Quinoa Vegetable Bowl with a Coriander & Lime Dressing

Quinoa veggie bowl

I had the pleasure of attending a live cooking session with Chef Ann Nolan (training chef with Whirlpool Cooperation) recently, the session was very informative and I learned a few tricks that I never knew! ‘Everyday is a school day as they say’, One of the recipes was this delicious Vegetable Quinoa Bowl and I just had to share with all of you as it was absolutely mouthwatering, so refreshing on the palate. The great thing about this recipe is that it is simple to make and if you don’t like an ingredient it is easily changeable to something you do. We all love the simple things in life, do we not?

Quinoa is higher in nutrients than most grains with protein & fibre being the highest and only contains 2g of fat per 100g, so very nutritious and not fatty at all. Quinoa is a good source of several minerals, including manganese, phosphorus, copper, iron, magnesium, and zinc. Quinoa may reduce blood cholesterol, blood sugar, and triglycerides. It’s weight loss friendly, gluten-free, and has been shown to increase the nutrient and antioxidant value of gluten-free diets.

Serves 4

For the Quinoa:-

125g Raw Quinoa

350ml Vegetable Stock

1/4 Tsp Salt

1/4 Tsp Black Pepper

1 Tsp Olive Oil

For the Coriander Lime Dressing:-

Handful of coriander, washed, keep stem

6 Spring Onions, roots removed, washed & cut into thirds (use the white part)

1/2 Large Avocado, peeled and diced

3 Limes, squeezed for juice only

1 Tsp Kosher Salt

60 ml Olive Oil

For the Vegetable Toppings:-

1 Red Onion, cut unto 1/4″ slices

2 Red Peppers, cut into 1/4″ slices

400g Tin of Black beans or Red Kidney Beans (you could also use chickpeas)

8-10 Cherry Tomatoes, quartered

1/2 Avocado, diced

4 Eggs (1 egg per portion)

Spray Oil

Salt & Pepper to taste

  1. Place the quinoa into a saucepan with the vegetable stock, seasoning & oil, bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer, cover with a lid and simmer for about 15-20 mins until quinoa has absorbed the stock, take off the heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Do not stir while simmering, just leave it, fluff up with a fork after the 5 minutes resting time.
  2. Meanwhile, lets make the dressing…..place all of the ingredients (except the oil) into a food processor and blend together, then slowly drizzle in the oil scraping down the sides as you go along. Keep adding oil until you get the consistency you like, whether that be thick or thin, it’s up to you. Move to the side for later.
  3. Heat a little spray oil in a saute/ fry pan on medium to high heat, add the red onions & red peppers with seasoning and cook until slightly softened and browned, leave in pan.
  4. Heat the beans in a small pan on medium heat, 4-5 mins until warmed through.
  5. In a non stick fry pan (with lid) spray a little oil and bring to a medium heat, crack the eggs into the pan & season, let the egg become opaque then add about 4 tablespoons water, put the lid on and steam cook the eggs, no need to turn. Check after about 1-2 minutes, when the egg is white it’s ready, take pan of heat until ready to serve.
  6. To plate, distribute evenly the quinoa, then peppers and onion, sliced avocado and then the beans and tomatoes, drizzle over your dressing then add the egg to the top….ENJOY!

Alternative options to try:-

*Roasted mushrooms, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, spring onions, garlic dressing

*Cucumber, chickpeas, tomatoes, Olives, yogurt dressing

*Tofu, carrots, peas, sweetcorn, coriander & sesame dressing

*Roasted Chicken, tomatoes, red pepper, red onion, roasted red pepper & chilli dressing


Quick Chinese Chicken Curry Takeout-style

Chinese Chicken Curry

Due to the Covid 19 Restrictions most of us aren’t able to go visit our favourite restaurants to enjoy our best bites to eat or even get takeaways, so if you fancy a wee curry then this is for you. This 15 minute dish is quick and easy to make, and using staple ingredients that most of us have in our kitchen cupboards, its quicker than phoning a takeaway and can be made more healthier too by adding in your favourite vegetables.

This was a full flavour curry with loads of sauce, great for scooping up the rice. The flavours were so good that my other half said I needed to make this sauce again for his chips….lol! Yes, curry chips is his thing! If you make, let me know what you think.


Serves 4

2 Large Chicken Breasts, cut into bite size pieces

2 White Onions, cut into wedges

Handful of Frozen Garden Peas (optional)

2 Tbsp oil

1 Tsp Soy Sauce

2 Tsp Cornflour

350ml Chicken Stock

4 Tsps Curry Powder

1 Tsp Turmeric

1/2 Tsp Ground Ginger

1/2 Tsp Brown Sugar

Salt & Pepper to taste

50g per person of Cooked Rice (of your choosing) to serve.

  1. Heat 1Tbsp oil in a pan or wok on high heat. Mix together the soy sauce and 1Tbsp oil in a bowl add in the chicken pieces and coat, sprinkle 1 Tsp of cornflour over to coat, season, then add to the hot pan and brown all over, remove with a slotted spoon.
  2. Add the onions to the hot pan and stir fry until softened and slightly brown, about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add to the pan the Frozen Peas, Curry Powder, Turmeric, Ginger & Sugar, mix through for about 1 minute to release flavours.
  4. Pour in the stock and bring to the boil, mix 1 Tsp cornflour with a little water and slowly pour little at a time into the sauce mix until it starts to thicken slightly. Add back to the pan the cooked chicken and mix through and simmer gently for about 5 minutes.
  5. Serve with cooked rice. Enjoy!


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!

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.

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.


Beef & Rice Balls in Chilli Sauce

My taste buds were swaying towards a Chilli tonight, but fed up with the same old serving of Chilli mince on top of a bed of Rice, I decided to try something a bit different. It worked a treat, a mix between meatballs and chilli….Yum! At under 500 calories per portion too this dinner is perfect and nutritious.

Serves 2 portions

For the Balls

300g Lean Scottish Mine Beef

40g Basmati & Wild Rice Mix (you can just use Basmati Long grain if you wish) Cooked

1 tsp dried Garlic Granules

1 tsp Cumin

1 tsp Dried Coriander

For the Chilli Sauce

200ml Beef Stock

1 Red onion – diced

1 tsp dried chilli flakes

200g Tinned tomatoes

200g Red Kidney Beans, chopped

Salt & Pepper

Few dashes of Tabasco Sauce

  1. Cook your rice as per packet instructions and ensure it is very soft, once cooked allow to completely cool before added to your bowl of mince.
  2. In a bowl, add Mince, Garlic, Cumin, Coriander and season with salt & pepper. Once Rice has cooled add to bowl and mix through.
  3. Heat a little oil in a pan. With wet hands take small amounts of the meat mixture and roll into balls (you should get about 12 balls), place into your pan and brown all over. Remove.
  4. Add the onions to the pan and fry until browned, then add the tinned tomatoes, chilli flakes, kidney beans and beef stock then season with salt & pepper. Bring to the boil then reduce and bring to a simmer. At this point add back the meat and rice balls and cook covered for about 15 minutes.
  5. Just before you are ready to serve, add a few splashes of Tabasco sauce for that extra kick! (please take out if you don’t like it spicy hot)


Mini Loaded Potato Jacket Bites

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I do love creating with leftovers, I always amaze myself what you can do with leftovers in your cupboards or fridge.  Today was a quick, tasty & filling lunch. With potatoes to be used up, I decided on mini loaded jackets. Using my Automatic Jacket Potato setting on my Hotpoint  Class 9 Combi Microwave too they were ready in under 16 minutes too!

 

I made 4 small Jackets

4 medium sized Scottish Maris Piper Potatoes

2 tbsp butter

handful spinach – chopped

20-30g Cheddar Cheese – grated

Cracker Black Pepper

Salt to taste

 

  1. First wash potatoes and prick with a fork
  2. Place onto the Crisperplate or Microwave dish.
  3. Set to Automatic, Recipes, Vegetarian Dishes, Baked Potatoes, Set weight and Extra Done. Start. Turn half way through.
  4. When ready remove and allow to cool slightly
  5. Cut potatoes in half lengthways and scoop out potato and put into a bowl then mash
  6. Place butter and spinach into potato bowl and mix through & season
  7. Spoon the potato mixture into the Jacket Potato skins and sprinkle with cheese then place under a high grill for a couple of minutes until cheese is melted. Season with some Cracked Black Pepper. Yum!
  8. You could also add in some chilli and paprika for extra flavour & spice. Really anything of your choosing.

 

 

 

 


Spicy Tomato & Mushroom Pasta

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This is a great mid week dinner, super quick and easy (if you have prepared paste before hand). I had to use up some leftover vegetables in my fridge, and I had stored some coloured pasta I made a few weeks ago. So super easy and super quick.

 

Serves 2

Pasta of your choice

200g Baby Spinach

150g Cherry tomatoes, chopped

150g Mushrooms, sliced

1 tsp dried garlic (or 2 cloves if you have fresh)

1 tsp smoked paprika

Pinch of chilli flakes

2 tbsp tomato puree

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Salt & Pepper to taste

 

  1. Cook pasta as per packet instructions, or if fresh, 2 minutes in simmering salted water.
  2. Meanwhile, brown the mushrooms then add in the tomatoes, cook until slightly softened.
  3. Add in the garlic, paprika, cayenne, chilli, tomato puree and stir through. Then add in the Spinach and cover to allow to wilt down (about 1 minute).
  4. Drain the pasta and add to the sauce mix and stir until coated. Serve.

 

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