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://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)