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.
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.
Heat the oil in a pan on medium to high heat, brown the chicken and remove with slotted spoon.
If needed, put a little more oil in. Stir fry the curry paste for about 2 minutes to heat through and release the flavours.
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.
Add back to the pan the chicken, butternut squash and cauliflower, mix and reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes, covered.
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.
Serve with some wholemeal rice, spring onion and cashew nuts.
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.
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)
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)
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.
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.
Serve into bowls and garnish with a sprinkle of seeds.
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.
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
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.
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.
Return the mince to the pot with the beef stock, bring to the boil then simmer and cook covered for about 30 minutes.
Add the lentils, spinach and coriander to the pot and cook uncovered for 10 minutes.
I’ve loads of Beetroot growing in my garden just now and perfect season for it too, so decided on a little treat for lunch today. Certainly beats the Ryvita’s….lol.
Beetroot is packed with essential nutrients, beetroots are a great source of fiber, folate (vitamin B9), manganese, potassium, iron, and vitamin C. Beetroots and beetroot juice have been associated with numerous health benefits, including improved blood flow, lower blood pressure, and increased exercise performance.
Perfect pairing with Beetroot for me is definitely Stornoway Black Pudding & Goats Cheese, just so yummy! I served with some Homegrown Spinach too.
4 large Beetroots – Cooked and Sliced into bite size chunks
60g Goats Cheese
4 Slices of Black pudding
1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
1 tsp Mixed Herbs
Handful of Spinach – chopped
Sunflower & Pumpkin Seeds to top
Place Beetroot into a bowl, add balsamic vinegar, salt & mixed herbs and mix through.
Cook Black Pudding in a pan on medium to high heat for about 3-4 minutes each side with a little oil. Remove and pat dry, break up into bite size pieces and add to beetroot and mix through.
Chop up the spinach and lay on a plate, top with the beetroot and black pudding then tear the goats cheese over and serve with pumpkin & sunflower seeds.
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).
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)
Spray a pan with oil and heat on a medium to high heat
Brown onions in pan for a few minutes
Add in the pepper and chorizo with garlic and chilli flakes and cook for a few minutes
Add in the tin tomatoes and chickpeas, mix through, bring to the boil then cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
1 minute before serving, add in the spinach and basil flakes, mix through. Season
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!
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
1 red onion chopped
1 tsp curry powder
100g Spinach – I chopped finely
Seasoning (salt & pepper)
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.
Oh Yum, this dish I found on the Whole Earths website, I just love their Peanut Butter especially the crunchy one….yum! My curiosity got the better of me because I wouldn’t have thought to put sweet potato and peanut butter together but wow, this was so tasty.
I also used my automatic setting on my Hotpoint Class 9 oven, the Potato Gratin setting. This was great as I didn’t need to worry about what temperature or oven function to set for a perfect bake the oven worked it all out for me.
This made 4 small servings (2 bakes in a 19cm x 30cm baking dish)
3 large Sweet Potatoes
2 tsp Crushed Chillies (or 2 chopped chillies)
100g Spinach – Chopped
300g Creme Friache
3 tbsp Peanut Butter, Crunchy
2 tsp dried coriander leaves
Salt & Pepper to taste
If not using automatic programmes, preheat oven on fan to about 200 deg then finish off under the grill to crisp and brown.
Peel & Slice the sweet potatoes to about 1/2 cm thick and place in a bowl, add the chopped spinach, coriander, chillies, salt & pepper.
Mix the creme friache and peanut butter together until smooth ad combined then pour into the sweet potatoes and mix until potatoes are coated.
Spray a baking dish with spray oil and then layer the sweet potato in the dish making two rows.
Cover with Tin foil and bake for about 30 minutes, remove the tin foil and continue to bake for the further 30 minutes or until sweet potatoes are softened and slightly browned.
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
Heat a little oil in a large pan, add the garlic, ginger and onions and fry until softened.
Add the Harissa Paste and coat the onions. Add in the Cauliflower and mix until coated.
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.
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.
Serve with some Bulgur wheat or rice for a filling meal.
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
First wash potatoes and prick with a fork
Place onto the Crisperplate or Microwave dish.
Set to Automatic, Recipes, Vegetarian Dishes, Baked Potatoes, Set weight and Extra Done. Start. Turn half way through.
When ready remove and allow to cool slightly
Cut potatoes in half lengthways and scoop out potato and put into a bowl then mash
Place butter and spinach into potato bowl and mix through & season
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!
You could also add in some chilli and paprika for extra flavour & spice. Really anything of your choosing.