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


Roasted Red Pepper Chicken Curry

Roasted Red Pepper Chicken Curry

This is my best homemade curry yet! (as said by my partner) I have to admit this was very delicious. I do surprise myself sometimes with my combinations out of a hat…lol! We had just come back from a mini hike nearby so we were pretty hungry, the weather was scorching (now scorching in Scotland is about 21 deg of sunshine…lol!), we fancied something light and refreshing. Looking in my cupboards & fridge, I had coconut milk, chicken and spinach to use up, so a wee light curry it was. Perfect with a light beer too!

Serves 2

2 small or 1.5 large chicken breasts – chopped into bitesize pieces

1 jar roasted red peppers

1 can coconut milk (full fat for more flavour)

1 tbsp harissa paste

Spray oil

1 red onion chopped

1 tsp curry powder

100g Spinach – I chopped finely

Seasoning (salt & pepper)

  1. Using a food processor, blend the roasted red peppers with the harissa paste and coconut milk until smooth.

2. In a pan heat a little oil, season the chicken and fry until browned. Then add the onion and cook for about 3-4 minutes. Add the curry powder and mix.

3. Pour in the Sauce mix and cook for about 10 minutes on a medium to high heat.

4. Add in the chopped spinach and mix through cooking for about 2 minutes.

5. If the sauce is still to thin, bring heat up to a slight boil to help thicken the sauce.

6. Serve with some brown rice or naan bread. I cooked some rice and added it to the pan mixture and mixed though.

This dish could be made vegan and gluten free by adding chickpeas instead of chicken and serving on its own.


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.


Chicken, Leek & Potato Gratin

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Wanted some home comfort food today and trying to use up leftovers this little dish was perfect, tasty & filling.

 

Makes 2 servings

1 1/2 chicken breast (large)

1 Green Pepper

1 Large Leek

3 large Potatoes

250ml chicken stock

50ml Cream or milk

1 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp dried garlic granules

Salt & pepper to taste

Grated cheese (I used cheddar but Gruyere is nice if you have it)

Paprika to taste

 

  1. Pre heat your oven to 180 deg (or if you have a class 9 Hotpoint use the Potato Gratin function)
  2. Heat a little spray oil in a pan and slice the chicken into small strips, season with salt & pepper & nutmeg then brown, remove with a slotted spoon.
  3. Heat a little butter in the pan, slice the leek and gently saute the leeks with the garlic until slightly browned, remove with a slotted spoon.
  4. Add the peppers are cook until slightly softened and browned. Remove.                20200412_164220
  5. Peel and slice thinly the potatoes.
  6. Lightly butter a baking dish and start by layering the potatoes then the chicken mix with vegetables then potatoes then chicken mix then potatoes. Pour in the stock and milk and finally finish off with the grated cheese sprinkled on top. Then sprinkle with the paprika to taste.
  7. Bake for about 50-60 minutes.
  8. Serve…Yummy!

 

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Harissa Cauliflower & Chickpea Curry

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A bit of Meal prepping today while I have some time. I have been doing this for a few weeks now and have found it to be very beneficial to us. Sometimes I don’t get in till late from work and its always nice to have a healthy dinner ready for you.  Also it means the 1/2 hour I save on making dinner means I can get some exercise in…..no excuses now.

 

Makes 4 Servings 

1 tsp Ginger powder or 1″ piece fresh ginger minced

2 garlic gloves – minced

1 yellow onion – diced

2 tbsp Harissa Paste

Florets from 1 Caulifower

2 x 400g Chickpeas, drained

1 x 400g coconut milk

300ml vegetable stock

200g baby spinach

Salt & pepper to taste

 

  1. Heat a little oil in a large pan, add the garlic, ginger and onions and fry until softened.
  2. Add the Harissa Paste and coat the onions. Add in the Cauliflower and mix until coated.                                                                                                            20200208_143732
  3. Pour in chickpeas, vegetable stock & coconut milk with seasoning and mix through, bring to the boil then simmer and cook covered for about 25-30 minutes until cauliflower has softened.
  4. Add the spinach and mix through, cook for a further minute or until spinach is wilted. Remove from heat and either serve or allow to cool before freezing.            20200208_151953
  5. Serve with some Bulgur wheat or rice for a filling meal.

 

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