Moroccan Chicken & Lentil Bake

Moroccan Chicken & Lentil Bake

Inspired by North Africa, this quick and easy one pan meal draws the warmth of cumin and rich depth of smoked paprika to beautifully layer with the peppery flavour of the lentils. Lentils are an excellent source of B vitamins, iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc. They’re also a great source of plant-based protein and fiber. To make this dish vegetarian, just omit the chicken and replace with you favourite vegetables.

Another great one pot meal that is not only quick but simple to make too. Very nutritious and filling.


Serves 2

2 Chicken Breasts, cut into large pieces (or you can use thighs)

4 Rashers of Smoked Bacon, chopped small

1 Onion, diced

2 Stalks of Celery, diced

100g Green Lentils (or Red if you prefer)

1 Garlic Clove, diced

1 Tbsp Cumin

1 Tbsp Smoked Paprika

8-10 Whole Cherry Tomatoes

300ml Chicken Stock

1 Tsp Chilli Flakes

Salt & Pepper to taste

1 Tbsp Olive Oil

Small Handful of Chopped Fresh Parsley to serve.

  1. Pre heat your oven to 200 deg Fan.
  2. Add the oil to a fry pan on medium to high heat. Dry the chicken pieces with a piece of kitchen paper and season. Add to the pan and brown all over to seal. Remove with a slotted spoon.
  3. If needed add a little more oil to the pan. Cook the bacon, onions, celery, garlic, cumin & paprika for 3 minutes. Add back the chicken, add the lentils and sprinkle the chill flakes, mix through.
  4. Decant into an oven proof dish, add in the stock and tomatoes, bake in the oven for 25 minutes.
  5. Turn on your grill at the end of cooking for a few minutes to brown the tomatoes.
  6. Remove from oven, sprinkle with parsley and Serve. Yum!


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

Chipotle Chicken & Smoky Salsa

Chipotle Chicken on Toasted Sourdough Bread

Oh yum, this was delicious, chipotle is a smoky & spicy flavour from Mexico. A chipotle pepper is a dry, smoked jalapeno pepper. They are most commonly made from red jalapenos. However, you can also use ripe green jalapenos as well. Chipotle peppers are added to any dish that could use a smoky flavor with a little heat. For this recipe I used a Chipotle paste. A quick and easy full of flavour dinner.

Serves 2

2 Chicken Breasts

1 tbsp oil

1 Medium White Onion, diced

1 tsp Smoked Paprika

1 tsp Cumin

1 tbsp of Chipotle Paste

1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

100ml Passata

1 tbsp Brown Sugar

4 slices of Sourdough Bread or you can serve with Tortilla’s

For the Salsa:-

8-10 Cherry tomatoes – quartered

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tsp chipotle paste

1/2 red onion – finely diced

chopped coriander

Freshly squeezed Lime & Lemon Juice

Seasoning to taste.

  1. Using a Blender/Food processor, whiz up the chicken breast into a mince like consistancey
  2. Heat the oil in a fry pan and brown the onion and minced chicken, breaking up the chicken as you cook
  3. Add in the cumin, paprika, chipotle paste, vinegar, passata and sugar and mix through until chicken is coated.
  4. Cook for about 10-15 minutes
  5. To make the salsa, place everything in a bowl and mix together, set aside.
  6. Toast your Sourdough bread, remove chicken from heat and serve on top of bread. Serve with Salsa.

Harissa Spice Beef Soup

A Bowl of Harissa Spice Beef Soup

A Moroccan inspired recipe and perfect for coming into the Winter months, it’s hearty, filling and warming. It is also a great batch cook recipe, make the soup up to 3 days ahead, cover and keep in the fridge. Freeze portions in food bags for up to 3 months. Add a splash of water when reheating.

Serves 4

300g Scottish Steak Mince (or any good quality beef mince)

1 Red Onion – chopped

1 Garlic Clove – crushed

400g Tin Tomatoes

1 tbsp Gram Masala

2 tsps Harissa Paste

1 litre Beef Stock

250g Puy Lentils (I used the pre cooked ones from Merchant Gourmet, my fav)

1 tbsp Dried Coriander

150g Spinach, chopped

1 tbsp Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper

  1. Heat a little oil in a casserole dish on medium to high heat, add the mince with seasoning and brown, about 6-8 minutes, remove with a slotted spoon.
  2. Add the onion and garlic and cook for a few minutes until softened. Add in the Gram Masala, Harissa Paste and stir, next add the tin tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes to reduce down slightly.
  3. Return the mince to the pot with the beef stock, bring to the boil then simmer and cook covered for about 30 minutes.
  4. Add the lentils, spinach and coriander to the pot and cook uncovered for 10 minutes.
  5. Serve into bowls.


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


Middle Eastern Beef & Rice

Having some Chickpeas to use up, I decided to spice them up with some Middle Eastern Spices. This dish was delicious & my partner agreed…..happy days!

I also love this dish as its a one pot cooking meal which means less washing up….lol!

Serves 2

250g Scottish Beef Mince

200g Tinned Chickpeas

400g Tinned tomatoes

200g Red Kidney beans or you can use Black beans

250ml Beef Stock

70g Rice (Basmati is good, but I had some Red and wild rice left)

1 tsp Dried garlic granules

1 tsp Cumin

1 tsp Ground Coriander

1/2 tsp Turmeric

1 tsp Dried coriander leaf (fresh if you have it)

1 tsp Dried parsley (fresh if you have it)

Spray oil

Salt & Pepper

  1. Heat a little spray oil in a pan and brown the mince, remove with a slotted spoon, set aside.
  2. Put Rice, Garlic, Ground coriander, Cumin & Turmeric into pan and coat the rice. Add the Beef stock, bring to the boil then simmer for about 15-20 minutes until rice is softened.
  3. Add back to the pan the mince along with the chickpeas, tin tomatoes & kidney beans, mix through. Heat through uncovered for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the parsley & coriander if fresh to serve. If using dried, add with the beans etc.


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!


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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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!


Pulled Chicken Massaman Curry

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After visiting a Thai restaurant a few weeks ago I was inspired to try my own version, so I decided on a Thai Massaman, absolutely delicious! (if I do say so myself..lol) I just love the freshness and spice at the same time. You could of course cook this with beef also, which would be nice. I decided on chicken as I had loads in my freezer to use up. So here goes:-

Serves 2

2 Chicken Breasts – cut into chunks
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 red onion, diced
2cm piece of ginger, peeled and minced
1 stalk of lemongrass, finely chopped
1 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons massaman paste – I use a medium heat one.
1/2 block (100g) creamed coconut or 1/2 can coconut cream
1 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon tamarind paste
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
Handful of peanuts
1/2 cup fresh or canned pineapple pieces (optional)

  1. Heat up the oil in a fry pan and add the diced onions, with the ginger, lemongrass and garlic until browned and aromatic.
  2. Add in the massaman paste and cook for about 1 minute    20171209_152952
  3. Put in the chicken and brown on all sides                                               20171209_153251
  4. Add in the rest of the ingredients, stock, coconut cream, sugar, soy sauce, cinnamon, and tamarind paste and mix. Gently bring to the boil and reduce to a low heat. Cover with a lid and slow cook for about 3 hours.                   20171209_154134      20171209_154720
  5. 30 minutes before ready add in the pineapple (if using) and peanuts, stir.
  6. If there is too much liquid just gently boil for about 10-15 minutes until it thickens or add in a tbsp of cornflour mix.
  7. Before serving gently with 2 forks pull the chicken apart and mix through.
  8. You can serve with rice but we went for my Chapati’s instead…..ideal for soaking up the sauce.