Chicken & Chorizo Pasta Bake

Chicken & Chorizo Pasta Bake

Oh yum! Today was absolutely stoating it down (heavy rain) and very Dreich (dull, moody) weather, so it was a warming pasta bake for dinner. Not only is pasta filling but this dish is simple and easy to make, great for a family meal or just when you are looking for something comforting to warm you up. The recipe uses a lot of store cupboard essentials so easy to put together.

Dish of Chicken & Chorizo Pasta Bake

Serves 2 large portions (or 4 small)

100g Wholewheat Pasta (again your choice, I used Fusilli)

2 Chicken Breasts

1 onion – chopped

1 red pepper – chopped

Olive oil

1 Garlic clove – crushed or 1 tsp ground granules

1 tsp dried Italian herbs or Oregano

200g Chopped tomatoes

200ml Chicken Stock

100ml Milk (or cream)

Handful of Spinach leaves, chopped

Handful of frozen peas

100g Grated Cheese (I used cheddar)

1 tsp Chilli flakes (optional, if you like it spicy)

1 tsp Paprika (for sprinkling on top)

80g Chopped Chorizo

Salt & Pepper

  1. Heat a little oil in a fry pan and preheat your oven to 190 deg fan.
  2. Brown the onions & red pepper with the garlic in the fry pan until softened, add in the chorizo and cook for a few minutes then add the chicken, season & brown chicken on all sides for a few minutes.
  3. Once browned, add in the chopped tomatoes, chicken stock, milk, herbs and chilli (if using) to the pan and mix through, bring to the boil and reduce to a low simmer, cover and cook for at least an 1 hr.
  4. Meanwhile cook your pasta as per packet instructions.
  5. Using 2 forks, remove the lid from the pan and shred your chicken breasts (if you prefer chunks, that’s fine but I like it shredded)
  6. Add in the frozen peas and Spinach and cook for a further few minutes.
  7. Drain your pasta and add to the pan and mix through.
  8. Now decant the pasta chicken into an ovenproof dish and grate the cheese on top with a sprinkle of paprika and salt & pepper to season.
  9. Bake on middle shelf for about 25 minutes. Serve. Yum!

Chicken & Chorizo Pasta Bake


Chicken Curry with Almond Milk

Chicken Curry Pot

Who doesn’t love a Curry? Especially when it’s a healthier version. This Curry came about when I was trying to use up leftover Almond Milk, nutritionally, store-bought almond milk (like Alpro or Almond Breeze)  is a low-calorie product with about 56 calories per 100ml. It’s typically low in fat, with just 1.5g per 100g – all of which is largely unsaturated fat.

This Curry is a great family curry as its low in spice but with great flavour. It’s also great if you love batch cooking as you can make a hug pot and freeze into portions.

Chicken Curry with Almond Milk

Serves 2

2 Chicken Breasts – cut into chunks

1 tbsp olive oil

Salt & Pepper

1 tbsp Tomato Paste

300ml Almond Milk

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp Chilli powder

Handful of Cauliflower Florets (I used frozen)

Handful of Peas (I used frozen)

Curry Paste (see below)

Curry Paste:

1 Onion

1 tsp garlic granules

1 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp ground turmeric

1 tsp gram masala

Sea salt

  1. Mix all the Curry Paste ingredients into a blender and mix until you get a smooth paste.
  2. Heat a little oil in a pan on medium to high heat, add chicken, season and brown.
  3. Add the Curry paste to the pan and heat through for about 2 minutes.
  4. Next add the tomato paste, almond milk, cinnamon and chilli powder and mix through.
  5. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer on low for about 1 hour. 15 minutes before serving add in the cauliflower & peas, mix through and cook for remaining time.
  6. I served with some of my Chickpea Chaptai’s. https://theweecaledoniancook.com/2020/08/29/chickpea-chapati/
Chickpea Chapati


My Best Beef Chilli Recipe

Beef Chilli Taco

The weather was turning a bit colder this weekend & there is no better dish than a warm chilli to heat your soul. I decided to slow cook this time and it definitely paid off as the flavours were more intense and the sauce lovely and thick. Chilli is always good the second day too, so this can be made in advance. Some cooks swear by lots of different spices from mustard powder to even cinnamon & I’ve even heard of chocolate in chilli…..(not sure about than one…lol), this combination I found works for me.

Pot of Beef Chilli

Serves 2

250-300g Scottish Beef Mince

1 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil

1 Red Onion – Diced

1 Red Pepper – Diced

1 Garlic Clove – crushed (or 1 tsp garlic granules)

1 tbsp tomato puree

1 tbsp chilli powder

1 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

Salt & Black pepper to taste

1 tsp Herb mix (oregano, basil, coriander)

1 x 225g kidney beans

1 x 400g chopped tin tomatoes

1 Beef oxo cube

150ml water

  1. Heat the oil in a casserole dish or large pan on medium to high heat & fry the onions with the garlic until softened. Add in the Red pepper and cook for a further few minutes until softened.
  2. Add in the Beef mince, season and brown.
  3. Add in the tomato puree, spices & mix through.
  4. To the pot add the kidney beans and tin tomatoes & mix. Sprinkle over the beef oxo cube & the herbs, add in the water, bring to the boil, cover and simmer on a low heat for about 2-3 hours. If the sauce hasn’t thickened, remove lid and cook uncovered for about 10-15 minutes to help thicken sauce.
  5. I Served with Taco’s, Grated Cheese and sprinkled some fresh spring onions on top…yum! Also nice served with rice and soured cream.

Thai Beef Balls

Thai Beef Balls

I do love it when an ad hoc recipe comes together. We fancied some Thai tonight but didn’t really have the right ingredients, so I compromised! I am so bad at compromising…..lol….. I am forever adding and changing things to suit what I have in my cupboards…..but that’s where good recipes come from…right?

This was one of them, super tasty and satisfied us for dinner tonight.

Thai Beef Balls & Thai Potato Wedges with Lime & Mayo

Made 18 Bitesize Balls

250g Scottish Beef Mince (you could use Chicken or Turkey)

2 tbsps Soy Sauce

4 Spring Onions – chopped finely

1 tsp Dried garlic granules

1 tsp Dried ginger powder

2 tsps Dried coriander

1 tsp Chilli flakes

Zest of 1 lime (keep lime for juice later)

150g tin Broad Beans (crushed) (Water chestnuts, blitzed in a processor would be nice too)

  1. Preheat oven to 180 deg and place greaseproof paper onto a baking tray.
  2. Mix the Soy sauce, ginger, garlic, chilli, lime zest, coriander, spring onions and seasoning in a bowl. Then add mince & broad beans, mix together with hands until it comes together.
  3. Take a small amount and roll into a ball, put onto baking tray. Bake in oven for 15 minutes. At end of cooking, turn on grill and brown for a few minutes.
  4. Serve with a Lime Wedge. I also served with Thai Potato Wedges (recipe below) and some Lime & Coriander Mayo.

For the Potato Wedges

Slice your potatoes into wedges and place in a food bag or bowl.

For the coating, mix 3 tbsps olive oil with 1 tsp chilli flakes, 1/2 tsp ginger, 1 tsp garlic and 2 tsps coriander. Season then mix with the wedges and cook as normal. (I use my Crisper plate in my microwave to cook them as it only takes 10 minutes) Check below for info on the Crisperplate. https://www.hotpoint.co.uk/Appliances/Cooking/Microwaves

Thai Potato Wedges

Chorizo, Chickpeas & Spinach Chilli

Chorizo, Chickpea and Spinach Chilli with rice

I am now back to work after a long furlough period due to this Covid19 pandemic. Being back at work means that I prefer quick and easy cooking meals for mid week dining. Last thing I want is to finish a long work day and stand cooking for an hour, who’s with me?

This dish takes just 15 minutes, so its a quick throw together in one pan kinda dish, but packs flavour and spice. Good on its own or can serve with some rice. I also used freshly picked Spinach from my new veggie beds (furlough project).

Serves 2

200g chickpeas

200g chopped tomatoes

80g chorizo – sliced or cut into bite size pieces

1 brown onion – chopped

1 yellow pepper – chopped

Handful of Spinach – chopped

1 tsp chilli flakes

1 tsp garlic granules

1 tsp basil flakes or fresh leaves to serve if you have

Salt & pepper to taste

100g Wholemeal or Basmati Rice if serving. (cooked as per packet instructions)

  1. Spray a pan with oil and heat on a medium to high heat
  2. Brown onions in pan for a few minutes
  3. Add in the pepper and chorizo with garlic and chilli flakes and cook for a few minutes
  4. Add in the tin tomatoes and chickpeas, mix through, bring to the boil then cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. 1 minute before serving, add in the spinach and basil flakes, mix through. Season
  6. Serve on a bed of rice. Yum!
Plate of Chorizo & Chickpea Chilli


Beef & Rice Balls in Chilli Sauce

My taste buds were swaying towards a Chilli tonight, but fed up with the same old serving of Chilli mince on top of a bed of Rice, I decided to try something a bit different. It worked a treat, a mix between meatballs and chilli….Yum! At under 500 calories per portion too this dinner is perfect and nutritious.

Serves 2 portions

For the Balls

300g Lean Scottish Mine Beef

40g Basmati & Wild Rice Mix (you can just use Basmati Long grain if you wish) Cooked

1 tsp dried Garlic Granules

1 tsp Cumin

1 tsp Dried Coriander

For the Chilli Sauce

200ml Beef Stock

1 Red onion – diced

1 tsp dried chilli flakes

200g Tinned tomatoes

200g Red Kidney Beans, chopped

Salt & Pepper

Few dashes of Tabasco Sauce

  1. Cook your rice as per packet instructions and ensure it is very soft, once cooked allow to completely cool before added to your bowl of mince.
  2. In a bowl, add Mince, Garlic, Cumin, Coriander and season with salt & pepper. Once Rice has cooled add to bowl and mix through.
  3. Heat a little oil in a pan. With wet hands take small amounts of the meat mixture and roll into balls (you should get about 12 balls), place into your pan and brown all over. Remove.
  4. Add the onions to the pan and fry until browned, then add the tinned tomatoes, chilli flakes, kidney beans and beef stock then season with salt & pepper. Bring to the boil then reduce and bring to a simmer. At this point add back the meat and rice balls and cook covered for about 15 minutes.
  5. Just before you are ready to serve, add a few splashes of Tabasco sauce for that extra kick! (please take out if you don’t like it spicy hot)


Potato & Chorizo Bake

Since we are still in lockdown, we fancied something special for lunch today, sun was shining through the window, temperature was rising, so we thought we’d treat ourselves to this lovely little dish. Oh & of course we had a cheeky glass of wine with our meal too, just to help wash it all down.

Serves 2 portions.

3 medium size potatoes – cut into small cubes

1 red onion – diced

80 g Chorizo – sliced

2 eggs

200g tin tomatoes

50g grated cheddar cheese

1 tsp dried chilli flakes

1 tsp paprika

Salt & pepper to taste

Spray oil

1 tbsp butter

  1. Preheat oven to fan 190 deg.
  2. Place cubed potatoes into a pan of salted water and bring to the boil, simmer for about 5 minutes. Drain.
  3. Meanwhile, in a pan brown and cook the chorizo for a few minutes, remove with a slotted spoon.
  4. Add the onion & chilli flakes to the chorizo pan and fry until browned, then add back to the pan the potatoes with tin tomatoes, butter & paprika, stir until combined and cook for a few minutes.
  5. Place mixture into an oven proof dish, make 2 wells and crack the eggs in, season the eggs then sprinkle grated cheese over.
  6. Bake in oven for 10-15 minutes depending on how you like your eggs.
  7. Serve. Yummy!


Chicken Dopiaza (lower calorie option)

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I recently purchased a new cookbook by Pinch of Nom, I loved their last one so had to get their new one. This is a recipe from their Fakeaway options and at under 400 calories per serving it is definitely my new takeaway at home. Super tasty no compromise on flavour at all. I served with a little Basmati and Wild Rice along with my homemade Sweet Potato Roti, a perfect Saturday night home takeaway.

 

Makes 2 Servings

2 Chicken Breasts – cut into small chunks

1 red onion – diced

1 garlic clove – grated

1 cm piece of ginger – grated

1 tsp chilli flakes or 1 red chilli- diced

1 tsp curry powder**

1 tsp mixed spice**

**(I used this as an alternative to gram masala as I didn’t have any)

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1 x 400g tin tomatoes

100ml chicken stock – 1 stock cube

1 red pepper – diced

1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander to serve.

 

  1. Heat a little low fat spray oil in a fry pan on medium heat
  2. Brown the onion, garlic, chilli and ginger together for a few minutes
  3. Add the chicken and brown all over.
  4. Next add in the curry powder, cumin, mixed spice, ground coriander and mix through until coated.
  5. Add in the tin tomatoes, red pepper and stock and bring to the boil then reduce and cook on a low heat for about 15 minutes lid on, then 15 minutes with lid off to help thicken the sauce slightly.
  6. Serve a sprinkle with some fresh coriander…..YUM!


Sweet Potato Roti

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Looking for something a bit more tastier and a healthier more nutritious option to go with my healthier option curry tonight, having a sweet potato left over from last weeks shopping I decided to try this……and well, it turned out amazing, super tasty and the structure held very well too.

 

Makes 6

1 large Sweet Potato

1 cup of plain flour

1/2 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp chilli flakes

1/2 tsp cumin

Salt & pepper to taste

 

  1. Start by steam cooking the sweet potato (I used my steam pot and steamed for 6 minutes by slicing into 1-2cm thick slices), do not roast as this will not give you the same flavour.
  2. Allow potato to cool in a bowl then mash and add the spices and flour. With your hands bring to a dough.
  3. Flour a surface a cut the dough into 6 pieces. Roll out each piece as thin as you can.
  4. Heat a little oil (not too much or it will burn too quickly) in a fry pan on a very high heat and cook until you see the dough start to bubble, then turn over and cook for a further minute, remove & continue with the rest.
  5. If you have any leftovers simply vacuum pack and store either in the fridge for later of you can freeze.
  6. Yum!

 

 

 

 

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Chilli Skulls

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I have seen Pizza Skulls on social media and gave me the idea to make these for my Horror theme Hogmany coming up. I changed it from Pizza filling to a Chilli Con Carne filling. These are amazing and so much fun too. I got my pan from Nordic Ware and opted for Black & Red dough too using Red Malt flour and Activated Charcoal powder.

 

Makes 6

For the Pizza Dough (I made extra, which I stored for later use)

3 x 350g Wholemeal Bread Flour (you can use strong white too)

3 x 1 tsp salt

3 x 1 tsp caster sugar

3 x 3 tsp baking powder

3 x 170ml warm water

20g Red Malt Flour, plus 1 tsp red food colouring for the Red

3 tbsp charcoal powder plus 1 tsp black food colouring for the Black

  1. Mix everything using a mixer until it come together like dough, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for a couple of hours. Mix 3 lots ie: plain, black & Red
  2. Once ready to use,  cut amount you need and store the rest. Place on a floured surface and roll out, not too thing or too thick. It will be stretchy, just keep stretching it until you have the size you need. Approx 7 x 4″
  3. Brush your skull pan with melted butter and lay the dough into each skull pressing gently. Place the filling in and fold over the excess dough, if you have too much just trim.

 

For the Chilli

350g Scottish Beef Mince

1 Red onion, finely chopped

1 Red pepper, finely chopped

1 tsp garlic granules

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp dried chilli flakes (omit if you don’t like it too hot)

2 tsp chilli powder

200g Tin tomatoes

200g Kidney beans

200ml beef stock

light fry oil

Salt & pepper to taste

Grated Cheese of your choice.

 

  1. Heat the fry oil on medium to high heat
  2. Fry the onions and pepper with the garlic until softened
  3. Add the beef and brown
  4. Add in chilli powder, cumin, salt & pepper with chilli flakes (if using) mix through to coat
  5. Add in the tin tomatoes, kidney beans and stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes cover. The uncovered for 10 minutes to thicken sauce. Allow to cool.

Once skulls are filled, refrigerate for 30 minutes then bake at 200 deg for 25 minutes. Serve.

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