Cooking doesn’t have to be hard work. No one knows how long you’ve spent in the kitchen. All they are thinking is if they really liked the food or not.
Having already created two cooking apps for Apple, I have now created my own blog version which simplifies otherwise complicated recipes so anyone can feel confident in cooking them. The recipes and the way they are written are great for teaching kids to cook too, plus it’s all designed for a basic kitchen and the ingredients are available in most supermarkets. The cost of most of these recipes is, per portion, less than the price of a commercial sandwich and predominantly pescatarian, vegetarian, vegan and with an anti ageing and healthy bias. So you can pimp up your repertoire on a budget.
Since I starting cooking Anna’s truly delicious and easy recipes, I am throwing away most of my cookbooks as I use only one or two recipes from each book, whereas I’ll happily cook all of these recipes, over and over again. It has become my favourite cookbook, and I’m always recommending it to my friends who want really delicious food without the hassle.
Jenny TV producer/director and mum.
I have cooked this simple recipe for a thousand years…it is from Madhur Jaffrey’s Indian Cookery book. Not only is it the nicest dal recipe I’ve ever tried, it’s my friend Sophie’s fave recipe for dal too. Its thick creamy and tasty, and lentils are fantastic for your digestion, stabilising blood sugar levels and lowering cholesterol amongst many other things.
Serves 2 for a main, 4 for a side.
7 oz (200g) red split lentils
1 litre of water
2 thin slices of unpeeled ginger
1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
1 teaspoon of salt (or to taste)
3 tablespoons of coconut oil or olive oil
A pinch of ground asafetida (optional)
1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Finely chopped fresh coriander
This salad is inspired by the street food in Indonesia and this is my take on it. It’s a brilliant combo of crunchy and soft and sweet and sour, in fact I think it tastes pretty mind blowing. But, so it doesn’t end up looking like the contents of the bottom of a dustbin when you plate it up, it’s best to layer it with the sauce at the bottom. You can use other vegetables like cucumber or blanched carrot sticks or blanched cabbage, and fried tofu or tempeh too.
All work well, it’s up to you, it’s really great for using up vegetables in the fridge.
About 6 radishes cut in half lengthwise
6 small new potatoes
200g of fine beans (topped and tailed)
100g bean sprouts
4 big tablespoons of crispy fried onions (from supermarket)
A big handful of prawn crackers (optional)
1 clove of chopped garlic
3 tablespoons maple syrup
5 tablespoons of peanut butter
Juice of 2 limes
chilli sauce to taste (optional)
2 teaspoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon of soya sauce
1 tablespoon of tamarind paste
A boyfriend made this for me this summer. He gets ten out of ten. Yum.
3 large naval oranges
Half a red onion finely sliced
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
This version of Pad Thai is a delicious warm noodley stir fry salad. Perfect on a summer evening. You can add cooked prawns or chicken to this recipe, if you want to, it’s totally versatile, but stands alone as an outstanding vegan recipe. I love that it’s a tangy mixture of flavours and it’s a variety of textures. It was a great hit at dinner with my vegetarian boy pals (it can be made with white noodles too).
300g of flat brown rice noodles or brown rice tagliatelle or fettuccini
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 minced cloves of garlic
200g of smoked tofu or plain firm tofu cut in to smallish pieces
4 tablespoons of soya sauce (gluten free if appropriate )
2 tablespoons peanut butter
Juice of one lime and another cut into wedges
3 tablespoons of maple syrup
Chilli sauce to taste
3 finely chopped salad onions
½ red chilli very finely sliced
Handful of chopped peanuts to garnish
A sprig of chopped coriander
This salad is simple and sweetly delicious and I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before. I really love salads that are using just one main ingredient. It’s the zen way. Also I have always secretly put vinaigrette on my fruit salad when it’s just for me. So this recipe, which could also use peaches, hits the sweet and savoury thing on the head, if you like that sort of thing. I love the sweetness of the nectarine with the zingy dressing. It’s particularly lovely with my winter slaw. A friend of mine makes it all the time…she’s completely hooked on it.
4 nectarines or peaches, peeled and cut into segments or just cut in half and remove the stone and chuck in a bowl with the skin on, rustic style
A small sprig of mint chopped very finely
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon maple syrup
A little pepper and salt
Kedgeree is one of those quintessentially British dishes, dating back to the 1800’s, that’s easier to make than you think plus I’ve made it even easier. It’s a lovely mixture of creamy eggs, fish and rice with the gentle perfume of Indian spices. My version is inspired by a recipe by the cook Roxy Beaujolais which uses salmon instead of smoked haddock. It’s perfect for a light Christmas Eve supper, or as a New Years Eve supper bearing in mind it only takes about twenty minutes to cook. It’s also perfect for dinner for two.
Serves 4 for brunch. 2 for dinner or lunch. You can double or triple the quantities depending on how many people are eating.
2 salmon fillets
1 bay leaf
a tablespoon of butter or a tablespoon of coconut oil
1 large shallot or a small onion finely sliced
pinch of turmeric
pinch of cumin
1 bag of pre-cooked brown or white basmati rice from the supermarket
2 tablespoons double cream or yoghurt (or cream substitute, or dairy free yoghurt)
chopped fresh parsley
Well I thinks it’s perfect, and I was taught this version by a proper chef when I cooked in a restaurant in the King Road in Chelsea during my art school holidays. I have always made it the same way ever since as I think its bang on and my friend Babs thinks it’s the best vinaigrette she’s ever tasted and wanted the recipe, so here it is Babs….One of the reasons why I think it’s so delicious is because it’s got English mustard in it instead of French, and it’s the right balance of flavours, sweet and piquant. You can’t necessarily identify it, but English mustard gives it the best flavour. Great with sliced tomatoes, lightly steamed broccoli or any of your favourite salad ingredients.
For one medium sized salad, double everything for a large one.
1/2 clove garlic
1/4 teaspoon of English mustard
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon vinegar
1/2 teaspoon of maple syrup
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon of water