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.


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://theweecaledoniancook.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


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.


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


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!



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!



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.