6 simple, tasty recipes to cook in lockdown

No need for complicated ingredients or masses of washing up with these dishes from some of our leading cookbook authors.

Close up of person's hands cutting a red onion, with carrots and tomatoes in a pile out of focus in the foreground.
Image: iStock

“What shall I have for dinner tonight?” “Can I face another sandwich for dinner?” “How much washing up will I have to do if I make something complicated?”

Those questions have probably been asked by many people this year, as the pandemic has forced everyone to cook at home more than ever. And while it’s been fun creating culinary masterpieces, by this stage you may be feeling a little short of inspiration.

These six recipes are all full of flavour, they use mainly ingredients you’ll already have in your kitchen, and they’re simple.

For more inspiration, head over to our partner site The Happy Foodie.

One-tin Korean-style aubergines with spring onions and sesame rice

#Tinlads everywhere know that Rukmini Iyer’s recipes are simple, tasty and require minimal washing up, all the things we need at this stage of the pandemic. This aubergine-based recipe, from Iyer’s latest book The Roasting Tin Around the World, involves plenty of store cupboard ingredients. And if you don’t have Korean red pepper flakes in your pantry, Iyer promises you’ll use them on everything going forward, so they’re a great small addition that will make a big flavour change to your food.

Jamie Oliver’s easy salmon en croute with tasty spinach, baked red pesto sauce and lemon

Salmon en croute just sounds so sophisticated, but you don’t need to Michelin-starred to create this simple version from Jamie Oliver’s 7 Ways. With the addition of red pesto, this dish is fulfilling and looks like it takes much more time and effort to create than it does.

Yotam Ottolenghi’s chaat masala potatoes with yoghurt and tamarind

Inspired by aloo chaat, a popular Indian street food snack, this version by Yotam Ottolenghi and Ixta Belfrage, from their book Ottolenghi Flavour, will get your tastebuds buzzing. Its list of ingredients may look intimidating, but rest assured, it’s straightforward to put together, and will give you the hit of comfort carbs you need, just in a whole new way. 

Nigella Lawson’s wide noodles with lamb shank in aromatic broth

Wide noodles and lamb shank may sound like the basis of something quite complicated, but in her book new Cook, Eat, Repeat, Nigella Lawson calls it “almost ridiculously easy to make”. This is bowl food at its best: full of comfort and warmth in all senses. And really, would Lawson ever steer you wrong?

Meera Sodha’s roasted carrot and cabbage with gochujang

This is a side dish, but Meera Sodha knows that sometimes you just need a small change to make a difference to a meal you cook regularly, like a roast dinner. If you’ve not come across gochujang before, it’s a Korean chilli paste. And you’ll use it often once you begin: it’s also an ingredient in Lawson’s wide noodle with lamb shank, so that’s two dishes right there.

Nadiya Hussain’s easy, aromatic samosas

Making excellent samosas can be a very involved process, but Nadiya Hussain has you covered with this version that uses tortilla wraps in place of the traditional pastry. This recipe makes 16 samosas, so depending how many people there are in your household (and how good your willpower begins), you could freeze a few for a later date. 

For more recipe suggestions and cookbook news, visit The Happy Foodie.

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