Cajun ‘Dirty’ Rice

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This recipe is so easy to make and a great quick and satisfying classic. The word ‘Dirty‘ comes from the fact it looks dirty with the colour of the minced beef.  Made with rice and vegetables this is so healthy too, at only approx 300 Kcal per serving.

 

Serves 4

150g Long Grain Brown Rice (or white if you prefer)

1 Chicken Stock Cube – (300ml water if steaming, using Steam pot)

400g Scottish minced beef

1 red onion – chopped finely

4 bacon medallions – diced

3-4 tsp Cajun seasoning (depending on how spicy you like it)

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 carrot, diced

1 red pepper, diced

100g gardens peas

200ml beef stock

1 beef stock cube

bunch spring onions, sliced

 

  1. Cook the rice as per packet instructions. I used my Steam pot, decant rice into pot, add the frozen peas and chicken stock, cover and cook on Auto Rice setting for 18 minutes.                                                                                                    20190615_170431
  2. Meanwhile, spray a fry pan with low fat cooking spray, brown the mince, onions and bacon.                                                                                    20190615_165321
  3. Add in the Cajun seasoning, salt & pepper, worcestershire sauce and stir. Then add in the carrot, peppers and beef stock. Simmer for a few minutes until peppers are softened.                                                                                                      20190615_170415
  4. Add the cooked rice to the pan and mix through. Finish with the spring onions and serve. We served with some Corn Folded Flatbreads. Yummy!

 

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Chorizo & Bolognese Bake

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Yummy little dish, I got this recipe from Pinch of Nom and added my own stamp to it. I do love one pot cooking and especially slow cooking too, it is sometimes so good just to put something in the oven and carry on with your daily tasks.  This was slow cooked for 5 hours and was delicious. A really good simple throw together meal.

 

Makes 2 large servings

300g Scottish beef mince

350g passata

300g tin tomatoes

60g chopped chorizo

1 tbsp tomato puree

1 carrot, diced

1 red onion, diced

1 red pepper, diced

1 stick celery, diced

2 tsp garlic powder

1 tbsp worcestershire sauce

1 beef stock cube crumbled

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp dried basil

1/2 tsp dried rosemary

100g dried wholemeal pasta

150ml boiling water

40g low fat cheddar

Salt & pepper

 

  1. Set your oven to slow cook setting if you have one, if not this can be done in a slow cooker on med-high setting.                                                                          20190614_133920
  2. Firstly brown the mince in a pan with salt, pepper and garlic then remove and place into an oven proof dish                                                            20190614_122930
  3. Next add in all the other ingredients with the exception of the pasta, cheese and boiling water, cover and bake for 4.5 hours
  4. Add in the pasta and boiling water to the dish and mix through, bake for a further 30 minutes or until pasta is cooked through.                                                    20190614_165140
  5. 10 minutes before ready, sprinkle on the cheese and allow to melt through.                20190614_171811
  6. Serve. Yummy!

 

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Egg & Spinach Egg Baskets

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Monday morning breakfast was a case of trying to use up leftovers. I had some fresh bread and spinach that needed to be used, so decided on some easy breakfast cups. Quick and easy to make. There are so many flavours you can use for these too.

Made 3 with left overs

1 piece of bread per cup – crustless

Eggs

Baby Spinach

Cheddar Cheese (low fat – optional)

Salt & pepper to season

chilli flakes – optional

1 tsp paprika – optional

1 tbsp butter – melted

 

  1. Firstly preheat your oven to 180 deg.
  2. Brush your bread with the melted butter both sides and cut diagonally, place the bread into the muffin tin overlapping and making sure the bottom is covered.
  3. Bake the bread in the oven for 5 minutes and remove
  4. Place the spinach & cheese with seasoning and chilli into the cups and then crack the egg into them. Sprinkle with paprika and bake for a further 15 minutes.  A bit less if you like your eggs really running.
  5. Scoop out with a spoon and devour! Yummy.

 

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Cheesy Mexican Beef

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Oh wow, this little dish was super tasty and lower in calories too at only around 480 per serving. I got this from Food for Fitness High Protein Cookbook, Scotts cookbook is brilliant and loaded with amazing recipes.

You know me….I do love a good one pan meal and this is another for favourites list.

 

4 Servings

500g lean scottish beef mince

1 tbsp coconut oil

2 cloves garlic minced

1 red onion, sliced

1 red pepper, sliced

250g rice

400g chopped tomatoes

500ml beef stock

2 tbsp mexican seasoning (1 tbsp chilli powder, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp onion powder, 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, 1/4 tsp oregano, 1/2 tsp paprika, 1 1/2 ground cumin, 1 tsp sea salt, 1 tsp black pepper)

60g low fat cheddar

Fresh coriander chopped to serve.

 

  1. Heat the coconut oil in a non stick pan
  2. Add the garlic, red pepper, onion and fry for a minute. Then add the beef and fry until browned (few minutes). Add in the seasoning and coat the meat.                                                            20190323_160614
  3. Add the rice (uncooked), tin tomatoes and stock bring to the boil then reduce to a low simmer, cover and cook for about 30 minutes until rice is cooked and stock is absorbed.                                                                                20190323_161406
  4. Top with the grated cheese, allow to melt then sprinkle the coriander and serve.

 

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Harissa Spice Veggie Tray Bake

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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

4-5 asparagus

1 x 400g tin chickpeas

1 x 200g tin tomatoes

2 large heaped tbsps of Rose Harissa Paste

1 tbsp oil

Coriander

Salt & pepper to season

 

  1. 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)
  2. Preheat oven to 200 deg and oil a baking tray.
  3. 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.
  4. Now add the chickpeas and the asparagus to the tray and bake for a further 15 minutes or until evenly browned all over.
  5. In a microwave bowl add the chopped tin tomatoes with salt & pepper to season and warm thought for about 1-2 minutes.
  6. Pour tomato sauce into a serving dish, empty the vegetables from the baking tray into the serving dish and mix through.
  7. Serve with some sprinkled coriander. Yummy!

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Sweet Potato, Butternut Squash & Spinach Curry Burgers

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Oh yum. In my aim to be eating a bit healthier this year, I took my hand to these little nutritious burgers, they were so delicious and very filling too.

Makes about 6

200g butternut Squash – sliced

200g Sweet Potato – sliced

1 medium onion – finely chopped

1 clove garlic – crushed

1 tsp dried chilli flakes

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp dried coriander

100g Spinach

Salt & Pepper to taste

  1. Cook the butternut Squash and mash up. (I steamed cooked mine using my steam pot for about 6 minutes)
  2. In a bowl mix the butternut squash, wilted spinach, onion, cumin, paprika, coriander, salt & pepper, chilli flakes & garlic.                                        20190211_153656
  3. Place a cutter onto a sheet of greaseproof paper or plate and fill the cutter with the mixture making individual circles. Approx 2 cm thick.                                                20190211_174658
  4. Heat up the Crisperplate for 2 minutes and cook on Crisp setting for 6 minutes, turn then cook for a further 4 minutes (depending on how well you like them cooked, you can cook for a further 2 minutes for extra brownness) Alternatively, fry in a pan for about 6 mins on medium heat each side with a little oil.                              20190211_180637
  5. Serve. Yummy!
  6. I added some potato wedges to my crisperplate at the same time for a one pan meal.

Chilli Steak Cheesy Fries

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O.M.G! This little dish was delicious, rich and very tasty.  Saw this on a social media video, my salavating at the video simply meant I had to give it a go. Changed the recipe slightly to suit our tastes.

 

Makes for 2

2 sirloin steaks – sliced into 1cm strips

2 tbsp plain flour

Salt & pepper to taste

1 large red onion

2 garlic cloves crushed

1 tsp chilli flakes

200ml beef stock

100ml red wine (I used shiraz)

1 tbsp tomato paste

2 large handfuls of grated cheddar

2 large handfuls of french fries

 

  1. Heat a little oil in a fry pan to a medium to high heat
  2. Place the steak strips into the pan and brown all over, add the flour, salt & pepper until coated and soaked up the juices then remove and set aside.
  3. Place another tbsp of oil in the pan and cook the onion with the garlic until softened.
  4. Add in the tomato paste, chilli flakes, beef stock & red wine, gently bring to boil then reduce to a very low simmer.
  5. Add back to the pan the beef strips and cook slow for about 1 hour (pan covered).                                                                                      20190126_132640
  6. Remove pan lid 10 minutes before serving and bring heat up a little to thicken the sauce if needed.
  7. Meanwhile, cook the french fries as per packet instructions.
  8. Place the fries on a plate, top with the cheese and melt under a hot grill for a few seconds then top with the beef strips….Serve. Oh so yummy!

 

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It definitely makes a difference if you’ve got some good quality meat and cheese.

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Curried Cod

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This is a tasty little dish and so healthy too. I’m always trying to get more fish into my meals (hard when my partner isn’t a fish fan!), but even he loved this one. Result!

Easy to make and full of protein and iron.

Makes 2 portions

1 tsp oil

1 onion, chopped

2 tbsp curry powder

1 tsp ground mixed spice

2 garlic cloves or 1 tsp dried garlic

1 x 400g chopped tomatoes

1 can chickpeas (optional)

100g Spinach (optional)

1 packet of fresh green peas

2 cod fillets

zest of 1 lemon

handful of chopped coriander to serve

 

  1. Heat oil in a large pan and cook onion & garlic over a high heat until softened and slightly browned. Stir in the curry powder and mixed spice, mix through.
  2. Add in the tin tomatoes, chickpeas and green peas with seasoning to taste.
  3. Cook for about 10 minutes until sauce starts to thicken slightly.
  4. Add in the cod and cover, continue to cook for another 10 minutes until fish is cooked through.
  5. Squeeze on the lemon zest and coriander then serve.  Yummy!

I served with some curry roasted parnsips and carrots.

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Eggy Puff Breakfast Baskets

Another quick yummy breakfast for a sunday morning. I always try to use up leftovers, so having some puff pastry left this is what I decided to do this morning. Again I used my lovely little Crisperplate to cook these. Have I told you how much I love this little bit of Technology?? I do love gadgets that simply work in your favour to help save time in the kitchen. You can get more information here

 

Makes 6

1 Roll of Puff Pastry

7 eggs (1 for wash)

Grated Cheddar Cheese (I used 1 tbsp per basket)

Salt & pepper

Flavourings as per your choice (I used smoked paprika, but you could use chives, chilli, parsley, the list is endless)

 

  1. Preheat your Crisperplate for 2 minutes on Crisper setting.
  2. Place a sheet of greaseproof on the plate once heated.
  3. Roll out the pastry and using a round cutter, cut out 6 circles.
  4. Using a smaller circle cutter, gently press into the middle of the circle pastry – dont cut right through. (This makes the outer edge of the basket)
  5. Using a fork, press the centre to prevent it from rising too much. Brush with egg wash.                                                                                                       20181125_101734
  6. Place the pastry onto the crisper plate and cook for 4 minutes.
  7. Remove and gently edge the inner circle using a spoon and press down to make bottom of basket.
  8. Place your cheese into the basket and flatten, crack the egg in, gently using a knife pierce the yolk (this prevents it from popping) and season with your flavourings.
  9. Place back into the Combi Oven and bake for a further 2.5 mins – 3.5 mins, depends how you like your eggs cooked.  Serve. Yummy!

 

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Parmesan & Tomato Stars

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OMG! These are so delicious and perfect for the party season. Little bite size pieces of deliciousness.

 

Makes about 12

8-10 Vittoria Tomatoes
Dried Thyme
150g plain flour
75 g soft butter salted
40 g grated parmesan
1 egg
250g mozzarella
Green pesto
Paprika & poppy seeds

1. Pre heat oven to Fan 160 deg, Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper.
2. Sift the flour into a mixing bowl, add the butter and parmesan, add in half the whisked egg, slow speed on mixer mix together.
3. Tip onto a non stick surface and bring together with your hands until you have a dough, flatten slightly. Wrap in clingfilm and chill for 30 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, heat crisper plate and cut tomatoes in half, sprinkle with salt & thyme and cook for 2 minutes. Remove and allow to cool slightly.                                                    20181117_143712
5. Take a small 3cm star cutter and cut the mozzarella into thin stars.
6. Remove the dough and roll out and cut with a 5-6cm star cutter, place on baking sheet and bake for about 10-12 mins or until slightly browned.                                      20181117_143313
7. To serve, once stars are cooled, spread a little pesto on star then place mozzarella star, a little more pesto then the tomato half.
8. Yum!  Gorgeous with some prosecco.

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