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.


Asparagus, Pea, Bean & Rice Bowl

Asparagus Rice Bowl

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.

Serves 2-3

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

Pinch Sugar

Handful freshly Chopped Coriander

Rainbow Pepper or Black Pepper

  1. Cook the asparagus, green beans and peas in a pan of boiling water for 2-3 mins until tender. Drain.
  2. Cook the Rice as per packet instructions and drain.
  3. Heat the mixed salad beans in a pan for 4-5 minutes.
  4. In a large bowl, put the rice, asparagus, green beans, peas, mixed salad beans & spinach, mix through until combined.
  5. 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.
Bowl of Asparagus, Bean & Rice

Chipotle Chicken & Smoky Salsa

Chipotle Chicken on Toasted Sourdough Bread

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.

Serves 2

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

100ml Passata

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

chopped coriander

Freshly squeezed Lime & Lemon Juice

Seasoning to taste.

  1. Using a Blender/Food processor, whiz up the chicken breast into a mince like consistancey
  2. Heat the oil in a fry pan and brown the onion and minced chicken, breaking up the chicken as you cook
  3. Add in the cumin, paprika, chipotle paste, vinegar, passata and sugar and mix through until chicken is coated.
  4. Cook for about 10-15 minutes
  5. To make the salsa, place everything in a bowl and mix together, set aside.
  6. Toast your Sourdough bread, remove chicken from heat and serve on top of bread. Serve with Salsa.

Chicken Curry with Almond Milk

Chicken Curry Pot

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.

Chicken Curry with Almond Milk

Serves 2

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)

Curry Paste:

1 Onion

1 tsp garlic granules

1 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp ground turmeric

1 tsp gram masala

Sea salt

  1. Mix all the Curry Paste ingredients into a blender and mix until you get a smooth paste.
  2. Heat a little oil in a pan on medium to high heat, add chicken, season and brown.
  3. Add the Curry paste to the pan and heat through for about 2 minutes.
  4. Next add the tomato paste, almond milk, cinnamon and chilli powder and mix through.
  5. 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.
  6. I served with some of my Chickpea Chaptai’s. https://theweecaledoniancook.com/2020/08/29/chickpea-chapati/
Chickpea Chapati


Roasted Beetroot Salad

Roasted Beetroot Salad

As you may know I started my very first Raised Vegetable Beds this year, it’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a while but as the story goes, we work & we work and never seem to find time to start anything. This was the year that I was finally going to put a plan of action together, ordered my raised beds, got them all painted and treated, filled them up, planted the seeds and waited. I can’t tell you how exciting it was to see my first little green shoot pop up.

I love Beetroot, so that was the first seed planted and I am now starting to harvest them. Oh my, freshness, freshness, freshness…..there is nothing better that eating straight from your garden, I harvested some yesterday and decided on a lovely refreshing salad today for my lunch.

Fresh Beetroot from my garden

How to Roast Beetroot

First wash all the mud etc off of the beets and trim of the stalks & leaves, but keep the leaves aside for later. If not using straight away, store in a perforated plastic bag in the salad bins in your fridge, these will keep for about 2 weeks.

Beetroot & Beetroot Leaves Storage in Fridge

Using Tin foil, place the Beets (with the skin on) on and sprinkle a little olive oil & salt, wrap up into a parcel, not too tightly as you want the steam to help cook the beets, then bake on a tray in centre of your oven at 200 deg for about 45 minutes.

Remove and allow steam to escape from parcel then allow to cool slightly. At this stage, I advise to wear gloves, you WILL get Beetroot stained if you don’t…lol! With gloves on gently rub the skin and you’ll notice it comes away very easily, remove all the skin and slice into wedges or bite sized pieces. Yum!

Using the saved leaves, these can be cooked just like Kale. Bring a pan of water to the boil add a little salt and blanch for a few minutes, remove and drain excess water through a colander/sieve. I love the colour of the water here too.

Place leaves in a bowl with beetroot, squeeze some lemon juice and 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar over and mix. Sprinkle over some Goats cheese or Feta cheese and chopped walnuts to serve.

You could also cook some couscous or bulgur wheat to add to make it a more filling bowl.

A Bowl of Roasted Beetroot, Beetroot Leaves, Goats Cheese, Walnuts


Stripey Omelette

Happy National Egg Day! (well in the U.S it is on 3rd June). I am helping them celebrate today my making myself eggs for lunch and a stripey omelette at that & why not! I do love experimenting with food…lol!

Eggs are so nutritious and filling, stored with lots of protein, about 13g in a large egg size. Eggs are also low in calories and full of vitamin D & B, so a good all rounder for any meal. I love eggs, you can scramble, poach, fry, bake, boil they are very versatile. Want to know even more, check out egg info here….https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egg_as_food

I get my eggs delivered straight to my door from McQueens Dairies. This omelette made from Scottish eggs from Beaton Farms in Inverurie, Scotland.

3 Eggs – Large

Spray oil

Seasoning

  1. Start by separating the yolks from whites. Mix the yolks.
  2. Heat a little spray oil in a pan on a low heat and pour in the yolks only, cook gently for a few minutes until cooked.
  3. Using a knife gently & I say very gently as you don’t want to damage your pan, then slice into strips about 1-1.5cm thick and remove every 2nd one. (you can use the spare strips for another omelette or create a lattice design).

4. Then pour in the egg whites and cook gently on a low heat until the egg whites start to bubble.

5. At this stage if you are using a filling, lay it onto omelette and start to roll up in pan then decant onto a plate.

Serve. Yummy and Eye catching.


Middle Eastern Beef & Rice

Having some Chickpeas to use up, I decided to spice them up with some Middle Eastern Spices. This dish was delicious & my partner agreed…..happy days!

I also love this dish as its a one pot cooking meal which means less washing up….lol!

Serves 2

250g Scottish Beef Mince

200g Tinned Chickpeas

400g Tinned tomatoes

200g Red Kidney beans or you can use Black beans

250ml Beef Stock

70g Rice (Basmati is good, but I had some Red and wild rice left)

1 tsp Dried garlic granules

1 tsp Cumin

1 tsp Ground Coriander

1/2 tsp Turmeric

1 tsp Dried coriander leaf (fresh if you have it)

1 tsp Dried parsley (fresh if you have it)

Spray oil

Salt & Pepper

  1. Heat a little spray oil in a pan and brown the mince, remove with a slotted spoon, set aside.
  2. Put Rice, Garlic, Ground coriander, Cumin & Turmeric into pan and coat the rice. Add the Beef stock, bring to the boil then simmer for about 15-20 minutes until rice is softened.
  3. Add back to the pan the mince along with the chickpeas, tin tomatoes & kidney beans, mix through. Heat through uncovered for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the parsley & coriander if fresh to serve. If using dried, add with the beans etc.


Jambalaya

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This was a little dish I tried from Pinch of Nom’s Latest Cookbook. It was super tasty and low in Kcal’s too at just 398 per portion.

 

Serves 4

Low cal cooking spray

300g diced chicken

2 red peppers, diced

1 onion, diced

2 celery sticks, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tbsp cajun seasoning (1 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp salt, 2 tsps garlic powder, 2 tsps paprika, 1 tsp ground black pepper, 1 tsp cayenne pepper, 1 tsp oregano dried, 1 tsp thyme, 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes)

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp dried oregano

1 x 400g tin tomatoes

200g long grain rice

400ml chicken stock

1 tbsp worcestershire sauce

3 low fat sausages (I sliced them after they were cooked)

 

  1. Spray a large dish with oil, add the chicken and cook over medium heat to brown.
  2. Then add in the onion, peppers and celery, cook for a few minutes
  3. Add in the garlic, cajun spice, paprika and oregano, stir and cook for a few minutes.
  4. Add the rice, chopped tomatoes, stock & worcestershire sauce. Place the sausages in and bring to the boil then reduce to a low heat and cook covered for about 30 minutes.
  5. Serve, Yum!

This is a great dish that you can batch cook with and freeze.


Vegetarian Cottage Pie

20200202_142634

Oh yum, this little dish was delicious! Looking to be more healthier this year, so I decided on a veggie pie rather than meat. Super delicious and filling too.

 

Serves 3/4

1 onion, finely chopped
3 carrots, finely chopped
2 celery sticks, finely chopped
2 tsp tomato purée
3 tsp plain flour, 1 tsp thyme
Vegetable stock pot, made up to 200ml
2 x 400g tin kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 x 400g tin adzuki beans
1kg Potatoes peeled and halved
75ml milk
25g butter
75g mature Cheddar, grated
1 tbsp English mustard
75ml milk

 

  1. To cook the Soffrito (A soffrito is a flavourful mix of diced onion, carrot and celery gently fried in oil. It forms the basis of many dishes, including soups, stews and sauces. Add chopped garlic or herbs for even more flavour, if you like.)  Heat a little oil in a pan and cook the celery, onion & carrot for a few minutes.                                                                              20200202_123904
  2. Cut a piece of baking paper the same diameter as your pan and lay on top of the veg, cook for a further 10 mins.  ( The circle of baking paper helps to keep the vegetables moist and retain their flavour as they cook. It’s also useful when cooking the base of curries, soups and stews, but you can do without if you don’t have baking paper.)                                                                                  20200202_123913
  3. Add the tomato puree and stir through the add the flour and combine.
  4. Pour in the stock, beans & thyme and bring to the boil then reduce and simmer for about 20-25 minutes.                                                                                  20200202_131045
  5. Transfer to an oven proof dish and allow to cool. Preheat your oven to 170deg fan.
  6. Meanwhile, to make the rarebit mash:- Boil the potatoes until tender and mash.
  7. Stir in 75ml milk & 25g butter
  8. In a separate bowl mix the 75g grated cheese and mustard together. Slowly stir in the 75ml milk, until smooth.                                                                      20200202_131059
  9. Stir in the cheese mixture to your potatoes.
  10. Spoon the mash over the pie mixture evenly. Note: (The bean mixture should have formed a thin skin while cooling. Don’t stir it before adding the mash because this helps keep the layers separate while the pie bakes).
  11. Sprinkle with some thyme and bake for about 30-40 minutes until golden brown. I have a browning setting on my oven and its great for things like this.