Delicious and easy to make one-pot meals

1. Miso broth

1 piece of chicken (or cod, pollock, haddock, hake; any firm fish) – approx. 100-120g
1 tbsp miso paste – brown rice miso is particularly good
40g dried soba or black bean noodles
500ml water
1/4 “ fresh root ginger, peeled and sliced
1 clove of garlic, sliced
1 small carrot, thinly sliced
1 small leek, finely sliced
3 spring onions, finely chopped
50g Savoy cabbage or kale, shredded
1 egg
1 tsp light soy sauce
½ tsp sesame oil *optional
Black pepper

1. Rinse the egg under cold running water and then place it in a wok or deep saucepan. Cover it with 500 ml of water and bring it to the boil. Boil the egg for 5 minutes, remove it from the pan, then cool it under running cold water to stop the cooking process. Peel and place to one side.
2. Brush the salmon fillet with a little of the miso paste and season it with black pepper. Place to one side.
3. Add the garlic to the wok/pan of water, followed by the miso paste. Stir well to dissolve the miso and bring the mixture to a gentle simmer.
4. Add the carrot, leek, and ginger. Simmer for 5 minutes.
5. Cut the salmon into 5 or 6 pieces and add them to the pan, along with the soba noodles and cabbage. Allow them to poach for 5 minutes.
6. Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle over the spring onions. Season with the soy sauce and sesame oil, and a little black pepper. Slice the egg in half and place those on top of the broth.

Kcal = 583
Protein = 39
Carbs = 55
Fat =23
*macro breakdown is for Salmon and soba noodles
Fats and carbs will be less with white fish and black bean noodles.

Vegetarian = NO
Home freeze = NO
Refrigerate = EAT IMMEDIATELY

2. Osso Buco


Osso Buco is an Italian classic. It sounds complicated, but it really isn’t – it just requires long, slow cooking, which is ideal if you have other things to be getting on with; just pop it in the oven and leave it to work its magic! It translates as ‘bones with holes’, which isn’t quite so appetising as its Italian pronunciation, but basically refers to the cut of meat used in the dish: a steak cut through the section of a veal shank. The steak contains a piece of the leg bone which, far from being hollow, is full of delicious (and nutritious) marrow. Shin beef or veal can be used in this recipe.
The traditional accompaniment is gremolata, the recipe for which is also given below.

Preparation time: 20 mins
Cooking time: 2 ½ hours

(Serves 4)

Ingredients:

4 veal shin steaks, approx. 5cm thick.
2 carrots, finely diced
1 large white onion, finely diced
3 sticks of celery, finely diced
1 whole head of garlic, halved horizontally
1 tbsp fresh picked thyme
4 fresh sage leaves
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 large strip of lemon zest (unwaxed)
60g butter
2 tbsp plain flour
25 ml olive oil
350 ml veal or chicken stock
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

For the gremolata:
4 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
zest of 1 lemon (unwaxed)
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
pinch of sea salt
grind of black pepper

Method:

1. Place a good solid cast-iron casserole dish or heavy bottomed saucepan over a high heat and add the olive oil.
2. Dust each of the veal steaks in the flour and add them to the hot oil, browning on each side for 2-3 minutes. Remove the veal from the pan and turn down the heat.
3. Add 40g of the butter to the dish/pan and, once melted, add the carrots, onions and celery. Sweat them down for 4-5 minutes (until the onion becomes semi-translucent) then add the vinegar. Work a spoon over the bottom of the dish to de-glaze it of the caramelised remnants of veal and flour and continue until the vinegar has almost entirely evaporated.
4. Add the garlic, thyme, sage and lemon zest to the pan. Cook for 2 minutes.
5. Increase the heat and pour in the stock. Allow the stock to reduce by one-third and then return the veal steaks to the pan, sitting them on top of the vegetables. Bring the mixture back up to the boil.
6. Season with a little salt and pepper, reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, place a lid on the dish/pan and allow to cook for 2 – 2 ½ hours, turning the veal steaks over after an hour and then again after another half hour. The dish is ready when the veal is tender enough to pull apart with a spoon.
7. To serve, mix together the gremolata ingredients, lightly season, and serve on top of the osso buco – remembering to eat the delicious marrow from the centre of the bone.

*This recipe can also be made using a slow-cooker. Simply follow steps 1 to 4 as given above, then transfer everything into the slow cooker bowl before continuing with steps 5-7. The osso buco can be left to gently braise all day (just ensure that there is enough liquid in the cooker to cover your desired cooking period).

3. Lamb and aubergine stew


Tagines and Tanjias are Moroccan classics. The difference? Just the cooking vessel, really. Their names refer to the type of pots used in their preparation: a tagine being a flat dish with a conical lid, and a tanjia an amphora-like pot. Tagines are quite easy to find here in the UK, tanjias less so; if you can’t find either the dish can be prepared quite easily in a casserole dish or ovenproof lidded pan. Like the osso bucco, this is a prepare-and-forget recipe; just pop it in the oven and forget about it until it’s ready to eat.

Preparation time: 20 – 30 minutes
Cooking time: 2 hours

(Serves 4)

Ingredients:

600g diced lamb shoulder
2 large aubergines
8 large ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 large onions, finely sliced
2 red peppers, finely sliced
1” fresh root ginger
6 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 whole cinnamon stick
1 tbsp fennel seeds
1 tsp nutmeg, grated
2 tsp paprika
1 tbsp coriander seed
2 red chillies
1 preserved lemon (see recipe above)
juice of 2 lemons
1 litre of chicken stock
1 tbsp pomegranate molasses (*optional)
1 tbsp rose water (*optional)
45g (approx. 3 tbsp) coconut oil, melted
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
fresh mint or/and coriander leaf to garnish

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 160°C.
2. Cut the aubergines into a large dice, approx. 1” x 1”. Sprinkle with a tablespoon of salt, cover with cling film and place to one side.
3. Meanwhile, finely grate the ginger into a bowl and squeeze the pulp to extract the juice. Discard the pulp and place the ginger juice to one side.
4. Place the cumin seeds, fennel seeds and coriander seeds in a pestle and mortar (or electric grinder) and grind to a coarse powder. Add the grated nutmeg and paprika, and sprinkle over the diced lamb. Mix to coat the meat thoroughly.
5. Take a suitably sized tagine dish or lidded pan and grease the base with 15 g of coconut oil. Add half of the sliced onion, then a little garlic, sliced peppers, and finally the spiced lamb.
6. Remove the aubergines from their bowl and drain in a colander. A good amount of liquid should have been released due to the salt. Arrange the aubergine pieces on top of the lamb, layer them with the remaining onion, garlic and pepper, and season well.
7. Pour over the lemon juice, ginger juice and chicken stock. If using, drizzle over the pomegranate molasses. Cut the preserved lemon into 6 pieces and push them down into the contents of the dish. Do the same with the cinnamon stick and whole chillies.**
8. Top the whole thing with the chopped tomatoes, season once more, drizzle over the remaining coconut oil and cover with a lid. Transfer to the oven.
9. After 30 minutes reduce the oven temperature to 150°C. Cook for a further 1 ½ hours.
10. Remove from the oven and finish with a touch of rose water and fresh mint/coriander.

Serving suggestions:

Cauliflower tabbouleh is a perfect accompaniment to this dish. Simply blitz up fresh cauliflower florets in a food processor, mix with plenty of fresh herbs and pomegranate seeds, season and serve. Delicious!

**The chillies are kept whole in order to impart their flavour and just a mild amount of heat. If you prefer your food a little more spicy cut the chillies into pieces and layer them with the onions, peppers, etc.

4. Meatballs


Meatballs are an infinitely versatile ingredient. Paired with a simple tomato sauce they make a traditional Mediterranean supper. In Thailand or Vietnam they might be poached in an aromatic broth. They can be braised, grilled, fried, poached or roasted, and work with a variety of flavours and cuisines. They can be made from most any type of meat, so long as it is minced: pork, beef, venison, fish, shellfish, chicken, turkey, and much more. The only thing to remember is that when they are made using leaner meats – such as chicken, turkey or fish – they should be cooked using a more gentle method. Other than that, there are no rules… experiment away!

The recipe given is for beef meatballs but also uses a little pork, as beef can tend to dry out quite easily. The pork helps to keep them moist.

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

100g minced beef or steak
50g minced pork
½ tsp fresh thyme, picked
Pinch of sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp oil
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
250 ml fresh tomato sauce or passata

Method:

1. Place the minced beef and pork in a bowl and add the salt. Gently mix to disperse the salt evenly. Cover and refrigerate for 10 minutes. This allows the salt to bond the proteins in the meat, firming it up and giving a better cooked texture.
2. Remove the meat from the refrigerator after 10 minutes and add the thyme and a good few turns of black pepper. Form into balls approx. 5 cm in diameter.
3. Heat the oil in a frying pan and sear the meatballs to seal them all over and add a little colour. Remove the meatballs from the pan and set aside.
4. Add the garlic to the pan and gently fry it until it begins to turn golden in colour. At this point, add the tomato sauce. Bring the sauce to a simmer before adding the meatballs back into the pan. Allow them to gently cook in the sauce for 20-25 minutes before serving.

Kcals = 316
Protein = 36
Carbs = 16
Fat = 12

Vegetarian = NO
Home freeze = YES
Refrigerate = 3 DAYS

Serving suggestions:

A variety of herbs and spices can be used with this recipe. Fennel seeds, for example, are a great match to both pork and beef, and smoked paprika works well, as do fresh basil, sage, or cumin. Modify the seasoning used to depending on what you intend to serve with them. Courgetti, which are courgettes turned using a spiralizer to create spaghetti-like strands, salted for 20 minutes (which causes them to firm up) before being tossed in a hot pan/wok make a great accompaniment to good old fashioned meatballs in tomato sauce.

5. Soupe au pistou


This soup is all about taking basic, somewhat boring ingredients and obtaining as much flavour from them as possible. Gentle cooking is the key; take your time preparing the vegetables, and don’t be tempted to cook them too quickly – once burnt, even slightly, the resultant soup will be a huge disappointment.

The recipe below gives a good basic list of ingredients, but the joy of this soup is that it can be adapted to incorporate whatever vegetables and pulses you have lying around. So feel free to divert from this recipe and replace one ingredient with another, or add and subtract as you wish. Fennel, jerusalem artichoke, asparagus, celeriac, squash, chicory, and a whole host of different beans and pulses will work beautifully in this soup. Just have a good old rummage in your store cupboard and pull out whatever you can find.

1 small sweet potato, peeled and diced
½ leek, diced
½ carrot (or 1 whole, small carrot), diced
½ stick celery, diced
30g green beans, cut into 2-3cm lengths
30g white beans/flageolet/cannellini
30g kidney beans
1 small onion, finely diced
2 ripe tomatoes, peeled, deseeded, and chopped
30g courgette, diced
30g wholemeal macaroni/vermicelli/other small pasta*
salt & pepper
1 tbsp oil
500 ml vegetable or chicken stock (or you can use just water)

1 large bunch fresh basil
1-2 cloves garlic (all down to your love, or otherwise, of garlic!)
1 tsp toasted pine nuts
1 tbsp olive or rapeseed oil
Sea salt
Black pepper

1. If using dried beans – place in a pan of unsalted water and boil for 20 minutes. Drain and discard the water. Tinned beans should simply be rinsed under cold running water before use.
2. Heat the oil in a suitable pan, and gently sauté the onion, celery, leek, and carrot over a medium-to-low heat until the onion begins to turn translucent. Add the sweet potato, courgette, and tomato and sauté for a further 7-8 minutes. Season.
3. Add the beans and stock, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the pasta and simmer for a further 10-12 minutes, or until the pasta is tender. Season well with salt and pepper.
4. Whilst your soup is simmering… Place the basil, garlic, pine nuts, and salt and pepper in a food processor – or a pestle and mortar – and begin to blend. Whilst doing this, slowly add the olive/rapeseed oil until you have a thick but slightly loose paste. This is your pistou.
*Alternatively, just use shop bought ‘pesto’.
6. To serve, spoon the soup into bowls and top with a spoonful of pistou.

Kcal = 851
Protein = 39
Carbs = 95
Fat = 35

Vegetarian = YES
Home freeze = NO
Refrigerate = EAT IMMEDIATELY