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!

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://theweecaledoniancook.com/2020/12/09/the-best-crispy-roast-potatoes/) and selection of Vegetables. Or any other day we have Mash Potatoes.


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.


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


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.

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.