A Contribution To Knowledge


One of the biggest debates I have regarding my blog content is whether or not to post about

recipe flops.

Tonight, I had such a flop. I walked into the kitchen without a recipe and said I was going to create a recipe out of the blue and it would be magnificent. The most magnificent little recipe I have ever concocted. Yes, I tend to suffer from delusions of grandeur in the kitchen at times…

I debated posting about said flop and then I realized I had nothing else to blog about. :mrgreen:

Dilemma solved!

I also remembered something a crazy wise psychology professor once told me.

[Speaking in my old, wise professor voice]:

‘Miss Angela, everything contributes to knowledge in some way, shape, or form. Even the studies that don’t ‘work’ like you predict contribute to knowledge.’

I came across this and had some horrible memories:

“The distinguishing mark of graduate research is an original contribution to knowledge. The thesis is a formal document whose sole purpose is to prove that you have made an original contribution to knowledge. Failure to prove that you have made such a contribution generally leads to failure.” <—no pressure though! lol


So yes, even though my recipe tonight was a flop, I now know what not to replicate in the future- or better yet- how to tweak this recipe and iron out the kinks!

All seemed to start well. Chia seeds, onion, sweet potato, spinach. A good foundation, no?

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I guess I should probably tell you what I was intending to make.

I wanted to make the In A Jiffy Spelt Veggie Burgers. The only catch was I was too lazy to go get the recipe off my computer. [Whoever said it was a good idea to run 5 miles before baking on my feet all day was wrong…wait, that was my idea.]

I decided to save myself the troubling walk and to just ‘wing it’, creating a brand new recipe.

Sounds fun, right?

I used the following:

  • 1 T chia seeds
  • 1 small sweet potato, processed (or grated)
  • 1 handful organic spinach, chopped
  • 1/3 onion, chopped
  • 3 T Sunflower seeds
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • Paprika, salt, and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup Whole Grain Spelt Flour
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 avocado

Into a big bowl and then mix with your hands.

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At this stage, I thought to myself oh this is going to be good. I jinxed myself, clearly.

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Oops, I forgot I also added half an avocado! Good thing I took pictures to document.

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Despite widespread panic over the weekend, I was able to ripen my rock hard avocados on the windowsill. [In desperate times, I also place bananas on the windowsill too!]

The true test of a homemade veggie burger is usually how well the patties form. These formed fairly well, so I thought I hit the jackpot. My work here is complete.

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I made 5 patties and 5 BALLS.

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After 20 minutes of cooking at 375F, I flipped them. This is when I realized that something was wrong…very, very wrong.

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The patties cracked and split and generally looked like they were going to explode!

These pictures actually don’t do the flop justice. The burgers wouldn’t even hold together and just crumbled in my hand! I should have taken a picture of the crumbles. ;)

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With my upper lip quivering, I said, ‘Nothing 20 more minutes in the oven won’t fix.’

But, I knew in my heart they could not be saved.

The middle was mushy. I blame that on too much moisture due to the 1/4 cup of water. The chopped onions also prevented the patty from holding together. Next time I would eliminate the onions and take out the water (anyone want to give it a go? haha)

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The upside? They tasted ok. The only thing I didn’t like about them (aside from them falling apart) was the onion. The onion flavour did not pair well with the avocado and sweet potato! Should have thought that one through…

The BALLS held together very well, although they were still mushy on the inside.

I had three patties, one on a piece of toasted Ezekiel bread with hummus and t-paste.

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My second flop contribution of knowledge was what I like to call BLAH, BLAH, BLAH (you know the song by Ke$ha??). That is what I was singing when I tasted this.

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I boiled some cabbage, drained it, and then put some EVOO + balsamic vinaigrette on it. It was so utterly blah, I had to laugh. My poor husband. Eric would not touch this with a ten foot pole and I don’t blame him.

I tried to redeem my Goddess of the Kitchen status to Eric by making a spin-off of the delicious Choco-cado Pudding. My goal here was to make a lighter version without chocolate (I know many of you gave up chocolate for lent and were sad when you couldn’t make it.)

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Refreshing Peppermint Pudding

[Adapted from Gina’s Choco-cado Pudding]

  • 1/4 cup cashew butter
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 small avocado
  • 1 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
  • 1 tablespoon dark agave nectar

Directions: Process all ingredients together and serve. This makes about 2 small servings.

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It was different, but very creamy and refreshing! Next time I might add a bit more water to thin it out a little. The cashew butter and avocado went surprisingly well together.

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Good times! :)


Size Healthy Around the blog world:

5:30am wake-up call tomorrow. I have about 200 glo bars to bake, pack, and ship before the Fedex man arrives at noon! Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. This week is going to fly by.

Angela Signature thumb2   A Contribution To Knowledge

The worst gift is a fruitcake. There is only one fruitcake in the entire world, and people keep sending it to each other. ~Johnny Carson

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{ 99 comments… read them below or add one }

John March 2, 2010

I think you should post the flops along with the masterpieces as it will make you seem more mortal :-)


Jolene March 3, 2010

I 100% agree!


Mo March 3, 2010

How funny, I was thinking the same thing! I have SO MANY flops and I often think…Angela’s food is always so beautiful and gets rave reviews. Wah!

Like you, I still eat my flops!

Great post!!


Leah March 2, 2010

I love that you posted a recipe that didnt work out. I have kitchen failures all the time and it makes me feel SO much better to see that other people do too!


Katie @ Health for the Whole Self March 3, 2010

I totally agree! At this point I am still too intimidated in the kitchen to wing it without a recipe, but posts like this help me to learn so that hopefully I can get to that point!


stina March 3, 2010

This is pretty much exactly what I was going to post!


Cate March 3, 2010

I like seeing flops, as long as you provide suggestions for next time (which obviously, you did!) Definitely helps me learn new things!


Lizz @ leadingthegoodlife March 3, 2010

I say post them – what’s the harm? Plus, maybe you will teach someone something in the process.

And what doesn’t kill you, you can feed to the dog (or cat) ;)


Katy March 3, 2010

You wouldn’t have known if they were any good if you didn’t try :)


Raeann March 3, 2010

The onions would probably have been ok if you’d popped them in the food processor and sauteed them before incorporating them into the patty. Just a thought.

Don’t feel bad bad about the flop, it happens to the best of us.


Angela (Oh She Glows) March 3, 2010

yea i was thinking that too..might try that next time!


Jessica @ Dairy Free Betty March 3, 2010

I think flops are good!! Reminds us all that you are not super human wonder cooking goddess!! hehehe :)

They still looked tasty!! :) Warm/cooked avocado is interesting!!


Rebeca March 3, 2010

Aw :( We all have those…

Re: Cabbage- my mom just sautees it in EVOO (she uses her Misto so it’s a light amount) and the balsamic, plus S+P… it’s SO good! I think that cabbage just needs a couple of minutes to soften up because when boiled it’s absorbed so much water it’s hard for it to grab any other flavors


Angela (Oh She Glows) March 3, 2010

yea I definitely over-cooked it!


Victoria March 3, 2010

I love fruitcake! LOVE IT! I think you just have to have good fruitcake to appreciate it…


Caitlin@TheTwentyFifthYear March 3, 2010

Flops are like flaws – every human has them! I say share away, you know you learn a lesson but think of how many of us will learn from it, too!!


Allie (Live Laugh Eat) March 3, 2010

I think posting flops teaches us what NOT to do. Now I know not to put chopped onions in a burger. At least the photos were gorgeous and you had some puddin’ to clean your palette!


Amy March 3, 2010

I wouldn’t call it a complete flop since it tasted good. Thanks for sharing with us though.

To ripen fruit faster, put it in a brown paper bag. I don’t remember the details, but I remember a science teacher telling me that the gases given off by the fruit get trapped in the bag and help it to ripen faster. :)


Kendel March 3, 2010

I think we all suffer from delusions of grandeur in the kitchen! On the days when things go very wrong… I agree that posting flops is great therapy. You have to then think it through rather than scrap the whole experience. I still haven’t figured out how to make a good bowl of lemon poppy seed oats though…


Rachel (Suburban Yogini) March 3, 2010

Oh I definitely suffer from delusions of gradeur in the kitchen. Recipe flops can make me cry. Thank you so much for posting your flop and making me remember I’m only human!!


Little Aspects March 3, 2010

Try sauteing the onions in a little olive oil first to soften them – that’s what I do any haven’t had any trouble :-)


Jess March 3, 2010

How I adore you! Thank you for the updated avocado pudding! I can make it now! I need to go get an avocado:)
And I love that you shared the flop! It wasn’t too much of a flop! You’re too hard on yourself <3


M i s s (@mediterraneanmiss) March 3, 2010

I think it’s a great thing to post a flop – it lets us laugh along with you and take note of what not to do! Plus I feel as though there’s 1 flop in about 10,000 successes so I wouldn’t be too worried about this one ^~
<3 Miss


Jessica @ How Sweet It Is March 3, 2010

Ange, I have recipe flops all the time, and I had one again last night, too. I have documented them all because I know one day I will look back and laugh. :)


angela @ a healthy fit March 3, 2010

Love hearing the flops and the good stuff. We all have flops and we do learn (and laugh) from them.


Gena March 3, 2010

So happy you’re into the pudding!!!

And I love the size healthy initiative. As usual, you bring so much goodness to the blog community! Expect a shout back.


Jane March 3, 2010

I learned a good trick with onions yesterday when I was making meatloaf for my family– fry the onions first before adding….they blend in better.

I think your patties look delicious. Next time try a brocolli salad: chopped brocolli, olive oil, lemon juice, seeds, dried fruit….


darryn (brio.gusto) March 3, 2010

I’m currently wrapping up my MA thesis, so I feel ya on the pressure bit! However, that view is a little harsh! I know in my program the attitude is slightly different – do SOMETHING for your MA and that’s good (ie. write an unoriginal paper and you’ll still graduate), do something *original* and that’s great (and you’ll probably be able to do a lot more with your grad studies if you choose to). A much friendlier approach!!!

As far as kitchen flops go…yes, as is research, findings are still findings! haha. And hey, appearance isn’t everything right? If it tastes good…bring it on! :)


Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg March 3, 2010

I always post flops…mainly just to have something to write about! :-)

Those do not look like flops though– I think they look delicious!!! Seriously!


Jil March 3, 2010

I have flops all the time – or at least ones where I sit there and think…hmm shoulda stopped at ingredient “X” – :)


Abby March 3, 2010

Hey, not every recipe can be a winner on the first shot. Trial and error!

As for the avocados, I eat a few a week, and there’s nothing more annoying than waiting for them to get nice and ripe. Place them in a brown paper bag with an apple and it speeds things up. Works for bananas, too.


Ashlei March 3, 2010

I love the new take on the avocado pudding! Will have to give it a go with the cashew buttahhh!

As for the burgers, probably too much flour, plus the water evaporated. Maybe do 1/4 cup spelt plus 1/4 cup ground flax, some water and 1 tbsp oil? They look delish though apart from the cracking. I hate when that happens!


Stefania (Ingredients for Life) March 3, 2010

Those burgers looked so promising.

I posted my flop just recently. I was testing someone else’s recipe and I clearly got sidetracked!


Lily @ Lily's Health Pad March 3, 2010

Sometimes I have to post about flops. I’ll get home from work with the intention of making a recipe and then blogging about it. Then I make said recipe….and it’s a bomb. What else can you do??


RhodeyGirl March 3, 2010

I once spent all day making a homemade banana bread (for the first time ever, hence all day). When it was done it smelled SO SO SO good. I quickly turned over the bread pan to let it cool… not remembering I was supposed to let it cool IN the pan first. The whole thing fell apart in a big mush. I was devastated! We still ate it, but over ice cream.


Recipes for Creativity March 3, 2010

You are so funny! I love this post. It’s so true, a flop isn’t really a failure at all. ALSO, interesting what you call a failure compared to what someone else might consider a failure. For me, if I made something from scratch that was edible, it would be a success, for sure! Maybe not something I’d repeat, but certainly not a flop.


Sarah March 3, 2010

It’s hard to post about flops for sure, but they do help you and others learn what works and what doesn’t. Plus people can offer suggestions. I make black bean burgers that fall apart all the time but taste so good, I don’t even care anymore :)


Heather (Where's the Beach) March 3, 2010

Ahhhh, we all have recipe flops. Love that you admit to it LOL. I think the important thing is that you learn from the goofs and make something better in the end!


Jenn @ Livewellfit March 3, 2010

You know, flops only reaffirm that we all mess up and can’t always make beautiful, fantastic and wonderful recipes, right? :) The best part…you had the best intentions and now you know not to use water + onions in the burgers. Big lesson learned.

GOod luck with that big order busy bee!


Lindsey Graham March 3, 2010

I think those burgers would have been a success in my book lol! I am terrified of cooking solo without a recipe and honestly wouldn’t know where to begin. Thanks for sharing that though, it is a huge feat to be able to publicly admit to our mishaps : )


AGS March 3, 2010

I, for one, thought this was one of your more witty posts — so I am in favor of flops. . . well, posting about them, anyway. ;) I have flops ALL THE TIME. My husband finds it hilarious, whenever he comes into the kitchen to find me staring in horror at another experiment gone awry.


AGS March 3, 2010

“Our achievements speak for themselves. What we have to keep track of are our failures, discouragements, and doubts. We tend to forget the past difficulties, the many false starts, and the painful groping. We see our past achievements as the end result of a clean forward thrust, and our present difficulties as signs of decline and decay.”
~ Eric Hoffer


Ellie March 3, 2010

LOVE that quote!


Ash @ Good Taste. Healthy Me March 3, 2010

Aw what a bummer! I hate when I take time to make dinner and it flops. But oh well, you live and learn! :)


Jess - The Domestic Vegan March 3, 2010

Oh, well! :) Better luck next time!

That pudding looks amazing!!!


Lauren March 3, 2010

No worries, I make flops all the time. It’s just annoying when you use good expensive ingredients and it doesn’t work out!

I’ve never heard of avocado cooked in anything… maybe that was part of the problem?


Ellie March 3, 2010

Oh memories: “The distinguishing mark of graduate research is an original contribution to knowledge. The thesis is a formal document whose sole purpose is to prove that you have made an original contribution to knowledge. Failure to prove that you have made such a contribution generally leads to failure.” It still sends shivers down my spine when I think about it!!!

Talking about flops in the kitchen: lentil rice (Mujadarrah) that I made last night was just shy of a disaster! My fiancé had a bite and simply said: ah, different than usual honey… and didn’t eat the rest! hahaha…


Jessica @ The Process of Healing March 3, 2010

Mistakes happen. The burgers sound great in theory though – the mix of sweet potato and avocado..yuumm!!
I really think we learn the MOST from mistakes. Or things that don’t go quite as planned. It’s a hard lesson to learn sometimes though.
P.S. I’m so going to go try the original recipe now…


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