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.
A Healthier Twist to your normal Nacho dish. I had some Bagels left and decided to give this a shot, it worked perfectly adding that little bit of crunch to the bake. Easy to make to & just 30 minutes to bake in total which makes this dish a great quick family meal. I served it with a refreshing homemade spicy salsa which was a great accompaniment.
2 Large Chicken Breasts, cut into bite size pieces
2 Bagels, cut into bite sized pieces
Small head of Broccoli, cut into small pieces
400g Tin of mixed beans (or baked beans)
200g Tin of tinned tomatoes
2 Tsp Smoked Paprika
2 Fresh Tomatoes, diced
1/2 Red Onion, diced
Small handful or chopped coriander
1 Chilli, diced
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Avocado, diced
100g Mature Cheddar (lighter option to make it healthier)
2 Tbsp Oil or spray oil
Preheat your oven to 190 deg. Drizzle the bagel pieces with 1 tbsp oil and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake for 15 minutes tossing halfway to brown. Remove from oven.
Meanwhile, spray a fry pan with oil and heat to a medium heat, season the chicken and coat in the paprika then add to warm pan to brown, 10 minutes. Add in the broccoli and mix through for a few minutes. Next add in the beans and tin tomatoes, stir through. Transfer to a baking dish.
Top the chicken mixture with the baked bagels then top with the grated cheese. Place into the oven and bake for about 10 minutes until cheese is melted.
Meanwhile to make the salsa, put the diced tomatoes, chilli, onion, avocado, coriander into a bowl and mix, pour 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar along with half juice of lime and mix through.
This quick and hearty brunch or lunch brings the best out of a good Scottish Tattie (potato). Fluffy potatoes are only made better by the perfectly poached egg sitting on top. Sometimes I like to keep things simple and with this dish I didn’t add too many flavours as a good Scottish Tattie is flavoursome in it’s own right. With the warming flavour of cayenne pepper and a dash of Tabasco sauce, this is sure to keep you satisfied all day.
Cayenne Pepper is also said to be medicinal as capsaicin, the active ingredient in cayenne peppers, is what gives them their medicinal properties. These peppers boast an impressive nutrition profile, which includes a variety of antioxidants that are beneficial for your health.
One tablespoon (5 grams) of cayenne pepper contains the following:
Fat: 1 gram
Carbs: 3 grams
Fiber: 1.4 grams
Protein: 0.6 grams
Vitamin A: 44% of the RDI
Vitamin E: 8% of the RDI
Vitamin C: 7% of the RDI
Vitamin B6: 6% of the RDI
Vitamin K: 5% of the RDI
Manganese: 5% of the RDI
Potassium: 3% of the RDI
Riboflavin: 3% of the RDI
It also gives them their hot taste. In fact, how hot a cayenne pepper is depends on its capsaicin content. The more capsaicin it contains, the hotter it is.
4 Medium Potatoes, (peeled or unpeeled it’s up to you) diced into bite size pieces
1 Large or 2 Medium Onions, sliced into wedges
1 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
Salt to taste
1 Tbsp Olive Oil or Spray Oil
2 Large Eggs
Tabasco to taste
In a fry pan heat the oil, medium to high heat, add in the onions and cook for a couple of minutes to soften.
Add in the diced potatoes, season with salt & cayenne pepper, mix and place a lid over pan reduce to a low heat and cook for about 30 minutes until potatoes are softened. Give the potatoes a stir every 10 minutes.
5 minutes before potatoes are ready, bring a pan of water to the boil then reduce to a medium heat, crack in the eggs and poach through.
Serve potatoes and onions onto a plate, place the poached egg on top and sprinkle a few dashes of tabasco sauce over, season if required. Enjoy!
If you prefer a bit more flavour, below are a few choices that I have tried.
Smoked:- Add chopped spring onions and some smoked back bacon.
Mediterranean:- Add some spinach, handful tomatoes with 1 tsp all spice, 1 tsp dried oregano, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp dried coriander.
Spanish: Chopped chorizo, sweet potatoes, 1 tsp cumin, spring onions.
I just had to try this, I love pakora, I love chicken & I love pakora so it was a must. Simple to make and very tasty. I didn’t quite have all the ingredients so here is my version. We enjoyed these pakora bites with sweet chilli dip rather than pakora sauce and was delicious. You have to give these a go.
Makes enough for 4 portions or 2 very large portions
2-3 Chicken Breasts – cut into strips
1 Tbsp Garlic & Ginger Paste
Juice of 1/2 a Lemon
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 Tbsp Fenugreek Powder
1 Tsp Paprika Powder
200g Rice Flour (or gram flour)
1/2 Tsp Biacarbonate of Soda
1 Tsp Chilli Powder
1 Tsp Cumin Powder
1 Tsp Garam Masala
1 Tsp Coriander Powder
3 Tbsp Rapeseed Oil (or vegetable oil)
First heat up your oil in a pan or fryer if you have one. (I use Rapeseed oil and heat to about 180-200 deg)
Place the Chicken strips in a bowl, add in the garlic & ginger paste, along with paprika, lemon juice, salt & pepper, mix together and allow to sit and marinade for a few minutes.
Add in the cumin, coriander, garam masala, fenugreek powder, biacarbonate soda, rice flour, oil, water and Irn-Bru, give it a good mix together.
Drop the chicken strips into your hot fryer and cook until browned and crispy (about 8-10 minutes), remove with a slotted spoon or tongs and place onto some kitchen paper to drain the oil.
A great way to use up left over chicken after your Sunday Roast. This dish is very easy to bake and healthy too.
This simple and tasty bake will keep you full as it has protein (chicken), fiber (veggies), and fat (cheese). The chicken is smothered with cherry tomatoes, onion and peppers keeping the chicken moist. I used Italian herbs and chilli spice for a wee kick. Delicious!
Prep time is only 10 minutes and 40 minutes in total to cook, so a quick meal to bake. Gluten free too.
2 Large Chicken Breasts, cooked & shredded
1 Onion, chopped
1 Red Pepper, chopped
1 Garlic Clove, chopped
2 Tsp Italian Herb Mix
1 x 400g Tin Chopped Tomatoes
10-12 Cherry Tomatoes, halved
1 Tbsp Sugar
1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
1 Tsp Dried Chilli Flakes
125g Mozzarella, grated or sliced
Small handful basil leaves to serve
Salt & Pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 200 deg fan.
In a pan heat the spray oil and fry the onions, pepper and garlic for a few minutes to soften.
Add in the Italian herbs, chilli, tin tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, sugar and season, then simmer for about 20 minutes until sauce has thickened slightly. Stir in the cooked chicken then transfer to a baking dish.
Tear or grate over the mozzarella evenly and bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until the topping is golden and bubbling. Serve with some chopped basil leaves. Plate up with a side of cooked rice, pasta or potatoes.
This is proper home comfort food and a dish that we love. Using simple ingredients, you’ll love the richness taste of this and with the sweet potato and carrot mash on top it is just packed with flavour! A great family dish that is simple to make that everyone can enjoy. Sometimes I love going back to basics, our ancestors would have cooked this all in one pot as back then there were no fancy cook tops with loads of rings.
We are lucky that we have access to a wide range of different foods and spices these days, so although sometimes it’s great to make classics, it’s also great to try out new flavours and ideas with them. This recipe surely does work with that little change.
If you make it, let me know what you think?
Makes 2-3 servings
250g Scottish Beef Mince (good quality is key)
2 Medium sized Sweet Potatoes, cut into small chunks
1 Red Onion, diced
1 Carrots, diced & 2 Carrots for mash (chopped)
1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
50ml Red Wine (I used Merlot)
1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
2 Handfuls of Frozen Garden Peas
300ml Beef Stock with 2 stock cubes
1 Tsp Mixed Herbs
1/2 Tsp Turmeric
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 Tbsp oil
1-2 Tbsp Beef Gravy Granules to thicken sauce
Pre heat oven to 180 deg fan. Place sweet potatoes and carrot into a large pan of slightly salted water and bring to the boil, reduce to a gentle boil and cook for 20 minutes until softened.
Meanwhile, heat a little oil in a pan and cook the onions until softened. Add the mince to the pan and cook until browned. Add in the balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, red wine, herbs, seasoning and beef stock, bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer for about 10-15 minutes, liquid should reduce by half.
Stir in the peas and cook for a further 5 minutes.
Add in the Gravy granules and stir to thicken.
Mash the sweet potatoes and carrot with 1 tsp turmeric
Place the mince mixture in a casserole dish, season with black pepper and top with the mash mix, cover with tin foil. Bake in oven for about 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, remove foil and bake for a further 20 minutes or until golden brown.
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.
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.
Pre heat your oven to 200 deg Fan.
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.
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.
Decant into an oven proof dish, add in the stock and tomatoes, bake in the oven for 25 minutes.
Turn on your grill at the end of cooking for a few minutes to brown the tomatoes.
Remove from oven, sprinkle with parsley and Serve. Yum!
This is a great mid week dinner when you are short for time, easy to prepare and quick to bake. You can also make ahead and pop in fridge until ready or if you have a delay timer on your oven, pop it in the oven in morning and time for when you are due home. One of my favourite features on my oven is the 24hr programmable timer, I use it all time, I organise myself in the morning then I don’t have to worry about remembering to switch oven on later.
This dish is healthy and packed with protein and vitamins, it also provides a richness with the Gruyere cheese, what’s not to like?
300-400g Broccoli Florets (you can use frozen or fresh)
1 Large White Onion, sliced
350-400g Chicken Breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
100g Creme Fraiche (use light for a healthier option)
200ml Chicken Stock
30g Breadcrumbs (about 2-3 slices)
50g Gruyere Cheese, grated
1 Tsp Dried Chilli Flakes
1 Tsp Dried Mixed Herbs (or any herb of your choice)
Salt & Pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 200deg. Bring a Saucepan of water to the boil and cook the broccoli for 5 minutes, Drain.
Melt the butter in a fry pan on medium to high heat and cook the onions until soft, remove with a slotted spoon.
Season the chicken and add to the pan and brown all over, about 3-5 minutes, set aside.
Add some butter to the fry pan and cook the breadcrumbs until slightly browned. Remove.
Layer up the chicken, broccoli and onions in an oven proof dish, season well. Pour over the chicken stock and creme fraiche, sprinkle the chilli flakes and herbs.
Sprinkle on top the breadcrumbs and finish with the grated cheese.
Bake in the oven for about 35 minutes until golden brown on top. Serve.
OMG! Well, what can I say here…..but, these were absolutely delicious!
We were watching a film the other night and the little boy in the film asked for crazy custard pancakes, I had never heard of this before and my curiosity got the better of me……so off I went google search in motion and I found this recipe from Simon Hopkinson (http://www.simonhopkinson.tv/recipe/5/custard-pancakes.aspx). I changed it slightly and cheated with my custard to make it easier to make.
BEWARE! ever so moreish!
You have to try these, especially if you love custard and have a sweet tooth.
This recipe made 6 pancakes
For the Pancakes:
100g Plain Flour
3 Large Eggs (1 for wash)
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
For the Custard:
2 Tbsp Custard Powder
2 Tbsp Caster Sugar
1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp Sugar
A Little Rum (about 50ml)
To make the batter:- Sift flour into a bowl and make a well in the middle, crack 2 eggs in and add pinch of salt. Whisk together until it becomes stiff, then start slowly adding the milk and whisk through until well combined and runny consistancey. Set aside for at least 30 minutes.
To make the Custard:- Put the custard powder and sugar in a pan along with 1 Tbsp of milk, 1 Tbsp lemon juice and vanilla extract, mix to a paste. Slowly add the milk little at a time and bring to a gentle boil. Make sure you continue whisking until the custard starts to thicken, this should take about 4-5 minutes. You want it quite thick.
Remove custard from heat and allow to cool. Place a piece of cling film over the custard, pressing down on the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate for at least 3-4 hours.
To assemble:- When ready, heat a little oil in a non stick fry pan about 20cm diameter on medium to high heat, pour a little of the pancake batter into the pan and swirl around to just a thin covering, cook for a minute or 2 then flip over and cook for a further minute, set aside, and repeat with remaining mixture.
Add 1 Tbsp of butter to the pan, place 1-2 Tbsp of custard in the middle of a pancake, brush edges with a little egg wash. Roll up the pancake half way to cover it, not too tight, then tuck in the sides and finish rolling up to seal, it will resemble a spring roll. Place the pancakes in the fry pan sealed side down and cook for a minute or 2, sprinkle some sugar over and turn, so you are cooking all round.
Once pancake rolls are slightly browned, add in the rum and let bubble and glaze all over.
Remove & Serve. We added some maple syrup to serve and it was delicious! (optional)
Although I maybe working from home during this pandemic, somehow I still don’t find the time to be preparing and making mid week dinners, so this recipe is a great quick throw together meal that is massively flavorful and satisfying. Only takes 20 minutes. I served it with some Egg Fried Rice. I do have a confession to make, it was microwaveable Egg Fried Rice, after all it only takes 2 minutes and to be honest is a great alternative when you don’t have time to make the real thing. Most brands now offer these ready packets such as Uncle Bens, Tilda, Blue Dragon and even supermarket own brands, they are are a great store cupboard essential or at least they have been during this pandemic lockdown period. Well, we all like to cheat sometimes, don’t we?
If you like it a little sweeter, you can add 1 tbsp of honey to the recipe. I use Heather honey which is a darker semi-sweet honey and delicious, it is made with the nectar collected from the tiny purple bell-shaped flower of the common Scottish Heather plant.
1 Packet 250g Microwave Egg Fried Rice
2 Chicken Breasts, diced into bite sized pieces
1 Tsp Minced Garlic
1 Tsp Oil
1 White Onion, diced
1 Tbsp Cornflour
150ml Good Quality Teriyaki Sauce
2 Tsp Sesame Seeds
1 Handful Garden Peas (I used frozen)
1 Tbsp Honey (Optional)
Salt & Pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a pan on medium to high heat and fry the garlic & onions until softened.
Season the chicken, add to the pan and cook until slightly brown all over.
Add in the garden peas along with 150ml of teriyaki sauce & honey (if using) and about 100ml water, place lid on pan and reduce to a simmer for about 15-20 minutes until chicken is cooked through. If the sauce is too thin, mix the cornflour with a tbsp of water and add to pan stir through to thicken the sauce.
Serve with some cooked rice (of your choice) and sprinkle over some sesame seeds for that extra crunch and nutrition. Yum! Enjoy!