Jamaican Chicken & Rice

Jamaican Chicken & Rice

With the weather being very dreich (dull & gloomy) recently, we wanted to transport ourselves to a warm sunny place & with that not being possible in these unprecedented times I turned to my Kitchen Cupboards to see what I could make for dinner. Having some tinned pineapple, beans and rice in the cupboard we decided on visiting the Caribbean. This dish has a great blend of popular Caribbean spices, such as ginger, paprika and allspice which transports you right onto the Islands.

Also a great dish for batch cooking as you could quite easily make a big pot and freeze for later. A very nutritious dish with the beans high in fiber and the chicken giving you a good intake of protein. A good filling meal for any family table.


Serves 4

2 Chicken Breasts – cut into bite size pieces

1 Red Pepper, diced

1 White Onion, diced

4-6 Spring Onions, diced (for serving)

1 Tbsp Oil for cooking

1 Tbsp Curry Powder

1 Tbsp Smoked Sweet Paprika

1/2 Tsp of AllSpice

1/2 Tsp of Ginger

200g Cooked Wholemeal Rice (about 50g per person)

Juice of 1 Lime

1 Tbsp Brown Sugar

1 Tsp Dried Chilli Flakes

1 Tin Pineapple Chunks

1 400g can of Black Beans, drained

Handful of Garden Peas

20-30g Cashews, chopped (for serving)

Salt & Pepper to taste


  1. Heat the oil in a pan on medium to high heat, season the chicken and brown all over.
  2. Add the peppers and onion to the pan and cook for about 3 minutes until softened.
  3. Add to the pan the paprika, curry powder, ginger, allspice, brown sugar and chillies, mix through for about 1 minute to coat, then add the black beans, peas, cooked rice, pineapple and lime juice, mix through to combine.
  4. If too dry, add 1-2 Tbsp of water and stir, put lid on pan and heat through for about 5 minutes. To serve sprinkle the spring onion and cashews. Enjoy!

MEDICINAL GREEN CURRY

Green Curry with Rice

This time of year (January) it is very cold, wet, windy and snowy, so your immune system can take a bit of a battering. We tend to reach for medications such a cold & flu capsules, ibuprofen etc, which can help, however, I am a great believer that you can repair your body and fight infections from within and eating right does play a big part on that.

This recipe contains the following, so it is the ultimate winter fighter food.

Chillies contain Capsaicin which helps clear mucus. Ginger contains natural antibodies & anti-inflammatory agents & the ability to clear congestion. Garlic has antiviral & antibacterial properties. Butternut squash & wholemeal rice is good for boosting Vitamin C for your immune system. Cashew nuts are good source of fibre & magnesium both good for bone health & energy boosting.

This is also a great dish for batch cooking. It really is a win win all round.


Serves 4

2 Large Chicken Breasts – cut into chunks

2 Tbsp Thai Green Curry Paste (1 used the Blue Dragon Paste, but feel free to make your own)

1 Tbsp Coconut Oil or Olive Oil for cooking

1 400g Tin Coconut Milk

1 Vegetable Stock Cube

1 Tsp Turmeric

300g Butternut Squash, cut into chunks

200g Cauliflower, cut into small pieces

150g Baby Spinach

1 Tbsp Soy Sauce

Salt & Pepper

Juice of 1 Lime

30g Chopped Cashews (to garnish)

Handful chopped Spring Onion (to garnish)

50g Wholemeal Rice per person, cooked as per pack instructions.

  1. Heat the oil in a pan on medium to high heat, brown the chicken and remove with slotted spoon.
  2. If needed, put a little more oil in. Stir fry the curry paste for about 2 minutes to heat through and release the flavours.
  3. Crumble the vegetable stock cube into the coconut milk and stir, pour into the pan with the curry paste and mix through. Add 1 Tsp of Turmeric.
  4. Add back to the pan the chicken, butternut squash and cauliflower, mix and reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes, covered.
  5. 5 minutes before curry is ready, add in 1 Tbsp Soy Sauce, Juice of Lime and Spinach, mix through continue to cook for 5 minutes.
  6. Serve with some wholemeal rice, spring onion and cashew nuts.

Thai Green Curry & Wholemeal Rice

CHEESY BEEF MINCE PASTA

Cheesy Mince Pasta

My meal plan somehow didn’t go to plan this week as I seemed to run out of store cupboard essentials like tin chopped tomatoes etc. This dish was the result of that, having looked a what I had and what needed to be used up I decided on a simple, quick and one pot dish. This turned out so delicious that I am sharing it with you, not only is it an easy to make dish but one that could be made ahead of time and frozen for later. The flavours in this dish can be enjoyed with the whole family. The good thing about this dish is that you can add whatever vegetables you like, to be honest anything goes here.


Serves 2 – 3

250g Scottish Beef Mince (you could also use minced lamb)

1 Onion, chopped

1 tsp Ground Garlic Granules or 2 Garlic Cloves

100g Frozen Garden Peas

120g Pasta (I used fusilli but penne will do too)

400ml Beef Stock

2 Tbsp Tomato Paste

1 Tsp Dried Chilli Flakes

1 Tsp Smoked Paprika

Salt & Pepper to taste

1 Tbsp oil

100g Grated Cheddar Cheese

Handful of Chopped Parsley

  1. Heat the oil in a pan on medium to high heat and fry the onions until softened and slightly browned
  2. Add in the beef mince, season with salt & pepper & brown.
  3. Add in the tomato paste, garlic, paprika, chilli flakes and frozen peas, mix through. Add in the pasta and beef stock, bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer and cook covered until pasta is cooked through, about 12-15 minutes.
  4. Remove lid and sprinkle over the cheddar cheese and parsley, put lid back on, turn off heat and leave for 5 minutes. The heat in the pan will gently melt the cheese. Serve and Enjoy.


Chicken & Bean Tagine

Chicken Tagine

This North African dish is named after the earthenware pot it is traditionally cooked in. I have used Chicken which is simmered with the traditional flavours of sweet spices and vegetables. A Typical Moroccan style dish would use beef which has always been their staple diet with sweet spices & dried fruit. I used my heavy Cast Iron Pot for this, which is great for slow cooking and low temperatures.

If you have read through some of my other recipes, you’ll see that I love One Pot Cooking, it is simple and good for batch cooking if you prepare meals ahead of the week. It also means less dishes to wash…lol!

Serves 2

2 Chicken Breasts – but into big chunks

6 Shallots

2 Carrots – chopped

30g Butter

1 Tsp Saffron

1/2 Tsp Ground Ginger

1 Tbsp Smoked Paprika

1/4 Tsp Ground Cinnamon

200g Tin Broad Beans or Butter Beans (you can even use Chickpeas)

50g Dates (Optional)

Salt & Pepper to taste

Fresh Coriander – Chopped

Fresh Parsley – Chopped

  1. Preheat a little oil in the pot on medium to high heat and brown the chicken.
  2. Peel and chop 3 shallots into rings and 3 into quarters. Add into the pan with the carrots, butter and brown gently.
  3. Pour in 400ml of cold water, just enough to cover the chicken, bring to the boil slowly and reduce to a gentle simmer for about 30 minutes.
  4. Add in the saffron, ginger, paprika, dates(if using) and beans to the chicken pot, stir and put the lid back on, continue to simmer for a further 30 minutes. Season with Salt & Pepper.
  5. Serve and garnish with some chopped coriander and parsley. For a more filling dish you can also serve with some couscous.

Harissa Spice Beef Soup

A Bowl of Harissa Spice Beef Soup

A Moroccan inspired recipe and perfect for coming into the Winter months, it’s hearty, filling and warming. It is also a great batch cook recipe, make the soup up to 3 days ahead, cover and keep in the fridge. Freeze portions in food bags for up to 3 months. Add a splash of water when reheating.

Serves 4

300g Scottish Steak Mince (or any good quality beef mince)

1 Red Onion – chopped

1 Garlic Clove – crushed

400g Tin Tomatoes

1 tbsp Gram Masala

2 tsps Harissa Paste

1 litre Beef Stock

250g Puy Lentils (I used the pre cooked ones from Merchant Gourmet, my fav)

1 tbsp Dried Coriander

150g Spinach, chopped

1 tbsp Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper

  1. Heat a little oil in a casserole dish on medium to high heat, add the mince with seasoning and brown, about 6-8 minutes, remove with a slotted spoon.
  2. Add the onion and garlic and cook for a few minutes until softened. Add in the Gram Masala, Harissa Paste and stir, next add the tin tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes to reduce down slightly.
  3. Return the mince to the pot with the beef stock, bring to the boil then simmer and cook covered for about 30 minutes.
  4. Add the lentils, spinach and coriander to the pot and cook uncovered for 10 minutes.
  5. Serve into bowls.


Chicken & Bacon Hotpot

Chicken & Bacon Hotpot

It is my favourite time of the year, Autumn, the colours on the trees, the fresh crisp air, walks in the park, comfy jumpers and warming food. What’s not to like? After harvesting some of my vegetables from the garden today I decided to use them in this warming Hotpot. Nothing says home comfort food that a big pot a deliciousness & straight from the garden too.

The good thing with this recipe is that you can use just about any root vegetable and it will work just as good.

Some of my winter harvest this morning. Parsnips, Carrots & Potatoes

Makes enough for 2 large portions

4 Large Potatoes, cut into bite size pieces

2 Large carrots, cut into bite size pieces

2 Parsnips, peeled and cut into bite size pieces

1 Onion, sliced into wedges

6-8 Rashers of Smoked Bacon, sliced

2 Chicken Breasts, cut into chunks

500ml Chicken Stock

1 tsp oil

1 tsp Nutmeg

1 garlic clove, crushed

Salt & Pepper to taste

Cornflour to thicken sauce if needed.

1 tbsp flour

  1. First coat the chicken with seasoning and the flour, heat the oil in a large pot or casserole dish then brown the chicken and remove.
  2. Add in the garlic & nutmeg along with the onion and fry until softened then add the bacon and fry until cooked slightly, few minutes.
  3. Add to the pan the potatoes, carrots, parsnips and mix, then add in the chicken stock & bring to the boil.
  4. Reduce to a low simmer and cook covered for about 2 hours. Alternatively you can cook in the oven at 140 deg for about 2 hours.
  5. Remove lid and if you like a thick sauce like me just add a little cornflour and stir through. 1 tsp mixed with water should be enough.
  6. Serve with some lovely fresh crusty bread. Or if you are Scottish it has to be Plain Bread!

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


My Best Beef Chilli Recipe

Beef Chilli Taco

The weather was turning a bit colder this weekend & there is no better dish than a warm chilli to heat your soul. I decided to slow cook this time and it definitely paid off as the flavours were more intense and the sauce lovely and thick. Chilli is always good the second day too, so this can be made in advance. Some cooks swear by lots of different spices from mustard powder to even cinnamon & I’ve even heard of chocolate in chilli…..(not sure about than one…lol), this combination I found works for me.

Pot of Beef Chilli

Serves 2

250-300g Scottish Beef Mince

1 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil

1 Red Onion – Diced

1 Red Pepper – Diced

1 Garlic Clove – crushed (or 1 tsp garlic granules)

1 tbsp tomato puree

1 tbsp chilli powder

1 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

Salt & Black pepper to taste

1 tsp Herb mix (oregano, basil, coriander)

1 x 225g kidney beans

1 x 400g chopped tin tomatoes

1 Beef oxo cube

150ml water

  1. Heat the oil in a casserole dish or large pan on medium to high heat & fry the onions with the garlic until softened. Add in the Red pepper and cook for a further few minutes until softened.
  2. Add in the Beef mince, season and brown.
  3. Add in the tomato puree, spices & mix through.
  4. To the pot add the kidney beans and tin tomatoes & mix. Sprinkle over the beef oxo cube & the herbs, add in the water, bring to the boil, cover and simmer on a low heat for about 2-3 hours. If the sauce hasn’t thickened, remove lid and cook uncovered for about 10-15 minutes to help thicken sauce.
  5. I Served with Taco’s, Grated Cheese and sprinkled some fresh spring onions on top…yum! Also nice served with rice and soured cream.

Caribbean Beef Stew

A Bowl of Caribbean Beef Stew

When I think of Caribbean Food, I think beans, rice, peppers, sweet potato & tomatoes to name a few. This dish is a mix of all my favourites and I was using up leftovers too. I hope you enjoy. This dish would be lovely with Lamb too.

Serves 2

300g Scottish Beef Mince

150g Diced Butternut squash (or sweet potatoes)

1 onion, chopped

1 Red Pepper, chopped

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1 cm fresh ginger, finely chopped

1 tbsp sweet hot paprika

120ml Beef Stock

200g chopped tin tomatoes

200g Black Eyed beans

Handful of peas

Salt & Pepper to taste

  1. Heat some oil in a large pan and brown the mince.
  2. Add in the butternut squash, onion, red pepper, garlic, ginger, paprika and mix through, cook for 1 minute then add in the stock, tomatoes, peas and beans, bring to the boil then simmer covered for about 30 minutes. Season.
  3. If using Lamb I would slow cook this so the Lamb in tender.
  4. Serve on its own or with some rice.
Bowl of Stew


Chorizo, Chickpeas & Spinach Chilli

Chorizo, Chickpea and Spinach Chilli with rice

I am now back to work after a long furlough period due to this Covid19 pandemic. Being back at work means that I prefer quick and easy cooking meals for mid week dining. Last thing I want is to finish a long work day and stand cooking for an hour, who’s with me?

This dish takes just 15 minutes, so its a quick throw together in one pan kinda dish, but packs flavour and spice. Good on its own or can serve with some rice. I also used freshly picked Spinach from my new veggie beds (furlough project).

Serves 2

200g chickpeas

200g chopped tomatoes

80g chorizo – sliced or cut into bite size pieces

1 brown onion – chopped

1 yellow pepper – chopped

Handful of Spinach – chopped

1 tsp chilli flakes

1 tsp garlic granules

1 tsp basil flakes or fresh leaves to serve if you have

Salt & pepper to taste

100g Wholemeal or Basmati Rice if serving. (cooked as per packet instructions)

  1. Spray a pan with oil and heat on a medium to high heat
  2. Brown onions in pan for a few minutes
  3. Add in the pepper and chorizo with garlic and chilli flakes and cook for a few minutes
  4. Add in the tin tomatoes and chickpeas, mix through, bring to the boil then cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. 1 minute before serving, add in the spinach and basil flakes, mix through. Season
  6. Serve on a bed of rice. Yum!
Plate of Chorizo & Chickpea Chilli