Cloud Eggs are a very simple way to cook eggs and I’ve seen them around the internet for a couple of years, but I’ve never made them. I was spurred on to give them a try by an excellent kids’ guide to going veggie, Living on the Veg by Clive Gifford and Jacqueline Meldrum.
Living on the Veg: A kids’ guide to life without meat by Clive Gifford and Jacqueline Meldrum
If you are a regular reader of Farmersgirl Kitchen, you will know that I am not a vegetarian, however as my passion is cooking, I love to explore a wide range of foods and recipes. I love vegetables, pulses and grains and we often eat meat-free meals. This year I’ve started growing more of my own vegetables in raised beds and I’m hoping that I’ll have an abundance of vegetables and be able to create even more delicious vegetarian options. But I digress, let me tell you a little about Living on the Veg.
About the Authors
I’ve known Jacqueline Meldrum and her blog Tinned Tomatoes since I started blogging in 2007. At that time there were not many Scottish bloggers and it was always a pleasure to chat online with Jacqueline about food. Jac is probably the blogger I’ve met most often and it’s always good to catch up. If I’m ever asked for a recommendation for vegetarian and vegan recipes, Tinned Tomatoes is top of the list. With over 25 years experience of cooking vegetarian, Tinned Tomatoes often features recipes that Jac makes with her son Cooper who has been brought up as a vegetarian, so she is very well qualified to contribute to a kids’ guide to going veggie.
Clive Gifford is the author of more than 150 children’s books including Eye Benders, winner of the Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize, Royal Society-nominated Out of This World and Cool Technology which won the School Library Association Information Book Award. He has travelled through 70 countries, run a computer games company and taken part in all manner of sports from parachuting and gliding to Ultimate Frisbee. Clive has also been a vegetarian for over 25 years.
An example of the style of information page from Living on the Veg
Living on the Veg – What’s it about?
This is an interesting book, with fun illustrations providing the reader with history and information. There is a strong environmental theme to Living on the Veg and a good section of frequently asked questions. I particularly liked the Healthy Living chapter which was well laid out and easy to follow. The advice on how to speak to your family about wanting to be vegetarian was interesting and I’m sure would be helpful as it points out the challenges that you may face and how to prepare your answers. I also liked the final point about being honest with yourself about whether this was the right point in your life to becoming 100% vegetarian or vegan.
Having highlighted that it may not be all plain sailing, Living on the Veg then presents some excellent ideas about what to eat and how to cope with eating out and those celebrations which traditionally feature meat.
All the recipes in Living on the Veg are suitable to be made by children. Younger children may need a little help with some aspects, but generally, the recipes are simple enough for older children to make on their own. There’s a useful ‘Get Cooking’ section with useful advice about ingredients, ovens, health and safety and abbreviations to get the young cook started.
Recipes in Living on the Veg include:
- Cloud Eggs
- Chocolate Chip and Raisin Pancakes
- Pinwheel sandwiches
- Sweet Potato & Carrot Soup
- 10 minute Bean Burgers
- Puff Pizza Pies
- Quick Green Spaghetti Sauce
- Spinach and Coconut Dal
- Easy Chocolate Mousse
- Chocolate Brownies
- Strawberry Cheesecake Ice cream
- Coconut Ice
Living on the Veg completes with information about where to find out more about vegetarianism on the web, a glossary of terms used in the book and a handy index.
Who is it for?
Anyone who is interested in finding out more about going vegetarian. Although the book is aimed at children and young teens, the information is well presented and perfectly acceptable for adults to read too.
It’s important to understand that this is not a cookbook or you might be disappointed. This is definitely a guide for kids thinking about going veggie including some easy and attractive beginners recipes. The information is clearly laid out in an attractive format and is not patronising. As it is written by vegetarians, the case that is put is very much in favour of not eating meat, although as I said earlier, the point is clearly made that vegetarianism isn’t for everyone. The recipes are tried and tested and easy to follow with nice bright photographs to help the reader see what they are aiming for. I can see ‘Living on the Veg’ as the perfect resource for school and public libraries, where children seeking information on becoming vegetarian can find clear information and advice. It would also be a good buy for a child who has expressed an interest in going meat-free but doesn’t know where to start.
Cloud Eggs Recipe
- 1 medium egg
- 1 slice bread toasted
- 1 tsp butter
- Preheat the oven to 230C/210C fan/450F/Gas mark 8
- Carefully crack your egg. Pour the white into one bowl and the yolk into another.
- Whisk the egg white into a firm meringue-like texture with a hand whisk or electric hand whisk. They should be quite firm and create peaks when you pull the whisk up through the mixture.
- With a spoon, mound the egg white onto a baking tray and make a little dip in the centre for the egg yolk to sit in later, then pop the baking tray in the oven for 4-5 minutes until it's just beginning to turn golden.
- Carefully take the baking tray out of the oven with an oven glove and place on top of the cooker. Gently pour the egg yolk into the dip in the middle of your meringue cloud and then pop it back into the oven for a couple of minutes.
- Serve on buttered toast.
The Cloud Eggs were so easy to make I’ve no idea why I hadn’t tried to make them before. Although you can see that I used a little pan to make dmine, it’s probably easier to make them on a baking sheet. I would recommend using a non-stick baking sheet or something like baking parchment or a non-stick mat as eggs are notoriously sticky and you want your Cloud Eggs to float off the sheet onto your toast just like a cloud!
WHY NOT PIN CLOUD EGGS TO MAKE LATER?