Main meals

Chilli Cheese Bake

Although we have had a relatively mild winter this year we are still enjoying our hearty warming winter foods this January. This is a family favourite made into something deliciously special with the addition of some good quality sharp cheddar, the use of local beef, organic tomatoes and fresh herbs.

You can adjust the spices in this recipe and add an additional can of tomatoes if you like more of a sauce too.

Click here to jump straight to the recipe

You can serve this classic up with some warm tortilla wraps, crispy taco shells or quite simply with some crispy oven baked potatoes and seasonal salad.

I love using my cast iron pan for this recipe, its so perfect! My pan is well seasoned now and works really well as a non-stick pan which can be used on the cooker and then in the oven to finished off the recipe. Just be careful and remember not to grab for the handle when taking it out of the oven. I have done this a few times. Ouch!

Local produce…

I have been making a real effort to spend more of my grocery budget on foods that are local to me and I bought my mince from a lovely family run farm shop called Edendiack Farm.

They sold a large variety of fresh meat products, pies, sausage rolls etc. and a good selection of fresh vegetables, eggs, sauces and other condiments. I’ve added in a link below for my more local blog visitors or if your touring the countryside up here in the North they are definitely worth a visit.

https://www.facebook.com/edendiackfarm.huntly/

They also visit local farmers markets! I love my local farmers market and spend a good chunk of my monthly food budget there supporting small businesses and buying the best local foods I can afford.

Chilli Cheese Bake Recipe

2 tbsp of butter or olive oil

1 onion chopped finely

2 carrot cut into small cubes

3 garlic cloves

2 tbsp of chill powder (or less)

2 tsp of paprika

2 tbsp of ground cumin

1kg of good quality beef mince

1 tin of kidney beans

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

2 tbsp of tomatoe puree

a little stock (if necessary)

3 good handfuls of grated organic cheddar cheese

Instructions

Heat the olive oil up in a cast iron pan or other large pan. Fry the onion, carrot and garlic for a few minutes.

Add the spices and the beef mince and cook stirring for around 10 minutes. Add in the kidney beans, tomatoes, puree and a little stock if necessary and cook for a further 20 minutes on a low simmer.

Remove from the heat and top with the cheddar cheese and some dried herbs if you fancy.

Add to a warm oven until the cheese is melted and bubbly hot. Serve with fresh bread, in wraps, tacos or with some vegetables or seasonal salad on the side.

Organic Produce…

Mr Organic’s delicious chopped tomatoes are used in this recipe.

I try to use Organic where I can for my family and selected these delicious tinned tomotoes for this dish from Mr Organic. I recently became an ambassador of Mr Organic foods and will be sharing some of their products with you in the future. They are one of my favourite brands and I only work and share brands that I feel fit my ethos and I have been using their products in bulk for quite some time now.

https://mr-organic.com/

If you enjoyed this recipe you might also enjoy my delicious creamy leek tart recipe. Click the image below for the recipe!

There may be some affiliate links in this blog post of which I may earn a small contribution of any purchases.

Easy Preserved Lemons

These Preserved Lemons are quite possibly the easiest preserving recipe I have made to date. They are absolutely delicious and I love using preserved lemons in tagines, roast chickens or sliced into thin slices for the top of a fresh seasonal salad. They originated in the Middle East and Mediterranean regions but are now popular throughout the world.

Click here to jump straight to the recipe

Save money by making your own…

I’ve been buying preserved lemons from the local deli but has anyone noticed how expensive they are? I could buy 3 or 4 other ingredients if I didn’t indulge in such delicacies. So why not make this recipe and save yourself a few bucks in the process that can be spent on other shopping items or in my case more kombucha or other delicious ferments.

(lovely lemons video link to be updated)

But how do I use these lemons?…

These lemons are addictive and delicious in many recipes. I love to use them in Moroccan tagine dishes and that’s where I use most of my preserved lemons. You can also use them in salads, sliced thinly and in salsas and dips. They also work really well in pasta dishes and are fabulous stuffed inside a roast chicken.

They also make such pretty gifts and I love to add a ribbon and tag and give them out to family members to use in recipes or you can also add them to a hamper for a lovely home made element.

I love using these jars below for preserving these lemons and handing them out as pretty gifts!

Using the best ingredients…

You really want to use only Organic lemons for this recipe. When it comes to eating these you will be eating the skins and not the flesh so you don’t want to be consuming any nasty chemicals that may have been sprayed onto the skins. So Organic is important in this recipe. I also like to use flaked sea salt such as the brand below as its easier to cover the flesh of the lemons.

Preserved Lemons Recipe

Ingredients

12-14 Organic Lemons

200g+ flaked sea salt

10 bay leaves

2 -4cinnamon sticks

2 x 500ml Jars or 4 x 250ml jars

Sterilise your jars in boiling water or a low oven for a few minutes.

Slice the base off of each lemon and slice each lemon into quarters, almost down to the base of the lemon but not completely slicing the quarter off, to keep the lemons whole. They should open out like a little star type shape.

Empty the salt into a large bowl and place the lemons into the bowl. Open out the lemons and add at least a tsp of salt into the middle of the lemon. Spread over the center of the lemon and ensure it is all well covered.

Place the whole (but quartered) lemons into the sterilised jar and sprinkle in some bay leaves between them. Take a rolling pin and very carefully (holding the glass firmly) squash down the lemons in the jar to release the juice out into the jar. You should be able to add in an additional lemon or two after doing this. Keep squashing down until you get enough juice in the jar to cover the lemons.

Add in another tbsp of salt on the top and squeeze the cinnamon stick down the side.

Seal and store the lemons in a cool place and try to leave for two months before using.

When ready to use check out my recipe for my (Slow Cooked Chicken, Olive and Lemon Bake), its absolutely delicious! If your using them for something else, just give them a rinse and slice out the flesh. You can then slice them into salads or other recipes. Enjoy!

About me…

Looking for more delicious recipes…

If you enjoyed this recipe you may also enjoy my delicious Creamy leek & goats cheese tart. It works well as a light evening meal or a delicious warming lunch with a salad, some baby potatoes or some root vegetables.

Or if your looking for something sweet check out my delicious Sticky Toffee Pudding with real fresh cream! It’s finger licking good!

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Creamy Leek Cheese and Walnut Tart

My son sat down at the kitchen table the other night, took one look at his plate and shouted ‘I hate quiche!’ , I said that’s ok I know you do but its not quiche its tart, ‘try a little and leave the rest if you don’t like it’…ten minutes later his plate was licked clean and he was requesting more!

In short…this tart is super delicious and enjoyed by all our family. The crispy easy to make hand made pastry is delicious filled with the buttery slow cooked leek base and topped with salty goats cheese and crunchy walnuts. It’s a divine combo for lunch or an evening meal.

I’m gonna have to admit to forgetting to add my walnuts for this photo shoot but please don’t make that mistake as they really do add such a lovely liight crunch to the tart.

The recipe is really easy and you could make it quicker by using ready to roll pastry or a pre-baked pastry case but I can guarantee the little extra effort to make your own is worth it.

It is best enjoyed with some freshly cooked beetroot or other cooked root vegetables on the side.

Enjoy!

Creamy Leek & Goats Cheese Tart Recipe

Serves about 6

Ingredients

Pastry

125g of plain organic flour

75g of unsalted butter

1 organic egg (separated into yolk and white)

3-4tbsp of organic milk

Pinch of salt

Filling Ingredients

25g of butter

a splash of olive oil

600g of leeks

100g of soft goats cheese

a small handful of broken walnuts

2 free range eggs and 2 egg yolks

200ml of creme fraiche

100 ml of whole milk

salt and pepper

Grease your tart/quiche tin and heat the oven to 170oc.

Start by making the pastry, combine the flour, butter and egg yolk in a bowl. I personally like to use my kitchen aid mixer with the dough hook on.

Knead until well combine, roll into a ball and wrap in clingfilm. Place in the fridge to chill for around 30mins.

Slice the leeks and melt the butter and olive oil in a frying pan. I love to use my cast iron pan for this. Cook on a medium heat for around 15 mins or until very soft. You want to try and not burn them to keep them soft and buttery.

Roll out the pastry, after the chilling period, to the cover the whole tart casing so that there is enough of the pastry to come right up the sides. I use a tart tin with a pop out bottom to make things easier afterwards.

Place the pastry into the tart up and over the sides and trim to fit.

Lay baking paper over the entire pastry casing and up the sides and fill with baking beans.

Bake the pastry for 15mins.

Set aside the cooked leeks to cool slightly. Remove the pastry case and carefully remove the paper and beans. Brush with the egg white from the separated egg in the pastry making and bake for another 5 mins to create a lovely golden seal on the pastry.

Remove from the oven. Whisk together in a jug the eggs, yolks, creme fraiche and milk and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Spread the leeks across the bottom of the pastry case, dot with blobs of goats cheese and sprinkle with the walnuts. Pour over the jug of whisked mixture being careful to not go over the sides.

Bake for 30/40mins in the oven or until golden and cook up your side vegetables.

Serve warm, slice and enjoy!

This dish is best eaten in the colder months and with locally grown organic ingredients if you can source them. Itโ€™s great to support smaller businesses and I would highly recommend a visit to your local farmers market or farm shop if you have one.

The Best Crispy Duck & Seasonal Slaw

This is just the best combination for a delicious weekend lunch or as a light evening meal with a few baby potatoes. The crispy duck goes really well with my seasonal slaw of celeriac, brussel sprouts and apple

It is cooked simply in the cast iron pan in butter and seasoned lightly with salt and pepper, it really doesn’t require much else to taste delicious. The skin is crisped slowly in the pan and finished off in the oven with a short period of rest afterwards before slicing.

The crunchy slaw is drizzled in a dressing made of mustard, raw honey (for that additional health boost), olive oil and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

You could add a drizzle of sauce and perhaps a red currant or other tart fruity sauce would be delicious here and it would make it slightly more photogenic also but I ask that you try the simplicity of this dish first and I’m sure you will enjoy it!

I really hope you enjoy this crispy duck recipe, it certainly is a new favourite for me!

Love

Seasonal Slaw Recipe

Celeriac (approx 200g)

Brussel sprouts (approx 200g)

Sweet Apples x 2 med

1/4 cup of olive oil

1tsp of mustard

1tsp of honey (preferably raw)

A squeeze of a fresh lemon

Salt and pepper

2 tbsp of chopped walnuts

You can add more veg and apples to increase the quantity.

Slice the celeriac up in chunky pieces, peel the first layers off the sprouts and cut the apple into chunky pieces also.

Run the celeriac, sprouts and apple through the food processor to shred.

Combine the olive oil, mustard, honey, lemon and salt and pepper in a glass and whisk to combine. Adjust the ingredients in the dressing to suit your own tastes if you prefer.

Drizzle over the slaw and mix through, add in the chopped walnuts for extra crunch.

Duck Recipe

Duck breasts with skin

25g of salted butter

Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 160oc and melt the butter in the cast iron pan on a medium heat.

Season the duck breasts skin side down generously on each side and place into the heated pan, bring the heat up a little gradually and cook for a few minutes each side.

Place the breasts into an oven proof dish and cook for a further 10 mins.

Leave to rest for 5 minutes and slice and serve immediately alongside the slaw.

This dish is best eaten in the colder months and with locally grown organic ingredients if you can source them. It’s great to support smaller businesses and I would highly recommend a visit to your local farmers market or farm shop if you have one.

Spicy Bean & Vegetable Curry

This is my fave spicy curry recipe and it’s so quick and easy to make. I love the blend of freshly grated tomatoes, spices and chillies to make the sauce and the fluffy basmati base soaking up all of the delicious flavours. I have made this recipe spicy as I like hot food but you can adjust it to your tastes by adjusting the chilli quantity.

I love to serve my curry up with some fermented foods, pickles, sauces etc. These are great for dipping any additional elements like poppadoms and naan bread in. In this recipe I have used the fermented ‘Tumeric and Black Pepper Kimchi’. It’s the perfect addition to this dish for taste and of course for the numerous health benefits that fermented foods may have.

I hope you enjoy this recipe!

Ingredients

4 tbsp of Coconut Oil

1tsp of mustard seeds

1 tsp of cumin seeds

a pinch of asafetida

6 medium tomatoes grated (or blend in a small blender)

1/2 tsp of tumeric powder

1 tsp of ground coriander

1 tsp of ground cumin

3 fresh sliced hot green chillies (adjust for more or less heat!)

2 finely chopped cloves of garlic

1 tsp of grated fresh ginger

1 tsp of sugar

1 tsp of salt

2 tsp of coconut oil

A selection of sliced fresh vegetables

A tin of beans of choice, kidney beans work really well!

Heat the coconut oil on a medium heat in a large flat pan, I use my large flat cast iron casserole pan. Once the oil has melted add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds and asafetida. When the mustard seeds start popping add in the fresh tomatoes. Stir, then add in the tumeric powder, ground coriander, ground cumin, chillies, garlic, ginger, sugar and salt. Leave simmering on a low heat.

Heat up the coconut oil in another pan and add in the sliced vegetables, beans and cook on a medium heat for 10 minutes. Season and then add into the simmering curry sauce. Cook gently for 20 minutes and serve with freshly cooked basmati rice. I use my pressure cooker settings for fluffy white basmati rice, a rice cooker works well too.

Serve up with pickles, sauces, breads and poppadom. Enjoy!

If you enjoyed this recipe you can add your email below to be kept up to date with the release of future delicious recipes!

Love Angie x

Moroccan Chickpea and Spinach Stew

I love the textures of this Moroccan spiced dish! The silky spinach, chunky butternut squash and chickpeas cooked in a delicious spicy tomato based sauce. It’s absolutely divine and works well with the cous cous and additional peas to soak up the flavours.

Ingredients

8 tomatoes

Olive oil

2 tbsp of coconut oil

2 chopped onions

3 chopped cloves of garlic

1 stick of celery finely chopped

1tsp of tumeric or freshly grated

1tsp of cinnamon

1tsp of chilli

2 handfuls of chopped butternut squash (I used frozen)

8 cubes of frozen spinach

A handful of red lentils

1 tin of chickpeas (400g)

A bunch of coriander

1lt of vegetable stock

2 cups of cous cous

1 cup of peas

Salt & pepper

Start with the tomatoes, cut in half and place on a baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast on a medium heat for 30mins until soft. Blend into a puree and set aside for the sauce.

Heat the coconut oil in a large pan, I like to use my medium cast iron oven proof pot. Add the onions, garlic and celery and cook on a medium heat for 10 minutes. Add the spices and cook gently stirring through the flavours.

Add the vegetables, lentils, chickpeas, vegetable stock and tomato sauce (made previously). Season with salt and pepper and the coriander and slow cook on a low heat for at least 30mins. I like to finish it off in the oven for 20mins.

Boil 3 cups of water in a separate pan and add the frozen peas, cook for a few minutes. Add in the cous cous, season with salt, take off the heat and add a lid to the pan. Leave for 10mins to finish the cooking process.

Serve the stew over the top of the cous cous and sprinkle with some additional coriander.

Enjoy!

Cheesy Kale & Walnut Pasta

We love pasta in this house and this comforting cheesy dish is a favourite family meal in the colder months. I have used delicious garden fresh kale, runner beans and spelt spinach pasta. Its a comforting but healthy dish!

The recipe can also be made dairy free by using olive oil and dairy free cheese.

You could also use spinach instead of kale and mix up the green vegetables a bit to create a variety of different meals. The walnuts add additional healthy fats and crunch but pine nuts would work well too.

I have used oat cream for the sauce because it is my fave cream but you can also use plain single cream for this recipe too.

I hope you enjoy experimenting with this dish!

Ingredients

2 tbsp of butter or olive oil

2 handfuls of chopped fresh kale

2 cloves of chopped garlic

2 small cartons of Oatly oat cream (about 2 cups) or single dairy cream

Grated cheddar cheese (about 2 handfuls)

Nutmeg (about 1tsp)

S & P

Pasta

Green beans or other green vegetables

Gently heat the butter or oil in a large pan and add the chopped garlic. Stir in the chopped kale and cook lightly for around 5-10 minutes.

Add the pasta to boiling water with the chopped green vegetables, I used runner beans because that’s what was in season at the time but use whatever you fancy here, green beans or broccoli also work well.

Add the oat cream to the sauce and heat gently. Add in the grated cheddar, around two handfuls, but please use more or less if you prefer. It really does depend how cheesy you like it. My kids like a cheesy pasta and if it means they will eat more green vegetables then I am happy with that.

Heat the cheesy creamy sauce until all the cheese has melted. Add the walnuts and season with salt, pepper and the nutmeg.

Drain the pasta and vegetables and add to the cheesy sauce, mix through and serve.

My kids like to add extra Parmesan to the top but I prefer it without. A green salad on the side goes really well too with some cucumber, tomatoes and other salad items.

Enjoy! x

Apricot Chicken & Spinach Pilaf

This delicious one pot slow cooker wonder is so easy and quick to throw together. The chicken and rice go really well with the fragrant spices, sweet apricots and velvety super green spinach. I dolloped a tablespoon of fresh live yoghurt on the top and it worked really well. Plates were empty so I’m guessing it was a hit with the kids!

I like to use chicken thigh meat because I think it has better flavour, especially from an organic chicken. You could also use chicken breast if you prefer but the breast does create a slightly drier texture. I also like to use the unsulphured dried apricots which are darker in colour and sometimes brown rice for this recipe.

You will need the following ingredients:

Ingredients

1 tbsp of coconut oil or ghee

1 finely chopped onion

4 chopped garlic cloves

2tsp of cumin seeds

2 tsp of ground coriander

2 tsp of tumeric

1 cinnamon stick

A small handful of chopped dried apricots

1 1/4 cups of basmati

3 chopped up chicken breasts or 6 chopped up thighs

700ml of vegetable stock

3 cubes of frozen spinach

Live yoghurt to serve

Set the slow cooker to high (2 -3hrs cooking time) or low (4-5 hrs cooking time) depending on the length of time you have to cook the meal. I like to prep my meals late morning or around lunchtime so that everything is ready for dinner around 5pm.

Add the coconut oil or ghee to the slow cooker and let it melt. Add in the onion, garlic, spices and chopped apricots and give it a stir around to coat everything evenly.

Add the chopped up chicken meat into the rice mixture and stir evenly to coat in the spices, apricots and rice. Add in the hot stock, frozen spinach cubes and stir once more.

Pop the lid on and leave to cook for the required time as above – high setting (2 -3hrs) or low setting (4-5hrs).

Serve with fresh greens or other seasonal vegetables and add a dollop of live yoghurt on top to serve.

Two week meal plan

Another easy and affordable meal plan for two weeks!

The kids are back at school this week so I made this meal plan with that in mind…hearty meals for hungry tummies, easy and quick to make with my new baby in the background and really affordable!

I’ve also included a small tour around the larder cupboard (because its clean for once) and a peek at our bulk snacks order for school lunches and break snacks!

Check out the food haul in the video below and the meal plan is at the bottom of the page! ๐Ÿ™‚

Meal Plan

Below is our two week meal plan, I hope it gives you some ideas for new family recipes to make.

Week 1

(vegetarian) Monday – Broccoli & Cauliflower bake with Pasta

(Fish) Tuesday – Fish Tacos

(Vegetarian) Wednesday – Vegetable Stir Fry & Tofu

(Meat) Thursday – Spicy Chicken

(Vegetarian) Friday – Baked Potatoes – Tuna & Cheese, Chicken Mayo

Saturday – Free

(Meat) Sunday – Beef Brisket in BBQ Sauce

Week 2

(Vegetarian) Monday – Vegetarian Lasagne

(Fish) Tuesday – Fish & Spinach

(Vegetarian) Wednesday – Pad Thai Meal Kits

(Meat) Thursday – Venison Stew

(Vegetarian) Friday – Dhal, rice & naan breads

Saturday – Free

(Meat) Sunday – Lamb Stew

With Love

Cheesy Sweet Potato & Bean Quesadilla

In an attempt to hide some extra vegetables in my kids meals I made these super delicious sweet potato and bean quesadillas with lots of melted cheese. I added jalapenos and chopped chilli for the adults and they also work well with dairy free cheese.

They literally take a few minutes to prepare and are great served up with a healthy side salad including all the family faves, tomato, cucumber, lettuce and dressing.

Once all the ingredients are packed into the slow cooker these are so quick to put together quickly at meal times and are great for busy families.

Ingredients

3 chopped cloves of garlic

1 finely chopped onion

A bag of frozen sweet potato or two large diced up small

1 can of pinto beans

Cumin seeds

Salt & pepper

Cheddar cheese or dairy free cheese

Coriander, chilli, jalepenos etc. for toppings

Tortilla Wraps

Add the garlic, onion, sweet potato, beans, cumin and S&P to the slow cooker, cook on low for several hours or until sweet potato is soft enough to mash.

Heat up a large flat frying pan or I personally use my electric pancake maker. It’s so easy to use. Place one tortilla wrap in the pan or pancake maker, sprinkle with cheese and add a few spoons of the cooked sweet potato mix.

Mash the sweet potato and beans onto the tortilla, add grated cheese and another tortilla on top like a giant tortilla sandwich and leave to cook for a few minutes until the cheese has melted. Flip over for a quick browning on the other side.

Serve and slice with a pizza cutter into quarters. Serve with salad.

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