I’ve a wee treat for you all, I’m going to give away some free Easter Bakes Recipe Cards.
Are you planning a family feast?
A Simple Afternoon Tea?
Or maybe your like me & just love everything naughty but nice!
I am going to put up some free downloadable recipe cards that you can download just in time for Easter Weekend. These are some of my all time favourite bakes and I’m sure you and your family will love them too.
Watch this space! I’ll drop them into your Inbox in the next few days.
Not a follower of The Wee Caledonian Cook? Don’t worry, sign up now to get your free recipe cards.
This was wonderfully flavourful and so easy to make. I do love it when last minute decisions go well. I was planning a completely different dish for my dinner at the weekend and realised I forgot some of the ingredients, so as you do, you make the most of what you have in your cupboards. This was simple to make and using mostly store cupboard ingredients too it was super tasty.
I mean who doesn’t like Fried Rice? At the moment as our favourite restaurant’s are not open due to the pandemic, this is great dish to create your own Chinese takeout food at home. A great dish on its own or as a side dish.
3 Chicken Breasts (skinless)
120ml Teriyaki Sauce
1 Onion, diced
2 Tsp Diced Garlic
3 Tbsp Toasted Sesame Oil
150-200g Rice (I used wholegrain but you can use long grain white or Jasmine which works well)
200g Frozen Peas and Diced Carrots
2 Large Eggs
4 Tbsp Soy Sauce
Salt & Pepper to taste
4-6 Spring Onions for topping, chopped
Heat the sesame oil in a deep pot/pan on medium to high heat and season & brown the chicken breasts.
Add to the pot the garlic & onions and cook for a couple of minutes until softened.
Pour in Teriyaki Sauce, put lid on pan and cook on a very low heat for about 3 hours.
While the chicken is cooking, cook the rice as per instructions and put to the side and allow to cool. TIP: The rice is much better when cooked, cooled and left for a couple of hours.
After 3 hours, slice chicken into smaller pieces (it should flake apart nicely). Add to the pot, the rice, peas, carrots and soy sauce. Stir through and place lid back on pot.
In a fry pan, add a little oil and scramble the eggs, add to the pan when ready, mix & serve with a sprinkle of spring onions on top. Yummy!
In today’s hectic lifestyle and especially in the wintery months, it can feel impossible to achieve those recommended eight hours of sleep. Sleep deprivation catches up to us all, however, and it can be difficult to find energy-granting options that are healthy as well. Luckily, many foods boost energy naturally, offering a mid-day pick-me-up that will not derail a healthy diet.
I have put together a small collection of delicious Breakfast Recipes that I enjoy, these tasty morning starters will help get your energy set for the day ahead.
I was inspired a few years ago when I decided to look more into nutrition, it was really interesting learning about micronutrients and the true benefits of all those minerals & vitamins. I completed a health & nutrition course with BNF (British Nutrition Foundation) https://www.nutrition.training/ & learned how to use foods to our advantage to better our diets & lifestyle.
Simple to make dishes that the whole family will enjoy.
I had seen this ages ago but never got round to trying it, this weekend was that time. After all it is Scotland’s favourite fizzy drink! Iron Bru is quite a sweet flavour which is hard to describe & I wasn’t sure just how sweet this dish would turn out but I was pleasantly surprised, it was really delicious and definitely would make again. I used the Iron Bru Extra which has 0g sugars so helped make this dish not overly sweet.
Iron Bru was launched in Scotland in 1901 and is still a closely guarded family secret recipe with 32 flavours.
It was back in 1901 in Glasgow that steel workers who were working on rebuilding Central Station in Glasgow were drinking too much beer! Yes too much beer! This is when local soft drinks experts AG Barr introduced them to the caffeinated drink to help get them through the night, and ‘Iron Bru’ was born! One of the most memorable adverts on TV ran for over 20 years with the slogan ‘Made in Scotland – from girders’ & the slogan stuck!
Go on, you know you want to….give it a try, trust me, you’ll love it!
2 Chicken Breasts, chopped into bite size pieces
1 Onion, finely chopped
1 Garlic Clove, finely chopped
15ml Worcester Sauce
1 Tbsp Tomato Puree
1 Tsp Smoked Paprika
300ml Iron Bru
1 Tbsp olive oil
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 Tbsp Corn Flour (to thicken sauce after)
100-125g Cooked Rice to serve.
Heat the oil in a pan on medium to high heat and season chicken and add to the pan to brown for a few minutes. Remove, add the onion & garlic to the pan and saute for a few minutes until softened.
Add the chicken back to the pan along with paprika, tomato puree, worcester sauce & Iron Bru, bring to a low simmer, cover with lid and cook on low heat for 4 hours.
Remove chicken from pan to a plate, if sauce is too thin, add the cornflour mixed with a little water and stir through to thicken up the sauce, pour over chicken and serve with some cooked rice of your choice.
This is proper home comfort food and a dish that we love. Using simple ingredients, you’ll love the richness taste of this and with the sweet potato and carrot mash on top it is just packed with flavour! A great family dish that is simple to make that everyone can enjoy. Sometimes I love going back to basics, our ancestors would have cooked this all in one pot as back then there were no fancy cook tops with loads of rings.
We are lucky that we have access to a wide range of different foods and spices these days, so although sometimes it’s great to make classics, it’s also great to try out new flavours and ideas with them. This recipe surely does work with that little change.
If you make it, let me know what you think?
Makes 2-3 servings
250g Scottish Beef Mince (good quality is key)
2 Medium sized Sweet Potatoes, cut into small chunks
1 Red Onion, diced
1 Carrots, diced & 2 Carrots for mash (chopped)
1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
50ml Red Wine (I used Merlot)
1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
2 Handfuls of Frozen Garden Peas
300ml Beef Stock with 2 stock cubes
1 Tsp Mixed Herbs
1/2 Tsp Turmeric
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 Tbsp oil
1-2 Tbsp Beef Gravy Granules to thicken sauce
Pre heat oven to 180 deg fan. Place sweet potatoes and carrot into a large pan of slightly salted water and bring to the boil, reduce to a gentle boil and cook for 20 minutes until softened.
Meanwhile, heat a little oil in a pan and cook the onions until softened. Add the mince to the pan and cook until browned. Add in the balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, red wine, herbs, seasoning and beef stock, bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer for about 10-15 minutes, liquid should reduce by half.
Stir in the peas and cook for a further 5 minutes.
Add in the Gravy granules and stir to thicken.
Mash the sweet potatoes and carrot with 1 tsp turmeric
Place the mince mixture in a casserole dish, season with black pepper and top with the mash mix, cover with tin foil. Bake in oven for about 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, remove foil and bake for a further 20 minutes or until golden brown.
I am always looking to experiment in the kitchen and today was no different. Green Lentil Curry was on the menu but rather than serving rice or naan bread, I thought I’d try my hand at Tortilla Bowls. I’ve seen these on numerous posts & feeds and they look really good.
Green lentils, unlike their yellow and brown counterparts, hold on to their shape while cooking. I infused them with garlic, ginger, coriander, and cumin, for a dish that’s a perfect weekend meal. I love lentils, they are such a great source of protein and filling too.
For the Green Lentil Curry:
125g Green Lentils – Presoaked overnight
1 Tsp Garlic Paste
1 Tsp Ginger
2 Tsp Ground Coriander
1 Tsp Ground Cumin
1 Tsp Turmeric
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Onion, diced
1 Tbsp Tomato Paste
1 Carrot, diced
Salt & Pepper to taste
Handful Chopped Fresh Coriander to serve
1 Tbsp Creme Fraiche to serve
For the Tortillas:
4 Tortilla Wraps (I used Corn Wraps)
Tin Foil & 4 Ramekins (or something similar)
Add a little oil to a pan and add the ginger, garlic, ground coriander & cumin, mix. Then add the onion and cook until softened. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute.
Add the lentils, turmeric and 500ml water, bring to the boil then cover and simmer for about 20 minutes, add the carrot and season, continue cooking for about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile for the Tortillas, pre heat the oven to 180 deg. Warm the tortillas in a microwave for 90 seconds, lightly grease the ramekins on the outside, turn upside down. Place the wrap over the ramekin and mould to the shape, secure with the tin foil and fold into the ramekin. Place upside down into the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
Remove ramekins from oven and gently remove the foil and tortilla bowl from the ramekin, it should hold it’s shape. If you are struggling to remove, use a blunt knife to prize the tortilla away from the ramekin. Place the tortilla bowls back into the oven turned the right way and bake for a further 8-10 minutes until slightly browned.
Serve the green lentil curry into the bowls and serve with the creme fraiche and fresh coriander.
Inspired by North Africa, this quick and easy one pan meal draws the warmth of cumin and rich depth of smoked paprika to beautifully layer with the peppery flavour of the lentils. Lentils are an excellent source of B vitamins, iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc. They’re also a great source of plant-based protein and fiber. To make this dish vegetarian, just omit the chicken and replace with you favourite vegetables.
Another great one pot meal that is not only quick but simple to make too. Very nutritious and filling.
2 Chicken Breasts, cut into large pieces (or you can use thighs)
4 Rashers of Smoked Bacon, chopped small
1 Onion, diced
2 Stalks of Celery, diced
100g Green Lentils (or Red if you prefer)
1 Garlic Clove, diced
1 Tbsp Cumin
1 Tbsp Smoked Paprika
8-10 Whole Cherry Tomatoes
300ml Chicken Stock
1 Tsp Chilli Flakes
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
Small Handful of Chopped Fresh Parsley to serve.
Pre heat your oven to 200 deg Fan.
Add the oil to a fry pan on medium to high heat. Dry the chicken pieces with a piece of kitchen paper and season. Add to the pan and brown all over to seal. Remove with a slotted spoon.
If needed add a little more oil to the pan. Cook the bacon, onions, celery, garlic, cumin & paprika for 3 minutes. Add back the chicken, add the lentils and sprinkle the chill flakes, mix through.
Decant into an oven proof dish, add in the stock and tomatoes, bake in the oven for 25 minutes.
Turn on your grill at the end of cooking for a few minutes to brown the tomatoes.
Remove from oven, sprinkle with parsley and Serve. Yum!
This is a great mid week dinner when you are short for time, easy to prepare and quick to bake. You can also make ahead and pop in fridge until ready or if you have a delay timer on your oven, pop it in the oven in morning and time for when you are due home. One of my favourite features on my oven is the 24hr programmable timer, I use it all time, I organise myself in the morning then I don’t have to worry about remembering to switch oven on later.
This dish is healthy and packed with protein and vitamins, it also provides a richness with the Gruyere cheese, what’s not to like?
300-400g Broccoli Florets (you can use frozen or fresh)
1 Large White Onion, sliced
350-400g Chicken Breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
100g Creme Fraiche (use light for a healthier option)
200ml Chicken Stock
30g Breadcrumbs (about 2-3 slices)
50g Gruyere Cheese, grated
1 Tsp Dried Chilli Flakes
1 Tsp Dried Mixed Herbs (or any herb of your choice)
Salt & Pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 200deg. Bring a Saucepan of water to the boil and cook the broccoli for 5 minutes, Drain.
Melt the butter in a fry pan on medium to high heat and cook the onions until soft, remove with a slotted spoon.
Season the chicken and add to the pan and brown all over, about 3-5 minutes, set aside.
Add some butter to the fry pan and cook the breadcrumbs until slightly browned. Remove.
Layer up the chicken, broccoli and onions in an oven proof dish, season well. Pour over the chicken stock and creme fraiche, sprinkle the chilli flakes and herbs.
Sprinkle on top the breadcrumbs and finish with the grated cheese.
Bake in the oven for about 35 minutes until golden brown on top. Serve.
OMG! Well, what can I say here…..but, these were absolutely delicious!
We were watching a film the other night and the little boy in the film asked for crazy custard pancakes, I had never heard of this before and my curiosity got the better of me……so off I went google search in motion and I found this recipe from Simon Hopkinson (http://www.simonhopkinson.tv/recipe/5/custard-pancakes.aspx). I changed it slightly and cheated with my custard to make it easier to make.
BEWARE! ever so moreish!
You have to try these, especially if you love custard and have a sweet tooth.
This recipe made 6 pancakes
For the Pancakes:
100g Plain Flour
3 Large Eggs (1 for wash)
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
For the Custard:
2 Tbsp Custard Powder
2 Tbsp Caster Sugar
1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp Sugar
A Little Rum (about 50ml)
To make the batter:- Sift flour into a bowl and make a well in the middle, crack 2 eggs in and add pinch of salt. Whisk together until it becomes stiff, then start slowly adding the milk and whisk through until well combined and runny consistancey. Set aside for at least 30 minutes.
To make the Custard:- Put the custard powder and sugar in a pan along with 1 Tbsp of milk, 1 Tbsp lemon juice and vanilla extract, mix to a paste. Slowly add the milk little at a time and bring to a gentle boil. Make sure you continue whisking until the custard starts to thicken, this should take about 4-5 minutes. You want it quite thick.
Remove custard from heat and allow to cool. Place a piece of cling film over the custard, pressing down on the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate for at least 3-4 hours.
To assemble:- When ready, heat a little oil in a non stick fry pan about 20cm diameter on medium to high heat, pour a little of the pancake batter into the pan and swirl around to just a thin covering, cook for a minute or 2 then flip over and cook for a further minute, set aside, and repeat with remaining mixture.
Add 1 Tbsp of butter to the pan, place 1-2 Tbsp of custard in the middle of a pancake, brush edges with a little egg wash. Roll up the pancake half way to cover it, not too tight, then tuck in the sides and finish rolling up to seal, it will resemble a spring roll. Place the pancakes in the fry pan sealed side down and cook for a minute or 2, sprinkle some sugar over and turn, so you are cooking all round.
Once pancake rolls are slightly browned, add in the rum and let bubble and glaze all over.
Remove & Serve. We added some maple syrup to serve and it was delicious! (optional)
This is not a recipe post! I’ve been thinking lately of how food has made not only an impact in the world but to us as human beings, food has the power to completely transport us to another time or another place. For example, a good plate of Mince ‘n’ Tatties (potatoes) takes me back to my childhood days and visits with my Gran and Auntie’s and a bowl of Spaghetti Bolognese reminds me of a happy time with my partner. Both of these emotions make me happy and I feel relaxed and content.
Is it possible to harness that power to help our wellbeing?
Different Types of food can also have an effect on our emotional thinking, some foods can help decrease stress and low mood, for example fatty fish, blueberries, broccoli, shellfish & eggs to name a few. Then on the other hand foods like processed meats, sweets, pastries or high fat diary products can also increase anxiety and fatigue.
So how can focusing on food help our wellbeing?
Here are some Top Tips:-
Make & Eat a meal that made you happy. Maybe a dish that you loved on a holiday trip or something from your wedding day that everyone enjoyed, it brings back that happy, feel good emotion.
What was your favourite meal from your childhood? Re-create it, go buy it from the shops, it will give you that feeling of love, warmth and feeling cared for.
Prepare something that you have homegrown. Last year I started my first vegetable boxes and the satisfaction and achievement it gave me was a wonderful feeling. Whether it be herbs from your window sill or potatoes from your garden, there is nothing better than preparing a meal from something you have hand grown, it gives you a feeling of reward to yourself.
Try something new. We have all heard it before, variety is the spice of life! Bored of the same old meals? I know I do (as you can probably tell from all the different recipes I try…..lol!) This is a great way to expand your horizons and take yourself on a journey of discovery, you’ll be amazed at what you can achieve.
Surprise your Family, Husband, Wife, Lover, Friends etc. There is no greater satisfaction than preparing a meal for someone you care about and them absolutely loving it! We use food all the time to express love and when it is well received it gives you that happy, loved feeling. Especially if you have dietary restrictions, making something that you’ve taken the time to think over and shop for is special and will be well appreciated.
Share your Favourite Recipes. It is just like sharing a good book, film or music, it connects us to those around who share the same passions and feelings. I personally have loved documenting all my foodie discoveries and recipes and when someone says to me, ‘I tried your recipe and it was delicious’, or ‘I love your blog as I’m rubbish at new ideas for dinners, so you’ve taken the hard work away for me’, this just gives me a warm satisfaction that I am helping those that need it. Sharing is caring!