'I wanted my kid to eat veggies. I ended up covered in green mush.'

It was supposed to take me 10 minutes.

An hour later, my kitchen bench looked like this:

And my mothering self-esteem lay broken amid the mess, splattered in green mush.

It all started so innocently. I have a little boy who won't eat vegetables. I also co-host a podcast about the messes of family life. In the interests of improving my life through work, one of our recent guests was a woman who makes kids' food look irresistible - Laleh Mahmoudi, who blogs so beautifully at Jacob's Food Diary that Jamie Oliver and Ashton Kutcher sing her praises across the world.

Hear Laleh on This Glorious Mess, here:

'Help me, Laleh,' I said. 'Help me make something my son will eat'. And although Laleh says she has never promised her creations could convert a fussy eater, she assured me that she had just the thing.

"I make a kale, macadamia and spinach pesto... it'll take you, from start to finish, 10 minutes. Blitz it, quickly make an eye for the monster," said Laleh.  "It's so quick."

Here is Laleh's monster:

Find the recipe, which mere mortals can create in 10 minutes, here

Anyone who has ever met me knows I am not a domestic Goddess. I can cook, but I can't bake. I hate cleaning, I hate laundry, I hate folding and tidying and I hate entertaining. I'm basically a man with nice shoes.

None of these things seem to matter before you have children (Carrie Bradshaw keeps her shoes in the oven. So adorable! etc) but suddenly, when you reproduce, you are meant to be able to bake for the school fair and take pride in a tidy home and produce nutritious snack bags for playdates and... oh, I'm tired.


But my son's vegetable aversion is getting beyond a joke. So this, this was a challenge I would take on. Billy LOVES the colour green (apart from, cough, in vegetables), he LOVES Monsters Inc. This might just be the thing that turns the little guy around.

Cut to me, swearing at my crappy, hand-me-down blender, wondering where the hell you get a "black pancake" and why none of my chaotic kitchen drawers seem to contain a teeny-tiny, circular cookie cutter that would make one perfect eye.

And cut to me presenting this to Billy, with a desperate people-pleasing look on my face and the words, "Look at the yummy monster, Billy!!! Yum, yum!" Oh, the shame.

Billy is no fool. He took one look at it and said, "That's disgusting."

"But it's a monster!! You love monsters!!"

"Can you make me one out of lollies?" he asks, reasonably.

His sister, a much easier sell on food that is green, was no more impressed:

And so it was, the grown-ups ate green-monster pasta for lunch. Laleh's right, it's delicious.

My domestic goddess status remains unchanged. I still fail at text-book mothering.

And scurvy is still a live threat in our home.

Is cooking for your kids a joy or a chore?

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Listen to the whole episode of This Glorious Mess, here:

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