statement is entirely accurate) that I have completely neglected to acknowledged some of my favorite bloggers for nominating me for two very nice awards. Today I am thanking  Maryanne Mistretta for The Missy Award nomination.

The  Missy Award is presented to bloggers who support and advocate for animals, either as the main focus of their blog or in a single blog post.  The nominated bloggers can be animal lovers, vegetarians, vegans, rescue workers . . . doesn’t matter . . . it’s all about the animals. (The fact that I was nominated leads me to believe that nominated bloggers can be actual animals, too!)

The rules for this one are pretty simple:

  1. You must post the award picture on your blog. (Who doesn’t love putting award pictures on their blog?)
  2. Link back to The Missy Award.
  3. And answer these two questions: What inspires you to write? Why do you love animals?
  4. Nominate other worthy bloggers (whatever number you’d like), or you can simply accept the award and complete only Steps 1, 2, and 3.
  5. Finally, please let your nominees know you nominated them.

What inspires me to write? I’ve said it before, and it’s really very basic: I write to make humans smile. I have learned that humans deal with a lot of “stuff.” If I can take them away from all of the “stuff” in their lives and give them five fun minutes a few times a week, I have accomplished my most important goal.

Why do you love animals?  Aside from the most obvious fact (I am an animal . . . hope I didn’t shock you with that revelation), I love animals because we have an innocence and a simple sense of joy. We are loyal and forgiving. We don’t judge, and we are always hopeful. Humans could learn a lot from animals.

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Now for my nominees:

  • dailyspro–I have told you about this special human before, but now I get to tell you about her and nominate her for The Missy Award. She lost her beautiful, sweet dog Newton when he was just a little over two years old. She has shared her sadness so eloquently with her readers. But she didn’t stop there. After Newton’s death, she started volunteering as a dog walker at her local shelter. Most recently she has started a pet-sitting service that allows dogs to stay with her in her home. Did I mention she also has two cats . . . who, by the way, must approve the guest dogs before they can board? It’s official: she’s an animal lover!
  • Life Embarked–Jessica writes about her two-year-old Taylor, a Scottish Terrier/Dachshund mix adopted from a local shelter and about how doggy parenthood has improved her life in so many wonderful and surprising way. As a doggy mommy, she became very aware of what she was feeding little Taylor. That awareness crossed over to more interest in the foods she was eating, and now Jessica is a vegetarian with a goal of becoming a vegan. Check out her blog for some beautiful vegan Easter desserts. A vegetarian (working to become a vegan) and an animal lover: I think she’s qualified for The Missy Award!
  • Shoeful of Drool–When she started her blog, this witty lady told about the antics of Dudley, her Golden Retriever/German Shepherd mix. A few months ago, Dudley crossed the rainbow bridge to be with his sister Zoe, and his mom wrote a beautiful two-part post about saying goodbye. She says that she truly believes having dogs has made her a better person. Every single day, she says, Dudley and Zoe still make her laugh. A while back she wrote a post about her desire to adopt a black dog (often the last dogs to be adopted from shelters) and name her (or him) Betty. I hope she does that one day. There’s a black dog somewhere out there who deserves to have this animal lover as its mother. This Missy Award is for you!
  • writetowag–Trev is a Cairn Terrier and he has achieved the status that all of us desire: Trev is a senior citizen. His mom writes lovingly about what it is to own and care for a senior dog (of course we all know that dogs actually own and care for their humans, but that’s another story). She shares product information and stories about the special time that they spend together. When you look at Trev’s pictures and see his sweet, sweet eyes, you will understand why his mom would do anything for him. Trev recently had a routine teeth cleaning, and he has had a bit of a health struggle since. Sending best wishes Trev’s way and The Missy Award to his mom, who loves him very, very much!

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And to you . . . that’s right, you . . . the human who is reading this right now: The Missy Award goes to you. . . because I just have a hunch that you, too, are an animal lover!