Jacqueline Meldrum was one of the first food bloggers I got to know when I started blogging all those years ago, back in 2009. So I’m absolutely delighted to introduce you to her first book, Living on the Veg: A kid’s guide to life without meat – that’s assuming you haven’t come across it already of course. I’ve made one of the recipes from the book already, puff pizza pies and you can find it further down in the post. I’m also able to offer a copy of the book as a giveaway.
Living on the Veg: A kid’s guide to life without meat
I just adore the title of this book, Living on the Veg. It makes me chuckle every time I see it. Jac is a Scottish vegetarian food blogger at Tinned Tomatoes where she blogs about the recipes she creates for herself, her vegan husband and vegetarian son.
While I say this is Jac’s book, that’s how I think of it, but it’s actually co-authored by children’s author Clive Gifford. Clive covers all the facts about being vegetarian and why it’s a good thing to be, whilst Jac provides the recipes.
Living on the Veg is aimed at 9-11 year olds, though I reckon most adults toying with vegetarianism or with children who want to stop eating meat would find the book useful and enjoy the food too. I enjoyed reading the book and I’m certainly keen to make most of the recipes. The puff pizza pies were a tasty quick meal and a real hit with CT. I’m now thinking I’d like to try making them in mini galette form using my favourite wholemeal spelt flaky pastry as featured in this gooseberry galette or these vegetarian pasties.
The book is a mine of information and helpful advice about vegetarianism and how to give up eating meat. In simple accessible text, it covers such topics as: what a vegetarian is or is not; why people are or want to become vegetarians; environmental concerns, world hunger, healthy living, dietary requirements, special ingredients and most importantly, how to go about becoming a vegetarian. I reckon its colourful and well illustrated content will appeal to any 9-11 year olds with an interest in vegetarianism or cooking.
Get Cooking, is the final section of the book. It contains twelve simple to make recipes ranging from cloud eggs for breakfast, to sweet potato and carrot soup for lunch, to 10-minute bean burgers for supper, to strawberry cheesecake no-churn ice cream for dessert. It also includes these gorgeous puff pizza pies. I found the recipes to be diverse, interesting and probably the sorts of food kids would be keen to eat.
The only thing that slightly niggled me with the book was that the photos didn’t always match the recipe. The picture of puff pastry pies, for instance, features a basil plant with basil leaves sitting on top of the pizzas rather than the oregano stated in the recipe.
If you have kids, Living on the Veg is a great way to introduce them to the concept of being vegetarian, get them cooking and eating their vegetables. Jac has a young son, who is already well versed in the ways of the kitchen and understands what being a vegetarian is all about.
Living on the Veg is a hardcover book published by Wayland in 2018 with an RRP of £12.99.
Puff Pizza Pies
If you’re in a hurry and need something quick for supper, these puff pizza pies will do the trick nicely. As Jac says in her book, “making your own pizza is so satisfying, but kneading the dough and waiting for it to rise can take hours”. Using ready-rolled puff pastry is a brilliant cheat. Once you’ve made them, you just need a nice green salad and you’re away. It was the easiest meal I’ve cooked in a very long time.
I wasn’t quite sure what size bowl to use, so I used a 9.5 cm cutter, which made twelve mini ‘pizza’ bases.
The puff pizza pies were tasty and satisfying. Crisp pastry and melting cheese with a good tomato flavour to cut through the richness. We had three each for supper and the rest served as a very satisfying lunch the next day. Unlike pizza, they were almost as delicious cold as they were hot from the oven. I’m thinking they’d be just perfect for a summer party .
Puff Pizza Pies – The Recipe
Puff Pastry Pies
- 320 g ready-rolled puff pastry I used all butter puff pastry
- 4-5 tbsp tomato puree I used organic
- 125 ball soft mozzarella - sliced I used two balls
- 8 cherry tomatoes - sliced
- 1 tsp dried oregano I used thyme sprigs
- Take the puff pastry out of the fridge and leave it for 10 minutes to come to room temperature.
- Turn the oven on to 200℃.
- Carefully unroll the pastry. Use a small bowl to cut circles out of the pastry. I used a 9.5 cm cutter and re-rolled until I'd used all the pastry (made 12 circles). Place circles onto two a floured baking trays, leaving a bit of space between each one.
- Top each circle with a dollop of tomato puree. Spread it with the back of a teaspoon leaving a small border around the edge (at this point I laid a small sprig of thyme over the puree).
- Top with a slice of mozzarella, followed by slices of tomato.
- Sprinkle each pizza with a little oregano (unless you've already added thyme sprigs).
- Bake for 15 mins until the pastry is golden and the cheese has melted.
- Serve with some salad.
I’m sharing this recipe for puff pizza pies with #CookBlogShare which is being hosted over at Easy Peasy Foodie this week.
These puff pizza pies also go to #CookOnceEatTwice with Searching for Spice.
Other Living on the Veg Recipes and Reviews
- 10-minute vegan bean burgers via Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary
- Carrot sweet potato soup via Veggie Desserts
- Chocolate mousse via Utterly Scrummy Food for Families
- Cloud eggs and a kids’ guide to going veggie via Farmersgirl Kitchen
- Living on the Veg: a kids’ guide to life without meat – review via Tinned Tomatoes
- Review 2 via United Caked
Puff Pizza Pies. PIN IT.
Living on the Veg Giveaway
I was sent a copy of Living on the Veg to review. I was not expected to write a positive review and all opinions are, as always, my own. Thanks to my readers for supporting the brands and organisations that help to keep Tin and Thyme blithe and blogging.