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.


Chicken & Bacon Hotpot

Chicken & Bacon Hotpot

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.

Some of my winter harvest this morning. Parsnips, Carrots & Potatoes

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

  1. 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.
  2. Add in the garlic & nutmeg along with the onion and fry until softened then add the bacon and fry until cooked slightly, few minutes.
  3. Add to the pan the potatoes, carrots, parsnips and mix, then add in the chicken stock & bring to the boil.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Serve with some lovely fresh crusty bread. Or if you are Scottish it has to be Plain Bread!

Caribbean Beef Stew

A Bowl of Caribbean Beef Stew

When I think of Caribbean Food, I think beans, rice, peppers, sweet potato & tomatoes to name a few. This dish is a mix of all my favourites and I was using up leftovers too. I hope you enjoy. This dish would be lovely with Lamb too.

Serves 2

300g Scottish Beef Mince

150g Diced Butternut squash (or sweet potatoes)

1 onion, chopped

1 Red Pepper, chopped

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1 cm fresh ginger, finely chopped

1 tbsp sweet hot paprika

120ml Beef Stock

200g chopped tin tomatoes

200g Black Eyed beans

Handful of peas

Salt & Pepper to taste

  1. Heat some oil in a large pan and brown the mince.
  2. Add in the butternut squash, onion, red pepper, garlic, ginger, paprika and mix through, cook for 1 minute then add in the stock, tomatoes, peas and beans, bring to the boil then simmer covered for about 30 minutes. Season.
  3. If using Lamb I would slow cook this so the Lamb in tender.
  4. Serve on its own or with some rice.
Bowl of Stew


Chorizo, Chickpeas & Spinach Chilli

Chorizo, Chickpea and Spinach Chilli with rice

I am now back to work after a long furlough period due to this Covid19 pandemic. Being back at work means that I prefer quick and easy cooking meals for mid week dining. Last thing I want is to finish a long work day and stand cooking for an hour, who’s with me?

This dish takes just 15 minutes, so its a quick throw together in one pan kinda dish, but packs flavour and spice. Good on its own or can serve with some rice. I also used freshly picked Spinach from my new veggie beds (furlough project).

Serves 2

200g chickpeas

200g chopped tomatoes

80g chorizo – sliced or cut into bite size pieces

1 brown onion – chopped

1 yellow pepper – chopped

Handful of Spinach – chopped

1 tsp chilli flakes

1 tsp garlic granules

1 tsp basil flakes or fresh leaves to serve if you have

Salt & pepper to taste

100g Wholemeal or Basmati Rice if serving. (cooked as per packet instructions)

  1. Spray a pan with oil and heat on a medium to high heat
  2. Brown onions in pan for a few minutes
  3. Add in the pepper and chorizo with garlic and chilli flakes and cook for a few minutes
  4. Add in the tin tomatoes and chickpeas, mix through, bring to the boil then cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. 1 minute before serving, add in the spinach and basil flakes, mix through. Season
  6. Serve on a bed of rice. Yum!
Plate of Chorizo & Chickpea Chilli


Highland Hotpot

Chicken Hotpot

I am craving home cooked comfort foods these days, maybe it’s because we are all out of routine in life at the moment.

A traditional Highland Hotpot is normally made out of a Brace of Grouse (a brace is one male & one female grouse) and rabbit, however, my partner is not a big fan of these meats so I decided to make my version with free range chicken. This is a great slow cook one pot meal. Easy to make and delicious.

Hot pot meal

Makes enough for 2

2 chicken breasts – cut into cubes

1 tbsp flour

Salt & black pepper seasoning

1 white onion – cut into wedges

2 sticks celery – sliced

Cabbage – shredded

4-6 rashers of smoked bacon – chopped

spray oil

1 tsp white pepper

1 tsp All Spice (cinnamon, nutmeg & cloves)

1 pint of vegetable stock

2 medium potatoes – cubed

  1. Preheat your oven to 160 deg on fan.
  2. In an oven proof dish with lid, heat spray oil on hob at medium to high heat. Coat the chicken with seasoning and flour then brown in the pan, remove with a slotted spoon.
  3. In the same pan fry the onion and brown the bacon rashers for a few minutes.
  4. Add the potatoes & celery & mix through for a few minutes.
  5. Add back to the pan the chicken and add all spice & white pepper along with the stock, mix & bring to the boil. Then add the shredded cabbage mix, put lid on pot and transfer to the oven and cook for about 2 1/2 hours.
  6. The stock should have absorbed into the meat & veg. Serve. Yummy!
Highland Chicken Hotpot

Harissa Cauliflower & Chickpea Curry

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A bit of Meal prepping today while I have some time. I have been doing this for a few weeks now and have found it to be very beneficial to us. Sometimes I don’t get in till late from work and its always nice to have a healthy dinner ready for you.  Also it means the 1/2 hour I save on making dinner means I can get some exercise in…..no excuses now.

 

Makes 4 Servings 

1 tsp Ginger powder or 1″ piece fresh ginger minced

2 garlic gloves – minced

1 yellow onion – diced

2 tbsp Harissa Paste

Florets from 1 Caulifower

2 x 400g Chickpeas, drained

1 x 400g coconut milk

300ml vegetable stock

200g baby spinach

Salt & pepper to taste

 

  1. Heat a little oil in a large pan, add the garlic, ginger and onions and fry until softened.
  2. Add the Harissa Paste and coat the onions. Add in the Cauliflower and mix until coated.                                                                                                            20200208_143732
  3. Pour in chickpeas, vegetable stock & coconut milk with seasoning and mix through, bring to the boil then simmer and cook covered for about 25-30 minutes until cauliflower has softened.
  4. Add the spinach and mix through, cook for a further minute or until spinach is wilted. Remove from heat and either serve or allow to cool before freezing.            20200208_151953
  5. Serve with some Bulgur wheat or rice for a filling meal.

 

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Sweet Potato & Butterbean Tikka Masala

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Oh yum, this was absolutely delish! Another great low calorie option from Pinch of Nom

I don’t know why I don’t have butter beans more often, a meaty & creamy texture and filling too. This is a great healthier option curry for the weekend or mid week.

 

Serves 4

Low cal cooking spray

1 onion, diced

1 red chilli, diced

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp ginger

2 tsp tomato puree

juice of 1/2 lemon

3 medium sweet potatoes, diced

250ml vegetable stock

1 x 400g tin tomatoes

Salt & pepper

1 x 400g Butter Beans

100g Baby Spinach

For the Spice Mix:

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp gram masala

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1/4 tsp cinnamon

 

  1. Spray a large pan with oil, add the chopped onion and chilli and cook over a medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger and spice mix and continue to cook for another minute.
  2. Add the tomato puree and lemon juice and mix
  3. Using a food processor or stick blender, blitz the onion mix to a smooth paste and return to the pan. Add the sweet potato and stir until coated.
  4. Add the stock and chopped tomatoes and season. Stir, bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer for about 20-25 minutes.
  5. Drain the butter beans and add to the pan along with the spinach, stir through and cook for about 3 minutes until beans are heated through and spinach has wilted.
  6. Serve and enjoy! I served with some rice and some chopped fresh coriander.

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Sweet Potato, Butternut Squash & Chorizo Chowder

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It was Blowin’ a Hoolie here today (very windy) & that just calls for something warm and home comforting.  This was a tasty quick option in my kitchen tonight and certainly hit the spot.

 

Makes 2 portions

150g Butternut Squash – chopped into cubes

150g Sweet Potato – chopped into cubes

1 onion – chopped finely

60g Chorizo – sliced

1 garlic clove – minced

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp dried sage

Salt & pepper to taste

Handful of chopped carrots, sweetcorn and peas (I used frozen)

300ml chicken stock

50ml cream

150g Spinach

 

  1. Heat some low fat spray oil in a pan and fry the chorizo for a few minutes, remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a kitchen towel.
  2. Add to the pot the onion, garlic, sage & nutmeg and fry until onions are softened.
  3. Add the sweet potato, butternut squash and vegetables and stir until coated.
  4. Add the chicken stock with seasoning and bring to the boil, then simmer for about 15 minutes or until squash and potato are cooked.
  5. Remove lid, add back to the pan the chorizo and spinach and stir in the cream allow spinach to wilt for a few minutes, stir through. Serve.

You could also sprinkle some nuts over for a more nutritious serving.

 

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Carrot, Cumin & Coriander Soup with Bulgur Wheat

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Its definitely soup season, I woke to -5 deg this morning….very cold.   Using up some leftovers in my fridge, mainly carrot and onion I decided to make a warming soup. This was delicious and hit the spot right. I used my steampot, so steaming the vegetables made this even more nutritious and flavorsome.

 

Makes 3 Servings

4 large carrots

1 large onion

500ml Vegetable Stock

60g Bulgur Wheat

1 tsp garlic granules

1 1/2 tsp Cumin

1 1/2 tsp dried coriander

Salt & Pepper to taste

 

  1. Chop up the onion & carrots into chunks and place in the steam pot with 200ml of the vegetable stock and cook on steam setting for 8 minutes.                                  20191118_130805
  2. Remove steam pot lid and add in the rest of the stock then blitz with a hand blender until well blended and smooth.                                                      20191118_132702
  3. Stir in the spices/herbs and bulgur wheat and cook on microwave at 750w for 3 minutes.                                                                                                20191118_133322
  4. Remove and stir. Season and serve.

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20191118_134019 you can of course make a big batch and freezer for later.

 


Creamy Pumpkin Soup

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It’s Halloween Season, my favourite time of the year, beautiful crisp air, colourful leaves on the trees, dark cosy nights, everything spooky and weird, and amazing food flavours around. To be honest this is my first time with Pumpkin, I’ve never cooked it before myself, I thought I would try steam cooking it for more flavour and making a creamy soup as it was a really cold day here today. Was delicious.

 

Makes 1 large portion

250g chopped pumpkin

30g sliced leek

30ml double cream

300ml vegetable stock

30g Bulgur Wheat

Salt & pepper to taste

 

  1. Place the pumpkin and leeks with 100ml of the stock into the bottom of the steam pot and cook on dynamic steam for 8 minutes
  2. Remove lid and pour in the rest of the stock and the cream, season with salt & pepper and blend with a hand blender until smooth.
  3. Add in the Bulgur Wheat to the creamed soup and cook on microwave 900w for 3 minutes
  4. Remove from microwave and serve with some toasted pumpkin seeds and a drizzle of olive oil.
  5. You can also add in some toasted croutons if you like.

 

 

 

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