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://theweecaledoniancook.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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