Chicken & Broccoli Bake

Chicken & Broccoli Bake

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.

Oven Timer

This dish is healthy and packed with protein and vitamins, it also provides a richness with the Gruyere cheese, what’s not to like?


Serves 3-4

300-400g Broccoli Florets (you can use frozen or fresh)

40g Butter

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

  1. Preheat oven to 200deg. Bring a Saucepan of water to the boil and cook the broccoli for 5 minutes, Drain.
  2. Melt the butter in a fry pan on medium to high heat and cook the onions until soft, remove with a slotted spoon.
  3. Season the chicken and add to the pan and brown all over, about 3-5 minutes, set aside.
  4. Add some butter to the fry pan and cook the breadcrumbs until slightly browned. Remove.
  5. 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.
  6. Sprinkle on top the breadcrumbs and finish with the grated cheese.
  7. Bake in the oven for about 35 minutes until golden brown on top. Serve.


Banana Custard & Cream Pudding POTs

Banana Custard & Cream Pudding Pots

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.


Serves 4

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

2 Flake’s

  1. Empty custard into a large mixing bowl and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  2. Mash the bananas with a fork and add to the custard, crumble in 1 1/2 of flake and mix through to combine
  3. Add 1 tsp vanilla essence to the cream and whisk up until thick, gently fold cream into the custard mix.
  4. Spoon custard into serving dishes and top with a couple slices of banana and crumbled flake.
  5. Serve immediately.

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.


Green Thai Lentil Soup

Green Thai Lentil Soup

It is Winter Season here in Scotland and is -4 deg today and very snowy. There is nothing better that a big pot of homemade soup to warm you up on days like this. I had a big pack of lentils in the cupboard and was going to make a traditional carrot & lentil soup but then I discovered some Green Thai paste hiding behind my tin of custard & yes you’ve guessed it Green Thai Lentil Soup it was. Just the ticket too, with the spice it really warmed us up lovely and was very satisfying and filling. Another great recipe to add to the collection.


Makes enough for 4 servings

150g Green Lentils, pre-soaked and rinsed ready to cook

1 Large Sweet Potato, chopped into cubes

1 Tbsp Olive Oil

2 Garlic Cloves, crushed

1 Piece Fresh Ginger, grated (about 2cm)

50g Thai Green Curry Paste, (I used the Blue Dragon one)

1 400g Can Coconut Milk

1 Tbsp Dried Coriander & small handful chopped fresh to serve

1/2 litre Vegetable Stock

Juice of 1 Lemon (about 1 Tbsp)

  1. In a large pan, heat the oil and cook the garlic and ginger for a few minutes then add in the Thai Green Paste and mix through for a further 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add in the chopped sweet potato, lentils, vegetable stock, coconut milk and lemon juice, bring to the boil then simmer covered for about 30 minutes.
  3. Remove lid and sprinkle in the dried coriander and mix through, stirring for a minute or 2.
  4. Remove from the heat and using a hand blender, blend the soup until you reach a smooth and thick consistancey.
  5. Serve with some fresh coriander on top.

This recipe is also good for batch cooking, freezing and keeping for later.


Bowl of Green Thai Lentil Soup

Pot of Green Thai Lentil Soup


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.

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.