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.
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)
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)
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.
Add in the cumin, coriander, garam masala, fenugreek powder, biacarbonate soda, rice flour, oil, water and Irn-Bru, give it a good mix together.
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.
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://theweecaledoniancook.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.
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)
Milk to Bind
Preheat your oven to 180 deg. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
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)
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.
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.
Bake in the oven for about 15-20 minutes until lightly golden and risen.
Remove and allow to cool. Serve with butter, chutney or anything you fancy really.
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
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.
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)
Put a tbsp of butter into a pan and saute the spring onions until soft, just a few minutes.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Preheat your oven to 200 deg and bake for about 20-25 minutes. Serve with some cool mayo or tomato relish.
These can be frozen and kept up to 3 months too, so great for batch cooking.
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!
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)
Place everything in a bowl a mix trough to combine. Serve.
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.
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.
Add salt just before serving to keep the cucumbers from wilting and becoming overly juicy.
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.
2 Large Chicken Breasts, cooked & shredded
1 Onion, chopped
1 Red Pepper, chopped
1 Garlic Clove, chopped
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
Preheat oven to 200 deg fan.
In a pan heat the spray oil and fry the onions, pepper and garlic for a few minutes to soften.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Heat the sesame oil in a deep pot/pan on medium to high heat and season & brown the chicken breasts.
Add to the pot the garlic & onions and cook for a couple of minutes until softened.
Pour in Teriyaki Sauce, put lid on pan and cook on a very low heat for about 3 hours.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.