I am always looking for healthier options but without compromise on flavour and enjoy sourcing locally. I started growing my own vegetables last year too and plan to grow more next year, so this recipe uses up homegrown tatties, onions and carrots from my garden (my swede are not quite ready yet).
My local butcher Forbes Raeburn in Huntly provided me with some delicious diced beef this weekend, my initial plan was to make a steak pie for Sundays dinner but having vegetables to use up, this little recipe was the outcome and definitely one I will make over and over again. End of summer is fast approaching and the colder days to set in soon, this recipe is a sure winner for all the family to warm you up from the inside. Very nutritional too as it’s high in protein, low in saturated fat and packs in your vegetable count.
For the Stew
1 Medium Potato, diced small
2 Celery Sticks, chopped small
2 Garlic Cloves, crushed
750g Diced Beef
1 Beef Stock Cube
1 Large Onion (or 2 medium)
1 Carrott, diced small
1 Tsp Dried Thyme
1 Tbsp Tomato Puree
2 Tsps Brown Sauce
2 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
Salt & Black Pepper to taste
For the Mash
1 Large Potato, chopped & peeled
1 Small Swede, chopped and peeled
3 Large Carrotts, chopped & peeled
Pepper to taste
Preheat your oven to Fan 160 deg.
Spray a casserole pan with low calorie oil on medium heat, add the celery, garlic and 3/4 onions and fry for about 10 minutes or until slightly caramelised. Meanwhile in a fry pan heat spray oil on medium heat, season the beef cubes and fry until browned.
Remove the casserole pan with the veg and add in thyme, tomato puree, brown sauce, Worcestershire sauce, beef stock cube with 700ml boiling water. Puree using a stick blender then add to the casserole pan the beef, potato chunks, chopped carrot and rest of the onion, bring to the boil then cover and transfer to the oven to cook for about 1.5-2 hrs until tender, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile make the mash, put the potato, swede & carrot into a pan of water and bring to the boil, reduce to simmer and cook for about 45 minutes until tender. Drain and mash then season with pepper.
This is a great dish that can be enjoy all year round, as a main meal or a side salad dish. Now that the weather is changing and we will soon be entering the Autumnal period we often crave more substantial dishes & this is one of those dishes. Healthy, filling and very satisfying.
I grow my own potatoes and beetroot, nothing more enjoyable than harvesting your own vegetables and preparing a delicious meal for you & your family. I live in Scotland (as you know) and of course my smoked haddock is fresh from the north sea, I get a door stop delivery every week from my local fishmonger who always has the best to offer.
Takes about 10 minutes to prepare and only 20 minutes to cook. A good quick meal.
Makes 2 Servings
2 Pieces of Smoked Haddock
2 Medium/Large fresh Beetroot (or you can buy the vacuum packed cooked beetroot in supermarkets)
250g Potatoes (I used charlotte)
1 Tbsp of low fat mayonnaise or natural yoghurt (I’m definitely a mayo person, but yoghurt will work too)
Wash potatoes and place in a pan of water, bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes until softened. If using peas add to pan 4-5 minutes before ready.
If you have a steamer, steam cook the haddock for about 6-7 minutes, otherwise poach in a pan of milk, bring milk to a simmer, place fish in skin side down and simmer for 7-8 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon. Once cooked break into bite size pieces.
When potatoes are cooked, cut into bite size pieces and place in a bowl with peas, add in chopped beetroot then add in 1 tbsp mayonnaise with salt & pepper to taste, using a spoon mix together to coat. Mix in the smoked haddock and dill.
I was looking for something refreshing to go with my Salmon for dinner and looking around my kitchen, the little avocado sitting in my fruit bowl was just screaming out to me….eat me!….eat me! & there you have it, Avocado Salsa!
An 80g portion of avocado counts towards your 5 a day and contains vitamins, minerals and fiber. Fiber is good for your heart & gut health. These little fruits are a nutrient powerhouse, they contain nearly 20 different vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. The type of fat in an avocado is mainly unsaturated (specifically, monounsaturated), which, when eaten in place of high-saturated-fat foods, can help maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Olive and rapeseed oil are other well-known sources of monounsaturated fats.
The creamy taste and texture that avocados have means they can feel indulgent to eat, and they are good substitutes for high-saturated-fat options that you might add to a salad or a sandwich, like cheese or butter. When you see or hear avocado being used it’s usually on a piece of toast for breakfast, or in a guacamole for a side dish, but the combination of avocado & cucumber is a sure fire winner in my books and served alongside a piece of fresh Salmon, well, what’s not to like!
1 Large Avocado, skin & stone removed then diced
1/2 Cucumber, diced
Juice of 1 lime
1 Tbsp Mayonnaise (Light, to keep it healthier)
Pinch of Salt
Cracked Rainbow Pepper to taste.
Handful of fresh coriander, chopped finely.
(Optional, sprinkle of dried chilli flakes)
Place everything in a bowl a mix trough to combine. Serve.
If making the salad a few hours ahead, combine all ingredients into a bowl (except the salt!). Squeeze lime juice directly over avocados and toss gently to combine.
Cover tightly with cling film, placing it directly over the surface of the salad to keep the air out. Oxygen is what causes avocados to brown.
Add salt just before serving to keep the cucumbers from wilting and becoming overly juicy.
In today’s hectic lifestyle and especially in the wintery months, it can feel impossible to achieve those recommended eight hours of sleep. Sleep deprivation catches up to us all, however, and it can be difficult to find energy-granting options that are healthy as well. Luckily, many foods boost energy naturally, offering a mid-day pick-me-up that will not derail a healthy diet.
I have put together a small collection of delicious Breakfast Recipes that I enjoy, these tasty morning starters will help get your energy set for the day ahead.
I was inspired a few years ago when I decided to look more into nutrition, it was really interesting learning about micronutrients and the true benefits of all those minerals & vitamins. I completed a health & nutrition course with BNF (British Nutrition Foundation) https://www.nutrition.training/ & learned how to use foods to our advantage to better our diets & lifestyle.
Simple to make dishes that the whole family will enjoy.
I am always looking to experiment in the kitchen and today was no different. Green Lentil Curry was on the menu but rather than serving rice or naan bread, I thought I’d try my hand at Tortilla Bowls. I’ve seen these on numerous posts & feeds and they look really good.
Green lentils, unlike their yellow and brown counterparts, hold on to their shape while cooking. I infused them with garlic, ginger, coriander, and cumin, for a dish that’s a perfect weekend meal. I love lentils, they are such a great source of protein and filling too.
For the Green Lentil Curry:
125g Green Lentils – Presoaked overnight
1 Tsp Garlic Paste
1 Tsp Ginger
2 Tsp Ground Coriander
1 Tsp Ground Cumin
1 Tsp Turmeric
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Onion, diced
1 Tbsp Tomato Paste
1 Carrot, diced
Salt & Pepper to taste
Handful Chopped Fresh Coriander to serve
1 Tbsp Creme Fraiche to serve
For the Tortillas:
4 Tortilla Wraps (I used Corn Wraps)
Tin Foil & 4 Ramekins (or something similar)
Add a little oil to a pan and add the ginger, garlic, ground coriander & cumin, mix. Then add the onion and cook until softened. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute.
Add the lentils, turmeric and 500ml water, bring to the boil then cover and simmer for about 20 minutes, add the carrot and season, continue cooking for about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile for the Tortillas, pre heat the oven to 180 deg. Warm the tortillas in a microwave for 90 seconds, lightly grease the ramekins on the outside, turn upside down. Place the wrap over the ramekin and mould to the shape, secure with the tin foil and fold into the ramekin. Place upside down into the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
Remove ramekins from oven and gently remove the foil and tortilla bowl from the ramekin, it should hold it’s shape. If you are struggling to remove, use a blunt knife to prize the tortilla away from the ramekin. Place the tortilla bowls back into the oven turned the right way and bake for a further 8-10 minutes until slightly browned.
Serve the green lentil curry into the bowls and serve with the creme fraiche and fresh coriander.
Inspired by North Africa, this quick and easy one pan meal draws the warmth of cumin and rich depth of smoked paprika to beautifully layer with the peppery flavour of the lentils. Lentils are an excellent source of B vitamins, iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc. They’re also a great source of plant-based protein and fiber. To make this dish vegetarian, just omit the chicken and replace with you favourite vegetables.
Another great one pot meal that is not only quick but simple to make too. Very nutritious and filling.
2 Chicken Breasts, cut into large pieces (or you can use thighs)
4 Rashers of Smoked Bacon, chopped small
1 Onion, diced
2 Stalks of Celery, diced
100g Green Lentils (or Red if you prefer)
1 Garlic Clove, diced
1 Tbsp Cumin
1 Tbsp Smoked Paprika
8-10 Whole Cherry Tomatoes
300ml Chicken Stock
1 Tsp Chilli Flakes
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
Small Handful of Chopped Fresh Parsley to serve.
Pre heat your oven to 200 deg Fan.
Add the oil to a fry pan on medium to high heat. Dry the chicken pieces with a piece of kitchen paper and season. Add to the pan and brown all over to seal. Remove with a slotted spoon.
If needed add a little more oil to the pan. Cook the bacon, onions, celery, garlic, cumin & paprika for 3 minutes. Add back the chicken, add the lentils and sprinkle the chill flakes, mix through.
Decant into an oven proof dish, add in the stock and tomatoes, bake in the oven for 25 minutes.
Turn on your grill at the end of cooking for a few minutes to brown the tomatoes.
Remove from oven, sprinkle with parsley and Serve. Yum!
This is a great mid week dinner when you are short for time, easy to prepare and quick to bake. You can also make ahead and pop in fridge until ready or if you have a delay timer on your oven, pop it in the oven in morning and time for when you are due home. One of my favourite features on my oven is the 24hr programmable timer, I use it all time, I organise myself in the morning then I don’t have to worry about remembering to switch oven on later.
This dish is healthy and packed with protein and vitamins, it also provides a richness with the Gruyere cheese, what’s not to like?
300-400g Broccoli Florets (you can use frozen or fresh)
1 Large White Onion, sliced
350-400g Chicken Breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
100g Creme Fraiche (use light for a healthier option)
200ml Chicken Stock
30g Breadcrumbs (about 2-3 slices)
50g Gruyere Cheese, grated
1 Tsp Dried Chilli Flakes
1 Tsp Dried Mixed Herbs (or any herb of your choice)
Salt & Pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 200deg. Bring a Saucepan of water to the boil and cook the broccoli for 5 minutes, Drain.
Melt the butter in a fry pan on medium to high heat and cook the onions until soft, remove with a slotted spoon.
Season the chicken and add to the pan and brown all over, about 3-5 minutes, set aside.
Add some butter to the fry pan and cook the breadcrumbs until slightly browned. Remove.
Layer up the chicken, broccoli and onions in an oven proof dish, season well. Pour over the chicken stock and creme fraiche, sprinkle the chilli flakes and herbs.
Sprinkle on top the breadcrumbs and finish with the grated cheese.
Bake in the oven for about 35 minutes until golden brown on top. Serve.
In our house a Sunday is the only day we have a pudding after dinner and as we were having a filling stew today, I opted for something a little lighter. This was not only super tasty but really light and lower in calories as I used low fat versions. If you love banana’s and custard you will like this. It is also so quick to make, just 10 minutes to prepare with 30 minutes chilling time.
2 Bananas (keep a few slices to serve)
1 x 400g Tin of Low Fat Custard
1 x 150ml Double Light Cream
1 Tsp Vanilla Essence
Empty custard into a large mixing bowl and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Mash the bananas with a fork and add to the custard, crumble in 1 1/2 of flake and mix through to combine
Add 1 tsp vanilla essence to the cream and whisk up until thick, gently fold cream into the custard mix.
Spoon custard into serving dishes and top with a couple slices of banana and crumbled flake.
Note: If you have custard powder, put 2 tbsp of powder and 2 tbsp of caster sugar into a pan, add a little milk and stir to a paste, add the remaining milk (about 400ml) and bring to a gentle boil, stir continually until custard thickens. Remove from heat, place a piece of cling film over custard to prevent a skin forming and allow to cool then proceed as above.