Coconut Curry Roasted Cashews

‘Tis -almost- the season.

Sorry for all the Scrooge out there, but it’s true!

And though tradition plays an important role in end-of-the-year celebrations, this year, I’ve decided to go slightly off track, break with convention and try something new.

Coconut curry roasted cashews

Not too new though. As I recently explained, the whole idea is to take traditional ingredients and combine them in a creative way to achieve a fresh take on the traditional holiday dinner.

A sort of Thanksgiving/Christmas Dinner 2.0 if you will.

Coconut curry roasted cashews

One of my favourite things to make this time of the year are roasted nut.

With salt & rosemary, with soy sauce or with cinnamon, roasted nuts never fail me, and these Coconut Curry Roasted Cashews are no exception.

Coconut curry roasted cashews

Vegan, dairy free AND not boring, sweet, salty, spicy and incredibly more-ish, they are both satisfying and healthy, hence make for an excellent snack and an even better edible gift.

They’re so easy & quick to put together and keep really well, so you can make a big batch & hand out small bags of them to neighbours and visitors…

Or make a big jar for yourself to snack on while writing Christmas cards/wrapping all the presents/convincing your introvert side that it’s excited for all the socializing to come…

I won’t tell if you don’t!

Coconut curry roasted cashews

Coconut Curry Roasted Cashews (makes one 400ml jar)

Ingredients:

  • 130g raw cashew nuts
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 2 tbsp yellow curry powder
  • a good pinch of sea salt
  • zest from 1/2 lime, finely grated

1. Pre-heat your oven to 200°C.

2. In a bowl, mix together the cashews and coconut oil until they’re all well coated. Add in the rest of the ingredients and mix until well the nuts are well coated.

3. Spread the nuts onto a baking sheet & sprinkle with a bit more salt.

4. Bake for 15 min or until golden. Leave to cool completely before transfering to an airtight container.

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Coconut Curry Roasted Cashews

Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers (+vegan version!)

Finding fun & easy Halloween-themed dishes that are not laced with sugar can be quite the challenge.

Everything I’ve come across sofar has been of the ‘candy-upcycling’ variety (guilty as charged), but in the wholesome, real-food department, there isn’t so much to stick your fangs in…

Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers (+vegan version!)

I’m not sure why that is though, as a few tricks are enough to transform beautiful, healthy everyday dinner dishes into fantastic Halloween centre-pieces.

Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers (+vegan version!)

Proof if you ever needed one with these pesto-studded, couscous- & veggie-filled vegetarian stuffed peppers.

Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers (+vegan version!)

Very quick & super easy to prep, healthy and satisfying all at once, they’re all treat & no tricks!

Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers (+vegan version!)

Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers (vegan version included) (served 4)

Ingredients:

  • 4 orange peppers
  • 100g Israeli couscous
  • 1 yellow pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 chilli pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 big carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp pesto (I used this one from Borough Olives)
  • 1 ball of mozzarella, shredded (skip for a vegan version)
  • 1 tsp red chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp sumac
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • olive oil, salt, pepper

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C

2. Cut the tops of the orange peppers and remove the core & seeds. Using a sharp knife, carefully carve eyes and a mouth in each of them, season the inside of each pepper with salt & pepper, then set aside.

3. Cook the couscous in boiling salted water according to packaging instruction, then drain and set aside to cool.

4. Heat up 1 tbsp of olive oil in a frying pan, then add the chopped yellow pepper, onion, chilli pepper and carrot and cook until soft and golden.

5. In a big bowl, mix together the cooked couscous, vegetables, pesto, mozzarella and spices. Season to taste and mix thoroughly.

6. Stuff the peppers with the couscous mixture, place the tops back on and place the peppers in an oven-proof dish.

7. Bake for 40 min. Serve immediately (they’re especially great with a nice green salad on the side).

PS: You can also make the whole thing in advance, in which case you’ll want to slightly reduce the cooking time to 35 minutes, and stick the dish into a hot oven (180°C or so) for 10-15 min to re-heat.

Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers (+vegan version!)

Salmon + Lentil Salad

I got into the habit of packing my own lunch when I was at university.

Before that, I was lucky enough to attend schools which had decent-to-really-good lunch schemes (as most French schools do).

Salmon & Lentil Salad by Cake + Whisky

And then, all of a sudden, it was all tasteless pizza and pasta and salad bars that had seen better days and were quite frankly to expensive for what it was.

So I bought myself a few Lock Lock boxes and so my love for homemade salad lunches begun.

Salmon & Lentil Salad by Cake + Whisky

Most of my creations over the years have been guided by the seasons and whatever I find in my fridge.

There has been classic combinations and some more… creative ones and some have definitely been more successful than others.

Salmon & Lentil Salad by Cake + Whisky

This salmon and lentil salad definitely features amongst the former.

Hearty yet healthy, packed full of good fats and vitamins, it’s a super pretty and colourful packed lunch that’ll keep you full till dinner time.

Salmon & Lentil Salad by Cake + Whisky

So good you won’t want to share it with salmon else (so make sure you multiply the below quantities if needed!)

Salmon & Lentil Salad by Cake + Whisky

Salmon + Lentil Salad (serves one)

Ingredients: 

  • 60g uncooked Puy lentils
  • 1/2 small white onion, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 salmon fillet
  • 1/2 avocado, diced
  • Small handful shredded cabbage
  • 1 spring onion, finely sliced 
  • 1/4 lime
  • 1 tbsp dried cranberries 
  • Pinch of dried oregano 
  • Pinch of chilli flakes (I used Aleppo pepper)
  • Salt, pepper, olive oil

1. Prepare the lentils: Place the lentils into a small sieve and rinse under running cold water. Heat up a little bit of oil in a saucepan, then did the diced onion and cook until golden. Add the rinsed lentils into the saucepan. Add 300ml water and a little pinch of salt, then bring to the boil. Simmer for about 25 min, stirring regularly until the lentils are tender. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.

2. Cook the salmon: Prehwat the oven to 180 C. Place the salmon fillet in the centre of a cooking foil square. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, chilli flakes and oregano, then close the foil up to form a parcel. Place onto a baking tray and bake for 20-25 min. Allow to cool slightly, then open up the foil parcel & flame up the fish.

3. Combine the cooked lentils, flaked salmon, diced avocado and shredded cabbage onto a plate.

4. Season with lime juice and olive oil as well as salt and pepper. Top with the dried cranberries and sliced spring onion and serve immediately or pack into a lunchbox and look forward to a healthy, colourful lunch!

PIN FOR LATER:

Salmon & Lentil Salad by Cake + Whisky

Salmon + Lentil Salad

Autumnal Quinoa Salad

If I’m not all that happy to wave the Summer goodbye, I must admit there are things about Autumn I’m rather excited about.

Besides the fact that my workplace will FINALLY be turning the AC off and I won’t have to wear cashmere to avoid catching a cold in the middle of a heatwave, that is.

Butternut, Feta & Quinoa Salad | Cake + Whisky

Top of my list is the comeback of all sorts of winter squash onto the list of seasonal fruit & veggies!

Butternut, Feta & Quinoa Salad | Cake + Whisky

I love squashes & pumpkins of all kinds, and couldn’t help but pick up one of the first butternuts of the season at my local farmers’ market last week.

It almost ended up into my favourite soup, but a bit of fridge foraging later and this beautiful Autumnal Quinoa Salad was born…

Easy to make, healthy & super tasty, it’s the perfect dish for a light Autumn dinner or a colourful, vitamin-packed lunch!

Warm Butternut & Quinoa Salad | Cake + Whisky

Autumnal Quinoa Salad with Butternut, Feta & Pine Nuts (serves 2)

Ingredients: 

  • 200g quinoa (I got this pretty mixed-coloured one from Waitrose)
  • 300g butternut squash, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 50g crumbled feta
  • 20g pine nuts
  • sea salt, cracked black pepper, oregano

1. Pre-heat your oven to 200°C (gas mark 6).

2. In a bowl, mix the slices of butternut with the olive oil, a pinch of salt, some black pepper and a generous pinch of oregano. Spread onto an oven-safe dish and bake for 35-45 minutes (or until the edges start caramelising).

3. Bring a big pot of salted water to the boil, then throw in the quinoa and cook for about 20min, then drain.

4. In a dry pan, fry the pine nut kernels until golden.

5. Mix all the ingredients in a big bowl or pile them up onto two plates, top with a little more oregano and serve immediately.

This dish can also be eaten cold, which makes it a brilliant packed lunch option as well!

PIN FOR LATER:

Autumnal Quinoa Salad | Cake + Whisky

Autumnal Quinoa Salad

Yoghurt Breakfast Parfait with Plum Compote

I might be fooling everybody into believing I’m a city kind of person the majority of the time.

But the second Autumn hits, all my hard work goes right down the drain.

Yoghurt Breakfast Parfait with Plum Compote | Cake + Whisky

With trees getting covered with fruit and bushes bending with berries, foraging brings out the most countryside-y aspects of my personality, and it’s very likely you’ll find me climbing on trees or getting my hair stuck in brambles in a desperate attempt to fill my fridge with some hand-picked seasonal jewels.

Yoghurt Breakfast Parfait with Plum Compote | Cake + Whisky

This breakfast parfait recipe was directly inspired by the first blushing plums (delivered to my door by Farmdrop) and a particularly succesful commute blackberry forage.

Combined with creamy Greek yoghurt and crunchy roasted hazelnuts, it makes for a super easy, perfectly seasonal and incredibly satisfying breakfast!

Yoghurt Breakfast Parfait with Plum Compote | Cake + Whisky

Yoghurt Breakfast Parfait with Plum Compote, blackberries and hazelnuts (serves 2)

Ingredients: 200g Greek yoghurt, 200g plums (stones removed and quartered), 50g blackberries, 25g hazelnuts, 2 tsp cane syrup (or other liquid syrup), 1/4 tablespoon cinnamon powder

1. In a dry pan, roast your hazelnuts for a few minutes until golden, then break them down to small-ish pieces with a mortar and pestle.

2. Comine the plums, cane syrup and cinnamon powder with a tiny bit of water in a hot pan, then simmer until the plums break down and reach a slightly jam-like consistency.

3. Layer the yoghurt, plum compote, fresh blackberries and roasted hazelnuts into two glasses. Top with more blackberries and hazelnuts and serve immediately.

PIN FOR LATER:

Yoghurt Breakfast Parfait with Plum Compote | Cake + Whisky

Yoghurt Breakfast Parfait with Plum Compote

Farmdrop + 2 Easy Lunch Ideas

I don’t know if you guys were already around when I wrote this list, but one of the things I wanted to focus on this year was being less dependant on supermarkets.

Since January, I have tried quite a few things, most of which I wasn’t entirely convinced by; it was always too far, too complicated, too inconvenient, too expensive, too something.

And then I tried Farmdrop. And that was just what I had been looking for (and no, this is not a sponsored post, I just really, really love them!)

Farmdrop | Cake + Whisky

Farmdrop is a bit like an online farmers market: it’s a place where you can get delicious food directly from local producers. Except you don’t have to wake up super early in the morning for it.

You click & pick everything, from fresh fruit and veggies, to meat, poultry, fish, pantry supplies and much more online, and Farmdrop takes care of the rest, getting it all to your door a few days later.

Producers get more money for their hard work (70-75% against 25-50% from supermarkets), there’s virtually no food waste (producers only harvest after your order has been placed) and you get much fresher, local produce. And all in all, it’s not much more expensive than the supermarket for infinitely higher quality!

Win, win, win!

I’ve already ordered through Farmdrop a couple of times and each time, I’ve been super impressed with both the service and quality of produce delivered.

Veggies were super fresh and crisp, lemons were very juicy, tomatoes super sweet. Some of the fish I ordered had been pack the same day it was delivered to me! Take that, average 105.6 hours for supermarkets!

Another definite advantage to getting such great ingredients delivered straight to your door is how much time it saves you. You don’t have to go to the supermarkets, walk miles to find everything you want, probably go to a different supermarket before they had run out of something you needed, go back home, unpack it all, start making dinner, only to realise half-way through that you’re all out of something and have to run back out again.

But once you have a fridge full of beautiful ingredients, things become much simpler. When what you’re cooking with is top quality, the simpler the better… so I’ve been cooking loads of simple, healthy, seasonal plates to try and make the best of them!

Vegetarian schnitzel & cheat's tartare with roasted veggies | Cake + Whisky

Vegetarian schnitzel & cheat’s tartare with roasted veggies

Vegetarian schnitzel & cheat's tartare with roasted veggies | Cake + Whisky

Fry’s Family’s Vegetarian schnitzel with roasted tomatoes (bake at 180°C/gas mark 6 for 35 min with olive oil and sea salt), wilted cavolo nerro (pan-fried with olive oil, sea salt, lemon zest until just cooked), cheat’s tartare sauce (chopped capers + red onion + pickles + sour cream), lemon wegdes & Newton & Pott’s amazing Gin pickled cucumber.

Vegetarian schnitzel & cheat's tartare with roasted veggies | Cake + Whisky

Ready in 20 min and one both vegetarians & meat-eaters will love!

Bacon & egg fried rice with wilted spinach | Cake + Whisky

Bacon & egg fried rice with wilted spinach

Bacon & egg fried rice with wilted spinach | Cake + Whisky

In a pan, fry up the bacon until golden and crispy, then remove from pan and set aside. In the same pan, heat up a little bit of sesame oil, throw in your cooked, cold rice and cook for a few minutes (until it starts crisping up). Move the rice to the edges of the pan, then crack in an egg. Cook for a minute or so, then stir in the rice and keep stiring until the egg is fully cooked. Top with chopped bacon + spring onions.

 

If you want to give Farmdrop a go (again, they’re not paying me anything, I just love what they’re doing!), you can get ÂŁ10 off (and more freebies down the line) by using this link.

And if you do, please make sure you tag me (@sndguerin) in Instapics of what’s cooking!

Farmdrop + 2 Easy Lunch Ideas

Kohlrabi, Blood Orange & Mozzarella Salad

There are very few things that makes me happier than the fact that Spring is well and truly sprung. Except maybe for how truly stunning the fruit and vegetables’ stalls at my local market have been looking lately.

So stunning in fact that I fel in the trap of getting a bit of everything without thinking too much about what I’d do with it.

Which has resulted in revising old favourites, as well as a few unlikely experiments. Some of them more succesful than others.

But the best discovery was this simple, colourful and super seasonal Kohlrabi, blood orange and mozzarella salad.

Kohlrabi, blood orange & mozzarella salad | Cake + Whisky

It’s quickly become a favourite of mine for a fresh and vitamin-full lunch, and I believe it’d do wonders served alongside some roast chicken and would be a great addition to any Spring table.

Kohlrabi, blood orange & mozzarella salad | Cake + Whisky

Kohlrabi, Blood Orange & Mozzarella Salad (serves 1)

Ingredients: 1 small kohlrabi, 1 blood orange, 1/2 ball of mozzarella, olive oil, black pepper, sea salt flakes

1. Peel the kohlrabi and slice very thinly (using a mandoline if you have one)

2. Using a sharp knife, cut away the peel and pith from the orange, exposing the flesh, then cut into thin slices.

3. Shred the mozzarella into bite-size bits.

4. Combine all three ingredients on a plate. Season with some good quality olive oil, a pinch of sea salt flakes and some cracked black pepper and serve immediately.

Kohlrabi, Blood Orange & Mozzarella Salad