Aly Bain and Phil Cunningham, took to the bustling streets of Edinburgh to launch "Stovies Reloaded," a new cookbook developed by nutritional scientists at the University of Aberdeen.
The award-winning musical duo, who will be joining Jackie Bird to help the nation welcome in the New Year on BBC Scotland’s Hogmanay Live, joined Christmas shoppers to sample the healthier version of traditional stovies, one of 20 recipes which appear in the new book.
The verdict from the accordionist and fiddler pair, whose festive banter provided plenty of entertainment at the launch, was: “We are huge fans of quality Scottish produce and we are known to be partial to a bowl of stovies, or two!
“It’s a great idea to come up with a healthy take on traditional Scottish recipes as we could all do with a bit of healthier eating!”
“Stovies Reloaded” has been developed by experts from the University’s Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health to help Scots enjoy healthier versions of some of the country’s most famous fare.
Scotch Pie, Cullen Skink and Dundee Cake are just some of recipes from across Scotland, which have been adapted to contain less salt, sugar and fat.
Professor Garry Duthie from the Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health says its aim is to encourage people to rediscover traditional cooking skills and to eat a healthier diet.
“’Stovies Reloaded’ is our light-hearted take on traditional Scottish recipes and how they can be modified in the light of increased nutritional knowledge.
“There is, however, a more serious underlying message. Scotland still has a poor record in terms of diet and health. We hope that these “reloaded” recipes may play a small part in encouraging people to revisit traditional cooking skills, take an interest in traditional Scottish fare and make healthy meal choices.
“We selected recipes from across the country and used specialist equipment to analyse the levels of salt, sugar and fat they contained. We then reformulated them to reduce these levels as low as possible without compromising on taste.”
Professor Duthie says many of the traditional recipes derived from Scotland were originally created with healthy, natural ingredients such as beef and lamb, oats, barley and root vegetables. However, movement to a more industrial-based economy has led to many changes in the dietary patterns of Scots.
He hopes “Stovies Reloaded” will help inspire a revival in both traditional cooking methods and fare.
“Reviving traditional Scottish recipes known to our grandmothers and great grandmothers is not straightforward,” said Professor Duthie.
“The recipes have been largely forgotten by the younger generations and the fast pace of modern life and loss of traditional cooking skills now makes it difficult to prepare and cook many traditional foods from scratch at home. We hope that bringing back an appreciation of traditional Scottish food will bring benefits from a culinary and health perspective in the Scotland of today.”
The stovies sampled at today’s launch were produced by Crombies butchers in nearby Broughton Street. Crombies is one of a network of over 300 butchers shops, mostly in Scotland, which are members of QMS’s Scotch Butchers Club which is currently running a campaign to encourage consumers to “Make the Most of the Whole Roast”.
A key aspect of this campaign is encouraging consumers to make the most of leftovers so that a single roast can provide several simple, nutritious meals, such as stovies, for the whole family to enjoy.
Uel Morton, Chief Executive of Quality Meat Scotland (QMS), said QMS was delighted to support the new cookbook.
“The ethos of this cookbook ties in perfectly with our messaging around making the most of the top quality food we produce in Scotland – including our iconic Scotch Beef and Scotch Lamb.
“We are also encouraging consumers to better understand how to make the most of leftover meat and we have a dietitian and a nutritionist on our staff who work hard to show children and others how to cook healthy, tasty meals using beef, lamb and pork.
”I hope that many first-footing Scots will enjoy making a healthier start to 2014 by making the most of their roasts and rustling up simple, low-cost dishes like the stovies featured in this new cookbook.”
“Stovies Reloaded” is available online by visiting: www.abdn.ac.uk/rowett/policy-industry/stovies.php