Friday, 27 October 2017

VeganMoFo 2017 #27: Menu: Child's Birthday Menu from Celebrate Vegan (+ I Made A Thing!)

27th: Meals for the young (at heart)

I've been pretty pressed for time this MoFo, but I am glad I got the chance to make at least one menu. This is the Child's Birthday Menu from Celebrate Vegan by Dynise Balcavage, and it is also the first time that I've used this book. Oh, bonus recipe for you at the end because I modified something so much that I actually made something new!!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Dip: I actually made this separately from the rest and had it for breakfast with some apple slices, which was lovely. I just made a mini-batch for one, using 1/4C peanut butter instead of 2C and scaling down the cocoa and agave as appropriate. I used normal cocoa rather than Dutch cocoa, because Dutch cocoa is expensive here.
Rating: :)

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Dip

Orange-Soy Seitan Tenders: These are very good, and the sauce gets a very strong flavour. Instead of seitan chunks, I used some Lamyong Soy Nuggets that I had kicking around in the freezer, I defrosted them for this. The seitan/nuggets are marinated overnight before a long bake. I was a bit short on orange juice for the marinade, my oranges were weirdly dry when I cut them for juicing, but it was still good. I was worried that the Lamyong nuggets might end up getting tough or weird with the defrost and baking, but they were tender on the inside and a bit crispy on the outside - perfect! My mum particularly loved these. Should note I scaled the recipe down for three people, so I used three cups of nuggets instead of four and altered the sauce appropriately. Three adult people, I should specify. The book says the recipe makes 8-10 servings for kids.
Rating: :)

Orange-Soy Seitan Tenders

Baked Polenta Fries: I made a half recipe of these, which was enough for three people with the rest of the menu, but they are good so you might want to make more. Cheesy, herb polenta is set overnight, cut into strips, and baked. It is super quick and easy.
Rating: :)

Baked Polenta Fries

Mushy Peas: The surprise favourite for me! I loved how sweet and creamy they were, a perfect counterpoint to the strong sauce on the nuggets and the saltiness of the fries. The full recipe, using 4 cups of peas, apparently makes 8 servings for kids. I had three adults, so made it with three cups of peas. We each got a nice big mound. I also just blitzed this in the pot with my immersion blender rather than putting it into a blender or processor. Faster clean up.
Rating: :D

Mushy Peas

And here is the plate with everything on it. I also added some ketchup right before eating for the polenta fries. Because I had set the polenta to set and the nuggets to marinate the day before, this came together incredibly quickly the next night. So I think it would be quite an easy menu to prepare for an actual party!

Child's Birthday Party Menu

I Made A Thing: Not A Shirley Temple: Recipe time! The book also includes a recipe to make a big punch bowl of Shirley Temples, using maraschino cherries and their juice and some lemon-lime soda. This does not appeal to me at all, so I took inspiration from the basic flavours and made my own!

Add 25 mL St Dalfours Black Cherry Jam, 1 cup coconut water, 1/2 tsp lemon juice and 1/2 tsp lime juice and blend together. Serve over ice if desired. Makes 1 serve.

So good! It is a bit sweet, a bit tart, and very refreshing! I was feeling super lazy and just blitzed it with my immersion blender, so you can see how it separated out a bit. But if you wanted to go super fancy, blend it properly and then strain it to take out any little bits of cherry skin still in it, then it would look clear and pink and lovely! Unlike mine.

Shirley Temple Inspired Drink

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post - Month of Sahara

Sahara and Gizmo

Sahara and Gizmo actually really loved each other. They got on well. When we lived in Sydney, they used to spend a lot of time snuggled together, and grooming each other. Mostly Gizmo grooming Sahara, actually a dominance move on Gizmo's part, but a friendly one. When I moved back to Brisbane, to a much much bigger house, they had more options so they spread out a bit, but they always were friends. It was nice.


  1. Yum, it all looks so delicious. I still have never tried to make polenta fries which is weird since I love fries so much!! And I've never had mushy peas!! I need to get on it. Your version of a Shirley Temple sounds much better than the original!
    I love the picture of Gizmo and Sahara!!

    1. Polenta fries are good, and are pretty easy to make (you can use the prepared polenta blocks from the shops to make it even easier), though they are very different from potato. But very satisfying in their own way!

  2. Awesome meal! And the chocolate peanut butter dip sounds nice, too!

    1. Peanut butter goes so well with chocolate, and I liked that it wasn't overly sweet.

  3. Hello, recipe! I actually think that the bit that separated gives it a nice layered look.

    The orange seitan things look so glossy and yummy! I should check out that book. The children's menu sounds great. My taste buds are so childish and annoying. I basically eat mostly stuff that would appeal to children. Oy.

    Look at those two cuties, synchronized catting! <3

    1. Every time I see a 'kids menu' in one of my books, it always looks so good!
      Or sometimes I'll be at a restaurant and they'll have a 'kids menu' and what I REALLY feel like is on that menu, but they won't let me have it because I am clearly over 10. Boo!

  4. Your fake shirley temple sounds nice. Maybe I will make something similar and drink it out of a fancy glass.

    I'd eat this food as an adult... maybe not the mushy peas. I guess I shouldn't knock it before trying it but it just seems so weird!

    1. Mushy peas are fun, but then they are something I grew up having now and then. But I can understand that they seem odd!