I am always looking for healthier options but without compromise on flavour and enjoy sourcing locally. I started growing my own vegetables last year too and plan to grow more next year, so this recipe uses up homegrown tatties, onions and carrots from my garden (my swede are not quite ready yet).
My local butcher Forbes Raeburn in Huntly provided me with some delicious diced beef this weekend, my initial plan was to make a steak pie for Sundays dinner but having vegetables to use up, this little recipe was the outcome and definitely one I will make over and over again. End of summer is fast approaching and the colder days to set in soon, this recipe is a sure winner for all the family to warm you up from the inside. Very nutritional too as it’s high in protein, low in saturated fat and packs in your vegetable count.
For the Stew
1 Medium Potato, diced small
2 Celery Sticks, chopped small
2 Garlic Cloves, crushed
750g Diced Beef
1 Beef Stock Cube
1 Large Onion (or 2 medium)
1 Carrott, diced small
1 Tsp Dried Thyme
1 Tbsp Tomato Puree
2 Tsps Brown Sauce
2 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
Salt & Black Pepper to taste
For the Mash
1 Large Potato, chopped & peeled
1 Small Swede, chopped and peeled
3 Large Carrotts, chopped & peeled
Pepper to taste
Preheat your oven to Fan 160 deg.
Spray a casserole pan with low calorie oil on medium heat, add the celery, garlic and 3/4 onions and fry for about 10 minutes or until slightly caramelised. Meanwhile in a fry pan heat spray oil on medium heat, season the beef cubes and fry until browned.
Remove the casserole pan with the veg and add in thyme, tomato puree, brown sauce, Worcestershire sauce, beef stock cube with 700ml boiling water. Puree using a stick blender then add to the casserole pan the beef, potato chunks, chopped carrot and rest of the onion, bring to the boil then cover and transfer to the oven to cook for about 1.5-2 hrs until tender, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile make the mash, put the potato, swede & carrot into a pan of water and bring to the boil, reduce to simmer and cook for about 45 minutes until tender. Drain and mash then season with pepper.
It is definitely soup season, nights are getting darker, air is getting colder and a bowl of warm soup is the perfect recipe after a long days work. If you are looking for a really tasty soup that is simple to make with simple store cupboard ingredients then this is for you. The things I love about soup is that you can make a huge pot and freezer it for later. Tasty cooking can not get any simpler than this.
I harvested some of my Carrots and Parsnips at the weekend, so this was what I had decided upon. With some good quality crusty bread on the side this is perfect for lunch or dinner. The bright orange colour also brightens up your dinner table.
Full of nutrition too, with Carrots & Parsnips both being full of good Vitamin C this can help boost your immune system at this time of year and very low in calories too. Lets not forget the spices, with cumin being a great aid for the digestive system and also full or iron. Garlic, with its active compounds which can help reduce blood pressure and also combat sickness including the common cold. Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory and a powerful antioxidant, was classed as a Superfood too. It’s a win, win soup for me this season.
8 Medium Size Carrots, Chopped (I keep the skin on but you can peel if you prefer)
6 Medium Size Parsnips, Peeled & Chopped
3 Celery Stalks, Chopped
1 White Onion, Chopped
1 tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Ginger Granules or 1 tbsp freshly grated Ginger
1 tsp Garlic Powder or 2 garlic cloves – minced
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Ground Coriander
1 tsp Turmeric
1.5 litres good Vegetable Stock
Salt & Pepper to taste
A Little Swirl of Cream to serve and a sprinkling of pumpkin or sunflower seeds (Optional)
Crusty Bread to serve (Optional)
Pre heat the oil in a large pot on medium to high heat, add the onions and celery and cook until onions are translucent.
Add in the spices (cumin, garlic, coriander, turmeric, ginger) and mix through until coated.
Add in the parsnips, carrots and vegetable stock, season & bring to the boil then reduce and simmer for 25-30 minutes.
Take off the heat and using a hand blender, blend the vegetables to make a smooth thick consistancey.
Serve into bowl and finish with a swirl of cream and sprinkle of seeds.
You can keep soup in a fridge for about 3 days and freezer for up to 3 months.
Pasta is such a staple food in most households and I think one of the easiest fast foods around. It can be made healthier by using the Wholewheat variety. When eaten in moderation, pasta can be part of a healthy diet. Wholewheat pasta may be a better choice for many, as it is lower in calories and carbs but higher in fiber and nutrients. However, in addition to the type of pasta you pick, what you top it with is just as important.
This dish uses Scottish Smoked Haddock, fresh from my favourite fishmongers in Pittenweem, Ryan Black, they deliver straight from the Shore to your door.
It also uses some of my fresh vegetables from my garden….yum!
I used my Steam pot for my Combi Microwave for this recipe, but if you don’t have Steamer just cook your pasta as per packet instructions. In a pan, bring some water to the boil add your vegetables and simmer for 4 minutes until softened. (you could use frozen vegetables or tinned vegetables for this too). Bring a large pan of water to the boil, bring to a simmer and add in your fish, cook for about 10 minutes.
If you have a Steam pot, add the pasta with 300ml water to the base, then your fish and vegetables onto the grid and cook on Pasta Setting for 7 minutes.
Meanwhile, make your sauce as per above recipe.
Remove fish and place onto a chopping board and remove the skin, break up into bite size pieces.
Drain your pasta and vegetables. Add the vegetables to the pasta then pour over the sauce mixture and mix through, add in the fish, mix and serve.
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.
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
75g mature Cheddar, grated
1 tbsp English mustard
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.
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.)
Add the tomato puree and stir through the add the flour and combine.
Pour in the stock, beans & thyme and bring to the boil then reduce and simmer for about 20-25 minutes.
Transfer to an oven proof dish and allow to cool. Preheat your oven to 170deg fan.
Meanwhile, to make the rarebit mash:- Boil the potatoes until tender and mash.
Stir in 75ml milk & 25g butter
In a separate bowl mix the 75g grated cheese and mustard together. Slowly stir in the 75ml milk, until smooth.
Stir in the cheese mixture to your potatoes.
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).
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.
Its definitely soup season, I woke to -5 deg this morning….very cold. Using up some leftovers in my fridge, mainly carrot and onion I decided to make a warming soup. This was delicious and hit the spot right. I used my steampot, so steaming the vegetables made this even more nutritious and flavorsome.
Makes 3 Servings
4 large carrots
1 large onion
500ml Vegetable Stock
60g Bulgur Wheat
1 tsp garlic granules
1 1/2 tsp Cumin
1 1/2 tsp dried coriander
Salt & Pepper to taste
Chop up the onion & carrots into chunks and place in the steam pot with 200ml of the vegetable stock and cook on steam setting for 8 minutes.
Remove steam pot lid and add in the rest of the stock then blitz with a hand blender until well blended and smooth.
Stir in the spices/herbs and bulgur wheat and cook on microwave at 750w for 3 minutes.
Remove and stir. Season and serve.
you can of course make a big batch and freezer for later.
This was a recipe I put together trying to use up leftovers in my fridge. It was absolutely delicious, if I do say so myself. Next time, I would probably use 2 less filo sheets though and maybe omit the panko breadcrumbs.
Makes 1 roll (about 8 slices)
6-8 filo sheets
1/2 a large white cabbage – finely sliced
1 carrot – shredded
2-3 orange sweet peppers – finely sliced
60g chopped chorizo
small handful of panko breadcrumbs
Salt & rainbow pepper to taste
1 tbsp butter – melted
1 tbsp dried onion granules
Preheat your oven to 190 deg. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
Heat a little spray oil in a pan on medium to high heat and add in the onion granules, cook for about 30 seconds.
Add in the cabbage, peppers and carrot and stir through for about 10 minutes.
Then add in the chorizo and continue to cook for about 5 minutes or until everything is softened and slightly browned. Allow to cool.
Meanwhile, unroll the filo pastry and with the melted butter brush lightly on 1 filo then sprinkle some panko breadcrumbs, then lay another filo sheet onto, then brush with butter, then sprinkle some breadcrumbs over, then another filo sheet on top and so on and on until you have used all the sheets.
Take the cooled cabbage mixture and place in the middle of the sheets, leave about a 2″ border all the way and brush with melted butter.
Take the 2 short ends and fold into the mixture
Then gently roll up the filo pastry, place onto the baking tray and bake for about 30 minutes.
Remove, slice and enjoy. (Beware, it is very crumbly..lol)
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
1 x 400g tin chickpeas
1 x 200g tin tomatoes
2 large heaped tbsps of Rose Harissa Paste
1 tbsp oil
Salt & pepper to season
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)
Preheat oven to 200 deg and oil a baking tray.
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.
Now add the chickpeas and the asparagus to the tray and bake for a further 15 minutes or until evenly browned all over.
In a microwave bowl add the chopped tin tomatoes with salt & pepper to season and warm thought for about 1-2 minutes.
Pour tomato sauce into a serving dish, empty the vegetables from the baking tray into the serving dish and mix through.
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.
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
4 springs of fresh coriander
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 lime (juice only)
80g smoked beetroot
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)
Meanwhile, rub the sweet chilli sauce into the salmon then sprinkle the sesame seeds over making sure they stick by pressing slightly.
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.
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.
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.
Serve up the salad and place the salmon when ready on top. Amazing, Tasty little dish. Yummy!