Chicken & Kale Lasagne

Chicken & Kale Lasagne

My lovely neighbour came across with some fresh Kale the other day from her garden, so I decided to give a Chicken & Kale Lasagne a go, and this was delicious, full of flavour, nutritious and filling all at the same time. Another great wee recipe that the family can share.

Kale contains fiber, antioxidants, calcium, vitamins C and K, iron, and a wide range of other nutrients that can help prevent various health problems. Antioxidants help the body remove unwanted toxins that result from natural processes and environmental pressures. It’s low in calories, low in fat, high on protein and potassium too, so a good all rounder vegetable to add to you diet.

Recipe makes 2 portions

For the Filling:-

2 Chicken Breasts

1 Bunch of kale

1 Carrot, grated

1 Leek, thinly sliced

1 Clove garlic, crushed

1/4 Tsp Nutmeg

1/2 Tsp Smoked Paprika

200g Chicken Stock

Salt & Pepper to season

Lasagne Sheets

For the Sauce (or you can use a Bechamel instead if you prefer):-

300ml Creme Fraiche

150g Grated Cheese (of your choice, I used a mild cheddar) plus 50g optional for topping

  1. Season chicken breasts and place in a pan with the chicken stock, bring to the boil then simmer for about 45 mins – 1 hour, then shred with 2 forks. Most of the stock should have evaporated.
  2. Pre-heat your oven to 180 deg.
  3. Blanch the kale in boiling water for about 1 minute, drain and slice into fine pieces.
  4. Add to the pan the leeks, kale & carrot along with seasoning, garlic & nutmeg, stir through until mixed and warmed, a few minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, in a separate pan mix on a low heat the creme fraiche & cheese to make a smooth sauce. Do not allow to boil or the creme fraiche will curdle.
  6. In an oven proof dish, layer your lasagne, chicken filling first then lasagne sheets, then more filling, then lasagne sheets. Pour over your sauce mix evenly and finish with extra cheese and little sprinkle of smoked paprika. Bake in an oven for 45 minutes or until topping is browned and bubbling.
  7. Serve & Enjoy.

Quinoa Vegetable Bowl with a Coriander & Lime Dressing

Quinoa veggie bowl

I had the pleasure of attending a live cooking session with Chef Ann Nolan (training chef with Whirlpool Cooperation) recently, the session was very informative and I learned a few tricks that I never knew! ‘Everyday is a school day as they say’, One of the recipes was this delicious Vegetable Quinoa Bowl and I just had to share with all of you as it was absolutely mouthwatering, so refreshing on the palate. The great thing about this recipe is that it is simple to make and if you don’t like an ingredient it is easily changeable to something you do. We all love the simple things in life, do we not?

Quinoa is higher in nutrients than most grains with protein & fibre being the highest and only contains 2g of fat per 100g, so very nutritious and not fatty at all. Quinoa is a good source of several minerals, including manganese, phosphorus, copper, iron, magnesium, and zinc. Quinoa may reduce blood cholesterol, blood sugar, and triglycerides. It’s weight loss friendly, gluten-free, and has been shown to increase the nutrient and antioxidant value of gluten-free diets.

Serves 4

For the Quinoa:-

125g Raw Quinoa

350ml Vegetable Stock

1/4 Tsp Salt

1/4 Tsp Black Pepper

1 Tsp Olive Oil

For the Coriander Lime Dressing:-

Handful of coriander, washed, keep stem

6 Spring Onions, roots removed, washed & cut into thirds (use the white part)

1/2 Large Avocado, peeled and diced

3 Limes, squeezed for juice only

1 Tsp Kosher Salt

60 ml Olive Oil

For the Vegetable Toppings:-

1 Red Onion, cut unto 1/4″ slices

2 Red Peppers, cut into 1/4″ slices

400g Tin of Black beans or Red Kidney Beans (you could also use chickpeas)

8-10 Cherry Tomatoes, quartered

1/2 Avocado, diced

4 Eggs (1 egg per portion)

Spray Oil

Salt & Pepper to taste

  1. Place the quinoa into a saucepan with the vegetable stock, seasoning & oil, bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer, cover with a lid and simmer for about 15-20 mins until quinoa has absorbed the stock, take off the heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Do not stir while simmering, just leave it, fluff up with a fork after the 5 minutes resting time.
  2. Meanwhile, lets make the dressing…..place all of the ingredients (except the oil) into a food processor and blend together, then slowly drizzle in the oil scraping down the sides as you go along. Keep adding oil until you get the consistency you like, whether that be thick or thin, it’s up to you. Move to the side for later.
  3. Heat a little spray oil in a saute/ fry pan on medium to high heat, add the red onions & red peppers with seasoning and cook until slightly softened and browned, leave in pan.
  4. Heat the beans in a small pan on medium heat, 4-5 mins until warmed through.
  5. In a non stick fry pan (with lid) spray a little oil and bring to a medium heat, crack the eggs into the pan & season, let the egg become opaque then add about 4 tablespoons water, put the lid on and steam cook the eggs, no need to turn. Check after about 1-2 minutes, when the egg is white it’s ready, take pan of heat until ready to serve.
  6. To plate, distribute evenly the quinoa, then peppers and onion, sliced avocado and then the beans and tomatoes, drizzle over your dressing then add the egg to the top….ENJOY!

Alternative options to try:-

*Roasted mushrooms, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, spring onions, garlic dressing

*Cucumber, chickpeas, tomatoes, Olives, yogurt dressing

*Tofu, carrots, peas, sweetcorn, coriander & sesame dressing

*Roasted Chicken, tomatoes, red pepper, red onion, roasted red pepper & chilli dressing


Creamy Italian Chicken Pasta

Italian Creamy Chicken

I’m feeling all Italian this week….lol! Do you ever get days or weeks where you just have certain cravings? This week it was Italian for me, with Bruschetta at the start of the week (check my classic recipe here https://theweecaledoniancook.com/2021/11/08/classic-bruschetta/ ), and now this fab little pasta dish, I am feeling all Italian Inspired. I even made a cheeky Limoncello Cocktail to finish off (you can view my recipe here..https://theweecaledoniancook.com/2021/07/31/limoncello-spritz-cocktail/ )

This recipe is so easy to make and is packed full of flavour, great one for the whole family, especially as you can adjust your own Chilli portions. I made it a lighter option too with the lower fat Philadelphia and it tasted delicious, you would never know it wasn’t full fat.

Serves 2

2 Chicken Breasts, diced into bite size pieces

100g Wholegrain Pasta

1 White onion, diced finely

1 400g Tin Tomatoes

1 Red pepper, diced

150g Philadelphia Cream Cheese

1 Tsp crushed red chilli flakes

1 Tsp of Italian Seasoning

Handful fresh Basil to serve.

  1. Bring a pan of water to the boil and cook your pasta until soft (about 8-10 minutes)
  2. Meanwhile, in a fry pan on medium heat, season with salt & pepper the chicken and brown, add in the onions and peppers & cook until softened (few minutes). Next add in the chilli and mix.
  3. Pour in the tin tomatoes and Italian seasoning and mix though, reduce to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes.
  4. Next add in the cream cheese and mix through until melted, then when pasta is ready, drain and add to the pan, mix through until coated and simmer for a few minutes.
  5. Serve with some fresh basil. Enjoy!


SUMMER SALAD EBOOK IS HERE!

SUMMER SALAD COLLECTION EBOOK

My Wee collection of delightful and flavourful summer salad ideas has arrived!

Go to my eBook page and get your download now. https://theweecaledoniancook.com/recipe-e-books/

See below for a preview of what you can look forward too.

Enjoy your Summer & make lots of lovely memories. Thank you again for your support.


You might think ‘Salad Recipes‘ are just boring veggies…..well, think again!

This wee collection from my favourites are anything but. A healthier lifestyle means turning those ‘dull’ foods into delicious meals that you’ll crave all summer long.

Did I say SUMMER! Yes it is coming back to us, so get ready & nourish yourself.

Click image below to download from eBook page.


Curried Oat Crusted Smoked Haddock Fishcakes

Smoked Haddock Fishcakes

I am so lucky, I recently moved home and now live in an area where you can get some of the freshest fish delivered straight to your door! I am an absolutely lover of all things seafood, well, who wouldn’t living in Scotland! We have 12,000km of coastline with cold clear waters, which has a rich range of over 60 different species, landed from Scottish waters. Scotland has a global reputation for the quality and range of its seafood.

I have a local fish van that delivers straight to my door every week, so this week he had some lovely fresh Smoked Haddock which I just had to get. Initially, I bought it to make my favourite Cullen Skink Soup but we then decided we fancied trying something different. So after scanning my cupboards for ideas, this little Indian spiced fishcake was the outcome. Super tasty and a perfect combo with the smoked haddock. The spices enhanced the flavour of the haddock, a blend of cumin, coriander, garam masala and turmeric works wonders on these fishcakes!


Makes 6 Large ones or 10-12 smaller cakes

600g Smoked Haddock

550g Potatoes (I used Highland Baby potatoes from Scotty Brand, but Maris Pipers are good too)

6-7 Spring Onions – chopped

2 Tbsps Butter

1 Tbsp of Curried Spices (made up from 1/2 tsp ground cumin, ground coriander, garam masala, 1/4 tsp Turmeric)

Salt & Pepper to taste

50g Golden Breadcrumbs

50g Scottish Oats – toast the oats (gently toast in a hot pan, few minutes only, allow to cool)

1 Tbsp Oil

2 Tbsp Flour

1 Egg, whisked

  1. Cook the potatoes until soft, so that you can mash. Best to boil them for about 20 minutes on hob or if you have a steam pot, then Steam cook for about 10 minutes. (I kept the skin on as I feel there is more flavour). Once cooked set aside to cool.
  2. Cook the smoked haddock, I steam cooked mine for about 7 minutes, if you don’t have a steamer then place fish in a pan of milk and cook gently covered for about 8 minutes or until fish is cooked through. (remove liquid and set aside to cool)
  3. Put a tbsp of butter into a pan and saute the spring onions until soft, just a few minutes.
  4. Mash up the potatoes and place in a mixing bowl. Using 2 forks, shred up the cooked fish and place into the bowl with the potatoes, add the spring onions, next add in all your spices and season generously. Get in there with your clean hands and mix through until combined.
  5. Shape the cakes into balls and place on a sheet of baking paper on an ovenproof tray and gently flatten into cakes. (I made mine about 1″ thick) Put into the fridge for about 20-30 minutes.
  6. In separate bowls have your flour, egg & oat/breadcrumb mixture ready. Dip the cake into the flour then into the egg then roll in the oat crumb mixture ensuring fully coated.
  7. Heat a little oil in a fry pan and cook the cakes each side for 2 minutes to seal to oat crumb. Place back onto the baking tray.
  8. Preheat your oven to 200 deg and bake for about 20-25 minutes. Serve with some cool mayo or tomato relish.
  9. These can be frozen and kept up to 3 months too, so great for batch cooking.


Sweet Chilli Mixed Bean Tuna Salad

Sweet Chilli Mixed Bean Tuna Salad

Healthier Eating is always at the fore front of my mind and especially this time of year, your body needs those extra nutrients & vitamins to function well and fight of those colds & flu’s. I know a salad doesn’t sound ideal when it’s minus degrees outside but trust me your body will thank you for it. I normally have a warm bowl of porridge in the morning, not only does that heat you up it also keeps you full for longer.

Choosing foods for your lunch or dinner that are rich in vitamin C, such foods like sweet potatoes, tomatoes, red peppers and citrus fruits, try adding these to your meals as vitamin C plays an important role in the immune system and energy levels, especially important if you regularly exercise.

During the winter months, we can come into contact with viruses that can cause colds or flu. So, it’s important that our immune system functions normally and zinc contributes to this. Foods such as shellfish, spinach and lentils are good sources of zinc.

Fish such as salmon, tuna & cod as well as milk, eggs and cheese, are a great source of vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 contributes to the normal functioning of the immune system and also contributes to a reduction in tiredness and fatigue.

Spices like chilli’s are a good source of antioxidants and rich in vitamin A, as well as minerals such as iron and potassium.

This Superfood Salad bowl I have for my lunch, which gives me a good boost for afternoon working. It is rich in nutrients, flavour and vitamins so a good all rounder for the whole family. Serve with some wholewheat crackers for a more filling dish or serve as a side with some fish for dinner.


Serves 4 portions

1 x 400g Tin Mixed Beans

200g Baby Spinach – chopped

2 x Tins of Tuna (or fresh if you can)

100g Cherry Tomatoes, sliced into quarters

1 x Cucumber sliced into quarters

Handful of chopped mix nuts & seeds

3 Tbsps of Sweet Chilli Sauce (more if you want it sweeter)

2 Chillies, Chopped finely (optional)

Chopped fresh Parsley (Optional)

  1. Drain the tin of mixed beans and decant into a large bowl, add the spinach, tomatoes, cucumber, tuna, chilli’s (if using) and mix through
  2. Pour in the chilli sauce and mix ensuring everything is coated.
  3. Sprinkle Nuts & Seeds (of your choice) and chopped parsley (if using) on top and serve into bowls.


Scottish Oat & Pistachio Crusted Cod

Scottish Cod

I am very lucky to live in a Country with an amazing Food Larder and 1 type of Food that Scotland is known for is it’s Fresh Fish, the Scottish Fishing Industry is currently worth around £316 million to Scotland, unfortunately that number has went down recently due to Covid, but at the height back in 2015 it was worth nearly £437 million. Most of its catch comes in from Aberdeen, then some from central and southern areas. Some of the most popular seafood caught in Scotland are mainly shellfish such as Mussels, Shrimp & Crab but also Salmon, Cod, Haddock & Mackerel.

My local Fishmonger Ryan Black, is from a nearby Town called Kirkcaldy which is in the Fife region, they provide a fantastic service and deliver straight to your door, straight from the shore. There is nothing better than getting the freshest fish delivered the same day. I got some lovely pieces of Cod for dinner.

Having some Pistachios in my cupboard to be used, I decided to try my Pistachio Crust recipe with the Cod and it worked a treat….super delicious, healthy and quick mid week meal.

Serves 2

2 Cod Fillets

25g Pistachio’s

20g Scottish Oats

1 Tbsp Mustard Powder or 2 Tsp Dijon Mustard

1 Tbsp Lemon Juice

Salt & Pepper to taste

1 Tsp Dried Parsley or small handful of fresh

  1. Line a baking Tray with greaseproof paper and preheat your oven to fan 210 deg C
  2. Using a processor, blitz the pistachios and oats together with the parsley until roughly chopped
  3. If using mustard powder, take 1 tbsp into a bowl and squeeze 1 tbsp lemon juice in and mix into a paste, leave to sit for 10 minutes to allow flavour to develop.
  4. Lay cod onto baking sheet and spoon the mustard over the fish, season with salt and pepper, then place the pistachio crust mix over the top covering the fish, press down to secure. Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes until opaque.
  5. Serve with a slice of lemon.


Spicy Carrot & Parsnip Soup

Spicy Carrot & Parsnip Soup

It is definitely soup season, nights are getting darker, air is getting colder and a bowl of warm soup is the perfect recipe after a long days work. If you are looking for a really tasty soup that is simple to make with simple store cupboard ingredients then this is for you. The things I love about soup is that you can make a huge pot and freezer it for later. Tasty cooking can not get any simpler than this.

I harvested some of my Carrots and Parsnips at the weekend, so this was what I had decided upon. With some good quality crusty bread on the side this is perfect for lunch or dinner. The bright orange colour also brightens up your dinner table.

Full of nutrition too, with Carrots & Parsnips both being full of good Vitamin C this can help boost your immune system at this time of year and very low in calories too. Lets not forget the spices, with cumin being a great aid for the digestive system and also full or iron. Garlic, with its active compounds which can help reduce blood pressure and also combat sickness including the common cold. Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory and a powerful antioxidant, was classed as a Superfood too. It’s a win, win soup for me this season.

Vegetable Harvest, Carrots & Parsnips

Serves 4

8 Medium Size Carrots, Chopped (I keep the skin on but you can peel if you prefer)

6 Medium Size Parsnips, Peeled & Chopped

3 Celery Stalks, Chopped

1 White Onion, Chopped

1 tbsp Olive Oil

1 tsp Ginger Granules or 1 tbsp freshly grated Ginger

1 tsp Garlic Powder or 2 garlic cloves – minced

1 tsp Cumin

1 tsp Ground Coriander

1 tsp Turmeric

1.5 litres good Vegetable Stock

Salt & Pepper to taste

A Little Swirl of Cream to serve and a sprinkling of pumpkin or sunflower seeds (Optional)

Crusty Bread to serve (Optional)

  1. Pre heat the oil in a large pot on medium to high heat, add the onions and celery and cook until onions are translucent.
  2. Add in the spices (cumin, garlic, coriander, turmeric, ginger) and mix through until coated.
  3. Add in the parsnips, carrots and vegetable stock, season & bring to the boil then reduce and simmer for 25-30 minutes.
  4. Take off the heat and using a hand blender, blend the vegetables to make a smooth thick consistancey.
  5. Serve into bowl and finish with a swirl of cream and sprinkle of seeds.

You can keep soup in a fridge for about 3 days and freezer for up to 3 months.


Beetroot & Goats Cheese Bites

Beetroot & Goats Cheese Bites

I recently visited Transylvania Shop & Coffee in Glasgow, https://www.transylvaniashopandcoffee.co.uk/, the shop opened this year and they are so passionate about their home produce and Country. Everything that you could wish for from Transylvania, Romania, they have it. Their selection is vast and all excellent quality produce, from grocery store to a cake store to even coffee, yes they have it all. If you are a foodie and love seeking out new products then this shop is for you. If you are a massive Dracula fan, like me, and just love everything Transylvanian then you must visit this shop, you will not be disappointed.

Transylvania Shop & Coffee

On my visit I decided to try out some Romanian Meats, Cheeses, Coffee and of course their awesome selection of cakes, honestly, I have never seen anything like it……mouth watering flavours and designs that just take your breath away.

Coming soon is a season of get togethers and this gives us the opportunity to share all things food. I believe food brings people together, whether it’s just around the table in your home or different families & friends coming together for a celebration, there is always food around. With the recent Lockdown situations this year it has definitely given people more time to spend at home and to find their new love of food, be it baking with the kids or experimenting on using up store cupboard essentials to create new recipes, we have all tried something new. I would like to help with this journey and give you some new ideas. Please have a look around my blog, hopefully you will find your inner chef too!

This recipe brings both of the above together, I used a fabulous Romania Goats Cheese from the Transylvania shop and harvested some Beetroot from my garden to make these little bites, they are perfect for that get together event, or even just a simple snack for something different with the family in your home.

Makes about 20

About 4 Medium Sized Beetroots – Pre cooked

100g Goats Cheese (preferably the LaColline)

Handful of Pistachio’s or Walnuts, chopped

Cocktails sticks to hold together and a choice of your cutter shape (I used a star from my cookie cutter selection)

  1. Using a cutter, cut out the beetroot and goats cheese into your desired shape. Make sure the Beetroot is slightly bigger than the goats cheese. Stack the goats cheese on top of the beetroot, sprinkle your choice of nuts/seeds and secure with a cocktail stick. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Lentil & Squash Dhansak

Lentil & Squash Dhansak

This quick and easy vegetarian meal is perfect for those Autumn and Wintry Days, a warming bowl of goodness in your tummy. Full or nutrition and good vitamins, with only around 300 calories per bowl is a great healthy option to a takeaway Curry. This is also a good recipe to batch cook with. You can serve with a toasted naan on the side for a more filling meal.

Serves 4

300g Sweet Potato – chopped and diced into 2cm cubes

300g Butternut Squash – chopped and diced into 2cm cubes

2 White Onions, diced

2 tbsps Mild Curry Powder

2 tbsps Garam Masala Powder

1 x 400g Tin Chopped Tomatoes

1 x 400g Tin Coconut Milk

1 x 400g Tin Green Lentils

200g Spinach – chopped

Sunflower & Pumpkin Seeds to garnish (yoghurt optional)

  1. Steam cook the Sweet Potato & Butternut Squash, place in a microwaveable bowl with 2 tbsps water and cover, cook on medium level for 10 minutes. (you could always roast in oven for about 35 mins too)
  2. While cooking add a little oil to a pan and cook the onions until softened, add the curry powder, garam masala powder and mix through. Add the tin tomatoes and coconut milk, bring to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes to allow sauce to thicken slightly.
  3. To the sauce add the sweet potato and butternut squash along with the lentils and spinach, season and mix through, allow to simmer for a few minutes.
  4. Serve into bowls and garnish with a sprinkle of seeds.