Did My Kids Eat It? Vegan MoFo 2014 Wrap-Up




The last day of Vegan MoFo is upon us (well, at least in my timezone). I dropped the ball in this last week, thanks to a combination of illness and last minute plans where we weren’t home, or half the family weren’t home, so it didn’t make sense to whip up an experiment if only half the testing population were present. I had so many dishes planned for a push in the final week, but none came to life. That’s no biggie because I’m going to keep blogging with this theme now and then. If you’re new to my blog thanks to MoFo 2014, I often blog about recipes from cookbooks. Now that Arthur and DeeW are part of the taste testing team, I don’t see any reason to quit blogging their opinions 😉

Some of the dishes I planned to make for MoFo included Italian farinate, some veggies wrapped in bean curd skin, some nut or bean balls in a sub sandwich, dosa, baked potatoes with different fillings, lasagna, ravioli made from scratch and the blueberry pancakes from Brendan Brazier’s Thrive book (a recipe I love, but the family haven’t tried it yet). Hopefully I’ll get around to making those soon.

I had hoped to put up twenty MoFo posts but only made it to sixteen (my plan was to hit my target loads in the final week. Whoops). Of those sixteen, my ‘Will My Kids Eat It?’ theme resulted in three winning recipes: chia seed strawberry jam (from the Oh She Glows cookbook), Apple Hemp Muffins (by Dreena Burton) and my stromboli. I have a few recipes I will make again, perhaps with some modifications, but mostly the recipes were kinda on the fail side.

I won a fantastic cookbook in a giveaway but hadn’t clicked on the T&C on the rafflecopter thingy, which said US residents only, waaah! Because I was unable to win the book, Dreena Burton very kindly sent me a copy of her Plant-Powered 15 eBook instead. It has magnificent recipes and I’m looking forward to trying every single one.

I’ve read so many awesome blogs this month and felt inspired to do things for my health, cooking and gardening. I drooled quite a bit at the many great food blog posts, then wished I was on holidays when I saw the travel themed MoFo blogs! I also wished I could have invited myself to the vegan parties peeps were having, or maybe having a lame party myself and inviting everyone:









I bookmarked LOADS of sites, but a quick glance at my bookmarks tells me I noted just about everything, ha! It will take me ages to go through them all (I still have stuff from 2013 to go through!)

I very much appreciate the super comments people left here for me. It’s fun ‘meeting’ people during MoFo! And I appreciate some of the more personal posts other bloggers published on their blogs, which may not have been easy for them to do. There were certainly quite a few that made me pause for a bit and re-evaluate various elements of my life and make some positive changes!

It took about half a second for me to decide on a suitable closing (opening) theme for my MoFo experience this year, bwaha. Enjoy!



Will My Kids Eat It? Edamame!


Aren’t edamame just awesome? Especially their satisfying little pop when you squish them out of their pods. Such a simple, healthy no brainer kind of snack. The kind of simple easy no frills snack I want my children to eat because it’s SO SIMPLE.

Now, as far as MoFo blog posts go, this is probably the least imaginative one out there, because I did the basic simple thing of cooking the pods in salted boiling water, then sprinkled the drained pods with salt and casually presented them to Arthur and DeeW all “oh, it’s just edamame”. And I ever so casually popped one (an edamame that is), in the hopes they’d think it looked like totes funz. Except it didn’t work and  I had to resort to the “come on you guys, you know it’s MoFo time and this must be eaten because I HAVE A BLOG”.


DID THEY CARE ABOUT MY BLOG? (Arthur age ten and DeeW age nearly-seven)

Arthur: “This is some seriously disgusting green version of a rabbit turd.”

DeeW: “I think this would be okay for people like you. But for people like me, it’s not good.”

So there you have it. If you’re a person like me, according to DeeW, you’d like edamame.

I was SO hoping for a shocking surprise here, even for just one of the kids. Like when Arthur said he loved the roasted chickpeas, I was all in disbelief and couldn’t really celebrate because I was too disbelieving. But I was so disappointed with the edamame fail that Arthur asked if I was going to have a Little Miss Jocelyn Crying Lady moment. So I now present to you my Little Miss Jocelyn moment. WAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!



Will My Kids Eat It? Pumpkin Caramel Swirl Brownies


Things have been a little quiet here on the MoFo front lately. We’ve been pretty busy with excursions (field trips), visiting people and generally doing Stuff so me cooking up new things for the kids has taken a bit of a back seat. At first I thought this was a good thing but I’m finding it hard to get my mojo back, plus I’m spending a lot of time reading all the great MoFo blogs. Except we then had internet problems (like going over our monthly usage quota, I really need to stop watching crap music videos) and some weirdness is going on where I can’t leave comments on some blogs, or others make me sign in to accounts I’m already signed in to and I was all like this:


So I had a piece of pumpkin in the fridge that was gradually getting funkier day by day, and every day I was all yeah gee I better do something with that pumpkin. I decided to go for something on the sweet side, but not too sweet. Gluten free too, I was just in a gluten free mood. May I present Ricki Heller’s Pumpkin Caramel Swirl Brownies (please forgive the less than stellar photo):

pumpkin caramel brownies

The recipe has you prepare the caramel swirl separately to the brownie bit but both use pumpkin puree. The caramel has lucuma, something I never seem to get around to using but I do like it in smoothies and can see why people use it for a caramel flavour. The brownies batter is made with Ricki’s own gluten free flour mix (I often have a batch mixed up and ready to go). The best part for me is that this is a food processor friendly recipe.

I had no idea how Arthur and DeeW would react.  Yesterday I made waffles for breakfast (Wednesday is waffles day) and Arthur asked for toast instead. TOAST. Instead of WAFFLES. He wasn’t sick so I have no idea why he wanted toast, when he nags me all week to make waffles.

WHAT SAY YOU? (Arthur age ten and DeeW age nearly-seven)

Arthur: “Mmm. Chocolatey. But I think I am a bit sick of chocolate now. I might have eaten too much at the lecture tonight.” [Husband and Arthur attend some evening presentations here and there and often there are nibblies to eat. Tonight they went to a presentation where there were loads of little pastries and biscuits in the foyer and as usual, they stuffed themselves silly. So I think Arthur was well and truly over anything remotely sweet or chocolately].

DeeW: “No thanks. I don’t feel like eating anything. They look good though. I don’t have much time before bed so I’d like to make the cats a house instead of spending my time eating”. So DeeW didn’t try any tonight, but the cats have a cardboard box decorated with loads of duct tape.

I’m going to freeze the brownies and keep them for myself as a treat. They were not overly sweet, in fact I think the sweetness level was perfect. The sweeteners are coconut nectar, coconut sugar and stevia. I’ve been juicing a lot lately and avoiding sweets so I was in two minds about making these as I often feel really sick if I’ve avoided sugars, then have something sweet. But I feel fine, even after having quite a few squares. I’ll try to make them look prettier next time too, I was juggling a couple of recipes at once today and didn’t do the swirl-with-a-butter-knife thing.

So although this isn’t really a MoFo win, I’m still glad I made the brownies. Ricki Heller has so many fabulous recipes and I’m always happy to try something new 😀


Will My Kids Eat It? Vegan Cornish Pasties With Salad


Ahhh, Cornish Pasties! When I need a fix, I head to La Panella Bakery in Preston. Funnily enough I never really liked pasties when I wasn’t vegan. Same with gravy.

I was given some puff pastry a long time ago (judging by the freezer burn) and avoided using it. Sure, stuff wrapped in puff pastry is often heavenly, just like stuff that is crumbed and fried. But I always seem to get puff pastry rage, which is when it never cooks evenly so the bottom is overdone but there are parts on the top and sides that still look undercooked. I end up impatient and turn everything over which of course makes the final product look rubbish.

I’m still on that mission to get Arthur and DeeW eating mashed potatoes. They won’t go near it and I’m hoping that WHEN (no IFs here) they do, I will eventually be able to mix more stuff in like white beans or cauliflower. Maybe even some leafy greens like the Saint Patrick’s Day morsels that didn’t go down too well.

So I was there thinking mashed potato… puff pastry… Cornish pasty was the next thought.

I didn’t follow a recipe, I just sauteed some onion, garlic and carrot then mixed in some half-mashed potato and peas, salt and pepper. Then I used once of those plastic press things, where you cut out a circle of pastry, stick it in the press thingy, fill it and fold it over.

Because I was feeling extra adventurous, I made SALAD. Cos lettuce (on the wilted side), cucumber, red capsicum and tomato dressed with a little oil, soy sauce, Dijon mustard, orange juice and stevia.

cornish pasty


Arthur: “This puff pastry is really good. The peas mooshed up look like snots. I never order snots in my food. It’s about 60% satisfaction rating. No way I am trying that salad. NO WAY. [tries a bit of each salad component]. Salad is the most disgusting thing on Earth. If there’s salad on other planets it’s the most disgusting thing there too. You owe me.”

DeeW: “Bad. All of it. Really bad. 100% horrible only because I can’t say 1000% horrible. The puff pastry is not so bad but the inside is definitely bad. I tried all the salad and the capsicum is the worst part.”

Foiled again. If they don’t eat potato based fillings then it means my dreams of making oven baked samosas may never become a reality. But although this included some moments of epic fail, I’m considering it a little victory because Arthur tried each bit of the salad. Sure, he positioned himself over the rubbish bin and made some genuine about-to-barf faces. BUT there was no barf to clean up. So that’s a tiny little win!


Will My Kids Eat It? Garlicky Sneaky-Bread


A favourite treat around here is garlic bread. That needs no explanation really, does it?

So during MoFo I’ve been reading lots of great blogs and seeing some awesome recipes. One blogger was talking about garlic bread and said to cut down on the oily/greasy buttery factor, she adds in some chickpea spread.

What a fantastic idea! As much as I love garlic bread, I do feel a bit off in the stomach after your typical vegan-buttery sort. Or maybe it’s because I eat too much of it. Anyway, the way Arthur and DeeW attack garlic bread has always made me wince a little because it’s not the most nutritious of foods. What if I could make it a little more healthy?

Instead of reducing the buttery element and adding in some chickpea spread, I decided to go 100% chickpea. I blended up some cooked chickpeas, parsley, garlic and salt and spread it on a sliced baguette. I kinda felt a bit guilty when the kids got madly excited when they saw me making garlic bread (which wasn’t actually the garlic bread they were hoping for).



DeeW: “this doesn’t look right. It’s not yellow. I’m going to scrape the strange bits off. I need a spatula please.”

Arthur: “well, it’s sort of good. The bread is good. What’s this stuff on it? It doesn’t look like regular garlic bread. Hmmmm. Next time please make regular garlic bread. You’re trying to trick us by calling it garlicky bread. Because it has garlic in it but it’s not real garlic bread.”

Okay, so they got me. I screwed up on the chickpea spread though and should have made it more runny. Because I had made it too thick (and it thickened more in the fridge overnight) it kinda stuck on the bread in fat chunks. Which meant the kids were able to remove it in chunks:


I really love this idea of reducing the butter and adding the chickpeas, so I’m not giving up on this. I might try half vegan butter and half runny chickpea spread. Maybe with some turmeric to make it more yellow. If all else fails, at least I end up with hummus.