Lunchbox

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    Crazy times call for BAKING CAKE. This beautiful grain and nut cake is a true favourite of mine and lockdown is definitely permission to eat cake whenever you want. So simple to make yet so unusual in flavour, this two-fruit cake is based on buckwheat and almonds, while bay leaf adds a subtle herbaceous fragrance. The cake is gluten-free, so long as the baking powder used is gluten-free too. Served with tea, it’s a nourishing, sustaining feel-good cake. 
  • I tasted a peanut butter miso cookie at Falco Bakery in Smith Street, Collingwood, and instantly knew I needed to recreate the recipe at home. I absolutely love the sticky chewiness of the peanut butter underlaid with the salty funkiness of the miso. The flavours are as round as the biscuit!
  • Fritters are a perennial winner. They work for light lunches, easy dinners built up with salad and can be shoved between bread for easy veg burgers and take-to-work sandwiches.
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    We all love pesto, right? But have you heard of the Sicilian version of pesto from the town of Trapani? It's made with almonds and tomatoes, as well as basil and hard cheese. It's easy and perfect, especially for those long weeks when tomatoes are at their juiciest.
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    This picnicky version of san choi bau is healthy, crunchy and energising not to mention gluten-free. This quantity will last two children for approximately three days. The chicken makes great sandwich filling too.
  • In the Middle East, hummus isn’t just a dip, it’s a meal. This version isn’t just a meal, it’s an event, luxed-up with shellfish and given complex layers of flavour with toum, a garlic paste. Even if you don’t want to make the whole dish, give Tom’s hummus recipe a go: it’s one of the best versions I’ve ever tried and for a hummus-obsessive like me, that is no easy statement! 
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    Great for picnics and light meals, it’s hard to decide whether the pastry or the filling is the star of this savoury tart. Sour cream pastry has just the right balance of crumble and crisp, and the filling is fresh and lush at the same time.
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    Berry-infused vinegar brings a tart finish, both undercutting and highlighting the richness of the chocolate ganache. The contrasting savoury topping ensures these are a very special treat that you will be delighted to have in your repertoire. (Your friends and family will be glad too - expect requests to keep making them!)
  • This classic butter biscuit recipe is made very special - and rather Christmassy! - by making a special spice mix to stir through the mixture. The spice mix can also be added to preserves such as apricot or plum jam, or ham glazes. It can even be infused into spirits such as gin, vodka or rum - Christmas cocktails, here we come! The biscuit mixture can be frozen and sliced to bake. You can also have fun rolling this mixture with a ‘springerle’ rolling pin with carved designs, or use cookie cutters to make fun shapes.