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

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

Roasted Beetroot Salad

Roasted Beetroot Salad

As you may know I started my very first Raised Vegetable Beds this year, it’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a while but as the story goes, we work & we work and never seem to find time to start anything. This was the year that I was finally going to put a plan of action together, ordered my raised beds, got them all painted and treated, filled them up, planted the seeds and waited. I can’t tell you how exciting it was to see my first little green shoot pop up.

I love Beetroot, so that was the first seed planted and I am now starting to harvest them. Oh my, freshness, freshness, freshness…..there is nothing better that eating straight from your garden, I harvested some yesterday and decided on a lovely refreshing salad today for my lunch.

Fresh Beetroot from my garden

How to Roast Beetroot

First wash all the mud etc off of the beets and trim of the stalks & leaves, but keep the leaves aside for later. If not using straight away, store in a perforated plastic bag in the salad bins in your fridge, these will keep for about 2 weeks.

Beetroot & Beetroot Leaves Storage in Fridge

Using Tin foil, place the Beets (with the skin on) on and sprinkle a little olive oil & salt, wrap up into a parcel, not too tightly as you want the steam to help cook the beets, then bake on a tray in centre of your oven at 200 deg for about 45 minutes.

Remove and allow steam to escape from parcel then allow to cool slightly. At this stage, I advise to wear gloves, you WILL get Beetroot stained if you don’t…lol! With gloves on gently rub the skin and you’ll notice it comes away very easily, remove all the skin and slice into wedges or bite sized pieces. Yum!

Using the saved leaves, these can be cooked just like Kale. Bring a pan of water to the boil add a little salt and blanch for a few minutes, remove and drain excess water through a colander/sieve. I love the colour of the water here too.

Place leaves in a bowl with beetroot, squeeze some lemon juice and 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar over and mix. Sprinkle over some Goats cheese or Feta cheese and chopped walnuts to serve.

You could also cook some couscous or bulgur wheat to add to make it a more filling bowl.

A Bowl of Roasted Beetroot, Beetroot Leaves, Goats Cheese, Walnuts


Lemon Glazed Sweet Potatoes

Lemon Glaze Sweet Potatoes

I recently harvested my first sweet potatoes, so decided to have a little quick potato lunch today. If you love sweetness, you will love this. I served with some crushed goats cheese for that extra creamy texture.

Serves 2

2 medium sweet potatoes – sliced into 1″ thick slices

1 tbsp butter

1 tbsp brown sugar

1/2 lemon juice

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Pinch Salt

  1. Preheat oven to 160 deg and grease a baking tin.
  2. Mix the Lemon juice with melted butter, sugar, salt and cinnamon
  3. Places the sweet potato slices in baking tin and pour over the mixture, cover with tin foil and bake for about 40-45 minutes.
  4. The last 5 minutes, remove the tin foil to allow glaze to thicken and brown in oven. Remove and sprinkle some goats cheese. Serve.


Nutty Energy Balls

As the Covid19 Lockdown is slowly and gently easing, we are now allowed to travel to the mountains again. We have longed to get back outdoors and into the picturesque landscape we call home. The Scottish Mountains are my headspace, a place where I grow, think, be at peace, laugh and get fitter…lol! To read more about the Scottish Munros, Corbetts, Grahams etc, head over to my travel post https://theweecaledoniancook.com/2020/07/08/a-list-of-scotlands-mountains/.

Anyway, back to food, my first passion. To walk or climb the Scottish Mountains you need energy firstly (then waterproofs…lol), so I made these to pack and take with us for a wee boost when needed. Great for a pre workout snack too & also Gluten Free.

Nutty Energy Balls

Makes about 16

For the Balls:-

4 heaped tbsp of Crunchy Peanut Butter (good quality, I use Whole Earth)

200g chopped mixed nuts & raisins (I used a food processor to chop finely)

2 tbsp Icing sugar

Coating/Topping:-

Choice 1:-

Dark or Milk Chocolate, 1 tbsp Butter – Melted together

Chopped Pistachios

Choice 2:-

Butter icing – Icing Sugar 80-100g, 1 tbsp butter – Melted together

Desiccated Coconut

  1. Place all ball ingredients into a bowl and mix together until combined. You may find it best to us clean hands for this. Take a tsp size and roll into a ball.
  2. Dip the rolled balls into your wet mixture of choice and then roll into the coconut or pistachio toppings to coat. Place onto a greaseproof lined baking tray and refrigerate to harden.
  3. These can be stored for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container. Enjoy!

Of course you can use any coating or topping you like.

Enjoy these bite size energy boosters

Stripey Omelette

Happy National Egg Day! (well in the U.S it is on 3rd June). I am helping them celebrate today my making myself eggs for lunch and a stripey omelette at that & why not! I do love experimenting with food…lol!

Eggs are so nutritious and filling, stored with lots of protein, about 13g in a large egg size. Eggs are also low in calories and full of vitamin D & B, so a good all rounder for any meal. I love eggs, you can scramble, poach, fry, bake, boil they are very versatile. Want to know even more, check out egg info here….https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egg_as_food

I get my eggs delivered straight to my door from McQueens Dairies. This omelette made from Scottish eggs from Beaton Farms in Inverurie, Scotland.

3 Eggs – Large

Spray oil

Seasoning

  1. Start by separating the yolks from whites. Mix the yolks.
  2. Heat a little spray oil in a pan on a low heat and pour in the yolks only, cook gently for a few minutes until cooked.
  3. Using a knife gently & I say very gently as you don’t want to damage your pan, then slice into strips about 1-1.5cm thick and remove every 2nd one. (you can use the spare strips for another omelette or create a lattice design).

4. Then pour in the egg whites and cook gently on a low heat until the egg whites start to bubble.

5. At this stage if you are using a filling, lay it onto omelette and start to roll up in pan then decant onto a plate.

Serve. Yummy and Eye catching.


Spinach Leaf Creamy Pesto

Since in Lockdown I’ve had the chance to build & plant my first proper Vegetable Beds and today was my first harvest of my Radishes….yummy! There is nothing better than homegrown fresh food. The obvious choice is a salad as radishes are just so refreshing and add that bit of crunch. Did you know you can eat the leaves also? Chop them up add to potatoes or pasta or make a pesto!

Left Over Radish leaves – 2 handfuls approx

1 Garlic Clove

1 tbsp pistachios

30g Grated Cheese (Parmesan)

2 tbsp olive oil – good quality one for best flavour

2 tbsp creme fraiche

Salt & pepper

  1. Thoroughly wash the green leaves and put into a blender or food processor along with the rest of the ingredients and blitz until smooth, if too thick add a little more olive oil.

I used mine to make a lovely radish & avocado salad for lunch. I will probably use the rest for some pasta later on in week. Cover and store in fridge for max 3 days.


Potato & Chorizo Bake

Since we are still in lockdown, we fancied something special for lunch today, sun was shining through the window, temperature was rising, so we thought we’d treat ourselves to this lovely little dish. Oh & of course we had a cheeky glass of wine with our meal too, just to help wash it all down.

Serves 2 portions.

3 medium size potatoes – cut into small cubes

1 red onion – diced

80 g Chorizo – sliced

2 eggs

200g tin tomatoes

50g grated cheddar cheese

1 tsp dried chilli flakes

1 tsp paprika

Salt & pepper to taste

Spray oil

1 tbsp butter

  1. Preheat oven to fan 190 deg.
  2. Place cubed potatoes into a pan of salted water and bring to the boil, simmer for about 5 minutes. Drain.
  3. Meanwhile, in a pan brown and cook the chorizo for a few minutes, remove with a slotted spoon.
  4. Add the onion & chilli flakes to the chorizo pan and fry until browned, then add back to the pan the potatoes with tin tomatoes, butter & paprika, stir until combined and cook for a few minutes.
  5. Place mixture into an oven proof dish, make 2 wells and crack the eggs in, season the eggs then sprinkle grated cheese over.
  6. Bake in oven for 10-15 minutes depending on how you like your eggs.
  7. Serve. Yummy!


Banana, Peanut Butter & Oat Choc Chip Muffins

 

Today was a day of using up leftovers and I had bananas that were crying out to be used. This little recipe is so easy to make and delicious too, you can store for 2-3 days in an airtight container or freeze if you are making a large batch. Gluten Free too.

A great healthier option too with the oats having 4 grams of fiber & 6 grams of protein. In addition to fiber, oats are rich in magnesium, zinc and iron. The bananas which are loaded with fiber, potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and various antioxidants. The Peanut Butter is a good source of magnesium too.

A great grab & go breakfast option or simply a little snack in between meals.

 

Makes 12

200g Scottish Oats

60g Peanut Butter

2 small bananas, mashed

1 egg

3 tbsp Maple Syrup

120ml milk

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 Dark Chocolate squares, chopped (or you can used choc chips)

 

  1. Preheat your oven on fan to 175 deg and grease a muffin tin.
  2. Put ALL ingredients into a bowl or mixer bowl and combine together.                        20200209_113300
  3. Pour into muffin tin, filling approx 3/4 way.
  4. Bake for about 25 minutes or until a knife comes out clean and muffins are set.
  5. Remove and allow to cool for a few minutes. If freezing allow to cool completely.
  6. Best served slightly warm. Yum!

 

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Mini Loaded Potato Jacket Bites

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I do love creating with leftovers, I always amaze myself what you can do with leftovers in your cupboards or fridge.  Today was a quick, tasty & filling lunch. With potatoes to be used up, I decided on mini loaded jackets. Using my Automatic Jacket Potato setting on my Hotpoint  Class 9 Combi Microwave too they were ready in under 16 minutes too!

 

I made 4 small Jackets

4 medium sized Scottish Maris Piper Potatoes

2 tbsp butter

handful spinach – chopped

20-30g Cheddar Cheese – grated

Cracker Black Pepper

Salt to taste

 

  1. First wash potatoes and prick with a fork
  2. Place onto the Crisperplate or Microwave dish.
  3. Set to Automatic, Recipes, Vegetarian Dishes, Baked Potatoes, Set weight and Extra Done. Start. Turn half way through.
  4. When ready remove and allow to cool slightly
  5. Cut potatoes in half lengthways and scoop out potato and put into a bowl then mash
  6. Place butter and spinach into potato bowl and mix through & season
  7. Spoon the potato mixture into the Jacket Potato skins and sprinkle with cheese then place under a high grill for a couple of minutes until cheese is melted. Season with some Cracked Black Pepper. Yum!
  8. You could also add in some chilli and paprika for extra flavour & spice. Really anything of your choosing.