On the menu – January

When I first moved out of my parents’ house and into my first flat, I struggled to find food-spiration.

As a consequence, pasta a la carbonara made (too) many apparences, until I came across a (now closed) French blog where a young mum would share her weekly menus.

It was brilliant – full of new ideas and inspiration, balanced without being diet-oriented or too restrictive and very aware of the time- and money-scarcity sides of things.

I learnt a lot from reading those weekly menus, especially on how important yet bloody difficult food planning really is. Even more so if you’re cooking both lunch and dinner from scratch, with a balanced diet on your mind and a limited amount of time and money to do so.

I’m sure I’m not the only one struggling with this.

Which is why I thought I’d start sharing my own version of those menus, featuring easy recipe/combination ideas as well as tips to prep it all efficiently and make the most of your ingredients.

I want to make this transparent (hence the mention of take away food etc.) and as convenient/helpful as possible, so please do let me know of any changes or features you’d find most helpful in the future!

On the menu – January

Monday

Breakfast
  • Yoghurt V
  • Fruit Ve
Lunch
  • Hard boiled eggs (2) V
  • Cabbage with juniper butter (from Ed Smith’s On the Side) V
  • Fruit
Dinner

Lazy fish tacos ● Easy dinner recipe ● Cake + Whisky

Tuesday

Breakfast
Lunch
  • Leftover corn salsa + crumbled feta V
  • Canned tuna
Dinner
  • Cauliflower katsu curry*: In a large bowl, combine the florets of one large cauliflower with some olive oil, 1 tsp turmeric powder & chilli powder to taste. Place on a roasting tray and bake at 200°C until well golden (about 40 min). In a small saucepan, heat up the katsu sauce (I used Waitrose’s). Pour the sauce on top of the roasted cauliflower, sprinkle with chopped spring onion & coriander. Ve
  • Hard boiled quail eggs V
  • Basmati rice Ve
  • Fruit + chocolate V

 Cauliflower Katsu Curry (V) ● Cake + Whisky

Wednesday

Breakfast
  • Soft boiled egg (5-6 min in a pot of boiling water) V
  • 1/2 avocado Vg
  • Clonakilty black pudding (roasted in the oven for 15 min at 180°C)
Lunch
  • Nutty quinoa salad (from M&S but you could easily make your own by mixing cooked quinoa with a small handful of mixed nuts and a little bit of sesame oil) Vg
  • Roasted cauliflower leaves: Mix together cauliflower greens with a bit of oil, salt, pepper and chilli, then roast for about 20 minutes at 180°C until the stalks are tender and the leaves crispy. Makes 1-2 servingsVg
  • Hummus (store-bought but home-improved) and carrot batons Vg
  • Piece of fruit Vg
Dinner
  • Beef, udon & vegetable stir fry: Heat up 1 tbsp of vegetable oil, 2 minced garlic cloves and a good squeeze of ginger paste in a wok, then add thin strips of beef sirloin and a lot of stir-fry-appropriate vegetables. Cook until almost done, then add 100g of fresh udon noodles and 1 pack of Lee Kum Kee’s sauce for broccoli beef. Add some soy sauce / chilli powder to taste. Makes 2 servings (for a vegetarian option, switch the beef for tofu puffs and use vegetarian oyster sauce) 
  • Piece of fruit Vg

Curried cauliflower cheese soup (V) ● Cake + Whisky

Thursday

Breakfast
  • Yoghurt V
Lunch
Dinner
  • Miso salmon: In a small bowl, mix together two spoonfuls of miso paste, 1 spoonful sesame oil, 2 spoonful soy sauce, 1 spoonful chopped garlic, 1/2 spoonful chopped garlic, a little bit of chilli powder. In an oven-proof dish, place salmon fillets skin side down and top with the miso mix. Leave to marinate for 30min, then bake at 180°C for 15-20 min. Makes 2 servings (for a Ve alternative, replace the salmon with halved sweet potatoes. Roast for 20 min at 200°C, then top with the miso paste and bake for another 5 min).
  • Roasted asparagus: Layer the asparagus in an oven-proof dish. Drizzle with a little bit of olive oil, sprinkle with salt, a pinch of chilli and one of sumac and roast for 20 min at 180°C. Ve
  • Sauteed spinach with garlic Ve
  • Leftover nutty quinoa salad Ve
  • Grapes Ve

Friday

Breakfast
  • Yoghurt with fruit and honey V
Lunch
  • Leftover miso sweet potato Ve
  • Leftover garlic-y spinach V
  • 2 slices black pudding
  • Dates Ve
Dinner
  • Burgers & fries from Byron (via Deliveroo)

Saturday

Brunch
  • Scrambled eggs V
  • Baked beans Ve
  • Roasted sweet potato Ve
  • Air-dried beef ham
Dinner
  • Massaman curry from Busaba (via Deliveroo) 
  • Basmati rice V

The best squash soup recipe (vegan) • Cake + Whisky

Sunday

Brunch
  • Moroccan meatballs box from Leon
  • Macarons from Pierre Hermé V
Dinner
  • Vegetable soup: Swede, onion, leek, carrots, sauteed in a little bit of olive oil, then cooked in water until very soft and blitzed with a hand blender. Ve
  • Leftover miso sweet potato Ve
  • Soy sauce roasted Brussel sprouts: Halve 2 big handfuls of Brussel sprouts. Place in an oven-proof dish, then drizzle with a bit of vegetable (or sesame) oil, salt and 2 tsp soy sauce. Roast at 200°C for about 20 min. Add a tiny bit more soy sauce when you take it out of the oven. Ve
  • Brussel sprout slaw: Slice 2 big handfuls of Brussel sprouts as thinly as possible. In a large bowl, mix with 2 spoonfuls plain yoghurt, 1.5 spoonfuls mayo, chopped fresh coriander, 12 crushed almonds, juice from 1/4 lemon, 1 tsp curry powder, salt & pepper. Ve
  • Fruit Ve
  • Christmas chocolates V

Prep & tips

Sunday: Buy all the groceries / Prep the cauliflower (separate it into florets, stalk and green leaves) / Make the cauliflower soup / Roast the cauliflower leaves and florets / Peel and cut carrots into batons (2 portions) / Hard boil eggs / Cook cabbage with juniper butter / Pack Monday lunch

Monday: Make lazy fish tacos / Make corn salad / Pack Tuesday lunch

Tuesday: Make cauliflower katsu curry / Cook rice / Pack Wednesday lunch

Wednesday: Cook breakfast (+1 extra soft boiled egg +2 extra black pudding slices) / Prep & cook the stir fry / Pack Thursday lunch

Thursday: Cook dinner / Pack Friday lunch

Friday:

Saturday: Make brunch

Sunday: Make soup / Make roasted Brussel sprouts / Make Brussel sprout slaw

 

To freeze or not to freeze? If you have a little bit of extra time on your hands, the recipes with an * are perfect for big(ger) batch cooking as they freeze well. Make extra, you’ll thank yourself on lazy days!

On intentional leftovers: When I’m prepping food, I find it more time/energy efficient to prep/cook an extra portion at the same time. However, to ensure I don’t eat the exact same thing for 3 days in a row, I like to pack each element separately so I can then mix & match.

On the menu – January

My favourite squash soup (VG, GF, DF)

Very few things cheer me up about the days growing colder and ever shorter.

The perspective of wearing (his) cashmere sweaters is one. Getting to wear my beloved boots is another.

But the strongest of them all is finally having the possibility to eat soup for every meal without people looking at me like I’m crazy.

The best squash soup recipe (vegan) • Cake + WhiskyThe best squash soup recipe (vegan) • Cake + Whisky

Which I’m 100% up for because I love soup.

And more than any other soup, I LOVE squash soup.

The best squash soup recipe (vegan) • Cake + Whisky

It’s really healthy (5-a-day in a bowl? YES PLEASE!), very seasonal, warm and comforting, SUPER-EASY to make and reaaaaaally exciting when served with a lot of fun toppings (Bacon? Cheese? Croutons? All of the above? Your call!)!

A souper supper if I ever saw one!

The best squash soup recipe (vegan) • Cake + Whisky

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Some great squash soup toppings:

  • Pine nuts + spring onion + nigella seeds – easy, nutty, beautiful!
  • Bacon + fried sage leaves – a classic is a classic for a reason!
  • Blue cheese + walnut pieces – another classic, another winner!
  • Pretty much any cheese actually – goat’s cheese, parmesan crisp, the one you got from the farmer’s market…
  • Soy-roasted nuts – a great vegan alternative!
  • Hazelnut dukkah – crush toasted hazelnuts with cumin and salt and get sprinkling!
  • Fried chorizo + onion – like sunshine in a bowl!
  • Curry powder + ginger paste + a spoonful of coconut cream – for an Asian spicy twist!
  • Garlic butter mushrooms – autumn-ception!

And about a billion other things! Please report all gourd-geous discoveries in the comments!

More seasonal recipes

Banana bread porridge (VG, GF)

Garlic butter mushroom bun (V)

Spicy pork dumplings

Polenta plum cobbler (V)

This post was originally published in Oct. 2014 but has been updated with better pictures and topping suggestions in September 2017.

My favourite squash soup (VG, GF, DF)

20 great recipes for a Summer Potluck

Summer is the perfect season to organise a potluck party.

If everyone makes a dish, it’s easier for everybody, right?

Well, it is. Up until the point when you have to decide what you’ll bring!

…and if you need a little help with that, the list below is just what you’ve been looking for!

Whether you said you’ll bring dessert or salad, and no matter what your cooking level is, there is something for everybody!

 

1. Guacamole

Guacamole

picture source

Everybody loves the guy/gal that brings guacamole. Simple as that.

And I won’t even make you the offence of linking to a recipe because nobody needs one.

What you do need is ripe avocadoes, loads of lemon juice, salt, pepper, Tabasco and everything else you might want to add.

2. Pimped-up hummus

How to make supermarket hummus amazing | Cake + Whisky

You better practice your most mysterious smile because everybody’s gonna ask what you put in your hummus to make it taste that good (I won’t tell if you don’t).

Get the magic tips here. Want to take it a step further and make your own? Get the recipe here.

3. Tzatziki

Light tzatziki recipe from Rachel Phipps'

This lighter version of the classic Greek tzatziki is ready in minute and the perfect accompaniment to grilled meats… And also delightful scooped up with soft, light pitta bread!

Get the recipe here.

4. Crispy bacon wrapped prunes

Prunes in crispy bacon from Epicurious

Sweet, salty and sticky all in one bite. If that’s not snack-fection, I don’t know what is.

Get the recipe here.

5. Radishes in soil à la Noma

Radishes in soil à la Noma from Chocolate & Zucchini

For those times when your usual crudité platter simply won’t cut it and you need to take it up a notch.

Get the recipe here.

6. BLT salad

BLT Salad from The Londoner

Ditch the bread & keep all the BLT goodies to turn the classic lunchtime sandwich into the best barbecue side there ever was.

Get the recipe here.

7. Tomato & feta crumble

Tomato Feta Crumble 13

Tomato crumble is a Summer supper game changer; the intense flavor of roasted tomatoes, combined with the slight sourness of feta and topped with a deliciously cheesy crumb-topping is simply impossible to resist.

Get the recipe here.

8. Hoisin watermelon salad

Gizzi Erskine's Watermelon and hoisin salad

I am yet to try the duck part of this Gizzi Erskine recipe but watermelon being one of my favourite fruit, the salad has become a firm favourite and I make it any time I have an opportunity. Refreshing and satisfying, it’s a bit of a wild card that’ll be perfect to surprise your foodie friends.

Get the recipe here

9. Potatoes in foil with cheat’s tartare

cookwithwood-3

picture source

Particularly appropriate for a BBQ get-together. Simply parboil the potatoes until just about tender, then wrap each one in aluminium foil and throw in/on the barbie together with the meat to reheat.

Cheat’s tartare is the perfect (and lazy!) accompaniment for it.

Get the recipe here

10. Tomato & pomegranate molasse salad

Sabrina Ghayour's Tomato & Pomegranate molasse salad

 

My favourite recipe from Queen of Persian cooking Sabrina Ghayour’s debut cookbook, Persiana. It only takes minutes to put together but packs in loads of flavours and everyone I’ve ever made it for LOVED it.

Get the recipe here

11. Bacon potato salad

Summer potato and bacon salad | Cake + Whisky

You can’t beat a classic, but you sure can improve it (with bacon. Bacon improves everything.)

Get the recipe here.

12. Very Greek halloumi/chicken

Greek Caprese salad 8

Marinate your protein of choice in this fresh, vibrant marinade packed-full of Greek goodness before throwing it all on the BBQ for an instant Mamma Mia effect!

Get the recipe here.

13. Tomato & tapenade tart

Provencale Tomato and Tapenade Tarte Fine | Cake + Whisky

Get the recipe here.

14. Cheese plate & fresh bread 

A handy guide to the perfect cheese plate from A Cup of Jo

Cheese and fresh bread are right up there on the list of things any host LOVE their guests to bring to a potluck party. An especially brilliant news if you’re not quite so comfortable behind a stove, have no time on the day or are simply obsessed with cheese! Don’t have the first clue about cheese? Here‘s a handy guide!

15. Whole baked camembert

Baked Camembert recipe from Binny's Kitchen

Add a chilled glass of white wine of the side and there you have it: the ultimate indulgence!

Get the recipe here.

16. The world best brownies

sndguerin-best-brownies-ever-oreos

The name says it all. #WorldBestBrownies

Get the recipe here.

17. Mojito ice lollies

Mojito ice lolly from The Ice Kitchen

Fresh, zingy, refreshing and the very best way to sneak more mojitos into your diet!

Get the recipe (from ice lollies mastermind Ice Kitchen) here.

18. Chocolate mousse

Salted Chocolate Mousse Recipe | Cake + Whisky

Unlimited chocolate mousse? Count me in! #thedream

Get then ultimate recipe here or make a fancy marbled version (recipe here)

19. Lemon & poppy seed cake

Lemon and Poppy Seed cake | Cake + Whisky

We all have that one friend who doesn’t like chocolate…

Get the recipe here.

20. A big batch cocktail

Raspberry Wine Spritzer | Cake + Whisky

Because a party with good food is good, but one with good food AND drinks is better.

Many cocktails are easy to make big batches of… but this Raspberry Wine Spritzer is the prettiest of them all!

What’s your go-to recipe for a potluck? Any of the ones above you want to try next time?

 

20 great recipes for a Summer Potluck

#Letsgetfoodiechallenge Week 2 – Something green | Spinach Tortilla

In the second edition of the #letsgetfoodiechallenge, Amanda challenged us to create a recipe with something green in it.

Now I love my greens, so once again, I was a bit paralized by the choices. But since we were heading to Brighton during the last Bank Holiday weekend, and the idea of a picnic on the beach was simply too difficult to resist, I ended up revisiting one of my favourites recipes: Tortilla. Since I got some beautiful spinach at the farmers’ market that same morning, I thought I would add some in as well and cross my fingers really hard for it to work and result in something delicious. And IT REALLY DID!

Spinach Tortilla – serves 4

You’ll need: 5-6 medium waxy potatoes, 5-6 eggs (I only had 3, but more would have been better!), chopped parsley, chopped garlic (I used dried garlic), 2-3 sliced spring onions, 2 big handfuls of spinach, olive oil, salt, pepper.

Cake + Whisky | #letsgetfoodiechallenge 2 | Spinach TortillaStart by preping all your vegetables. Slice your potatoes up as thin as possible (without slicing your fingers though!).Cake + Whisky | #letsgetfoodiechallenge 2 | Spinach TortillaSlice your onions too, and wash your spinach and dry it up. Chop your parsley and garlic.Cake + Whisky | #letsgetfoodiechallenge 2 | Spinach TortillaIn a bowl, whisk your eggs with some salt and pepper, then add in your garlic and parsley.Cake + Whisky | #letsgetfoodiechallenge 2 | Spinach TortillaGet a pan (one that goes into the oven would be perfect here! I got mine from IKEA) nice and hot, then add in some olive oil and your potatoes and fry those until they’re tender. Transfer to a bowl and keep them to the side for now. Fry your onions and do the same.  
Cake + Whisky | #letsgetfoodiechallenge 2 | Spinach TortillaNext up, you’ll need to cook your spinach.
Cake + Whisky | #letsgetfoodiechallenge 2 | Spinach TortillaCake + Whisky | #letsgetfoodiechallenge 2 | Spinach TortillaOnce it’s ready, add the onions and potatoes on top and give the whole thing a good stir to combine all the elements. Cake + Whisky | #letsgetfoodiechallenge 2 | Spinach TortillaPour your egg mix on top and cook for about 5 minutes. Transfer to a hot oven (180-200 °C) and cook for a further 5-7 minutes. Cake + Whisky | #letsgetfoodiechallenge 2 | Spinach TortillaTake your masterpiece out of the oven and eat it while it’s hot. Or get some friends together and bring it to a picnic on the beach!Cake + Whisky | #letsgetfoodiechallenge 2 | Spinach TortillaWhat’s your favourite picnic recipe? 

#Letsgetfoodiechallenge Week 2 – Something green | Spinach Tortilla

Lemon almond cake

I have just made the best lemon cake ever. Yes, EVER! 🍋 Oh, and it also happens to be the easiest cake recipe ever. Yes, even easier than my favourite chocolate brownies. No it didn’t think it was possible either.

Basically, it’s a lemon equivalent of the best chocolate fondant you can think of. It’s so moist and zesty and addictive you’ll never want to put your spoon down.

If you don’t want to get addicted, you should stop reading now. And you most definitely shouldn’t give this recipe a go. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!Cake + Whisky | Lemon Almond CakeFor 4 (reasonable) people (or 2 much less reasonable ones…), you’ll need:

100g of sugar

50g of melted butter

100g of almond flour

2 eggs

Zest of 1 lemon + juice of 1/4

Cake + Whisky | Lemon Almond CakeCombine the sugar and the almond flour.Cake + Whisky | Lemon Almond CakePour in the melted butter.Cake + Whisky | Lemon Almond CakeAdd the eggs.Cake + Whisky | Lemon Almond CakeMix it all together until well combined, then add your lemon zest and juice and mix again. Cake + Whisky | Lemon Almond CakePour your batter in muffin tins (I used mini-loaf ones instead) and bake for 20 minutes at 180 °C. And that’s it.Cake + Whisky | Lemon Almond CakeEat them by themselves.Cake + Whisky | Lemon Almond CakeOr you could top them with whipped coconut creamCake + Whisky | Lemon Almond CakeCake + Whisky | Lemon Almond CakeLook at that! SO MOIST!!

Speaking of chocolate fondant, I start to wonder how those would be with a lemon curd insert in the middle?

I say delicious, what do you think? 

Lemon almond cake

Bahn-Mi inspired Vietnamese Salad

With Spring -FINALLY- settling in London, salads have become my new dinner staple. Even though I’m quite loyal to a good Caprese salad (yay, mozzarella!), there was some time last week when I simply couldn’t get the idea of a Bahn-Mi sandwich off my head. But since it is impossible to find a good baguette in London (believe me, I’ve tried!), I decided to go for a Bahn-Mi inspired salad. And it was delicious!Cake + Whisky | Bahn-Mi inspired Vietnamese Prawn SaladFor two people, you’ll need:

  • one carrot, cut into thin ribbons (I did this using my vegetable peeler)
  • one lime
  • fresh chilli (I used about half)
  • one clove of garlic
  • mint
  • chives
  • 5 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons of fish sauce (+ some to serve)
  • 1 tablespoon of soft brown sugar
  • 1/3 cucumber
  • about 10 radishes
  • 200g uncooked prawns
  • baby gems (to serve)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil (to serve)

(Yes, that IS a lot of stuff. It just happens that my kitchen’s cupboards are better stock than most stores…)

Cake + Whisky | Bahn-Mi inspired Vietnamese Prawn Salad1- Prep your (quick pickled) carrots: In a box with a lid, mix the carrot ribbons and a teaspoon of salt. Close the box and shake it off. After a few minutes, rinse off the salt. Add the rice vinegar and the brown sugar. Close the box and shake it until the sugar has dissolved. Leave it to the side until you’re ready to serve.  
Cake + Whisky | Bahn-Mi inspired Vietnamese Prawn Salad
Onto the rest of the prep: Dice your garlic, cut up your chilli and slice off your herbs, your cucumber and radishes. Cake + Whisky | Bahn-Mi inspired Vietnamese Prawn SaladAs it happens, rolling the mint makes it much easier to chop, in case you were wondering!Cake + Whisky | Bahn-Mi inspired Vietnamese Prawn SaladMarinate your prawns: in a bowl, mix the prawns, the lime juice, the sliced chilli and chopped garlic. Add the fish sauce, mix thoroughly and leave to marinate for about 30 minutes.

Once that’s over, pour the whole lot in a pan and cook until dry (the marinade should entirely evaporate).

Dress your plate as nicely as you can starting with the salad leaves and piling up all the other goodies on top (cucumber, radishes, pickled carrots, prawns). Add a bit of fish sauce (about one tablespoon will do) and a dash of sesame oil, as well as salt and pepper (and maybe a sprinkle of chilli pepper if you want).
Cake + Whisky | Bahn-Mi inspired Vietnamese Prawn SaladCake + Whisky | Bahn-Mi inspired Vietnamese Prawn SaladTop up with fresh herbs and admire your work… or you know, just tuck in!Cake + Whisky | Bahn-Mi inspired Vietnamese Prawn SaladCake + Whisky | Bahn-Mi inspired Vietnamese Prawn SaladWhat’s your favourite salad? Looking for inspiration, hit me with your recipes!

Bahn-Mi inspired Vietnamese 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

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*) 

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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

Recipe – The BEST brownies EVER

I met my boyfriend because I could bake. We were just two weirdos invited to a birthday party, and we started talking about food, then planned to meet again to bake cakes for a bake sale he was organising to fundraise for one of his many many MANY projects. My brownies were apparently the most succesful of the lot that day. So succesful in fact that he didn’t even get to taste it. So I came around to bake more brownies, and the rest is history…

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As weird as it might sound, I find baking to be the most relaxing thing in the world. When revising for my Baccalauréat, I baked up to 3 cakes a day! My sister was over the moon, my parents, not so much…

Over the year I experimented quite a bit, with various degrees of success (I’m looking at you macaroons!), but today’s recipes is probably the one I use most. I could tell you it’s because it’s very adaptable, and easy, and quick, and there’s very little washing-up to do in the end. But the truth is, it’ll produce the densest, fudgiest, most decadent brownies. Doesn’t get much better in my book.

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Best brownies ever

Ingredients: 2 big eggs, 160g of sugar, 120g of butter (soft), 70g of flour, 200g of baking chocolate (melted) + whatever toppings you like in/on your brownies (here I used an entire pack of double-stuffed Oreos, but that’s just because I was feeling particularly peckish that day!)

1. Pre-heat your oven at 150 °C (gas mark 5).

2. Butter and flour your brownie tin.

3. In a big bowl, beat the butter with the sugar until well incorporated.

4. Add the eggs. Mix.

5. Add the flour. Mix.

6. Add the melted chocolate. Mix again.

7. Add about half of your toppings and mix thouroughly.

8. Pour the brownies batter in the baking tin. Sprinkle the rest of your toppings on top (hellooooo Instagram-ready beauty!).

9. Cook for about 30 minutes (you can check by inserting the tip of a knife into your brownies).

You should wait for it to cool down completely before wolfing down half of it, but then, I didn’t do it either! So much so that I didn’t even managed to get a picture of the cooked brownies (bad blogger!). Want to definitely put me to shame? What about you bake up a tray this weekend and send me the pictures over Twitter @cakeandwhisky? Come on, you know you want to! 

Recipe – The BEST brownies EVER