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 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.

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.