Book extract: Recipes for kids from Alice's A-Z of Food, by Alice Zaslavsky

Alice Zaslavsky's raspberry sorbet.
Alice Zaslavsky's raspberry sorbet. Photo: Walker Books Australia

Kids will love this fun read, chock-full of quirky cartoons, healthy food info, and recipes to inspire your junior master chef.

Prawn choi bow

The best thing about lettuce is that it can be used like a cup to scoop stuff straight into your mouth. San choi bow loosely translates to fresh vegetable bun, so you can use any kind of lettuce that you have handy – or even other leaves or wrappy vegetables!

  • Peel and remove the head, tails and shells from cooked prawns, then carefully chop into chunks. 
  • Toss together with avocado, mayonnaise, chopped spring onion, a squeeze of lemon juice, plus olive oil, salt and pepper.
  • Spoon into a lettuce leaf, wrap – and munch away.

No prawns? No biggie! Use shredded roast chicken, carefully fried  minced meat with hoisin sauce, or (my favourite easy alternative) tinned tuna.

Nutty road

One of my fondest camp memories is of trail mix or scroggin – a combo of nuts, seeds, chocolate, dried fruit and lollies. It never seems like a big deal when you're making it up at home before camp, but when you're up to your third night of sleeping in a tent with a stick poking in your shoulder, and your socks are soggy, and you are smelly, it's seriously the best camp thing ever.

150g ready-made trail mix from the shops (or MYO with your fave nut and seed combo)

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10-15 marshmallows, chopped up with scissors

50g chopped dried fruit (such as dates, apricots, bananas, mango)

20g black licorice, chopped (optional)

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40g desiccated coconut

2 blocks of dark chocolate, crushed into small pieces

  • Put trail mix, marshmallows, dried fruit, licorice and coconut in a large heatproof bowl.
  • Bring half a pot of water to the boil in a saucepan, and find a metal bowl that fits into the saucepan without touching the water. This is called a double boiler. Put chocolate in the bowl.
  • Once the chocolate has melted, get a grown-up to help you pour it over the trail mix and then lay it out on baking paper to dry. Leave it to harden overnight. (Kinda like everything in your camping bag by the end of the trip.)
  • Break into pieces and share. (Or take to camp and hide it in your day pack – but don't forget it's there, lest it melts!)
Alice Zaslavsky's crazy good carrot cake.
Alice Zaslavsky's crazy good carrot cake. Photo: Walker Books Australia

Crazy good carrot cake

2 carrots

1 thumb's worth of ginger, peeled

200g brown sugar

Alice Zaslavsky's nutty road.
Alice Zaslavsky's nutty road. Photo: Walker Books Australia

100ml vegetable oil

4 eggs

pinch of cinnamon

Alice Zaslavsky's prawn choi bow.
Alice Zaslavsky's prawn choi bow.  Photo: Walker Books Australia

150g chopped walnuts

zest of 1 orange (grate the peel on a fine grater if you don't have a zester)

2 cups  self-raising flour

pinch of salt

1 tsp bicarb

  • Preheat your oven to 180C.
  • Whiz up carrots and ginger in a food processor.
  • Put brown sugar and vegetable oil in an electric mixer and combine until a thick brown paste is formed.
  • Whisk in eggs, one at a time, waiting for each to "disappear" into the mix.
  • Add cinnamon, walnuts, orange zest, grated carrots and ginger and stir to combine. (Use a spatula – the whisk will freak out over the walnuts and grated bits!) 
  • Sift in the self-raising flour, salt, bicarb and stir until there are no lumpy bits. Pour into a baking paper-lined 22-centimetre cake tin and bake for about 30-40 minutes. (You'll know it's ready when you can stick a skewer in and it comes out clean.)
  • If you want to ice it, wait for the cake to cool, then smear with a mix of cream cheese and maple syrup. Top with crushed walnuts and a sprinkle of ground cinnamon.

No processor? No biggie! Just use the fine side of a grater.

Raspberry sorbet

Grab a handful of frozen raspberries, whack them in a blender with a little crushed ice and a dash of honey and whiz up into a slushie.

Tip: I always like to have berries – especially raspberries or blueberries – in the freezer, ready to go.

No blender? No biggie! Pop your raspberries and crushed ice into a Snap Lock bag and seal tightly, then get a slightly bigger Snap Lock bag and fill one third of the bag with one cup of salt and two cups of ice. Add the smaller bag into the larger one and shake the whole thing together until a slushie forms (about three minutes). The salt helps to make the ice even colder, turning the bags into your very own ice-cream machine!

Extract from Alice's A-Z of Food, Walker Books, $19.95.