Easy Banana-Cashew Hot Chocolate

cup of hot chocolate with whipped cream and co...

This is a yummy treat I created with overripe bananas and a creamy hot chocolate powder I found in my mother’s cupboard.  The hot chocolate powder is one of those mixes that you just add water to.  I haven’t read the ingredients, and probably won’t.  I’m sure it has lots of things I wouldn’t usually consume, but as the saying goes, when in Rome do as the Romans.

  • rummage in Mom’s cupboard and find the decadent, extra creamy, hot chocolate powder
  • read the instructions (3 tablespoons in a cup, add boiling water)
  • select a large mug and add the chocolate powder
  • while waiting for the kettle to boil, add 1/2 an overripe banana and a handful of broken cashews to the cup and mash – with a fork – into the chocolate powder (the cashews won’t mash, if you want them broken more you’ll have to do that with a knife or rolling-pin before you add to the cup, which makes more work and more clean-up! Who needs it? Not I!)
  • gradually add the boiled water, mixing as you do
  • sit down and enjoy with a spoon to eat the cashews as you drink

If you make this for kids or old people, leave out the nuts as you could easily choke on them if you don’t know they are there!

Food, Recipes, Recipes from the Veggie Box, Vegetarian

Spanish Tortilla with Sweet Potatoes

I made a tortilla with sweet potatoes a couple of weeks ago for a Mother’s day lunch.  I also added some wakame sea vegetable.  It was enjoyed by all, and I really liked the variation.  Here’s what I used for a 26 by 6 cm. pan.  All measurements are approximate as I did not measure!

  • about 3/4 of a largish sweet potato cut into 1-2 cm cubes (about the size of the tip of your thumb nail area? – makes about 3/4 – 1 cup)
  • 4 or 5 small white potatoes cut into the same size cubes
  • about 1/4 of a medium sweet onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 7 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup 2% milk
  • about 2 tablespoons dried wakame


  • Crush the wakame in your hands and put to soak in about 1/4 cup lukewarm water.
  • Saute the onion and garlic in a little oil until soft, remove from pan and set aside in medium-sized bowl.
  • Fry the white potatoes in a little oil over moderate heat until soft, but not brown.
  • While they are cooking, beat the eggs in the bowl with the sautéed garlic and onion, add a little salt and pepper.
  • Remove the potatoes from the pan with a slotted spoon and add to the egg mixture, mix and let stand while you fry the sweet potatoes.
  • Cook the sweet potatoes until soft, remove from pan with slotted spoon, and add to the egg and potato mixture.
  • Drain the wakame and add to the mixture.
  • Stir all together, and let stand for 10-15 minutes.  Letting it stand isn’t absolutely necessary, though some of my English students in Barcelona told me letting the cooked potatoes stand in the egg mixture was key to getting creamier potatoes.  I’ve also read that starchy potatoes are a no-no; that white potatoes with red skins are preferable…I quite liked the sweet potatoes.
  • Heat the pan, drizzle with a little oil (not too much, just enough to ensure the egg doesn’t stick) and add the egg mixture.
  • Cook slowly over low heat until you see the egg mixture is almost cooked.  For a tortilla this size, you must be patient.  I cooked this one for about 20 minutes.  You can put a lid on it, just off to the side to let the steam escape, to speed cooking.
  • When the eggs are almost solid, put a wet plate on the top of the pan, turn the pan upside down, allowing the tortilla to sit on the plate.  If you’ve cooked it long enough, it will stand on the plate in a solid mass, which you then slide back into the pan to cook the top.  If it’s not cooked enough, when you perform this step the egg will run all over the plate and make a mess, so be sure the centre is at least 2/3 cooked.   You can check this with a knife, like testing a cake with a fork.
  • Cook another 5-10 minutes and serve warm.

I made another of these a few days ago in a smaller pan – 17 x 5 cm, with 3 eggs and about 1/3 of a sweet potato and 1/2 cup of drained, cooked spinach.  The smaller ones are definitely faster and easier to cook, and make a tortilla large enough for 4 servings as a side dish.

Making a good Spanish tortilla is an art.  Getting the right potatoes is crucial to producing the right texture and taste.  The sweet potatoes are definitely tasty and cook more quickly than white ones.  When I’ve figured out which white potatoes deliver the amazing creamy texture of the tortillas I ate in Spain, I’ll let you know.  Meanwhile, how about you?  Have you ever tried making this dish?  What kind of potatoes do you use?