≡ Menu

One Pot Dinner Recipes Cheesey Tuna Broccoli Bake

Cheesey Tuna & Broccoli Bake Recipe Here.
________________________________________

This may surprise you but although I love cooking, I HATE cleaning up.

I’ve tried thinking of it in zen terms as a chance to practice mindfulness. And while sometimes that works, most nights when I come back in to the kitchen from putting small boys to bed I wish I could just wave a magic wand and the kitchen would be instantly sparkly.

But so far I haven’t found said magic wand so I’ve come up with two of the next best solutions…

Solution 1.
I did a deal with my Irishman that it’s his job to wipe down the benches and dining table. Which may seem small but it makes a huge difference.

Solution 2.
I often choose to cook simple one pot dinners.

And no, you can’t borrow my Irishman. Sorry!

But I am willing to share some of my favourite simple one pot dinner recipes…

Enjoy!

15 SIMPLE ONE POT DINNER RECIPES

Hummus with Chorizo & Hazelnuts Recipe

1. Hummus with Chorizo & Hazelnuts

While the Spiced Beef with Hummus from my FREE eCookbook will always be one of my go-to meals, this version using chorizo is a close second.
_______________________

One Pot Dinner Recipe Cauliflower, Chicken & Peanut Curry--3

2. One Pot Cauliflower, Chicken & Peanut Curry

_______________________

One Pot Dinner Recipe cheesey broccoli-2

3. Cheesey Broccoli

_______________________
One Pot Dinner Recipe Cajun Chicken in a Paper Bag-2

4. Cajun Chicken in a Paper Bag

______________________________

Chorizo & Eggplant Supper-2

5. Eggplant & Chorizo Supper

_______________________

One Pot Dinner Recipe Stir-Through Mac & Cheese

6. ‘Stir-Through’ Mac & Cheese

_______________________
One Pot Dinner Recipe Magic Sausage & Cabbage Supper-3

7. Magic Sausage & Cabbage Supper

_______________________
One Pot Dinner Recipe kale gratin-2

8. Killer Kale Gratin

_______________________

One Pot Dinner Recipe Yummy Spiced Tomato Soup-2

9. Yuuummy Spiced Tomato Soup

_______________________
One Pot Dinner Recipe mushies with sausages-4

10. Sausages with Mushies

_______________________
One Pot Dinner Recipe Lebanese Roast Ratatouille with Hummus-

11. Lebanese Roast Ratatouille with Hummus

_______________________

One Pot Dinner Recipe Super Green Saag Chicken-3

12. Super Green Saag Chicken

_______________________

One Pot Dinner Recipe Zucchini Laksa-2

13. Zucchini Laksa

_______________________

One Pot Dinner Recipe egg & pea fried rice

14. Fergal’s Egg & Pea Fried Rice

_______________________
One Pot Dinner Recipe Cheesey Tuna & Broccoli Bake--3

15. Cheesey Tuna & Broccoli Bake

For more see the One Pot Recipe Archives.

Have fun in the kitchen!

With love,
Jules x

ps. Tired of deciding what to cook?

Soupstones Square Logo no border

Looking for a weekly meal planning service where someone else comes up with the ideas for what to have for dinner?

Then check out my Soupstones Meal Plans.

For more details Click HERE.

______________________________

Share
{ 1 comment }

Cheesey Tuna & Broccoli Bake -Recipe

Cheesey Tuna & Broccoli Bake

When I was growing up my favourite favourite meal was my Mum’s Tuna Mornay which we called ‘Tuna Dish’. When I started moving away from eating wheat and pasta, this was one thing that I really missed. And then I had the brilliant idea to try it with roast broccoli instead of the pasta and cream instead of the bechemel sauce. Very happy to report this ticks all the boxes.

Although I couldn’t convince my boys it was as good. Maybe I need to try it with cauliflower so at least it doesn’t look green and ‘healthy’. Tough crowd those pre-schoolers!

I use double cream because it’s creamier but regular whipping cream will work too. And I like tuna in chilli oil for some heat but regular tuna is fine. Just use tuna in oil if you can because the texture is much nicer than tuna packed in brine or spring water.

enough for: 2-3
takes: 30 minutes

1 onion finely sliced into 1/2 moons
2 heads broccoli
1 cup cream
1-2 med cans tuna (180g / 6oz each)
2 large handfuls grated cheese

1. Preheat your oven to 250C (480F). Slice onion in half lengthwise, remove skins and finely slice each half into 1/2 moons. Chop broccoli into bite sized pieces (slice the stems and include them too!).

2. Layer veg in a roasting pan. Drizzle with a little oil, cover with foil and bake for 15-20 minutes or until broccoli is tender.

3. Stir in tuna and cream. Top with grated cheese and pop back in the oven for another 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and golden.

WINE MATCH: A nice buttery Chardonnay.

Variations

vegetarian – skip the tuna and add a little more cheese.

carnivore – replace tuna with crispy bacon or cooked chorizo.

different veg – cauliflower is the best substitute. I’m thinking eggplant, zucchini and peppers might be nice too. I’ve also made something similar by wilting down sliced kale on the stove and then baking it in the oven to melt the cheese.

dairy-free – serve the roast broccoli with tuna and lashings of mayo.

more substantial – up the cheese and/or the tuna.

carb-lovers – toss in cooked pasta with the tuna. Garlic bread will work as a side.

Prepare Ahead?

Absolutely! Prepare everything but don’t bother with the final 5 minutes in the oven to melt the cheese. Refrigerate for up to 1-2 weeks or freeze. To serve, pop in the oven (250C / 480F) for 5-10 minutes or until cheese is all melted and everything is hot.

Have fun in the kitchen!

With love,
Jules x

ps. Tired of deciding what to cook?

Soupstones Square Logo no border

Looking for a weekly meal planning service where someone else comes up with the ideas for what to have for dinner?

Then check out my Soupstones Meal Plans.

For more details Click HERE.

______________________________

Share
{ 2 comments }

Cauliflower, Chicken & Peanut Curry--3

One Pot Cauliflower, Chicken & Peanut Curry

It’s hard to go past a good curry for a quick filling weeknight dinner. For years I thought you needed loads of spices and ingredients to make an authentic tasting curry, until I challenged myself to make a super simple curry using only curry powder. Since then I haven’t looked back.

I like a general ‘curry powder’ that contains lots of turmeric for the yellow colour, but feel free to experiment with the world of curry powders. They are a real gem for adding loads of complex flavours with the flick of a teaspoon (or two).

enough for: 2
takes: 30 minutes

4 chicken thigh fillets, sliced
3-4 teaspoons curry powder
1 can coconut cream (400mL / 14oz)
1/2 medium cauliflower, chopped into bite sized pieces
3-4 tablespoons peanut butter
1 bunch coriander (cilantro), to serve

1. Heat a little oil in a medium saucepan on a medium high heat. Add chicken and stir fry until well browned and almost cooked through. Remove chicken and keep warm.

2. Add a little more oil and the curry powder to your pot. Cook for 30 seconds then add the coconut cream and cauliflower.

3. Simmer covered for 10-15 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender.

4. Stir in peanut butter. Taste and season with salt (or more curry powder) as needed. Return chicken to the pan and bring back to a simmer.

5. To serve, divide between two bowls and top with coriander leaves.

WINE MATCH: A crisp dry white like a cool climate Riesling OR an icy cold beer.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Variations

more veg / different veg – soften an onion before adding the curry powder. Garlic and/or ginger can be lovely additions. The feel free to add any veg you like such as broccoli, zucchini, capsicum (bell peppers), eggplant. Some snow peas or frozen peas added at the end will add lovely crunch.

no coconut cream – use unsweetened coconut milk or chicken or veg stock instead. You might like to serve with yoghurt to get some added creaminess.

vegetarian – replace chicken with cooked or canned chickpeas or lentils. Or make a completely veg curry using some of the more veg suggestions. Serve with extra roast peanuts or cashews for extra protein and crunch.

more substantial – serve with a handful roast cashews or peanuts or use more chicken.

chicken breasts – use 2 breast fillets instead of the thighs.

carb-lovers – serve with steamed rice or flat bread like naan, roti or chapattis.

nut-free – skip the peanut butter and use the onion in the more veg suggestions for extra depth of flavour.

no coriander – use mint, basil leaves or baby spinach instead. Or fry some fresh curry leaves in a little oil and use them as a crunchy topping

Prepare Ahead

Yes, if you don’t mind the flavour of reheated chicken. Make the curry up to a week in advance (keeping the coriander / cilantro separate). Store in the fridge or freeze. To serve just bring back to a gentle simmer and top with the coriander leaves.

Have fun in the kitchen!

With love,
Jules x

ps. Tired of deciding what to cook?

Soupstones Square Logo no border

Looking for a weekly meal planning service where someone else comes up with the ideas for what to have for dinner?

Then check out my Soupstones Meal Plans.

For more details Click HERE.

______________________________

Share
{ 7 comments }

Cauliflower, Chicken & Peanut Curry--2
Cauliflower Chicken & Peanut Curry Recipe Here.
_______________________________________

You know what my strongest ‘super power’ is? My ability to simplify recipes.

Hello 5-Ingredients!

A while back I wrote a post where I showed how I simplified one of Yotam Ottolenghis recipes which was great fun.

So I thought I’d share the two key principles I follow when simplifying recipes.

The 2 Best Ways to Simplify Any Recipe

1. Combine like ingredients.
This is always my starting point. Look for any ingredients that are providing the same function and instead choose one. You’ll need to adjust the quantities accordingly.

For example, if there are two different leafy herbs, could you just choose one? Or are there multiple flavourings like ginger, garlic and chilli, could you narrow it down?

2. Don’t be afraid to outsource.
There are no prizes for making every single part of every meal you eat from scratch. So ‘cheat’ when you feel like it.

My favourite examples are to use commercial spice blends or commercial sauces such as hummus, mayonaise, pesto or curry pastes. Pre-washed salad and pre-chopped veg are other great tricks to have up your sleeve.

Like Help to Simplify Your Cooking?

If you’re interested in discovering how to simplify not just your cooking, but the whole of your life, then I recommend checking out A Simple Year.

Screen Shot 2016-10-14 at 1.16.45 PM
Screen Shot 2016-10-14 at 1.00.50 PM

It’s a 12 month program which focuses on simplifying a different area of your life each month. If you join us I’ll show you even more ways to simplify not only recipes but your kitchen and your approach to healthy eating.

Ready to make 2018 YOUR Year of Simplicity?
Join Us Here

With love,
Jules x

ps. The ‘Early Bird’ registration discount ends 14th November.

If you’d like to simplify your cooking and your life,
Join Us Here

“I never expected so much change to happen in less than a year. This course has had a monumental impact on so many areas of my life. If you do one thing for yourself in 2018, sign up and take the journey to A Simple Year. Thank you to all of the contributors for this experience and for opening up my world.”
Deborah, A Simple Year Member

pps. If you have any questions about A Simple Year just email me jules@thestonesoup.com

—————————–

Share
{ 0 comments }

Lebanese Roast Ratatouille with Hummus--3

Lebanese Roast Ratatouille with Hummus RECIPE HERE

_______________________________________

Imagine coming home after a long day. You’re tired. You’re hungry. Then imagine having dinner waiting for you.

Imagine something healthy AND super tasty prepared by one of your favourite food bloggers… Me!

As much as I’d love to come around to your place every evening and cook, I’d hate for Fergal, Finbar and my Irishman to feel neglected. So I guess we’ll have to leave that scenario for another day.

Luckily I’ve come up with the next best thing…

So how did this all come about?

A few years ago, my friend Caroline told me about a weight loss program she was following which came with an exercise schedule and meal plans.

Months later Caroline was looking amazing. I asked her how she had found the whole experience.

Her answer surprised me.

While the motivation and commitment had helped, the thing she loved the most were the meal plans. Each week she’d print out the shopping list and buy what was on it. Or better yet, get her husband to do the shopping.

Each night she’d walk into the kitchen, look at her notes and just start cooking. No having to ‘think’ at the end of a long day.

Then she said,
‘You know what would have made it even better?
Some of the recipes were a quite time consuming, it would be brilliant to have meal plans using your simple Stonesoup recipes.’

And so Soupstones Meal Plans, my done-for-you meal planning service was born…

Soupstones Square Logo no border

Like to Try It?

NOW is a brilliant time to experiment with Soupstones Meal Plans!

Because I believe in this product so much, I’m creating two separate seasonal streams for the Northern and Southern hemispheres. So each meal plan will be even more fresh, useful and easy-to-shop for.

Will you be eating as well as you’d like over the coming months?

To start getting the benefits of having your meals planned,
Join HERE.

With love,
Jules x

“What I love most about it is that I don’t need to think of what’s for dinner. Thinking of a healthy meal during the working week is tricky so I really appreciate the inspiration from your meal plans. The hard work is done”.
Emma, Soupstones Member.

______________________________

Share
{ 0 comments }

Lebanese Roast Ratatouille with Hummus-

Lebanese Roast Ratatouille with Hummus

I love love love roast veggies, especially eggplant and zucchini. Usually I keep the veg plain to make a traditional ratatouille but was inspired the other day to try some Lebanese spicing and serve on a bed of hummus.

Baharat is a Lebanese spice blend I use all the time. It’s worth ordering some from a specialist spice merchant but if you don’t have any you know I’ve got you covered in the variations below ;)

enough for: 2
takes: 40 minutes

2 med eggplant
3 small zucchini
2 teaspoons baharat spice blend or 1 teaspoon each coriander and cumin
4-6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
300g (9oz) hummus
salad greens, to serve

1. Preheat your oven to 250C (480F). Chop eggplant and zucchini into 1 inch chunks (2.5cm). Toss eggplant, zucchini, spices and oil in a roasting pan. Sprinkle with salt.

2. Roast for 30 minutes, stirring about half way. Or until eggplant and zucchini are well cooked and starting to brown.

3. Divide hummus between 2 plates. Top with roast veg and salad leaves.

Wine Match: A medium bodied red like a Tempranillo or cool climate Shiraz.

Variations

no baharat – use 1 teaspoon each ground cumin and coriander, 2 teaspoons smoked paprika will work as a spanish alternative. Or use another spice blend like berbre spice or the Moroccan spice blend ‘Ras el Hanout’

low carb / no hummus – replace with Tahini Yoghurt Sauce by mixing 150g (5oz) each tahini and natural yoghurt. Or just serve with a big dollop of mayo and some roast nuts instead.

more substantial – use more hummus or serve with roast almonds or other nuts. Also see the carnivore option. Or toss in cooked chickpeas or lentils.

carnivore – add chorizo, bacon, sausages or chopped chicken thigh or breast fillets to roast with the veg.

carb-lovers – serve with cooked rice, quinoa or couscous. Or serve with warm flat bread or tortillas.

different veg – onion, capsicum (bell peppers), mushrooms, tomato (fresh or canned), cauliflower, broccoli.

herby – use coriander (cilantro), mint or parsley instead of the salad leaves.

Prepare Ahead

Vegetables can be roasted ahead but don’t add the hummus and salad. Store roast veg in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or freeze. To Serve warm in a frying pan with a little extra oil, pile on top of the hummus and top with the salad leaves.

Video Recipe

Watch the Video Version of the Recipe

Enjoy!

With love,
Jules x

ps. Tired of deciding what to cook?

Soupstones Square Logo no border

Looking for a weekly meal planning service where someone else comes up with the ideas for what to have for dinner?

Then check out my Soupstones Meal Plans.

For more details Click HERE.

______________________________

Share
{ 3 comments }

Indian Spiced Salmon with Minty Yoghurt--3

Indian Spiced Salmon with Minty Yoghurt

It’s asparagus season here! And while my baby asparagus patch has some shoots showing, I’m waiting until next year to start harvesting.

Of course, you don’t need to wait until spring to enjoy this crispy spiced salmon with its cooling herby yoghurt. Just substitute in green beans, snow peas or skip the green veg and just serve it all with some cauliflower ‘rice’.

enough for: 2
takes: 20 minutes

2 bunches asparagus or 2 handfuls green beans
1 tablespoon garam masala
2 salmon fillets
8 tablespoons Greek yoghurt
1 bunch mint, leaves picked

1. Bring some water (about 2cm / 1in) deep to the boil in a frying pan. Trim asparagus / beans and simmer for 2 minutes or until tender. Drain and discard cooking water.

2. Combine 2 tablespoons oil with the garam masala and a good pinch of salt to make a spicy oil. Pat salmon dry with paper towel and toss in the oil to coat.

3. Return the frying pan to a medium high heat. Cook salmon for 3-4 minutes on each side or until cooked to your liking (I like it still quite pink in the middle and crispy on the outside).

4. While the salmon is cooking finely chop most of the mint, saving some whole leaves to garnish. Stir the chopped mint into the yoghurt with some salt and pepper.

5. To serve, spread minty yoghurt on two dinner plates. Top with salmon, asparagus / beans and reserved mint leaves.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Variations

different veg – snow peas, sugar snap peas or even regular frozen peas would all be lovely. Or just use a few handfuls baby spinach instead. In the cooler months some wilted kale, spinach or other greens are a great choice. Grilled summer veg like eggplant, zucchini and bell peppers (capsicum) will also be fab.

different spice – curry powder would work instead of garam masala or just use 1 teaspoon each ground cumin, coriander and smoked paprika.

vegetarian – serve cooked lentils, spiced with some garam masala with the asparagus and minty yoghurt.

carnivore – use lamb or pork chops instead of the salmon.

different fish – feel free to use any fish fillets.

carb-lovers – serve with steamed rice or warm chappatis or other flat bread.

more substantial – serve with a generous handful roast cashews or almonds. Or use larger pieces salmon. Or replace some of all of the yoghurt with mayonnaise.

dairy-free – use coconut yoghurt or replace youhurt with hummus. Or make a minty oil by stirring chopped mint into a few tablespoons extra virgin olive oil.

different herbs – use coriander (cilantro) basil or flat leaf parsley or a combo of any of these.

Watch the Video Version of the Recipe

Enjoy!

With love,
Jules x

ps. Tired of deciding what to cook?

Soupstones Square Logo no border

Looking for a weekly meal planning service where someone else comes up with the ideas for what to have for dinner?

Then check out my Soupstones Meal Plans.

For more details click here.

______________________________

Share
{ 2 comments }

Indian Spiced Salmon with Minty Yoghurt--2

Indian Spiced Salmon with Minty Yoghurt RECIPE HERE.

___________________________________

I never thought I’d be saying (or rather writing) this. But sometimes it’s nice to be told what to do.

When my friend Caroline was first encouraging me to create a done-for-you meal planning service, my biggest hesitation at the time was I thought I’d ‘never’ use it myself. I thought I’d hate someone else telling me what to cook and eat.

But fast forward almost 4 years and here I am. Using my own meal plans, pretty much every week.

Lucky I have a policy to ‘never say never’.

So today I’m super excited to share some of the discoveries I’ve had.

3 Surprising Discoveries from Using my Meal Plans

1. It can be lovely not to ‘think’ about dinner.
As much as I love cooking and thinking about what to eat, on those busy work days when I’m tired and hungry it’s wonderful to be able to walk in the kitchen, check my plan and then just start cooking what it says.

2. Simple recipes are the best!
I remember seeing a weekly meal plan in a cooking magazine and thinking ‘what a great idea’, until I looked at the shopping list. Sooo many ingredients, sooo overwhelming.

Cooking my simple 5-ingredient recipes for weeknight dinners has been a huge reminder of how good simple food is.

Plus my meal plans have manageable shopping lists. Some weeks I only need to pickup a handful of ingredients, so few I could almost shop just from memory (if only said memory wasn’t so rusty!).

3. You can plan AND be flexible
It’s not an either / or situation. So now I use the weekly meal plan shopping list as a base. Then as the week progresses, I adapt and change as needed. It’s wonderful to be rediscovering old faves — or giving them a new twist.

Soupstones Square Logo no border

Like to Try It?

NOW is a brilliant time to experiment with Soupstones Meal Plans!

Because I believe in this product so much, I’m creating two separate seasonal streams for the Northern and Southern hemispheres. So each meal plan will be even more useful and easy-to-shop for.

Will you be eating well over the coming months?

Join HERE.

With love,
Jules x

ps. Have a question about the Meal Plans?

Just email me jules@thestonesoup.com and I’ll be happy to help!
______________________________

Share
{ 0 comments }

Magic Sausage & Cabbage Supper-3

One of the most popular recipes with my Meal Planning Members is my ‘Magic’ Sausage Supper.

Basically you put vegetables and sausages in a pan and roast until everything is tender. It’s about as simple as cooking can possibly get but the results are deeply satisfying, not to mention delicious.

The original recipe uses root veg such as parsnip or butternut squash and they are great. But they don’t fit in with my Low Carb tendencies.

So I had given up on my Magic suppers until I had the ‘brain wave’ to try it with low carb veg.

Why didn’t I think of that sooner!

_______________________________________

Magic Sausage & Cabbage Supper

Magic Sausage & Cabbage Supper

Cabbage is one of the most underrated vegetables. It’s Low Carb, super nutritious, generally available year round, keeps in the fridge for weeks and weeks, and if cooked properly it’s super delicious. I love it raw shaved into salads or ‘slaw.

But it’s even better when cooked down into a soft pile that’s sort of like a big bowl of fettuccine. Waistline-friendly comfort food at it’s best!

If you want to make this even easier, buy pre-shredded cabbage. And don’t skip the vinegar! It really freshens everything up and makes the cabbage flavours come alive (in a good way). Ditto the salt and oil.

enough for: 2
takes: 30 minutes

1 onion halved and finely sliced
1/2 med cabbage (500g / 1lb), finely sliced
4 thick sausages
1 tablespoon sherry or wine vinegar
mustard, mayo (or both!), to serve

1. Preheat your oven to 250C (480F). Halve and slice onion. Place in a roasting pan with the sausages. Drizzle with olive oil.

2. Roast for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, slice cabbage as finely as you can be bothered but don’t worry about cracking out the mandoline (the finer you slice the quicker it will cook).

3. Turn the sausages. Add cabbage, salt and another drizzle of oil. Roast for another 10-15 minutes or until cabbage is soft and sausages are well browned and cooked through.

4. Sprinkle over vinegar. Toss, taste and season with more salt as needed. Serve mustard / mayo on the side.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Variations

vegetarian – skip the sausages and serve cabbage and onion with poached eggs, lashings of shaved parmesan or crumbled feta or a few handfuls of roast nuts (almonds or pinenuts would be my pick).

different meat – feel free to use chorizo, chicken thighs fillets or pork chops instead of the sausages.

different veg – replace cabbage with halved brussels sprouts, cauliflower florettes, broccoli florettes, diced eggplant, diced zucchini, capsicum (bell peppers) or chunks of sweet potato, butternut squash, parsnip or spuds. If using root veg expect the cooking time to be more like 30 minutes or longer.

herby – add some thyme or rosemary with the onion. Or toss in some flat leaf parsley once the cabbage is cooked.

extra cabbage hit! – serve with a side of simple sauerkraut.

Prepare Ahead

Absolutely! Cook as per the recipe but don’t add the mustard / mayo. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks or freeze for months. To serve warm in the oven or a frying pan and serve mustard / mayo.

Have fun in the kitchen!

With love,
Jules x

ps. Tired of deciding what to cook?

Soupstones Square Logo no border

Looking for a weekly meal planning service where someone else comes up with the ideas for what to have for dinner?

Then check out my Soupstones Meal Plans.

For more details click here.

______________________________

Share
{ 14 comments }

Magic Sausage & Cabbage Supper

Magic Sausage & Cabbage Supper RECIPE HERE

_______________________________________

Before I got into minimalism and simplicity, my kitchen was a bit of a disaster zone. My drawers wouldn’t shut. My cupboards were overflowing.

As a passionate cook, you can imagine all the utensils and appliances I had collected over the years.

It was time for a change.

So I had a big clean out.

I went through everything.

It was so much fun. And so calming to work in my new spacious kitchen.

That was over 10 years ago and apart from the regular invasions from teddies, toy trucks and lego, my kitchen is usually a space of calm.

A place I love spending time.

2 Secrets to a Simple Kitchen

1. Purge
You can do this all at once, or just go through one area at a time. It’s going to be way more fun than you’d think.

Divide your kitchen equipment into 3 piles:

i. Things you use and love >> find a place to keep them.

ii. Things haven’t used in the last year >> donate to charity or sell online.

iii. Things you’re not sure of >> put in a ‘quarantine’ box in the garage and review in 6 months.

2. Question Everything
Always ask yourself before you buy something new. Do we really need this?

By being mindful of the things you allow into your life it’s surprisingly easy to keep your kitchen simple.

Like Help to Simplify your Kitchen?

If you’re interested in discovering how to simplify not just your cooking, but the whole of your life, then I recommend checking out A Simple Year.

Screen Shot 2016-10-14 at 1.16.45 PM
Screen Shot 2016-10-14 at 1.00.50 PM

It’s a 12 month program which focuses on simplifying a different area of your life each month. If you join us I’ll show you even more ways to simplify not only recipes but your kitchen and your approach to healthy eating.

Ready to make 2018 YOUR Year of Simplicity?
Join Us Here

With love,
Jules x

ps. The ‘Early Bird’ registration discount ends 14th November.

If you’d like to simplify your cooking and your life,
Join Us Here

“I never expected so much change to happen in less than a year. This course has had a monumental impact on so many areas of my life. If you do one thing for yourself in 2018, sign up and take the journey to A Simple Year. Thank you to all of the contributors for this experience and for opening up my world.”
Deborah, A Simple Year Member

pps. If you have any questions about A Simple Year just email me jules@thestonesoup.com

—————————–

Share
{ 4 comments }

Fast Roast Chorizo & Brussels Sprouts with Hot Feta

As a girl with two science degrees, there’s no point pretending I’m not a ‘geek’ at heart.

My favourite line of experimentation of late has been the ‘fast roast’.

I’ve noticed that most recipes have us cooking at a sedately 200C (400F) or lower. But the hotter the oven the faster dinner is ready, right?

So I’ve been cranking my oven up and seeing what happens.

You’re not going to believe it, but when you’re cooking smaller pieces of food like these bite sized chunks of spicy sausage and Brussels Sprouts dinner cooks quicker without any ill effects.

I know. So many possibilities!

Fast Roast Chorizo & Brussels Sprouts with Hot Feta-2

Fast Roast Chorizo with Hot Feta & Brussels Sprouts

If I can’t convince you that Brussels Sprouts are super tasty when cooked like this, don’t worry, there are plenty of other tasty veg options in the ‘variations’ below.

enough for 2
takes 30 minutes
500g (1lb) Brussels sprouts, halved
2-4 chorizo or other spicy sausage
1 tablespoon vinegar
100g (3.5oz) feta cheese
1 bunch flat leaf parsley, leaves picked

1. Preheat your oven to 250C (480F). Halve brussels sprouts lengthwise and place in a roasting tray. Drizzle with oil and cook for 10 minutes.

2. Chop chorizo into bite sized chunks and add to the tray. Roast for another 10 minutes or until Brussels Sprouts are tender and chorizo is cooked through.

3. While the veg are cooking make the dressing. Combine vinegar with 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt.

4. When the chorizo and veg are cooked, crumble feta over the top and cook for another 1-2 minutes.

5. Drizzle dressing over the cooked chorizo, sprouts and hot feta. Scatter with parsley and serve warm.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Variations

different veg / more veg – Broccoli or cauliflower are really lovely. Or for a more summery vibe use diced eggplant (aubergine), zucchini and capsicum (bell peppers). If you want to use green beans, snow peas or sugar snap peas they’ll cook in about the same time as the chorizo. Button mushrooms or sliced large mushrooms are so tasty cooked this way.

extra umami flavour – Add 1 teaspoon soy sauce with the dressing. And use less salt to season.

carb-lovers / more substantial – toss in cooked pasta or serve with warm pita or tortillas. Or add boiled potatoes to cook with the brussels sprouts.

dairy-free – replace feta with roasted nuts like almonds, brazil nuts or hazelnuts.

no chorizo – use any sausage (spicy or otherwise). Fish fillets or chicken thigh fillets will also work. The fish will take about 10 minutes (less if really thin) and chicken will take longer so add them at the beginning with the sprouts. If you like you can add a teaspoon or 2 of smoked paprika to the dressing to get that lovely smokiness.

vegetarian – use drained canned chickpeas instead of the chorizo. I also like a few handfuls of roast hazelnuts or almonds added with the feta. Or serve the roast veg, parsley and feta with a poached egg.

saucy – the hot feta makes a lovely flavour highlight but if you like it saucy serve with some home made mayo or my miso harissa ‘ketchup’.

With love,
Jules x

ps. Tired of deciding what to cook?

Soupstones Square Logo no border

Looking for a weekly meal planning service where someone else comes up with the ideas for what to have for dinner?

Then check out my Soupstones Meal Plans.

For more details click here.

______________________________

Share
{ 10 comments }

Fast Roast Chorizo & Brussels Sprouts with Hot Feta-2

Fast Roast Chorizo with Hot Feta & Veg RECIPE HERE

____________________________________

Afew months ago I had a big mindset change with my cooking. It started when I decided to make my life easier by using my own Soupstones Meal Plans every week.

Now I use my simple recipes for our mid-week dinners. Then on the weekends, when I have more time, I explore my cookbooks for inspiration.

On the surface it may seem like a little thing, but having this clear division of the types of meals I’m cooking for different parts of the week has been really liberating.

And the surprising thing is, how delicious and satisfying my 5-ingredient dinners are. You’d think they would pale in comparison to our more elaborate weekend feasts, but they really hold their own.

Yay for simple meals!

4 Reasons to Love Simple Cooking

1. Tastes Great!
It still amazes me how delicious food can taste when you cut back on the number of ingredients and let your produce ‘speak’ (err taste?) for itself.

Fancy restaurant meals with layers and layers of flavour are lovely, but I also love to ‘wow’ my taste buds with the beauty of simple ingredients.

2. Easier to Prepare.
A blessing for us home cooks who don’t have an army of ‘sous chefs’ to do our washing and chopping. OR hours to spend getting Tuesday night dinner ready.

3. Less Cleanup!
Less ingredients to put away. Less dishes to wash. Worth it for this benefit alone!

4. More Flexibility.
People often say how much they love the ‘variations’ I include at the bottom of my recipes because it allows them to make changes to suit their own tastes and dietary requirements.

One of the biggest reasons I can do this is because my recipes are so simple. It’s easy to know what will happen if you change a particular ingredient.

Like some help to simplify your cooking?

If you’re interested in discovering how to simplify not just your cooking, but the whole of your life, then I recommend checking out A Simple Year.

Screen Shot 2016-10-14 at 1.16.45 PM
Screen Shot 2016-10-14 at 1.00.50 PM

It’s a 12 month program which focuses on simplifying a different area of your life each month. If you join us I’ll show you even more ways to simplify not only recipes but your kitchen and your approach to healthy eating.

Ready to made 2018 your year of simplicity?
Join Us Here

With love,
Jules x

ps. The ‘Early Bird’ registration discount ends 14th November.

If you’d like to simplify your cooking and your life,
Join Us Here

“This course gave me hope. One theme a month was simple enough. I could find time for that! What a difference A Simple Year has made. I’m more focused on what matters. I commit to doing less each day and find myself savoring life more. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.”
Lynn, A Simple Year Member

pps. If you have any questions about A Simple Year just reply to this email and ask!

—————————–

Share
{ 0 comments }

Turkish Cauliflower & Yoghurt Soup-2

Turkish Cauliflower & Yoghurt Soup

When I was back packing around the world in my 20s, one of my favourite countries was Turkey. I just loved everything about it. The history, the people and of course the food!

Turkish food has that wonderful fresh ingredient simplicity you find around the Mediterranean but there are little twists on every day ingredients that make it feel a little bit exotic and new. Without requiring a massive expedition to stock your pantry.

A brilliant example is their use of yoghurt in a soup like this to add creamy tartness to a good old cauliflower soup. And I love how they drizzle on melted butter to add richness and substance. So so good!

enough for: 2
takes: 30 minutes

1 onion
1/2 cauliflower (about 500g / 1lb)
1 teaspoon ground coriander
250g (1 cup) Greek yoghurt
4-6 tablespoons butter
pinch dried chilli flakes or smoked paprika (optional)

1. Heat a little oil in a medium saucepan on a medium heat. Dice onion and add to the pan. Cook onion with the lid on, stirring every now and then until the onion is soft but not browned. About 10 minutes.

2. Chop cauliflower into bite sized chunks and add to the softened onion with the coriander and 1.5 cups water. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes or until cauliflower is tender. Puree soup using a stick blender or regular blender.

3. Stir in yoghurt and warm gently on the stove. Don’t let it simmer as the yoghurt will curdle. Taste and season with salt.

4. Melt butter in a small saucepan. Divide soup between two bowls. Drizzle over the melted butter and sprinkle with chilli / paprika (if using).

Wine Match: A crisp fresh white like Pinot Gris or Riesling.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Variations

5-ingredients – skip the chilli / smoked paprika or the coriander.

dairy-free – use coconut cream instead of the yoghurt and coconut oil instead of the butter.

short on time – skip the onion.

more substantial / carb-lovers – serve with warm Turkish flat bread or pita.

different veg – I love love love this creamy cauliflower but you could substitute broccoli, butternut squash or root veg like sweet potato, carrot, celeriac (celery root) or parsnip. I’m also thinking a mushroom soup would be wonderful with these accompaniments. You could also add diced carrot and celery with the onion.

Enjoy!
With love,
Jules x

ps. Tired of deciding what to cook?

Soupstones Square Logo no border

Looking for a weekly meal planning service where someone else comes up with the ideas for what to have for dinner?

Then check out my Soupstones Meal Plans.

For more details click here.

Share
{ 4 comments }

Turkish Cauliflower & Yoghurt Soup

Turkish Cauliflower & Yoghurt Soup recipe here.

I‘ll let you in on a little secret… For most of my 20s I was a recipe follower. Unless I was making a sandwich, I pretty much consulted a recipe before I cooked anything.

Now following recipes isn’t all bad. It taught me to cook way more than anything I learned while studying for my food science degree.

But over time, I began to cook on my own. To cook from the heart.

And I haven’t looked back.

Why Cook Without Recipes?

The biggest driver was time. Working as a winemaker I didn’t have an hour to spend each week choosing recipes and writing a shopping list. Or much time for shopping.

Plus I was shopping at the local farmers market which meant the availability of ingredients was always changing.

So I found myself creating what I now called ‘template recipes’ based on successes I’d had in the past. I then used these ‘templates’ to branch out and cook on my own.

Cooking without recipes is much more fun and (mostly) just as delicious.

It also means less waste because you used what you have.

Plus it’s completely flexible. So if you have to stay back late at the winery one night and end up ordering pizza, it doesn’t matter.

There’s no waste and no guilt.

I firmly believe YOU CAN learn to cook without recipes. You just need to take it slowly and follow these simple steps.

2 Steps to Cook Without Recipes.

STEP 1. Start ‘tweaking’.
If you already make little changes to recipes as you cook, go to the top of the class! You’ve already mastered step 1 and can move on to step 2.

If you’re a follow-the-recipe-to-a-‘T’ type of person, don’t worry. I’ve got you covered too.

At the end of all my recipes I include a list of ‘variations’. These ideas are the perfect starting place for you to begin ‘tweaking’.

Before you think, ‘I can’t do that‘, remember there’s no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ when it comes to cooking. The only way to learn is to get into the kitchen and try things.

STEP 2. Use ‘template recipes’.

I did this unconsciously myself, but I wish I’d had someone to show me. I would have saved myself loads of time and mistakes.

Template recipes are the ‘secret’ to learning to cook on your own. It’s all about thinking in general ingredient types rather than specific ingredients. Armed with a collection of ‘templates’ you’ll be able to open the fridge and see possibilities.

You don’t have to figure it out all on your own.

If you join me for ‘Master Your Meal Plan’ I’ll be sharing 71 of my best template recipes and showing you exactly how to put them to use.

Before you know it you’ll be one of those people who can just ‘whip something up’.

Still not sure if you can do it?

Well I know you can! I’ve helped hundreds of people learn to cook without recipes.

Here’s what some of them had to say about it…

Anna, Master Your Meal Plan Owner.
“The biggest change is that I don’t follow recipes to the T anymore – I am substituting different ingredients based on what I have on hand – a big change for me. I am wasting far less food. Also I am managing leftovers better again wasting much less.”

Larry, Master Your Meal Plan Owner.
“I feel more confident with creating a meal with what I have on hand with the template recipes.”

Joules, Master Your Meal Plan Owner.
“Before finding this class I was frustrated by recipes. I would go to the store and by all these ingredients then end up with one thing to eat. I wanted cooking to be as easy as the green shakes I like to make: pick something that makes it creamy (banana, yogurt, etc), pick something to add bulk (apple, peach, cucumber), pick some greens (anything leafy), pick something flavorful (honey, mint, or raspberries, etc…). It’s based on stuff I already have, and always ends up good. The template recipes are just like this! Totally makes sense! I’m still not particularly good at cooking, but at least I’m actually trying now. Not having strict recipes makes it more fun.”

Nichole, Master Your Meal Plan Owner.
“I am able to cook dinners that my family truly enjoys as many nights a week as I need to without repeating the same 5 dishes over and over and without buying a bunch of groceries that ultimately go to waste because our schedule changed.”

Cherie, Master Your Meal Plan Owner.
“I am less scared about starting with ingredients first, rather than a recipe first. I can look into my cupboard or fridge and know that something will evolve from my new found experience.”

Another huge benefit of cooking without recipes is that you don’t have to worry whether you’ll like something or if it will suit your dietary requirements because you’re in control.

You never have to use ingredients you don’t like or can’t eat.

Imagine that!

So you might be thinking…

This sounds great Jules, but I just don’t have the time or money right now to invest in learning a new skill like this.

I get where you’re coming from. However, imagine what life would be like if you didn’t have to plan?

What if you could just buy ingredients (or have them delivered) and then decide what to cook.

How much time would you save if you didn’t have to plan and write shopping lists? How much time would you save if you didn’t need extra trips to the store?

Then multiply that by the weeks and months. It adds up.

Don’t you think it’s worth investing a few hours now to save yourself all that time for every week of rest of your life?

And from a financial perspective, think about how much money you currently spend on restaurants and takeout because of meal planning ‘fails’. And what about the cost of throwing out wasted ingredients?

Just something to think about…

Like Help Cooking Without Recipes and Meal Plans?

MYMP 2015 square logo

Then join me for Master Your Meal Plan. It’s an online training program that helps food lovers get delicious, healthy dinners on the table by ‘reversing’ the meal planning process and learning to cook without recipes.

To find out more use the link below:
Join Master Your Meal Plan

With love,
Jules x

ps. There’s less than 24-hours left before doors close for Master Your Meal Plan.

To make sure you don’t miss out:
Join Here

_________________________

Share
{ 0 comments }

chorizo & beans

Chorizo with White Beans recipe here

Is meal planning something you wish you didn’t have to spend time worrying about?

What if I told you there is a better way?

That inflexible, time-consuming meal planning, as you currently know it, could become a thing of your past?

I know it might seem a little ‘too good to be true’ but first a story…

I’ve recently become obsessed with Frances Mayes and her wonderful books on living in Tuscany. So I’ve been re-reading, (or rather listening to) ‘Everyday in Tuscany’ on my morning walk.

I love looking over Mayes’ shoulder as she shares what daily life is like in rural Italy.

The other day, she was talking about buying her house in Tuscany. She moved her favourite Italian cook books such as Marcella Harzan from San Francisco to Italy.

And then she said something that surprised me.

Over her 20 years of living in Italy, she realized that none of her Italian friends use cookbooks. Apart from the occasional fancy dessert recipe for a special occasion, they pretty much always just cook from the heart.

They go to the market or the ‘fruita et vedura‘ and buy what looks good. They have their pantries well stocked so they are able to get wonderful meals on the table without planning it all out in advance.

Sounds like a much better way to live, doesn’t it?

Today I’m going to share with you my 3-Step Framework for ‘reversing’ the meal planning process.

One thing I really want to stress is that this isn’t just another meal planning ‘tool’ or some software to make traditional meal planning a little bit easier.

It’s a completely different, I like to think ‘revolutionary’ approach to getting healthy meals on the table.

I also want to make it clear that it’s definitely not a ‘done-for-you’ solution.

To be honest, if you would prefer to ‘outsource’ meal planning and have someone else just tell you what to cook each week and give you a shopping list to follow, this probably isn’t the right approach for you.

However if a ‘done-for-you’ system is something that interests you, or if ‘not having to think’ sounds more your style, I recommend having a look at ‘Soupstones Meal Plans‘, which is a separate weekly meal planning service I offer.

If, however, you ARE someone who hates to be told what to do OR you’re interested in learning to cook without recipes, then you’re in the right place.

Now if you’re thinking ‘this all sounds very nice’ but I’m not sure it will work for me, I have good news!

And the good news is, it’s not as difficult as you’d think. I’ve helped hundreds of people learn to ‘reverse’ their meal plan and discover a more liberating, satisfying easy way to get food on the table.

Here’s what a two of my students have said about how their lives have changed…

“By far the most life changing class of yours I have done. Has totally changed how I work in the kitchen & my confidence towards cooking! Has freed me from my laborious meal planning on a Sunday. An unexpected result was it’s made me more intuitive towards food & in turn made me listen to what my body needs, rather than what my meal plan said.”
Nicole, Master Your Meal Plan Owner

“I already was a pretty experienced and independent cook before, but I tended to fail at the everyday, ordinary meals. I overplanned, which consumed horrible amount of time, and resulted in weekly menus, which were too complicated for my schedule and amount of work. I was too tired to cook according to plan, even when I did follow it, I usually ended up with many leftovers and ingredients that I didn’t use up.”
Clara, Master Your Meal Plan Owner

And the beauty is, you can learn to plan and cook that way too!

All you need is to follow my 3 simple steps…

3 Steps to Simplify Your Meal Planning.

STEP 1. Stop planning in advance.
Stop wasting your time and energy by ‘reversing’ the meal planning process. Instead of deciding what to cook first and then buying ingredients, we need to get you shopping first and THEN deciding what to cook.

If this seems a bit to scary, you can take baby steps. Instead of planning every single meal, or whatever you’re doing, leave a few nights free and see what happens.

STEP 2. Learn to shop for what you need.
You probably already have an idea of what you need each week for breakfasts and don’t plan them out in detail. So it’s time to extend this to dinners and lunches as well.

It may take a little bit of time to get used to this. And if it seems a bit too daunting, I have a solution…

As part of the Master Your Meal Plan online program, I’ll show you my ’2-Minute Planning Formula’ which will help you calculate exactly how much food to buy.

This will not only save you loads of time creating your detailed plan, it will make shopping more fun (!)

You won’t be following a strict list, you’ll be free to choose the seasonal produce that looks the most appealing on the day. And of course, it will allow you to make the most of any ‘special’ discounts on the spot.

Imagine yourself being able to enjoy your trip to the market, just like an Italian house wife.

STEP 3. Stop cooking from recipes.
One of the keys to getting this ‘system’ to work is to break-free from traditional recipes.

Now before you start thinking ‘there’s NO WAY I could cook without a recipe’, you don’t have to turn into a master chef overnight. It’s not as crazy as it sounds.

The way I taught myself to ‘cook without recipes’ was to start thinking of recipes in general terms instead of specific ingredients.

I started by coming up with ‘template’ or blueprint recipes I could adapt depending on the ingredients I had or what I felt like cooking. It’s like taking the ‘Variations’ I include with all of my recipes to the next level.

When I want to make a quick stir fry, for example, instead of coming up with a recipe from scratch, I think back to my ‘template’ and go from there.

Next week, we’ll go much deeper into exactly how you can stop cooking from recipes, so don’t worry if it seems like something you’d never be able to master.

Before I go, I want to live in a world where eating healthy, home made food is the norm.

Just like in Tuscany. Where most people just buy ingredients and cook them, without being chained to inflexible recipes. Where cooking dinner is seen as a joy and a privilege, a chance to relax and unwind not another chore to face when you’re tired at the end of a stressful day.

MYMP 2015 square logo

If you share this vision, I’d love you to join me for Master Your Meal Plan.

Click on the link below to find out more:
http://thestonesoupshop.com/mymp17/

With love,
Jules x

ps. If you want to simplify and make your planning and cooking easier, healthier and tastier, then I’d love to become your cooking coach!

For more details go to:
http://thestonesoupshop.com/mymp17/

Share
{ 2 comments }

chorizo & beans

Chorizo with White Beans

This is a classic Spanish combo that I’m equally happy eating for breakfast with a poached egg as I am having it for dinner on its own.

You might be surprised to see ketchup as an ingredient but it really adds a lovely hit of tomatoey sweetness that is hard to beat. Although if you prefer a sugar-free option, see the variations below.

Enough for: 2
Takes: 20 minutes

1 onion, peeled & chopped
2 chorizo (200g / 7oz)
1 can beans (400g 14oz), drained
4 tablespoons ketchup
1 bag baby spinach

1. Heat a little oil in a frying pan. Add onion and cook over a medium heat for about 5 minutes or until starting to soften.

2. Add chorizo and cook for another 5 minutes or until the chorizo is well browned.

3. Add beans and ketchup and cook, stirring until everything is hot.

4. Taste. Season with salt. Serve with baby spinach on the side.

Wine Match: A spicy Tempranillo.

Variations

vegan – replace the chorizo with 1-2 teaspoons smoked paprika and increase the amount of beans and ketchup.

vegetarian – replace chorizo with 1-2 teaspoons smoked paprika and serve beans with 1-2 poached eggs per person, or try replacing the chorizo with sun dried tomatoes and some crumbled feta.

sugar-free – replace ketchup with 2-3 tablespoons tomato paste and 2 tablespoons butter.

different meat – feel free to replace chorizo with any spicy (or mild) sausage or chunks of bacon.

different legumes – I love butter beans or cannellini but you could use chickpeas, black beans, red kidney beans, or any lentil. Home cooked beans are even better, you’ll need about 250G (9oz) drained cooked legumes.

more substantial / carb lovers – double the beans and ketchup or serve with warm flat bread or tortillas. Or serve beans on hot buttered toast.

more veg – add grilled red peppers, eggplant, zucchini or cherry tomatoes.

Enjoy!
Jules x

Share
{ 4 comments }

Beef & Carraway Meatballs with Tahini Yoghurt

Beef & Carraway Kofta (Meatballs)

One of my favourite things to eat are meatballs. And while I love a traditional Italian-style meatball, I like to mix it up with meatballs from different parts of the world like these Moroccan meatballs, these Green ones or this giant meatball / meatloaf.

My latest obsession are these Lebanese-ish ‘kofta’ (middle eastern meatballs) which were inspired by a recipe in the book ‘Honey & Co. – Food from the Middle East’ from the London based restaurant. This is my simplified version.

Carraway seeds are a really underrated spice. I’ve been using them in my sauerkraut for ages and loved their fresh flavour but hadn’t really experimented with other cooking. Until these kofta. They go really well with beef but if you’re looking for more places to use your carraway seeds they’re also lovely with cabbage in any form.

enough for: 2
takes: 30 minutes

500g (1lb) minced (ground) beef
2 teaspoons carraway seeds
100g (3.5oz) tahini
100g (3.5oz) Greek yoghurt
1 clove garlic (optional)
1 bunch coriander (cilantro), leaves picked

1. Preheat your oven to 200C (400F). Combine beef and carraway seeds in a medium bowl and season generously with salt and pepper. Scoop tablespoons of the beef mixture and roll into meatballs. Place meatballs in an oven proof dish large enough to hold them in a single layer.

2. Roast meatballs for about 20 minutes or until well browned and cooked through.

3. While the meatballs are cooking combine tahini and yoghurt in a medium bowl. Smash garlic (if using) and chop as finely as you can and add to the tahini yoghurt sauce.

4. To serve, spread yoghurt tahini sauce over two plates. Top with meatballs and coriander leaves.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Variations

5-ingredients – skip the garlic.

vegetarian – add carraway seeds to these lentil balls.

no carraway seeds – just skip it or use 1 teaspoon cumin seeds and 1 teaspoon ground coriander instead.

more substantial / carb-lovers – serve with warm pita or other flat bread or tortillas. Or serve meatballs on a bed of creamy mashed potatoes.

no tahini – either replace with mayo to make a yoghurt mayo sauce or just use extra yoghurt. Or use hummus instead of both the yoghurt and tahini. For more ideas to use tahini see here.

more veg – the guys from Honey & Co serve their kofta on a bed of roast veg including onion, eggplant and capsicum (bell peppers). They toss in some cooked white beans as well.

no coriander / cilantro – flat leaf parsley or mint will work. Or use baby spinach or other salad leaves. A shaved cabbage salad would also be a lovely accompaniment.

short on time – skip rolling the beef into meatballs and just brown in a pan with the carraway seeds and serve the spiced beef on top of the tahini yoghurt sauce.

Enjoy!

With love,
Jules x

Share
{ 3 comments }

Beef & Carraway Meatballs with Tahini Yoghurt-2

Beef & Carraway Kofta recipe here

Today I have a little confession for you…

Even though I write cook books, have two food blogs and have an online cooking school, I didn’t start out being a confident cook.

And I certainly wasn’t good at meal planning…

When I first got into cooking I was in my early 20s, living in Sydney, working in my first job as a Food Scientist developing new snack products for Kellogg.

I used to spend hours pouring over magazines and cookbooks deciding what to make and compiling lengthy shopping lists.

Then I’d head off all over town. To my favourite veggie shop or the farmers market. To my butcher, the deli, sometimes to Chinatown and a stop at the supermarket for staples.

It took hours.

While I enjoyed these excursions, they weren’t without their frustrations.

There would often be one or two ingredients that were sold out or I just couldn’t find. Since I didn’t have a clue about ingredient substitution, I’d have to go to multiple stores trying to find what I was missing.

It took a lot of time.

It also cost a lot of money.

Slowly, over the years, I got better at the whole process. As my cooking confidence grew, I started knowing which ingredients I could skip or substitute. My food bills came down and my ingredient waste decreased.

The biggest game changer came when I was living in the beautiful Barossa Valley, Australia’s equivalent of Napa.

As a young wine maker, most of my waking hours were spent in the winery. I no longer had time to plan my meals in advance or much time for cooking.

The highlight of my week was the Saturday morning Barossa farmers market.

I’d grab a coffee. Then I’d wander around tasting, chatting to the farmers and buying whatever took my fancy. I wouldn’t have had time to make a list so I’d just buy what looked good.

When I got home, I’d figure out what to cook based on my market bounty.

Sometimes I’d consult my cookbooks. But often I’d just make things up. I started really cooking from the heart and cooking with the seasons.

It was incredibly liberating.

And better yet, I was able to feed myself really delicious, healthy meals that took a fraction of the time.

I came to realize that just as we can all learn to cook with a recipe, we can also learn to cook without them.

It’s easier than you think, if you have the right guidance. I’ll be going into much more detail on how you to can become someone who cooks without recipes the week after next.

But now it’s time to talk about the biggest mistake most people make when it comes to meal planning…

What is the most common meal planning mistake?

Basically, it’s following the traditional meal planning method.

You know, deciding what to cook in advance and then building your shopping list around that plan.

This approach causes problems for many reasons:

1. Time
First, it takes a lot of time to plan in advance. Trawling through recipes and writing detailed shopping lists.

2. Lack of Freedom
Having a set list means you aren’t free to choose what looks best (or cheapest!) when you’re shopping.

3. Lack of Flexibility
They also lack the flexibility to cope with the changes that naturally come up with modern life.

How do you avoid this mistake?

You just need to learn how to ‘reverse’ the process.

It may sound scary, but in practice it’s a liberating approach to meal planning. And it’s actually much quicker and easier than traditional meal plans.

I’ll be sharing you my Easy 3-Step Framework for avoiding this meal planning mistake next week. It’s all about how you can learn to shop first and then cook based on the ingredients you have in the house.

What it would be like if you didn’t have to plan ahead?

How would it impact your time? Your health? Your waistline? Your energy levels?

Imagine coming home after a long day and cooking dinners you truly enjoy without repeating the same dishes over and over.

Imagine not buying a bunch of ingredients that ultimately go to waste because your schedule changed.

Imagine revolutionizing how you cook and growing your kitchen confidence!

If you’re an experienced cook, imagine avoiding the trap of taking on weeknight meals which are too complicated for your schedule and energy levels at the end of a long day.

Imagine being able to listen to what your body needs, rather than what your meal plan says.

Imagine not following recipes to a ‘T’ anymore – being able to substitute ingredients based on what you have.

Imagine wasting far less food.

Imagine being able to look in fridge and pull together a healthy meal with ease.

Sound too good to be true?

This isn’t a crazy dream.

Next week I’ll show you how to turn these dreams into reality. I’m going to give you a clear, 3-step framework to help you stop making the biggest meal planning mistake and reverse your meal plan.

Stay tuned!

Before I go I’d like to share my vision with you…

I want to live in a world where eating healthy, home made food is the norm. Where most people are able to just walk into the kitchen and throw something delicious together.

Where cooking dinner is seen as a joy and a privilege not another chore at the end of a stressful day.

With love,
Jules x

ps. I’d love to hear from you!

How would your life change if you were able to reverse YOUR meal plan? Let me know in the comments below.

Share
{ 12 comments }

lemon tahini sauce

A few weeks back, I was talking with the group I’m coaching and the topic turned to sauce.

Specifically, how a good sauce can really make all the difference to your cooking.

In fact, I’d be willing to go as so far as to say that after learning to season properly, having a few super tasty sauces in your repertoire is the easiest way to take you cooking from ‘OK’ to ‘ah-maz-ing’.

I’m serious.

So today I’m going to share my 10 favourite ‘secret weapon’ sauces that really make a difference to my cooking.

Enjoy!

10 ‘Secret Weapon’ Sauces to Lift Your Cooking Game

1. Roast Cauliflower Hummus
There are few things more versatile, delicious or healthy than this Middle Eastern-inspired sauce. I’m currently in love with this Roast Cauliflower adaptation but if you’re a purist you can’t go wrong with a good classic chickpea based hummus which is quicker and easier to make.

2. Home Made Mayonnaise
After mastering the art of making mayonnaise in the food processor, without it splitting, mayo consumption has definitely increased in my house. I use it on an almost daily basis with poached eggs, to add substance to a lunch time salad or as a sauce for meat or fish. Dangerously addictive.

3. Cashew Nut Sauce
Inspired by the Turkish sauce, ‘tarator’. Similar to hummus but a little more complex with the lovely nutty flavour. Traditionally served with fish but lovely anywhere you need a creamy, nutty sauce with a bit of a kick. I often make it with other nuts as well. If I’m feeling flush I’ll use pine nuts but it’s also wonderful with roasted hazelnuts or almonds.

4. Marco’s Chilli Oil
I pretty much always have a bottle of chilli oil in the pantry. Great for adding instant heat to dishes in need of a little help, or when you’ve purposely left the chilli out to please tiny-people taste buds. It’s also a wonderful sauce in its own right to serve with chicken, pan fried halloumi, drizzled over soups or even a simple pasta with fresh rocket (arugula). My Irishman love it with his morning eggs and avocado.

5. Tahini Yoghurt Sauce.
If I don’t have time to make hummus or roast cauliflower hummus mentioned above, then I whip up a bowl of this dream. Basically just combine equal parts Greek or home made yoghurt with tahini. Season with salt and a splash of lemon. Sometimes I add finely smashed garlic but if I’m really short on time, I don’t bother. Use it any where you’d normally use hummus. Especially good as a sauce for fish.

I’m also currently in love with this slightly more complex Tahini Miso Turmeric sauce but it requires blending so I only make a batch when I have more time.

6. Yoghurt Sauce
When I’m really pushed for time, this sauce is a savour. Basically take some good quality full fat yoghurt or Greek yoghurt and season generously with salt and pepper. And your sauce is ready. If you want to fancy it up you can stir in chopped herbs, grated cucumber or zucchini or a little garlic.

But really the ‘plain Jane’ version is always a winner. If I’m in the mood for something a little richer I mix equal parts yoghurt and mayonnaise. So good!

7. Sicilian Nut Pesto
A wonderful dairy-free pesto that’s my go-to when I’m lucky enough to have masses of fresh basil in the garden. Every year before the first frosts I make a gigantic batch of this pesto and freeze it in ziplock bags to dip into during the dark Winter months. Wonderful drizzled on soups, tossed through roast veg or cooked pasta (or both), to make green eggs or slathered on some Broccoli Bread Toast.

8. Ginger Spring Onion Sauce
A Chinese classic that’s fabulous with chicken. I had forgotten about this punchy fresh sauce until I was doing some research for this post. Thank heavens I have a blog to remind me of my past favourites!

9. Beetroot ‘Pesto’
I just LOVE this sauce especially in the Winter when fresh basil is hard to come by but beets are abundant. Although if you’re a purist about these matters, you’d best skip on to the next sauce. Basically the idea is to replace the fresh basil leaves in pesto with cooked beetroot. Just heavenly. Would win the award for the ‘prettiest sauce’.

10. Miso Harissa Ketchup
A combination of classic ingredients from two very different cuisines – Japanese and Moroccan. Normally I’m not a fan of ‘fusion’ cooking but I make an exception for this richly complex sauce. Since being Low Carb this Miso Harissa Ketchup is now my go-to when I want a healthier (and way more tasty!) take on ketchup. It’s also amazing toss on roast veggies, especially roast cauliflower.

What about you?

Are you a sauce convert? Say YES or NO in the comments below…

With love,
Jules x

Share
{ 7 comments }

Can’t see the quick poll? Click here.

Thank you!
Jules

Share
{ 2 comments }
[data-image-id='gourmet_bg']
[data-image-id='gourmet_bg']
[data-image-id='gourmet_bg']
[data-image-id='gourmet_bg']
[data-image-id='gourmet_bg']
[data-image-id='gourmet_bg']
[data-image-id='gourmet']
[data-image-id='gourmet']
[data-image-id='gourmet']
[data-image-id='gourmet']
[data-image-id='gourmet']
[data-image-id='gourmet']
[data-image-id='gourmet']
[data-image-id='gourmet']
[data-image-id='gourmet']
[data-image-id='gourmet']