Chicken & Chorizo Pasta Bake

Chicken & Chorizo Pasta Bake

Oh yum! Today was absolutely stoating it down (heavy rain) and very Dreich (dull, moody) weather, so it was a warming pasta bake for dinner. Not only is pasta filling but this dish is simple and easy to make, great for a family meal or just when you are looking for something comforting to warm you up. The recipe uses a lot of store cupboard essentials so easy to put together.

Dish of Chicken & Chorizo Pasta Bake

Serves 2 large portions (or 4 small)

100g Wholewheat Pasta (again your choice, I used Fusilli)

2 Chicken Breasts

1 onion – chopped

1 red pepper – chopped

Olive oil

1 Garlic clove – crushed or 1 tsp ground granules

1 tsp dried Italian herbs or Oregano

200g Chopped tomatoes

200ml Chicken Stock

100ml Milk (or cream)

Handful of Spinach leaves, chopped

Handful of frozen peas

100g Grated Cheese (I used cheddar)

1 tsp Chilli flakes (optional, if you like it spicy)

1 tsp Paprika (for sprinkling on top)

80g Chopped Chorizo

Salt & Pepper

  1. Heat a little oil in a fry pan and preheat your oven to 190 deg fan.
  2. Brown the onions & red pepper with the garlic in the fry pan until softened, add in the chorizo and cook for a few minutes then add the chicken, season & brown chicken on all sides for a few minutes.
  3. Once browned, add in the chopped tomatoes, chicken stock, milk, herbs and chilli (if using) to the pan and mix through, bring to the boil and reduce to a low simmer, cover and cook for at least an 1 hr.
  4. Meanwhile cook your pasta as per packet instructions.
  5. Using 2 forks, remove the lid from the pan and shred your chicken breasts (if you prefer chunks, that’s fine but I like it shredded)
  6. Add in the frozen peas and Spinach and cook for a further few minutes.
  7. Drain your pasta and add to the pan and mix through.
  8. Now decant the pasta chicken into an ovenproof dish and grate the cheese on top with a sprinkle of paprika and salt & pepper to season.
  9. Bake on middle shelf for about 25 minutes. Serve. Yum!

Chicken & Chorizo Pasta Bake


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


Chicken & Chickpea Thai Cakes

Chicken & Chickpea Thai Cakes

These little cakes are so easy to make and quick too, a great mid week dinner or even a quick lunch bite. What’s even better is that they are healthy, low in fat & low in calories at just 150 per cake.

Makes 8

2 Chicken Breasts

4 Spring Onions – chopped finely

1 tsp garlic granules or 2 garlic cloves, crushed

1/2 tsp ginger or 1″ fresh ginger chopped finely

1 tbsp dried coriander

2 tsps Soy Sauce

Zest & Juice of 1 lime

Salt & Pepper

1 tin of Chickpeas drained (400g)

1 tsp dried chilli flakes

Sweet Chilli Sauce to serve.

  1. Preheat oven to 180 deg and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
  2. Using of food processor blitz the chickpeas and chicken until minced.
  3. In a bowl mix everything together with your hands and form 8 small cakes about 1cm thick, place onto baking paper and bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
  4. Serve with some Sweet Chilli Sauce. Yum!
Chicken & Chickpea Thai Cakes

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


Beef Kofta Curry

Beef Kofta Curry Dish

Another great recipe from PON book, we are loving our curries at the moment, must be all this rainy weather we are getting thats putting us in the mood…lol! After all, who doesn’t love a good curry?

There is nothing better than a homemade Curry, fresh ingredients, good scottish beef and making from scratch you can save on those extra calories to make it a guilt free Curry. This little Curry is only 200 calories per serving. (add on 50g cooked brown rice to serve, still brings it to under 500 calories) Yummy!

Serves 2

1 Red onion, diced

1 tsp garlic granules (or 1 clove peeled and diced)

1 tbsp Curry Powder

1 tbsp Tomato Puree

400ml Beef Stock

230g Butternut Squash, diced

300g Scottish Beef Mince

Fresh Coriander, chopped

Salt & Pepper to taste

  1. Lightly oil a saucepan and add the onion, cook until browned. Add in the garlic and curry powder and stir, add in the tomato puree, stir then add in the stock. Add the butternut squash and bring to the boil then simmer for about 20 minutes until squash has softened.
  2. To make the meatballs, put the mince & coriander in a bowl then season with salt & pepper, mix together and then divide and roll into small balls. I got 10 out of mine.
  3. Spray a pan with a little oil and brown the meatballs. Set aside.
  4. Once butternut squash is ready, blitz with a hand blender to make a smooth sauce. Place the meatballs into the sauce and warm through for a few minutes. Remove and serve with a sprinkle of fresh coriander. Yum!

Keema Pie

Keema Pie

Oh WOW! This dish is super tasty, if you love Pies and you love Curries, you will absolutely love this. This came from my PON Everyday light Cookbook, so lower in calories too at just 400 per serving. The Sweet Potato Topping adds that extra flavour for perfection. This would be a good batch cook meal too.

Serves 2

For the Filling:-

300g Scottish Beef Mince

1 Red onion, diced

1 Red pepper, diced

1 Carrot, diced

1 tsp dried ginger granules (or 1cm fresh ginger, grated)

1 tsp garlic granules (or 1 clove, chopped)

2 tbsp Curry Powder

2 tbsp tomato puree

250ml Beef Stock

80g frozen peas

Salt & pepper to taste

For the Topping:-

1 large Maris Piper potato, peeled and diced

2 medium Sweet Potatoes, peeled and diced

1/4 tsp Turmeric

  1. Preheat oven to 180 deg fan
  2. Place the potatoes into a pan of water and bring to boil, then simmer for 20 minutes until tender.
  3. Meanwhile, spray some oil in a pan and brown the mince. Add the onion, pepper, carrot and cook for a few minutes. Add in the ginger, garlic, curry powder & tomato puree and mix. Then add the stock and bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered for about 15-20 minutes until sauce has thickened.
  4. Once potatoes are cooked, drain and mash with the turmeric and season.
  5. Once mince has cooked stir through the frozen peas and place into an ovenproof dish, allow to cool slightly. Once cooled spread the mash potatoes on top and fluff up with a fork. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes. If you have a browning setting on your oven, place under grill and brown for a couple of minutes. (add that extra crunch)

Sweet Potato & Peanut Butter Gratin

20200210_135447

Oh Yum, this dish I found on the Whole Earths website, I just love their Peanut Butter especially the crunchy one….yum!  My curiosity got the better of me because I wouldn’t have thought to put sweet potato and peanut butter together but wow, this was so tasty.

I also used my automatic setting on my Hotpoint Class 9 oven, the Potato Gratin setting. This was great as I didn’t need to worry about what temperature or oven function to set for a perfect bake the oven worked it all out for me.

This made 4 small servings (2 bakes in a 19cm x 30cm baking dish)

3 large Sweet Potatoes

2 tsp Crushed Chillies (or 2 chopped chillies)

100g Spinach – Chopped

300g Creme Friache

3 tbsp Peanut Butter, Crunchy

2 tsp dried coriander leaves

Salt & Pepper to taste

 

  1. If not using automatic programmes, preheat oven on fan to about 200 deg then finish off under the grill to crisp and brown.
  2. Peel & Slice the sweet potatoes to about 1/2 cm thick and place in a bowl, add the chopped spinach, coriander, chillies, salt & pepper.                                              20200210_122807
  3. Mix the creme friache and peanut butter together until smooth ad combined then pour into the sweet potatoes and mix until potatoes are coated.                              20200210_123350
  4. Spray a baking dish with spray oil and then layer the sweet potato in the dish making two rows.                                                                                          20200210_124357
  5. Cover with Tin foil and bake for about 30 minutes, remove the tin foil and continue to bake for the further 30 minutes or until sweet potatoes are softened and slightly browned.
  6. Serve.

 

20200210_135631

 

20200210_135447

20200210_183738

 

20200210_124507


Banana, Peanut Butter & Oat Choc Chip Muffins

 

Today was a day of using up leftovers and I had bananas that were crying out to be used. This little recipe is so easy to make and delicious too, you can store for 2-3 days in an airtight container or freeze if you are making a large batch. Gluten Free too.

A great healthier option too with the oats having 4 grams of fiber & 6 grams of protein. In addition to fiber, oats are rich in magnesium, zinc and iron. The bananas which are loaded with fiber, potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and various antioxidants. The Peanut Butter is a good source of magnesium too.

A great grab & go breakfast option or simply a little snack in between meals.

 

Makes 12

200g Scottish Oats

60g Peanut Butter

2 small bananas, mashed

1 egg

3 tbsp Maple Syrup

120ml milk

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 Dark Chocolate squares, chopped (or you can used choc chips)

 

  1. Preheat your oven on fan to 175 deg and grease a muffin tin.
  2. Put ALL ingredients into a bowl or mixer bowl and combine together.                        20200209_113300
  3. Pour into muffin tin, filling approx 3/4 way.
  4. Bake for about 25 minutes or until a knife comes out clean and muffins are set.
  5. Remove and allow to cool for a few minutes. If freezing allow to cool completely.
  6. Best served slightly warm. Yum!

 

20200209_123008

 

20200209_123130


Cauliflower Pakora

20200203_174951

Oh yum! I still had some pakora batter left so decided to try these little bites….super good and tasty.

 

Pakora Batter

150g gram flour

200ml water

1/2 tsp chilli

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp gram masala

1/2 tsp Turmeric

2 cloves garlic or 2 tsp ground garlic

small handful coriander (chopped finely)

Pinch salt

1. Put all dry ingredients into a bowl and mix together, make a well in the middle and gently add water little at a time while stirring, continue to add water until you get a smooth batter, it shouldn’t be too thick or too runny. Set aside.

 

1 x Cauliflower, cut into small florets.

I steamed my cauliflower using my steam pot for about 6 minutes, but if you don’t have this, you can cook in a pan of salted water on a gentle heat for about 20 minutes then drain.

Dip into the pakora batter and fry gently at 180 deg in rapseed oil for a few minutes until golden. Remove and place onto some kitchen paper to absorb any excess oil.

Serve. Yummy!

I served with my Pakora Sauce:-

Pakora sauce

50g tomato ketchup

2g Mint leaves (finely chopped)

100g Natural Yoghurt

Pinch salt and chilli

50ml milk

  1. Mix together until smooth.

Sweet Potato & Butterbean Tikka Masala

20200202_151020

Oh yum, this was absolutely delish! Another great low calorie option from Pinch of Nom

I don’t know why I don’t have butter beans more often, a meaty & creamy texture and filling too. This is a great healthier option curry for the weekend or mid week.

 

Serves 4

Low cal cooking spray

1 onion, diced

1 red chilli, diced

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp ginger

2 tsp tomato puree

juice of 1/2 lemon

3 medium sweet potatoes, diced

250ml vegetable stock

1 x 400g tin tomatoes

Salt & pepper

1 x 400g Butter Beans

100g Baby Spinach

For the Spice Mix:

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp gram masala

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1/4 tsp cinnamon

 

  1. Spray a large pan with oil, add the chopped onion and chilli and cook over a medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger and spice mix and continue to cook for another minute.
  2. Add the tomato puree and lemon juice and mix
  3. Using a food processor or stick blender, blitz the onion mix to a smooth paste and return to the pan. Add the sweet potato and stir until coated.
  4. Add the stock and chopped tomatoes and season. Stir, bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer for about 20-25 minutes.
  5. Drain the butter beans and add to the pan along with the spinach, stir through and cook for about 3 minutes until beans are heated through and spinach has wilted.
  6. Serve and enjoy! I served with some rice and some chopped fresh coriander.

20200202_150945

20200202_144150