2 ingredient soy-roasted nuts

I love cooking. That’s what I spend most of my free time doing and I find it extremely relaxing and rewarding.

But there are days when it hardly feels it’s worth the troubles and all I want is something tasty to munch on while watching re-runs of my favourite series.

Super easy 2 ingredient Soy-Roasted nuts | Cake + Whisky

These super-easy, 2 ingredient soy-roasted nuts are dream snack material; salty and crunchy just like the very best of supermarket-bought nuts, but with a more complex, deep savoury flavour.

And they barely take any time (or effort) to make. Merely a bit of patience. Which you can exercise while lying on a sofa and watching Gossip Girl (yes, AGAIN!), so it’s all well and good.

Ingredients: 140g of cashew nuts (or blanched almonds), 30 mL soy sauce

1. Put the nuts and soy sauce together in a box.

2. Close the lid and give it a good shake. Leave it to rest for 1-2 days, shaking it again whenever you think of it.

3. Once all the liquid has been absorbed by the nuts, bake them for about 20 minutes at 150°C.

What’s your favourite snack? Hope you’ll be as nuts about those as I am! ??

 

 

2 ingredient soy-roasted nuts

5 (more) quick, easy, healthy lunch ideas

Packing a healthy lunchbox can’t be a bit of a headache sometimes. Especially if you’re anything like me and 1. you don’t like sandwiches and 2. you get bored really quickly if you eat the same thing too many times in a row. Sounds familiar? That’s why I launched my Healthy Meal Ideas series (see #1), where I’ve been trying to come up with a bunch of ideas of healthy meals that’d be good enough to create serious food envy. In this second edition, I share a few of my current favourites!

Broccoli, avocado & radishes tahini salad (V)Cake + Whisky | 5 more healthy lunch ideasThis has to be my favourite salad of all time. It’s perfectly balanced both in terms of taste and texture, and it takes minutes to make. Oh, and it’s vegan too! #WinWin Toss a few handfuls of broccoli with some olive oil and sea salt and roast at 180°C until nice and golden. Chop 1/2 avocado and a small handful of radishes. Add your roasted broccoli. Season with 1 1/2 teaspoons of good tahini (I use this one), the juice of half a lemon, salt, black pepper and chives.

Smoked salmon & Jerusalem couscous salad Cake + Whisky | 5 more healthy lunch ideasI discovered Jerusalem couscous only recently and I’ve been obsessed since then. I love its springy, slightly cheewy texture and find it so much nicer than regular couscous in salads. Here’s my favourite to date. Follow the instructions on the pack to cook your couscous. In your favourite lunchbox, layer up some salad (I used iceberg lettuce, but I reckon watercress would be lovely as well). Tear up two small slices of smoked salmon and add it on top. Add about 3 tablespoons of couscous and one chopped up spring onion. Season with salt, black pepper and 2 teaspoons of tahini.

BLT Chicken saladCake + Whisky | 5 lunchbox ideas | bacon & Chicken saladYou gotta love a good BLT, right? Well, this is basically a salad version of it (no plastic-ey sandwich bread, yay! 🙌), but with added chicken. #WinWin Tear up some salad at the bottom of a bowl. Top with a handful of cherry tomatoes and a  small handful of quartered radishes. Pan-fry a small diced chicken breast (and a few slices of streaky bacon when you’re at it) with some olive oil and your favourite spices (I used smoked paprika, thyme, lime juice and Tabasco). Add on top of your salad. Dress with some good qulity olive oil, Maldon sea salt and black pepper.

Mexican Chicken saladCake + Whisky | 5 lunchbox ideas | Mexican Chicken SaladCook your black beans according to package instructions, rince and set aside. Dice up a ripe tomato. Top up with black beans, a handful of sliced salad onions and a tablespoon of chopped parsley. In a hot pan, melt a bit of butter and cook a small diced chicken breast. When almost done, add in 1/4 of a can of corn. Season with salt, black pepper, lime juice, Tabasco and a dash of smoked paprika and fry until golden. Add on top of your salad and season with a tablespoon of good quality olive oil, more Tabasco, sea salt and lime juice.

Morrocan couscous stew with smoked almonds

Cake + Whisky | 5 lunchbox ideas | bacon & Chicken saladCut 1 courgette, 2 small turnips, 3 carrots, a small stick of celery and 1 onion. In a big pot, cook the onion in a bit of olive oil. Add in the rest of the vegetable and roast for a few minutes. Add 1/2 can of tomato sauce and 1/2 can of chickpeas, then some lemon juice, harissa, salt, pepper, cumin and smoked paprika. Cook until tender. Cook your couscous according to package instructions. Add in chopped smoked almonds and parsley and stir thoughroughly. 

What’s your favourite lunch recipe? Send me your links! 

5 (more) quick, easy, healthy lunch ideas

My current leg workout routine

I never thought I would say that, but I think I actually enjoy working out. Anybody who knows me even a little bit is most probably laughing already! But I swear it’s true. Plus endorphins are the best thing ever!

I’m currently trying to work a lot on my legs as they are currently the part of my body I like least and I’d love to be able to wear shorts this summer without feeling bad about them. I’ve been sticking to more-or-less the same routine for about 3 weeks and I can already see results: my legs look thinner, stronger (and for some weird reason, I seem to walk taller, which is a good thing when you’re teeny-tiny like me!).

But God! is it exausting! As I write this, I just finished this exercise and my legs are TIRED! But if you want to give it a go, here is my current leg workout routine!

I start with 15 sumo squatsCake + Whisky | Leg Workout Routine 1I go down, stay there for 3 sec. and then go back up again.

Then I do 2 reps of this (it’s all part of a workout which was published on Cosmopolitan that I found on Pinterest)Cake + Whisky | Leg Workout 1After that, I do 15 more sumo squats and then go on with 30 calf raises (I stay up for 3 sec. before going back down).

Afterwards comes a real killer: a 1 min. Tip Toe Squats. Cake + Whisky | Leg Workout 1I first read about it there and thought ‘eh, that sounds easy and fun!’. Boy was I wrong about it!!

I cool down with 2 more reps of the Cosmo workout, following up with a second 1 min. Tip Toe Squats.

I then switch off my brain and follow all the steps of this video (I LOVE workout videos, I find it to be a very relaxing way to exercise as I don’t have to count or time myself or anything!!).

Moving onto 15 more squats (either the normal ones, or 15 more sumo ones, depending on my mood and how much my knees hurt…). Cake + Whisky | Leg Workout Routine 1Working a bit on my balance with 10 single-leg Romanian Deadlift (on each side).

Then flat out for 15 reps of Thrusts and Holds (while squeezing a medicinal ball between my knees. I know it doesn’t seem like a big difference, but trust me, it DOES!).Cake + Whisky | Leg Workout Routine 1 Polishing off with 10 Lateral lunges (on each side), one more rep of the workout video and  a 1 min wall sit with medicinal ball (squeeeeeze it between my knees to make my thighs work harder!). Pffff! So tired!

I cool down with a few strech-ey moves and a BIIIIIIG glass of water! And then I start it all over again the next day!

What does your workout routine look like? Anything I could include into mine? Send me your blog posts if you’ve written about it! 

My current leg workout routine

Recipe | Italian-style sausage casserole

Weather in London has been so confusing lately. I’d leave home in the morning feeling too hot in a sweater and come back home in the evening with frozen (and most probably wet) feet. Which I hate.

However, it kind of gives me the licence to eat both summer and winter food within one day. Which I love. Because salads, avocado and grilled meats VS stews, and soups and cheeeeeeeeese!

In a desperate attempt not to choose between the best of two seasons, I tried to reconcile both within one dish. And I think I might have succeeded with this Italian-style sausage casserole! In your face stupid confusing weather!

For 3-4 people, you’ll need:Cake + Whisky | Italian-style sausage casserole recipe1 onion2 celery sticks, half a red chilli (feel free to adjust to your own taste), 6 sausages (I used Waitrose’s Toulouse sausages but any kind would work as long as they’re not too sweet. I think vegetarian sausages would work too, maybe add a bit more smoked paprika to balance it out…), as much garlic as you can take (I’m French, so I used 5 big cloves, but you definitely don’t have to!), 1/2 a bowl of uncooked white beans (you can also use a can, in which case you’ll want to skip step 1), 1 bowl of kale, thyme (as much as you like, which for me means A LOT), 1 can of chopped tomatoes, 1 vegetable stock cube1 teaspoon of smoked paprika.

Cake + Whisky | Italian-style sausage casserole recipeStep 1: Put the beans in a big pot. Cover with water. Add salt and cook until tender (about 30-40 minutes). Then rince under cold water and set aside.

You can do that step in advance (or even skip it all together by using canned beans!)

Cake + Whisky | Italian-style sausage casserole recipeCake + Whisky | Italian-style sausage casserole recipeCake + Whisky | Italian-style sausage casserole recipeStep 2: Dice the vegetables. Cake + Whisky | Italian-style sausage casserole recipe(yuuuup, that’s A LOT of garlic! #sorrynotsorry)Cake + Whisky | Italian-style sausage casserole recipeCake + Whisky | Italian-style sausage casserole recipeStep 3: Chop up your sausages in bite-sized chuncks (I usually do 6-7 with each sausage)

Step 4: Put your diced veggies in a big pot with a spoonful of olive oil. Cook until slightly caramelized. 

Cake + Whisky | Italian-style sausage casserole recipeStep 5: Add the sausages in and cook until they’re almost entirely cooked through. 

Step 6: Add in the beans, the stock cube, the can of tomatoes and half a glass of water. Add salt and pepper, thyme and smoked paprika too. Cake + Whisky | Italian-style sausage casserole recipeTime to taste (you know, in case you need to adjust the seasoning or something… 😜 )!
Cake + Whisky | Italian-style sausage casserole recipeCake + Whisky | Italian-style sausage casserole recipeStep 7: Once your casserole has bubbled away for 5-10 minutes and has almost reach the right half-way between soup and stew consistency, stir in the kale and let it cook for another 5-6 minutes. 
Cake + Whisky | Italian-style sausage casserole recipeStep 8: Spoon into bowls in some kind of artistic way. It’s obviously not my forte (but I do know a brilliant fix: add mozzarella on top and melt it for a few minutes in the microwave!).

Step 9: Eat in excellent company while watching the weather change through the window (or you know, re-re-re-watching Friends for the 700th time… I won’t judge!)

Recipe | Italian-style sausage casserole

Healthy habits: how to drink more water

If you’ve read my Anti-diet Project post, you probably remember that one of my objectives was to drink more water (right there with my pledge to switch to kale crisps and my decision not to give up chocolate!).

sndguerin-drink-more-waterDrinking enough water is something I’ve always struggled with. Simply because I wouldn’t think about it. Then I would get really thirsty (which is not a good thing, as it means you’re already de-hydrated) and only THEN would I drink water. But in the last few months, I’ve FINALLY cracked it and found a way to make it work for me. All it took in the end were those three little tricks.

1. Get reminded: As I just said, my main issue with drinking water was that I wouldn’t think about it by myself. So I did what every sensible person would do and look for an app that would do that for me. My favourite is Water Your Body. It’s so simple to use: When you first log in, you need to enter in your weight and the app will automatically set up a target for you to reach daily. Then all you have to do is add in how much water you drink as and when you do (which you can do in just two taps). I found this app super useful to get me started on my new habit: it keeps reminding you to drink water, so you don’t have to think about it yourself, and you create a habit of it without even realising it. Of course people might look at you a bit weirdly the first time you tell them your phone is telling you to drink, but eh, I now reach my target everyday without having to be reminded, so it’s well worth it! Water Your Body is a free app available on iPhone and Android.

2. Get a bottle you like: When I decided that my first step to a healthier lifestyle was to start drinking more water, I treated myself to something I’d wanted for a really long time. I bought myself this little wonder of a water bottle and I can not recommand bkr products enough. They are glass bottles (aka no risk that nasty plastic compounds make their way into your water) covered with a thick silicon sleeve (=no risk to break it, even if like me, you’re rather clumsy!). When you’re at it, you might as well find yourself some nice straws (I usually drink a lot more, a lot quicker if I drink through a straw!). Just do me (and our planet) a favour and buy non-disposable ones okay? (I love those glass ones but there are also plenty of colourful ones to choose from on Etsy as well!)

3. Citrus hot water: Another thing that was difficult for me was to drink anything at all in the morning. I always felt water tasted funny, and tea didn’t seem to do much better on an empty stomach. Not that long ago, I read somewhere that a lot of people found hot water with a squeeze of lemon juice So I gave it a go, and it’s working like a charm.

Do you struggle to drink enough water? Or have you found some helpful tricks along the way?

Healthy habits: how to drink more water

Breakfast on the go : Chia seed pudding

I can’t quite say I’m usually one to pursue the latest food-trend (or superfood, for that matter). Proof is, I only had kale for the first time in September (and I’m pretty sure by then, it wasn’t trendy anymore!).

sndguerin-chia-pud-10The first time I heard of chia seeds, I was absolutely sure I wouldn’t like them. Sure, they were really good for you, with all their anti-oxydants, fibers, protein, and all, but they were always described as jelly-like, which is a texture I really couldn’t care less about (unless we’re talking about panna cotta, obviously). But then they started popping up regularly on my favourite food blogs, and on Pinterest, and some of the things I was seeing were looking pretty good indeed. So I swallowed my pride (and crossed my fingers), headed to Whole Foods and got myself a box.

I’ve been in love since then, and chia seeds have since been a regular feature in my breakfasts. Mainly because chia seed pudding makes such a convenient, cheap, fast to prep and healthy on-the-go breakfast. Oh, and it’s vegan too…  Ticks all the boxes for me!

Chia see pudding (serves 1)

3 tablespoons chia seeds, 9 tablespoons Alpro Coconut milk (or other liquid), Fresh fruit (I used plums here, but my favourite version is actually with blood orange), some sort of syrup (I used the syrup from my absolute favourite preserved sour cherries from Ergon*) 

sndguerin-chia-pud-2

In a bowl or sealable container, combine the chia seeds and the “milk”.

sndguerin-chia-pud-4Stir and let to rest for a few minutes.

sndguerin-chia-pud-5When the mixture reaches a loose jelly-like texture, pile up fruit on top.

sndguerin-chia-pud-6You can try doing it neatly…sndguerin-chia-pud-7But more often than not, I end up being quite messy! sndguerin-chia-pud-8

Add your syrup of choice (look at those glossy cherries!).sndguerin-chia-pud-9

Add one more, you deserve it! sndguerin-chia-pud-10Eat immediately or cover and refrigerate until you’re ready to eat/leave for work!

*a note on Ergon: if you’re ever looking for fantastic Greek groceries (or just those cherries!), look no further. The little store in the basement of their restaurant is any foodie’s dream (if you go, you might as well take 5 minutes to have the cardamom panna cotta from the above restaurant. You won’t regret it). And they deliver too! 

See, I told you it was an easy and quick recipe! Have you tried chia seed? How do you use them? 

Breakfast on the go : Chia seed pudding

The Anti Diet Project

You probably remember from my 2015 bucket-list article that one of my objectives for this year is to lose a bit of weight. I’ve had a bit of time to reflect on this since I wrote it and have come to the conclusion that what truly matters to me is not quite the numbers, rather the image I have and project of myself. It’s not as much about dropping a few pounds as it is about having a thinner-looking, stronger body. But I have no intention of giving up chocolate, thank you very much.

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Now, if you’re looking for the next fad diet, walk away now. I really believe those no-sugar-no-grain-only-meat-and-protein-shakes things are nothing but unhealthy, dangerous and a loss of time. I don’t think either sugar or fat are my enemies. I am however interested in building healthier living and eating habits. You know what they say… Anti-diet one day… And as far as changes go:

  1. Motivation: Even if I’m not one for drastic, quick changes, it is still important to me to be able to measure what is working and what isn’t. I don’t have weighting scales at home, nor am I really interested in investing in one. Instead, I’ll click before pics to compare myself towards, and take my measurement up. And then compare those up with the real me as time goes by.
  2. Plan ahead! I found out recently that if I write a list of ideas for meals over the weekend, and have all ingredients at hand before said week actually begins, it actually makes a difference in how motivated I am to cook healthy meals. The truth is, most of the time, I am too tired to improvise something when I come back from work, and even the idea of having to go to the supermarket on my way back home makes me craze burgers almost immediately. Same thing goes for lunch, if I don’t pack anything, I’ll either go hungry and eat everything I find when I get home, or grab something from the closest supermarket….
  3. Portion control. For months, my boyfriend and I had regularly eaten dinner from the same plate. It’s very romantic and all, but the trouble is, I eat faster than he does, so more often than not, I ended up eating too much. So we’re changing back to eating from two separate plates so that I’m no longer a griddy little piggy winning about being stuffed at the end of each meal!
  4. Swap grains for fruit & veggies. Just basic common sense, really. If you swap grains for fruit & veggies, you’re immediately eating healthier food. Easy peasy. When I’m at it, switch to healthier snacks. Basically, putting down the biscuits and sweets and replace them by something far, far more nutritious. I’m the kind of person who tends to eat little and often, so snacks are playing an important role in my eating habits. So expect kale crisps, roasted nuts and fruit salads on this blog 😉
  5. Drink more water. I used to be really bad at this. I think I’ve finally cracked it. Will write about it soon.
  6. Create an exercise habit. Now, working out’s really not my thing. But I want to get into the habit of exercising 5 times a week. I’m currently trying a few things out and will let you know how they’re all working (and more importantly, if I miraculously managed to keep up with the habit!) in my next update.

What are you doing to become/stay fit? I’d love to hear your tips! 

The Anti Diet Project