I bark, you bark, we all bark for Barking Barley and Wheat Surprise!

November 30th, 2009 10:48 am by Kelly Garbato

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As you can see, I’m in a silly mood this morning. A weekend of FSMas decorating will do that to you!

Anyhow, here’s another recipe from The Simple Little Vegan Dog Book. This one’s a main dish, quick and easy to make – perfect for a chilly December evening when you’ve a dozen gifts to wrap (or is that adoption packets to print up?) and a Peace Corps worth of Vegan Gingerbread People baking in the oven. You can even prepare the barley and lentils in one pot to save on dishes!

Barking Barley and Wheat Surprise

Reprinted from The Simple Little Vegan Dog Book (page 53) with permission.

For everyday feeding or just a quick meal on a busy day, this is a staple you can always count on. The finished product looks a lot like standard dog food. If you like, add any dog-friendly vegetables you have on hand. It’s a great way to clear out the fridge!

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1 cup cooked barley
1 cup firm cooked lentils
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup salt-free vegetable broth


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Combine the barley, flour, and lentil in a medium casserole dish. Pour the broth over the mixture, cover with a lid, and bake for 45 minutes. Let cool. The surface will look wet, but it will become drier as it stands. Serve warm or at room temperature.

2. Stored in individual portions in sealed containers or zipper-lock bags, Barking Barley and Wheat Surprise will keep for 5 to 7 days in the refrigerator or 6 months in the freezer.


As usual, I doubled the recipe. (Hey, that’s what happens when you live with five canines!) I store homemade dog food in a large Tupperware container in the fridge; leftovers are usually devoured in 5 to 7 days, and I rarely worry about spoilage. But if you have fewer dog-kids, you may want to store half in the freezer, or halve the recipe. The more food you make at a time, the less frequently you have to cook.

I didn’t have any low-/no-salt veggie broth, so I made a few cups of broth using one-half of a bouillon cube. I threw in some additional spices – thyme, sage, basil, perhaps (I forget exactly) – as well as a bit of frozen broccoli for extra flavor.

To cook pearl barley, use 3-4 cups of water to one cup of barley; cook over medium heat for 30 to 45 minutes. For lentils, use 2-3 cups of water to one cup of lentils; cook over medium heat for 20 to 40 minutes.

If you don’t have any barley on hand, use brown rice instead. No lentils? Try some (dried, no-salt) beans.

Of course, you can add some extra veggies if you’d like – most dog food recipes are quite flexible and open to improv!

* Please check out the Dog Food Disclaimer page if you have any questions or concerns, or before trying any dog food recipes on this site!



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4 Responses to “I bark, you bark, we all bark for Barking Barley and Wheat Surprise!”

  1. Vegan Dog's Life Says:

    What brand of veggie broth do you use? I have yet to find one without onion in it & have searched high & low. :(

  2. Kelly G. Says:

    Oh, crap! I used Knorr’s vegetable bouillon, which does in fact have onion in it. Guess I was so focused on the sodium content (not good, btw) that I forgot to check for onion. Which is pictured right on the friggin’ box! Duh, me. Good thing I only used a small amount.

    Michelle Rivera doesn’t offer a recipe for homemade veggie broth in her book, but I did have some success in making my own broth from scratch last night. Basically I boiled 6 cups of water, then added in various spices (basil, thyme, garlic powder, pepper seeds, parsley, etc.), some veggies (spinach, broccoli, carrots), molasses, olive oil, nutritional yeast, and a little tomato paste, and let it simmer on low for about an hour. Doesn’t taste quite like vegetable broth, but the dogs like it. I poured it over some cubed tofu and leftover breadcrumbs and popped it in the oven to make a stuffing-like dish for ’em.

  3. For Dogs & their Peoples: Low-Sodium, Onion-Free Gravy & Vegetable Broth / Soup Stock » V for Vegan: easyVegan.info Says:

    […] you. But if you’re just going to mix a veggie broth with additional veggies (such as with the Barking Barley and Wheat Surprise I shared a few weeks back), look no further than my Low-Sodium, Onion-Free Vegetable Broth / Soup […]

  4. Review: Michelle Rivera’s The Simple Little Vegan Dog Book (2009) » V for Vegan: easyVegan.info Says:

    […] might recall that, back in November, I featured Barking Barley and Wheat Surprise in these here […]

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