Will My Kids Eat It? Homemade Zucchini Mushroom Tofu Dumplings


Hellooo Vegan MoFo 2014! During September, bloggers around the world will be sharing their creations and experiences based on a theme of their choosing. Any theme, so long as the food is completely vegan. My theme, which I decided on in a moment of hand wringing despair, is Will My Kids Eat It? See, I’ve spoken a bit before about my super picky-eaters family. I’m dealing with sensitivities related to the texture, smell and appearance of foods and what my children eat is pretty limited. I’m desperate to change that and what better time to get all experimenty than MoFo? I know there’s a healthy recipe out there somewhere my family will eat. If the gods are kind, that recipe will be a one pot meal.

Let it not be said I lack ambition when it comes to getting my picky eaters (that includes Husband) to try new things. Unfortunately those new things end up being my leftovers for the next few days, because nobody else will touch them. This sucks when you hate leftovers after day two.

So ambition can be good. But when my family gives my mealtime offering another thumbs down, I end up thinking toast will suffice, because ambition is dumb.

And so it came to pass that some ridiculous cosmic ray beamed itself in to my brain and said Veganopoulous, you will make dumplings. Such a thought, for me, can only be explained by ridiculous cosmic rays. Why else would I decide to do something so time consuming like filling little pastry things then boiling little pastry things?

Inspired by the zucchini dumplings at Shandong Mama, I made a filling of mushroom, zucchini, tofu, ginger and garlic. My store bought wrappers were the small square ones so I googled how to make nice shapes from the square wrappers. “Fold in half diagonally, then join long ends together to make a pretty dumpling shape”, said one website. Following those simple instructions, I ended up with dumplings that looked like nappies of the filled variety:

homemade vegan dumplings

I boiled the diaper-dumplings then fried them in a hot pan to crisp them up a bit. They tasted okay but the real surprise was Arthur. I fully expected him to barf a little in his mouth (literally– that’s what happened with my last lasagna effort. Texture sensitivities and all).

Drum roll…

WILL THEY EAT IT? (Arthur age ten, DeeW age six and a half). 

Arthur: “These are actually quite nice. Slimy, but surprisingly good. I thought they would taste like, you know… shit. Sorry. But I don’t want the soy sauce with sesame oil, that looks like urine from a serious bladder infection”.

DeeW: “These are okay. Very nice. But I only nibbled the corner”.
Arthur has always been interested in anatomy. I still can’t quite work out if giving him a copy of the Bristol Stool Chart was a blessing or a curse.

Although I’m really pleased Arthur liked these, I was equally pleased when he said he would eat them again but not often. Making these often would get on my nerves pretty quick. I used the food processor to prepare the filling but I am terribly impatient when it comes to putting a wee teaspoon of filling on a wrapper, then being confronted by the massive amount of filling still left to go. It’s like I’ve offended Zeus and he’s making me use up a bowl of never ending filling.

So my first Vegan MoFo attempt has been a success. I can add this to my teeny tiny list of “stuff the kids will eat”. PHEW.


33 thoughts on “Will My Kids Eat It? Homemade Zucchini Mushroom Tofu Dumplings

  1. What an ace theme! Good luck with finding stuff. I don’t have any kids of my own but I do have a three year old twin niece and nephew who both have totally different food preferences!

  2. Haha love your kids’ verdicts! At least they quite liked them after the fiddly process of making them. I do that all the time- decide to make time consuming dishes at the most inappropriate time when everyone would’ve been happy with avocado toast. My partner is also picky so sometimes feels like have 3 kids 🙂

  3. I find dumplings fiddly to make too but I am not that into them either – I have come to this conclusion after having so little motivation to use the dumplings in the freezer – but I have been to shandong mama and loved them so I can see why you would make them and also why arthur would enjoy them – great to start vegan mofo with a win. (Sylvia started eating zaatar pizza around the edges and now eats them with only some zaatar scraped off so I figure that eating dumplings around the edges is a good start for DeeW)

    • I really have an aversion to doing time consuming stuff with fiddly little things. Like when I made gnocchi, I was too impatient and they ended up horribly massive.

    • Thanks! The restaurant I buy them from make them so well, I wish I could make the exact same filling but I don’t fancy the thought of sitting there for ages filling then cooking them 🙂

  4. “Will My Kids Eat It?” is the current theme of my life, so I’m very much looking forward to your posts this MoFo. And more quotes from Arthur!

    • thanks! Yep, such a popular theme with parents. Arthur started off eating a handful of different foods but he still runs away when he sees rice. If he ate rice, life would be so much easier around here when it comes to cooking!

    • Thanks! I’m heading in to unchartered waters here but dammit, if I can find a handful of dishes my kids will both like I will consider it a massive success!

    • Ahh yes he does like to compare food to various bodily things! I hope he grows out of this phase but of course I will remind him for the rest of his life.

  5. These look delicious! My daughter was asking for chinese dumplings the other day & i didn’t get around to it! Now I’m tempted to try these instead of the cabbage ones I had planned – I’m sure she’ll approve 😉 lol

    • thanks! I’m really hoping to get at least five new recipes the kids will eat but the bonus will be that mythical magical one pot meal everyone will love…