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
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.
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)
Put a tbsp of butter into a pan and saute the spring onions until soft, just a few minutes.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Preheat your oven to 200 deg and bake for about 20-25 minutes. Serve with some cool mayo or tomato relish.
These can be frozen and kept up to 3 months too, so great for batch cooking.
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)
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
Pour in the chilli sauce and mix ensuring everything is coated.
Sprinkle Nuts & Seeds (of your choice) and chopped parsley (if using) on top and serve into bowls.
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.
2 Cod Fillets
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
Line a baking Tray with greaseproof paper and preheat your oven to fan 210 deg C
Using a processor, blitz the pistachios and oats together with the parsley until roughly chopped
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.
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.
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.
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)
Pre heat the oil in a large pot on medium to high heat, add the onions and celery and cook until onions are translucent.
Add in the spices (cumin, garlic, coriander, turmeric, ginger) and mix through until coated.
Add in the parsnips, carrots and vegetable stock, season & bring to the boil then reduce and simmer for 25-30 minutes.
Take off the heat and using a hand blender, blend the vegetables to make a smooth thick consistancey.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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)
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)
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.
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.
Serve into bowls and garnish with a sprinkle of seeds.
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.
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
Handful freshly Chopped Coriander
Rainbow Pepper or Black Pepper
Cook the asparagus, green beans and peas in a pan of boiling water for 2-3 mins until tender. Drain.
Cook the Rice as per packet instructions and drain.
Heat the mixed salad beans in a pan for 4-5 minutes.
In a large bowl, put the rice, asparagus, green beans, peas, mixed salad beans & spinach, mix through until combined.
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.
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.
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
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
Freshly squeezed Lime & Lemon Juice
Seasoning to taste.
Using a Blender/Food processor, whiz up the chicken breast into a mince like consistancey
Heat the oil in a fry pan and brown the onion and minced chicken, breaking up the chicken as you cook
Add in the cumin, paprika, chipotle paste, vinegar, passata and sugar and mix through until chicken is coated.
Cook for about 10-15 minutes
To make the salsa, place everything in a bowl and mix together, set aside.
Toast your Sourdough bread, remove chicken from heat and serve on top of bread. Serve with Salsa.
Who doesn’t love a Curry? Especially when it’s a healthier version. This Curry came about when I was trying to use up leftover Almond Milk, nutritionally, store-bought almond milk (like Alpro or Almond Breeze) is a low-calorie product with about 56 calories per 100ml. It’s typically low in fat, with just 1.5g per 100g – all of which is largely unsaturated fat.
This Curry is a great family curry as its low in spice but with great flavour. It’s also great if you love batch cooking as you can make a hug pot and freeze into portions.
2 Chicken Breasts – cut into chunks
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt & Pepper
1 tbsp Tomato Paste
300ml Almond Milk
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp Chilli powder
Handful of Cauliflower Florets (I used frozen)
Handful of Peas (I used frozen)
Curry Paste (see below)
1 tsp garlic granules
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp gram masala
Mix all the Curry Paste ingredients into a blender and mix until you get a smooth paste.
Heat a little oil in a pan on medium to high heat, add chicken, season and brown.
Add the Curry paste to the pan and heat through for about 2 minutes.
Next add the tomato paste, almond milk, cinnamon and chilli powder and mix through.
Reduce the heat, cover and simmer on low for about 1 hour. 15 minutes before serving add in the cauliflower & peas, mix through and cook for remaining time.