Vegan Moroccan Tagine

As January comes to an end, so do all the bullshit diets.

So long Dry-nuary, vegan-uary and the rest of them, and all they accompanying hashtags.

You won’t be missed.

Vegan Moroccan Tagine ● Recipe

You know what doesn’t come to an end though?

The possibility to cook a fantastic meal that just happen to be vegan.

Because accidental vegan food is actually the best, and that all year round.

Vegan Moroccan Tagine ● Recipe

Packed full of veggies and vitamins, budget, time and freezer friendly, light, tasty… the list of benefits never ends!

Vegan Moroccan Tagine ● Recipe

This colourful vegan moroccan tagine is all that and then some.

Warming, filling and just so cosy, it’s the ideal dish to meal-prep on a rainy Sunday to cheer you up for the whole week ahead!

Vegan Moroccan Tagine ● Recipe

[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:54]

More accidentally vegan recipes

Indian-spiced lentil soup

Spicy Xi’an-style noodles

Winter pistou soup

Tomato & coconut pasta

PB & J porridge

Advertisements
Vegan Moroccan Tagine

Maki’ng me hungry – Sushi Shop x Anne-Sophie Pic

Growing up in France’s middle of nowhere, the only sushi I came across as a child were the poorly executed teeny-tiny ones on the buffet tables at the local Chinese (!!) restaurants. Needledd to say, I was not a fan.

But then I moved to Paris, discovered Sushi Shop and everything changed.

I still remember the day I first treated myself to a selection of the brand’s made-to-order, playful creations.

Maki'ng me hungry ● Sushi Shop x Anne Sophie Pic ● Cake + Whisky

It was a real treat – Sushi Shop isn’t the cheapest on the high street when it comes to take-away sushi. But what you get is also not your run-of-the-mill selection.

Think maki roll topped with Dorito’s (aptly named the ‘Rock n Roll’), spring roll-sushi hybrids (a whole delightful selection of them!) or even foie gras rolls (yes, you read that right and yes, it works)!

Maki'ng me hungry ● Sushi Shop x Anne Sophie Pic ● Cake + Whisky

For a few years now, the brand has been pushing the boundary of sushi-making even further through partnerships with creative brands (remember this beauty?) and eminent chefs, such as Cyril Lignac (the French Jamie Oliver), Joël Robuchon or Thierry Marx.

But in 2018, they’ve truly outdone themselves and asked Anne Sophie Pic, the only French woman to hold three Michelin stars, to create a collection.

And what a collection!

Maki'ng me hungry ● Sushi Shop x Anne Sophie Pic ● Cake + Whisky Maki'ng me hungry ● Sushi Shop x Anne Sophie Pic ● Cake + Whisky

Blending classic Japanese techniques and unexpected ingredients, the Sushi Shop x Anne Sophie Pic creations are full of delicacy and poetry.

Each of the four exclusive recipes is a nod to Chef Pic’s culinary identity.

The California roll (goat cheese, matcha, bergamot and genmaicha) is the translation of Pic’s own signature dish, the famous ‘Berlingot’.

Maki'ng me hungry ● Sushi Shop x Anne Sophie Pic ● Cake + Whisky

The yellowtail and sage pesto sushi is a triumph of freshness.

Maki'ng me hungry ● Sushi Shop x Anne Sophie Pic ● Cake + Whisky

The woodland maki might seem confusing if you take a look at the ingredients.

Mushroom 3 ways, rose, geranium, yuzu… There’s a lot going on but it all results in a beautiful work of art. And having had more than my fare share, I can confirm it’s another winner.

Vegetarians, rejoice (and get your hands on it stat)!

Maki'ng me hungry ● Sushi Shop x Anne Sophie Pic ● Cake + Whisky

But my favourite was the Signature tuna roll.

Featuring tuna coated with green cardamom honey, celeriac remoulade, green apple, sobach, chicory and dill, it’s unlike anything I’ve ever tried before. A beautiful example of what ‘fusion’ can truly achieve.

Sooooooooy good!

The Sushi Shop x Anne Sophie Pic creations are available in all Sushi Shop stores from January 6th 2018. 

More London restaurants to try

Dim sum at Mayfair Garden

Pizza at Pizza Union

Sunday roast at The Quality Chop House

Hot pot in Chinatown

Tasting menu at Anglo

I tried the Sushi Shop x Anne Sophie Pic as a guest of the brand and their PR agency.

Maki’ng me hungry – Sushi Shop x Anne-Sophie Pic

You win sum, you dim sum

…not quite the traditional saying, but far more appropriate when it comes to dim sum at Mayfair Garden.

You win some, you dim sum ● Mayfair Garden, London ● Cake + Whisky You win some, you dim sum ● Mayfair Garden, London ● Cake + Whisky

Once you’ve made your selection (I advise to take a few friends so you can order EVERYTHING!) and placed your order, sit back, relax and take in the sleek, minimalist decor.

And before you know it…

You win some, you dim sum ● Mayfair Garden, London ● Cake + Whisky

The table will be covered in a variety of dumpling plates.

You win some, you dim sum ● Mayfair Garden, London ● Cake + Whisky

Don’t miss out on the classics: plump prawn & chive dumplings, golden prawn spring rolls, gorgeous har gau…

You win some, you dim sum ● Mayfair Garden, London ● Cake + Whisky

… prawn shu mai…

You win some, you dim sum ● Mayfair Garden, London ● Cake + Whisky

… generously-filled deep-fried prawn dumplings…

You win some, you dim sum ● Mayfair Garden, London ● Cake + Whisky

… superb (and incredible value) king prawn cheung fun…

You win some, you dim sum ● Mayfair Garden, London ● Cake + Whisky

…and my favourite – golden-fried turnip cakes!

You win some, you dim sum ● Mayfair Garden, London ● Cake + Whisky

But enough talking – time to dig in!

The menu’s not especially long (perfect for the indecisive kind!), nor is it comprehensive in any way (the lack of chicken feet is apparently a big deal…), but everything on there is pretty special…

You win some, you dim sum ● Mayfair Garden, London ● Cake + WhiskyYou win some, you dim sum ● Mayfair Garden, London ● Cake + Whisky

The baked venison puffs are exceptional – the best I’ve had in London sofar.

You win some, you dim sum ● Mayfair Garden, London ● Cake + Whisky

I don’t usually like char sui buns, but Mayfair Garden’s are fluffy, sweet-and-sour pieces of meaty perfection and play in a league of their own!

You win some, you dim sum ● Mayfair Garden, London ● Cake + Whisky

The Xiaolongbao are as delicate and fiddly as you’d expect…

You win some, you dim sum ● Mayfair Garden, London ● Cake + Whisky

… and the scallop shu mai is the perfect bite to finish things up with a touch of luxury (and a very full stomach).

But no empty stomach – surprisingly enough, dim sum is very well priced, with most 3-dumpling plates around the £5 pricemark.

See I told you – no matter what you order at Mayfair Garden, you win some, you dim sum!

Mayfair Garden, 8-10 N Audley St, London W1K 6ZD

You win sum, you dim sum

Best of Havana – Save & Splurge itineraries

The largest and most populous city in the Caribbean region, founded by the Spanish in the 16th century and attracting over a million tourist every year, Havana is a windwhirl of a city.

Famous for its rich history, vibrant culture and diverse architecture (it sure wasn’t chosen as one of the new 7 wonders in 2015 for nothing!), there’s literally thousands of things to do, see and eat, making it hard to plan the perfect day in Havana.

Best of Havana ● Itineraries for every budget in Cuba's capital ● Cake + WhiskyBest of Havana ● Itineraries for every budget in Cuba's capital ● Cake + Whisky

Luckily I’ve gathered the very best of Havana in two handy itineraries below.

One’s designed for budget travellers, while the other’s more indulgent, so chose the one that best fits your budget. Or pick-n-mix/do both for the ultimate day in Havana!

Best of Havana – Save

Best of Havana ● Cuba budget itinerary ● Cake + Whisky

Stay in a ‘Casa Particulare’

Cuba’s own version of the traditional B&Bs, casa particulares are an excellent accomodation option. Not only are they cheaper than hotels (usually around CUC 30/night in Havana), but it’s also a great way to contribute to the local economy (casas are run by individuals, as opposed to hotels who are state-run), as well as a unique chance to get a glimpse of how the locals live.

We stayed in this lovely casa in Habana Vieja on our first few days in Havana and I highly recommend it. Leydiana was the perfect host, taking the time to recommend local spots to see and local restaurants to try. The breakfast was very filling. And the location of the casa made it the perfect base to explore the city’s ‘old town’ on foot.

Best of Havana ● Cuba budget itinerary ● Cake + Whisky

Pick up a sandwich at Sandwicheria La Bien Paga

Though casas usually offer exceptionally good value breakfast (see #6), this teeny tiny sandwich bar is a great alternative for made-to-order toasted sandwiches at ridiculous prices. The ‘Cuban’, with ham, cheese and pickle costs something like CUC 2.

Calle Aguacate 259, Habana Vieja

Best of Havana ● Cuba budget itinerary ● Cake + Whisky

Stroll around La Habana Vieja and the Malecon

Travellers on a budget, rejoice! The very best thing to do in Havana is walking around the city aimlessly. It’s absolutely free, and there’s a lot to see!

The most interesting area to explore is Habana Vieja (the ‘old town’, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982), with its many colonial-baroque and neo-classical buildings, busy squares and lively culture.

Best of Havana ● Cuba budget itinerary ● Cake + WhiskyBest of Havana ● Cuba budget itinerary ● Cake + Whisky

A few must-see:

  • Plaza de la Cathedral, Plaza de Armas and Plaza Vieja
  • All the streets linking those 3 squares, esp. Calle Mercaderes, Calle Obispo & Calle San Ignacio
  • Plaza de San Francisco de Asis
  • Bacardi building (while you’re there, a quick look at Mercado Anima, a local supermarket, will give you a shocking insight into Cuba’s economic reality)

A stroll along the Malecon is another Havana must-do, especially as the night falls and the locals come out to dance/play music/drink…

Best of Havana ● Cuba budget itinerary ● Cake + Whisky

Pick up a treat at Panaderia Dulceria San José

The best and oldest bakery in Havana offers an impressive range of pastries and cake by the slice, all at a very low price (around CUC 1 each).

A great spot to indulge your sweet tooth with a spot of cake roulette!

Calle Obispo 159, Habana Vieja

Watch the sun set over Havana from the Blanco Cristo promontory

Located on a hill on the opposite side of the port, the Blanco Cristo promontory is the ideal spot for a panoramic view of Havana.

Reaching it will require a bit of organisation – first, you need to take the ferry from the Terminal de Ferris (located opposite the Russian Orthodox church on San Pedro) to the Casablanca ferry terminal (CUC 4 return), then climb the hill to the gigantic white Christ statue. But the view is well worth it!

Best of Havana ● Cuba budget itinerary ● Cake + Whisky

Dine at Paladar San Cristobal

Admitedly, this very popular Centro Habana paladar is not the cheapest in the city.

But it is worth the (still very reasonable) price tag for the quality of the food alone. Country-style pork, arroz negro and many a frozen lemonade definitely made for one of the best meals we had in Cuba!

The large portion sizes and the quirky atmosphere don’t hurt either. Not to mention it’s where Obama dined on his history-changing visit to the island (and Beyoncé before him…).

San Rafael 469, Centro Havana

Best of Havana ● Cuba budget itinerary ● Cake + Whisky Best of Havana ● Cuba budget itinerary ● Cake + Whisky

Cocktails at Monserrate Bar

Steps away from the world-famous La Floridita bar (and the breathtaking Hotel Inglaterra), Montserrate bar is a fun  place to end the night with rum-based cocktails (when in Cuba…). And -thanks to Montserrate’s Hemingway-free status- they are two times cheaper than at its glitzy neighbour!

Obrapia 410, Habana Vieja

Best of Havana ● Cuba budget itinerary ● Cake + Whisky

Ride a Coco taxi

A ride in one of Havana’s coconut-shapped and mango-coloured taxis is an exhilarating experience. The price will depend on the distance you want to cover, so make sure you negociate it before you hop on!

Best of Havana ● Itineraries for every budget in Cuba's capital ● Cake + WhiskyBest of Havana ● Itineraries for every budget in Cuba's capital ● Cake + Whisky

Best of Havana – Splurge

Stay at Animas 303

First of its kind, this charming privately-owned boutique hotel is simply gorgeous.

Located in a beautifully restored historic building, with a great roof terrace (see above picture!) and super friendly and helpful staff, the overall experience is miles ahead of that of the much-renowned Hotel Nacional. And at just a fraction of the price (£55-75 per night).

Calle Animas 303, entre Aguila y Blanco, Centro Habana

Best of Havana ● Itineraries for every budget in Cuba's capital ● Cake + Whisky

Tour the city with a local

Many companies offer tours of Havana, the most famous of which being the ones in old US cars. All-in-all, they are an excellent way to see all the major sights whilst getting a taste of the classic Cuba Americana period.

We initially considered going on one of those tours, but since we had already seen a lot of the classic sights, decided to skip it for something with more of a local flavour.

That’s how we ended up driving around Centro Havana and Vedado in automotive engineering teacher/taxi driver/guide extraordinaire Salvador Márquez’s beautifully maintain Beetle car.

Best of Havana ● Itineraries for every budget in Cuba's capital ● Cake + Whisky

He showed us around the university (where he actually teaches!),  and the massive Colon Cemetry, took us to see the Ministerio del Interior and the Biblioteca José Marti and told us about his and his students’ (!!) favourite spots.

Needless to say, it ended up being one of my absolute favourite moments of our whole trip.

Unfortunately, Salvador doesn’t have a website but you can ask your hotel or casa to call him at (5-264-4756) to arrange a tour. 

Best of Havana ● Itineraries for every budget in Cuba's capital ● Cake + Whisky

Sip on Havana’s best mojito with a view at El Cocinero

Sharing a building with the Cuban Arts Factory, El Cocinero is the playing ground of choice for affluent young Cubans and expats, El Cochinero is one of Havana’s top spot to get the night started.

Whilst there is a formal restaurant, the real fun place is the roof top terrace. Bosting very industrial-chic vibes, a great tapas style menu and an extensive cocktail list.

As expected, tthe mojitos are brilliant and the view’s not too shabby either!

Calle 26 #57 e/11 y 13 Vedado

Best of Havana ● Itineraries for every budget in Cuba's capital ● Cake + Whisky

Visit the world-famous La Guarida

Famous for its movie-location setting in Fresa y Chocolate, La Guarida is one of the most sough-after restaurants in Havana.

As a result, booking ahead is the only way forward. Alternatively, a reduced menu is served at the rooftop bar. Not being very organised, that’s where we had dinner.

We made the most of the eclectic and modern menu – think spicy fish tacos, incredible jamon croquetas, morish desserts and creative cocktails!

418 Concordia, Centro Habana

Best of Havana ● Itineraries for every budget in Cuba's capital ● Cake + Whisky

More travel inspiration

13 things to expect on your first trip to Cuba

8 things to do in Paris – for first timers & seasoned travelers

Dublin mini-guide

5 tips to plan a city break

Best of Havana – Save & Splurge itineraries

PB & J Porridge (VE, GF)

Breakfast food is the way to my heart.

Eggs any way, bread (all the bread!), full English, porridge… I love it all!

But, I love my bed even more.

PB & J Porridge (VE, GF) ● Vegan breakfast recipe ● Cake + Whisky

That means that if I’m going to actually eat breakfast, it has to be super easy/quick to make because I’m not going to swap sleeping time for cooking time.

Which is the case for this PB & J porridge.

PB & J Porridge (VE, GF) ● Vegan breakfast recipe ● Cake + Whisky

Creamy, nutty, filling, satisfying, accidentally vegan (!!) and suuuuuuuper quick to make, it’s the breakfast of dreams.

100% my jam!

PB & J Porridge (VE, GF) ● Vegan breakfast recipe ● Cake + Whisky[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:53]

More breakfast recipes

Curried spinach baked eggs (V, GF)

The best bread & butter pudding (V)

Sticky date porridge (VE, GF)

How to make eggs Benedict

PB & J Porridge (VE, GF)

On the menu – January

When I first moved out of my parents’ house and into my first flat, I struggled to find food-spiration.

As a consequence, pasta a la carbonara made (too) many apparences, until I came across a (now closed) French blog where a young mum would share her weekly menus.

It was brilliant – full of new ideas and inspiration, balanced without being diet-oriented or too restrictive and very aware of the time- and money-scarcity sides of things.

I learnt a lot from reading those weekly menus, especially on how important yet bloody difficult food planning really is. Even more so if you’re cooking both lunch and dinner from scratch, with a balanced diet on your mind and a limited amount of time and money to do so.

I’m sure I’m not the only one struggling with this.

Which is why I thought I’d start sharing my own version of those menus, featuring easy recipe/combination ideas as well as tips to prep it all efficiently and make the most of your ingredients.

I want to make this transparent (hence the mention of take away food etc.) and as convenient/helpful as possible, so please do let me know of any changes or features you’d find most helpful in the future!

On the menu – January

Monday

Breakfast
  • Yoghurt V
  • Fruit Ve
Lunch
  • Hard boiled eggs (2) V
  • Cabbage with juniper butter (from Ed Smith’s On the Side) V
  • Fruit
Dinner

Lazy fish tacos ● Easy dinner recipe ● Cake + Whisky

Tuesday

Breakfast
Lunch
  • Leftover corn salsa + crumbled feta V
  • Canned tuna
Dinner
  • Cauliflower katsu curry*: In a large bowl, combine the florets of one large cauliflower with some olive oil, 1 tsp turmeric powder & chilli powder to taste. Place on a roasting tray and bake at 200°C until well golden (about 40 min). In a small saucepan, heat up the katsu sauce (I used Waitrose’s). Pour the sauce on top of the roasted cauliflower, sprinkle with chopped spring onion & coriander. Ve
  • Hard boiled quail eggs V
  • Basmati rice Ve
  • Fruit + chocolate V

 Cauliflower Katsu Curry (V) ● Cake + Whisky

Wednesday

Breakfast
  • Soft boiled egg (5-6 min in a pot of boiling water) V
  • 1/2 avocado Vg
  • Clonakilty black pudding (roasted in the oven for 15 min at 180°C)
Lunch
  • Nutty quinoa salad (from M&S but you could easily make your own by mixing cooked quinoa with a small handful of mixed nuts and a little bit of sesame oil) Vg
  • Roasted cauliflower leaves: Mix together cauliflower greens with a bit of oil, salt, pepper and chilli, then roast for about 20 minutes at 180°C until the stalks are tender and the leaves crispy. Makes 1-2 servingsVg
  • Hummus (store-bought but home-improved) and carrot batons Vg
  • Piece of fruit Vg
Dinner
  • Beef, udon & vegetable stir fry: Heat up 1 tbsp of vegetable oil, 2 minced garlic cloves and a good squeeze of ginger paste in a wok, then add thin strips of beef sirloin and a lot of stir-fry-appropriate vegetables. Cook until almost done, then add 100g of fresh udon noodles and 1 pack of Lee Kum Kee’s sauce for broccoli beef. Add some soy sauce / chilli powder to taste. Makes 2 servings (for a vegetarian option, switch the beef for tofu puffs and use vegetarian oyster sauce) 
  • Piece of fruit Vg

Curried cauliflower cheese soup (V) ● Cake + Whisky

Thursday

Breakfast
  • Yoghurt V
Lunch
Dinner
  • Miso salmon: In a small bowl, mix together two spoonfuls of miso paste, 1 spoonful sesame oil, 2 spoonful soy sauce, 1 spoonful chopped garlic, 1/2 spoonful chopped garlic, a little bit of chilli powder. In an oven-proof dish, place salmon fillets skin side down and top with the miso mix. Leave to marinate for 30min, then bake at 180°C for 15-20 min. Makes 2 servings (for a Ve alternative, replace the salmon with halved sweet potatoes. Roast for 20 min at 200°C, then top with the miso paste and bake for another 5 min).
  • Roasted asparagus: Layer the asparagus in an oven-proof dish. Drizzle with a little bit of olive oil, sprinkle with salt, a pinch of chilli and one of sumac and roast for 20 min at 180°C. Ve
  • Sauteed spinach with garlic Ve
  • Leftover nutty quinoa salad Ve
  • Grapes Ve

Friday

Breakfast
  • Yoghurt with fruit and honey V
Lunch
  • Leftover miso sweet potato Ve
  • Leftover garlic-y spinach V
  • 2 slices black pudding
  • Dates Ve
Dinner
  • Burgers & fries from Byron (via Deliveroo)

Saturday

Brunch
  • Scrambled eggs V
  • Baked beans Ve
  • Roasted sweet potato Ve
  • Air-dried beef ham
Dinner
  • Massaman curry from Busaba (via Deliveroo) 
  • Basmati rice V

The best squash soup recipe (vegan) • Cake + Whisky

Sunday

Brunch
  • Moroccan meatballs box from Leon
  • Macarons from Pierre Hermé V
Dinner
  • Vegetable soup: Swede, onion, leek, carrots, sauteed in a little bit of olive oil, then cooked in water until very soft and blitzed with a hand blender. Ve
  • Leftover miso sweet potato Ve
  • Soy sauce roasted Brussel sprouts: Halve 2 big handfuls of Brussel sprouts. Place in an oven-proof dish, then drizzle with a bit of vegetable (or sesame) oil, salt and 2 tsp soy sauce. Roast at 200°C for about 20 min. Add a tiny bit more soy sauce when you take it out of the oven. Ve
  • Brussel sprout slaw: Slice 2 big handfuls of Brussel sprouts as thinly as possible. In a large bowl, mix with 2 spoonfuls plain yoghurt, 1.5 spoonfuls mayo, chopped fresh coriander, 12 crushed almonds, juice from 1/4 lemon, 1 tsp curry powder, salt & pepper. Ve
  • Fruit Ve
  • Christmas chocolates V

Prep & tips

Sunday: Buy all the groceries / Prep the cauliflower (separate it into florets, stalk and green leaves) / Make the cauliflower soup / Roast the cauliflower leaves and florets / Peel and cut carrots into batons (2 portions) / Hard boil eggs / Cook cabbage with juniper butter / Pack Monday lunch

Monday: Make lazy fish tacos / Make corn salad / Pack Tuesday lunch

Tuesday: Make cauliflower katsu curry / Cook rice / Pack Wednesday lunch

Wednesday: Cook breakfast (+1 extra soft boiled egg +2 extra black pudding slices) / Prep & cook the stir fry / Pack Thursday lunch

Thursday: Cook dinner / Pack Friday lunch

Friday:

Saturday: Make brunch

Sunday: Make soup / Make roasted Brussel sprouts / Make Brussel sprout slaw

 

To freeze or not to freeze? If you have a little bit of extra time on your hands, the recipes with an * are perfect for big(ger) batch cooking as they freeze well. Make extra, you’ll thank yourself on lazy days!

On intentional leftovers: When I’m prepping food, I find it more time/energy efficient to prep/cook an extra portion at the same time. However, to ensure I don’t eat the exact same thing for 3 days in a row, I like to pack each element separately so I can then mix & match.

On the menu – January

Lazy fish tacos

When they find out how obsessed I am with all things food, some people assume I spend the vast majority of my time in my kitchen, cooking up a strom and making everything from scratch.

People who do know me know that’s not quite the case and I’m actually the laziest of cooks.

Lazy fish tacos ● Easy dinner recipe ● Cake + Whisky

The kind that finds cheat’s tricks to whip up something delicious in no time and with minimal effort so she can maximise her Netflix marathon session time.

And these lazy fish tacos fit the lazy bill just right.

Lazy fish tacos ● Easy dinner recipe ● Cake + Whisky

Rich, zingy, fresh, ‘Mehicoooo’ flavours, ready to be wrapped into soft, warm corn taco wraps in next-to-no time.

Lazy fish tacos ● Easy dinner recipe ● Cake + Whisky

What makes them so easy, you ask?

Two words: Fish. Fingers.

Lazy fish tacos ● Easy dinner recipe ● Cake + Whisky

The perfect recipe for when it feels like a long week but it’s only Monday afternoon.

Or Netflix finally releases Friends and you have great weekend plans to re-re-re-binge it all…

Taco’bout a winner dinner recipe!

[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:52]

More lazy easy dinner recipes

Curried spinach baked eggs (V)

Tray-roast salad (GF & V option)

Indian-spiced lentil soup (Ve)

Lazy fish tacos