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¬įC.

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¬įC

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¬įC or so) for 10-15 min to re-heat.

Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers (+vegan version!)

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‚Äôs 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¬įC/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 ¬£10 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

Sea salt Milk Chocolate Mousse

The first time I bought chocolate with sea salt in it, I was more than sceptical about whether or not I would like it.

But the second it touched my tongue, I was in love and blaming myself for not having guessed I’d love it.¬†I mean, I’m SUCH a sucker for anything with salted caramel in it, so it only made sense, didn’t it?

And with this Sea salt & Milk chocolate mousse, I took the whole shebang a step further by adding yet more salt to my favourite Green & Black Milk chocolate with Sea salt.

Salted Chocolate Mousse Recipe | Cake + Whisky

The result went beyond everything I could have ever hoped for; what I got was perfectly balanced, sweet, salty, almost caramel-y airy and light mousses.

Trust me on that one: take a few minutes and make this tonight. You won’t regret it.

Oh, and did I tell you those were only about 180 cal each… #JustSaying

Salted Chocolate Mousse Recipe | Cake + Whisky

Sea salt and Milk Chocolate Mousse

Ingredients (serves 4): 1 bar of Green & Black Milk Chocolate with Sea Salt (100g), 2 big eggs, a good pinch of salt flakes 

1. Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and sit it over a pan of gently simmering water. Leave to slowly melt, stirring occasionally.

2. Separate your eggs so you have the whites in one bowl and the yolks in another.

3. Whisk the whites until they form soft peaks.

4. Add the egg yolks and the salt flakes to the melted chocolate and mix thouroughly (you might want to add a few spoonful of hot water as well if it gets to thick).

5. Fold the chocolatey mix through the eggs whites.

6. Divide the mixture between small glasses/cups and pop in the fridge for at least two hours for it to set.

Sea salt Milk Chocolate Mousse

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¬įC.

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¬įC 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! ūüôĆ), 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

Silo | The Zero Waste restaurant | Brighton

Brighton has to be the place to be if you have sustainability in mind.¬†I’m not sure which of Silo or that trend came first, but I sense there’s a bit of a chicken and egg sort of thing going on there.¬†Cake + Whisky | Silo Zero Waste Restaurant BrightonCake + Whisky | Silo Zero Waste Restaurant BrightonEven from the outside, you can see the “no-waste” concept runs deep. It shows in the uneven wooden facade and the repurposed metal bins turned planters. In the display menu and the rugged, rustic feel of the whole thing.¬†Cake + Whisky | Silo Zero Waste Restaurant BrightonCake + Whisky | Silo Zero Waste Restaurant BrightonCake + Whisky | Silo Zero Waste Restaurant BrightonOnce you pass the door, it is everywhere: not just on your plate, but also in the material chosen, in the¬†art, in the loyalty system, even in the loos. A concept pushed to its very limits.Cake + Whisky | Silo Zero Waste Restaurant BrightonCake + Whisky | Silo Zero Waste Restaurant BrightonCake + Whisky | Silo Zero Waste Restaurant BrightonCake + Whisky | Silo Zero Waste Restaurant BrightonThe waste-avoiding initiatives at Silo are varied and (almost) exaustive. But the most impressive of them has to be the massive recycler-composter standing in the corridor.Cake + Whisky | Silo Zero Waste Restaurant BrightonCake + Whisky | Silo Zero Waste Restaurant BrightonThe dining room also had that rugged feeling about it. Mainly places have tried (and failed) to create just that atmosphere. But here, the rustic-hipster¬†style is¬†very much in alignment with the concept. It has been push to the very smallest of details and it just works.Cake + Whisky | Silo Zero Waste Restaurant BrightonThe menu is predictably short and cooked from whatever seasonal ingredients had been delivered that day by Silo’s carefully chosen local suppliers. Not food-milage to see there. The team still manages to keep things interesting by focusing on classics with a bit of a twist, which happen to be my favourite kind of dish. Unsurprisingly, I wanted to try everything.Cake + Whisky | Silo Zero Waste Restaurant BrightonCake + Whisky | Silo Zero Waste Restaurant BrightonFrom the drinks menu, we got pretty much everything that seemed even remotely interesting. My favourite was definitely the Gin & Earl Grey cocktail with cracked black pepper (not only did it look pretty, but I really enjoyed the spiciness of the pepper against the acidity of the cocktail), but the Kombucha iced tea¬†truly is worth a try as well (it’s both subtle and fresh, which makes it a winner in my book).¬†Cake + Whisky | Silo Zero Waste Restaurant BrightonWe ordered two of the three starters available that day. The Beetroot & Fennel Soup was absolutely delicious as¬†the earthiness from the beetroot perfectly balanced the anis-seed flavour of the fennel. I don’t usually¬†like beetroot that much, but this was a cracking dish! The accompanying homemade Sourdough Bread¬†was so good I’m not even sure there is words to describe it. I’ll just tell you that: it’s basically what foodie dreams are made of. And I’m French, trust me, when it comes to bread, I know what I’m talking about!Cake + Whisky | Silo Zero Waste Restaurant BrightonThe other starter, Asparagus with slow poached egg yolk and Silo butter, was¬†a very safe bet as it’s pretty much one of my favourite ingredient combination. The addition of garlic flower and a generous sprinkle of linen seeds was an interesting one as it brought strong flavours as well as crunch to what could have easily been too simple a dish otherwise.
Cake + Whisky | Silo Zero Waste Restaurant BrightonCake + Whisky | Silo Zero Waste Restaurant BrightonThe “Plant” dish was Cauliflower steak with lentil salad and caramelised red onion. I loved the dressing of the lentil salad, which was very mustardy and punchy. Altogether, the flavour profile of this dish was interesting but the textural aspect of it was a bit less successful due to too many crucnhy elements.¬†Cake + Whisky | Silo Zero Waste Restaurant BrightonCake + Whisky | Silo Zero Waste Restaurant BrightonThe “Dairy” dish was this stunning Beetroot risotto with fresh curd. On paper, it was the least likely to appeal to me as the two main components (beetroot and cheese) are things I don’t enjoy eating, but it was truly brilliant. I think it’s once again the garlic flowers that¬†made that dish for me as their pungent flavour¬†balanced the earthy sweetness of the beetroot perfectly.Cake + Whisky | Silo Zero Waste Restaurant BrightonCake + Whisky | Silo Zero Waste Restaurant BrightonWhen we came in, they had run out of beef shortribs and were serving Pork Belly instead. The “Meat” dish was good and well executed, with tender meat and celeriac pieces, smooth puree and melty leaves but didn’t have¬†any kind of unperishable¬†impact on me.¬†Cake + Whisky | Silo Zero Waste Restaurant BrightonMackerel is such a pretty fish, and that was no exception! I especially enjoyed¬†the crunchy raw cauliflower & quinoa salad, which had a very interesting texture, as well as the addition of sea vegetable which re-inforced the saline flavour of the dish.Cake + Whisky | Silo Zero Waste Restaurant BrightonCake + Whisky | Silo Zero Waste Restaurant BrightonBy the end of the meal, we were pretty full, so we settled on sharing just one pudding between all of us. We went for hat might have seemed like the simplest of the three available options, but strawberry & lemon curd are things I simply can’t resist. Unsurprinsingly, they were the two elements on that plate I enjoyed most, the tanginess of the curd enhancing the sweet, yet still subtle flavours of the season’s first English strawberries. The cocoa nibs brought an interesting element of texture, but I’m not sure it was the case for the chantilly or the pine oil.¬†
Cake + Whisky | Silo Zero Waste Restaurant Brighton

They say the devil is in the details, and it most definitely is true when it comes to sustainability. Silo went very deep into this whole detail business and what they built is very inspiring indeed. It delivers resourceful cooking and I defy anyone not to be impressed with the level of service and dedication each member of staff brings to the cause.

Where: 39 Upper Gardner Street, North Laine, Brighton BN1 4AN

Silo | The Zero Waste restaurant | Brighton