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.
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
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
Heat a little oil in a fry pan and preheat your oven to 190 deg fan.
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.
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.
Meanwhile cook your pasta as per packet instructions.
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)
Add in the frozen peas and Spinach and cook for a further few minutes.
Drain your pasta and add to the pan and mix through.
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.
Bake on middle shelf for about 25 minutes. Serve. Yum!
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.
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.
Add in the Beef mince, season and brown.
Add in the tomato puree, spices & mix through.
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.
I Served with Taco’s, Grated Cheese and sprinkled some fresh spring onions on top…yum! Also nice served with rice and soured cream.
These little cakes are so easy to make and quick too, a great mid week dinner or even a quick lunch bite. What’s even better is that they are healthy, low in fat & low in calories at just 150 per cake.
2 Chicken Breasts
4 Spring Onions – chopped finely
1 tsp garlic granules or 2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 tsp ginger or 1″ fresh ginger chopped finely
1 tbsp dried coriander
2 tsps Soy Sauce
Zest & Juice of 1 lime
Salt & Pepper
1 tin of Chickpeas drained (400g)
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
Sweet Chilli Sauce to serve.
Preheat oven to 180 deg and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
Using of food processor blitz the chickpeas and chicken until minced.
In a bowl mix everything together with your hands and form 8 small cakes about 1cm thick, place onto baking paper and bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
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.
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)
Preheat oven to 180 deg and place greaseproof paper onto a baking tray.
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.
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.
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
When I think of Caribbean Food, I think beans, rice, peppers, sweet potato & tomatoes to name a few. This dish is a mix of all my favourites and I was using up leftovers too. I hope you enjoy. This dish would be lovely with Lamb too.
300g Scottish Beef Mince
150g Diced Butternut squash (or sweet potatoes)
1 onion, chopped
1 Red Pepper, chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 cm fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 tbsp sweet hot paprika
120ml Beef Stock
200g chopped tin tomatoes
200g Black Eyed beans
Handful of peas
Salt & Pepper to taste
Heat some oil in a large pan and brown the mince.
Add in the butternut squash, onion, red pepper, garlic, ginger, paprika and mix through, cook for 1 minute then add in the stock, tomatoes, peas and beans, bring to the boil then simmer covered for about 30 minutes. Season.
If using Lamb I would slow cook this so the Lamb in tender.
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).
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)
Spray a pan with oil and heat on a medium to high heat
Brown onions in pan for a few minutes
Add in the pepper and chorizo with garlic and chilli flakes and cook for a few minutes
Add in the tin tomatoes and chickpeas, mix through, bring to the boil then cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
1 minute before serving, add in the spinach and basil flakes, mix through. Season
I recently harvested my first sweet potatoes, so decided to have a little quick potato lunch today. If you love sweetness, you will love this. I served with some crushed goats cheese for that extra creamy texture.
2 medium sweet potatoes – sliced into 1″ thick slices
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 lemon juice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 160 deg and grease a baking tin.
Mix the Lemon juice with melted butter, sugar, salt and cinnamon
Places the sweet potato slices in baking tin and pour over the mixture, cover with tin foil and bake for about 40-45 minutes.
The last 5 minutes, remove the tin foil to allow glaze to thicken and brown in oven. Remove and sprinkle some goats cheese. Serve.
I am craving home cooked comfort foods these days, maybe it’s because we are all out of routine in life at the moment.
A traditional Highland Hotpot is normally made out of a Brace of Grouse (a brace is one male & one female grouse) and rabbit, however, my partner is not a big fan of these meats so I decided to make my version with free range chicken. This is a great slow cook one pot meal. Easy to make and delicious.
Makes enough for 2
2 chicken breasts – cut into cubes
1 tbsp flour
Salt & black pepper seasoning
1 white onion – cut into wedges
2 sticks celery – sliced
Cabbage – shredded
4-6 rashers of smoked bacon – chopped
1 tsp white pepper
1 tsp All Spice (cinnamon, nutmeg & cloves)
1 pint of vegetable stock
2 medium potatoes – cubed
Preheat your oven to 160 deg on fan.
In an oven proof dish with lid, heat spray oil on hob at medium to high heat. Coat the chicken with seasoning and flour then brown in the pan, remove with a slotted spoon.
In the same pan fry the onion and brown the bacon rashers for a few minutes.
Add the potatoes & celery & mix through for a few minutes.
Add back to the pan the chicken and add all spice & white pepper along with the stock, mix & bring to the boil. Then add the shredded cabbage mix, put lid on pot and transfer to the oven and cook for about 2 1/2 hours.
The stock should have absorbed into the meat & veg. Serve. Yummy!
This is my best homemade curry yet! (as said by my partner) I have to admit this was very delicious. I do surprise myself sometimes with my combinations out of a hat…lol! We had just come back from a mini hike nearby so we were pretty hungry, the weather was scorching (now scorching in Scotland is about 21 deg of sunshine…lol!), we fancied something light and refreshing. Looking in my cupboards & fridge, I had coconut milk, chicken and spinach to use up, so a wee light curry it was. Perfect with a light beer too!
2 small or 1.5 large chicken breasts – chopped into bitesize pieces
1 jar roasted red peppers
1 can coconut milk (full fat for more flavour)
1 tbsp harissa paste
1 red onion chopped
1 tsp curry powder
100g Spinach – I chopped finely
Seasoning (salt & pepper)
Using a food processor, blend the roasted red peppers with the harissa paste and coconut milk until smooth.
2. In a pan heat a little oil, season the chicken and fry until browned. Then add the onion and cook for about 3-4 minutes. Add the curry powder and mix.
3. Pour in the Sauce mix and cook for about 10 minutes on a medium to high heat.
4. Add in the chopped spinach and mix through cooking for about 2 minutes.
5. If the sauce is still to thin, bring heat up to a slight boil to help thicken the sauce.
6. Serve with some brown rice or naan bread. I cooked some rice and added it to the pan mixture and mixed though.
This dish could be made vegan and gluten free by adding chickpeas instead of chicken and serving on its own.