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Things I made that weren't that good

As a science student, I've been reading Ben Goldacre's Bad Pharma, a terrifying look at the drug industry. One of the industry's flaws he picks up on - and there are many - is that they're very selective about the research they publish. They can choose not to release studies that they don't like, or ones where the target drug doesn't work. That's a problem, because even the studies that go wrong can be of enormous benefit to other scientists.

It was with that in mind that I was flicking through some photos of dishes I had made, but which I wasn't going to post because they didn't turn out that well.

In the spirit of sharing my research (!) I thought I'd post them anyway, and maybe you guys could tell me where I went wrong, or advise me never to make these things again!

First up - tartare potato salad. I like tartare sauce, I like potato salad - so my logic went - so if I put them together, they should work. Only they didn't, not quite. I guess this was a fairly simple mistake - there just weren't enough of the flavourings to do suitable battle against the blandness of the potato. I just couldn't taste any of the sharp vinegary ingredients - the gherkins, the capers - that make tartare sauce such a winner. I guess I'd make this again, just maybe double up on the tartare components.

Not a disaster by any means, but not quite a Flicking the Vs gold star recipe yet!


This is a recipe that clearly should have been brilliant and wasn't. I had a couple of roast beetroots in the fridge, and half a tub of Sour Supreme, and my way forward was clear - make a beetroot and vegan sour cream dip. After all, beetroot and sour cream are meant to be together - they're the consummate couple.

Only this couple was more like Romeo and Juliet (complete with depressing ending) than happy ever after. I blended up the two and a little garlic, and the end result was really wet and sweet, and generally not nice.

I tried blending in some sunflower seeds to bulk it out a bit, and then some tahini and lemon juice to try and balance the sweetness, but it still didn't recover from its inauspicious start in life. I ate it, because generally I can't bear to waste food, but I can't say I overly enjoyed the experience.

Anyone made a more successful beetroot and sour cream dip? Tell me how you make it, and I'll be forever in your debt!


This was the biggest fail I made of late - it was meant to be a sort of autumnal faux chicken salad. It ended up being more like vomit on toast.

After wondering what to do with some spare vegan chicken, I thought I'd chop it up and make a sandwich filling with some carrot and celery, and for bonus seasonal points, some figs and hazelnuts too. Add a bit of Veganaise, and you're away. Only, I wasn't. I really had to force it down, and I couldn't eat most of it.

The fig had made it slimy, and coupled with the chunky veggies, all I could think of was having a mouthful of sick! Not so good, Al.

But as I understand it, chicken salad is a popular sandwich filling in the US, so there's got to be something in it. What did I do wrong? Should I have chopped the veggies super fine? Used something else instead of chicken analogue? Answers on a postcard please!


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4 comments

  1. Bad Pharma is terrifying, isn't it? I love your take on using it as inspiration to share recipes that didn't work so well! I think we should all do that really - my problem is remembering to photograph things if they don't look good or don't taste good.

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  2. I think it's great to post 'meh' recipes sometimes! Too bad about the vomit on toast especially. "Chicken" salad I've enjoyed in the past has lots of mayo, but is really light-handed with the veggies. Maybe chop them finer, and add less of them...but I'm not really one to give advice in this department because it's been so long since I've made it!

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  3. Vomit on toast, now you have made my tummy turn. I love your honestly about the fails in your kitchen. My problem is photographing successes and fails these days due to poor lighting.

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  4. You at least photograph your fails. Mind don't actually get plated up if they're no good. I usually end up hiding it in the fridge, hoping it'll get better on its own, lol. I think you're on to something with the tartare potato salad...

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