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.
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.
Heat the oil in a pan on medium to high heat, brown the chicken and remove with slotted spoon.
If needed, put a little more oil in. Stir fry the curry paste for about 2 minutes to heat through and release the flavours.
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.
Add back to the pan the chicken, butternut squash and cauliflower, mix and reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes, covered.
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.
Serve with some wholemeal rice, spring onion and cashew nuts.
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.
Serves2 – 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
Heat the oil in a pan on medium to high heat and fry the onions until softened and slightly browned
Add in the beef mince, season with salt & pepper & brown.
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.
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.
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!
2 Chicken Breasts – but into big chunks
2 Carrots – chopped
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
Preheat a little oil in the pot on medium to high heat and brown the chicken.
Peel and chop 3 shallots into rings and 3 into quarters. Add into the pan with the carrots, butter and brown gently.
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.
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.
Serve and garnish with some chopped coriander and parsley. For a more filling dish you can also serve with some couscous.
In Scotland, before the 19th century, bannocks were cooked on a bannock stane (Scots for stone), a large, flat, rounded piece of sandstone, placed directly onto a fire, used as a cooking surface. Most modern bannocks are cooked in a pan or skillet and made with baking powder as a leavening agent, giving them a light and airy texture. Bannocks were known as flat cakes or bread baked from grains, although if you visit the town of Selkirk in the Scottish Borders their Bannocks are more like fruit loaves.
120g of Scottish Oats – I blitz Scottish Porridge Oats into a fine flour.
80g Plain Flour
2 tsps Baking Powder
In a bowl or mixer combine the flour, oats, salt and baking powder
Slowly mix in the Buttermilk, little at a time until the flour has combined, lay on a floured surface and shape the dough to about 1″ thick and about the same circular diameter as your pan. Indent the dough about 0.5 – 1cm in, as if you were cutting a pizza shape.
Heat a little oil in a pan or skillet on medium heat (you don’t want it too hot or it won’t cook through properly), place dough into pan and cook gently for about 15 minutes on 1 side then flip over and cook for a further 10-15 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.
Remove and place on a bread board, allow to cool for a few minutes then serve.
I usually have this bread with Soup but you could also spread a little butter or Jam and would be just as nice.
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
100ml Single Cream or Creme Friache
1 Bay Leaf
Salt & Pepper to taste
Handful of Chopped Parsley
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.
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.
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.
Remove the Bay leaf and sprinkle over the parsley then serve into bowls.
This quick and easy vegetarian meal is perfect for those Autumn and Wintry Days, a warming bowl of goodness in your tummy. Full or nutrition and good vitamins, with only around 300 calories per bowl is a great healthy option to a takeaway Curry. This is also a good recipe to batch cook with. You can serve with a toasted naan on the side for a more filling meal.
300g Sweet Potato – chopped and diced into 2cm cubes
300g Butternut Squash – chopped and diced into 2cm cubes
2 White Onions, diced
2 tbsps Mild Curry Powder
2 tbsps Garam Masala Powder
1 x 400g Tin Chopped Tomatoes
1 x 400g Tin Coconut Milk
1 x 400g Tin Green Lentils
200g Spinach – chopped
Sunflower & Pumpkin Seeds to garnish (yoghurt optional)
Steam cook the Sweet Potato & Butternut Squash, place in a microwaveable bowl with 2 tbsps water and cover, cook on medium level for 10 minutes. (you could always roast in oven for about 35 mins too)
While cooking add a little oil to a pan and cook the onions until softened, add the curry powder, garam masala powder and mix through. Add the tin tomatoes and coconut milk, bring to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes to allow sauce to thicken slightly.
To the sauce add the sweet potato and butternut squash along with the lentils and spinach, season and mix through, allow to simmer for a few minutes.
Serve into bowls and garnish with a sprinkle of seeds.
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.
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
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.
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.
Return the mince to the pot with the beef stock, bring to the boil then simmer and cook covered for about 30 minutes.
Add the lentils, spinach and coriander to the pot and cook uncovered for 10 minutes.
It is my favourite time of the year, Autumn, the colours on the trees, the fresh crisp air, walks in the park, comfy jumpers and warming food. What’s not to like? After harvesting some of my vegetables from the garden today I decided to use them in this warming Hotpot. Nothing says home comfort food that a big pot a deliciousness & straight from the garden too.
The good thing with this recipe is that you can use just about any root vegetable and it will work just as good.
Makes enough for 2 large portions
4 Large Potatoes, cut into bite size pieces
2 Large carrots, cut into bite size pieces
2 Parsnips, peeled and cut into bite size pieces
1 Onion, sliced into wedges
6-8 Rashers of Smoked Bacon, sliced
2 Chicken Breasts, cut into chunks
500ml Chicken Stock
1 tsp oil
1 tsp Nutmeg
1 garlic clove, crushed
Salt & Pepper to taste
Cornflour to thicken sauce if needed.
1 tbsp flour
First coat the chicken with seasoning and the flour, heat the oil in a large pot or casserole dish then brown the chicken and remove.
Add in the garlic & nutmeg along with the onion and fry until softened then add the bacon and fry until cooked slightly, few minutes.
Add to the pan the potatoes, carrots, parsnips and mix, then add in the chicken stock & bring to the boil.
Reduce to a low simmer and cook covered for about 2 hours. Alternatively you can cook in the oven at 140 deg for about 2 hours.
Remove lid and if you like a thick sauce like me just add a little cornflour and stir through. 1 tsp mixed with water should be enough.
Serve with some lovely fresh crusty bread. Or if you are Scottish it has to be Plain Bread!
Who doesn’t love a Curry? Especially when it’s a healthier version. This Curry came about when I was trying to use up leftover Almond Milk, nutritionally, store-bought almond milk (like Alpro or Almond Breeze) is a low-calorie product with about 56 calories per 100ml. It’s typically low in fat, with just 1.5g per 100g – all of which is largely unsaturated fat.
This Curry is a great family curry as its low in spice but with great flavour. It’s also great if you love batch cooking as you can make a hug pot and freeze into portions.
2 Chicken Breasts – cut into chunks
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt & Pepper
1 tbsp Tomato Paste
300ml Almond Milk
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp Chilli powder
Handful of Cauliflower Florets (I used frozen)
Handful of Peas (I used frozen)
Curry Paste (see below)
1 tsp garlic granules
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp gram masala
Mix all the Curry Paste ingredients into a blender and mix until you get a smooth paste.
Heat a little oil in a pan on medium to high heat, add chicken, season and brown.
Add the Curry paste to the pan and heat through for about 2 minutes.
Next add the tomato paste, almond milk, cinnamon and chilli powder and mix through.
Reduce the heat, cover and simmer on low for about 1 hour. 15 minutes before serving add in the cauliflower & peas, mix through and cook for remaining time.
The weather was turning a bit colder this weekend & there is no better dish than a warm chilli to heat your soul. I decided to slow cook this time and it definitely paid off as the flavours were more intense and the sauce lovely and thick. Chilli is always good the second day too, so this can be made in advance. Some cooks swear by lots of different spices from mustard powder to even cinnamon & I’ve even heard of chocolate in chilli…..(not sure about than one…lol), this combination I found works for me.
Heat the oil in a casserole dish or large pan on medium to high heat & fry the onions with the garlic until softened. Add in the Red pepper and cook for a further few minutes until softened.
Add in the Beef mince, season and brown.
Add in the tomato puree, spices & mix through.
To the pot add the kidney beans and tin tomatoes & mix. Sprinkle over the beef oxo cube & the herbs, add in the water, bring to the boil, cover and simmer on a low heat for about 2-3 hours. If the sauce hasn’t thickened, remove lid and cook uncovered for about 10-15 minutes to help thicken sauce.
I Served with Taco’s, Grated Cheese and sprinkled some fresh spring onions on top…yum! Also nice served with rice and soured cream.