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.
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
Preheat your oven to Fan 160 deg.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Avocado, diced
100g Mature Cheddar (lighter option to make it healthier)
2 Tbsp Oil or spray oil
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.
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.
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.
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.
I was inspired to make this by a recipe posted to Instagram from @theweelarder https://www.instagram.com/theweelarder/?hl=en. As I didn’t have the Tomato Chutney, I decided to use caramelised red onions as I just made a batch from my garden, this dish was so delicious and the sweet flavour from the onions went perfectly with the salmon.
This dish is perfect for these long summer days especially when served with a fresh salad. Can be eaten warm or cold.
For the Pastry:-
250g Plain Flour
100g Cold Butter
For the Filling:-
2 pieces of Fresh Salmon or 250g Pre-packed Smoked Salmon, flaked
1 large Cooked Beetroot, chopped into small bite size pieces
Handful of finely chopped Spinach (uncooked)
4 Large Eggs
80ml of Single Cream
2 Tbsp Chopped Dill
Seasoning, Salt & Pepper
To make the Pastry, Sift the plain flour into a bowl and add the butter cubes and salt, with your fingers rub butter into flour to form breadcrumbs. Add 2 tbsp water and bring to together to make a stiff dough. Cover in cling film and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or overnight.
Once pastry is ready, bring to room temperature and roll out onto a floured surface and lay over your quiche tin pressing the pastry to the sides, trim off any excess. Place a piece of greaseproof paper over the pastry and pour in some baking beads to weigh down.
Preheat your oven to 180 deg fan and place pastry in oven for about 15 minutes. Remove the beads and paper, brush the pastry with some egg wash then return the pastry to the oven and bake for a further 5 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.
Whisk up the eggs with the cream & the milk.
Sprinkle some flaked salmon into your pastry case then some spinach then another layer of salmon then spinach and finally the caramelised onion, pour over the egg mixture evenly, season with salt, pepper & dill then dot pieces of the beetroot over.
Place into a preheated oven at 170 deg fan for 30 minutes.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This is proper home comfort food and a dish that we love. Using simple ingredients, you’ll love the richness taste of this and with the sweet potato and carrot mash on top it is just packed with flavour! A great family dish that is simple to make that everyone can enjoy. Sometimes I love going back to basics, our ancestors would have cooked this all in one pot as back then there were no fancy cook tops with loads of rings.
We are lucky that we have access to a wide range of different foods and spices these days, so although sometimes it’s great to make classics, it’s also great to try out new flavours and ideas with them. This recipe surely does work with that little change.
If you make it, let me know what you think?
Makes 2-3 servings
250g Scottish Beef Mince (good quality is key)
2 Medium sized Sweet Potatoes, cut into small chunks
1 Red Onion, diced
1 Carrots, diced & 2 Carrots for mash (chopped)
1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
50ml Red Wine (I used Merlot)
1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
2 Handfuls of Frozen Garden Peas
300ml Beef Stock with 2 stock cubes
1 Tsp Mixed Herbs
1/2 Tsp Turmeric
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 Tbsp oil
1-2 Tbsp Beef Gravy Granules to thicken sauce
Pre heat oven to 180 deg fan. Place sweet potatoes and carrot into a large pan of slightly salted water and bring to the boil, reduce to a gentle boil and cook for 20 minutes until softened.
Meanwhile, heat a little oil in a pan and cook the onions until softened. Add the mince to the pan and cook until browned. Add in the balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, red wine, herbs, seasoning and beef stock, bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer for about 10-15 minutes, liquid should reduce by half.
Stir in the peas and cook for a further 5 minutes.
Add in the Gravy granules and stir to thicken.
Mash the sweet potatoes and carrot with 1 tsp turmeric
Place the mince mixture in a casserole dish, season with black pepper and top with the mash mix, cover with tin foil. Bake in oven for about 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, remove foil and bake for a further 20 minutes or until golden brown.