Matcha Chocolate Truffles

It’s Fall at Trader Joe’s so it’s Matcha Chocolate Truffle time!!


White chocolate has become a seasonal fall thing at TJ’s, and is one of the main ingredients used in making matcha truffles. If you haven’t had matcha truffles yet, you should because they’re seriously delicious. I found this basic recipe after scouring recipes to copy-cat the chocolate truffles from Royce, which is a Japan-based chocolate shop with outposts in Midtown East and the West Village in NYC. I was surprised at how well they turned out — taste very similar to the original.

These will be getting me through studying for my statistics finals this week/weekend.


  • 125 ml heavy cream
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 400 g (approx) white chocolate chips
  • 2 tbs matcha powder
  • extra matcha powder for dusting
    • Directions: (make sure all your utensils etc. are very DRY!)

      1. Get everything out and ready. Things will move quickly. Line an 8×8 casserole pan with parchment paper, and set all your ingredients out.

      2. Add the heavy cream to a small saucepan, and heat until you see small bubbles but before it boils. Remove from heat quickly and add in the butter and white chocolate chips. Stir with a plastic/rubber spatula or spoon.

      3. When all the chocolate is combined and smooth, add in 2 tbs of matcha powder, sifting through a metal strainer to prevent clumps. Stir until smooth.

      4. Pour mixture into a prepared casserole pan, and store in the fridge overnight.

      5. The next day, remove the sheet of truffles from the pan. Cut into small squares, and dust with more matcha powder, again sifting through a mesh strainer.


      Jon’s one line review:
      “Watch your back, Royce!”

Ottolenghi’s Moroccan Carrot Salad

Since we moved back to New York, we’ve been getting a farm share each week from Corbin Hill Food Project. It’s a fantastic CSA – $15 a week for a whole bunch of vegetables and a fruit option, and they have lots of pickup locations in West Harlem and the Upper West Side.

This week, I decided to use some purple carrots, chiles, and onions I got in my share to try making Ottolenghi’s Moroccan Carrot salad from “Plenty”. I have mixed thoughts on Ottolenghi – Jon and I had a kinda underwhelming meal at his restaurant in London (cold hard rice dish – yuck!), but on the other hand, the pictures in his cookbooks always look amazing. This dish was really good, and I served it with wheat berries (cooked in apple cider with bay leafs) and Greek yogurt. Enjoy!


  • 1 bunch carrots
  • 1/3 cup olive oil, plus extra to finish
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 hot chile, finely chopped (and seeded)
  • 1 green onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped preserved lemon (I got this from Trader Joes)
  • Salt
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped, plus extra to garnish
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt, chilled

1. Cut carrots – depending on their size all the pieces should end up roughly the same size. Place in a large saucepan and cover with salted water. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer until tender but still crunchy, about 10 minutes. Drain in a colander and rinse to cool.

2. Heat the oil in a large pan and saute the onion over medium heat until soft and slightly brown, about 12 minutes. Add the cooked carrots to the onion, followed by the sugar, garlic, chile, green onion, ground ginger, coriander, cinnamon, paprika, cumin, vinegar and preserved lemon.

3. Remove from the heat. Season with salt, stir well and leave to cool.

4. Before serving, stir in the cilantro, taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Serve in individual bowls with a dollop of yogurt, a drizzle of oil and a garnish of the extra cilantro.

“Vosges Naga” Style Curry Chocolate Bar

I’ve always loved Vosges’ Naga chocolate bar – it’s a delicious milk chocolate bar with an intense curry chocolate taste. However, I’ve had a really tough time finding it around New York City recently, so the other day I was inspired to try making my own!

I used Trader Joe’s Belgian Chocolate as a base. A cashier there recently told me that chocolate shops in Chelsea actually buy it in bulk to make their own chocolate (sneaky, right?), so I figure it’d work well. The results were DELICIOUS, not to mention, I was able to make a giant batch for about $4, which is a big improvement on the normal price of $8 for a tiny bar. Here’s how to make it.

* Trader Joe’s 1 pound “Imported from Belgium” milk chocolate bar
* Curry powder (I used mild curry powder from Safeway)
* Optional toppings (I used pistachios)

1. Line an 8×8 glass baking pan with wax paper.

2. break up the 1 pound Trader Joe’s milk chocolate Belgian chocolate bar into smaller pieces, and place in a saute pan over low heat. Stir continuously until the chocolate is smoothly melted.

3. Mix in at least 3 Tablespoons of curry powder, or more, (to taste).

4. Pour the melted chocolate into the lined baking pan, smooth, and top with additional ingredients as desired (I used pistachio pieces). Let cool in the fridge for at least 4 hours.

5. Remove the chocolate from the baking pan. Run a chefs knife under hot water. Use it to slice the chocolate bar into manageable chunks. Enjoy!

Greatest Lentil Soup (From My New Roots)

This winter has been a real bummer. Snow days in March. Endless below zero weather. 4 months where I wore no other shoes to work except my snow boots. Needless to say, like everyone on the entire East Coast of the United States, I’m seriously, seriously glad that it’s Spring.

Except now that winter’s over, I think I’ve finally found the perfect winter stew recipe. I was so excited to finally get a copy of Sarah B’s My New Roots Cookbook in the mail last week, and one of the recipes that really looked delicious was her Four Corners Lentil Soup. Sara calls it that, because she’s introduced this recipe to her friends from all over the world.  I can see why. I made a batch this weekend, and it was seriously delicious – the flavors really blend together perfectly. It’s definitely going to become a staple in our house.


  • 2 white onions, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger, chopped
  • 1 cup of red lentils
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 vegetable bouillon cube
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes (about 400g)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • lemon (thinly sliced)
  • coconut oil
  • glob of maple syrup
  • salt
  • finely chopped fresh parsley (to garnish)

1. In a dutch oven or large pan, melt a glob of coconut oil and add the onions, garlic, and ginger. Sautee for about 5 minutes.

2. Add the cumin, salt, and cayenne, and cook for another minute. Stir well.

3. Add the lentils, 3 lemon slices, and tomatoes. Then, add the water and stock cube. Bring to a simmer

4. Cook for about 30 minutes until the lentils are cooked. Add a quick glob of maple syrup to balance the flavors. When the soup is ready, let rest for about 20 minutes, so that the flavors meld. Serve hot with a slice of lemon and fresh parsley for garnish.


Recipe: Summer Abudance Bowl (From My New Roots)

I’ve recently developed a pretty strong obsession with the My New Roots blog. Sarah B has a collection of absolutely mouth watering whole-food recipes that are mostly vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free. I want to make and eat everything on there.

In particular, I’ve gotten hooked on her “Spring Abundance Bowl” and have been having it pretty often for lunch recently. The great thing about this recipe is that although the dill yogurt sauce, quinoa, and pickled radishes are staples, you can pretty much throw in any side vegetables that you want and end up with an incredible meal. It’s great with fresh tomatoes, fresh greens, beets and carrots, lentils or beans etc.

Below, I’ve provided a recipe for two people. It’s a very rough guide – mix and match your favorite summer vegetables into the bowl.

Jon’s One-Line Review: It’s like eating a farmers’ market!

Spring Abundance Bowl

  • 1/2 cup of dry quinoa
  • water
  • Fresh vegetables to be eaten raw or cooked, for example:
  1. chard or beet greens sauteed with fresh spring onions or scallions
  2. carrots sauteed with mint and parsley and black beans
  3. sliced avocado
  4. fresh chopped tomato
  • coconut oil (for cooking)

Pickled Radishes

  • handful of fresh farmer’s market radishes, sliced into half moons
  • cider vinegar (about 1 cup)
  • About 1 tsp honey
  • water (about 2 tablespoons)
  • black peppercorns (about 20)
  • roughly 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 5 whole garlic cloves

Dill Lemon Yogurt Sauce

  • Nonfat unsweetened greek yogurt (about 1/2 cup)
  • fresh dill (finally chopped, about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 clove of garlic (diced)
  • olive oil (about 1 tablespoon)
  • water (to thin)
  • pink Himalayan salt and black pepper.

First, make the pickled radishes. Throw the chopped radishes in a pickling container with the whole garlic cloves, vinegar, honey, whole peppercorns, water and salt. Close the lid and shake. Put aside for about 20 minutes. (After you eat up the radishes, the liquid can be reused to re-pickle radishes in the next few days).

Then, make the quinoa. Put 1/2 cup quinoa and 1 cup water into a pan with a dash of coconut oil. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cook for about 15 minutes until all the water is absorbed.

While the quinoa is cooking prepare your vegetables – chop fresh tomatoes or avocado up, cook fresh beat greens or chard with fresh onion and coconut oil, cook some carrots with beans, tofu scramble or lentils – the possibilities are endless! I usually make about 2-3 veggie sides to go on the bowl.

After you’ve finished preparing the vegetables, make the lemony yogurt dill dressing- mix the finely chopped dill, yogurt, lemon, garlic, and olive oil. Season with ground salt and pepper. Add water to thin to desired consistency.

To serve, place quinoa in bowls as a base. Load on the fresh or cooked veggies on the side. Garnish with the pickled radishes. Drizzle the yogurt dressing over everything.


Recipe: Gazpacho

I’m on a serious, serious health kick. I’ve recently left my job as a pollster – I feel fortunate to have seen an inside look into the development of competitive political campaigns, but political consulting wasn’t the path that I saw myself on in the long term.

While I’m figuring out the next step – and finally settling the long-term debate I have with myself between pursuing public interest law or academia, I’m taking time to rejuvenate in every possible sense. I’ve really pumped up my fitness routine. I’ve been attending the LA Public Library’s incredible free lectures, and the Colburn School of Music’s free recitals and concerts. I’m finally learning Spanish, spending several hours a day studying intensively.

Foodwise, I’m finally have time to cook nutritious meals again, and it feels amazing. Last weekend, we went to the Hollywood Farmer’s market and got an incredible spread of beautiful fresh California produce – carrots, beets, chard, lettuce, fresh onions, strawberries. I couldn’t wait to get cooking.

One recipe I’ve really been craving is gazpacho. I made some for lunch today and it was amazing. Jon was also a big fan.

Jon’s One Line Review: The soup may be cold but Greer’s on a hot streak with this one.


  • about 5 juicy fresh tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 red pepper
  • 2 small or 1 large shallots
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • about 1/4 cup vinegar (sherry or cider)
  • about 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper


  1. In a blender or food processor, blend the tomatoes. Add 1/2 the cucumber (quarter before adding), 1/2 the red pepper, the shallots, and the garlic. Blend until smooth.
  2. Add the vinegar, and olive oil. Taste, and adjust proportions as desired.
  3. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Chill (gazpacho is best after 1-2 days, but I was very impatient and ate mine immediately)
  5. Serve with a sprinkling of diced red pepper and cucumber, a drizzle of olive oil and cracked grated pepper.

Recipe: Gluten-Free Mexican Quiche

I was really in the mood for quiche yesterday morning, and wondered if I could make some with corn tortilla crust, because we had a bunch of leftover corn tortillas in our fridge. The experiment turned out amazingly – Jon and I had to stop ourselves from eating the whole pie pan of quiche on the spot! The corn tortillas made such a delicious delicate crust.

The quiche is really versatile – you can throw whatever vegetables or ingredients you want into the egg mixture.

Jon’s One Line Review: Wow – you really are an exceptional cook!


  • pat of butter (for greasing the pan)
  • 5-6 small corn tortillas
  • 4 eggs
  • splash of milk
  • half an onion, diced
  • two tomatoes, diced
  • large handful of cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1 cup of salsa verde salsa (my recipe will be following soon!)
  • 1 cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • dollop of Greek yogurt (to serve)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a pie pan with butter (I don’t have a pie pan, so I used a frying pan, and put aluminum foil over the plastic handle).
  2. Layer corn tortillas on the bottom of the pan and around the edges, so that it looks like a pie crust (to place the tortillas around the edges, use a pair of scissors to cut them in half, and put the flat side down on the surface. You want to make sure the whole bottom of the pan, and sides are covered.
  3. In a big bowl, mix the eggs, milk, onion, tomatoes, salsa, cilantro, and cheese.
  4. Pour the egg mixture into the tortilla crust “shell”.
  5. Put in the oven, and bake for 35-45 minutes, until the egg is cooked and set.
  6. Serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt to cut the heat!

Recipe: Vegetarian Chorizo and Potatoes (Mexico)

This morning, we drove to Boyle Heights to check out the Mexican grocery store El Super. It was super all right. Walking into the store was like taking a trip into Mexico. You’re greeted with the smell of fresh homemade tortillas, big displays of chiles, corn husks, and cactus. The produce is fresh and everything in the store is so cheap!

One of my favorite finds in the grocery store was vegetarian chorizo. Often, fake meat has wheat as an ingredient, but this package proclaimed it was gluten-free! I decided to make some for brunch today in a chorizo and fried potato recipe I found in my favorite Latin American cookbook, Jose Garces’ “The Latin Road Home”.


Jon had a version of this recipe with real meat chorizo, and this was his review: “Tasty! Would go great with salsa verde and scrambled eggs”

Ingredients (serves 2):

  • 1/2 pack of vegetarian chorizo, crumbled
  • 1-2 yukon gold or similar potatoes, cubed
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, diced
  • olive oil
  • handful of crumbled quesa fresc0 (for serving)

Boil water in a medium pan. Add potatoes and boil until tender, about 8 minutes. Drain potatoes and set aside. Heat olive oil in a frying pan and add chorizo, onion, and jalapeno. Cook for about 10 minutes until onions are caramelized. Then, add potatoes to the frying pan, and more olive oil as needed. Cook for about 5-10 minutes until potatoes are crispy and fried. Serve with crumbled quesa fresco and your favorite Mexican breakfast dishes!

Recipes: Rajas Con Hongos

I picked up a copy of Jose Garces’ “The Latin Road Home” from the LA Public Library the other week, and every time I thumb through it, my mouth starts watering. The other night I decided to make his recipe for Rajas con Hongos (Roasted Poblano Chiles with Mushrooms), which I used as a taco filing along with Mexican rice, grated cheese and homemade tomatillo salsa (recipe will follow soon!).

Here’s the recipe (adapted):


  • drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 white onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 large handfuls of crimini mushrooms, chopped in half
  • 4 roasted and peeled poblano chiles, cut into strips (for instructions on roasting poblanos, click here)
  • 8 diced cloves of garlic
  • salt, pepper, and fresh cilantro (optional)
  • small corn tortillas


Toss the onions and mushroom in a saucepan with olive oil and cook for approximately 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chiles and garlic and cook for approximately 5 more minutes. Add salt, pepper, and cilantro. Serve over a warm corn tortilla, along with your other favorite taco ingredients (fresh salsa, rice, cheese, cream etc.) Enjoy!

Vietnamese Shrimp Pho

To toot my own horn, this is the best Pho I’ve eaten in my life (I stole the recipe from here). It was incredibly flavorful, but none of the spices were too overpowering. You could taste the accents of fresh lemongrass, the intensity of the fresh herbs, the saltiness of the fish sauce, and the sharpness of the garlic.

However, Jon thought the Pho was too difficult to eat with the flat spoons and forks we have in the house we’re renting, and I think this influenced his views on the dish.

Jon’s Review: “This is really tasty, but don’t make this if you’re in a hurry; it takes forever to eat!”

I adapted my pho recipe from this website, because it only had five-star reviews. The high ratings are entirely deserved.

Ingredients (serves two):

  • 3 birds-eye chilis, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 stick of lemongrass, sliced open with the side of a knife
  • 2 cm piece of ginger, skin removed and squashed slightly
  • 4 spring onions, sliced diagonally
  • 4 mug-fulls of water
  • 2 cubes of vegetable stock.
  • 3 tbsp of fish sauce (also called nam pla)
  • handful of fresh cilantro/coriander leaves
  • handful of fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 package of cooked shrimp, tails removed
  • 1/2 package of thick rice noodles
  • handful of bean sprouts
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges


  1. Put the water and veggie stock cubes into a medium size pan. Add the lemongrass, garlic, ginger and two of the chilis and boil for about 15 minutes to create the basic broth. Taste it and, if necessary, add more sliced chilis. Turn down the heat, cover the pan and leave to simmer for a further 15 minutes. This will allow the flavors to mesh together. Taste the broth again. Add about one mug-full of water, if the flavors are too strong.
  2. Add the prawns to the soup, and add three chopped spring onions, the fish sauce, the beansprouts and the herbs. Reserve a little of each herb for garnishing. Put the lid back on the pan, and leave it whilst you carry out step 3.
  3. In a pan of boiling water, add the rice noodles and cook for 4 minutes. Drain. Then, remove the lemongrass, ginger and garlic from the soup.
    Divide the cooked noodles between two deep bowls. Pour the soup over the noodles. Garnish with a little of the cilantro and mint leaves, a few slices of red chili and spring onion. Serve with a wedge of lime.
Scroll To Top