Raw Mocha Truffle Recipe

Raw Mocha

The most decadent chocolate imaginable. Ready in minutes. Who needs Mars Bars?

Raw Mocha Truffle
serves one


1tbsp cocoa powder
1tbsp light agave syrup
1tbsp coconut oil
1/4tsp ground coffee
1/4tsp ground cinnamon
1/8tsp Marmite


Combine all dry ingredients in ramekin
Add agave, coconut oil and Marmite (dilute with a few drops of hot water)
Stir vigorously with a teaspon till smooth
Refrigerate at least 20 minutes or until coconut oil sets

Best Veggie Breakfasts

A beetroot smoothie I concocted in my freezing Glasgow kitchen last winter has just been selected by the Vegetarian Cookery School (@vegcs on Twitter) as one of ten finalists in its Best Veggie Breakfasts competition.

This week is National Vegetarian Week (21-27 May) and to celebrate we held a competition to find the Best Vegetarian Breakfast Recipe. The entries are in and we were so amazed by your creative veggie breakfasts that we’ve chosen 10 finalists… We love her use of beets and avocado to create a slightly sweet but nutritious filling morning smoothie.

ImageWhat a delicious surprise!


Guest Post: Cooking with Kids

Today I have a guest post from special education expert Denise Keene who kindly offered to share some thoughts on cooking and learning with kids. You can get more education info on her site Masters In Special Education.

Cooking with the Kids

If you like to cook then you probably understand the many skills that go into making a tasty meal or treat. Cooking as a means of hands-on learning is used by some parents and even by some schools through “home economics” courses, so the value of this form of education is understood. If you are looking for a fun way to teach basic life skills to your kids, cooking may be the way to do it.

When I cook with my children, I allow them to take part in as much as they want to, even if it makes a mess. Allowing them to take part in the whole process gives them the opportunity to learn as much as possible. For example, when making a dish that requires measuring out a liquid, allow your child to pour it into the measuring cup. You may need to guide them by holding their hands while they pour; otherwise you could have a major mess on your hands. Measuring out flour and sugar for baking is also very fun for children and is a great way to teach the importance of measuring precision in baking.

When I am baking something in the oven, I allow my children to help me prepare the food but stress the importance that I put it in the oven. I have an oven that does not get hot on the outside, so I turn the oven light on and allow my kids to take peeks to see how the heat transforms the food. This teaches them the importance of safety around kitchen appliances.

A great way to teach your children about the effects of cold temperatures on food is to make homemade popsicles. Also, show them how putting liquid over high heat changes it to a gas. Chemistry in the kitchen!
Occasionally, I will cook different ethnic dishes to teach my children about other cultures, as well. For example, I made Cuban chicken and rice a few days ago and talked to my children about where Cuba was, what language was spoken there, etc.

There are some parents who are leery about allowing their children to use certain kitchen tools, especially knives. I will say that I haven’t allowed my children to use the larger knives. However, I will allow them to spread icing on a cupcake with a butter knife and use a julienne peeler. I have also held my children’s hands and guided them in slicing different foods with a paring knife. As with all other items in our home, I have been explicit with my children about safety in the kitchen. They know that they should never use a sharp knife or any other possibly dangerous tool without my supervision or guidance. When children understand the possible danger, they will follow your requests.

Cooking in the kitchen is such a great, proactive way to teach and learn real-life skills, including fine motor skills and multi-tasking. My children have also learned about fractions and ratios and how to tell time and the importance of timing through cooking. Not to mention, they now understand the work that goes into preparing a meal, and they are more willing to help clean up!

Denise Keene has been a Special Education teacher for 15 years and likes to write articles about various related topics. She also owns the site Masters In Special Education.

Christmas Recipe – Roast Red Pepper Hummus

Mark Reinfeld

I’m delighted to have a guest post from award-winning vegan chef Mark Reinfeld, of Vegan Fusion. A culinary wizard, Mark picked up a love of food from his grandfather who was a chef and ice carver. He has co-authored more books than you can shake a carrot at, including the lauded, best-seller Vegan Fusion World Cuisine, and runs vegan cooking courses around the world. He doesn’t know that hummus is one of my favourite foods but, serendipitously, that’s the recipe he shared. Yum.

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
Serves 6-8

2 red bell peppers (1 cup roasted)
3 cups cooked and drained well chickpeas
3/4 cup tahini, roasted (creamy)
1/4 cup lemon juice, fresh squeezed
3 Tbl wheat-free tamari or soy sauce
1 Tbl olive oil
2 tsp cumin powder, toasted
1 1/2 tsp garlic, minced
3/4 tsp sea salt, or to taste
3/4 tsp black pepper, ground to taste
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp chipotle chile powder, optional

1. Preheat oven to 400°F/205C. Roast bell peppers
2. Place peppers in food processor with lemon juice, soy sauce, tamari and olive oil and process until well blended
3. Add garbanzo beans and remaining ingredients and process until smooth.

Replace red pepper with one of the following:
Garlic Lover’s – 1 1/2 cups roasted garlic, 1 1/2 tsp minced fresh garlic.
Sun-dried Tomato Basil – 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, soaked & drained, 2 Tbl basil, minced.
Kalamata Rosemary – 1 1/2 Tbl fresh rosemary, minced, 3/4 cup Calamata olives, chopped.
Caramelized onions – add 1 cup caramelized onions before pureeing

Courtesy Vegan Fusion World Cuisine

A Bona Fide Meat Feast

Just for starters...

One of the things I like best about my Kindle (oh how the snobbish are fallen!) is the wealth of random, out-of-copyright books I can add for free. Being a food geek, I was drawn to Old Cookery Books and Ancient Cuisine by William Curew Hazlitt, a literature review, if you will, of old-school English cookery. The following recipe is from a 1736 cookbook, The Compleat Housewife. Like Hazlitt, I am awestruck enough to reproduce it in full. I assume this was a rare treat for well-to-do types, otherwise, our ancestors would have died of massive coronaries before they had time to begat.

To make a tureiner: Take a china pot or bowl, and fill it as follows: at the bottom lay some fresh butter; then put in three or four beef-steaks larded with bacon; then cut some veal-steaks from the leg; hack them, and wash them over with the yolk of an egg, and afterwards lay it over with forc’d-meat, and roll it up, and lay it in with young chickens, pigeons and rabbets, some in quarters, some in halves; sweet-breads, lamb-stones, cocks-combs, palates after they are boiled, peeled, and cut in slices; tongues, either hogs or calves, sliced and some larded with bacon; whole yolks of hard eggs, pistachia-nuts peeled, forced balls, some round, some like an olive, lemon sliced, some with the rind on, barberries and oysters: season all these with pepper, salt, nutmeg, and sweet-herbs, mix’d together after they are cut very small, and strew it on every thing as you put it in your pot: then put in a quart of gravy, and some putter on the top, and cover it close with a lid of puff-past, pretty thick. Eight hours will bake it.

Elvis birthday treat – fried peanut butter and banana sandwich

A little shameless self-self publicity for my Portland Cooking column.

An extra-special Elvis birthday goodie – the peanut butter and fried banana sandwich. Make it, love it, go for a run….

“A classic peanut butter and banana sarnie in honor of Elvis’ 75th Birthday…” Click here for the recipe!

All the fixins

Experimental Cooking, Pts I and II

Posted by Cila Warncke

I love peanut butter with a greedy, by-the-spoonful-out-of-the-jar passion, so when I spotted Lazy Day Peanut Noodle Salad on my favourite recipe site, 101cookbooks.com I got kind of over-excited.

Being in Merida rather than San Francisco meant a few substitutions. Out went soba noodles, asparagus, tofu, sesame oil, rice vinegar and garlic and in came wholemeal spaghetti, red pepper, chile poblano, fresh spinach, fresh coriander, mushrooms, carrots, sunflower seeds, lime and olive oil. (Only the peanut butter, peanuts, spring onion and chili flakes made the recipe leap unscathed.)

Chile poblano

Chile poblano

I made the dressing using lime juice in place of rice wine vinegar, with plenty of red chili flakes, of course. Everything else was pretty much as you’d expect. Chopped all the veg, chucked the spaghetti on to boil, then added first the carrots, then a couple minutes later the pepper and chile poblano (roughly the size of an ordinary green pepper but with a mild chili kick), then a minute after that the spring onion and spinach. Couple more minutes on the boil, drained and tipped into a big bowl where I tossed it with the peanut dressing then chucked handfuls of sunflower seeds, salted peanuts and coriander in.

It didn’t come out looking anywhere near as elegant as the original version, and to my taste it should have been a bit more peanutty (the lime really cut the peanut-butteriness, so I might experiment with something else next time) but we scoffed the lot so thumbs up.



I’m on a bit of a local ingredient kick and bought jicama the other day. It’s a big, ugly lump of a root and I had to Google it to find out what the hell you’re supposed to do with it. Eat it raw, apparently. I have my doubts about eating raw anything you could use as a defensive weapon in the case of burglary but when in Rome… so I had a crack. The flavour is decent enough: slightly sweet in a rooty, parsnip-y kind of way. Unfortunately it bears plenty of textural resemblance to raw parsnip as well, which I can’t cope with. I stuck it in the fridge and waited for inspiration.

Roasting, frying and steaming all crossed my mind, but the oven here is a weird little creature I don’t understand and I instinctively felt jicama would be fry-resistant. Finally I decided to steam and mash it. Whacked it into the steamer and pootled off to check my email. Ten minutes later the rigid fruit was unscathed. Twenty more minutes and it was still raw carrot consistency. I refilled the steamer. Ten more, no joy. Boil it, perhaps? Just past 10PM, after half an hour at a brisk boil it dawned on me why Mexicans eat the damn stuff raw. It WON’T cook. Christ only knows what kind of super-cellulose it’s made of, but they should use it in fortifications. Bored of boiling, and hungry, I decided to stir-fry it with red onion, red pepper, spring onion, tomatillos (which, apart from making me think ‘fried green tomatoes’ every time I chuck them in the pan, are sublime) garlic and a tin of tuna. Plus the usual lashings of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, chili flakes, salt and freshly ground pepper. I drizzled the lot with fresh lime juice and ate it with corn tortillas. It was good, but more involved than I’d bargained for. If I’m going to fuck around in the kitchen for over an hour I want more to show for it than stir fry.