Quinoa Fried Rice

When it comes to cooking, I still have so much to learn.

I’ve always been a very decent cook, probably mainly because I’ve been free to experiment in the kitchen from a very young age, with my parents encouragingly eating up sometimes-far-from-perfect said experiments.

This learning-on-the-job sort of experience obviously has it limitations, the main one being that for a long time, I’d have to work with whatever was already in the fridge.

Quinoa Fried Rice

But every limitation has its silver lining, and in that specific case, it’s made me really, really good at cooking with leftovers. And actually enjoying it.

There’s something truly magical at making something with nothing, and that’s how I feel when I turn a simingly empty fridge into a bountiful meal, always to my boyfriend’s great surprise.

(Even though, quite honestly, he should really be used to it by now!)

quinoa-fried-rice-4

This is exactly what happened with this Quinoa Fried Rice.

Quinoa Fried Rice

Ready in minutes and requiring only a handful of ingredients, most of which are absolute staples in my house (and I’m sure many others’), it’s just as delicious and comforting as the original, but made a bit healthier with the addition of protein-packed quinoa.

Quinoa Fried Rice

Below is the basic recipe, which is absolutely delicious as it is, but feel free to add additional toppings or any leftovers hanging around in your fridge, turning your Quinoa Fried Rice dish into the most delicious way to use up meat, fish or vegetable leftovers.

Who knew fighting food waste could taste that rice?!

Quinoa Fried Rice

Quinoa Fried Rice (serves 1)

Ingredients: 

  • about 100g cooked quinoa, preferably fridge-cold
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 spring onion, thinly sliced
  • salt, pepper
  • facultative: any cooked meat, fish or vegetable leftovers you have laying around, sliced thinly

1. In a small bowl, whisk the egg with a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.

2. Heat up the sesame oil in a frying pan or wok, then throw in the quinoa (and leftovers if using) and cook on high heat until it starts smelling nice, then push the quinoa to the sides of the pan and add the egg in the middle. Cook until the egg is slightly under-set (usually about 20 sec or so), then mix together with the quinoa and cook for a little longer.

3. Transfer to a bowl, top with the thinly sliced spring onion & eat immediately.

PIN FOR LATER:

Quinoa Fried Rice

Quinoa Fried Rice

Provencale Tomato and Tapenade tart

London seems to have forgotten how to Summer this year. Sure, they were a few heatwave-type days, but those were a while back, and since then, it’s been mostly dark clouds and rain and wind.

Since the weather has been failing me, I had to turn to some other methods to get my daily dose of Summer. Which might explain why I’ve baked variations of my mum’s tomato tart every week for the past month or so…
Provencale Tomato and Tapenade Tarte Fine | Cake + WhiskyThis tomato & tapenade version might be one of my favourite variations sofar.

Juicy ripe tomato, punchy tapenade and melt-in-the-mouth pastry… you’ll want a large slice of this one (and it takes minutes to put it together… #WinWin)!
Provencale Tomato and Tapenade Tarte Fine | Cake + WhiskyIngredients: 1 portion of shortcrust pastry (you can make your own or buy it in the supermarket), about 100g of black olive tapenade (I bought mine from the Borough Olives stall at the Borough Market), 4-6 ripe tomatoes (depending on the size of your tart tin), salt, cracked black pepper, dried thyme (or any other herb you like).

1. Roll your pastry on a lightly floured surface. Line your tart tin and cut the excess pastry.Provencale Tomato and Tapenade Tarte Fine | Cake + WhiskyProvencale Tomato and Tapenade Tarte Fine | Cake + WhiskyProvencale Tomato and Tapenade Tarte Fine | Cake + WhiskyProvencale Tomato and Tapenade Tarte Fine | Cake + Whisky2. Spread the tapenade over the bottom of the pastry.Provencale Tomato and Tapenade Tarte Fine | Cake + Whisky3. Slice your tomatoes.Provencale Tomato and Tapenade Tarte Fine | Cake + Whisky4. Arrange the tomato slices accross the top in a circular pattern.Provencale Tomato and Tapenade Tarte Fine | Cake + WhiskyProvencale Tomato and Tapenade Tarte Fine | Cake + Whisky5. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt, some cracked black pepper and a generous helping of dried thyme. Provencale Tomato and Tapenade Tarte Fine | Cake + Whisky6. Bake for about 30 minutes at 180°C or until the tomatoes look golden. Provencale Tomato and Tapenade Tarte Fine | Cake + Whisky7. Serve hot or cold with a green salad.

What’s your favourite lazy-cook-friendly summer recipe? 

Provencale Tomato and Tapenade tart

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