Braised Scottish Steak with Root Veg Mash

Braised Scottish Steak with Root Veg Mash

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.


Serves 4

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

  1. Preheat your oven to Fan 160 deg.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Serve on the side with the beef stew mix. Enjoy.


Chicken & Bean Bagel Nachos

Chicken & Bean Bagel Nachos

A Healthier Twist to your normal Nacho dish. I had some Bagels left and decided to give this a shot, it worked perfectly adding that little bit of crunch to the bake. Easy to make to & just 30 minutes to bake in total which makes this dish a great quick family meal. I served it with a refreshing homemade spicy salsa which was a great accompaniment.


Serves 4

2 Large Chicken Breasts, cut into bite size pieces

2 Bagels, cut into bite sized pieces

Small head of Broccoli, cut into small pieces

400g Tin of mixed beans (or baked beans)

200g Tin of tinned tomatoes

2 Tsp Smoked Paprika

2 Fresh Tomatoes, diced

1/2 Red Onion, diced

Small handful or chopped coriander

1 Chilli, diced

1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 Lime

1 Avocado, diced

100g Mature Cheddar (lighter option to make it healthier)

2 Tbsp Oil or spray oil

  1. Preheat your oven to 190 deg. Drizzle the bagel pieces with 1 tbsp oil and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake for 15 minutes tossing halfway to brown. Remove from oven.
  2. Meanwhile, spray a fry pan with oil and heat to a medium heat, season the chicken and coat in the paprika then add to warm pan to brown, 10 minutes. Add in the broccoli and mix through for a few minutes. Next add in the beans and tin tomatoes, stir through. Transfer to a baking dish.
  3. Top the chicken mixture with the baked bagels then top with the grated cheese. Place into the oven and bake for about 10 minutes until cheese is melted.
  4. Meanwhile to make the salsa, put the diced tomatoes, chilli, onion, avocado, coriander into a bowl and mix, pour 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar along with half juice of lime and mix through.
  5. Once ready serve with salsa and enjoy.


POTATO HASH WITH POACHED EGG

Potato Hash with a Poached Egg

This quick and hearty brunch or lunch brings the best out of a good Scottish Tattie (potato). Fluffy potatoes are only made better by the perfectly poached egg sitting on top. Sometimes I like to keep things simple and with this dish I didn’t add too many flavours as a good Scottish Tattie is flavoursome in it’s own right. With the warming flavour of cayenne pepper and a dash of Tabasco sauce, this is sure to keep you satisfied all day.

Cayenne Pepper is also said to be medicinal as capsaicin, the active ingredient in cayenne peppers, is what gives them their medicinal properties. These peppers boast an impressive nutrition profile, which includes a variety of antioxidants that are beneficial for your health.

One tablespoon (5 grams) of cayenne pepper contains the following:

  • Calories: 17
  • Fat: 1 gram
  • Carbs: 3 grams
  • Fiber: 1.4 grams
  • Protein: 0.6 grams
  • Vitamin A: 44% of the RDI
  • Vitamin E: 8% of the RDI
  • Vitamin C: 7% of the RDI
  • Vitamin B6: 6% of the RDI
  • Vitamin K: 5% of the RDI
  • Manganese: 5% of the RDI
  • Potassium: 3% of the RDI
  • Riboflavin: 3% of the RDI

It also gives them their hot taste. In fact, how hot a cayenne pepper is depends on its capsaicin content. The more capsaicin it contains, the hotter it is.


Serves 2

4 Medium Potatoes, (peeled or unpeeled it’s up to you) diced into bite size pieces

1 Large or 2 Medium Onions, sliced into wedges

1 Tsp Cayenne Pepper

Salt to taste

1 Tbsp Olive Oil or Spray Oil

2 Large Eggs

Tabasco to taste

  1. In a fry pan heat the oil, medium to high heat, add in the onions and cook for a couple of minutes to soften.
  2. Add in the diced potatoes, season with salt & cayenne pepper, mix and place a lid over pan reduce to a low heat and cook for about 30 minutes until potatoes are softened. Give the potatoes a stir every 10 minutes.
  3. 5 minutes before potatoes are ready, bring a pan of water to the boil then reduce to a medium heat, crack in the eggs and poach through.
  4. Serve potatoes and onions onto a plate, place the poached egg on top and sprinkle a few dashes of tabasco sauce over, season if required. Enjoy!

If you prefer a bit more flavour, below are a few choices that I have tried.

  1. Smoked:- Add chopped spring onions and some smoked back bacon.
  2. Mediterranean:- Add some spinach, handful tomatoes with 1 tsp all spice, 1 tsp dried oregano, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp dried coriander.
  3. Spanish: Chopped chorizo, sweet potatoes, 1 tsp cumin, spring onions.

Creamy Strawberry Cheesecake

Strawberry Cheesecake

I love Strawberry season, big juicy fresh strawberries that just melt in your mouth….delicious!

Traditionally, the Scottish strawberry season only lasted about six weeks in summer, from June to July, however now we can get homegrown strawberries almost eight months of the year thanks to advancements in polytunnel technology.

Scottish Strawberries are famously some of the best in the world, but why? The temperate climate in Scotland allows the berries to have longer daylight hours but without the same levels of heat. This allows the berries to ripen slower so they produce more sugar and you get a sweeter berry.

Scottish Strawberries

Strawberries are one of the most versatile ingredients available to us, whether we eat them as they are, put them in desserts, muffins, a salad or even as a puree or compote to accompany a steak, there are so many ways we can eat them. But for this post, I am going to show you how to make a super delicious and creamy cheesecake. Yum!

Everything you need for a perfect summer dessert.


For the Crust

1 packet of Biscuits – (Digestives, Biscoff even Oreo’s if you like – whichever you prefer)

2 Tbsp Butter , melted

For the Strawberry Layer

1 packet of Strawberry Jelly (I used Hartley’s – my personal favourite)

100ml Boiling water

1 Small Tub Strawberry Greek Yoghurt (80-100g)

200ml Whipping Cream

150g Diced Fresh Strawberries

For the Cheesecake Layer

80g Unsalted Butter

120g Icing Sugar

200g Cream Cheese (I use Philadelphia – no other compares for me)

100ml Whipping Cream

1 tsp Vanilla Essence

For the Topping:-

Handful of Sliced Strawberries

100-200g White Chocolate Shavings (as much as you want really)

Method:-

  1. Blitz the biscuits in a processor, so they resemble fine crumbs. Tip into a bowl and pour over the melted butter and mix through until all moist. Press into a 9 x 13 x 2″ springform tin and place in the freezer while you make the next layer.
  2. In a large bowl dissolve the Jelly with the boiling water, allow to cool slightly.
  3. Whisk up the whipping cream until light and fluffy. Whisk into the Jelly the Greek Yoghurt and fold in your whipped cream and diced strawberries. Pour on top of the biscuit layer and place in the freezer to set. (about 45-60 mins)
  4. Meanwhile, make your cheesecake topping, Beat together the butter, icing sugar, cream cheese and vanilla essence. Whip up your cream and fold into mixture.
  5. Smooth over the Jelly layer once set and place back in the freezer for a further 30 mins to firm. Transfer to the fridge and allow to fully set overnight.
  6. Before serving, sprinkle the white chocolate shavings over the top and place the sliced strawberries around the edge to finish.
  7. Slice and Enjoy!
strawberry cheesecake

If you love Cheesecake, you might enjoy my Lime Cheesecake too…..go take a wee look. https://theweecaledoniancook.com/2021/07/04/biscoff-lime-cheesecake/


Italian Chicken Bake

Italian Chicken Bake

A great way to use up left over chicken after your Sunday Roast. This dish is very easy to bake and healthy too.

This simple and tasty bake will keep you full as it has protein (chicken), fiber (veggies), and fat (cheese). The chicken is smothered with cherry tomatoes, onion and peppers keeping the chicken moist. I used Italian herbs and chilli spice for a wee kick. Delicious!

Prep time is only 10 minutes and 40 minutes in total to cook, so a quick meal to bake. Gluten free too.


Serves 3-4

2 Large Chicken Breasts, cooked & shredded

1 Onion, chopped

1 Red Pepper, chopped

1 Garlic Clove, chopped

Spray Oil

2 Tsp Italian Herb Mix

1 x 400g Tin Chopped Tomatoes

10-12 Cherry Tomatoes, halved

1 Tbsp Sugar

1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

1 Tsp Dried Chilli Flakes

125g Mozzarella, grated or sliced

Small handful basil leaves to serve

Salt & Pepper to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 200 deg fan.
  2. In a pan heat the spray oil and fry the onions, pepper and garlic for a few minutes to soften.
  3. Add in the Italian herbs, chilli, tin tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, sugar and season, then simmer for about 20 minutes until sauce has thickened slightly. Stir in the cooked chicken then transfer to a baking dish.
  4. Tear or grate over the mozzarella evenly and bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until the topping is golden and bubbling. Serve with some chopped basil leaves. Plate up with a side of cooked rice, pasta or potatoes.

Italian Chicken Bake with Mozzarella


Scottish Heather Honey Chicken

Scottish Heather Honey Chicken

Hello and Happy Wednesday!

Yes, I know what you are thinking, this isn’t chicken? It looks like Beef? That’s because of the soy Sauce and dark honey in the recipe marinating into the chicken.

One pot meals are always my go to when I am working, simply because they are easy and less washing up to do. I used some Scottish Heather Honey for this recipe and oh my……..this was a super tasty meal that I am so proud of. I had 2 recipes in mind to cook tonight, 1 was Honey and Garlic roasted Chicken and the other was a Soy Glazed Chicken, yes, you guessed it, I went for it and mixed it all up. I do love it when you change your mind last minute and get a successful NEW recipe!

Known as the ‘Champagne’ of all honeys, expertly gathered by bees that visit the legendary flower of Scotland, Heather. Scottish Heather Honey is dark and semi-set.  A highly intense, distinctive, warm, woody and floral aroma reminiscent of the Scottish Highlands. I use honey from Heather Hills Farm, they are a family run business based in Blairgowrie, Perthshire since 1945. Click to their website for more details :- http://www.heatherhills.co.uk/.

Pure honey is full of natural antibacterial and antimicrobial goodness. As well as the high antioxidant qualities, manganese plays a role in helping to make and activate enzymes in the body involved in protecting tissues from damage and in the metabolism of nutrients. It also helps maintain healthy bones.


Serves 4

3-4 Large Chicken Breasts, cut into large chunks

1 Red Pepper, diced

1 Yellow Pepper, diced

2 White Onions, cut into wedges

4 Tbsps of Heather Honey (you can use clear honey if you can’t get this)

3 Tbsps of Dark Soy Sauce

2 Tsps Dried Garlic Granules

1 Tbsp Olive Oil

3 Tsps French Mustard

1 Tsp Curry Powder

Salt & Ground Black Pepper

  1. Heat the oil in a pan, season the chicken, add to pan and brown.
  2. Add in the garlic, peppers and onion and cook for a few minutes.
  3. Mix in a jug or bowl the soy sauce, honey, curry powder and mustard. Season.
  4. Pour the sauce mixture over the chicken and vegetables, add 100ml water and stir to combine.
  5. Cover and cook on a low heat for about 2 hours.
  6. Remove lid season if need and cook for a further 20 minutes.
  7. Serve with some boiled potatoes or mash or anything you like. Enjoy!