Tabasco-roasted squash + mozzarella salad

I’m a serial lunch-packer. By which I mean I pack lunch almost every day.

I got into the habit a long time ago, when I was at university and the food on offer on campus was far too unhealthy, expensive and bloating for me to even consider eating it every day. Plus, I had to somehow justify my massive collection of lunch boxes.

Salads have always been amongst my lunch staples. And even more so now that I’ve created the absolute wonder that is this Tabasco-roasted squash + mozzarella salad!

Lunch-spiration: Tabasco-roasted squash + mozzarella salad | Cake + Whisky

Super easy and quick to make, tasty, zingy, healthy yet filling, it’s the perfect on-the-go lunch.

Actually, I love it so much that I also serve it as a side any time I have a chance (I made it for Worksgiving, and it even was on our Christmas Eve’s menu this year!). An absolute winner on all fronts.

Lunch-spiration: Tabasco-roasted squash + mozzarella salad | Cake + Whisky

Tabasco-roasted squash + mozzarella salad (serves 1)

Ingredients: 1/4 butternut squash (peeled and cut into 1/3 inch thick slices), 1/2 avocado (scooped out and diced), a few handfuls baby spinach, some spring onion greens (sliced), 1/2 ball of mozzarella, lime juice, tabasco (I like the green one best), 1 tsp olive oil, pinch sea salt flakes, pinch chilli flakes, pinch sumac, spoonful pesto and/or tbsp pumpkin seeds

1. Pre-heat your oven at 180°C

2. Lay the butternut squash onto an oven-safe dish. Drizzle with the olive oil, chilli flakes, sea salt and Tabasco (to taste). Roast for about 45 min or until nice and golden.

3. In a separate container, make your dressing by mixing lime juice and a dash of Tabasco. Shake/stir until combined.

4. Put your spinach on a plate (or in a lunchbox). Add your avocado, roasted squash, mozzarella and spring onions on top. Season to taste with sea salt, sumac and pesto/ seeds.

5. When you’re ready to eat, pour the dressing on top of the salad.

Do you pack your lunch? What’s your go-to recipe? 

 

Tabasco-roasted squash + mozzarella salad

5 Quick, Easy, Healthy Lunch Ideas

I’m one of those people who always, ALWAYS carry food everywhere they go. No matter where I’m going, it’s extremely likely you’ll find some sort of snack in my bag. And by “some sort of snack”, I mean enough food to feed a small army. For several days.

Of course, I am also obsessed with lunchboxes but I tend to almost carry the same things (mainly leftovers). There’s absolutely nothing wrong with leftovers BUT if I want to make sure I don’t get food-envy come lunchtime (and end up going down to Pret for some chocolate croissants), I clearly needed some change! So I’ve been working on some healthy-bunny recipes over the looooong weekend and here 5 of my favourite new lunch ideas!

No-carb Burritos with Broccoli & Avocado (V)
Cake + Whisky | Recipes | Healthy Lunch IdeasCake + Whisky | Recipes | Healthy Lunch Ideas
Inspired by a few of Chocolate & Zucchini‘s recipes (see links underneath).

(Serves 1) Prep your charred broccoli/avocado/tahini salad as explained here (I added chilli flakes and pomegranate seeds too). Make a one-egg omelette as explained here. Over-fill your omelette (isn’t that the only way to make a burrito anyway?). Serve with more charred broccoli.

Now that I think of it, I’m sure the salad would be lovely with hard-boiled eggs mixed in too (and probably more convenient to put in a lunch box…).

Warm green beans salad with Jamon and walnuts
Cake + Whisky | Recipes | Healthy Lunch IdeasInspired by Chocolate & Zucchini‘s excellent eponymous book.

(Serves 1) Cook green beans in salted boiling water. Meanwhile, make a grain mustard + olive oil + cider vinegar + black pepper dressing. Toss in the beans. Sprinkle with Jamon (I brought mine back from Barcelona!), walnuts and grated parmesan. 

Zucchini noodles alla puttanesca (V)Cake + Whisky | Recipes | Healthy Lunch IdeasCake + Whisky | Recipes | Healthy Lunch IdeasInspired by The Londoner‘s brilliant “Slutty Pasta but adapted to be vegetarian!

(Serves 1) Using a vegetable peeler (or a spiralizer if you have one of those!), make linguine-like ribbons with 1 big-ish zucchini. In a pan, cook 2 cloves of garlic into a spoonful of olive oil until slightly caramelized. Add in 6-8 sliced black olives, a spoonful of chopped capers and a pinch of chilli flakes. Toss in 1/4 of a can of tomatoes, 2 table spoons of soy sauce and let the whole lot reduce for a few minutes. Pour the sauce on your coodles and top with cracked black pepper, a little bit of olive oil and some grated parmesan.

Pan-fried kale, soft boiled eggs and parsley sauce (V)

Cake + Whisky | Recipes | Healthy Lunch Ideas(Serves 1) In a food processor, blend 4 garlic cloves, half a bunch of parsley , salt, pepper and olive oil until you get a fairly homogenous green sauce. Put a pot of water to boil. When it is, add in your eggs and cook for 5 minutes, then cool the eggs under cold water and shell them off. Pan-fry about a bowl of shredded curly kale in a spoonful of olive oil (add a bit of water if it browns too quickly). Sprinkle with salt, dried garlic, black pepper and chilli flakes. Top with the sauce. 

Vietnamese Prawn SoupCake + Whisky | Recipes | Healthy Lunch Ideas 1(Serves 2) In a big saucepan, fry some ginger, a few garlic cloves and the white part of a couple of spring onions. Add in two carrots cut into little straws, half a can of sweet corn and a few handfuls of bean sprouts. Add in some stock (I used some I made, but that would work as well!). Season with salt, chilli flakes, fish sauce and soy sauce, thenadd in your prawns (I used frozen un-cooked ones). Let the whole lot simmer for a few minutes, then pour the soup in a bowl and top with the green part of the spring onions, a small handful of chopped mint leaves and chives. 

What did you have for lunch today? Anything I could be inspired by? I’m always looking for new ideas!!

5 Quick, Easy, Healthy Lunch Ideas

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