Beef & Hash Brown Casserole

Beef & Hash Brown Casserole

Oh you are going to love this one! A cheeky little casserole dish that is full of flavour and great for the whole family. This is definitely a dish for my comfort food list.

Serves 4

500g Minced Scottish beef

1 Yellow onion, finely chopped

1 Tsp minced garlic

1/2 Tsp Cayenne pepper

Salt & Black pepper

2 Tsp flour

100ml Beef stock

150g Grated cheese

Handful of Frozen peas

4 Slices of smoked bacon, cut into bite size pieces

10-12 Small Hash Brown Waffles cut in half or quartered

  1. Preheat oven to 210 deg.
  2. In a fry pan add a little oil and fry the onions & bacon with the garlic, add the beef, season with salt & pepper and cook through until browned, add in the cayenne pepper and flour and stir then pour in the beef stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 2 minutes.
  3. Fold in the peas and half of the grated cheese, transfer to an oven proof dish then top with the remaining cheese and hash browns. Bake in the oven for about 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Enjoy!


Cheeseburger Flatbread Pizza

Cheeseburger Flatbread Pizza

Simple Meal that combines 2 family favourites, Pizza & Cheeseburgers! What is not to love about this one? Simple & quick to make, full of flavours and textures and fully satisfying & filling. Great for a quick family midweek meal or a weekend dish.

Serves 4

500g Minced Scottish beef

2 Tsp Tomato ketchup

1 Tsp Worcestershire sauce

2 Tsp Whole grain mustard

Salt & Black pepper

4 Flatbreads (pita breads)

6 Tbsp of tomato passata or pizza Sauce

Chopped small red onion

1 Pepper, chopped into bite size pieces

Small Handful of cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

80-100g Cheddar cheese, grated

  1. Preheat your oven to 230 deg.
  2. Heat a little oil in a fry pan and fry the minced beef until browned and cook through. Add to the the pan the ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, mustard and pepper, mix.
  3. Place the Flatbreads (Pitas) onto a baking tray and top each bread with about 1 tbsp of passata sauce leaving approx 1/2 inch border then top with the minced beef, onion, pepper, grated cheese and tomatoes, season then bake in the oven for about 8-10 minutes until crisp. Enjoy!


Harissa Spiced Meatball Pitas with Carrot Slaw

Meatball Pitas

This is a super simple dish that’s full of flavour. Great for the whole family, simply make the meatballs and the carrot slaw and let the family dive in and fill their pits as much as they like. Yum!

Serves 4

500g Minced Scottish Beef

2 Tsp Paprika

1 Tsp Ground Coriander

2 Tsp Harissa Paste (I use the Rose Harissa)

150g Natural Greek Yogurt

Salt & Pepper to taste

2-3 Large carrots – peeled and cut into thin strips or grated

1/2 Tsp fresh ginger

Handful Fresh coriander, chopped

4 Pitas, halved

  1. In a bowl combine the minced beef, paprika, ground coriander, salt & pepper and roll into small 1″ balls. Heat a little oil in a fry pan and cook the meatballs until browned and cooked through, about 8-10 minutes.
  2. Combine the yogurt and harissa in a bowl and set aside
  3. Heat a little oil in a separate pan, fry on medium heat the carrots and ginger until carrots are slightly crispy, may need to do this in batches. Once crispy add in the chopped fresh coriander and mix
  4. Warm up your pitas then stuff them with the meatballs then the harissa sauce and top with the carrot slaw. Enjoy!


Neep (Turnip) Cake with Brown Butter Frosting

Neep Cake with Brown Butter Frosting

My lovely neighbour handed over some more Neeps (Turnips) the other day, this time instead of the normal Haggis, Neeps ‘n’ Tatties, I decided to make a cake! Well after all you get carrot cake & courgette cakes so why not a Neep cake? This is one of those recipes that doesn’t sound inviting but once you try it, it’s delicious and not what you were expecting. The little bit of Nutmeg through gives a lovely soft spice and the brown butter frosting giving that nutty sweetness. You have to give this a try if you have leftover Neeps (Turnips).

Makes 12 Cakes

250g Plain Flour

150g Grated Raw Neep (Turnip)

3 Eggs

175g Light Brown Sugar

2 Tsp Vanilla Extract

100 ml Milk

2 Tsp Baking Powder

1/2 Tsp Baking Soda

2 Tsp Ground Nutmeg

1/2 Tsp Salt

For the Brown Butter Frosting

400g Icing Sugar

2 Tsp Vanilla Extract

3 Tbsp Milk

115g Unsalted Butter at room temperature

Handful of chopped walnuts or hazelnuts to top

  1. Preheat oven to 180 deg & line a 9 x 9 inch Baking tin with paper and grease.
  2. In a bowl beat the eggs, sugar, extract & milk until combined.
  3. Sift in the flour and add the baking powder & baking soda with salt & the nutmeg, stir to combine and pour into the lined tin, bake for about 25-30 minutes or until a knife comes out clean. Remove and allow to cool in the tin for 10 mins then remove the paper and place on a wire rack to completely cool.
  4. Meanwhile to make the frosting, place icing sugar, extract & milk into a bowl and set aside.
  5. In a pan on low heat add the butter and gently melt, once melted turn up heat slightly to a medium heat (do not boil) then stir until the butter becomes brown in colour & smells nutty (this will take about 8-10 mins). Remove from heat immediately, allow to cool slightly and add to the icing sugar mix, whip up until you have a smooth thick frosting.
  6. Slice your cake into 12 squares and place frosting into a piping bag, pipe frosting on top of each slice and sprinkle with some walnuts or hazelnuts. Serve with a lovely cuppa! Enjoy.


Chicken & Kale Lasagne

Chicken & Kale Lasagne

My lovely neighbour came across with some fresh Kale the other day from her garden, so I decided to give a Chicken & Kale Lasagne a go, and this was delicious, full of flavour, nutritious and filling all at the same time. Another great wee recipe that the family can share.

Kale contains fiber, antioxidants, calcium, vitamins C and K, iron, and a wide range of other nutrients that can help prevent various health problems. Antioxidants help the body remove unwanted toxins that result from natural processes and environmental pressures. It’s low in calories, low in fat, high on protein and potassium too, so a good all rounder vegetable to add to you diet.

Recipe makes 2 portions

For the Filling:-

2 Chicken Breasts

1 Bunch of kale

1 Carrot, grated

1 Leek, thinly sliced

1 Clove garlic, crushed

1/4 Tsp Nutmeg

1/2 Tsp Smoked Paprika

200g Chicken Stock

Salt & Pepper to season

Lasagne Sheets

For the Sauce (or you can use a Bechamel instead if you prefer):-

300ml Creme Fraiche

150g Grated Cheese (of your choice, I used a mild cheddar) plus 50g optional for topping

  1. Season chicken breasts and place in a pan with the chicken stock, bring to the boil then simmer for about 45 mins – 1 hour, then shred with 2 forks. Most of the stock should have evaporated.
  2. Pre-heat your oven to 180 deg.
  3. Blanch the kale in boiling water for about 1 minute, drain and slice into fine pieces.
  4. Add to the pan the leeks, kale & carrot along with seasoning, garlic & nutmeg, stir through until mixed and warmed, a few minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, in a separate pan mix on a low heat the creme fraiche & cheese to make a smooth sauce. Do not allow to boil or the creme fraiche will curdle.
  6. In an oven proof dish, layer your lasagne, chicken filling first then lasagne sheets, then more filling, then lasagne sheets. Pour over your sauce mix evenly and finish with extra cheese and little sprinkle of smoked paprika. Bake in an oven for 45 minutes or until topping is browned and bubbling.
  7. Serve & Enjoy.

Quick Porridge Pudding

Porridge Pudding

Who wants a pudding for breakfast? Oh yes….this little 2 minute pudding is perfect, nutritious, filling, tasty & quick to make, whats not to love!

I love my porridge in the morning as you may know, especially in the winter months. I love experimenting with different techniques & flavours and I just had to try this, the great thing is that you can add any flavour you like, making it your own.

Oats are gluten free and whole oats are rich in antioxidants making them great for you. A great source of fibre & good carbs too.

Makes 1 Cup

40g Porridge Oats

1 Medium Egg

120ml Yoghurt (whichever flavour you prefer, I used Raspberry)

1 Tbsp of raisins & dried Goji berries

1/2 Tsp Vanilla essence (or you could use cinnamon or any flavouring of your choice)

1 Tbsp of Chopped walnuts & seeds for topping (or you could use banana or blueberries etc)

1 Tbsp Yoghurt for topping

  1. Place oats, egg, 120ml yoghurt, raisins & berries along with essence into a mug and mix through until combined.
  2. Cook at 800w power in a microwave for 2 minutes, ensuring it doesn’t spill over, remove, loosen the edges with a spatula or knife and tip onto a plate
  3. Finish off with some yoghurt, nuts & seeds and enjoy!

Haggis, Leek & Beetroot Lasagne

Haggis, Leek & Beetroot Lasagne

The Noble Haggis is a traditional Scottish dish, it is positively celebrated especially on 25th January each year, the birthday of Robert (Robbie/Rabbie) Burns whose 18th century poem ‘Address to a Haggis’ was instrumental in ensuring the Haggis’s place in the nations hearts.

Haggis is made from the meat & insides of sheep consisting of the heart, liver and lungs then combined with onions, oatmeal, suet, seasoning & spices. The mix is then stuffed into the sheep’s lining of the stomach and boiled. Haggis, Neeps & Tatties is the most common dish but I have been experimenting with what more we can do with this traditional food. This dish is definitely now on my Top list of comfort dishes, so filling, so satisfying & full of flavour.

Serves 2 large/ 4 small portions

450g Haggis, chopped into bite size pieces

300ml Creme Fraiche

150g Tangy White Cheese, grated

1 Leek, sliced

150g Cooked Beetroot (not pickled) – (dry with kitchen paper and using a kitchen glove, grate it coarsely)

Lasagne Pasta Sheets

Cracked Black/ Rainbow Pepper

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 deg c.
  2. Combine the creme fraiche and half the cheese, warm through in a pan on low heat to form a smooth sauce (do not boil as it will cause the creme fraiche to curdle), set aside.
  3. Put a little spray oil in a pan and gently fry the leeks until softened. Add in the haggis and beetroot, mix through until combined and warmed through.
  4. Pile half the haggis mixture into an ovenproof dish, arrange the pasta sheets on top, then the remaining haggis onto the pasta sheets and then another layer of pasta sheets. Cover the top with the white sauce, season with pepper and sprinkle over the remaining cheese. Bake for about 35 minutes until bubbling and golden. Remove & Enjoy.

Chocolate & Salted Caramel Pink Pitaya Creams

Chocolate & Salted Caramel Pink Creams

Oh Yum! Do you have a sweet tooth? Do you love Chocolate? Do you love Salted Caramel? Well, you will love these delicious biscuit creams. Perfect with a warm cuppa in the morning, afternoon or evening!

I do love experimenting, I was initially going to try espresso chocolate but decided that might be too many flavours and I’m glad I didn’t as these turned out so delicious. Want the recipe? Here you go. If you try, let me know what you think.


Makes about 8 Biscuits

For the biscuits:-

120g Plain flour

35g Cocoa Powder

35g Powdered Sugar

100g Butter

1 Tsp Vanilla Extract

For the Cream Filling:-

75g Butter

65g Powdered Sugar

1 Tsp Salted Caramel Flavouring

1 Tsp Pink Pitaya Powder

  1. Preheat your oven to 175 deg c. Line a baking tray with baking sheet.
  2. In a mixer, combine all the biscuit ingredients until it starts to come together as a dough (couple of minutes)
  3. Roll out the dough to about 5 mm thick and using a cookie cutter, cut out circles until you’ve used up all the dough. Lay onto the baking sheet and place in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, to make the cream, place butter into the stand mixer and on medium speed whip for about 1-2 minutes. Then add in the sugar, flavouring and pink Pitaya powder, mix on low speed until all combined. You will need to scrape the sides of the bowl to ensure mixture is all incorporated. Decant the cream mixture into a piping bag.
  5. Bake the biscuits in the oven for 15 minutes, remove and allow to cool on a wire rack. Once cooled, pipe the cream filling onto half of the biscuits and top with the remaining half. Enjoy!

I used my skull & bat embossed rolling pins from https://pastrymade.com/ , they have so many designs, you’ll be stuck for choice.


Haggis, Leek & Cheesy Potato Pie

Haggis, Leek & Cheesy Potato Pie

This is definitely one for my Top 10 home comfort food dishes.

Love it or loathe it, haggis is firmly established as Scotland’s national dish – to the extent that it has become an indelible part of the nation’s cultural identity, along with whisky, bagpipes and shortbread.

The savoury meat pudding – consisting of sheep’s offal (most commonly lungs) mixed with suet, oatmeal, onion and spices, then boiled in a bag.

“Gie her a Haggis” – Robert Burns helped popularise haggis in Scotland

The Burns connection goes back to his 1786 poem ‘Address to a Haggis’, in which he immortalised the dish as the “great chieftain o the puddin’-race”.

In the 232 years since Burns committed his love of haggis to poetry, the dish has become a symbol of Scottishness, and is traditionally served with neeps and tatties (turnip & mashed potato) – along with a dram of Scotch of course.

My local butcher Forbes Raeburn in Huntly makes amazing Haggis & inspired by a chef in Dumfries from the Caven’s Arms, I just had to give this dish a try. Their Haggis, Leek & Cheese Melt is so tasty. I am now curious as to what other flavours compliment Haggis so watch this space.


Serves 4

600g Haggis

4 Leeks, sliced

4-5 Large Floury Potatoes, peeled and chopped into chunks. I used Scotty Brand (you could also use King Edward or Maris Piper)

100g Grated Cheese, I use Cambus O’May Cheese as it has a creamy texture and strong flavour, perfect for Haggis (any good Cheddar would also work)

3 Tbsp Butter

Salt & pepper to taste

  1. Cook the Haggis as per packet instructions.
  2. Melt 1 tbsp of butter in a pan on medium heat and saute the leeks until soft.
  3. Place potatoes in a pan of water, bring to the boil then simmer until soft. Mash with 1 Tbsp of butter. Season.
  4. Pre heat your oven to 180 deg.
  5. Spread the cooked haggis into a casserole dish, then layer the leeks and mix, fork the potatoes over the haggis mixture and sprinkle over the grated cheese. Season with some cracked pepper then place into the oven and cook for about 20-25 minutes until the cheesy potato topping is slightly browned and crispy.
  6. Serve with some fresh vegetables for a nutritious and filling meal.

Quinoa Vegetable Bowl with a Coriander & Lime Dressing

Quinoa veggie bowl

I had the pleasure of attending a live cooking session with Chef Ann Nolan (training chef with Whirlpool Cooperation) recently, the session was very informative and I learned a few tricks that I never knew! ‘Everyday is a school day as they say’, One of the recipes was this delicious Vegetable Quinoa Bowl and I just had to share with all of you as it was absolutely mouthwatering, so refreshing on the palate. The great thing about this recipe is that it is simple to make and if you don’t like an ingredient it is easily changeable to something you do. We all love the simple things in life, do we not?

Quinoa is higher in nutrients than most grains with protein & fibre being the highest and only contains 2g of fat per 100g, so very nutritious and not fatty at all. Quinoa is a good source of several minerals, including manganese, phosphorus, copper, iron, magnesium, and zinc. Quinoa may reduce blood cholesterol, blood sugar, and triglycerides. It’s weight loss friendly, gluten-free, and has been shown to increase the nutrient and antioxidant value of gluten-free diets.

Serves 4

For the Quinoa:-

125g Raw Quinoa

350ml Vegetable Stock

1/4 Tsp Salt

1/4 Tsp Black Pepper

1 Tsp Olive Oil

For the Coriander Lime Dressing:-

Handful of coriander, washed, keep stem

6 Spring Onions, roots removed, washed & cut into thirds (use the white part)

1/2 Large Avocado, peeled and diced

3 Limes, squeezed for juice only

1 Tsp Kosher Salt

60 ml Olive Oil

For the Vegetable Toppings:-

1 Red Onion, cut unto 1/4″ slices

2 Red Peppers, cut into 1/4″ slices

400g Tin of Black beans or Red Kidney Beans (you could also use chickpeas)

8-10 Cherry Tomatoes, quartered

1/2 Avocado, diced

4 Eggs (1 egg per portion)

Spray Oil

Salt & Pepper to taste

  1. Place the quinoa into a saucepan with the vegetable stock, seasoning & oil, bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer, cover with a lid and simmer for about 15-20 mins until quinoa has absorbed the stock, take off the heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Do not stir while simmering, just leave it, fluff up with a fork after the 5 minutes resting time.
  2. Meanwhile, lets make the dressing…..place all of the ingredients (except the oil) into a food processor and blend together, then slowly drizzle in the oil scraping down the sides as you go along. Keep adding oil until you get the consistency you like, whether that be thick or thin, it’s up to you. Move to the side for later.
  3. Heat a little spray oil in a saute/ fry pan on medium to high heat, add the red onions & red peppers with seasoning and cook until slightly softened and browned, leave in pan.
  4. Heat the beans in a small pan on medium heat, 4-5 mins until warmed through.
  5. In a non stick fry pan (with lid) spray a little oil and bring to a medium heat, crack the eggs into the pan & season, let the egg become opaque then add about 4 tablespoons water, put the lid on and steam cook the eggs, no need to turn. Check after about 1-2 minutes, when the egg is white it’s ready, take pan of heat until ready to serve.
  6. To plate, distribute evenly the quinoa, then peppers and onion, sliced avocado and then the beans and tomatoes, drizzle over your dressing then add the egg to the top….ENJOY!

Alternative options to try:-

*Roasted mushrooms, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, spring onions, garlic dressing

*Cucumber, chickpeas, tomatoes, Olives, yogurt dressing

*Tofu, carrots, peas, sweetcorn, coriander & sesame dressing

*Roasted Chicken, tomatoes, red pepper, red onion, roasted red pepper & chilli dressing


Creamy Italian Chicken Pasta

Italian Creamy Chicken

I’m feeling all Italian this week….lol! Do you ever get days or weeks where you just have certain cravings? This week it was Italian for me, with Bruschetta at the start of the week (check my classic recipe here https://cookingwithluce.wordpress.com/2021/11/08/classic-bruschetta/ ), and now this fab little pasta dish, I am feeling all Italian Inspired. I even made a cheeky Limoncello Cocktail to finish off (you can view my recipe here..https://cookingwithluce.wordpress.com/2021/07/31/limoncello-spritz-cocktail/ )

This recipe is so easy to make and is packed full of flavour, great one for the whole family, especially as you can adjust your own Chilli portions. I made it a lighter option too with the lower fat Philadelphia and it tasted delicious, you would never know it wasn’t full fat.

Serves 2

2 Chicken Breasts, diced into bite size pieces

100g Wholegrain Pasta

1 White onion, diced finely

1 400g Tin Tomatoes

1 Red pepper, diced

150g Philadelphia Cream Cheese

1 Tsp crushed red chilli flakes

1 Tsp of Italian Seasoning

Handful fresh Basil to serve.

  1. Bring a pan of water to the boil and cook your pasta until soft (about 8-10 minutes)
  2. Meanwhile, in a fry pan on medium heat, season with salt & pepper the chicken and brown, add in the onions and peppers & cook until softened (few minutes). Next add in the chilli and mix.
  3. Pour in the tin tomatoes and Italian seasoning and mix though, reduce to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes.
  4. Next add in the cream cheese and mix through until melted, then when pasta is ready, drain and add to the pan, mix through until coated and simmer for a few minutes.
  5. Serve with some fresh basil. Enjoy!


Classic Bruschetta

Bruschetta

I do love Bruschetta, in fact anything Italian, it has to be my 2nd favourite cuisine, next to Scottish Cooking, of course!

This is a classic recipe that never fails to satisfy the taste buds. Bruschetta is an antipasto starter consisting of toasted bread with oil and garlic, topped with tomatoes & basil. It’s light & refreshing, a perfect snack, starter or party food dish.

Serves 10-12

1 Baguette or any crusty bread- sliced diagonally (try Tiger bread, its delicious too)

250g Cherry Tomatoes – sliced into quarters

1-2 Garlic Cloves – crushed

Fresh Basil leaves – chopped or 2 tsp dried basil

30ml Balsamic Vinegar (use a good quality one – you’ll taste the difference)

60ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil (use a good quality one)

1/2 Small red onion – chopped finely

1 Tsp Sea salt

1 Tsp Cracked Rainbow Pepper

  1. Place the diced tomatoes, red onion, garlic, basil, balsamic vinegar & olive oil into a bowl & mix through. Season with salt & pepper. Cover & refrigerate for 1 hour to allow flavours to infuse.
  2. When ready to serve, brush the bread with a little olive oil & garlic, grill lightly under a medium grill heat until lightly toasted.
  3. Spoon mixture onto the bread, sprinkle a little basil & serve. Enjoy!


Braised Scottish Steak with Root Veg Mash

Braised Scottish Steak with Root Veg Mash

I am always looking for healthier options but without compromise on flavour and enjoy sourcing locally. I started growing my own vegetables last year too and plan to grow more next year, so this recipe uses up homegrown tatties, onions and carrots from my garden (my swede are not quite ready yet).

My local butcher Forbes Raeburn in Huntly provided me with some delicious diced beef this weekend, my initial plan was to make a steak pie for Sundays dinner but having vegetables to use up, this little recipe was the outcome and definitely one I will make over and over again. End of summer is fast approaching and the colder days to set in soon, this recipe is a sure winner for all the family to warm you up from the inside. Very nutritional too as it’s high in protein, low in saturated fat and packs in your vegetable count.


Serves 4

For the Stew

1 Medium Potato, diced small

2 Celery Sticks, chopped small

2 Garlic Cloves, crushed

750g Diced Beef

1 Beef Stock Cube

1 Large Onion (or 2 medium)

1 Carrott, diced small

1 Tsp Dried Thyme

1 Tbsp Tomato Puree

2 Tsps Brown Sauce

2 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce

Salt & Black Pepper to taste

For the Mash

1 Large Potato, chopped & peeled

1 Small Swede, chopped and peeled

3 Large Carrotts, chopped & peeled

Pepper to taste

  1. Preheat your oven to Fan 160 deg.
  2. Spray a casserole pan with low calorie oil on medium heat, add the celery, garlic and 3/4 onions and fry for about 10 minutes or until slightly caramelised. Meanwhile in a fry pan heat spray oil on medium heat, season the beef cubes and fry until browned.
  3. Remove the casserole pan with the veg and add in thyme, tomato puree, brown sauce, Worcestershire sauce, beef stock cube with 700ml boiling water. Puree using a stick blender then add to the casserole pan the beef, potato chunks, chopped carrot and rest of the onion, bring to the boil then cover and transfer to the oven to cook for about 1.5-2 hrs until tender, stirring occasionally.
  4. Meanwhile make the mash, put the potato, swede & carrot into a pan of water and bring to the boil, reduce to simmer and cook for about 45 minutes until tender. Drain and mash then season with pepper.
  5. Serve on the side with the beef stew mix. Enjoy.


Chicken & Bean Bagel Nachos

Chicken & Bean Bagel Nachos

A Healthier Twist to your normal Nacho dish. I had some Bagels left and decided to give this a shot, it worked perfectly adding that little bit of crunch to the bake. Easy to make to & just 30 minutes to bake in total which makes this dish a great quick family meal. I served it with a refreshing homemade spicy salsa which was a great accompaniment.


Serves 4

2 Large Chicken Breasts, cut into bite size pieces

2 Bagels, cut into bite sized pieces

Small head of Broccoli, cut into small pieces

400g Tin of mixed beans (or baked beans)

200g Tin of tinned tomatoes

2 Tsp Smoked Paprika

2 Fresh Tomatoes, diced

1/2 Red Onion, diced

Small handful or chopped coriander

1 Chilli, diced

1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 Lime

1 Avocado, diced

100g Mature Cheddar (lighter option to make it healthier)

2 Tbsp Oil or spray oil

  1. Preheat your oven to 190 deg. Drizzle the bagel pieces with 1 tbsp oil and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake for 15 minutes tossing halfway to brown. Remove from oven.
  2. Meanwhile, spray a fry pan with oil and heat to a medium heat, season the chicken and coat in the paprika then add to warm pan to brown, 10 minutes. Add in the broccoli and mix through for a few minutes. Next add in the beans and tin tomatoes, stir through. Transfer to a baking dish.
  3. Top the chicken mixture with the baked bagels then top with the grated cheese. Place into the oven and bake for about 10 minutes until cheese is melted.
  4. Meanwhile to make the salsa, put the diced tomatoes, chilli, onion, avocado, coriander into a bowl and mix, pour 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar along with half juice of lime and mix through.
  5. Once ready serve with salsa and enjoy.


Salmon, Beetroot & Caramelised Onion Quiche

Salmon, Beetroot & Caramelised Onion Quiche

I was inspired to make this by a recipe posted to Instagram from @theweelarder https://www.instagram.com/theweelarder/?hl=en. As I didn’t have the Tomato Chutney, I decided to use caramelised red onions as I just made a batch from my garden, this dish was so delicious and the sweet flavour from the onions went perfectly with the salmon.

This dish is perfect for these long summer days especially when served with a fresh salad. Can be eaten warm or cold.

Serves 4-6

For the Pastry:-

250g Plain Flour

Pinch Salt

100g Cold Butter

2Tbsps water

For the Filling:-

2 pieces of Fresh Salmon or 250g Pre-packed Smoked Salmon, flaked

4 Tbsp of Caramelised Onion (see here for my homemade recipe https://cookingwithluce.wordpress.com/?p=9446 )

1 large Cooked Beetroot, chopped into small bite size pieces

Handful of finely chopped Spinach (uncooked)

4 Large Eggs

80ml of Single Cream

100ml Milk

2 Tbsp Chopped Dill

Seasoning, Salt & Pepper

  1. To make the Pastry, Sift the plain flour into a bowl and add the butter cubes and salt, with your fingers rub butter into flour to form breadcrumbs. Add 2 tbsp water and bring to together to make a stiff dough. Cover in cling film and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or overnight.
  2. Once pastry is ready, bring to room temperature and roll out onto a floured surface and lay over your quiche tin pressing the pastry to the sides, trim off any excess. Place a piece of greaseproof paper over the pastry and pour in some baking beads to weigh down.
  3. Preheat your oven to 180 deg fan and place pastry in oven for about 15 minutes. Remove the beads and paper, brush the pastry with some egg wash then return the pastry to the oven and bake for a further 5 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.
  4. Whisk up the eggs with the cream & the milk.
  5. Sprinkle some flaked salmon into your pastry case then some spinach then another layer of salmon then spinach and finally the caramelised onion, pour over the egg mixture evenly, season with salt, pepper & dill then dot pieces of the beetroot over.
  6. Place into a preheated oven at 170 deg fan for 30 minutes.
  7. Slice & serve….Yummy!


Caramelised Red Onion

Caramalised Red Onion

With successfully grown my own red onions this year, I decided to jar up some homemade caramelised red onion. Also a good way to get ahead when preparing some dishes or snacks as this recipe can be made in bulk and then frozen or kept in an air tight container for about 1 week.

These are wonderful with goats cheese on a pizza or in a quiche or simply used to top burgers, whichever way you decided to use them they will add so much flavour to an array of dishes.

Serves 4

1 Tbsp Olive Oil

2 Large Red Onions, finely sliced

1 Tbsp Soft Brown Sugar

4 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

1/2 tsp dried chilli (optional)

1 Tsp Mixed Herbs (optional)

  1. Heat the oil in a fry pan on medium heat and add the onions and herbs & chilli if using. Cover and cook for around 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally until soft.
  2. Remove the lid, reduce heat to a low heat and stir through the sugar and salt. Add the balsamic vinegar and 2 tbsp water then cook for a further 5-10 minutes until the liquid has almost disappeared.
  3. Set aside to cool, then place in a container or sealed bags to freeze or store. If freezing, defrost overnight in the fridge then heat through in a pan for a few minutes. (add a splash of water if needed)
red onion on brown wooden table
Red Onions


Smoked Haddock, Beetroot & Potato Hash

Smoked Haddock, Beetroot & Potato Hash

This is a great dish that can be enjoy all year round, as a main meal or a side salad dish. Now that the weather is changing and we will soon be entering the Autumnal period we often crave more substantial dishes & this is one of those dishes. Healthy, filling and very satisfying.

I grow my own potatoes and beetroot, nothing more enjoyable than harvesting your own vegetables and preparing a delicious meal for you & your family. I live in Scotland (as you know) and of course my smoked haddock is fresh from the north sea, I get a door stop delivery every week from my local fishmonger who always has the best to offer.

Takes about 10 minutes to prepare and only 20 minutes to cook. A good quick meal.


Makes 2 Servings

2 Pieces of Smoked Haddock

2 Medium/Large fresh Beetroot (or you can buy the vacuum packed cooked beetroot in supermarkets)

250g Potatoes (I used charlotte)

1 Tbsp of low fat mayonnaise or natural yoghurt (I’m definitely a mayo person, but yoghurt will work too)

50g peas

Salt & Pepper to taste

Handful of Chopped Fresh Dill

  1. If using fresh beetroot, bake in tin foil in an oven at 200 deg fan for 45 minutes (you can check my how to roast beetroot post for further info here – https://cookingwithluce.wordpress.com/2020/08/10/roasted-beetroot-salad/)
  2. Wash potatoes and place in a pan of water, bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes until softened. If using peas add to pan 4-5 minutes before ready.
  3. If you have a steamer, steam cook the haddock for about 6-7 minutes, otherwise poach in a pan of milk, bring milk to a simmer, place fish in skin side down and simmer for 7-8 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon. Once cooked break into bite size pieces.
  4. When potatoes are cooked, cut into bite size pieces and place in a bowl with peas, add in chopped beetroot then add in 1 tbsp mayonnaise with salt & pepper to taste, using a spoon mix together to coat. Mix in the smoked haddock and dill.
  5. Serve. Yummy!

Fresh Beetroot


Limoncello Spritz Cocktail

Limoncello Spritz Cocktail

I saw this recipe on https://www.christinascucina.com/, with the weather being very warm and sunny recently this was ideal for a refreshing pre dinner or post dinner drink, or even a wee afternoon tipple…lol!

I first tasted Limoncello when I visit Italy about 10 years ago and automatically fell in love. Limoncello is an Italian lemon liqueur mainly produced in Southern Italy, especially in the region around the Gulf of Naples, the Sorrento peninsula and the coast of Amalfi, and islands of Procida, Ischia, and Capri. Limoncello is a smooth drink with an intense lemon flavour. It can be sipped on it’s own, used in cocktails or served with a little sparkling water.

You must try this little refreshing delight if you love Lemons. Perfect for the summer season. Light & refreshing.


Makes 1 Cocktail

Crushed Ice

2 Shot Glasses of Limoncello

2 Shot Glasses of Prosecco (if using a larger glass change to 4 Shots)

1 Shot Glass of Sparkling Water or Lemonade if you prefer (if using a larger glass change to 2 shots)

Strawberries & Mint leaves to garnish

  1. First place the crushed ice into a glass. (I used a martini glass but you can use any type of glass really, I found that chilling the glass before hand also helps)
  2. Pour in the Limoncello
  3. Next pour in the Prosecco
  4. Pour in the sparkling water or lemonade, slow stir and serve with mint leaves & strawberry. DELICIOUS!

POTATO HASH WITH POACHED EGG

Potato Hash with a Poached Egg

This quick and hearty brunch or lunch brings the best out of a good Scottish Tattie (potato). Fluffy potatoes are only made better by the perfectly poached egg sitting on top. Sometimes I like to keep things simple and with this dish I didn’t add too many flavours as a good Scottish Tattie is flavoursome in it’s own right. With the warming flavour of cayenne pepper and a dash of Tabasco sauce, this is sure to keep you satisfied all day.

Cayenne Pepper is also said to be medicinal as capsaicin, the active ingredient in cayenne peppers, is what gives them their medicinal properties. These peppers boast an impressive nutrition profile, which includes a variety of antioxidants that are beneficial for your health.

One tablespoon (5 grams) of cayenne pepper contains the following:

  • Calories: 17
  • Fat: 1 gram
  • Carbs: 3 grams
  • Fiber: 1.4 grams
  • Protein: 0.6 grams
  • Vitamin A: 44% of the RDI
  • Vitamin E: 8% of the RDI
  • Vitamin C: 7% of the RDI
  • Vitamin B6: 6% of the RDI
  • Vitamin K: 5% of the RDI
  • Manganese: 5% of the RDI
  • Potassium: 3% of the RDI
  • Riboflavin: 3% of the RDI

It also gives them their hot taste. In fact, how hot a cayenne pepper is depends on its capsaicin content. The more capsaicin it contains, the hotter it is.


Serves 2

4 Medium Potatoes, (peeled or unpeeled it’s up to you) diced into bite size pieces

1 Large or 2 Medium Onions, sliced into wedges

1 Tsp Cayenne Pepper

Salt to taste

1 Tbsp Olive Oil or Spray Oil

2 Large Eggs

Tabasco to taste

  1. In a fry pan heat the oil, medium to high heat, add in the onions and cook for a couple of minutes to soften.
  2. Add in the diced potatoes, season with salt & cayenne pepper, mix and place a lid over pan reduce to a low heat and cook for about 30 minutes until potatoes are softened. Give the potatoes a stir every 10 minutes.
  3. 5 minutes before potatoes are ready, bring a pan of water to the boil then reduce to a medium heat, crack in the eggs and poach through.
  4. Serve potatoes and onions onto a plate, place the poached egg on top and sprinkle a few dashes of tabasco sauce over, season if required. Enjoy!

If you prefer a bit more flavour, below are a few choices that I have tried.

  1. Smoked:- Add chopped spring onions and some smoked back bacon.
  2. Mediterranean:- Add some spinach, handful tomatoes with 1 tsp all spice, 1 tsp dried oregano, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp dried coriander.
  3. Spanish: Chopped chorizo, sweet potatoes, 1 tsp cumin, spring onions.

Biscoff Lime Cheesecake

Biscoff Lime Cheesecake

Do you like Biscoff? Do you love Lime? If the answer is yes, you will absolutely love this.

With the weather being so warm and lovely lately, there is nothing more refreshing than a cool tangy cheesecake! This one, I wanted it to be a mix of tangy and refreshing but light and creamy too and I am happy to write that it was just that. I was so impressed with how this turned out.

The cheesecake is firm enough to hold its shape, but still super creamy and melt-in-your-mouth velvety. The tanginess of the lime and cheese coupled with the delicate sweetness of the white chocolate complement each other so well. The Biscoff crust adds a good crunch to the experience in your mouth. This is now on my favourite dessert list.


For the Crust

1 packet of Biscoff Biscuits (250g) – (If you don’t like Biscoff, you can use Digestives)

2 Tbsp Butter , melted

For the Lime Layer

1 packet of Lime Jelly (I used Hartley’s – my personal favourite)

100ml Boiling water

1 small tub Greek Yoghurt (80-100g)

200ml Whipping Cream

For the Cheesecake Layer

80g Unsalted Butter

120g Icing Sugar

200g Cream Cheese (I use Philadelphia – no other compares for me)

100ml Whipping Cream

1 tsp Vanilla Essence

Juice of 1 Lime

For the Topping:-

Zest of 1 Lime

100-200g White Chocolate Shavings (as much as you want really)

Method:-

  1. Blitz the biscuits in a processor, so they resemble fine crumbs. Tip into a bowl and pour over the melted butter and mix through until all moist. Press into a 9 x 13 x 2″ springform tin and place in the freezer while you make the next layer.
  2. In a large bowl dissolve the Jelly with the boiling water, allow to cool slightly.
  3. Whisk up the whipping cream until light and fluffy. Whisk into the Jelly the Greek Yoghurt and fold in your whipped cream. Pour on top of the biscuit layer and place in the freezer to set. (about 45-60 mins)
  4. Meanwhile, make your cheesecake topping, Beat together the butter, icing sugar, cream cheese, lime juice, 1/2 the lime zest and vanilla essence. Whip up your cream and fold into mixture.
  5. Smooth over the Jelly layer once set and place back in the freezer for a further 30 mins to firm. Transfer to the fridge and allow to fully set overnight.
  6. Before serving, sprinkle the white chocolate shavings over the top and the lime zest to finish.
  7. Slice and Enjoy!


Creamy Strawberry Cheesecake

Strawberry Cheesecake

I love Strawberry season, big juicy fresh strawberries that just melt in your mouth….delicious!

Traditionally, the Scottish strawberry season only lasted about six weeks in summer, from June to July, however now we can get homegrown strawberries almost eight months of the year thanks to advancements in polytunnel technology.

Scottish Strawberries are famously some of the best in the world, but why? The temperate climate in Scotland allows the berries to have longer daylight hours but without the same levels of heat. This allows the berries to ripen slower so they produce more sugar and you get a sweeter berry.

Scottish Strawberries

Strawberries are one of the most versatile ingredients available to us, whether we eat them as they are, put them in desserts, muffins, a salad or even as a puree or compote to accompany a steak, there are so many ways we can eat them. But for this post, I am going to show you how to make a super delicious and creamy cheesecake. Yum!

Everything you need for a perfect summer dessert.


For the Crust

1 packet of Biscuits – (Digestives, Biscoff even Oreo’s if you like – whichever you prefer)

2 Tbsp Butter , melted

For the Strawberry Layer

1 packet of Strawberry Jelly (I used Hartley’s – my personal favourite)

100ml Boiling water

1 Small Tub Strawberry Greek Yoghurt (80-100g)

200ml Whipping Cream

150g Diced Fresh Strawberries

For the Cheesecake Layer

80g Unsalted Butter

120g Icing Sugar

200g Cream Cheese (I use Philadelphia – no other compares for me)

100ml Whipping Cream

1 tsp Vanilla Essence

For the Topping:-

Handful of Sliced Strawberries

100-200g White Chocolate Shavings (as much as you want really)

Method:-

  1. Blitz the biscuits in a processor, so they resemble fine crumbs. Tip into a bowl and pour over the melted butter and mix through until all moist. Press into a 9 x 13 x 2″ springform tin and place in the freezer while you make the next layer.
  2. In a large bowl dissolve the Jelly with the boiling water, allow to cool slightly.
  3. Whisk up the whipping cream until light and fluffy. Whisk into the Jelly the Greek Yoghurt and fold in your whipped cream and diced strawberries. Pour on top of the biscuit layer and place in the freezer to set. (about 45-60 mins)
  4. Meanwhile, make your cheesecake topping, Beat together the butter, icing sugar, cream cheese and vanilla essence. Whip up your cream and fold into mixture.
  5. Smooth over the Jelly layer once set and place back in the freezer for a further 30 mins to firm. Transfer to the fridge and allow to fully set overnight.
  6. Before serving, sprinkle the white chocolate shavings over the top and place the sliced strawberries around the edge to finish.
  7. Slice and Enjoy!
strawberry cheesecake

If you love Cheesecake, you might enjoy my Lime Cheesecake too…..go take a wee look. https://cookingwithluce.wordpress.com/2021/07/04/biscoff-lime-cheesecake/


SUMMER SALAD EBOOK IS HERE!

SUMMER SALAD COLLECTION EBOOK

My Wee collection of delightful and flavourful summer salad ideas has arrived!

Go to my eBook page and get your download now. https://cookingwithluce.wordpress.com/recipe-e-books/

See below for a preview of what you can look forward too.

Enjoy your Summer & make lots of lovely memories. Thank you again for your support.


You might think ‘Salad Recipes‘ are just boring veggies…..well, think again!

This wee collection from my favourites are anything but. A healthier lifestyle means turning those ‘dull’ foods into delicious meals that you’ll crave all summer long.

Did I say SUMMER! Yes it is coming back to us, so get ready & nourish yourself.

Click image below to download from eBook page.


NEW eBook Coming Soon! – Summer Salads

Summer Salad eBook

You might think ‘Salad Recipes‘ are just boring veggies…..well, think again!

This wee collection from my favourites are anything but. A healthier lifestyle means turning those ‘dull’ foods into delicious meals that you’ll crave all summer long.

Did I say SUMMER! Yes it is coming back to us, so get ready & nourish yourself.

Watch your inbox this week for your FREE eBook!

Not joined Theweecaledoniancook tribe yet? Sign up now to enjoy free recipes straight to your inbox!


Irn-Bru Chicken Pakora

Irn-Bru Chicken Pakora

I first saw this on Tik-Tok by Myles Omar, https://www.tiktok.com/@mylesomar?lang=en. You can watch the video here https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/scotland-now/tiktok-scots-irn-bru-chicken-23680157

I just had to try this, I love pakora, I love chicken & I love pakora so it was a must. Simple to make and very tasty. I didn’t quite have all the ingredients so here is my version. We enjoyed these pakora bites with sweet chilli dip rather than pakora sauce and was delicious. You have to give these a go.


Makes enough for 4 portions or 2 very large portions

2-3 Chicken Breasts – cut into strips

1 Tbsp Garlic & Ginger Paste

Juice of 1/2 a Lemon

Salt & Pepper to taste

1 Tbsp Fenugreek Powder

1 Tsp Paprika Powder

200g Rice Flour (or gram flour)

1/2 Tsp Biacarbonate of Soda

1 Tsp Chilli Powder

1 Tsp Cumin Powder

1 Tsp Garam Masala

1 Tsp Coriander Powder

3 Tbsp Rapeseed Oil (or vegetable oil)

200ml Irn-Bru

100ml Water

  1. First heat up your oil in a pan or fryer if you have one. (I use Rapeseed oil and heat to about 180-200 deg)
  2. Place the Chicken strips in a bowl, add in the garlic & ginger paste, along with paprika, lemon juice, salt & pepper, mix together and allow to sit and marinade for a few minutes.
  3. Add in the cumin, coriander, garam masala, fenugreek powder, biacarbonate soda, rice flour, oil, water and Irn-Bru, give it a good mix together.
  4. Drop the chicken strips into your hot fryer and cook until browned and crispy (about 8-10 minutes), remove with a slotted spoon or tongs and place onto some kitchen paper to drain the oil.
  5. Serve. Yum….Yum!


Cheesy Curry Scones

Curry Scones

OMG! What can I say, these are super tasty and very moreish. I do love a good scone, especially with butter & jam but I wanted to try something a bit different, we were having some pakora for dinner (Irn-Bru Chicken pakora recipe here https://cookingwithluce.wordpress.com/2021/05/16/irn-bru-chicken-pakora/) so decided to try an Indian inspired flavour to go with. The curry powder lends that nice warmth of Indian spices to the cheese without being overbearing.

These scones are simple and quick to make, you can also change up the spices to suit your own palette.


Makes 12

400g Self Raising Flour

100g Butter, softened

4 Tsp Baking Powder

3 Tsp Curry Powder

1.5 Tsp Smoked Paprika

1.5 Tsp Turmeric (or Mustard Powder)

200g Grated Cheese (I used a good Scottish Mature Cheddar)

2 Eggs

Milk to Bind

  1. Preheat your oven to 180 deg. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Place flour, baking powder, smoked paprika, turmeric & curry powder into a bowl and mix. Next rub the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles crumbs then add in the grated cheese. (keep a little grated cheese back to top the scones before baking)
  3. Crack in the eggs and add a little milk at a time to bind to a soft dough. You don’t want the dough too sticky.
  4. Roll out to about 1″ thick, using a cutter cut into 12 rounds. Place onto your backing tray, brush with a little milk and top with some grated cheese.
  5. Bake in the oven for about 15-20 minutes until lightly golden and risen.
  6. Remove and allow to cool. Serve with butter, chutney or anything you fancy really.


Curried Oat Crusted Smoked Haddock Fishcakes

Smoked Haddock Fishcakes

I am so lucky, I recently moved home and now live in an area where you can get some of the freshest fish delivered straight to your door! I am an absolutely lover of all things seafood, well, who wouldn’t living in Scotland! We have 12,000km of coastline with cold clear waters, which has a rich range of over 60 different species, landed from Scottish waters. Scotland has a global reputation for the quality and range of its seafood.

I have a local fish van that delivers straight to my door every week, so this week he had some lovely fresh Smoked Haddock which I just had to get. Initially, I bought it to make my favourite Cullen Skink Soup but we then decided we fancied trying something different. So after scanning my cupboards for ideas, this little Indian spiced fishcake was the outcome. Super tasty and a perfect combo with the smoked haddock. The spices enhanced the flavour of the haddock, a blend of cumin, coriander, garam masala and turmeric works wonders on these fishcakes!


Makes 6 Large ones or 10-12 smaller cakes

600g Smoked Haddock

550g Potatoes (I used Highland Baby potatoes from Scotty Brand, but Maris Pipers are good too)

6-7 Spring Onions – chopped

2 Tbsps Butter

1 Tbsp of Curried Spices (made up from 1/2 tsp ground cumin, ground coriander, garam masala, 1/4 tsp Turmeric)

Salt & Pepper to taste

50g Golden Breadcrumbs

50g Scottish Oats – toast the oats (gently toast in a hot pan, few minutes only, allow to cool)

1 Tbsp Oil

2 Tbsp Flour

1 Egg, whisked

  1. Cook the potatoes until soft, so that you can mash. Best to boil them for about 20 minutes on hob or if you have a steam pot, then Steam cook for about 10 minutes. (I kept the skin on as I feel there is more flavour). Once cooked set aside to cool.
  2. Cook the smoked haddock, I steam cooked mine for about 7 minutes, if you don’t have a steamer then place fish in a pan of milk and cook gently covered for about 8 minutes or until fish is cooked through. (remove liquid and set aside to cool)
  3. Put a tbsp of butter into a pan and saute the spring onions until soft, just a few minutes.
  4. Mash up the potatoes and place in a mixing bowl. Using 2 forks, shred up the cooked fish and place into the bowl with the potatoes, add the spring onions, next add in all your spices and season generously. Get in there with your clean hands and mix through until combined.
  5. Shape the cakes into balls and place on a sheet of baking paper on an ovenproof tray and gently flatten into cakes. (I made mine about 1″ thick) Put into the fridge for about 20-30 minutes.
  6. In separate bowls have your flour, egg & oat/breadcrumb mixture ready. Dip the cake into the flour then into the egg then roll in the oat crumb mixture ensuring fully coated.
  7. Heat a little oil in a fry pan and cook the cakes each side for 2 minutes to seal to oat crumb. Place back onto the baking tray.
  8. Preheat your oven to 200 deg and bake for about 20-25 minutes. Serve with some cool mayo or tomato relish.
  9. These can be frozen and kept up to 3 months too, so great for batch cooking.


Avocado & Cucumber Salsa

Avocado & Cucumber

I was looking for something refreshing to go with my Salmon for dinner and looking around my kitchen, the little avocado sitting in my fruit bowl was just screaming out to me….eat me!….eat me! & there you have it, Avocado Salsa!

An 80g portion of avocado counts towards your 5 a day and contains vitamins, minerals and fiber. Fiber is good for your heart & gut health. These little fruits are a nutrient powerhouse, they contain nearly 20 different vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. The type of fat in an avocado is mainly unsaturated (specifically, monounsaturated), which, when eaten in place of high-saturated-fat foods, can help maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Olive and rapeseed oil are other well-known sources of monounsaturated fats.

The creamy taste and texture that avocados have means they can feel indulgent to eat, and they are good substitutes for high-saturated-fat options that you might add to a salad or a sandwich, like cheese or butter. When you see or hear avocado being used it’s usually on a piece of toast for breakfast, or in a guacamole for a side dish, but the combination of avocado & cucumber is a sure fire winner in my books and served alongside a piece of fresh Salmon, well, what’s not to like!


Serves 4

1 Large Avocado, skin & stone removed then diced

1/2 Cucumber, diced

Juice of 1 lime

1 Tbsp Mayonnaise (Light, to keep it healthier)

Pinch of Salt

Cracked Rainbow Pepper to taste.

Handful of fresh coriander, chopped finely.

(Optional, sprinkle of dried chilli flakes)

  1. Place everything in a bowl a mix trough to combine. Serve.

Tip!

  1. If making the salad a few hours ahead, combine all ingredients into a bowl (except the salt!). Squeeze lime juice directly over avocados and toss gently to combine.
  2. Cover tightly with cling film, placing it directly over the surface of the salad to keep the air out. Oxygen is what causes avocados to brown.
  3. Add salt just before serving to keep the cucumbers from wilting and becoming overly juicy.

Avocado & Cucumber Salsa with Salmon


FREE DOWNLOADABLE RECIPE CARDS – ARE HERE!

Easter Bakes!

Your FREE Springtime Easter Bakes Recipe Cards are now available to download.

Are you planning a family feast?

A Simple Afternoon Tea?

Or maybe your like me & just love everything naughty but nice!

These free downloadable recipe cards can be downloaded now, just in time for Easter Weekend. These are some of my all time favourite bakes and I’m sure you and your family will love them too.


Thank you!


Italian Chicken Bake

Italian Chicken Bake

A great way to use up left over chicken after your Sunday Roast. This dish is very easy to bake and healthy too.

This simple and tasty bake will keep you full as it has protein (chicken), fiber (veggies), and fat (cheese). The chicken is smothered with cherry tomatoes, onion and peppers keeping the chicken moist. I used Italian herbs and chilli spice for a wee kick. Delicious!

Prep time is only 10 minutes and 40 minutes in total to cook, so a quick meal to bake. Gluten free too.


Serves 3-4

2 Large Chicken Breasts, cooked & shredded

1 Onion, chopped

1 Red Pepper, chopped

1 Garlic Clove, chopped

Spray Oil

2 Tsp Italian Herb Mix

1 x 400g Tin Chopped Tomatoes

10-12 Cherry Tomatoes, halved

1 Tbsp Sugar

1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

1 Tsp Dried Chilli Flakes

125g Mozzarella, grated or sliced

Small handful basil leaves to serve

Salt & Pepper to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 200 deg fan.
  2. In a pan heat the spray oil and fry the onions, pepper and garlic for a few minutes to soften.
  3. Add in the Italian herbs, chilli, tin tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, sugar and season, then simmer for about 20 minutes until sauce has thickened slightly. Stir in the cooked chicken then transfer to a baking dish.
  4. Tear or grate over the mozzarella evenly and bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until the topping is golden and bubbling. Serve with some chopped basil leaves. Plate up with a side of cooked rice, pasta or potatoes.

Italian Chicken Bake with Mozzarella


FREE DOWNLOADABLE RECIPE CARDS – COMING SOON!

Easter Bakes – Coming Soon!

I’ve a wee treat for you all, I’m going to give away some free Easter Bakes Recipe Cards.

Are you planning a family feast?

A Simple Afternoon Tea?

Or maybe your like me & just love everything naughty but nice!

I am going to put up some free downloadable recipe cards that you can download just in time for Easter Weekend. These are some of my all time favourite bakes and I’m sure you and your family will love them too.

Watch this space! I’ll drop them into your Inbox in the next few days.

Not a follower of The Wee Caledonian Cook? Don’t worry, sign up now to get your free recipe cards.

Thank you for your support


Chinese Chicken Fried Rice

Chinese Chicken Fried Rice

This was wonderfully flavourful and so easy to make. I do love it when last minute decisions go well. I was planning a completely different dish for my dinner at the weekend and realised I forgot some of the ingredients, so as you do, you make the most of what you have in your cupboards. This was simple to make and using mostly store cupboard ingredients too it was super tasty.

I mean who doesn’t like Fried Rice? At the moment as our favourite restaurant’s are not open due to the pandemic, this is great dish to create your own Chinese takeout food at home. A great dish on its own or as a side dish.


Serves 4

3 Chicken Breasts (skinless)

120ml Teriyaki Sauce

1 Onion, diced

2 Tsp Diced Garlic

3 Tbsp Toasted Sesame Oil

150-200g Rice (I used wholegrain but you can use long grain white or Jasmine which works well)

200g Frozen Peas and Diced Carrots

2 Large Eggs

4 Tbsp Soy Sauce

Salt & Pepper to taste

4-6 Spring Onions for topping, chopped

  1. Heat the sesame oil in a deep pot/pan on medium to high heat and season & brown the chicken breasts.
  2. Add to the pot the garlic & onions and cook for a couple of minutes until softened.
  3. Pour in Teriyaki Sauce, put lid on pan and cook on a very low heat for about 3 hours.
  4. While the chicken is cooking, cook the rice as per instructions and put to the side and allow to cool. TIP: The rice is much better when cooked, cooled and left for a couple of hours.
  5. After 3 hours, slice chicken into smaller pieces (it should flake apart nicely). Add to the pot, the rice, peas, carrots and soy sauce. Stir through and place lid back on pot.
  6. In a fry pan, add a little oil and scramble the eggs, add to the pan when ready, mix & serve with a sprinkle of spring onions on top. Yummy!



NEW E BOOK LAUNCH TODAY! ENERGY BOOSTING BREAKFAST RECIPES!

Energy Boosting Breakfast Recipe eBook

In today’s hectic lifestyle and especially in the wintery months, it can feel impossible to achieve those recommended eight hours of sleep. Sleep deprivation catches up to us all, however, and it can be difficult to find energy-granting options that are healthy as well. Luckily, many foods boost energy naturally, offering a mid-day pick-me-up that will not derail a healthy diet.

I have put together a small collection of delicious Breakfast Recipes that I enjoy, these tasty morning starters will help get your energy set for the day ahead.

I was inspired a few years ago when I decided to look more into nutrition, it was really interesting learning about micronutrients and the true benefits of all those minerals & vitamins. I completed a health & nutrition course with BNF (British Nutrition Foundation) https://www.nutrition.training/ & learned how to use foods to our advantage to better our diets & lifestyle.

Simple to make dishes that the whole family will enjoy.

Please visit my eBook Recipe page for the link to purchase and download. https://cookingwithluce.wordpress.com/recipe-e-books/

The eBook only costs £1.99 and this is just to cover my expense of running this blog and designing the book. I hope that you see the value in this and that you enjoy.

Preview of the recipes in my book below.

Energy Recipe List

Slow Cook Iron Bru Chicken

Slow Cook Iron Bru Chicken

This was absolutely yummy! Thank you to Scott Baptie @ Food for Fitness for this recipe. https://www.foodforfitness.co.uk/welcome/

I had seen this ages ago but never got round to trying it, this weekend was that time. After all it is Scotland’s favourite fizzy drink! Iron Bru is quite a sweet flavour which is hard to describe & I wasn’t sure just how sweet this dish would turn out but I was pleasantly surprised, it was really delicious and definitely would make again. I used the Iron Bru Extra which has 0g sugars so helped make this dish not overly sweet.

Irn Bru
Iron Bru

Iron Bru was launched in Scotland in 1901 and is still a closely guarded family secret recipe with 32 flavours.

It was back in 1901 in Glasgow that steel workers who were working on rebuilding Central Station in Glasgow were drinking too much beer! Yes too much beer! This is when local soft drinks experts AG Barr introduced them to the caffeinated drink to help get them through the night, and ‘Iron Bru’ was born! One of the most memorable adverts on TV ran for over 20 years with the slogan ‘Made in Scotland – from girders’ & the slogan stuck!

Go on, you know you want to….give it a try, trust me, you’ll love it!


Serves 2

2 Chicken Breasts, chopped into bite size pieces

1 Onion, finely chopped

1 Garlic Clove, finely chopped

15ml Worcester Sauce

1 Tbsp Tomato Puree

1 Tsp Smoked Paprika

300ml Iron Bru

1 Tbsp olive oil

Salt & Pepper to taste

1 Tbsp Corn Flour (to thicken sauce after)

100-125g Cooked Rice to serve.

  1. Heat the oil in a pan on medium to high heat and season chicken and add to the pan to brown for a few minutes. Remove, add the onion & garlic to the pan and saute for a few minutes until softened.
  2. Add the chicken back to the pan along with paprika, tomato puree, worcester sauce & Iron Bru, bring to a low simmer, cover with lid and cook on low heat for 4 hours.
  3. Remove chicken from pan to a plate, if sauce is too thin, add the cornflour mixed with a little water and stir through to thicken up the sauce, pour over chicken and serve with some cooked rice of your choice.

Delicious!



Mince HotPot with Sweet Potato & Carrot Mash

Mince Hotpot with Sweet Potato & Carrot Mash

This is proper home comfort food and a dish that we love. Using simple ingredients, you’ll love the richness taste of this and with the sweet potato and carrot mash on top it is just packed with flavour! A great family dish that is simple to make that everyone can enjoy. Sometimes I love going back to basics, our ancestors would have cooked this all in one pot as back then there were no fancy cook tops with loads of rings.

We are lucky that we have access to a wide range of different foods and spices these days, so although sometimes it’s great to make classics, it’s also great to try out new flavours and ideas with them. This recipe surely does work with that little change.

If you make it, let me know what you think?


Makes 2-3 servings

250g Scottish Beef Mince (good quality is key)

2 Medium sized Sweet Potatoes, cut into small chunks

1 Red Onion, diced

1 Carrots, diced & 2 Carrots for mash (chopped)

1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

50ml Red Wine (I used Merlot)

1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce

2 Handfuls of Frozen Garden Peas

300ml Beef Stock with 2 stock cubes

1 Tsp Mixed Herbs

1/2 Tsp Turmeric

Salt & Pepper to taste

1 Tbsp oil

1-2 Tbsp Beef Gravy Granules to thicken sauce

  1. Pre heat oven to 180 deg fan. Place sweet potatoes and carrot into a large pan of slightly salted water and bring to the boil, reduce to a gentle boil and cook for 20 minutes until softened.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a little oil in a pan and cook the onions until softened. Add the mince to the pan and cook until browned. Add in the balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, red wine, herbs, seasoning and beef stock, bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer for about 10-15 minutes, liquid should reduce by half.
  3. Stir in the peas and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  4. Add in the Gravy granules and stir to thicken.
  5. Mash the sweet potatoes and carrot with 1 tsp turmeric
  6. Place the mince mixture in a casserole dish, season with black pepper and top with the mash mix, cover with tin foil. Bake in oven for about 30 minutes.
  7. After 30 minutes, remove foil and bake for a further 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  8. Serve & Enjoy!


Green Lentil Curry Tortilla Bowls

Green Lentil Curry Tortilla Bowls

I am always looking to experiment in the kitchen and today was no different. Green Lentil Curry was on the menu but rather than serving rice or naan bread, I thought I’d try my hand at Tortilla Bowls. I’ve seen these on numerous posts & feeds and they look really good.

Green lentils, unlike their yellow and brown counterparts, hold on to their shape while cooking. I infused them with garlic, ginger, coriander, and cumin, for a dish that’s a perfect weekend meal. I love lentils, they are such a great source of protein and filling too.


Serves 2

For the Green Lentil Curry:

125g Green Lentils – Presoaked overnight

1 Tsp Garlic Paste

1 Tsp Ginger

2 Tsp Ground Coriander

1 Tsp Ground Cumin

1 Tsp Turmeric

1 Tbsp Olive Oil

1 Onion, diced

1 Tbsp Tomato Paste

1 Carrot, diced

500ml Water

Salt & Pepper to taste

Handful Chopped Fresh Coriander to serve

1 Tbsp Creme Fraiche to serve

For the Tortillas:

4 Tortilla Wraps (I used Corn Wraps)

Tin Foil & 4 Ramekins (or something similar)

  1. Add a little oil to a pan and add the ginger, garlic, ground coriander & cumin, mix. Then add the onion and cook until softened. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute.
  2. Add the lentils, turmeric and 500ml water, bring to the boil then cover and simmer for about 20 minutes, add the carrot and season, continue cooking for about 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile for the Tortillas, pre heat the oven to 180 deg. Warm the tortillas in a microwave for 90 seconds, lightly grease the ramekins on the outside, turn upside down. Place the wrap over the ramekin and mould to the shape, secure with the tin foil and fold into the ramekin. Place upside down into the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
  4. Remove ramekins from oven and gently remove the foil and tortilla bowl from the ramekin, it should hold it’s shape. If you are struggling to remove, use a blunt knife to prize the tortilla away from the ramekin. Place the tortilla bowls back into the oven turned the right way and bake for a further 8-10 minutes until slightly browned.
  5. Serve the green lentil curry into the bowls and serve with the creme fraiche and fresh coriander.


Moroccan Chicken & Lentil Bake

Moroccan Chicken & Lentil Bake

Inspired by North Africa, this quick and easy one pan meal draws the warmth of cumin and rich depth of smoked paprika to beautifully layer with the peppery flavour of the lentils. Lentils are an excellent source of B vitamins, iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc. They’re also a great source of plant-based protein and fiber. To make this dish vegetarian, just omit the chicken and replace with you favourite vegetables.

Another great one pot meal that is not only quick but simple to make too. Very nutritious and filling.


Serves 2

2 Chicken Breasts, cut into large pieces (or you can use thighs)

4 Rashers of Smoked Bacon, chopped small

1 Onion, diced

2 Stalks of Celery, diced

100g Green Lentils (or Red if you prefer)

1 Garlic Clove, diced

1 Tbsp Cumin

1 Tbsp Smoked Paprika

8-10 Whole Cherry Tomatoes

300ml Chicken Stock

1 Tsp Chilli Flakes

Salt & Pepper to taste

1 Tbsp Olive Oil

Small Handful of Chopped Fresh Parsley to serve.

  1. Pre heat your oven to 200 deg Fan.
  2. Add the oil to a fry pan on medium to high heat. Dry the chicken pieces with a piece of kitchen paper and season. Add to the pan and brown all over to seal. Remove with a slotted spoon.
  3. If needed add a little more oil to the pan. Cook the bacon, onions, celery, garlic, cumin & paprika for 3 minutes. Add back the chicken, add the lentils and sprinkle the chill flakes, mix through.
  4. Decant into an oven proof dish, add in the stock and tomatoes, bake in the oven for 25 minutes.
  5. Turn on your grill at the end of cooking for a few minutes to brown the tomatoes.
  6. Remove from oven, sprinkle with parsley and Serve. Yum!


Chicken & Broccoli Bake

Chicken & Broccoli Bake

This is a great mid week dinner when you are short for time, easy to prepare and quick to bake. You can also make ahead and pop in fridge until ready or if you have a delay timer on your oven, pop it in the oven in morning and time for when you are due home. One of my favourite features on my oven is the 24hr programmable timer, I use it all time, I organise myself in the morning then I don’t have to worry about remembering to switch oven on later.

Oven Timer

This dish is healthy and packed with protein and vitamins, it also provides a richness with the Gruyere cheese, what’s not to like?


Serves 3-4

300-400g Broccoli Florets (you can use frozen or fresh)

40g Butter

1 Large White Onion, sliced

350-400g Chicken Breasts, cut into bite sized pieces

100g Creme Fraiche (use light for a healthier option)

200ml Chicken Stock

30g Breadcrumbs (about 2-3 slices)

50g Gruyere Cheese, grated

1 Tsp Dried Chilli Flakes

1 Tsp Dried Mixed Herbs (or any herb of your choice)

Salt & Pepper to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 200deg. Bring a Saucepan of water to the boil and cook the broccoli for 5 minutes, Drain.
  2. Melt the butter in a fry pan on medium to high heat and cook the onions until soft, remove with a slotted spoon.
  3. Season the chicken and add to the pan and brown all over, about 3-5 minutes, set aside.
  4. Add some butter to the fry pan and cook the breadcrumbs until slightly browned. Remove.
  5. Layer up the chicken, broccoli and onions in an oven proof dish, season well. Pour over the chicken stock and creme fraiche, sprinkle the chilli flakes and herbs.
  6. Sprinkle on top the breadcrumbs and finish with the grated cheese.
  7. Bake in the oven for about 35 minutes until golden brown on top. Serve.


Crazy Custard Pancakes

Custard Pancakes

OMG! Well, what can I say here…..but, these were absolutely delicious!

We were watching a film the other night and the little boy in the film asked for crazy custard pancakes, I had never heard of this before and my curiosity got the better of me……so off I went google search in motion and I found this recipe from Simon Hopkinson (http://www.simonhopkinson.tv/recipe/5/custard-pancakes.aspx). I changed it slightly and cheated with my custard to make it easier to make.

BEWARE! ever so moreish!

You have to try these, especially if you love custard and have a sweet tooth.


This recipe made 6 pancakes

For the Pancakes:

100g Plain Flour

3 Large Eggs (1 for wash)

Pinch Salt

1 Tbsp Olive Oil

100ml Milk

For the Custard:

2 Tbsp Custard Powder

2 Tbsp Caster Sugar

450ml Milk

1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract

1 Tbsp Lemon Juice

For assembling:

1 Tbsp butter

2 Tbsp Sugar

A Little Rum (about 50ml)

  1. To make the batter:- Sift flour into a bowl and make a well in the middle, crack 2 eggs in and add pinch of salt. Whisk together until it becomes stiff, then start slowly adding the milk and whisk through until well combined and runny consistancey. Set aside for at least 30 minutes.
  2. To make the Custard:- Put the custard powder and sugar in a pan along with 1 Tbsp of milk, 1 Tbsp lemon juice and vanilla extract, mix to a paste. Slowly add the milk little at a time and bring to a gentle boil. Make sure you continue whisking until the custard starts to thicken, this should take about 4-5 minutes. You want it quite thick.
  3. Remove custard from heat and allow to cool. Place a piece of cling film over the custard, pressing down on the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate for at least 3-4 hours.
  4. To assemble:- When ready, heat a little oil in a non stick fry pan about 20cm diameter on medium to high heat, pour a little of the pancake batter into the pan and swirl around to just a thin covering, cook for a minute or 2 then flip over and cook for a further minute, set aside, and repeat with remaining mixture.
  5. Add 1 Tbsp of butter to the pan, place 1-2 Tbsp of custard in the middle of a pancake, brush edges with a little egg wash. Roll up the pancake half way to cover it, not too tight, then tuck in the sides and finish rolling up to seal, it will resemble a spring roll. Place the pancakes in the fry pan sealed side down and cook for a minute or 2, sprinkle some sugar over and turn, so you are cooking all round.
  6. Once pancake rolls are slightly browned, add in the rum and let bubble and glaze all over.
  7. Remove & Serve. We added some maple syrup to serve and it was delicious! (optional)



person holding pink candies in form in hearts in hands

Go on a Journey with Food!

a colorful sliced pizza
Food Journey

This is not a recipe post! I’ve been thinking lately of how food has made not only an impact in the world but to us as human beings, food has the power to completely transport us to another time or another place. For example, a good plate of Mince ‘n’ Tatties (potatoes) takes me back to my childhood days and visits with my Gran and Auntie’s and a bowl of Spaghetti Bolognese reminds me of a happy time with my partner. Both of these emotions make me happy and I feel relaxed and content.

Is it possible to harness that power to help our wellbeing?

incense and white candles on a stool
Mind Journey with Food

Different Types of food can also have an effect on our emotional thinking, some foods can help decrease stress and low mood, for example fatty fish, blueberries, broccoli, shellfish & eggs to name a few. Then on the other hand foods like processed meats, sweets, pastries or high fat diary products can also increase anxiety and fatigue.

So how can focusing on food help our wellbeing?

Here are some Top Tips:-

  1. Make & Eat a meal that made you happy. Maybe a dish that you loved on a holiday trip or something from your wedding day that everyone enjoyed, it brings back that happy, feel good emotion.
  2. What was your favourite meal from your childhood? Re-create it, go buy it from the shops, it will give you that feeling of love, warmth and feeling cared for.
  3. Prepare something that you have homegrown. Last year I started my first vegetable boxes and the satisfaction and achievement it gave me was a wonderful feeling. Whether it be herbs from your window sill or potatoes from your garden, there is nothing better than preparing a meal from something you have hand grown, it gives you a feeling of reward to yourself.
  4. Try something new. We have all heard it before, variety is the spice of life! Bored of the same old meals? I know I do (as you can probably tell from all the different recipes I try…..lol!) This is a great way to expand your horizons and take yourself on a journey of discovery, you’ll be amazed at what you can achieve.
  5. Surprise your Family, Husband, Wife, Lover, Friends etc. There is no greater satisfaction than preparing a meal for someone you care about and them absolutely loving it! We use food all the time to express love and when it is well received it gives you that happy, loved feeling. Especially if you have dietary restrictions, making something that you’ve taken the time to think over and shop for is special and will be well appreciated.
  6. Share your Favourite Recipes. It is just like sharing a good book, film or music, it connects us to those around who share the same passions and feelings. I personally have loved documenting all my foodie discoveries and recipes and when someone says to me, ‘I tried your recipe and it was delicious’, or ‘I love your blog as I’m rubbish at new ideas for dinners, so you’ve taken the hard work away for me’, this just gives me a warm satisfaction that I am helping those that need it. Sharing is caring!


Quick Teriyaki Chicken

Teriyaki Chicken

Although I maybe working from home during this pandemic, somehow I still don’t find the time to be preparing and making mid week dinners, so this recipe is a great quick throw together meal that is massively flavorful and satisfying. Only takes 20 minutes. I served it with some Egg Fried Rice. I do have a confession to make, it was microwaveable Egg Fried Rice, after all it only takes 2 minutes and to be honest is a great alternative when you don’t have time to make the real thing. Most brands now offer these ready packets such as Uncle Bens, Tilda, Blue Dragon and even supermarket own brands, they are are a great store cupboard essential or at least they have been during this pandemic lockdown period. Well, we all like to cheat sometimes, don’t we?

If you like it a little sweeter, you can add 1 tbsp of honey to the recipe. I use Heather honey which is a darker semi-sweet honey and delicious, it is made with the nectar collected from the tiny purple bell-shaped flower of the common Scottish Heather plant.


Serves 2

1 Packet 250g Microwave Egg Fried Rice

2 Chicken Breasts, diced into bite sized pieces

1 Tsp Minced Garlic

1 Tsp Oil

1 White Onion, diced

1 Tbsp Cornflour

150ml Good Quality Teriyaki Sauce

2 Tsp Sesame Seeds

1 Handful Garden Peas (I used frozen)

1 Tbsp Honey (Optional)

Salt & Pepper to taste

  1. Heat the oil in a pan on medium to high heat and fry the garlic & onions until softened.
  2. Season the chicken, add to the pan and cook until slightly brown all over.
  3. Add in the garden peas along with 150ml of teriyaki sauce & honey (if using) and about 100ml water, place lid on pan and reduce to a simmer for about 15-20 minutes until chicken is cooked through. If the sauce is too thin, mix the cornflour with a tbsp of water and add to pan stir through to thicken the sauce.
  4. Serve with some cooked rice (of your choice) and sprinkle over some sesame seeds for that extra crunch and nutrition. Yum! Enjoy!


Scottish Heather Honey Chicken

Scottish Heather Honey Chicken

Hello and Happy Wednesday!

Yes, I know what you are thinking, this isn’t chicken? It looks like Beef? That’s because of the soy Sauce and dark honey in the recipe marinating into the chicken.

One pot meals are always my go to when I am working, simply because they are easy and less washing up to do. I used some Scottish Heather Honey for this recipe and oh my……..this was a super tasty meal that I am so proud of. I had 2 recipes in mind to cook tonight, 1 was Honey and Garlic roasted Chicken and the other was a Soy Glazed Chicken, yes, you guessed it, I went for it and mixed it all up. I do love it when you change your mind last minute and get a successful NEW recipe!

Known as the ‘Champagne’ of all honeys, expertly gathered by bees that visit the legendary flower of Scotland, Heather. Scottish Heather Honey is dark and semi-set.  A highly intense, distinctive, warm, woody and floral aroma reminiscent of the Scottish Highlands. I use honey from Heather Hills Farm, they are a family run business based in Blairgowrie, Perthshire since 1945. Click to their website for more details :- http://www.heatherhills.co.uk/.

Pure honey is full of natural antibacterial and antimicrobial goodness. As well as the high antioxidant qualities, manganese plays a role in helping to make and activate enzymes in the body involved in protecting tissues from damage and in the metabolism of nutrients. It also helps maintain healthy bones.


Serves 4

3-4 Large Chicken Breasts, cut into large chunks

1 Red Pepper, diced

1 Yellow Pepper, diced

2 White Onions, cut into wedges

4 Tbsps of Heather Honey (you can use clear honey if you can’t get this)

3 Tbsps of Dark Soy Sauce

2 Tsps Dried Garlic Granules

1 Tbsp Olive Oil

3 Tsps French Mustard

1 Tsp Curry Powder

Salt & Ground Black Pepper

  1. Heat the oil in a pan, season the chicken, add to pan and brown.
  2. Add in the garlic, peppers and onion and cook for a few minutes.
  3. Mix in a jug or bowl the soy sauce, honey, curry powder and mustard. Season.
  4. Pour the sauce mixture over the chicken and vegetables, add 100ml water and stir to combine.
  5. Cover and cook on a low heat for about 2 hours.
  6. Remove lid season if need and cook for a further 20 minutes.
  7. Serve with some boiled potatoes or mash or anything you like. Enjoy!


NEW E Book Launch – SOON!



Where I am living at the moment there is 12 inches of snow and still falling down! Winter is definitely the season for SOUP! Do you get bored with the same flavours? Can’t think of what to make next? Let me help you, these recipes are not only simple to make but very nutritious too and very filling.

Whether it’s after a long day at work or out battling the cold weather, there’s nothing that quite compares to tucking in to a warm bowl of soup, it’s soul-food at its very best. Whether you’re a culinary extraordinaire and want to try out some fabulously unique soup flavours, or you’re looking to make a quick midweek dinner for the whole family, my wee winter warmer soup EBook is for you.  

Looking for Vegetarian options? Low calorie options? Or simply just flavoursome?

Look no more, download my Top 10 Soups that warm your Soul and fill your belly with satisfaction. Coming Soon!

Keep Checking your Inbox if you are a subscriber, not a subscriber yet, sign up and receive the latest recipes and books to your inbox.


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Banana Custard & Cream Pudding POTs

Banana Custard & Cream Pudding Pots

In our house a Sunday is the only day we have a pudding after dinner and as we were having a filling stew today, I opted for something a little lighter. This was not only super tasty but really light and lower in calories as I used low fat versions. If you love banana’s and custard you will like this. It is also so quick to make, just 10 minutes to prepare with 30 minutes chilling time.


Serves 4

2 Bananas (keep a few slices to serve)

1 x 400g Tin of Low Fat Custard

1 x 150ml Double Light Cream

1 Tsp Vanilla Essence

2 Flake’s

  1. Empty custard into a large mixing bowl and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  2. Mash the bananas with a fork and add to the custard, crumble in 1 1/2 of flake and mix through to combine
  3. Add 1 tsp vanilla essence to the cream and whisk up until thick, gently fold cream into the custard mix.
  4. Spoon custard into serving dishes and top with a couple slices of banana and crumbled flake.
  5. Serve immediately.

Note: If you have custard powder, put 2 tbsp of powder and 2 tbsp of caster sugar into a pan, add a little milk and stir to a paste, add the remaining milk (about 400ml) and bring to a gentle boil, stir continually until custard thickens. Remove from heat, place a piece of cling film over custard to prevent a skin forming and allow to cool then proceed as above.


Green Thai Lentil Soup

Green Thai Lentil Soup

It is Winter Season here in Scotland and is -4 deg today and very snowy. There is nothing better that a big pot of homemade soup to warm you up on days like this. I had a big pack of lentils in the cupboard and was going to make a traditional carrot & lentil soup but then I discovered some Green Thai paste hiding behind my tin of custard & yes you’ve guessed it Green Thai Lentil Soup it was. Just the ticket too, with the spice it really warmed us up lovely and was very satisfying and filling. Another great recipe to add to the collection.


Makes enough for 4 servings

150g Green Lentils, pre-soaked and rinsed ready to cook

1 Large Sweet Potato, chopped into cubes

1 Tbsp Olive Oil

2 Garlic Cloves, crushed

1 Piece Fresh Ginger, grated (about 2cm)

50g Thai Green Curry Paste, (I used the Blue Dragon one)

1 400g Can Coconut Milk

1 Tbsp Dried Coriander & small handful chopped fresh to serve

1/2 litre Vegetable Stock

Juice of 1 Lemon (about 1 Tbsp)

  1. In a large pan, heat the oil and cook the garlic and ginger for a few minutes then add in the Thai Green Paste and mix through for a further 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add in the chopped sweet potato, lentils, vegetable stock, coconut milk and lemon juice, bring to the boil then simmer covered for about 30 minutes.
  3. Remove lid and sprinkle in the dried coriander and mix through, stirring for a minute or 2.
  4. Remove from the heat and using a hand blender, blend the soup until you reach a smooth and thick consistancey.
  5. Serve with some fresh coriander on top.

This recipe is also good for batch cooking, freezing and keeping for later.


Bowl of Green Thai Lentil Soup

Pot of Green Thai Lentil Soup


Quick Chinese Chicken Curry Takeout-style

Chinese Chicken Curry

Due to the Covid 19 Restrictions most of us aren’t able to go visit our favourite restaurants to enjoy our best bites to eat or even get takeaways, so if you fancy a wee curry then this is for you. This 15 minute dish is quick and easy to make, and using staple ingredients that most of us have in our kitchen cupboards, its quicker than phoning a takeaway and can be made more healthier too by adding in your favourite vegetables.

This was a full flavour curry with loads of sauce, great for scooping up the rice. The flavours were so good that my other half said I needed to make this sauce again for his chips….lol! Yes, curry chips is his thing! If you make, let me know what you think.


Serves 4

2 Large Chicken Breasts, cut into bite size pieces

2 White Onions, cut into wedges

Handful of Frozen Garden Peas (optional)

2 Tbsp oil

1 Tsp Soy Sauce

2 Tsp Cornflour

350ml Chicken Stock

4 Tsps Curry Powder

1 Tsp Turmeric

1/2 Tsp Ground Ginger

1/2 Tsp Brown Sugar

Salt & Pepper to taste

50g per person of Cooked Rice (of your choosing) to serve.

  1. Heat 1Tbsp oil in a pan or wok on high heat. Mix together the soy sauce and 1Tbsp oil in a bowl add in the chicken pieces and coat, sprinkle 1 Tsp of cornflour over to coat, season, then add to the hot pan and brown all over, remove with a slotted spoon.
  2. Add the onions to the hot pan and stir fry until softened and slightly brown, about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add to the pan the Frozen Peas, Curry Powder, Turmeric, Ginger & Sugar, mix through for about 1 minute to release flavours.
  4. Pour in the stock and bring to the boil, mix 1 Tsp cornflour with a little water and slowly pour little at a time into the sauce mix until it starts to thicken slightly. Add back to the pan the cooked chicken and mix through and simmer gently for about 5 minutes.
  5. Serve with cooked rice. Enjoy!


Jamaican Chicken & Rice

Jamaican Chicken & Rice

With the weather being very dreich (dull & gloomy) recently, we wanted to transport ourselves to a warm sunny place & with that not being possible in these unprecedented times I turned to my Kitchen Cupboards to see what I could make for dinner. Having some tinned pineapple, beans and rice in the cupboard we decided on visiting the Caribbean. This dish has a great blend of popular Caribbean spices, such as ginger, paprika and allspice which transports you right onto the Islands.

Also a great dish for batch cooking as you could quite easily make a big pot and freeze for later. A very nutritious dish with the beans high in fiber and the chicken giving you a good intake of protein. A good filling meal for any family table.


Serves 4

2 Chicken Breasts – cut into bite size pieces

1 Red Pepper, diced

1 White Onion, diced

4-6 Spring Onions, diced (for serving)

1 Tbsp Oil for cooking

1 Tbsp Curry Powder

1 Tbsp Smoked Sweet Paprika

1/2 Tsp of AllSpice

1/2 Tsp of Ginger

200g Cooked Wholemeal Rice (about 50g per person)

Juice of 1 Lime

1 Tbsp Brown Sugar

1 Tsp Dried Chilli Flakes

1 Tin Pineapple Chunks

1 400g can of Black Beans, drained

Handful of Garden Peas

20-30g Cashews, chopped (for serving)

Salt & Pepper to taste


  1. Heat the oil in a pan on medium to high heat, season the chicken and brown all over.
  2. Add the peppers and onion to the pan and cook for about 3 minutes until softened.
  3. Add to the pan the paprika, curry powder, ginger, allspice, brown sugar and chillies, mix through for about 1 minute to coat, then add the black beans, peas, cooked rice, pineapple and lime juice, mix through to combine.
  4. If too dry, add 1-2 Tbsp of water and stir, put lid on pan and heat through for about 5 minutes. To serve sprinkle the spring onion and cashews. Enjoy!

Sweet Chilli Mixed Bean Tuna Salad

Sweet Chilli Mixed Bean Tuna Salad

Healthier Eating is always at the fore front of my mind and especially this time of year, your body needs those extra nutrients & vitamins to function well and fight of those colds & flu’s. I know a salad doesn’t sound ideal when it’s minus degrees outside but trust me your body will thank you for it. I normally have a warm bowl of porridge in the morning, not only does that heat you up it also keeps you full for longer.

Choosing foods for your lunch or dinner that are rich in vitamin C, such foods like sweet potatoes, tomatoes, red peppers and citrus fruits, try adding these to your meals as vitamin C plays an important role in the immune system and energy levels, especially important if you regularly exercise.

During the winter months, we can come into contact with viruses that can cause colds or flu. So, it’s important that our immune system functions normally and zinc contributes to this. Foods such as shellfish, spinach and lentils are good sources of zinc.

Fish such as salmon, tuna & cod as well as milk, eggs and cheese, are a great source of vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 contributes to the normal functioning of the immune system and also contributes to a reduction in tiredness and fatigue.

Spices like chilli’s are a good source of antioxidants and rich in vitamin A, as well as minerals such as iron and potassium.

This Superfood Salad bowl I have for my lunch, which gives me a good boost for afternoon working. It is rich in nutrients, flavour and vitamins so a good all rounder for the whole family. Serve with some wholewheat crackers for a more filling dish or serve as a side with some fish for dinner.


Serves 4 portions

1 x 400g Tin Mixed Beans

200g Baby Spinach – chopped

2 x Tins of Tuna (or fresh if you can)

100g Cherry Tomatoes, sliced into quarters

1 x Cucumber sliced into quarters

Handful of chopped mix nuts & seeds

3 Tbsps of Sweet Chilli Sauce (more if you want it sweeter)

2 Chillies, Chopped finely (optional)

Chopped fresh Parsley (Optional)

  1. Drain the tin of mixed beans and decant into a large bowl, add the spinach, tomatoes, cucumber, tuna, chilli’s (if using) and mix through
  2. Pour in the chilli sauce and mix ensuring everything is coated.
  3. Sprinkle Nuts & Seeds (of your choice) and chopped parsley (if using) on top and serve into bowls.


MEDICINAL GREEN CURRY

Green Curry with Rice

This time of year (January) it is very cold, wet, windy and snowy, so your immune system can take a bit of a battering. We tend to reach for medications such a cold & flu capsules, ibuprofen etc, which can help, however, I am a great believer that you can repair your body and fight infections from within and eating right does play a big part on that.

This recipe contains the following, so it is the ultimate winter fighter food.

Chillies contain Capsaicin which helps clear mucus. Ginger contains natural antibodies & anti-inflammatory agents & the ability to clear congestion. Garlic has antiviral & antibacterial properties. Butternut squash & wholemeal rice is good for boosting Vitamin C for your immune system. Cashew nuts are good source of fibre & magnesium both good for bone health & energy boosting.

This is also a great dish for batch cooking. It really is a win win all round.


Serves 4

2 Large Chicken Breasts – cut into chunks

2 Tbsp Thai Green Curry Paste (1 used the Blue Dragon Paste, but feel free to make your own)

1 Tbsp Coconut Oil or Olive Oil for cooking

1 400g Tin Coconut Milk

1 Vegetable Stock Cube

1 Tsp Turmeric

300g Butternut Squash, cut into chunks

200g Cauliflower, cut into small pieces

150g Baby Spinach

1 Tbsp Soy Sauce

Salt & Pepper

Juice of 1 Lime

30g Chopped Cashews (to garnish)

Handful chopped Spring Onion (to garnish)

50g Wholemeal Rice per person, cooked as per pack instructions.

  1. Heat the oil in a pan on medium to high heat, brown the chicken and remove with slotted spoon.
  2. If needed, put a little more oil in. Stir fry the curry paste for about 2 minutes to heat through and release the flavours.
  3. Crumble the vegetable stock cube into the coconut milk and stir, pour into the pan with the curry paste and mix through. Add 1 Tsp of Turmeric.
  4. Add back to the pan the chicken, butternut squash and cauliflower, mix and reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes, covered.
  5. 5 minutes before curry is ready, add in 1 Tbsp Soy Sauce, Juice of Lime and Spinach, mix through continue to cook for 5 minutes.
  6. Serve with some wholemeal rice, spring onion and cashew nuts.

Thai Green Curry & Wholemeal Rice

CHEESY BEEF MINCE PASTA

Cheesy Mince Pasta

My meal plan somehow didn’t go to plan this week as I seemed to run out of store cupboard essentials like tin chopped tomatoes etc. This dish was the result of that, having looked a what I had and what needed to be used up I decided on a simple, quick and one pot dish. This turned out so delicious that I am sharing it with you, not only is it an easy to make dish but one that could be made ahead of time and frozen for later. The flavours in this dish can be enjoyed with the whole family. The good thing about this dish is that you can add whatever vegetables you like, to be honest anything goes here.


Serves 2 – 3

250g Scottish Beef Mince (you could also use minced lamb)

1 Onion, chopped

1 tsp Ground Garlic Granules or 2 Garlic Cloves

100g Frozen Garden Peas

120g Pasta (I used fusilli but penne will do too)

400ml Beef Stock

2 Tbsp Tomato Paste

1 Tsp Dried Chilli Flakes

1 Tsp Smoked Paprika

Salt & Pepper to taste

1 Tbsp oil

100g Grated Cheddar Cheese

Handful of Chopped Parsley

  1. Heat the oil in a pan on medium to high heat and fry the onions until softened and slightly browned
  2. Add in the beef mince, season with salt & pepper & brown.
  3. Add in the tomato paste, garlic, paprika, chilli flakes and frozen peas, mix through. Add in the pasta and beef stock, bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer and cook covered until pasta is cooked through, about 12-15 minutes.
  4. Remove lid and sprinkle over the cheddar cheese and parsley, put lid back on, turn off heat and leave for 5 minutes. The heat in the pan will gently melt the cheese. Serve and Enjoy.


SCOTTISH NEW YEARS DAY STEAK PIE

Steak Pie

The steak pie became the national New Year’s dinner dish in Scotland because New Year’s Day was not traditionally taken as a holiday, (Western society has only been celebrating New Year for the past 400 years.) Families were too busy to cook and bought big steak pies from their local butcher instead. It was in 1871 that Scotland declared January 1st as a national holiday and then wasn’t until 1971 that Scotland got January 2 as another bank holiday.

Butcher-bought steak pie remains popular today, I suspect partly because most Scots are too hung-over to think about cooking on New Year’s Day. Hogmanay & New Years Day is about more than seeing in the bells with a dram of whisky and the best New Year street party in the world, the traditional celebrations continue well into the next day. In fact, it’s probably partly due to the over indulgence of alcohol that the ritual Ne’erday dinner continues to be such a vital part of New Year for so many Scots. The Traditional Steak Pie is round or oval in shape, which symbolises the end of one year with the seamless beginning of the next.

I do like to make my own steak pie and this recipe dates back to my Grannies and Aunties recipes. They key to a good steak pie is the meat, good quality Scottish Beef is key and it’s important to slow cook until it falls apart. I always make the night before too, this allows the gravy/juices to soak into the meat for an amazing flavour.


Serves 2-3

500g Braising or Stewing Steak (rump steak is also good)

1 Large Onion, Chopped

1 Carrot, Peeled & Sliced

400ml Beef Stock

1-2 Tbsp Beef Gravy Granules

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

Salt & Black Pepper

2 Tbsp Cornflour

1 egg beaten for wash

1 Ready to Roll Puff Pastry

  1. Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a large pan on medium to high heat. Pat dry the meat and coat with the cornflour and season. Brown the meat in the pan, remove with a slotted spoon.
  2. Add 1 Tbsp oil to the pan and add in the onions, cook for a few minutes to soften and brown. Add back to the pan the meat and the carrots along with the beef stock, bring to the boil and reduce to a gentle simmer (very low heat), cover with a lid and slow cook for about 2 hours.
  3. With a slotted spoon carefully remove the meat & vegetables and decant into an oven proof pie dish, with the gravy still in the pan add the gravy granules and mix through on medium heat to thicken up the gravy slightly. (You don’t want it too thick as it will thicken overnight) Pour the gravy over the meat in the oven dish, allow to cool, cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.
  4. When ready to bake, roll your pastry out and using a pastry brush, brush egg wash around the edge of your pie dish, take the pastry and lay over the dish, pressing the edges to seal. Trim any excess pastry. (which you could use for a wee design) Using a knife, make a small hole in the middle to allow the steam to escape. Brush the pastry with the remaining egg wash and bake in a pre heated oven at 200 deg C for about 25-30 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and cooked.
  5. Serve with your choice of sides. My favourite is Roast Potatoes for New Years Day (perfect Roasties recipe here:-https://cookingwithluce.wordpress.com/2020/12/09/the-best-crispy-roast-potatoes/) and selection of Vegetables. Or any other day we have Mash Potatoes.


Scottish Shortbread

Scottish Shortbread

I do love shortbread, I think it’s mainly because I grew up with it, we would visit my Gran’s house and get shortbread for a snack but more so every New Year as this is the tradition in Scotland.

Through the ‘Taste of Scotland’ scheme that promotes authentic and innovative Scottish cooking, Scottish cuisine has enjoying a renaissance and now many believe that the best food in Britain is to be found north of the Border. The story of shortbread begins with the medieval “biscuit bread”. Any leftover dough from bread making was dried out in a low oven until it hardened into a type of rusk: the word “biscuit” means “twice cooked”. Gradually the yeast in the bread was replaced by butter, and biscuit bread developed into shortbread.

Shortbread was an expensive luxury and for ordinary people, shortbread was a special treat reserved just for special occasions such as weddings, Christmas and New Year. In Shetland it was traditional to break a decorated shortbread cake over the head of a new bride on the threshold of her new home. The custom of eating shortbread at New Year has its origins in the ancient pagan Yule Cakes which symbolised the sun. In Scotland it is still traditionally offered to “first footers” at New Year.

Shortbread is traditionally formed into one of three shapes: one large circle divided into segments (“Petticoat Tails”); individual round biscuits (“Shortbread Rounds”), or a thick rectangular slab cut into “fingers.” However, these days as we see some amazing cookie cutter shapes, they can be cut into whatever you like. As it is the Winter Season here just now, I decided to go for some lovely Snowflake Designs.

From memory when my Gran’s used to make Shortbread, the rule of thumb is always 3,2,1, 3 parts Flour to 2 parts Butter to 1 part sugar. Stick with this and you can’t go wrong.


Makes about 10-12 Shortbreads

115g Plain Flour

55g Rice Flour

115g Butter

55g Sugar (Caster or Icing) – (Extra Sugar to finish)

  1. Pre heat your oven to 150 deg C Fan.
  2. In a mixing bowl cream together the butter and sugar, sift in the flours.
  3. Mix until it resembles bread crumbs, then tip onto a floured surface and work by hand to bring the dough together.
  4. Gently roll out to about 1/2 inch thickness, if using a cutter, cut into your designs and lay onto a greaseproof baking tray. If creating petticoats, press into a round baking tin, or fingers, press into a rectangle baking tin. Now refrigerate for about 20 minutes, this helps the biscuits to stop spreading when being baked. Prick the shortbread with a fork and bake for about 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
  5. Remove from oven and while still hot sprinkle with some sugar to finish. Allow to cool.


Scottish Oat & Pistachio Crusted Cod

Scottish Cod

I am very lucky to live in a Country with an amazing Food Larder and 1 type of Food that Scotland is known for is it’s Fresh Fish, the Scottish Fishing Industry is currently worth around £316 million to Scotland, unfortunately that number has went down recently due to Covid, but at the height back in 2015 it was worth nearly £437 million. Most of its catch comes in from Aberdeen, then some from central and southern areas. Some of the most popular seafood caught in Scotland are mainly shellfish such as Mussels, Shrimp & Crab but also Salmon, Cod, Haddock & Mackerel.

My local Fishmonger Ryan Black, is from a nearby Town called Kirkcaldy which is in the Fife region, they provide a fantastic service and deliver straight to your door, straight from the shore. There is nothing better than getting the freshest fish delivered the same day. I got some lovely pieces of Cod for dinner.

Having some Pistachios in my cupboard to be used, I decided to try my Pistachio Crust recipe with the Cod and it worked a treat….super delicious, healthy and quick mid week meal.

Serves 2

2 Cod Fillets

25g Pistachio’s

20g Scottish Oats

1 Tbsp Mustard Powder or 2 Tsp Dijon Mustard

1 Tbsp Lemon Juice

Salt & Pepper to taste

1 Tsp Dried Parsley or small handful of fresh

  1. Line a baking Tray with greaseproof paper and preheat your oven to fan 210 deg C
  2. Using a processor, blitz the pistachios and oats together with the parsley until roughly chopped
  3. If using mustard powder, take 1 tbsp into a bowl and squeeze 1 tbsp lemon juice in and mix into a paste, leave to sit for 10 minutes to allow flavour to develop.
  4. Lay cod onto baking sheet and spoon the mustard over the fish, season with salt and pepper, then place the pistachio crust mix over the top covering the fish, press down to secure. Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes until opaque.
  5. Serve with a slice of lemon.


The Best Crispy Roast Potatoes

Best Crispy Roast Potatoes

It’s coming up to the Festive time of year when we start planning our Christmas dinner get together. Roast Potatoes are probably one of the most popular side dishes on the table for most households. We all hope for those crispy skins and fluffy insides for our Roasties but sometimes that just doesn’t happen for whatever reason, so this is my foolproof recipe for the most amazing Crispy Roast Potatoes every time . Great for the festive dinner table but also great throughout the year for the perfect accompaniment to a good Sunday Roast dinner. Enjoy.

Serves 4

1kg Maris Piper Potatoes (these are the best kind)

100g Goose Fat (I used high grade Goose Fat from my local Butchers, S.Collins & Son) (you can also use a good Duck Fat too)

2 Tsp Cornflour

Sea Salt Flakes to taste

Rainbow Peppercorns to taste

  1. First place a Baking Tray in an oven and pre heat to Fan 220 deg C.
  2. Peel and cut the potatoes into quarters (or which ever size you prefer), place into a pan of cold water and season with salt. Bring to the boil and reduce to a medium simmer, covered for about 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, spoon the Goose Fat onto the hot baking tray (be careful) and put back into the oven to heat the fat up, about 10 minutes until the fat is smoking slightly.
  4. Drain the water from the potatoes, give the pan a good shake to fluff up the potatoes, sprinkle the cornflour in and give it another shake, keeping the lid on let the potatoes sit for about 10-15 minutes so that the steam can air dry the potatoes. (the Drier the crisper they’ll be)
  5. Carefully with a pair of tongs, place the potatoes onto the baking tray ensuring they are coated with the Goose Fat. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, then turn the potatoes over and bake for a further 15 minutes, turn again and bake for another 15-20 minutes or until all golden brown and crisp.
  6. Serve immediately with a sprinkling of sea salt & some pepper.

Some people add garlic and herbs like rosemary etc, which is fine, but I love my traditional recipes to be traditional, if you get a good potato there is no need for extra flavouring, the duck fat & salt are simply perfect for a roastie.


Braided Pizza Wrap

Pizza Wrap

I do Love Pizza! Pizza originated from Italy and is usually a round or flattened wheat base with cheese and tomatoes. Through the years pizza has had many a different toppings, such as onions, olives, mushrooms, meat and dare I say Pineapple even! Pineapple in our house is very debatable whether it is a good topping or not what’s your take on it? Lol!

I just found out that the term PIZZA was first recorded in the 10th Century in a Latin manuscript from the Italian town of Gaeta, Lazio. Pizza has became one of the most popular foods in the world, especially in Europe and North America. The Baking/Cooking of Pizza varies around the world, with the most popular being a wood fired oven. Unfortunately, I don’t have one of these….yet! lol! I did invest in a Pizza Stone which to me is the next best thing for that perfect crusty base.

Although I am a fan of Traditional Foods, I also do like to experiment and decided to take a look at how I could make Pizza a bit different. Taking the traditional shape dough and filling only the middle then bringing up the sides and over like a calzone almost, this was my creation…..a Braided Style Pizza Wrap.

Makes enough for 2

For the Dough:-

400g Strong Bread Flour

1 Packet of Dried Yeast 7g

Pinch Salt

1 tsp Caster Sugar

1 tbsp Olive Oil

200ml Lukewarm Water

For the Sauce:-

1 400g Tin of Chopped Tomatoes

1 Tsp Dried Garlic Granules or 2 Finely Minced Garlic Cloves

2 Tsp Dried Basil

For the Filling:-

To be honest this is entirely up to your own tastes, this is what I used:-

1 Ball Mozzarella, sliced

100g Grated Cheddar Cheese

Mushrooms, washed, sliced

125g Sliced Hungarian Smoked Sausage (or any smoked sausage) I love the Gyulai Kolbasz as it has a lovely smoked paprika flavour. I recently purchased from the Transylvania Shop in Glasgow, they have amazing foodie finds. https://www.transylvaniashopandcoffee.co.uk/

  1. To prepare the dough, sift flour into a mixer bowl with sugar and salt. Put the lukewarm water into a measuring jug and add the dried yeast, allow the yeast to start to bubble and react, approx 5-10 minutes.
  2. Make a well in the center of the flour mix and add in the olive oil and the yeast mixture and slowly using a dough hook bring the dough together and knead for about 10 minutes or until the dough bounces back when pressed. (alternatively use your hands in a bowl and knead on a floured work surface) Allow to rise at room temperature or in your oven and 40 deg C until it doubles in size, approx 1-2 hours. Once doubled in size, punch back air and shape.
  3. If you have a pizza stone, place on the oven rack and preheat your oven to its highest temperature, usually 250deg C. If not, preheat a baking tray or pizza tray in oven at 220 deg C.
  4. To make the sauce put everything into a pot and heat through for about 5 minutes, using a blender blitz into a smooth sauce.
  5. Meanwhile prepare your pizza wrap. Roll out the dough into a rough rectangle shape.
  6. Spoon some of the pizza sauce down the middle, I measured dough into 3 equal sections. Then add your toppings onto the sauce, starting with the mozzarella first, then the rest.
  7. With a sharp knife make horizontal cuts at either side in the pastry, then one by one and alternating each side, wrap up the pizza, securing the ends.
  8. Reduce your oven temperature to 220 deg C before putting pizza in, slide onto pizza stone or tray and bake for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
  9. Remove and serve. This is also a good sharing idea as you can cut each section into pieces for everyone, great for parties.

Chicken & Bean Tagine

Chicken Tagine

This North African dish is named after the earthenware pot it is traditionally cooked in. I have used Chicken which is simmered with the traditional flavours of sweet spices and vegetables. A Typical Moroccan style dish would use beef which has always been their staple diet with sweet spices & dried fruit. I used my heavy Cast Iron Pot for this, which is great for slow cooking and low temperatures.

If you have read through some of my other recipes, you’ll see that I love One Pot Cooking, it is simple and good for batch cooking if you prepare meals ahead of the week. It also means less dishes to wash…lol!

Serves 2

2 Chicken Breasts – but into big chunks

6 Shallots

2 Carrots – chopped

30g Butter

1 Tsp Saffron

1/2 Tsp Ground Ginger

1 Tbsp Smoked Paprika

1/4 Tsp Ground Cinnamon

200g Tin Broad Beans or Butter Beans (you can even use Chickpeas)

50g Dates (Optional)

Salt & Pepper to taste

Fresh Coriander – Chopped

Fresh Parsley – Chopped

  1. Preheat a little oil in the pot on medium to high heat and brown the chicken.
  2. Peel and chop 3 shallots into rings and 3 into quarters. Add into the pan with the carrots, butter and brown gently.
  3. Pour in 400ml of cold water, just enough to cover the chicken, bring to the boil slowly and reduce to a gentle simmer for about 30 minutes.
  4. Add in the saffron, ginger, paprika, dates(if using) and beans to the chicken pot, stir and put the lid back on, continue to simmer for a further 30 minutes. Season with Salt & Pepper.
  5. Serve and garnish with some chopped coriander and parsley. For a more filling dish you can also serve with some couscous.

Gingerbread & Coconut Kisses

Gingerbread & Coconut Kisses

Oh yum…..these were so tasty. I do love experimenting with flavours and using up what I have in my cupboards, sometimes my best recipes come from emptying my cupboards and using whatever is in there and trying things out…lol!

As it is coming up to the festive season I wanted to try some festive flavours and of course gingerbread is almost one of the all time favourites. With the coconut I wanted to create a snowy feel/look. I call them kisses because of the Jam, when you bite in you get the lovely gingerbread flavour and then the Jam gently kisses the back of your throat….yum! Baked in under 15 minutes these are a perfect quick snack with a cuppa. Will be best up to 3 days stored in an air tight container.

Makes about 20-24

200g Self Raising Flour

100g Rice Flour

1/2 tsp Baking Powder

Pinch Salt

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

40g Softened Butter

100g Dark Brown Sugar

1 Egg

2 Tbsp Honey

Finely Grated Zest of 1 Orange

For the Spice: 1 Tbsp Ground Cinnamon, 1 1/2 Tsp Ground Ginger, 1/2 tsp Ground Cloves

100g Desiccated Coconut

Rasperberry (or any flavour) Jam

2 Tbsp Icing Sugar for decoration.

  1. Preheat oven to 175 deg C Fan. Line Baking Trays with Greaseproof paper
  2. In a bowl beat together the butter, dark sugar, honey, oil, egg and citrus zest until blended.
  3. In a separate bowl mix together flours, salt, spice mix and baking powder. Spoon half of the flour into the wet mixture and bring together, add in the remaining flour mixture and mix until you have a soft dough. It will be slightly sticky, this is o.k., but if too sticky just add a little more flour. Let stand for a few minutes.
  4. Take about 1 Tbsp of the dough and roll into small balls. Place coconut into a bowl and roll each ball into the coconut to cover. Place onto the baking tray and press down with your thumb or finger to make a well in the centre.
  5. Place about 1/2 – 1 Tsp of Jam into the well and bake in the oven for approx 12 – 15 minutes until set. Remove and allow to cool for a few minutes then transfer to a wire rack.
  6. Finish off with a light dusting of Icing Sugar. Serve. Yum!

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Squares

Peanut Butter Squares

OMG! Well what can I say, if you love Peanut Butter like me these are delicious. They are also very light and cut up into small squares they are only about 70 calories per square, so in my book that’s a guilt free treat with my cup of coffee.

We always have a little treat on a Sunday, it’s something to look forward to while we relax and chill after our working week. Peanut butter is a good source of protein, fiber, folate, phosphorus, potassium & magnesium. And yes, peanut butter does have fat, but the fat is monounsaturated, which is more cholesterol-friendly.

I first saw this recipe from a Diabetic Website https://diabeticgourmet.com/ when my mum was a Diabetic, unfortunately I never got round to making them for her. This recipe I change a little to suit our sweet tastes….lol!

Makes 16 small squares

60g Butter

120g Caster Sugar (Splenda if diabetic)

40g Light Brown Sugar

100ml skimmed or semi skimmed milk

60g Peanut Butter

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 egg

120g Self Raising Flour

90g Rolled Oats

1/2 tsp baking powder

Pinch salt

120g Chocolate Chips

1. Beat the butter, caster Sugar and brown sugar until well combined.

2. Stir in milk, peanut butter, egg and vanilla until blended. Gradually mix in combined flour, oats, baking powder and salt until blended. Stir in chocolate chips.

3. Spread mixture evenly into a 9 x 9-inch baking pan covered with greaseproof paper. Bake in preheated 170 deg oven for 25 minutes or until a knife inserted near center comes out clean. Leave to cool on wire rack. Cut into squares.

4. Store in airtight container at room temperature, will be best for up to 3 days.


Timbale of Avocado, Crab & Caviar

Timbale of Avocado, Crabmeat & Caviar

I was lucky recently to have meet Duncan Smith from Duncans Caviar https://www.instagram.com/duncanscaviar/ , who is the Exclusive Scottish Distributor for Royal Belgian Caviar https://royalbelgiancaviar.be/en/caviar. The Royal Belgian Caviar are based in Belgium and home farm their sturgeon for the best quality product. It is a firm favourite with all the Top Chefs. Click link for more information.

I used the Beluga Caviar which leaves a lovely after taste with its rich, Buttery and Creamy notes. Holiday season is fast approaching, so why not treat yourself and indulge, you only live once!

Makes 4

1 Ripe Avocado, peeled and mashed

1 small Red Onion, minced finely

2 tbsp lemon juice

Salt & Pepper to taste

100g Crabmeat

2 tsp Caviar

  1. Mix together the crab meat, seasoning and 1 tbsp lemon juice, set aside
  2. In a separate bowl mix the mashed avocado with the red onion, 1 tbsp lemon juice and seasoning.
  3. For each serving take 1 tbsp of the avocado mix and fill a 1.5″ cookie round, then top with 1 tbsp of the crabmeat mixture, smoothing the surface as you go. Ensure your plate has been refrigerated before hand. Put back into the fridge for 10 minutes, this makes it easier to remove the cutter and stay in tact when removed.
  4. When ready to serve, remove the cutter and finish off with a little Caviar.

These little bitesize timbales are great for a party or get together, the avocado and crabmeat give the creamy base some texture and the delicate topping of the Caviar makes these super decadent. Serve with a glass of Champagne for ultimate taste sensation.


Bannock Bread (Traditional Scottish Bread)

In Scotland, before the 19th century, bannocks were cooked on a bannock stane (Scots for stone), a large, flat, rounded piece of sandstone, placed directly onto a fire, used as a cooking surface. Most modern bannocks are cooked in a pan or skillet and made with baking powder as a leavening agent, giving them a light and airy texture. Bannocks were known as flat cakes or bread baked from grains, although if you visit the town of Selkirk in the Scottish Borders their Bannocks are more like fruit loaves.

This is a very quick bread and great with any traditional soup recipe, especially a good Cullen Skink, which you can find my recipe here – https://cookingwithluce.wordpress.com/2020/11/09/cullen-skink/

Makes 1 small (6 piece) cake

120g of Scottish Oats – I blitz Scottish Porridge Oats into a fine flour.

80g Plain Flour

2 tsps Baking Powder

Pinch Salt

150ml Buttermilk

  1. In a bowl or mixer combine the flour, oats, salt and baking powder
  2. Slowly mix in the Buttermilk, little at a time until the flour has combined, lay on a floured surface and shape the dough to about 1″ thick and about the same circular diameter as your pan. Indent the dough about 0.5 – 1cm in, as if you were cutting a pizza shape.
  3. Heat a little oil in a pan or skillet on medium heat (you don’t want it too hot or it won’t cook through properly), place dough into pan and cook gently for about 15 minutes on 1 side then flip over and cook for a further 10-15 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.
  4. Remove and place on a bread board, allow to cool for a few minutes then serve.

I usually have this bread with Soup but you could also spread a little butter or Jam and would be just as nice.

Bannock Bread


Cullen Skink

Cullen Skink is an authentic Scottish Thick Soup from Cullen, North East Scotland. It’s main ingredients are Smoked Haddock, Potatoes and Onion, which makes a lovely home comforting dish that lasts through the years. It’s one of our most popular dishes in my household, especially in the Autumn/Winter Seasons. Traditionally it is served with bread.

Initially, Cullen Skink referred to a type of broth made with the scrapings of beef from the front legs of cattle, hence ‘Skink’ as this means shin. Hard times in the early 1890s left the Northern people unable to buy this product. By this time, Cullen Harbour (completed in 1819) had become the thriving centre of herring fishing and the village also specialised in the production of smoked haddock. With many families in the local villages having a fishing background, they turned to smoked haddock which was in plentiful supply. By using smoked haddock and various other products all put together, a distinctive delicious soup was made.

Makes 2 large bowls

2 Smoked Haddock Fillets

1 White Onion, Diced

1/2 Leek, sliced, white part only

350g White Potatoes, peeled and diced

300ml Milk

100ml Single Cream or Creme Friache

1 Bay Leaf

40g Butter

Salt & Pepper to taste

Handful of Chopped Parsley

  1. Melt the butter in a pan and add the onion & leeks, cook for a
    few minutes then add the potatoes and continue to cook for a
    few minutes.
  2. Add the milk, bay leaf & season. Bring to the boil then reduce
    to a simmer. Gently add the haddock to the pot and simmer
    gently for about 15 minutes.
  3. Using a slotted spoon remove the haddock,from the pan place
    onto a chopping board and remove the skin, break into
    chunks, add back to the pan along with the cream and mix
    through, heat through gently for a few minutes.
  4. Remove the Bay leaf and sprinkle over the parsley then serve into bowls.
A Bowl of Cullen Skink


Mini Caviar Cocktails

Mini Caviar Cocktail

I was so lucky to receive some Beluga Caviar from Duncans Caviar https://www.instagram.com/stories/duncanscaviar/2437284876312845688/

by Royal Belgian Caviar Company

https://royalbelgiancaviar.be/en/caviar/beluga

I received the Osietra and Beluga Caviar and so excited to try. The Royal Belgian Caviar are based in Belgium and home farm their sturgeon for the best quality product. Click above link for more information.

Duncan Smith is the Exclusive Scottish Distributor for this excellent product, check out his Instagram above for more information.

I was looking for something a bit more sophisticated for my afternoon tea, so something in a cocktail glass sounded good. This little dish is great for the party season coming up or if you just fancy treating yourself like we did.

The Beluga Caviar leaves a lovely after taste with its rich, Buttery and Creamy notes.

Makes 4 Glasses

4-6 tbsps of Sour Cream or Creme Fraiche (both work well)

1 Medium Avocado

2 tbsp Minced Red Onion

2 tbsp Lemon Juice

1 tsp Chopped Fresh Dill

1 Small Plum Tomato – chopped finely

1 Boiled Egg, peeled and chopped finely

Salt & Pepper to taste

1 tsp Caviar (do not use metal spoon as it can effect the taste)

  1. Spoon the creme fraiche or sour cream into the glass.
  2. Mash the avocado with a fork and mix in the onion, lemon juice, dill and seasoning. Put 1-2 tbsps into the glass on top of the cream.
  3. Sprinkle some of the chopped egg and tomato on top then finish with a small spoonful of caviar an sprig of dill.


Spicy Carrot & Parsnip Soup

Spicy Carrot & Parsnip Soup

It is definitely soup season, nights are getting darker, air is getting colder and a bowl of warm soup is the perfect recipe after a long days work. If you are looking for a really tasty soup that is simple to make with simple store cupboard ingredients then this is for you. The things I love about soup is that you can make a huge pot and freezer it for later. Tasty cooking can not get any simpler than this.

I harvested some of my Carrots and Parsnips at the weekend, so this was what I had decided upon. With some good quality crusty bread on the side this is perfect for lunch or dinner. The bright orange colour also brightens up your dinner table.

Full of nutrition too, with Carrots & Parsnips both being full of good Vitamin C this can help boost your immune system at this time of year and very low in calories too. Lets not forget the spices, with cumin being a great aid for the digestive system and also full or iron. Garlic, with its active compounds which can help reduce blood pressure and also combat sickness including the common cold. Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory and a powerful antioxidant, was classed as a Superfood too. It’s a win, win soup for me this season.

Vegetable Harvest, Carrots & Parsnips

Serves 4

8 Medium Size Carrots, Chopped (I keep the skin on but you can peel if you prefer)

6 Medium Size Parsnips, Peeled & Chopped

3 Celery Stalks, Chopped

1 White Onion, Chopped

1 tbsp Olive Oil

1 tsp Ginger Granules or 1 tbsp freshly grated Ginger

1 tsp Garlic Powder or 2 garlic cloves – minced

1 tsp Cumin

1 tsp Ground Coriander

1 tsp Turmeric

1.5 litres good Vegetable Stock

Salt & Pepper to taste

A Little Swirl of Cream to serve and a sprinkling of pumpkin or sunflower seeds (Optional)

Crusty Bread to serve (Optional)

  1. Pre heat the oil in a large pot on medium to high heat, add the onions and celery and cook until onions are translucent.
  2. Add in the spices (cumin, garlic, coriander, turmeric, ginger) and mix through until coated.
  3. Add in the parsnips, carrots and vegetable stock, season & bring to the boil then reduce and simmer for 25-30 minutes.
  4. Take off the heat and using a hand blender, blend the vegetables to make a smooth thick consistancey.
  5. Serve into bowl and finish with a swirl of cream and sprinkle of seeds.

You can keep soup in a fridge for about 3 days and freezer for up to 3 months.


Beetroot & Goats Cheese Bites

Beetroot & Goats Cheese Bites

I recently visited Transylvania Shop & Coffee in Glasgow, https://www.transylvaniashopandcoffee.co.uk/, the shop opened this year and they are so passionate about their home produce and Country. Everything that you could wish for from Transylvania, Romania, they have it. Their selection is vast and all excellent quality produce, from grocery store to a cake store to even coffee, yes they have it all. If you are a foodie and love seeking out new products then this shop is for you. If you are a massive Dracula fan, like me, and just love everything Transylvanian then you must visit this shop, you will not be disappointed.

Transylvania Shop & Coffee

On my visit I decided to try out some Romanian Meats, Cheeses, Coffee and of course their awesome selection of cakes, honestly, I have never seen anything like it……mouth watering flavours and designs that just take your breath away.

Coming soon is a season of get togethers and this gives us the opportunity to share all things food. I believe food brings people together, whether it’s just around the table in your home or different families & friends coming together for a celebration, there is always food around. With the recent Lockdown situations this year it has definitely given people more time to spend at home and to find their new love of food, be it baking with the kids or experimenting on using up store cupboard essentials to create new recipes, we have all tried something new. I would like to help with this journey and give you some new ideas. Please have a look around my blog, hopefully you will find your inner chef too!

This recipe brings both of the above together, I used a fabulous Romania Goats Cheese from the Transylvania shop and harvested some Beetroot from my garden to make these little bites, they are perfect for that get together event, or even just a simple snack for something different with the family in your home.

Makes about 20

About 4 Medium Sized Beetroots – Pre cooked

100g Goats Cheese (preferably the LaColline)

Handful of Pistachio’s or Walnuts, chopped

Cocktails sticks to hold together and a choice of your cutter shape (I used a star from my cookie cutter selection)

  1. Using a cutter, cut out the beetroot and goats cheese into your desired shape. Make sure the Beetroot is slightly bigger than the goats cheese. Stack the goats cheese on top of the beetroot, sprinkle your choice of nuts/seeds and secure with a cocktail stick. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

FREE Autumn E Book Available to Download

Autumn Recipe E Book

Hello Everyone,

I do love Autumn Time it has to be one of my favourite seasons, the crisp air, the colours on the trees, the celebrations and more. It is also my favourite season for food and drink, warming bowls of soup, seasonal vegetables like beetroot, carrots, squash and not forgetting pumpkin. I have put together some of my favourite Autumnal recipes for you. Click below to sign up if you haven’t already & I’ll send straight to your inbox to download.


Lentil & Squash Dhansak

Lentil & Squash Dhansak

This quick and easy vegetarian meal is perfect for those Autumn and Wintry Days, a warming bowl of goodness in your tummy. Full or nutrition and good vitamins, with only around 300 calories per bowl is a great healthy option to a takeaway Curry. This is also a good recipe to batch cook with. You can serve with a toasted naan on the side for a more filling meal.

Serves 4

300g Sweet Potato – chopped and diced into 2cm cubes

300g Butternut Squash – chopped and diced into 2cm cubes

2 White Onions, diced

2 tbsps Mild Curry Powder

2 tbsps Garam Masala Powder

1 x 400g Tin Chopped Tomatoes

1 x 400g Tin Coconut Milk

1 x 400g Tin Green Lentils

200g Spinach – chopped

Sunflower & Pumpkin Seeds to garnish (yoghurt optional)

  1. Steam cook the Sweet Potato & Butternut Squash, place in a microwaveable bowl with 2 tbsps water and cover, cook on medium level for 10 minutes. (you could always roast in oven for about 35 mins too)
  2. While cooking add a little oil to a pan and cook the onions until softened, add the curry powder, garam masala powder and mix through. Add the tin tomatoes and coconut milk, bring to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes to allow sauce to thicken slightly.
  3. To the sauce add the sweet potato and butternut squash along with the lentils and spinach, season and mix through, allow to simmer for a few minutes.
  4. Serve into bowls and garnish with a sprinkle of seeds.

Asparagus, Pea, Bean & Rice Bowl

Asparagus Rice Bowl

I am always looking for new ideas to be healthier in my Dinner choices, I used to think healthy meant you’d always be hungry after….lol. In this dish it is the complete opposite, with the addition of the rice & beans it was very filling and kept me satisfied all night, and with only 400 calories & 29g protein per serving, it was super healthy too.

You can always add some flaked Salmon for that extra nutrition.

Serves 2-3

Handful of Asparagus, trimmed & chopped

Handful of Green Beans, timmed & chopped

Handful of Peas

150g Wholegrain Rice (or for quickness, you could use prepacked rice)

100g Baby Spinach, chopped

1 x 400g Tin of Mixed Salad Beans (or any beans that you prefer, just not Baked!)

Zest & Juice of 1 Lemon

2 tsp Dijon Mustard

1 tbsp Olive Oil

Pinch Sugar

Handful freshly Chopped Coriander

Rainbow Pepper or Black Pepper

  1. Cook the asparagus, green beans and peas in a pan of boiling water for 2-3 mins until tender. Drain.
  2. Cook the Rice as per packet instructions and drain.
  3. Heat the mixed salad beans in a pan for 4-5 minutes.
  4. In a large bowl, put the rice, asparagus, green beans, peas, mixed salad beans & spinach, mix through until combined.
  5. In a small bowl, mix together, olive oil, dijon mustard, lemon juice & zest and pinch sugar, pour over the rice bowl and mix through. Sprinkle over some fresh coriander and pepper then serve.
Bowl of Asparagus, Bean & Rice

Chipotle Chicken & Smoky Salsa

Chipotle Chicken on Toasted Sourdough Bread

Oh yum, this was delicious, chipotle is a smoky & spicy flavour from Mexico. A chipotle pepper is a dry, smoked jalapeno pepper. They are most commonly made from red jalapenos. However, you can also use ripe green jalapenos as well. Chipotle peppers are added to any dish that could use a smoky flavor with a little heat. For this recipe I used a Chipotle paste. A quick and easy full of flavour dinner.

Serves 2

2 Chicken Breasts

1 tbsp oil

1 Medium White Onion, diced

1 tsp Smoked Paprika

1 tsp Cumin

1 tbsp of Chipotle Paste

1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

100ml Passata

1 tbsp Brown Sugar

4 slices of Sourdough Bread or you can serve with Tortilla’s

For the Salsa:-

8-10 Cherry tomatoes – quartered

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tsp chipotle paste

1/2 red onion – finely diced

chopped coriander

Freshly squeezed Lime & Lemon Juice

Seasoning to taste.

  1. Using a Blender/Food processor, whiz up the chicken breast into a mince like consistancey
  2. Heat the oil in a fry pan and brown the onion and minced chicken, breaking up the chicken as you cook
  3. Add in the cumin, paprika, chipotle paste, vinegar, passata and sugar and mix through until chicken is coated.
  4. Cook for about 10-15 minutes
  5. To make the salsa, place everything in a bowl and mix together, set aside.
  6. Toast your Sourdough bread, remove chicken from heat and serve on top of bread. Serve with Salsa.

FREE E Books

Home Comfort Autumn Recipe E Book

NEW E Book Launch….AVAILABLE TO DOWNLOAD NOW!


One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if not has not dined well.

Virginia Woolf

If you are looking for some new ideas to share with yourself and your family, look no further. I am going to be sharing some of my favourite recipes with you. Every month I will launch my E Book that you can download, print and keep forever or feel free to share with your family & friends. My E Books will be easy to follow with simple recipes that you and your whole family can enjoy.

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Cheesy Potato Stacks

Cheesy Potato Stacks

These little Cheesy Potato Stacks are so tasty and so easy to make, a great little lunchtime snack or side dish for the whole family. You can also make it to suit your tastes, I used paprika spice and herbs but you could try Rosemary, Thyme or even Chilli. Great thing with these is you can freeze them and used them later in the week. Great snack box bites too.

Makes 12

3-4 Large Potatoes – I used King Edwards but Russet works well too.

1 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese (choose a quality melting cheese)

Butter for Muffin Tin

Rainbow Peppercorns & Salt to season

1 tsp Smoked Paprika (or any other spice)

2 tsp Dried Mixed Herbs (or any other herbs)

  1. Preheat your oven to 200 deg C fan (400 F)
  2. In a bowl mix the grated cheese with salt, pepper & mixed herbs
  3. Grease your muffin tin with a little butter
  4. Wash & dry your potatoes thoroughly, keeping the skin on, thinly slice the potatoes, using a mandoline or slicer attachment is best. Pat dry the slices of potatoes, you don’t want them too moist or they won’t crisp up in oven.
  5. Take about 2 slices and lay in bottom of muffin tin, next sprinkle over some of the cheese mix, then another layer of 2 slices of potato and so on, until the stack is just above the muffin tin, (I had about 6 layers), finishing with a sprinkle of cheese mix. (the potatoes will shrink when cooked)
  6. Sprinkle on top a little pinch of paprika spice and cover loosely with kitchen tin foil and bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
  7. Remove foil and continue to bake for a further 25-30 minutes or until the potatoes are soft and crisp.
  8. Remove from oven and allow to cool in the muffin tin, this will make it easier to remove and hold their shape. Serve. Yum!


My Interview – Getting to know me

Hello & Welcome, grab a drink, take 5 minutes and lets have a chat.

With thanks to Chef Julie @ https://noshwithchefjulie.com/, for taking some time to chat with me. First time, I have taken some time out to actually think about my Blog, normally I go into autopilot, so was lovely to do this.

Take a little visit to Julie’s Blog, it’s wonderful and full of great ideas. While you are there have a wee read of my interview and get to know me. Once again thank you for visiting.

Click here to read https://noshwithchefjulie.com/interview-with-karen-crossan/


Harissa Spice Beef Soup

A Bowl of Harissa Spice Beef Soup

A Moroccan inspired recipe and perfect for coming into the Winter months, it’s hearty, filling and warming. It is also a great batch cook recipe, make the soup up to 3 days ahead, cover and keep in the fridge. Freeze portions in food bags for up to 3 months. Add a splash of water when reheating.

Serves 4

300g Scottish Steak Mince (or any good quality beef mince)

1 Red Onion – chopped

1 Garlic Clove – crushed

400g Tin Tomatoes

1 tbsp Gram Masala

2 tsps Harissa Paste

1 litre Beef Stock

250g Puy Lentils (I used the pre cooked ones from Merchant Gourmet, my fav)

1 tbsp Dried Coriander

150g Spinach, chopped

1 tbsp Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper

  1. Heat a little oil in a casserole dish on medium to high heat, add the mince with seasoning and brown, about 6-8 minutes, remove with a slotted spoon.
  2. Add the onion and garlic and cook for a few minutes until softened. Add in the Gram Masala, Harissa Paste and stir, next add the tin tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes to reduce down slightly.
  3. Return the mince to the pot with the beef stock, bring to the boil then simmer and cook covered for about 30 minutes.
  4. Add the lentils, spinach and coriander to the pot and cook uncovered for 10 minutes.
  5. Serve into bowls.


Black Pudding, Beetroot & goats cheese salad

Black Pudding, Beetroot Salad & Goats Cheese Salad

I’ve loads of Beetroot growing in my garden just now and perfect season for it too, so decided on a little treat for lunch today. Certainly beats the Ryvita’s….lol.

Beetroot is packed with essential nutrients, beetroots are a great source of fiber, folate (vitamin B9), manganese, potassium, iron, and vitamin C. Beetroots and beetroot juice have been associated with numerous health benefits, including improved blood flow, lower blood pressure, and increased exercise performance.

Perfect pairing with Beetroot for me is definitely Stornoway Black Pudding & Goats Cheese, just so yummy! I served with some Homegrown Spinach too.

Serves 2

4 large Beetroots – Cooked and Sliced into bite size chunks

60g Goats Cheese

4 Slices of Black pudding

1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

Pinch salt

1 tsp Mixed Herbs

Handful of Spinach – chopped

Sunflower & Pumpkin Seeds to top

  1. Place Beetroot into a bowl, add balsamic vinegar, salt & mixed herbs and mix through.
  2. Cook Black Pudding in a pan on medium to high heat for about 3-4 minutes each side with a little oil. Remove and pat dry, break up into bite size pieces and add to beetroot and mix through.
  3. Chop up the spinach and lay on a plate, top with the beetroot and black pudding then tear the goats cheese over and serve with pumpkin & sunflower seeds.
Plate of Black pudding, Beetroot & Goats Cheese

Smoked Haddock Pasta

Smoked Haddock Pasta with White Cheese Sauce

Pasta is such a staple food in most households and I think one of the easiest fast foods around. It can be made healthier by using the Wholewheat variety. When eaten in moderation, pasta can be part of a healthy diet. Wholewheat pasta may be a better choice for many, as it is lower in calories and carbs but higher in fiber and nutrients. However, in addition to the type of pasta you pick, what you top it with is just as important.

This dish uses Scottish Smoked Haddock, fresh from my favourite fishmongers in Pittenweem, Ryan Black, they deliver straight from the Shore to your door.

It also uses some of my fresh vegetables from my garden….yum!

Makes enough for 2

2 pieces of Smoked Haddock (or any fish you like)

150g Wholewheat pasta

2 Carrots – chopped

Handful of Broccoli

Handful of peas

3 Sweet mini peppers – chopped

Salt & pepper to taste

White Cheese Sauce to serve (recipe here https://cookingwithluce.wordpress.com/2020/10/03/white-cheese-sauce/)

  1. I used my Steam pot for my Combi Microwave for this recipe, but if you don’t have Steamer just cook your pasta as per packet instructions. In a pan, bring some water to the boil add your vegetables and simmer for 4 minutes until softened. (you could use frozen vegetables or tinned vegetables for this too). Bring a large pan of water to the boil, bring to a simmer and add in your fish, cook for about 10 minutes.
  2. If you have a Steam pot, add the pasta with 300ml water to the base, then your fish and vegetables onto the grid and cook on Pasta Setting for 7 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, make your sauce as per above recipe.
  4. Remove fish and place onto a chopping board and remove the skin, break up into bite size pieces.
  5. Drain your pasta and vegetables. Add the vegetables to the pasta then pour over the sauce mixture and mix through, add in the fish, mix and serve.


White Cheese Sauce

White Cheese Sauce

A Simple basic recipe for White Cheese Sauce that can be used for Pasta Dishes, Fish Dishes, Vegetable Gratin dishes and so much more. The great thing is that it just takes 5 minutes to make, super simple and super quick.

Makes enough for 4 portions

500ml Milk

4 tbsp Plain Flour

70g Butter

150g Mature Cheddar Cheese (almost any grated cheese works like Gruyere to Emmental)

Rainbow pepper to taste

  1. Place milk, butter and flour into a large pan and heat on medium to heat. Start to Whisk and continue to whisk fast until the sauce starts to bubble and thicken, continue to whisk for a few minutes until your desired consistency (I like it quite thick so about 3 mins).
  2. Add the grated cheese to the mixture and whisk through until the cheese melts.
  3. Season with some pepper and serve.
White Cheese Sauce

Chicken & Bacon Hotpot

Chicken & Bacon Hotpot

It is my favourite time of the year, Autumn, the colours on the trees, the fresh crisp air, walks in the park, comfy jumpers and warming food. What’s not to like? After harvesting some of my vegetables from the garden today I decided to use them in this warming Hotpot. Nothing says home comfort food that a big pot a deliciousness & straight from the garden too.

The good thing with this recipe is that you can use just about any root vegetable and it will work just as good.

Some of my winter harvest this morning. Parsnips, Carrots & Potatoes

Makes enough for 2 large portions

4 Large Potatoes, cut into bite size pieces

2 Large carrots, cut into bite size pieces

2 Parsnips, peeled and cut into bite size pieces

1 Onion, sliced into wedges

6-8 Rashers of Smoked Bacon, sliced

2 Chicken Breasts, cut into chunks

500ml Chicken Stock

1 tsp oil

1 tsp Nutmeg

1 garlic clove, crushed

Salt & Pepper to taste

Cornflour to thicken sauce if needed.

1 tbsp flour

  1. First coat the chicken with seasoning and the flour, heat the oil in a large pot or casserole dish then brown the chicken and remove.
  2. Add in the garlic & nutmeg along with the onion and fry until softened then add the bacon and fry until cooked slightly, few minutes.
  3. Add to the pan the potatoes, carrots, parsnips and mix, then add in the chicken stock & bring to the boil.
  4. Reduce to a low simmer and cook covered for about 2 hours. Alternatively you can cook in the oven at 140 deg for about 2 hours.
  5. Remove lid and if you like a thick sauce like me just add a little cornflour and stir through. 1 tsp mixed with water should be enough.
  6. Serve with some lovely fresh crusty bread. Or if you are Scottish it has to be Plain Bread!

Chicken & Chorizo Pasta Bake

Chicken & Chorizo Pasta Bake

Oh yum! Today was absolutely stoating it down (heavy rain) and very Dreich (dull, moody) weather, so it was a warming pasta bake for dinner. Not only is pasta filling but this dish is simple and easy to make, great for a family meal or just when you are looking for something comforting to warm you up. The recipe uses a lot of store cupboard essentials so easy to put together.

Dish of Chicken & Chorizo Pasta Bake

Serves 2 large portions (or 4 small)

100g Wholewheat Pasta (again your choice, I used Fusilli)

2 Chicken Breasts

1 onion – chopped

1 red pepper – chopped

Olive oil

1 Garlic clove – crushed or 1 tsp ground granules

1 tsp dried Italian herbs or Oregano

200g Chopped tomatoes

200ml Chicken Stock

100ml Milk (or cream)

Handful of Spinach leaves, chopped

Handful of frozen peas

100g Grated Cheese (I used cheddar)

1 tsp Chilli flakes (optional, if you like it spicy)

1 tsp Paprika (for sprinkling on top)

80g Chopped Chorizo

Salt & Pepper

  1. Heat a little oil in a fry pan and preheat your oven to 190 deg fan.
  2. Brown the onions & red pepper with the garlic in the fry pan until softened, add in the chorizo and cook for a few minutes then add the chicken, season & brown chicken on all sides for a few minutes.
  3. Once browned, add in the chopped tomatoes, chicken stock, milk, herbs and chilli (if using) to the pan and mix through, bring to the boil and reduce to a low simmer, cover and cook for at least an 1 hr.
  4. Meanwhile cook your pasta as per packet instructions.
  5. Using 2 forks, remove the lid from the pan and shred your chicken breasts (if you prefer chunks, that’s fine but I like it shredded)
  6. Add in the frozen peas and Spinach and cook for a further few minutes.
  7. Drain your pasta and add to the pan and mix through.
  8. Now decant the pasta chicken into an ovenproof dish and grate the cheese on top with a sprinkle of paprika and salt & pepper to season.
  9. Bake on middle shelf for about 25 minutes. Serve. Yum!

Chicken & Chorizo Pasta Bake


Scottish Mince ‘n’ tatties

Mince ‘n’ Tatties

Mince ‘n’ Tatties (Mince & Potatoes) is a traditional Scottish dish and one that will never go away. Historically it was popular in school canteens because it was easy to make batches and feed lots of children. I grew up with mince ‘n’ tatties, at least once a week we would have this dish, whether it be at home, my grannies house or my Auntie’s it was a household meal that satisfied everyone every time.

There is no wrong or right way to make this, but does need to include minced beef and root vegetables such as onions & carrots. Here is my version and always a winner in my house. The only debate we always have is Brown Sauce or Tomato Sauce? Maybe you’ll make it and let me know…lol!

Best served with a buttered Scottish plain outsider slice too…….oh….this is a must! Or even a Scottish plain mince ‘n’ tattie piece (Sandwich)! Haven’t tried it….go on I dare you….you won’t look back…trust me!

Scottish Plain Bread

Serves 2

For the Mince

250g Scottish Steak Mince

1 onion – chopped

1 Carrot – chopped

Handful of garden peas (frozen is fine)

200ml Beef Stock

1 tbsp Beef Gravy granules

Salt & Black pepper

Splash of Worcestershire Sauce (optional)

For the Tatties

400g Potatoes (ones good for mash)

2 tbsp butter

  1. Heat a little oil in a pan on medium heat and brown the onions, then add the mince, season with plenty black pepper and salt to taste and brown.
  2. Add into the pot the carrots, peas and beef stock, mix and bring to the boil, then simmer gently for about 30 minutes.
  3. Next stir through the gravy granules to thicken the sauce, cook for a further 5 minutes. At this stage if using worcestershire sauce, then stir through.
  4. Meanwhile, cook potatoes in slightly salted water until soft, drain and mash with the butter.
  5. Serve.
Mince n Tatties

Go on, go back to your school days and use an ice cream scoop for yer tatties! In our households as kids and still to this day, we wouldn’t eat it like this…..oh no…..we would mix the tatties with the mince on the plate then cover in sauce….this is where the debate of Brown or Tomato sauce comes in…lol! Sometimes too we would make a piece with scottish plain bread and the mix of M&T’s in the middle…oh yum! You gotta try this. Proper home comfort food.


Chicken Curry with Almond Milk

Chicken Curry Pot

Who doesn’t love a Curry? Especially when it’s a healthier version. This Curry came about when I was trying to use up leftover Almond Milk, nutritionally, store-bought almond milk (like Alpro or Almond Breeze)  is a low-calorie product with about 56 calories per 100ml. It’s typically low in fat, with just 1.5g per 100g – all of which is largely unsaturated fat.

This Curry is a great family curry as its low in spice but with great flavour. It’s also great if you love batch cooking as you can make a hug pot and freeze into portions.

Chicken Curry with Almond Milk

Serves 2

2 Chicken Breasts – cut into chunks

1 tbsp olive oil

Salt & Pepper

1 tbsp Tomato Paste

300ml Almond Milk

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp Chilli powder

Handful of Cauliflower Florets (I used frozen)

Handful of Peas (I used frozen)

Curry Paste (see below)

Curry Paste:

1 Onion

1 tsp garlic granules

1 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp ground turmeric

1 tsp gram masala

Sea salt

  1. Mix all the Curry Paste ingredients into a blender and mix until you get a smooth paste.
  2. Heat a little oil in a pan on medium to high heat, add chicken, season and brown.
  3. Add the Curry paste to the pan and heat through for about 2 minutes.
  4. Next add the tomato paste, almond milk, cinnamon and chilli powder and mix through.
  5. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer on low for about 1 hour. 15 minutes before serving add in the cauliflower & peas, mix through and cook for remaining time.
  6. I served with some of my Chickpea Chaptai’s. https://cookingwithluce.wordpress.com/2020/08/29/chickpea-chapati/
Chickpea Chapati


Chickpea Chapati

Chickpea Chapati

I am always looking for healthier options but without compromise on flavour so I decided to try Chickpea flour to make my Chapati’s. This recipe was so much better than my traditional one, so much more flavour and healthier too. These Chapati’s are much lighter on the tummy too. Chickpea Flour or known as Gram Flour or Besan is low in Saturated Fat, and very low in Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Dietary Fiber & Magnesium.

Makes 4-6

100g Gram Flour

100g Plain Flour

1 tsp salt

100ml Milk

1 tsp olive oil

  1. Mix the flours & salt together, then slowly add in the milk then the olive oil and bring together to a soft dough. Wrap in cling film and allow to rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
  2. To bake, heat a little olive oil in a hot pan. Cut the dough into six equal sections and roll out with a rolling pin. Place into the pan a cook until you see the bubbles appear then flip over to the other side and cook for a further minute. If you are like my other half and like it a bit well done, keep your pan on a very high heat. (Beware the smokey room…lol!)
  3. Remove and pat any excess oil. Serve.


My Best Beef Chilli Recipe

Beef Chilli Taco

The weather was turning a bit colder this weekend & there is no better dish than a warm chilli to heat your soul. I decided to slow cook this time and it definitely paid off as the flavours were more intense and the sauce lovely and thick. Chilli is always good the second day too, so this can be made in advance. Some cooks swear by lots of different spices from mustard powder to even cinnamon & I’ve even heard of chocolate in chilli…..(not sure about than one…lol), this combination I found works for me.

Pot of Beef Chilli

Serves 2

250-300g Scottish Beef Mince

1 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil

1 Red Onion – Diced

1 Red Pepper – Diced

1 Garlic Clove – crushed (or 1 tsp garlic granules)

1 tbsp tomato puree

1 tbsp chilli powder

1 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

Salt & Black pepper to taste

1 tsp Herb mix (oregano, basil, coriander)

1 x 225g kidney beans

1 x 400g chopped tin tomatoes

1 Beef oxo cube

150ml water

  1. Heat the oil in a casserole dish or large pan on medium to high heat & fry the onions with the garlic until softened. Add in the Red pepper and cook for a further few minutes until softened.
  2. Add in the Beef mince, season and brown.
  3. Add in the tomato puree, spices & mix through.
  4. To the pot add the kidney beans and tin tomatoes & mix. Sprinkle over the beef oxo cube & the herbs, add in the water, bring to the boil, cover and simmer on a low heat for about 2-3 hours. If the sauce hasn’t thickened, remove lid and cook uncovered for about 10-15 minutes to help thicken sauce.
  5. I Served with Taco’s, Grated Cheese and sprinkled some fresh spring onions on top…yum! Also nice served with rice and soured cream.

Chicken & Chickpea Thai Cakes

Chicken & Chickpea Thai Cakes

These little cakes are so easy to make and quick too, a great mid week dinner or even a quick lunch bite. What’s even better is that they are healthy, low in fat & low in calories at just 150 per cake.

Makes 8

2 Chicken Breasts

4 Spring Onions – chopped finely

1 tsp garlic granules or 2 garlic cloves, crushed

1/2 tsp ginger or 1″ fresh ginger chopped finely

1 tbsp dried coriander

2 tsps Soy Sauce

Zest & Juice of 1 lime

Salt & Pepper

1 tin of Chickpeas drained (400g)

1 tsp dried chilli flakes

Sweet Chilli Sauce to serve.

  1. Preheat oven to 180 deg and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
  2. Using of food processor blitz the chickpeas and chicken until minced.
  3. In a bowl mix everything together with your hands and form 8 small cakes about 1cm thick, place onto baking paper and bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
  4. Serve with some Sweet Chilli Sauce. Yum!
Chicken & Chickpea Thai Cakes