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.
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.
I am always looking to experiment in the kitchen and today was no different. Green Lentil Curry was on the menu but rather than serving rice or naan bread, I thought I’d try my hand at Tortilla Bowls. I’ve seen these on numerous posts & feeds and they look really good.
Green lentils, unlike their yellow and brown counterparts, hold on to their shape while cooking. I infused them with garlic, ginger, coriander, and cumin, for a dish that’s a perfect weekend meal. I love lentils, they are such a great source of protein and filling too.
For the Green Lentil Curry:
125g Green Lentils – Presoaked overnight
1 Tsp Garlic Paste
1 Tsp Ginger
2 Tsp Ground Coriander
1 Tsp Ground Cumin
1 Tsp Turmeric
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Onion, diced
1 Tbsp Tomato Paste
1 Carrot, diced
Salt & Pepper to taste
Handful Chopped Fresh Coriander to serve
1 Tbsp Creme Fraiche to serve
For the Tortillas:
4 Tortilla Wraps (I used Corn Wraps)
Tin Foil & 4 Ramekins (or something similar)
Add a little oil to a pan and add the ginger, garlic, ground coriander & cumin, mix. Then add the onion and cook until softened. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute.
Add the lentils, turmeric and 500ml water, bring to the boil then cover and simmer for about 20 minutes, add the carrot and season, continue cooking for about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile for the Tortillas, pre heat the oven to 180 deg. Warm the tortillas in a microwave for 90 seconds, lightly grease the ramekins on the outside, turn upside down. Place the wrap over the ramekin and mould to the shape, secure with the tin foil and fold into the ramekin. Place upside down into the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
Remove ramekins from oven and gently remove the foil and tortilla bowl from the ramekin, it should hold it’s shape. If you are struggling to remove, use a blunt knife to prize the tortilla away from the ramekin. Place the tortilla bowls back into the oven turned the right way and bake for a further 8-10 minutes until slightly browned.
Serve the green lentil curry into the bowls and serve with the creme fraiche and fresh coriander.
It is Winter Season here in Scotland and is -4 deg today and very snowy. There is nothing better that a big pot of homemade soup to warm you up on days like this. I had a big pack of lentils in the cupboard and was going to make a traditional carrot & lentil soup but then I discovered some Green Thai paste hiding behind my tin of custard & yes you’ve guessed it Green Thai Lentil Soup it was. Just the ticket too, with the spice it really warmed us up lovely and was very satisfying and filling. Another great recipe to add to the collection.
Makes enough for 4 servings
150g Green Lentils, pre-soaked and rinsed ready to cook
1 Large Sweet Potato, chopped into cubes
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Garlic Cloves, crushed
1 Piece Fresh Ginger, grated (about 2cm)
50g Thai Green Curry Paste, (I used the Blue Dragon one)
1 400g Can Coconut Milk
1 Tbsp Dried Coriander & small handful chopped fresh to serve
1/2 litre Vegetable Stock
Juice of 1 Lemon (about 1 Tbsp)
In a large pan, heat the oil and cook the garlic and ginger for a few minutes then add in the Thai Green Paste and mix through for a further 3-4 minutes.
Add in the chopped sweet potato, lentils, vegetable stock, coconut milk and lemon juice, bring to the boil then simmer covered for about 30 minutes.
Remove lid and sprinkle in the dried coriander and mix through, stirring for a minute or 2.
Remove from the heat and using a hand blender, blend the soup until you reach a smooth and thick consistancey.
Serve with some fresh coriander on top.
This recipe is also good for batch cooking, freezing and keeping for later.
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.
It is definitely soup season, nights are getting darker, air is getting colder and a bowl of warm soup is the perfect recipe after a long days work. If you are looking for a really tasty soup that is simple to make with simple store cupboard ingredients then this is for you. The things I love about soup is that you can make a huge pot and freezer it for later. Tasty cooking can not get any simpler than this.
I harvested some of my Carrots and Parsnips at the weekend, so this was what I had decided upon. With some good quality crusty bread on the side this is perfect for lunch or dinner. The bright orange colour also brightens up your dinner table.
Full of nutrition too, with Carrots & Parsnips both being full of good Vitamin C this can help boost your immune system at this time of year and very low in calories too. Lets not forget the spices, with cumin being a great aid for the digestive system and also full or iron. Garlic, with its active compounds which can help reduce blood pressure and also combat sickness including the common cold. Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory and a powerful antioxidant, was classed as a Superfood too. It’s a win, win soup for me this season.
8 Medium Size Carrots, Chopped (I keep the skin on but you can peel if you prefer)
6 Medium Size Parsnips, Peeled & Chopped
3 Celery Stalks, Chopped
1 White Onion, Chopped
1 tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Ginger Granules or 1 tbsp freshly grated Ginger
1 tsp Garlic Powder or 2 garlic cloves – minced
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Ground Coriander
1 tsp Turmeric
1.5 litres good Vegetable Stock
Salt & Pepper to taste
A Little Swirl of Cream to serve and a sprinkling of pumpkin or sunflower seeds (Optional)
Crusty Bread to serve (Optional)
Pre heat the oil in a large pot on medium to high heat, add the onions and celery and cook until onions are translucent.
Add in the spices (cumin, garlic, coriander, turmeric, ginger) and mix through until coated.
Add in the parsnips, carrots and vegetable stock, season & bring to the boil then reduce and simmer for 25-30 minutes.
Take off the heat and using a hand blender, blend the vegetables to make a smooth thick consistancey.
Serve into bowl and finish with a swirl of cream and sprinkle of seeds.
You can keep soup in a fridge for about 3 days and freezer for up to 3 months.
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!
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.
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
Heat some oil in a large pan and brown the mince.
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.
If using Lamb I would slow cook this so the Lamb in tender.
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).
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)
Spray a pan with oil and heat on a medium to high heat
Brown onions in pan for a few minutes
Add in the pepper and chorizo with garlic and chilli flakes and cook for a few minutes
Add in the tin tomatoes and chickpeas, mix through, bring to the boil then cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
1 minute before serving, add in the spinach and basil flakes, mix through. Season