Quinoa Vegetable Bowl with a Coriander & Lime Dressing

Quinoa veggie bowl

I had the pleasure of attending a live cooking session with Chef Ann Nolan (training chef with Whirlpool Cooperation) recently, the session was very informative and I learned a few tricks that I never knew! ‘Everyday is a school day as they say’, One of the recipes was this delicious Vegetable Quinoa Bowl and I just had to share with all of you as it was absolutely mouthwatering, so refreshing on the palate. The great thing about this recipe is that it is simple to make and if you don’t like an ingredient it is easily changeable to something you do. We all love the simple things in life, do we not?

Quinoa is higher in nutrients than most grains with protein & fibre being the highest and only contains 2g of fat per 100g, so very nutritious and not fatty at all. Quinoa is a good source of several minerals, including manganese, phosphorus, copper, iron, magnesium, and zinc. Quinoa may reduce blood cholesterol, blood sugar, and triglycerides. It’s weight loss friendly, gluten-free, and has been shown to increase the nutrient and antioxidant value of gluten-free diets.

Serves 4

For the Quinoa:-

125g Raw Quinoa

350ml Vegetable Stock

1/4 Tsp Salt

1/4 Tsp Black Pepper

1 Tsp Olive Oil

For the Coriander Lime Dressing:-

Handful of coriander, washed, keep stem

6 Spring Onions, roots removed, washed & cut into thirds (use the white part)

1/2 Large Avocado, peeled and diced

3 Limes, squeezed for juice only

1 Tsp Kosher Salt

60 ml Olive Oil

For the Vegetable Toppings:-

1 Red Onion, cut unto 1/4″ slices

2 Red Peppers, cut into 1/4″ slices

400g Tin of Black beans or Red Kidney Beans (you could also use chickpeas)

8-10 Cherry Tomatoes, quartered

1/2 Avocado, diced

4 Eggs (1 egg per portion)

Spray Oil

Salt & Pepper to taste

  1. Place the quinoa into a saucepan with the vegetable stock, seasoning & oil, bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer, cover with a lid and simmer for about 15-20 mins until quinoa has absorbed the stock, take off the heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Do not stir while simmering, just leave it, fluff up with a fork after the 5 minutes resting time.
  2. Meanwhile, lets make the dressing…..place all of the ingredients (except the oil) into a food processor and blend together, then slowly drizzle in the oil scraping down the sides as you go along. Keep adding oil until you get the consistency you like, whether that be thick or thin, it’s up to you. Move to the side for later.
  3. Heat a little spray oil in a saute/ fry pan on medium to high heat, add the red onions & red peppers with seasoning and cook until slightly softened and browned, leave in pan.
  4. Heat the beans in a small pan on medium heat, 4-5 mins until warmed through.
  5. In a non stick fry pan (with lid) spray a little oil and bring to a medium heat, crack the eggs into the pan & season, let the egg become opaque then add about 4 tablespoons water, put the lid on and steam cook the eggs, no need to turn. Check after about 1-2 minutes, when the egg is white it’s ready, take pan of heat until ready to serve.
  6. To plate, distribute evenly the quinoa, then peppers and onion, sliced avocado and then the beans and tomatoes, drizzle over your dressing then add the egg to the top….ENJOY!

Alternative options to try:-

*Roasted mushrooms, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, spring onions, garlic dressing

*Cucumber, chickpeas, tomatoes, Olives, yogurt dressing

*Tofu, carrots, peas, sweetcorn, coriander & sesame dressing

*Roasted Chicken, tomatoes, red pepper, red onion, roasted red pepper & chilli dressing


Smoked Haddock, Beetroot & Potato Hash

Smoked Haddock, Beetroot & Potato Hash

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)

50g peas

Salt & Pepper to taste

Handful of Chopped Fresh Dill

  1. If using fresh beetroot, bake in tin foil in an oven at 200 deg fan for 45 minutes (you can check my how to roast beetroot post for further info here – https://cookingwithluce.wordpress.com/2020/08/10/roasted-beetroot-salad/)
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Serve. Yummy!

Fresh Beetroot


POTATO HASH WITH POACHED EGG

Potato Hash with a Poached Egg

This quick and hearty brunch or lunch brings the best out of a good Scottish Tattie (potato). Fluffy potatoes are only made better by the perfectly poached egg sitting on top. Sometimes I like to keep things simple and with this dish I didn’t add too many flavours as a good Scottish Tattie is flavoursome in it’s own right. With the warming flavour of cayenne pepper and a dash of Tabasco sauce, this is sure to keep you satisfied all day.

Cayenne Pepper is also said to be medicinal as capsaicin, the active ingredient in cayenne peppers, is what gives them their medicinal properties. These peppers boast an impressive nutrition profile, which includes a variety of antioxidants that are beneficial for your health.

One tablespoon (5 grams) of cayenne pepper contains the following:

  • Calories: 17
  • Fat: 1 gram
  • Carbs: 3 grams
  • Fiber: 1.4 grams
  • Protein: 0.6 grams
  • Vitamin A: 44% of the RDI
  • Vitamin E: 8% of the RDI
  • Vitamin C: 7% of the RDI
  • Vitamin B6: 6% of the RDI
  • Vitamin K: 5% of the RDI
  • Manganese: 5% of the RDI
  • Potassium: 3% of the RDI
  • Riboflavin: 3% of the RDI

It also gives them their hot taste. In fact, how hot a cayenne pepper is depends on its capsaicin content. The more capsaicin it contains, the hotter it is.


Serves 2

4 Medium Potatoes, (peeled or unpeeled it’s up to you) diced into bite size pieces

1 Large or 2 Medium Onions, sliced into wedges

1 Tsp Cayenne Pepper

Salt to taste

1 Tbsp Olive Oil or Spray Oil

2 Large Eggs

Tabasco to taste

  1. In a fry pan heat the oil, medium to high heat, add in the onions and cook for a couple of minutes to soften.
  2. Add in the diced potatoes, season with salt & cayenne pepper, mix and place a lid over pan reduce to a low heat and cook for about 30 minutes until potatoes are softened. Give the potatoes a stir every 10 minutes.
  3. 5 minutes before potatoes are ready, bring a pan of water to the boil then reduce to a medium heat, crack in the eggs and poach through.
  4. Serve potatoes and onions onto a plate, place the poached egg on top and sprinkle a few dashes of tabasco sauce over, season if required. Enjoy!

If you prefer a bit more flavour, below are a few choices that I have tried.

  1. Smoked:- Add chopped spring onions and some smoked back bacon.
  2. Mediterranean:- Add some spinach, handful tomatoes with 1 tsp all spice, 1 tsp dried oregano, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp dried coriander.
  3. Spanish: Chopped chorizo, sweet potatoes, 1 tsp cumin, spring onions.

SUMMER SALAD EBOOK IS HERE!

SUMMER SALAD COLLECTION EBOOK

My Wee collection of delightful and flavourful summer salad ideas has arrived!

Go to my eBook page and get your download now. https://cookingwithluce.wordpress.com/recipe-e-books/

See below for a preview of what you can look forward too.

Enjoy your Summer & make lots of lovely memories. Thank you again for your support.


You might think ‘Salad Recipes‘ are just boring veggies…..well, think again!

This wee collection from my favourites are anything but. A healthier lifestyle means turning those ‘dull’ foods into delicious meals that you’ll crave all summer long.

Did I say SUMMER! Yes it is coming back to us, so get ready & nourish yourself.

Click image below to download from eBook page.


Avocado & Cucumber Salsa

Avocado & Cucumber

I was looking for something refreshing to go with my Salmon for dinner and looking around my kitchen, the little avocado sitting in my fruit bowl was just screaming out to me….eat me!….eat me! & there you have it, Avocado Salsa!

An 80g portion of avocado counts towards your 5 a day and contains vitamins, minerals and fiber. Fiber is good for your heart & gut health. These little fruits are a nutrient powerhouse, they contain nearly 20 different vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. The type of fat in an avocado is mainly unsaturated (specifically, monounsaturated), which, when eaten in place of high-saturated-fat foods, can help maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Olive and rapeseed oil are other well-known sources of monounsaturated fats.

The creamy taste and texture that avocados have means they can feel indulgent to eat, and they are good substitutes for high-saturated-fat options that you might add to a salad or a sandwich, like cheese or butter. When you see or hear avocado being used it’s usually on a piece of toast for breakfast, or in a guacamole for a side dish, but the combination of avocado & cucumber is a sure fire winner in my books and served alongside a piece of fresh Salmon, well, what’s not to like!


Serves 4

1 Large Avocado, skin & stone removed then diced

1/2 Cucumber, diced

Juice of 1 lime

1 Tbsp Mayonnaise (Light, to keep it healthier)

Pinch of Salt

Cracked Rainbow Pepper to taste.

Handful of fresh coriander, chopped finely.

(Optional, sprinkle of dried chilli flakes)

  1. Place everything in a bowl a mix trough to combine. Serve.

Tip!

  1. If making the salad a few hours ahead, combine all ingredients into a bowl (except the salt!). Squeeze lime juice directly over avocados and toss gently to combine.
  2. Cover tightly with cling film, placing it directly over the surface of the salad to keep the air out. Oxygen is what causes avocados to brown.
  3. Add salt just before serving to keep the cucumbers from wilting and becoming overly juicy.

Avocado & Cucumber Salsa with Salmon


NEW E BOOK LAUNCH TODAY! ENERGY BOOSTING BREAKFAST RECIPES!

Energy Boosting Breakfast Recipe eBook

In today’s hectic lifestyle and especially in the wintery months, it can feel impossible to achieve those recommended eight hours of sleep. Sleep deprivation catches up to us all, however, and it can be difficult to find energy-granting options that are healthy as well. Luckily, many foods boost energy naturally, offering a mid-day pick-me-up that will not derail a healthy diet.

I have put together a small collection of delicious Breakfast Recipes that I enjoy, these tasty morning starters will help get your energy set for the day ahead.

I was inspired a few years ago when I decided to look more into nutrition, it was really interesting learning about micronutrients and the true benefits of all those minerals & vitamins. I completed a health & nutrition course with BNF (British Nutrition Foundation) https://www.nutrition.training/ & learned how to use foods to our advantage to better our diets & lifestyle.

Simple to make dishes that the whole family will enjoy.

Please visit my eBook Recipe page for the link to purchase and download. https://cookingwithluce.wordpress.com/recipe-e-books/

The eBook only costs £1.99 and this is just to cover my expense of running this blog and designing the book. I hope that you see the value in this and that you enjoy.

Preview of the recipes in my book below.

Energy Recipe List

Slow Cook Iron Bru Chicken

Slow Cook Iron Bru Chicken

This was absolutely yummy! Thank you to Scott Baptie @ Food for Fitness for this recipe. https://www.foodforfitness.co.uk/welcome/

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.

Irn Bru
Iron Bru

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!


Serves 2

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Delicious!



Green Lentil Curry Tortilla Bowls

Green Lentil Curry Tortilla Bowls

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.


Serves 2

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

500ml Water

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)

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Serve the green lentil curry into the bowls and serve with the creme fraiche and fresh coriander.


person holding pink candies in form in hearts in hands

Go on a Journey with Food!

a colorful sliced pizza
Food Journey

This is not a recipe post! I’ve been thinking lately of how food has made not only an impact in the world but to us as human beings, food has the power to completely transport us to another time or another place. For example, a good plate of Mince ‘n’ Tatties (potatoes) takes me back to my childhood days and visits with my Gran and Auntie’s and a bowl of Spaghetti Bolognese reminds me of a happy time with my partner. Both of these emotions make me happy and I feel relaxed and content.

Is it possible to harness that power to help our wellbeing?

incense and white candles on a stool
Mind Journey with Food

Different Types of food can also have an effect on our emotional thinking, some foods can help decrease stress and low mood, for example fatty fish, blueberries, broccoli, shellfish & eggs to name a few. Then on the other hand foods like processed meats, sweets, pastries or high fat diary products can also increase anxiety and fatigue.

So how can focusing on food help our wellbeing?

Here are some Top Tips:-

  1. Make & Eat a meal that made you happy. Maybe a dish that you loved on a holiday trip or something from your wedding day that everyone enjoyed, it brings back that happy, feel good emotion.
  2. What was your favourite meal from your childhood? Re-create it, go buy it from the shops, it will give you that feeling of love, warmth and feeling cared for.
  3. Prepare something that you have homegrown. Last year I started my first vegetable boxes and the satisfaction and achievement it gave me was a wonderful feeling. Whether it be herbs from your window sill or potatoes from your garden, there is nothing better than preparing a meal from something you have hand grown, it gives you a feeling of reward to yourself.
  4. Try something new. We have all heard it before, variety is the spice of life! Bored of the same old meals? I know I do (as you can probably tell from all the different recipes I try…..lol!) This is a great way to expand your horizons and take yourself on a journey of discovery, you’ll be amazed at what you can achieve.
  5. Surprise your Family, Husband, Wife, Lover, Friends etc. There is no greater satisfaction than preparing a meal for someone you care about and them absolutely loving it! We use food all the time to express love and when it is well received it gives you that happy, loved feeling. Especially if you have dietary restrictions, making something that you’ve taken the time to think over and shop for is special and will be well appreciated.
  6. Share your Favourite Recipes. It is just like sharing a good book, film or music, it connects us to those around who share the same passions and feelings. I personally have loved documenting all my foodie discoveries and recipes and when someone says to me, ‘I tried your recipe and it was delicious’, or ‘I love your blog as I’m rubbish at new ideas for dinners, so you’ve taken the hard work away for me’, this just gives me a warm satisfaction that I am helping those that need it. Sharing is caring!


Sweet Chilli Mixed Bean Tuna Salad

Sweet Chilli Mixed Bean Tuna Salad

Healthier Eating is always at the fore front of my mind and especially this time of year, your body needs those extra nutrients & vitamins to function well and fight of those colds & flu’s. I know a salad doesn’t sound ideal when it’s minus degrees outside but trust me your body will thank you for it. I normally have a warm bowl of porridge in the morning, not only does that heat you up it also keeps you full for longer.

Choosing foods for your lunch or dinner that are rich in vitamin C, such foods like sweet potatoes, tomatoes, red peppers and citrus fruits, try adding these to your meals as vitamin C plays an important role in the immune system and energy levels, especially important if you regularly exercise.

During the winter months, we can come into contact with viruses that can cause colds or flu. So, it’s important that our immune system functions normally and zinc contributes to this. Foods such as shellfish, spinach and lentils are good sources of zinc.

Fish such as salmon, tuna & cod as well as milk, eggs and cheese, are a great source of vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 contributes to the normal functioning of the immune system and also contributes to a reduction in tiredness and fatigue.

Spices like chilli’s are a good source of antioxidants and rich in vitamin A, as well as minerals such as iron and potassium.

This Superfood Salad bowl I have for my lunch, which gives me a good boost for afternoon working. It is rich in nutrients, flavour and vitamins so a good all rounder for the whole family. Serve with some wholewheat crackers for a more filling dish or serve as a side with some fish for dinner.


Serves 4 portions

1 x 400g Tin Mixed Beans

200g Baby Spinach – chopped

2 x Tins of Tuna (or fresh if you can)

100g Cherry Tomatoes, sliced into quarters

1 x Cucumber sliced into quarters

Handful of chopped mix nuts & seeds

3 Tbsps of Sweet Chilli Sauce (more if you want it sweeter)

2 Chillies, Chopped finely (optional)

Chopped fresh Parsley (Optional)

  1. Drain the tin of mixed beans and decant into a large bowl, add the spinach, tomatoes, cucumber, tuna, chilli’s (if using) and mix through
  2. Pour in the chilli sauce and mix ensuring everything is coated.
  3. Sprinkle Nuts & Seeds (of your choice) and chopped parsley (if using) on top and serve into bowls.


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

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.


Timbale of Avocado, Crab & Caviar

Timbale of Avocado, Crabmeat & Caviar

I was lucky recently to have meet Duncan Smith from Duncans Caviar https://www.instagram.com/duncanscaviar/ , who is the Exclusive Scottish Distributor for Royal Belgian Caviar https://royalbelgiancaviar.be/en/caviar. The Royal Belgian Caviar are based in Belgium and home farm their sturgeon for the best quality product. It is a firm favourite with all the Top Chefs. Click link for more information.

I used the Beluga Caviar which leaves a lovely after taste with its rich, Buttery and Creamy notes. Holiday season is fast approaching, so why not treat yourself and indulge, you only live once!

Makes 4

1 Ripe Avocado, peeled and mashed

1 small Red Onion, minced finely

2 tbsp lemon juice

Salt & Pepper to taste

100g Crabmeat

2 tsp Caviar

  1. Mix together the crab meat, seasoning and 1 tbsp lemon juice, set aside
  2. In a separate bowl mix the mashed avocado with the red onion, 1 tbsp lemon juice and seasoning.
  3. For each serving take 1 tbsp of the avocado mix and fill a 1.5″ cookie round, then top with 1 tbsp of the crabmeat mixture, smoothing the surface as you go. Ensure your plate has been refrigerated before hand. Put back into the fridge for 10 minutes, this makes it easier to remove the cutter and stay in tact when removed.
  4. When ready to serve, remove the cutter and finish off with a little Caviar.

These little bitesize timbales are great for a party or get together, the avocado and crabmeat give the creamy base some texture and the delicate topping of the Caviar makes these super decadent. Serve with a glass of Champagne for ultimate taste sensation.


Spicy Carrot & Parsnip Soup

Spicy Carrot & Parsnip Soup

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.

Vegetable Harvest, Carrots & Parsnips

Serves 4

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)

  1. Pre heat the oil in a large pot on medium to high heat, add the onions and celery and cook until onions are translucent.
  2. Add in the spices (cumin, garlic, coriander, turmeric, ginger) and mix through until coated.
  3. Add in the parsnips, carrots and vegetable stock, season & bring to the boil then reduce and simmer for 25-30 minutes.
  4. Take off the heat and using a hand blender, blend the vegetables to make a smooth thick consistancey.
  5. 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.


Asparagus, Pea, Bean & Rice Bowl

Asparagus Rice Bowl

I am always looking for new ideas to be healthier in my Dinner choices, I used to think healthy meant you’d always be hungry after….lol. In this dish it is the complete opposite, with the addition of the rice & beans it was very filling and kept me satisfied all night, and with only 400 calories & 29g protein per serving, it was super healthy too.

You can always add some flaked Salmon for that extra nutrition.

Serves 2-3

Handful of Asparagus, trimmed & chopped

Handful of Green Beans, timmed & chopped

Handful of Peas

150g Wholegrain Rice (or for quickness, you could use prepacked rice)

100g Baby Spinach, chopped

1 x 400g Tin of Mixed Salad Beans (or any beans that you prefer, just not Baked!)

Zest & Juice of 1 Lemon

2 tsp Dijon Mustard

1 tbsp Olive Oil

Pinch Sugar

Handful freshly Chopped Coriander

Rainbow Pepper or Black Pepper

  1. Cook the asparagus, green beans and peas in a pan of boiling water for 2-3 mins until tender. Drain.
  2. Cook the Rice as per packet instructions and drain.
  3. Heat the mixed salad beans in a pan for 4-5 minutes.
  4. In a large bowl, put the rice, asparagus, green beans, peas, mixed salad beans & spinach, mix through until combined.
  5. In a small bowl, mix together, olive oil, dijon mustard, lemon juice & zest and pinch sugar, pour over the rice bowl and mix through. Sprinkle over some fresh coriander and pepper then serve.
Bowl of Asparagus, Bean & Rice

Black Pudding, Beetroot & goats cheese salad

Black Pudding, Beetroot Salad & Goats Cheese Salad

I’ve loads of Beetroot growing in my garden just now and perfect season for it too, so decided on a little treat for lunch today. Certainly beats the Ryvita’s….lol.

Beetroot is packed with essential nutrients, beetroots are a great source of fiber, folate (vitamin B9), manganese, potassium, iron, and vitamin C. Beetroots and beetroot juice have been associated with numerous health benefits, including improved blood flow, lower blood pressure, and increased exercise performance.

Perfect pairing with Beetroot for me is definitely Stornoway Black Pudding & Goats Cheese, just so yummy! I served with some Homegrown Spinach too.

Serves 2

4 large Beetroots – Cooked and Sliced into bite size chunks

60g Goats Cheese

4 Slices of Black pudding

1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

Pinch salt

1 tsp Mixed Herbs

Handful of Spinach – chopped

Sunflower & Pumpkin Seeds to top

  1. Place Beetroot into a bowl, add balsamic vinegar, salt & mixed herbs and mix through.
  2. Cook Black Pudding in a pan on medium to high heat for about 3-4 minutes each side with a little oil. Remove and pat dry, break up into bite size pieces and add to beetroot and mix through.
  3. Chop up the spinach and lay on a plate, top with the beetroot and black pudding then tear the goats cheese over and serve with pumpkin & sunflower seeds.
Plate of Black pudding, Beetroot & Goats Cheese

Roasted Beetroot Salad

Roasted Beetroot Salad

As you may know I started my very first Raised Vegetable Beds this year, it’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a while but as the story goes, we work & we work and never seem to find time to start anything. This was the year that I was finally going to put a plan of action together, ordered my raised beds, got them all painted and treated, filled them up, planted the seeds and waited. I can’t tell you how exciting it was to see my first little green shoot pop up.

I love Beetroot, so that was the first seed planted and I am now starting to harvest them. Oh my, freshness, freshness, freshness…..there is nothing better that eating straight from your garden, I harvested some yesterday and decided on a lovely refreshing salad today for my lunch.

Fresh Beetroot from my garden

How to Roast Beetroot

First wash all the mud etc off of the beets and trim of the stalks & leaves, but keep the leaves aside for later. If not using straight away, store in a perforated plastic bag in the salad bins in your fridge, these will keep for about 2 weeks.

Beetroot & Beetroot Leaves Storage in Fridge

Using Tin foil, place the Beets (with the skin on) on and sprinkle a little olive oil & salt, wrap up into a parcel, not too tightly as you want the steam to help cook the beets, then bake on a tray in centre of your oven at 200 deg for about 45 minutes.

Remove and allow steam to escape from parcel then allow to cool slightly. At this stage, I advise to wear gloves, you WILL get Beetroot stained if you don’t…lol! With gloves on gently rub the skin and you’ll notice it comes away very easily, remove all the skin and slice into wedges or bite sized pieces. Yum!

Using the saved leaves, these can be cooked just like Kale. Bring a pan of water to the boil add a little salt and blanch for a few minutes, remove and drain excess water through a colander/sieve. I love the colour of the water here too.

Place leaves in a bowl with beetroot, squeeze some lemon juice and 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar over and mix. Sprinkle over some Goats cheese or Feta cheese and chopped walnuts to serve.

You could also cook some couscous or bulgur wheat to add to make it a more filling bowl.

A Bowl of Roasted Beetroot, Beetroot Leaves, Goats Cheese, Walnuts


Nutty Energy Balls

As the Covid19 Lockdown is slowly and gently easing, we are now allowed to travel to the mountains again. We have longed to get back outdoors and into the picturesque landscape we call home. The Scottish Mountains are my headspace, a place where I grow, think, be at peace, laugh and get fitter…lol! To read more about the Scottish Munros, Corbetts, Grahams etc, head over to my travel post https://atomic-temporary-46532287.wpcomstaging.com/2020/07/08/a-list-of-scotlands-mountains/.

Anyway, back to food, my first passion. To walk or climb the Scottish Mountains you need energy firstly (then waterproofs…lol), so I made these to pack and take with us for a wee boost when needed. Great for a pre workout snack too & also Gluten Free.

Nutty Energy Balls

Makes about 16

For the Balls:-

4 heaped tbsp of Crunchy Peanut Butter (good quality, I use Whole Earth)

200g chopped mixed nuts & raisins (I used a food processor to chop finely)

2 tbsp Icing sugar

Coating/Topping:-

Choice 1:-

Dark or Milk Chocolate, 1 tbsp Butter – Melted together

Chopped Pistachios

Choice 2:-

Butter icing – Icing Sugar 80-100g, 1 tbsp butter – Melted together

Desiccated Coconut

  1. Place all ball ingredients into a bowl and mix together until combined. You may find it best to us clean hands for this. Take a tsp size and roll into a ball.
  2. Dip the rolled balls into your wet mixture of choice and then roll into the coconut or pistachio toppings to coat. Place onto a greaseproof lined baking tray and refrigerate to harden.
  3. These can be stored for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container. Enjoy!

Of course you can use any coating or topping you like.

Enjoy these bite size energy boosters

Keema Pie

Keema Pie

Oh WOW! This dish is super tasty, if you love Pies and you love Curries, you will absolutely love this. This came from my PON Everyday light Cookbook, so lower in calories too at just 400 per serving. The Sweet Potato Topping adds that extra flavour for perfection. This would be a good batch cook meal too.

Serves 2

For the Filling:-

300g Scottish Beef Mince

1 Red onion, diced

1 Red pepper, diced

1 Carrot, diced

1 tsp dried ginger granules (or 1cm fresh ginger, grated)

1 tsp garlic granules (or 1 clove, chopped)

2 tbsp Curry Powder

2 tbsp tomato puree

250ml Beef Stock

80g frozen peas

Salt & pepper to taste

For the Topping:-

1 large Maris Piper potato, peeled and diced

2 medium Sweet Potatoes, peeled and diced

1/4 tsp Turmeric

  1. Preheat oven to 180 deg fan
  2. Place the potatoes into a pan of water and bring to boil, then simmer for 20 minutes until tender.
  3. Meanwhile, spray some oil in a pan and brown the mince. Add the onion, pepper, carrot and cook for a few minutes. Add in the ginger, garlic, curry powder & tomato puree and mix. Then add the stock and bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered for about 15-20 minutes until sauce has thickened.
  4. Once potatoes are cooked, drain and mash with the turmeric and season.
  5. Once mince has cooked stir through the frozen peas and place into an ovenproof dish, allow to cool slightly. Once cooled spread the mash potatoes on top and fluff up with a fork. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes. If you have a browning setting on your oven, place under grill and brown for a couple of minutes. (add that extra crunch)

Stripey Omelette

Happy National Egg Day! (well in the U.S it is on 3rd June). I am helping them celebrate today my making myself eggs for lunch and a stripey omelette at that & why not! I do love experimenting with food…lol!

Eggs are so nutritious and filling, stored with lots of protein, about 13g in a large egg size. Eggs are also low in calories and full of vitamin D & B, so a good all rounder for any meal. I love eggs, you can scramble, poach, fry, bake, boil they are very versatile. Want to know even more, check out egg info here….https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egg_as_food

I get my eggs delivered straight to my door from McQueens Dairies. This omelette made from Scottish eggs from Beaton Farms in Inverurie, Scotland.

3 Eggs – Large

Spray oil

Seasoning

  1. Start by separating the yolks from whites. Mix the yolks.
  2. Heat a little spray oil in a pan on a low heat and pour in the yolks only, cook gently for a few minutes until cooked.
  3. Using a knife gently & I say very gently as you don’t want to damage your pan, then slice into strips about 1-1.5cm thick and remove every 2nd one. (you can use the spare strips for another omelette or create a lattice design).

4. Then pour in the egg whites and cook gently on a low heat until the egg whites start to bubble.

5. At this stage if you are using a filling, lay it onto omelette and start to roll up in pan then decant onto a plate.

Serve. Yummy and Eye catching.


Spinach Leaf Creamy Pesto

Since in Lockdown I’ve had the chance to build & plant my first proper Vegetable Beds and today was my first harvest of my Radishes….yummy! There is nothing better than homegrown fresh food. The obvious choice is a salad as radishes are just so refreshing and add that bit of crunch. Did you know you can eat the leaves also? Chop them up add to potatoes or pasta or make a pesto!

Left Over Radish leaves – 2 handfuls approx

1 Garlic Clove

1 tbsp pistachios

30g Grated Cheese (Parmesan)

2 tbsp olive oil – good quality one for best flavour

2 tbsp creme fraiche

Salt & pepper

  1. Thoroughly wash the green leaves and put into a blender or food processor along with the rest of the ingredients and blitz until smooth, if too thick add a little more olive oil.

I used mine to make a lovely radish & avocado salad for lunch. I will probably use the rest for some pasta later on in week. Cover and store in fridge for max 3 days.


Breakfast Doughnuts

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If you’ve seen my last post on Baked Doughnuts, then you’ll know that I found my Doughnut tin…lol!  I decided to jazz up my breakfast into doughnuts instead of muffins, still super tasty, just a different shape.

 

Makes 6

6 large eggs

Pepper (any colour) chopped finely

Spring onions or small white or red onion – finely chopped

Cooked ham or any cooked meat of your choice – finely chopped

Salt & Pepper to taste

Paprika

Grated Cheese of your choice (I used cheddar)

 

  1. Grease doughnut tin with some spray oil and preheat oven to 150 deg fan.
  2. Place the pepper, onion and ham evenly into the moulds.
  3. Whisk up the eggs
  4. Pour evenly into moulds, don’t over fill. Season.
  5. Sprinkle with cheese and then sprinkle some paprika on top. Bake for about 20 minutes.
  6. Remove and serve immediately. Yummy!
  7. These can also be kept in the fridge for next morning, then just reheat.

 

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Sweet Potato & Peanut Butter Gratin

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Oh Yum, this dish I found on the Whole Earths website, I just love their Peanut Butter especially the crunchy one….yum!  My curiosity got the better of me because I wouldn’t have thought to put sweet potato and peanut butter together but wow, this was so tasty.

I also used my automatic setting on my Hotpoint Class 9 oven, the Potato Gratin setting. This was great as I didn’t need to worry about what temperature or oven function to set for a perfect bake the oven worked it all out for me.

This made 4 small servings (2 bakes in a 19cm x 30cm baking dish)

3 large Sweet Potatoes

2 tsp Crushed Chillies (or 2 chopped chillies)

100g Spinach – Chopped

300g Creme Friache

3 tbsp Peanut Butter, Crunchy

2 tsp dried coriander leaves

Salt & Pepper to taste

 

  1. If not using automatic programmes, preheat oven on fan to about 200 deg then finish off under the grill to crisp and brown.
  2. Peel & Slice the sweet potatoes to about 1/2 cm thick and place in a bowl, add the chopped spinach, coriander, chillies, salt & pepper.                                              20200210_122807
  3. Mix the creme friache and peanut butter together until smooth ad combined then pour into the sweet potatoes and mix until potatoes are coated.                              20200210_123350
  4. Spray a baking dish with spray oil and then layer the sweet potato in the dish making two rows.                                                                                          20200210_124357
  5. Cover with Tin foil and bake for about 30 minutes, remove the tin foil and continue to bake for the further 30 minutes or until sweet potatoes are softened and slightly browned.
  6. Serve.

 

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Banana, Peanut Butter & Oat Choc Chip Muffins

 

Today was a day of using up leftovers and I had bananas that were crying out to be used. This little recipe is so easy to make and delicious too, you can store for 2-3 days in an airtight container or freeze if you are making a large batch. Gluten Free too.

A great healthier option too with the oats having 4 grams of fiber & 6 grams of protein. In addition to fiber, oats are rich in magnesium, zinc and iron. The bananas which are loaded with fiber, potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and various antioxidants. The Peanut Butter is a good source of magnesium too.

A great grab & go breakfast option or simply a little snack in between meals.

 

Makes 12

200g Scottish Oats

60g Peanut Butter

2 small bananas, mashed

1 egg

3 tbsp Maple Syrup

120ml milk

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 Dark Chocolate squares, chopped (or you can used choc chips)

 

  1. Preheat your oven on fan to 175 deg and grease a muffin tin.
  2. Put ALL ingredients into a bowl or mixer bowl and combine together.                        20200209_113300
  3. Pour into muffin tin, filling approx 3/4 way.
  4. Bake for about 25 minutes or until a knife comes out clean and muffins are set.
  5. Remove and allow to cool for a few minutes. If freezing allow to cool completely.
  6. Best served slightly warm. Yum!

 

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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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Jambalaya

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This was a little dish I tried from Pinch of Nom’s Latest Cookbook. It was super tasty and low in Kcal’s too at just 398 per portion.

 

Serves 4

Low cal cooking spray

300g diced chicken

2 red peppers, diced

1 onion, diced

2 celery sticks, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tbsp cajun seasoning (1 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp salt, 2 tsps garlic powder, 2 tsps paprika, 1 tsp ground black pepper, 1 tsp cayenne pepper, 1 tsp oregano dried, 1 tsp thyme, 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes)

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp dried oregano

1 x 400g tin tomatoes

200g long grain rice

400ml chicken stock

1 tbsp worcestershire sauce

3 low fat sausages (I sliced them after they were cooked)

 

  1. Spray a large dish with oil, add the chicken and cook over medium heat to brown.
  2. Then add in the onion, peppers and celery, cook for a few minutes
  3. Add in the garlic, cajun spice, paprika and oregano, stir and cook for a few minutes.
  4. Add the rice, chopped tomatoes, stock & worcestershire sauce. Place the sausages in and bring to the boil then reduce to a low heat and cook covered for about 30 minutes.
  5. Serve, Yum!

This is a great dish that you can batch cook with and freeze.


Vegetarian Cottage Pie

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Oh yum, this little dish was delicious! Looking to be more healthier this year, so I decided on a veggie pie rather than meat. Super delicious and filling too.

 

Serves 3/4

1 onion, finely chopped
3 carrots, finely chopped
2 celery sticks, finely chopped
2 tsp tomato purée
3 tsp plain flour, 1 tsp thyme
Vegetable stock pot, made up to 200ml
2 x 400g tin kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 x 400g tin adzuki beans
1kg Potatoes peeled and halved
75ml milk
25g butter
75g mature Cheddar, grated
1 tbsp English mustard
75ml milk

 

  1. To cook the Soffrito (A soffrito is a flavourful mix of diced onion, carrot and celery gently fried in oil. It forms the basis of many dishes, including soups, stews and sauces. Add chopped garlic or herbs for even more flavour, if you like.)  Heat a little oil in a pan and cook the celery, onion & carrot for a few minutes.                                                                              20200202_123904
  2. Cut a piece of baking paper the same diameter as your pan and lay on top of the veg, cook for a further 10 mins.  ( The circle of baking paper helps to keep the vegetables moist and retain their flavour as they cook. It’s also useful when cooking the base of curries, soups and stews, but you can do without if you don’t have baking paper.)                                                                                  20200202_123913
  3. Add the tomato puree and stir through the add the flour and combine.
  4. Pour in the stock, beans & thyme and bring to the boil then reduce and simmer for about 20-25 minutes.                                                                                  20200202_131045
  5. Transfer to an oven proof dish and allow to cool. Preheat your oven to 170deg fan.
  6. Meanwhile, to make the rarebit mash:- Boil the potatoes until tender and mash.
  7. Stir in 75ml milk & 25g butter
  8. In a separate bowl mix the 75g grated cheese and mustard together. Slowly stir in the 75ml milk, until smooth.                                                                      20200202_131059
  9. Stir in the cheese mixture to your potatoes.
  10. Spoon the mash over the pie mixture evenly. Note: (The bean mixture should have formed a thin skin while cooling. Don’t stir it before adding the mash because this helps keep the layers separate while the pie bakes).
  11. Sprinkle with some thyme and bake for about 30-40 minutes until golden brown. I have a browning setting on my oven and its great for things like this.

 


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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Spicy Tomato & Mushroom Pasta

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This is a great mid week dinner, super quick and easy (if you have prepared paste before hand). I had to use up some leftover vegetables in my fridge, and I had stored some coloured pasta I made a few weeks ago. So super easy and super quick.

 

Serves 2

Pasta of your choice

200g Baby Spinach

150g Cherry tomatoes, chopped

150g Mushrooms, sliced

1 tsp dried garlic (or 2 cloves if you have fresh)

1 tsp smoked paprika

Pinch of chilli flakes

2 tbsp tomato puree

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Salt & Pepper to taste

 

  1. Cook pasta as per packet instructions, or if fresh, 2 minutes in simmering salted water.
  2. Meanwhile, brown the mushrooms then add in the tomatoes, cook until slightly softened.
  3. Add in the garlic, paprika, cayenne, chilli, tomato puree and stir through. Then add in the Spinach and cover to allow to wilt down (about 1 minute).
  4. Drain the pasta and add to the sauce mix and stir until coated. Serve.

 

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Beetroot Hummus

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In a bid to eat a bit healthier, this little dip was perfect as I love Beetroot and always looking for different ways to use it. I saw this from The Veg Space, a great website if you love vegetables, some great ideas too.

The great thing is you can freeze hummus, so I made a big batch and split into smaller portions for later.

 

Makes approx 600g

3 Large cooked Beetroots, diced

1 can 400g Chickpeas

2 garlic cloves, crushed

Juice & zest of 2 Lemons

4 tbsp tahini

2 tsp smoked paprika

Salt & Pepper

 

  1. Drain the chickpeas and keep the juice.
  2. Put the chickpeas, beetroot, lemon juice & zest, tahini, paprika, garlic and seasoning into a blender or food processor and blitz to a smooth paste.
  3. Gradually add about 1-2 tbsps of the chickpea juice until you get the consistency you want.

Serve as you please. Makes a great dip.

Healthy too at just 71 calories per 50g.

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Moroccan Beef Pilaf

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Oh Yum, the flavours from this were amazing. I got this recipe from Scott Baptie’s High Protein Handbook 5, full of goodness too. You can check out his website here.

 

Serves 2

1 tbsp olive oil

1 red onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

300g Scottish steak mince

1 tsp Chilli powder

2 tsp mixed spice

1/2 tsp turmeric

150g Basmati rice

300ml Beef Stock

100g frozen peas

2 handfuls of Spinach

Seasoning (salt & pepper)

 

  1. Heat oil in a pan on medium to high heat
  2. Brown onion and garlic for a few minutes
  3. Add in the mince with seasoning and brown
  4. Add the spices and cook for a minute, add the rice and mix through until coated.
  5. Pour in the stock and simmer for about 15-20 minutes
  6. Add the peas and spinach and cook for a further 5 minutes or until all liquid has been absorbed.
  7. Serve. Yummy!

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Maple & Teriyaki Glaze Salmon

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Oh Yum. Eating Healthy is a priority for me, it makes me feel good and keeps me alert. Living in Scotland we have amazing fresh Salmon which is classified as an oily fish, salmon is considered to be healthy due to the fish’s high protein, high omega 3 fatty acids, and high Vitamin D.

I’m always looking for new flavours to try and this has got to be one of my favourites.

 

1 Serving

2 tbsp Maple Syrup

2 tbsp Teriyaki Sauce

1 tbsp Hot Sauce

1 Clove garlic

Salmon Fillet

Select of vegetables to serve.

 

  1. I put all the ingredients into a food bag and allowed to marinade for about 1 hour.
  2. Remove food from bag, keeping the marinade.
  3. I used my Crisper plate, place salmon and vegetables on and cook on Crisp function for about 4-5 minutes depending on thickness of Salmon. Alternatively pre-heat oven to 210 deg and place on greaseproof tray and bake for about 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, reduce the marinade sauce using a medium heat so that you have a thick sauce to pour over.

 

 

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Carrot Salad

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A lovely refreshing side salad. Perfect with fish.

 

Courgette – Spiralized or julienne style its up to you.

1 orange Carrot – as above

1 purple Carrot – as above

6 spring onions – sliced diagonally

small piece of ginger grated

Juice of 1 lime

2 tbsp olive oil

small bunch fresh coriander – finely chopped

Seasoning

 

  1. Mix everything in a large bowl and serve.

 

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Cheese ‘n’ Ham Omelette

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I do love breakfast time, and one of my favourites is omelettes. They are very nutritious, packed with protein and have over 15 essential vitamins and minerals.

Cook eggs on their own, either scrambled, poached, boiled or fried, or use to make dishes such as omelettes, frittatas, soufflés, pancakes, sauces or cakes, or use to glaze breads and pies. The list is endless, I love it.

 

Makes 1

3 eggs

30g Gruyere Cheese, grated

30-40g Ham Hock shredded

1 tsp nutmeg

1 handful of spinach

Salt & pepper to taste

 

  1. Heat some spray oil in a fry pan on medium heat
  2. Whisk together eggs, nutmeg, ham & cheese and pour into pan. Season.
  3. I put the lid on my pan and cook lightly until puffed up, 1 minute before ready lay on your spinach and cover again. (by covering it adds more steam and allows the omelette to puff up more)
  4. Remove and serve. Yum!

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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. Otherwise, place stock in a pan with pumpkin & leeks, & additional 100ml stock then bring to boil, reduce slightly & cook covered until soft.
  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. If using pot its the same method as above.
  4. Add in the Bulgur Wheat to the creamed soup and cook on microwave 900w for 3 minutes.
  5. Or simmer in pan for 5 – 7 minutes.
  6. Remove from microwave/pan and serve with some toasted pumpkin seeds and a drizzle of olive oil.
  7. You can also add in some toasted croutons if you like.

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Filipino Chicken Curry

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I recently purchased the new High Protein Handbook No. 5 from Scott Baptie, and this little recipe was my first one I tried, I have to say it was super tasty and very nutritious too.

 

Serves 2

1 tsp coconut oil

2 Chicken Breasts – chopped into chunks

1 sweet potato – chopped into chunks

1 onion – chopped

1 tsp dried garlic granules

1 tsp ginger

1 red pepper, chopped into chunks

1 tbsp curry powder

1 tsp paprika

1 tbsp fish sauce

200ml coconut milk

1 tsp chilli powder

Salt & pepper to taste

 

  1. Melt the coconut oil in a pan, season the chicken and add to the pan to brown then removed with a slotted spoon.
  2. Add the onion, pepper, sweet potato, garlic and ginger and brown.
  3. Add the chicken back to the pan and add the fish sauce, paprika, curry powder, chilli and coconut milk, reduce to a low simmer and cook covered for about 1-2 hours.
  4. Remove lid, turn heat up slightly and allow to cook uncovered for about 20-30 minutes or until the sauce thickens.
  5. Serve on its own or with some steamed wholemeal rice.

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Vegetable Tagine

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In a bid to get more vegetables into our diet, this little Tagine was simply super tasty and super healthy. One pot cooking too so nice & easy. I do love Moroccan flavours. Idea came from a recipe from PON and as usual I added and took out bits to suit my own tastes. Delicious!!!

 

Serves 4

Low calorie spray

1 Large carrot, cut into chunks

200g Turnip (swede), peeled and cut into chunks

2 large parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks

6 shallots – peeled and cut into wedges

1 red pepper, cut into wedges

200g peeled and deseeded butternut squash, cut into chunks

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 tbsp Moroccan Spice Mix (1 tsp ground ginger, 1 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp coriander, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, 1 tsp white pepper, 1/2 tsp mixed spice, 1/2 tsp ground turmeric)

1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes

250ml vegetable stock

1 x 400g tin chickpeas, drained.

200g Baby Spinach

handful chopped fresh coriander

 

  1. Spray a Casserole dish with low cal spray and place over medium heat, add the vegetables and cook for about 5-10 minutes until lightly browned.
  2. Add the garlic and cook for a few more minutes, then add the spice mix and season ensuring all vegetables are covered.
  3. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and stock, bring to a simmer, cover and turn down low. Cook for about 1- 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  4. Stir in the chickpeas and spinach and cook for about 5 minutes more.
  5. Sprinkle with fresh coriander and serve.

 

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Egg, Smoked Paprika & Spinach Breakfast Boats

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Love these little baked egg boats, such a super simple dish for a lazy breakfast morning. Nutritious, tasty and low in calories and fat.

 

Makes 2

1 1/2 Wholemeal Sandwich thins (or you could use bread)

knob of butter melted

2 large eggs

small handful of baby spinach

Seasoning

1 tsp smoked paprika

Chilli flakes

 

  1. Preheat your oven to 180 deg
  2. Spray a baking tin with a little low fat spray oil
  3. Brush the thins with the melted butter, both sides & mould into the baking tin, bake in the oven for 5 minutes
  4. Place the spinach into the boats and whisk the eggs, pour into the boats, sprinkle with chilli and paprika and season.
  5. Bake for about 15-20 minutes until set and browned.
  6. Serve. Yummy!

 

 

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Scottish Cod with Pea & Asparagus Mash

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Packed with 3 of your 5 a day this tasty meal is super high in vitamins and flavour.  Any excuse to get my KitchenAid mini processer out though…lol!

 

Makes 2 Servings

300 g Potatoes

1 bunch of asparagus

100g fresh peas or canned

1 red chilli

2 handfuls of baby spinach

2 Scottish cod fillets

1 lemon

 

  1. Wash the potatoes and cut into small chunks, keep skin on as that is where the most flavour is. Place in a pan of slightly salted boiling water and cook for about 10 minutes or until soft.
  2. Add the asparagus and peas to the pan and cook further for 3-4 minutes, drain and put into a food processor.                                                                          20190817_174846
  3. Add the spinach, lemon zest and seasoning to the processor and pulse until blended together.                                                                                                20190817_175820
  4. Cook your cod to your preferred method. I steam cooked mine but you could pan fry for crispy finish.
  5. Divide up the mash and serve with the cod on top, to finish sprinkle with chilli and lemon juice.
  6. Yummy!

 

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Black Bean Tacos

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This is a very simple and quick satisfying dinner & a healthy nutritious one too. The added crispy onions on top just give it a lovely little crunch. I used Corn Tacos for extra flavour.

 

Makes enough for 6 tacos.

1 can Black Beans, rinsed (400g)

150g sweetcorn (fresh or frozen)

1 red pepper, diced

1 tsp dried chilli flakes or chilli powder

1 tbsp cumin

1/2 tsp onion granules

1/2 tsp garlic powder

Sour cream

Chopped Coriander

100g baby spinach

1 Lime

6 Corn Tacos

50g grated cheese (any of your choice)

4 tbsp crispy onions (for recipe click here)

 

  1. Heat a little oil in a fry pan on medium to high heat
  2. Add in the pepper and sweetcorn and cook for about 5 minutes
  3. Add in the black beans, chilli, garlic, onion granules, cumin and pinch of salt, mix through and cook for about 5 minutes
  4. Add in the baby spinach and 2 tbsp water, cover and let spinach wilt for about a minute of 2. Mix through. Finished with 2 tbsp coriander and juice from 1 lime.
  5. To serve, heat up the corn tacos under a grill (or tortillas if using). 2 tbsp of bean mix, top with sour cream, cheese and crispy onions. Yummy!

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Broccoli Fritters

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Oh yum! I wanted to try broccoli rice in my new KitchenAid mini Food Processor and then decided to turn it into little fitters, these were super tasty and so nutritious. These are freezeable so you can make a large batch for later in the week.

 

Makes 8

200g Broccoli – fresh

1 egg

80g Gram Flour (Chickpea Flour), you can use almond flour or plain flour too.

30g shredded cheese (I used Le Gruyere but parmesan would be nice too)

1 tsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp mixed pepper

1 tsp onion granules

1 tsp garlic granules

 

  1. In a bowl add flour, salt, pepper, paprika, onion and garlic granules, cheese, flour and egg, mix together                                                                                      20190730_124702
  2. Blitz the broccoli in a food processor and add to the mixture, bring together. If its a little too sticky, just add in some extra flour.
  3. Taking a ladle, scoop some mixture and place into a hot pan with a little oil or Crisperplate (if using), cook for about 4 minutes on each side or until slightly browned. You could also bake in an oven at about 200 deg for about 20-30 minutes.
  4. Serve. Yummy!

 

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Chickpea & Scottish Salmon Cakes

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Had some Scottish Salmon for dinner tonight and 1/2 a can of chickpeas to use up, so I thought I’d cook something different. These were really tasty and so quick to cook too using my Crisperplate, just 10 minutes. You can of course gently fry these if you don’t have a Crisperplate.

I also wanted to use my Kitchenaid mini food processor, I got this last week, it’s a brilliant wee machine, so quick and a great size for smaller portions.

 

Makes 4

1 x 120g Scottish Salmon Fillet (cooked, I steam cooked mine)

200g chickpeas drained

1 tsp garlic granules

2 tbsp dried coriander

1 lime, zested & juice

1 tsp onion granules

1 egg

30g Panko breadcrumbs

Salt & Pepper to taste

 

  1. Place the chickpeas, garlic, coriander, lime, onion granules, egg, salt & pepper into a food processor and blitz until combined.                                                         20190730_122031
  2. Add in the cooked salmon and gently blitz, don’t break up too much.
  3. Add in the panko breadcrumbs and mix together. Mould into 4 cakes about 1 ” thick and place on some greaseproof paper and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

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  4. If using the Crisperplate, preheat for 2 minutes and place onto plate and cook for about 10 minutes. If using fry pan, add a little oil and cook for about 4 minutes each side.
  5. Serve. Yummy!

 

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Moroccan spiced Mince with Bulgur Wheat & Spinach

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I’m enjoying my Moroccan spices at the moment, the flavour is fragrant, fiery, sweet, savory, and citrusy, it really gets your senses moving.  Normally a traditional Moroccan meal would contain couscous but as I had some Bulgur Wheat to use up I decided on this. Bulgur is also a healthier and lower calorie choice too.

 

Makes 2 Servings

Spray oil

1 medium red onion, finely chopped

200g Scottish Beef Mince

1 tbsp cumin

1 tsp ground cinnamon

2 tsp turmeric

1 tbsp smoked paprika

1 tsp white pepper

1 tsp ground ginger

250ml vegetable stock

100g Spinach

30g Cashew nuts (slighty toasted and chopped)

80g Bulgur Wheat

Zest of 1 lemon

2 tbsp chopped fresh mint

Salt & pepper to taste

 

  1. Heat oil in a large fry pan and fry the onions until browned and softened
  2. Add in the beef mince and brown all over. Add in the spice mix and mix thoroughly.
  3. Add in the stock and bring to the boil, then simmer for about 15 minutes or until the stock thickens/evaporates slightly.
  4. Meanwhile, make the Bulgur Wheat as per packet instructions. Once cooked add in the spinach and cover with a lid, allow the residual heat to wilt the spinach down, mix through. Add in the lemon zest and mint and mix.
  5. Season, serve and sprinkle the toasted cashews on top. Yummy!

Goes well with a little glass of Rioja.

 

 

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Avocado Pancakes

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OMG! I do love Avocado’s & if you do too, you will love this little recipe. A good nutritious and healthy way to start your day. Creamy luxurious texture, full of good vitamins, healthy fatty acids, flavour and fiber, why would you not want to? Good on their own or serve with a poached egg or crispy bacon for a more luxury weekend treat.

 

Makes 4 large pancakes

1 Large avocado

100g Plain Flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tbsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/2 cup milk

1 egg

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 tbsp coconut oil – melted

butter for the pan

 

  1. Whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, salt & nutmeg in a bowl
  2. Combine the avocado, milk, egg, coconut oil and vanilla in a food processor until smooth
  3. Mix the avocado into the flour until blended
  4. Melt the butter in a fry pan on medium to high heat, scoop the batter into the pan (whichever size you like) and cook for about 2-3 minutes per each side.
  5. Serve. I put on a bed of Spinach with a poached egg on top, Yummy!

 

 

 

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Mince Beef Rogan Josh

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I’ve had an Indian Superfood Cookbook for ages but for some reason never actually attempted to make anything from it. So today was that day it got opened. I wish I had opened it up sooner, this dish was super tasty and full of good antioxidants. I served it with a chickpea chapati, made from my original Chapati recipe, I changed the plain flour for Gram Flour.

 

Serves 2

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tsp ground cardamom

2 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp salt

1 onion, sliced thinly

1 tsp garlic granules

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp gram masala

1 400g can chopped tomatoes

1 tbsp grated fresh ginger

2-3 chillies chopped or 1 tsp chilli flakes

250g scottish beef mince

225g can of chickpeas

Small handful of Fresh coriander to serve.

 

  1. Heat the oil in a large fry pan
  2. Add in the onions with the cardamom, cumin, garlic, ginger, salt, turmeric, gram masala & chillies. Cook until onions are slightly browned and softened.
  3. Add in half of the tin tomatoes and cook for about 10 minutes or until the excess juices have dried off.                                                                          20190713_172151
  4. Add in the mince, mix well and cook until mince has browned all over, about 5 minutes.                                                                                                  20190713_172746
  5. Add in the remaining tomatoes & chickpeas, bring to the boil, cover & simmer for about 30 minutes. If the consistancey is too thick just add a little water.
  6. Season with the fresh coriander and serve.

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Roasted Squash & Chicken Laksa Bake

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Oh yummy, I was going through all my cookbooks and found this dish from Jamie Olivers Superfood Book. Was easy to make, very filling and very delicious. Fresh flavours and so nutritious. Squash is packed with Vitamin A which helps us see in the dark. Laksa originates from Southeast Asia, it is usually a noodle based soup with coconut.

 

Serves 2

2 sticks of lemongrass

2 cloves garlic

10cm piece of ginger

2 fresh chillies

3 spring onions

1 bunch of fresh coriander

80ml coconut cream

Splash white wine vinegar

Splash of Fish Sauce

Chicken Stock Cube with 700ml water

150g brown rice or wild rice

1 butternut squash

2 chicken breasts (or thighs)

1 tbsp Sesame oil

1 tbsp unsalted peanuts

1 lime.

 

  1. Preheat your oven to 180 deg.
  2. Bash the lemongrass and remove outer layers, peel the garlic and ginger and chop the spring onions and chillies roughly. Place all in a blender. Add the coriander, (reserving a few leaves for garnish) coconut cream, vinegar and fish sauce, blitz the mixture until smooth. This is your Laksa paste.                                              20190710_155318
  3. Crumble the chicken stock cube into your oven dish and add 700ml boiling water to dissolve. Add in the rice.
  4. Cut up the butternut squash into 4 rounds off the bulbous part, removing the seeds.  20190710_155752
  5. Cut the chicken breasts into large bite size pieces. Cover the chicken and butternut squash pieces with the Laksa paste.  Place them into the oven dish with the rice & water. Drizzle 1 tbsp sesame oil over the top.
  6. Bake for 1 hour 30 minutes.
  7. Before serving, toast the peanuts and chop into small bits, sprinkle on top with the coriander leaves and squeeze the juice from lime over the top. Serve.

 

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Kale & Cabbage Frittata

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Oh Yummy! Healthier Eating doesn’t get any better, this was delicious. A middle eastern style frittata and so versatile, you can eat it cold or warm, lunch or dinner.

 

Serves 9

Spray Fry oil or veg oil

1 red onion, sliced finely

200 g curly kale

200g cabbage – cut into ribbons and chopped

2 tsp garlic granules

1 tsp ground fenugreek

1 tsp turmeric

8 large eggs

2 tsp baking powder

2 tbsp plain flour

2 tbsp greek yoghurt, I used low fat

2 small handfuls of cranberries

40g pine nuts

200g feta cheese

Salt & pepper to taste

 

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add in the onions and cook until soft.
  2. Increase the heat to medium to high and add in the kale, stir fry for about 4 minutes until wilted. Add in the cabbage and stir fry for about 5 minutes, add in the garlic and spices, season and cook until wilted and cooked through, about another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  3. Preheat your oven to 200 deg and line an ovenproof dish with baking paper. I used a tin 24 x 24cm.
  4. Crack the eggs into a mixing bowl and whisk. Add the baking powder, flour, yoghurt and salt, mix well.
  5. Add in the cranberries and pine nuts, stir through.
  6. Once the greens mix is cooled add to the egg mixture little at a time and mix through.
  7. Fold in the feta pieces and pour into your prepared oven dish, evenly spreading the mixture.                                                                                                      20190710_135251
  8. Bake for about 30 minutes. Insert a knife and make sure it comes out clean. Allow to cool slightly. Slice and serve.

This will keep in the fridge for 2-3 days and you can also freezer any leftovers.

 

 

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Moroccan Spiced Cauliflower

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I got this recipe from one of my colleagues at an event, this is so delicious I just had to try myself at home. It is really easy to make and healthy. I used a steam assisted method to cook so this was lovely and moist.

Served with some Houmous and toasted almonds it was the perfect little dish, either as a snack, tapas style dish or an accompaniment dish.

 

Serves 3-4 

1 whole cauliflower – outer leaves removed

2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

2 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground turmeric

1 tsp ground coriander

1 clove garlic minced

1 lemon juice & (Zest for serving)

200g Houmous

30-40g Toasted Almond Flakes

1 tbsp fresh chopped mint to serve.

 

  1. Mix oil, salt, pepper, spices, garlic and lemon juice in a bowl. Rub this mixture into the cauliflower.
  2. Pre heat your oven on fan to 200 deg. Place a deep tray with water on level 2 and place a wire rack over the top, don’t allow the rack to touch the water. (the water is to create steam for more moisture)
  3. Place cauliflower onto the rack and cook for about 45 minutes.
  4. Place the houmous onto a plate, top with toasted almonds, the slice the cauliflower on top and sprinkle with lemon zest and mint. Serve.

 

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Chilli Bean Stew

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Home comfort food, there is nothing  better sometimes than a big bowl of a warming hearty stew. This was absolutely delicious and so filling.

 

Serves 2

Low calorie Spray oil

1 red onion chopped

1 tsp garlic granules or 1 clove crushed

1 red chilli (chopped) or 1 tsp crushed chillies

225g can of red kidney beans

225g can of cannellini beans

225g can of chickpeas

1 tbsp tomato paste

350ml vegetable stock

1 red pepper, chopped

225g can chopped tomatoes

90g fresh broad beans

1 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped

paprika to garnish

Soured cream to serve

 

  1. Heat the oil in a fry pan and add the onion, garlic & chilli and fry until softened.
  2. Add the kidney beans, cannellini beans, chickpeas and tomato paste and stir through.
  3. Pour over the stock and bring to the boil, reduce and simmer for about 15 minutes. Then add in the pepper, tomatoes and broad beans.                                      20190708_155813
  4. Cover with a lid and simmer for about 20 minutes until vegetables are tender. Add in 3/4 of the coriander and mix through.
  5. Serve into bowl and top with 1 tbsp sourced cream, sprinkle over some paprika and remaining coriander.

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Spinach Pancakes

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I do love Lazy Sunday Mornings. I pulled back the curtains and the sun was shining again, lovely! I opted for a fueling healthy breakfast this morning, first time I’ve tried Spinach Pancakes and they were lovely.

 

Makes 2 Pancakes

30g Gram Flour (chickpea)

85ml water

Pinch of sea salt

1/2 tsp garlic

2 handfuls of Spinach

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp coconut oil for frying.

 

  1. Add all the ingredients (except the coconut oil) to a blender and mix until smooth. The batter will be watery.                                                                            20190707_105216
  2. Heat the coconut oil in a fry pan on medium heat
  3. Pour a thin layer of the batter into the pan and swirl, when you start to see it bubble, flip over and cook. The pancake is very light so I would toss rather than using utensils to flip over as it might tear.                                                20190707_105924
  4. To serve, I chopped some avocado, feta cheese, tomatoes and topped with poached eggs. Yummy!

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Spicy Peanut Slaw

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This little dish is so refreshing. It was a lovely sunny day here this weekend so decided I wanted something cool and refreshing & this done just that job. I served with my pulled peanut butter chicken and was delish.

 

Makes enough for about 4 people or 8 smaller side portions.

1/2 large white cabbage – sliced finely

100g or more of peanuts – chopped

5 spring onions – chopped

3-4 sweet peppers sliced – various colours

1 large handful of coriander – finely chopped

Salt & pepper to taste

For the dressing:

2 tbsp Rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp sweetener (I used a low calorie option)

2 tsp toasted sesame oil

2 tsp soy sauce

2 tsp Hot Sauce (less or more if you like it spicy or not)

3 tbsp toasted peanut oil

 

  1. In a bowl mix up the dressing thoroughly until combined.
  2. Place all the slaw vegetables in a bowl and season
  3. Pour over the dressing and mix to combine.
  4. Serve immediately or keep in fridge for up to 1 day.

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Rumbledethumps

This is a Scottish Traditional Dish, made up of mainly Potatoes, onion & cabbage. I love this dish it is such a warming comfort food dish but healthy and nutritious.  It was chilly & wet here today, so this was the perfect dish to go with my chicken tonight.

 

Serves 2

250g potatoes – skin on and cut into small chunks

200g Turnip – cut into small chunks

1 white onion – finely sliced

1/2 green cabbage – finely sliced

Salt & Rainbow pepper (or black pepper)

1 egg yolk

40g low fat cheddar cheese

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 deg
  2. Place the potatoes and turnip in a large pan salted boiling water and gently boil until slightly softened.
  3. Meanwhile, spray a fry pan with low fat oil and cook the onion & cabbage until softened and slightly browned.                                                                          20190603_175245
  4. Once potatoes etc have softened, drain and add the the cabbage pan, mix and gently mash, not too much as your still want some chunks.                                            20190603_175644
  5. Decant into an oven proof dish and mix with the egg yolk, season with salt & pepper and sprinkle the cheese evenly over the top.                                                    20190603_180019
  6. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes.
  7. Serve. Yummy!  (A little splash of Worcestershire Sauce with this is amazing also)

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Cod in Soft Corn Tacos

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I love this recipe, another great find from PON

Quick & Easy to make, full of flavour, refreshing, light and only 190 Kcal per serving, whats not to like. We had these for lunch with a cheeky wee low cal beer. Yummy!

 

Serves 2

2 small Fresh cod Fillets cut into strips

1/4 tsp mild chilli powder

1/4 tsp garlic granules

1/4 tsp ground coriander

Salt & rainbow pepper

Handful of mixed leaves (I used watercress, spinach & rocket)

2 spring onions – finely chopped

4 small corn tortillas (or low calorie ones)

2 x Wedges of lime

4 tsp Low fat greek yoghurt

1 tsp chilli flakes

 

  1. Heat a little oil in a pan on high heat.
  2. Sprinkle Chilli powder, garlic and coriander over the fish slices and add the fish to the pan, cook for about 4 minutes then flip and cook for a further 3-4 minutes until slightly browned & crisp.
  3. Meanwhile, heat your tortillas as per packet instructions and place the green leaves, chopped spring onion and a little coriander onto the tortilla.
  4. Once fish is cooked through, place onto the green leaves, season with salt & pepper, add a dollop of yoghurt, sprinkle with chilli flakes and squeeze lime juice over, Serve. Yum Yum!

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Oat & Banana Pancakes

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Oh yum! These were so tasty and so healthy. Waking up this morning to cold and wet rain outside I fancied something warm for my breakfast, so looking in my cupboards I had some scott porridge oats, a banana left and some Maple Syrup in the fridge………so yes, you guessed it, pancakes it just had to be.

My first time at oat & banana and they were pretty tasty.

 

Makes 4-6

30ml milk

1 egg separated

1 small banana

30g scotts porridge oats

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

Toppings:- I had crushed hazelnuts and Maple Syrup, but you could have yoghurt and fruit which would be nice too.

 

  1. Put oats, baking powder, milk, egg yolk, vanilla extract and banana into a processor or blender and mix until you get a smooth consistancey.                                20190405_085648
  2. Whisk the egg white until you get stiff peaks. Gently fold the egg whites into the pancake mixture.
  3. Heat up a non stick fry pan with a tsp oil and drop about 2 tbsps of the mixture into the pan and cook on a medium heat until you start to see the bubbles appearing, then flip and cook for a further minute or 2.                                                        20190405_091206
  4. Serve.

 

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Harissa Spice Veggie Tray Bake

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Oh yummy…….I had some left over Harissa Paste and some veggies in the fridge, and yes, you guessed it……Harissa Tray Bake it was.    I have to say this was super tasty and also super healthy…..I even got my boyfriend to eat veggies, which believe me is no mean feat….lol!

Great as a main dish or a side dish. I decided a main dish and served with some of my homemade Chapati’s

 

Serves 2 (main dishes)

1 large sweet potato – cut into small chunks

1 large red onion – cut into wedges

2 Carrots – cut into small chunks

1 x red & 1 x yellow pepper – sliced thickly

1 Cauliflower – cut into small florets

2 Parsnips – cut into small chunks

4-5 asparagus

1 x 400g tin chickpeas

1 x 200g tin tomatoes

2 large heaped tbsps of Rose Harissa Paste

1 tbsp oil

Coriander

Salt & pepper to season

 

  1. Place all vegetables into a food bag or bowl, then add the harissa paste and mix thoroughly to coat all the veggies. (this can be stored in fridge for later if need be)
  2. Preheat oven to 200 deg and oil a baking tray.
  3. Empty the vegetables (except asparagus) from the bag onto the baking tray and make sure they are spread evenly. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes.
  4. Now add the chickpeas and the asparagus to the tray and bake for a further 15 minutes or until evenly browned all over.
  5. In a microwave bowl add the chopped tin tomatoes with salt & pepper to season and warm thought for about 1-2 minutes.
  6. Pour tomato sauce into a serving dish, empty the vegetables from the baking tray into the serving dish and mix through.
  7. Serve with some sprinkled coriander. Yummy!

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Sweet Potato, Butternut Squash & Spinach Curry Burgers

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Oh yum. In my aim to be eating a bit healthier this year, I took my hand to these little nutritious burgers, they were so delicious and very filling too.

Makes about 6

200g butternut Squash – sliced

200g Sweet Potato – sliced

1 medium onion – finely chopped

1 clove garlic – crushed

1 tsp dried chilli flakes

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp dried coriander

100g Spinach

Salt & Pepper to taste

  1. Cook the butternut Squash and mash up. (I steamed cooked mine using my steam pot for about 6 minutes)
  2. In a bowl mix the butternut squash, wilted spinach, onion, cumin, paprika, coriander, salt & pepper, chilli flakes & garlic.                                        20190211_153656
  3. Place a cutter onto a sheet of greaseproof paper or plate and fill the cutter with the mixture making individual circles. Approx 2 cm thick.                                                20190211_174658
  4. Heat up the Crisperplate for 2 minutes and cook on Crisp setting for 6 minutes, turn then cook for a further 4 minutes (depending on how well you like them cooked, you can cook for a further 2 minutes for extra brownness) Alternatively, fry in a pan for about 6 mins on medium heat each side with a little oil.                              20190211_180637
  5. Serve. Yummy!
  6. I added some potato wedges to my crisperplate at the same time for a one pan meal.

Steamed Cod & Spicy Butternut Squash Curry

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Oh yum!  A lovely little healthy warming dish on a very, very cold day today.

 

Makes 2 servings

2 x cod loins

Salt

Rainbow Pepper

2 tsps Parsley

Butternut Squash – chopped into cubes

1 onion – finely chopped

1 clove garlic – crushed

1 tsp dried chillies (or 1 red chilli chopped)

1 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp dried coriander

1 tsp turmeric

1 400g can chopped tomatoes

2 tbsp water

100g spinach

 

  1. Season the cod loins with salt, pepper & 1 tsp parsley each. Steam cook for 6 minutes in Steam pot or steam oven.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan and fry the onion with the garlic for a few minutes, add in the chilli, cumin, cinnamon, turmeric, coriander, 2 tbsp water & tin tomatoes, bring to a boil then reduce and simmer and cover for 20 minutes or until butternut squash has softened.
  3. Remove lid and place spinach into pan, do this in 2 batches, it will wilt down in a few seconds, simmer on low for a further 5 minutes.
  4. Serve with the steamed cod. Lovely healthy quick mid week meal.

 

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Pork, Oat & Chive Square Sausage

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There is nothing more I like than a lazy sunday morning breakfast (well after my little morning workout to wake me up). Good breakfast, fresh coffee and orange juice, catching up with the world, reading a little, planning my meals.

Today, I was using up leftovers in the fridge so pork sausages it was, with a little bit of cookingwithluce twist. 🙂

 

Made 2

2 Pork Sausages (meat removed from skin)

1 tbsp scottish oats

1 tbsp chopped chives

1 tsp nutmeg

Salt & pepper

 

  1. Mix everything in a bowl, take a small handful and flatten to about 1cm thick
  2. I used my Crisperplate to cook these and it took just 6 minutes. (Turned after 4 minutes)
  3. I also added a few cherry tomatoes onto plate.
  4. I then added 1 large egg onto the crisperplate 1 minute before sausages were ready.
  5. Serve. Yummy good protein breakfast.

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Avocado, Spinach & Pea Mash – served with steamed teriyaki salmon

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My healthier eating continues this month. I got some lovely bits of Scottish Salmon recently so came up with this idea of a healthier mash using whatever I had in my fridge. It was delicious. Best bit, it only took 6 minutes to cook and put together.

 

Makes enough mash for 2-3 people

80g baby spinach

1 avocado

50g garden peas – cooked

juice of 1 lemon

1 tsp Sea Salt

Garlic clove – minced

1 tsp coriander – dried

1 tsp olive oil

(optional if you like spice, add in 1 tsp chilli flakes)

 

  1. Place everything into a blender and mix until just combined.
  2. Serve. Simple as that!

I steam cooked some salmon that I marinated in Teriyaki Sauce overnight. Yum!

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Curried Butternut Squash, Red Lentils & Spinach

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This was so delicious and filling. Best of all very healthy & nutritious.

I think I am starting to enjoy this Detox week….lol!

 

Makes enough for 4 portions.

1 onion

200ml vegetable stock

2 tsp dried garlic

1 tsp dried chilli

1 tbsp ginger

1 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp coriander

1 tsp turmeric

1 tbsp olive oil

1 can chopped tomatoes 400g

300-400g butternut squash – peeled and chopped into chunks

200g Red lentils – cooked

200g Spinach

 

  1. Blend onion, veg stock, garlic, chilli, ginger, tomatoes, cumin, cinnamon, turmeric and coriander into a paste.                                                          20181126_141731
  2. Heat the oil in a pan and cook the paste for about 5-10 mins.
  3. Add in the butternut squash and cook on a medium heat for 20 mins.          20181126_143545
  4. Meanwhile cook the lentils as per pack instructions.
  5. After 20 mins mix in the lentils and spinach to the squash mix and heat for a further 5 minutes.                                                                                  20181126_145023
  6. Remove and serve. Yummy!

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Steamed Wild Rice with Butternut Squash, Chestnuts & Pancetta

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This dish is so yummy with a little kick. Perfect for Christmas dining as you can make as much as you need. I do love 1 pot meals.

Makes about 4 large portions or 8 smaller side portions.

1 x Butternut Squash – cubed

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp chilli flakes

100g cooked chestnuts, quartered

½ small pack sage leaves, chopped (or 1 tsp dried)

8 slices of pancetta – chopped

2 shallots, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

150g basmati & wild rice mix

300ml veg stock

Parmesan to serve

  1. Heat oven to 200 deg.
  2. Toss the squash with 1⁄2 tbsp of oil, chilli flakes and some seasoning on a large roasting tray. Roast for 15 mins, then add the shallots, garlic, chestnuts and nestle the sage and pancetta around the squash so that they touch the baking sheet.
  3. Return to the oven for 10-15 mins until the pancetta and sage are crisp. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  4. In the Steam pot place the Rice with the 300ml stock and steam for 20 mins on rice setting.  Or you can use a pan on the hob, bring to boil the stock , add rice, cover, reduce to a simmer for about 20 minutes or until all the water is absorbed.
  5. Remove steam pot and add the ingredients to rice and mix through to warm through.
  6. Serve with grated parmesan.

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Carrot, Courgette & Ginger Seabass Salad.

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Oh yummy! Nice little healthy quick mid week meal.

I do love a good gadgets, and I used my Kitchen Aid Mixer with Grater attachment and also my Steam Pot for steam cooking in my microwave combi oven.

 

Serves 2

250g SeaBass

1 Carrot

1 Courgette

6 Spring onions, sliced diagonally

small piece of ginger, grated

Small bunch or fresh coriander, chopped

1 juice of Lime

3 tbsp olive oil

Salt & pepper to taste

 

  1. Season the seabass and place into the steampot and cook on Sensor steam for 8 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, place the attachment onto your mixer (if you have a spiralizer that would work too) and shred the carrot & courgette into a bowl.
  3. Slice the spring onions diagonally into small pieces and place into bowl with the grated ginger, coriander, lime juice and 3tbsp olive oil. Mix together.
  4. Slice the sea bass and allow to cool then mix through the vegetable mix. Serve.

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Chickpea, Potato & Spinach Curry

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Oh Yum…yum…this wee dish was so tasty. Using up my home grown potatoes this little throw together dish was perfect and healthy too.

I made some of my homemade Chapati’s , which went perfectly. Oh…and a wee glass of Chardonnay too! lol!

 

Serves 2

1 can chickpeas

6 charlotte potatoes, cut into cubes

100g baby Spinach

1 can plum tomatoes

1 tsp cumin

1 onion, chopped finely

1 tsp ginger

1 tsp dried garlic

1 tsp chilli seeds

1/2 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp chilli powder

1/2 tsp gram masala

1 tsp dried coriander

1 tsp olive oil/fry oil

 

  1. Heat the oil in a saute pan, add the onion and cumin fry until the onion is golden. Add the garlic, ginger, chilli’s, coriander, turmeric, gram masala and chilli powder and cook for five minutes.
  2. Add in the cubed potatoes and fry until potato is slightly browned, season.
  3. Add in the plum tomatoes, chop up and mix thoroughly.
  4. Now add in the chickpeas and mix through, simmer for about 20 minutes.
  5. Throw in the spinach and cover with a lid to help wilt down. (roughly 5 minutes)
  6. Serve with Chapati or some rice.

 

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Pancakes

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I used my Best Pancake recipe for this, it is one recipe that always works.  Light Fluffy pancakes guaranteed. This morning was a more healthier option with low fat toffee yoghurt, blueberries and a little Maple Syrup…….oh so yummy!

I love mixing up pancakes, there are so many toppings you can choose. What is your favourite?

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Sweet Chilli Salmon with Zingy Basmati, Quinoa and veg salad

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I got this little Jamie Olive cook book recently and have been trying out some recipes, which I have to say have been delicious. Tonight, I thought I would take my inspiration from Mr. JO but put my own twist to this. I have to say it was rather tasty…..Mmmmmm.

Using a combination of my Crisper plate and my steam pot, this little dish was made in under 20 minutes. Quick and easy meals.

 

Serves 2

80g Basmati & quinoa rice (I used Tilda)

2 x Scottish Salmon Fillets

4 tsp sweet chilli sauce (I always use Blue Dragon, I find they are the best)

2 tbsp sesame seeds

3 spring onions

1 fresh red chilli

60g sugar snap peas

2 carrots

4 springs of fresh coriander

2 tsp toasted sesame oil

1 lime (juice only)

80g smoked beetroot

1/2 cucumber

 

 

  1. Place the basmati rice into the steam pot with 200ml water and cover, cook on the Automatic rice setting on microwave for 18 minutes. Remove and keep warm (keep lid on till other food is ready)                                                                                       20180529_175113
  2. Meanwhile, rub the sweet chilli sauce into the salmon then sprinkle the sesame seeds over making sure they stick by pressing slightly.
  3. Finely slice the spring onions, sugar snap peas, chilli then julienne the carrot, cucumber, beetroot using a julienne peeler (if not you can coarsely grate). Place all into a bowl with the coriander.                                                                                     20180529_161951
  4. Place the salmon (skin side down) onto the crisper plate and cook on dynamic crisp setting for 7 minutes or until slightly crispy and cooked.
  5. Pour the basmati rice into the salad bowl and mix through with the toasted sesame oil, lime juice and 2 tsp of sweet chilli sauce.                                                             20180529_175433
  6. Serve up the salad and place the salmon when ready on top. Amazing, Tasty little dish. Yummy!

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Spicy Chicken & Lentil Curry

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I first saw this recipe on Food for fitness, Scott Baptie is a Sports nutritionist, Director of Food For Fitness. Online trainer. Speaker. High protein cook. Magazine cover model & fitness writer. He specialises in fat loss, muscle gain and nutrition. His recipes are delicious and so nutritious, so when I seen this recently I had to give it a try. At only 164 calories per portion (without the chicken), who wouldn’t? I used green lentils and added chicken for a more filling meal.

 

Makes 4 portions

Spray oil with coconut oil

2 onions, diced

10g ginger, crushed

10g garlic, crushed

200g green lentils (or red) rinsed

350ml vegetable stock

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp gram masala

1 tsp dried chillies

400g chopped tomatoes

400g coconut milk – reduced fat

2 chicken breasts

Seasoning

Fresh coriander, chopped

 

  1. Heat spray oil in a large pan.
  2. Add the diced onions with garlic and ginger and cook until softened. Remove from pan
  3. Add the seasoned chicken to the pan with the gram masala, chillies and cumin and cook until chicken is browned.
  4. Add the onions back to the pan with the lentils, tomatoes, coconut milk and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil then gently simmer with lid for about 30 minutes.
  5. Remove lid and continue to cook for 15-20 minutes or until sauce starts to thicken.
  6. Serve with some fresh coriander. Yummy!

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Pesto Potatoes

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If you have read my last few posts, you will know I got a massive 2.5kg bag of potatoes for 29p last week……I know right….so cheap!  So my task this week was to use them all…lol!  Today I had to use up some leftover vegetables so I decided on pesto Potatoes……this was so delicious, nutritious and a filling meal.

 

Serves 2

4 Maris piper potatoes – cut into bite size pieces (I left skin on, more flavour)

Handful or Broccoli

Baby Spinach

Salt & pepper

Green Pesto – 3 tbsps (see recipe below)

 

Pesto Recipe

clove of garlic crushed

Fresh Basil – large bunch

handful of pine nuts – about 100g

Parmesan Cheese – grated

Olive oil

Lemon juice

  1. Place garlic and basil leaves in a blender and pulse until chopped
  2. Add in the pine nuts (toasted) and parmesan and pulse to blend
  3. Slowly add in some olive oil, just enough to bring it all together, then squeeze in the lemon juice. Serve.

 

Potatoes

  1. Cook potatoes through until soft, you can either boil or steam cook, 4 minutes before you think they are ready, pour in some peas to the potatoes and simmer.
  2. Meanwhile, Steam cook your broccoli and spinach for 3 minutes.
  3. Drain potatoes and put into a large bowl, add in the spinach and broccoli
  4. Spoon 3 heaped tbsp of pesto and mix through, season
  5. Serve into a bowl or plate and top with some pine nuts for extra crunch.

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Red Pepper Chicken with Crispy Potatoes & Steamed Vegetables

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Don’t you just love quick and easy cooking? Sometimes, especially on bank holiday Mondays when your relaxed, you just don’t feel like cooking but still want something healthy, nutritious, flavoursome with hardly any washing up? Oh yes, you’ve guessed it……out comes the little Crisper plate, this little dish is so easy and quick with perfect results. I also used my new Steam pot too for extra nutrition. I just love Gadgets that work for me.

 

Makes 2 servings.

For the Crisper Plate:-

2 Chicken Breasts – cut into large bite size pieces

2-3 potatoes – cut into bite size chunks (skin on)

2-3 sweet peppers – cut into wedges

1 red onion – cut into wedges

Handful of plum tomatoes

Salt & Pepper

Red Pepper Chilli flakes

Garlic & Parsley seasoning

 

  1. Pre-heat the Crisper plate for 2 minutes on Dynamic Crisp
  2. Place all above ingredients (except the tomatoes) into a bowl or food bag and drizzle with a little oil, shake to coat chicken, potatoes and veg.                      20180402_181839
  3. Place onto the Crisper plate and cook for 12-15 minutes (depends on thickness of potatoes and chicken or how crispy you like it)
  4. After 6 minutes, add in the plum tomatoes and cook.                                          20180402_183113_001
  5. Serve…..Yummy!

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For the Steamed Vegetables:-

Your choice of vegetables, I choose broccoli, asparagus and spinach.

Place broccoli and asparagus onto the steam pot grid and fill the pot with 200ml water. Place into the oven and select sensor steam, cook for 5 minutes.

2 minutes before cooking is due to finish, place the spinach in the pot and continue to cook.

 

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Spinach & Refried Bean Quesadillas

Looking for healthier and more nutritious alternatives are always on my to do list, I came across this recipe from The Kitchn , I changed it up a little to my own flavours but this was truly delicious and filling.

Serves 4

Spray fry oil

1 bag (100g) baby spinach

1 Clove of garlic, finely chopped

1 tsp chilli flakes

pinch salt & pepper

4 large or 8 small tortillas

1 tin (400g) of refried beans (I always use Old el paso…I just love them)

1 Red Pepper, finely chopped

1 small tin of sweetcorn, drained

150g Cheddar Cheese, Grated

 

  1. Heat the oil in a large fry pan over a medium heat. Add the red pepper and sweetcorn with the garlic and chilli and cook for a few minutes.
  2. The add the spinach and cook until wilted.   Season.
  3. Remove from pan. Heat through the refried beans for about 4 minutes then remove from pan, set aside.                                                                                  20180324_183355_001
  4. Place the tortillas on a flat surface and start to assemble. Spoon the refried beans on covering half of the tortilla, then the cheese, then the spinach mix the fold in half.
  5. Wipe the fry pan with a dry cloth and place each tortilla in pan a cook on each side for about 2-3 minutes until browned and crispy. Repeat until all cooked.         20180324_185015
  6. Remove and cut the quesadillas in half and serve. Yummy!

 


Steamed Chicken Meatballs with Peanuts on Spinach

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So delicious! If you love peanut butter, you will love this.

With my new Hotpoint oven came a Steam pot so I’ve been trying to experiment with steam cooking, not only is it more nutritious but also so much more healthier. First, since food is cooked by direct contact between steam as well as the movement of the hot vapor through the food, no fat is needed to conduct the heat.  This makes steaming a lower-calorie, low fat cooking method.  Food stays moist, too, since it is being bathed in water vapor.  Also, since water soluble nutrients (namely Vitamins C and B) don’t leach out into vapor, steaming preserves up to 50% more nutrients than other moist heat cooking methods.

Just because steaming is a healthy way to cook doesn’t mean it has to be bland. There are many ways of adding extra flavor to steamed food during the cooking process. You can bring extra flavor to your food by adding all sorts of complementary herbs and spices to your cooking liquid. Further up the flavor by substituting stock, fruit juice or wine for water. The additional flavors will permeate the food as the steam cooks them.

 

Makes 9

2 Chicken Breasts

1 shallot

1 tsp garlic granules or 1 garlic clove

1 leek

40g whole peanuts

1 tsp salt & pepper

350ml chicken stock

1 tbsp peanut butter

spinach

1 tsp peanut oil

 

  1. Slice the Leek, using a bit with the green on
  2. Peel and slice the shallots
  3. Shell and peel peanuts (if not predone), blitz in a blender until fine  20180311_113325
  4. Cut the chicken into small pieces and season
  5. Add chicken, leek, shallots, garlic and seasoning to the peanuts in blender and blitz together.                                                                                                                                                20180311_113736
  6. With your hands roll into meatballs and place on a greased baking tray, then refrigerate for about 1 hour.                                                                             20180311_114223
  7. Pour the chicken stock into the steam pot and then place the meatballs onto the grid and place in pot, cover with lid. Set steam time to 10 minutes.
  8. 2 minutes before ready place the spinach in the pot also.

     

  9. When ready remove the chicken stock from the pot and place in a pan on hob. Reduce by half and then emulsify 1 tbsp peanut butter and 1 tsp peanut oil until sauce thickens. (about 1-2 minutes)                                                                           20180311_143128
  10. Serve meatballs on the bed a spinach and pour sauce over. Yummy!

 

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French Toast with Kale, Avocado and Tomato Balsamic Jam

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I just love Sunday Brunch time, no alarm, lay in, relaxing morning and a fantastic big breakfast that will keep me going until my Sunday dinner. I couldn’t decide between sweet or savoury this morning, so why not both?? This was an absolute treat and so glad I had some fresh tomatoes as this jam just nailed the dish.

 

Makes 2 portions

For the Jam

10 cherry tomatoes – 1/4

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp brown sugar

1 tbsp butter

Sprayoil

1 red onion – finely chopped

For the French Toast

2 slices of bread (I used wholemeal)

1 tbsp butter for frying

2 eggs

Salt & pepper to taste

 

1 large handful of kale – I steamed cooked mine for 4 minutes, perfect.

1/2 Avocado – sliced

 

  1. To make the jam:- Heat 1 tbsp butter and some spray oil in a fry pan
  2. Saute the onion on medium heat until tender about 5 minutes
  3. Add brown sugar, stir and cook for a further 3 minutes
  4. Add the tomatoes and balsamic vinegar and cook for a further 5 minutes, remove with a slotted spoon and keep warm
  5. To make the French Toast:- Heat 1 tbsp butter in a fry pan.
  6. Whisk the eggs and season with salt & pepper
  7. Place the slices of bread in the egg mixture and allow to soak for a minute, then place into the hot pan and fry on each side for about 3-4 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.
  8. Steam cook your kale.
  9. Place kale onto toast, then avocado slices then top with the jam.
  10. Serve…….so Yummy!

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