Once a fortnight we hold a cook club at the Botanic Cottage. Anyone is welcome to join us to learn new cooking skills and to enjoy a healthy meal that’s been freshly prepared by the group. Sadly, the Botanic Cottage is closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but we won’t let that stop us! Cottage Cook Club tutor Ailsa has prepared some great recipes from store cupboard ingredients to encourage us to keep home cooking and keep eating right. Over to Ailsa…

Hello everyone,

Happy new year! While this is not where we hoped to be in January, I hope you’re all managing to stay positive.

In my house we’re back to homeschooling and trying to remember to get outside for our daily walk. Even without a pandemic January can be a tough month, so it’s more important than ever to feed yourself well- and by that I don’t mean any faddy short-term miserable diets- I mean joyful, nourishing food – full of vegetables, flavour and colour to brighten up our days. We get different vitamins from different vegetables so it’s important to ‘eat the rainbow’ if you can and get a good variety of nutrients into your diet. 

Today we start with some tasty scrambled eggs in a Mexican style to show you that vegetables can even play a part in your breakfast. There’s a sunshine yellow kedgeree risotto as a lunch recipe, it takes a little while so a good recipe for a weekend or any day that you have a bit more time. I hope it’ll brighten up your week. For supper we’re making veggie burgers with spiced potato wedges and pickled carrots. There are also some super simple muffins to bake too. I hope whatever you make that you can enjoy being in the kitchen and feeding yourself well.

Take care,


A healthy breakfast

Mexican-style scrambled eggs

In winter I want a warm breakfast and much as I love my porridge, I do like a break sometimes! This quick and easy breakfast is a great way to start the day. It doesn’t look pretty, but it tastes amazing. I’ll give the ingredients per person eating but it’s very easy to scale it up for a larger group. This breakfast gives you at least 2 portions of your 5 a day, plus protein so why not give it a try?

A white dish with Scrambled Egg
Mexican-Style Scrambled Eggs

A hearty lunch

Kedgeree risotto

This recipe brings together the cosiness of a risotto with the mild spice of a traditional kedgeree.  It also contains both fish and eggs giving you double protein and plenty of veg too. This recipe is like a hug in a bowl and will keep you going all afternoon.

A table set for serving with white plates and a large cooking pan full of spiced, herby rice and quatered boiled eggs
Kedgeree risotto

Veggie burgers with pickled carrot and spiced potato wedges

Did someone say burger and chips? Well yes, but nothing deep fried here. These veggie burgers are a bit more effort than a takeaway but I hope you’ll agree they are worth it. The pickled carrot is entirely optional, you can add whatever toppings you like to yours. You can make the pickle while everything is in the oven or earlier in the day. It will also keep in a jar in the fridge for a few days.

A lunch table set with a dish of homemade burger and potato wedges
Veggie burgers with pickled carrot and spiced potato wedges

Blueberry and lemon muffins

These muffins make a great treat, either for breakfast or with a cup of tea. They are a lot healthier than most cakes, particularly commercially made ones as they contain far less sugar and fat than other recipes.

Freshly baked muffins set to cool on a drying rack laid on a pine table
Blueberry and lemon muffins

The Edible Gardening Project is kindly supported by players of the People’s Postcode Lottery.