Recipes for BBQ Sauce

Barbecue sauce has been the condiment of grilled foods since the late fifteen hundreds. Since then, this delectable sauce has been used to add flavor to foods such as grilled chicken and ribs to dipping sauce at your local fast food chains. For such a universal condiment, there are thousands of variations and recipes around the world.

BBQ Sauce

Most recipes for BBQ sauce are made with ketchup, but chefs and BBQ lovers around the world alter the recipe to their needs and preferences. In the United States, recipes for BBQ sauce are vinegar and mustard-based. In countries in Asia, the BBQ sauce is often made from corn-syrup and ketchup.

Along with the bases, BBQ sauces range in color, taste, and texture. Some Asian BBQ sauces are brown, while in the United States, they are a reddish-brown hue. Barbecue sauce can be sweet, hot, spicy, or fruity, depending on the ingredients used. Consistency is either runny or thick, depending on the sauce’s purpose. These attributes vary from chef to chef.

Most average recipes for BBQ sauce have ingredients like tomato sauce, tomato paste, vinegar, olive oil, brown sugar, garlic, onion, dry mustard, and pepper. In order to get the perfect sauce, it takes time to modify the recipe until the sauce is perfect and keeps them coming back for more!

2 Basic Types of Panini Presses

A Panini press is the best way to make grilled sandwiches and press sandwiches for yourself but it is not about just making sandwiches. With the help of your Panini press, you can make a lot of different items. The basic job of a Panini press is to press food items but it does this in different ways which mean that there are different types of Panini presses.

Panini Presses

Wondering about the different types of Panini Presses?

Well, with this help of this article you will learn all about the different types of Panini presses and their functions. There are mainly three types of Panini presses:

1. Basic Panini Press

As the name suggests, this is the standard version of Panini press where all you have to do is keep your food in the Panini press and press the lid down and your food is cooked and ready to serve. A Basic Panini Press has a non-removable ridged plate which comes in contact with your food when the upper lid is pressed down on your food item and helps in cooking your food.

You know your food is cooked properly when you notice the press marks on your food items. This type of Panini Presses includes both an upper and a lower heated plate which is why this tool is so effective in making deliciously cooked sandwiches. In case you’re looking for one, has a comprehensive list of the top panini presses for 2017.

2. Removable plates Panini press

The advanced version of the Basic Panini Press is the Panini Press which comes with removable plates. As is obvious with its name, you can remove the heating plates from this Panini press and turn it into a grill to grill meat and vegetables. How do you do that?

It’s simple, this Panini Press comes with a heating plate which is smooth from one side and has ridges on the other side. This allows the users to do various cooking tasks with ease. So, you can grill, cook, press, etc. with the help of this kitchen equipment.

Another great thing about this Panini Press is that it is really easy to clean since the plates can be removed. So, you can clean the heating plate in the dishwasher and wipe down the rest of the Panini Press and once all the parts are dried, you can reassemble the machine.

3. Hinged Counter Grill Panini Press

Another hi-tech version of Panini Press is the Hinged Counter Grill Panini Press which comes in two versions: non-removable plates and reversible removable grill plates. A Counter Grill Panini Press can perform more cooking tasks than the other two Panini presses and allows you to double your cooking space by just opening the Press. So, you can grill your food item on this Panini press and have more than enough space to grill more than 1 food item at a time.

This type of Panini press also comes with a drip plate which makes the whole cleaning process easier as all the fat grease gets collected in this tray and the different heat settings make this Panini Press easy and convenient to use. If you want to know more about the panini press feel free to contact us.

Best Baking Classes in Delhi – TruffleNation’s Review

For years, I’ve watched my friends bake the most exquisite cakes, and I’ve been a little jealous. I have to admit I struggle in the kitchen. As hard as I try, I simply can’t get things to come out like I see on TV or videos I find online. When I read about Truffle Nation’s Complete Cake Making Course while looking for the best bakery schools in Delhi, I was intrigued. I also had some fears. What if I still can’t do it? Will my classmates laugh at me?

My First Impressions

Here’s where Truffle Nation really stood out. You’re not in a classroom setting. You’re not watching the teacher make things while you take notes. I was working one on one with a talented cake maker. Everything was hands on, and I was treated with respect.

There was no laughing at my lack of skills. Instead, the teacher, Kirty, took my weaknesses and showed me how to overcome them.

Kirty is as friendly as she is talented. She runs Truffle Nation and started baking when she was still a young teen.

Her energy levels and joy of baking really make the class fun. I don’t know how she has time to teach, bake, and keep up with the business catering orders she receives.

What I Learned at Truffle Nation

The course is incredibly complex for the 12,000 rupees fee. I learned everything there is to know. I learned how to follow a recipe and put the batter together, from scratch no less. I learned how to get it into the oven and let it bake. I had to overcome the temptation to take it out too early and end up with a cake that fell, but I succeeded! Each step of the way, I felt like I had the teacher’s full support and guidance. I never felt like I was being ignored or looked down on.

I had to overcome the temptation to take it out too early and end up with a cake that fell, but I succeeded! Each step of the way, I felt like I had the teacher’s full support and guidance. I never felt like I was being ignored or looked down on.

After I’d gotten making a cake from scratch down, there were other important techniques to learn. I mastered how to level the cake for a unified look. I learned how to soak a layer for certain kinds of cakes, and I learned how to make different frostings. Yum! The very patient teacher also taught me how to frost and decorate the cakes I was making. Finally, the lesson on cake making even included classes on how to package your fully prepared cake. I haven’t seen packaging covered in other courses I looked at.

The very patient teacher also taught me how to frost and decorate the cakes I was making. Finally, the lesson on cake making even included classes on how to package your fully prepared cake. I haven’t seen packaging covered in other courses I looked at.

Some of the cakes I made in the Complete Cake Making course at Truffle Nation included a stunning Red Velvet Cake, a more simple plum cake, the Fruit Feast Cake that got rave reviews, and my personal favorite – the Chocolate Truffle Cake. As a person who loves everything chocolate, this cake appeased to my inner chocoholic and will be a cake I make over and over.

I Loved Getting to Bring Things Home

The cakes I made came home with me. I didn’t have to leave it at Truffle Nation. My entire family and even some friends were able to share my creations. I proudly got to show off what I was learning, and they got to experience my new skills personally.

One of the best parts about Truffle Nation goes home with you. You get an e-book packed with recipes and the techniques you learn in class. Even when I don’t have Kirty beside me, I still have all of his valuable information at home for reference.

I Definitely Want to Keep Learning

Now that I have cake making down, I want to keep learning. I plan to return to Kirty and Truffle Nation soon to tackle some of the other classes she teaches. One of the courses at the top of my list involves chocolate, my favorite sweet treat. I really want to learn how to make chocolates. Therefore, she’ll be seeing me soon in her Beginner Chocolate Making class. After that, I’m thinking Advanced Chocolate Making is another that I want to conquer.

How do you descale a Keurig coffee maker

Sometimes a lot of coffee machines develop a layer of limescale which might affect the taste and of your freshly brewed coffee or the working of your coffee machine. If you own a Keurig coffee machine and are facing this same issue, then time to descale your coffee machine to fix your coffee machine so that it starts working properly again.

Just follow these simple steps to descale your Keurig coffee maker and you will get your clean coffee machine back in no time.

Things you will need:

  • Water
  • White Vinegar / Keurig Cleaning Solution
  • Dry dishtowel

Steps to follow:

  1. Disassemble the Keurig Coffee machine

The first and foremost step would be to remove the carafe and Keurig k-cups from the coffee machine. Also ensure that you remove the water reservoir, K-cup holder, and other removable parts. Once removed, wash these with warm, soapy water until the limescale gets completely removed.

Once cleaned, dry these parts with the help of a dry dishtowel and keep these parts back inside the coffee machine except for the carafe and the K-cups.

  1. Create a vinegar/Keurig Cleaning Solution and water mixture

Now, time to create a descaling solution for your coffee machine. Take both white vinegar/Keurig Cleaning Solution and water in equal quantity. Fill the reservoir with this solution. You can also take quantity according to how strong you want your solution to be. But when using Keurig Cleaning Solution, you need to keep these model considerations in mind:

  • When cleaning a K 10 Mini Plus and a K130 Brewer, use one-third of the Keurig Cleaning solution in the reservoir and fill the rest of the part with hot water.
  • When cleaning other Keurig coffee makers like K-Cup Home Series, K145, K155 Brewers, Vue Brewers, and Rivo Brewers, you need to use the full bottle of cleaning solution and some clean water.
  1. Clean the machine surface

Clean the outer surface of the coffee machine once with a dry dishtowel and clean all the stains and granules near the K-cup area and other parts. Once done, put back the removable parts and plug in the coffee machine.

  1. Start the first brew cycle with cleaning solution

Now, start your coffee machine for a brew and collect the cleaning water every time in a mug and throw away the contents after every brewing cycle until the reservoir gets empty. This will ensure that all the limescale gets removed. Make sure you carry out the descaling activity in every few months.

  1. Start the second brew cycle with water

Once the reservoir gets empty of cleaning solution, fill it completely with cold clean water and start the machine again. Let the machine brew till all the water gets used from the reservoir to ensure that all cleaning solution has been cleaned up and that no residue is left.

  1. Reassemble the coffee machine

Once the descaling process is completed, time to wipe the whole coffee machine dry with a dry dishtowel. Once that is done, put back the removable parts like carafe and K-cups back in their position and plug back the machine to ready it for a new cup of coffee.

About our chefs

About Justin

Chef Justin Picard has cooked at Robert’s since its opening in 2010 and is now its Executive Chef. He‘s been in the restaurant business since the tender age of 8 years old. The son of a chef, his family owned and operated a New England fine dining restaurant. While overseeing the operation of the family‘s establishment, Chef Justin decided to pursue advancement in his cooking career at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America, in New York. Due to his precociousness in the kitchen, he did an externship in Aspen, Colorado, at the renowned Hotel Jerome. Then, he received an invitation from award-winning Chef Charles Dale to open the Renaissance Restaurant. He was also part of the culinary team at Szgygy, under Chef Alex Kim.

No stranger to a well-versed palette of international standards, Chef Justin went overseas to the Micronesian Islands to hone his skills as a pastry chef at exotic vacation resorts. He grew to love creating menus implementing the unique flavor profiles of the Pacific Rim and surrounding Asian countries.

Chef Justin’s creative focus landed him in the fast-paced environment of San Francisco‘s food scene, helping pilot the upscale Italian fare at both Splendido’s & Scala’s Bistro to be among the top 10 restaurants in SF. Chef Justin then took all of his domestic and international experience to a high-end Bay Area company, Cheese Please Catering. Here, he created his own upscale menus of multi-international flavors with his relentless pursuit of perfection in food.

Prior to relocating to Paso Robles and looking at Robert’s, Chef Justin owned and operated his own catering business in the Sierra Nevada mountains. His company’s reputation was highly regarded for its fine food, exceptional wine dinners and creative, custom menus of all genres. Chef Justin has also enjoyed guest chef appearances at the James Beard House in New York, The Aspen Food & Wine Classic and a multitude of Bay Area and Central Coast food events.

“Cooking isn’t just a job, it’s an art form!” – Chef Justin Picard

Bon Appetit!


Step inside Roberts and congenial servers will welcome you. Dine in an elegant, yet the refreshingly relaxed atmosphere of glossy woods, exquisite decor, and captivating photography. Experience the wine region of Paso Robles at the sleek handcrafted wine bar that features an impressive list of top wines and beers with an emphasis on local stars.

Roberts celebrates the best of American traditions by providing you with beautifully prepared foods that are satisfying yet sensitively priced. Gather with your friends and family in a dining room that makes you feel both uptown and right at home.

Food and Mood

Have you ever wondered whether what you eat can affect your mood? You’ve probably noticed that it can work the other way around – your mood can dictate your choice of food. Now, hand over that chocolate…

In 1998 Amanda Geary was given a Millennium Award from the mental health charity Mind, to carry out some research into the link between food and mood. Over 18 months she worked with 50 women and found that changing their diets produced a variety of positive benefits including lower anxiety levels, less depression, improvements in mood swings and less fatigue.

Investigating the mental effects of food is a very complicated process. There are so many foods – and they all contain so many different chemical constituents. One carrot is not necessarily the same as another – there are variables like fertilizers, pollutants, naturally-occurring chemicals in the soil, micro-organisms, mycotoxins, and of course GMOs to take into account. And any one of these might have a drastic effect on one person and leave another entirely unaffected. In fact, you might have noticed that sometimes food has an obvious effect on you and that sometimes you can ‘get away with it’!

The good news is that our bodies can adapt to all sorts of stress, including the stress caused by eating foods that are wrong for us. Back in the 1950s, Professor Hans Selye developed a theory he called the General Adaptation Syndrome. Here’s how it works:

  • Step 1 – your body encounters something stressful – you’re first ever strong cup of coffee, or the pint of beer, or plate of cream cakes. Your body sends out distress signals – your heart starts beating faster, you get a headache, you feel nauseous. But you just shrug off the symptoms.
  • Step 2 – your body learns to cope! The food no longer seems to disagree with you. Jolly good, tuck in!
  • Step 3 – your body is putting up a good front, but behind the scenes, it is struggling. Coping with a food that causes stress to the body’s systems uses up energy. You may feel tired, unenthusiastic or irritable. As time goes on, all sorts of niggling aches and pains, coughs and sniffles, bloating, constipation and headaches can become part of your ‘normal’ life – something you just take for granted.
  • Step 4 – eventually your body forces you to take a few days off work. You’ll have no appetite for the foods that are at the root of your symptoms. You’ll stop eating them, and start to feel better!
  • Step 5 – now you have a choice. Stay at step 5, or go round again…

It’s not surprising that more and more people are noticing food allergies and intolerances. Our bodies can only absorb so much stress, and modern lifestyles can use up a lot of the body’s forgiveness! These days it doesn’t take much to push us over the edge.

It is surely no coincidence that the idea of health being a matter of balance is central to so many of the world’s systems of medicine. For example, the macrobiotic dietary system classifies foods as relatively ‘yin’ or relatively ‘yang’ and teaches us to interpret any food cravings as an indication that our food intake is not well balanced. In the macrobiotic system, foods like grains, beans, nuts, seeds, fruit, and vegetables are considered relatively well balanced. Over-reliance on very ‘yin’ foods like sugar, alcohol and fats and oils can make us lethargic and anxious. ‘Yang’ foods, which include meat but also eggs, cheese, and salt, can make us aggressive, inflexible and hyperactive.

Pumpkin theory and magic

I know I started cooking in 1984 because that’s the year Sarah Brown’s Vegetarian Cookbook was first published. I spent a precious ten pounds on it, and I’ve been carrying it around ever since. I simply had no interest in cooking until I turned vegetarian – but I was off to a flying start in 1984, despite being hampered by the filthy, ill-equipped and occasionally frankly infested kitchens of the student houses where I lived at the time.

I seemed to spend a fair bit of my time doing other people’s washing up before I could clear a surface big enough to chop an onion on… the ‘other people’ would then arrive (after the Union bar had thrown them out) and gorge themselves on whatever I had left, lovingly cling-filmed and labeled ‘Keep Off’, in the communal fridge. Yes, I am still peeved.

But Sarah Brown’s big cheery book makes me smile because it reminds me of the sudden and quite unexpected wave of enthusiasm for cookery that overtook me at that time. The page that bears the most stains and splashes is the pumpkin soup recipe.

Whatever possessed me to set about chopping up a pumpkin in those conditions? I guess I didn’t know any better. I had no hang-ups about needing special equipment – I remember using a straight pint glass as a rolling pin (was I the only student making pastry?). I probably cut up that pumpkin with a bread knife. I had no idea what to expect – I only knew that when I saw that big fat orange pumpkin, I was somehow compelled to buy it. There’s a reason why pumpkins are associated with witchcraft. They make me do it. In later years I would often end up with four or five of them, sitting in a hefty row in the kitchen.

I could hardly bring myself to cut them up. What is it about pumpkins? Perhaps their shape – you can hold a pumpkin like a fat hen. Perhaps their color? Growing up in the seventies, I have a soft spot for that retro orange. More likely, though, I think the urgent desire that I experience for pumpkins is linked to the fact that they are not really available all year round. Some vegetables (and fruits) mark the changing of the seasons – pumpkins arrive when the nights start to draw in. It gets me all excited to see them, and I get the urge to fill my house with cozy throws, gather pine cones (though I never know what to do with them) and make soup. Toffee apples have a similar effect.

I accept that a toffee apple is not really, strictly, a seasonal fruit. But I bet it counts towards my five-a-day. I’m surprised, in retrospect, that I stumbled upon a pumpkin at all, in Hull in 1984, but obviously I did, and naturally, I needed to possess it.

I gather recipe books like squirrels gather nuts, but their authors would despair if they were to watch me cooking, as I very rarely follow a recipe to the letter. I’m always tempted to tweak. I’ve learned from teaching cookery classes that there are lots of people who wouldn’t dare to do this. Some people need ‘experts’ and instructions, perhaps because they’re aiming for perfection. I think learning to cook in a student house taught me to find ways to manage with whatever was too hard, and cooking for myself rather than for a demanding or fussy family gave me the leeway to take chances and to produce dishes that were not perfect. When I needed to find something fairly easy to do with a pumpkin, Sarah Brown came to the rescue. But I certainly didn’t have the means to weigh out two pounds (900g) of pumpkin flesh. I probably just sawed the top off the thing, scooped out the seeds and stringy stuff, and then dug out as much of the flesh as possible whilst keeping the outside intact – ready, of course, for the obligatory lantern-making.

Thus I learned that soup-making is basically a question of frying a collection of chopped veg, gently, with the lid on the saucepan, until a consistency generally described as ‘meltingly soft’ is achieved. You then pour on some ‘light vegetable stock’ (ah, how I came to rely upon those green Oxo cubes…), simmer for a bit longer and then blitz the whole lot with a liquidizer. (How on earth did I manage that bit? I probably attacked it with a potato masher.) Herbs and spices are a matter of taste, or trial and error. I was surprised to find that Sarah B’s recipe contains nutmeg and ground coriander – my version these days contains cinnamon and ginger, so clearly there has been some adjustments made in the years since I made that soup for the first time.

Denis Cotter, the Irish vegetarian chef whose books are amongst the best-loved in my vast collection, writes: ‘It would surely strain my imagination beyond the capacity to produce lunch and dinner menus throughout the long autumn and winter without pumpkins. More than that, it would depress me to have to live without them.’ I agree. Pumpkins are a lot of fun, and really, they’re not that difficult to tackle. The danger is in them rolling out from under a blunt knife. Sharp knives really are much safer! Once you’ve managed to cut a pumpkin in half, you can place it firmly on its flat side and cut off the skin – always cut away from yourself. From there, you can easily scrape out the seeds and cut the flesh into chunks or slices.

Toss the pieces in some olive oil, or a mixture of olive oil and butter, and roast them in a moderate oven until they’re tender. This is comfort food of the highest order. I love to add sage or rosemary – Denis Cotter suggests thyme with lemon zest but admits to having ‘a thing about spiking comfort food with a kick’, so often teams pumpkin with chillis, whole cumin seeds or chopped coriander seeds. Yotam Ottolenghi, whose new book, ‘Plenty’, has filled me with pure joy, has a recipe for ‘crusted’ pumpkin wedges – slices of pumpkin roasted beneath a herby, lemony breadcrumb topping. He suggests serving the wedges with a mixture of soured cream and chopped dill. I’ll be making it very soon.

Unlike Denis, I like my comfort food really comfy. Pumpkins do ‘meltingly soft’ exceptionally well, and there’s no better way to make use of this character than in a risotto. One of the best I’ve made came from ‘The Vegeterranean’, the book of recipes from Country House Montali, an award-winning Italian vegetarian guesthouse in the Umbrian hills. Preparation involves cooking up a rich, smooth mash of pumpkin, onion, shallot, and garlic, which is stirred into the risotto when the rice is partly cooked. The recipe also uses grated ginger, lots of lemon juice and a fair bit of white wine, naturally. Memories of this fabulously aromatic dish were awakened when I noticed a pumpkin risotto on the menu at Jamie Oliver’s lovely restaurant in Oxford. I didn’t attempt to resist, but was delighted by an unexpected ‘twist’ – a light, crispy crunchy topping of garlicky breadcrumbs – magic!

Recipe: Pumpkin Comfort

Weighing ingredients is anathema to the preparation of real comfort food. You need something to calm you down and make you feel better – you don’t need any number-related stress. Avail yourself of a substantial baking potato. Peel it and chop it into cube-like pieces somewhere between a centimeter and an inch across. Put these into a shallow oven-proof dish.

Now do the same with a sweet potato of similar size. And one or two red onions. And roughly the same amount again of pumpkin, peeled and chopped in a similar manner. Slosh over some olive oil, some crushed garlic (you know how much you like) and, absolutely essential, a heaped tablespoon or so of chopped fresh sage. Mix it all together. Enjoy the colors. Now take a wedge of blue cheese, crumble it over the dish and mix well. The best way to do this is with your hands. Come on, don’t be scared. Cover the dish with foil (or a lid) and leave it in a medium oven for about 30 minutes. Revisit it to remove the foil and give it all a good stir (not with your hands this time). Continue to cook without the foil until the whole thing turns deeply golden and bubbly, and your entire home is filled with the scent of garlic and sage.

A health warning: this kind of comfort food should not be eaten daily – it’s really for emotional crises and at its most healing and magically potent when enjoyed without accompaniment. If you have to share it, it goes nicely with brown rice.

Top things to do with pumpkins

Denis Cotter is king of the pumpkins. Try his Gratin of roast pumpkin, leeks, sweetcorn and hazelnuts with a Gabriel cheese cream (from ‘Paradiso Seasons’). Yotam Ottolenghi also has a way with pumpkins. Have fun with his Halloween soufflés (from ‘Plenty’).

Pumpkin facts

Opinions vary, but most food historians seem to agree that, in this country, the tradition of hollowing out vegetables to make lanterns dates from thousands of years ago. At Samhain, 31 October, the Celts would extinguish the hearth fires that were so crucial to their lives and gather at communal fires built by the Druids. There they would light torches and carry the new fire back home to reignite the home fires.

As well as symbolizing the end of the year and the beginning of a new year, the fires may have been used to scare away evil spirits and light the way home for the souls of loved ones, since Samhain, the god of death, would allow ghosts to roam on that night. There were no pumpkins in Britain at that time so lamps were fashioned from beets and turnips. It is thought that Irish settlers took the tradition to America, and there discovered that pumpkins made perfect lanterns.

For the ultimate in hollowed out vegetables, take a look at the Vienna Vegetable Orchestra: They’re touring the UK this September – check the website for details of concerts in the Isle of Wight, Malvern, and Aldeburgh.

Hidden Facts of Raw Food

How would you react if somebody offered you a chance to change your diet so that you

  • Have more energy
  • Become your natural weight
  • Need less sleep
  • Have glowing skin
  • Look younger
  • Suffer less illness
  • Heal easily
  • Have mental clarity
  • Have increased vitality?

This is what people say about a raw food diet. And raw food evangelists do tend to look the part – full of energy, clear-skinned and incredibly enthusiastic about their diet.

But isn’t it always the way – the diet that promises the best results seems to be the most difficult to follow. It would be an enormous shock to go ‘raw’ overnight. It means giving up practically everything we’re used to. In some ways, we have stopped thinking of ‘raw’ food as food at all. In our kitchens, fresh fruit and vegetables are ingredients destined for greater things.

A raw food diet means avoiding any food that has been heated above 44C or treated with chemicals. Raw foodists eat fresh, raw fruit and veg, plus seeds, nuts and some soaked or sprouted grains. That’s about it.

Andrew Davis, proprietor of The Raw Food School, is on a mission to explain the benefits of a raw food diet, and to show that, far from being uninspired and monotonous, a raw food diet can be creative and ‘unlimited’. A passionate snowboarder, he was devastated when he developed arthritis in his knees. He discovered raw food three years ago and has not been troubled by any symptoms since then.

Andrew says, these days we are not living longer. We are dying longer. We are composting from the inside! The key to a long and healthy life is a ready supply of enzymes, vital to every bodily process. We are born with a supply, but we need to replenish it as we go through life. Enzymes come from food – but they are killed by temperatures above 44C. Heat also destroys many vitamins and other nutrients, so that the food no longer has the health-giving properties it once had.

Any diet that claims to cure illness sounds dubious, but there is logic here. Our bodies have to process everything we put into them – that includes toiletries, cosmetics, even air. Overloading our bodies with substances that are difficult to break down puts big demands on all our bodily systems and drains our enzyme supply. So if we then get ill as well, it takes longer for our bodies to muster the resources to fight back. By reducing the toxins we consume, and increasing the amount of enzyme-rich raw food we eat, we give our bodies the means to fight illness and to heal rapidly.

A lot of raw foodists start gradually. Andrew says, just increasing the ratio of raw food to cooked food that you eat to 50:50 will yield enormous benefits. And, he contends, when you start to eat more raw foods, you will start becoming more aware of what you eat and how your body reacts to it. You will learn to stop eating when you feel full. You will start to recognize why your body craves certain foods, and how to satisfy those cravings. You’ll find that a ‘living foods’ diet isn’t just a diet – it’s a lifestyle. Andrew characterizes his diet as 33% greens, 33% fats (such as nuts, seeds, avocados and olives) and 33% sugars (such as fruit, maple syrup and agave syrup). He also uses dried herbs and spices, oils and vinegars, Celtic sea salt, carob and dried seaweed.

Andrew and his wife Angela are passionate about raw food and, armed with just a few powerful kitchen machines, they can demonstrate how to make raw pates, loaves, ‘noodles’, cakes and biscuits, crackers, soups, salads and marinades. Andrew’s essential kitchen gadget is an amazing blender (his is a VitaMix), which he loads with strata of colourful nuts and veg. The machine pulverizes everything that comes into its path, aided by Andrew and a sort of plunger device with which he forces the ingredients onto the whirring blades. This is a piece of kitchen magic that really takes you by surprise – in seconds, a pile of veg is transformed into a pate that not only tastes great, but could not be more crammed with nutrients. Raw food kitchens also benefit from the presence of food processors and high-quality juicers – the sort that can make juice out of sprouted grains and wheatgrass. Andrew points out that one should not rely too heavily fruit juice; the fibre in fruit is there for a reason, helping to make the absorption process slower and more gentle on the body. Drinking fruit juice alone can give you a sudden blood sugar lurch. He drinks two pints of juiced greens daily and suggests those who find this unpalatable might try juiced cucumber (‘cucumber water’).

Another cunning piece of kit is the saladacco, a hand-held appliance that cuts vegetables into fine curly ribbons. One the day we met, Andrew created ‘Angel Hair Pasta’ from a courgette, and topped it with a rich pasta sauce made from fresh and home-dried tomatoes, garlic and herbs. Watching the process was a real eye-opener, but the oddest thing was, when we came to eat the dish, it didn’t seem ‘cold’! I’m at a loss to explain why.

Sprouted seeds are a major constituent of the diet and raw foodists also advocate soaking nuts before eating them, as this ‘revitalises’ them. Andrew blends soaked almonds and orange juice to make almond butter. Almond milk is created from a blend of almonds and water, strained through muslin, and perhaps flavoured with vanilla or agave syrup. It’s surprising to discover that dried fruit is not generally on the shopping list; this is because the fruit is often treated with chemicals and over heated during processing.

The most curious item of equipment in the raw foodist’s kitchen is the dehydrator, a sort of table-top ‘oven’ that applies a very gentle heat to food arranged on shelves inside. As well as drying their own fruit, Angela and Andrew use theirs to make vegetable crisps, fruit leathers, biscuits and even pizzas and burgers! Their raw food crackers are made from a mixture of soaked flax seeds, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds, red onion, garlic, cumin and Narma Shoyu, an unfermented soy sauce. Spread into thin sheets and dehydrated overnight, this creates delicate crackers with a delicious savoury taste and lovely crunchy texture. Andrew is still experimenting and discovering new uses for the dehydrator – recent tasty ‘finds’ include tomato powder, made from ground dried tomatoes, and orange powder, made from ground dried orange peel.

People want meat

The environmental challenges related to the production of meat include:

Use of crops to feed animals whilst neglecting humans
CO2 and methane production of animals and related industries
High water use of meat-based agriculture

Meat and seafood are the two most rapidly growing ingredients in the global diet and also two of the most costly in resource use. In 2006, 276 million tons of chicken, pork, beef and other meat were produced, four times as much as in 1961. In 2005, the fishing industry harvested 141 million tons of seafood globally, this is eight times as much as back in 1950. On average, each person eats twice as much meat as back in the 1960s and meat is now the single largest source of animal protein in all affluent nations. Over two million land animals are slaughtered daily in the UK alone.

Global demand for animal flesh is expected to more than double by the year 2050.Within this timescale, the livestock population is expected to rise from 60 billion farm animals to a staggering 120 billion.

How on earth can meat production on this scale be achieved? Already, the majority of farmed animals live in overcrowded, cramped conditions and never see the light of day. Current modes of farming and food production are both unsustainable and cruel. High output animal rearing forces us to create a factory-like environment and ignores animals’ natural ways of life. Are we going to see a more genetic modification of animals and ‘messing’ with nature in order to satisfy the desire for flesh irrespective of an animal’s welfare? The Vegetarian Society’s Research and Information Officer, Gilly Prime, points out that there are moves afoot to develop so-called ‘pain-free’ meat – animals could be genetically modified so that they do not feel pain. It’s a proposition that sounds space-age but might be just around the corner.

As vegetarians, and vegans, we know about the devastating environmental impact of eating meat, and we know that many more human mouths could be fed if less of the world’s soya and cereal crop was fed to livestock. A recent report featured in the Lancet stated that in order to meet the 2030 target for greenhouse gas emissions there would need to be a 30% reduction in livestock. A study carried out back in 2006, examining the impact of a typical week’s eating, showed that a plant-based vegan, organic diet had the smallest environmental impact. It’s common sense. But anybody who tries to spell it out soon realizes that it’s a message that a lot of people simply do not want to hear.