Overnight French toast

This is a really easy, hands-off way to make French toast. The only catch – you really need to make it in advance, ideally the night before (if not an hour or so before cooking). It’s perfect for when you know you’ve got a busy work day coming up and could do with a treat…

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Baked egg & bacon bagel

I’ve coveted an egg in a bagel for quite a while now, thanks to Pinterest. I finally got round to trying one for brunch… and after a couple of attempts I succeeded. It was totally worth the wait, and so easy when you know how! I’ve given you the hands-off oven-based method here, but check…

Great desk snack ideas

How often do you find yourself reaching for the cake on a busy afternoon at your desk? If you work from home, try these healthy snacks – they are easy to make and will help you to avoid those food-related work slumps. Make them ahead and power through those deadlines! No fancy ingredients needed for…

Baked feta

This baked feta with chilli, lemon, olives and tomatoes is perfect for an easy, indulgent lunch. I tend to have it with crusty bread, but it works just as well with a green salad. I like to eat this in the garden or at a sunny window, to pretend for five minutes that I’m actually…

Mini asparagus omelettes

I love these little oven-baked omelettes, as they hardly take any preparation time at all and only require four ingredients. They are a great spring-time snack, light lunch or picnic food if you’re keen to get away from your desk for a proper break. Make in less than 20 minutes (15 minutes cooking time) Makes…

Pappardelle with spinach, olives and artichokes

This is a super simple pasta dish using lasanga sheets. Yep, you heard that right. It’s perfect for when you don’t have any ‘normal’ pasta in the cupboard. Those sheets lurking at the back are just as good and make brilliant pappardelle (broad, fat ribbons). I’ve gone with spinach, olives, artichokes and sundried tomatoes to…

Greek orzo salad

Spring is finally here, and even though I absolutely love the sunshine sometimes it’s not very compatable with working at my laptop. I often sit at my desk with the curtains drawns to keep out the glare. This lunch helps to bring some summer back into my working day, even if I can’t leave my…

Cheat’s sushi bowl

I recently discovered the delights of a sushi bowl – all the flavour and goodness of sushi but without the bother of delicately wrapping up maki… which I actually do love doing, but not in the middle of the day when I’ve got deadlines! This is my own take on a sushi bowl – no…

Spicy Spanish rice

This is one of my favourite family meals at the moment. It’s easy to make, cooks in just one pot, and is full of flavour. The kids absolutely love it – as prawns and chorizo are two of their favourite things. It takes slightly longer than I would normally spend on a weekday family dinner,…

Homemade instant noodle soup

This colourful, Pinterest-worthy lunch is much more satisfying than shop-brought instant pot noodles, as well as being better for you too. You can make it ahead of time and just pour in hot water when you’re ready to eat. Don’t worry if you don’t have a jar, it works just a well in a bowl!…

Pea and avocado spread

This super easy brunch recipe is taken from Sarah Philpott’s beautiful new book The Occasional Vegan. This pea and avocado spread, also known as God’s butter, tastes amazing! There’s a sweetness of ginger, a kick of chilli and a hint of lime. It’s a perfect treat when you’re working from home, as it’s so quick…

Ham & cheese croissant with honey and mustard glaze

This has been one of my favourite snacks recently, especially as it’s so incredibly easy to put together.  I’ve started adding a little glaze to the croissants to make them a little more special. Luckily it takes just 30 seconds to make – and it’s totally worth it! Make in less than 10 minutes Serves…

Microwave chocolate & coffee mug cake

This recipe is a really guilty pleasure. I try not to keep biscuits or cake in the house so if I fancy a treat I’m forced to go to the shops. This usually means I don’t bother, and end up eating something healthier instead. But (un)fortunately for me – and you – I’ve discovered the…

Stuffed peppers with couscous

These simple stuffed peppers are cooked in the oven, and make a perfect lunch or light dinner when working from home. You do need to cook the couscous first, but is so quick that you can let it do its thing while you’re chopping the other ingredients. Make in 35 minutes (5 minutes prep, 30…

Oven-baked veggie breakfast

Fancy a sneaky fry up when working from home, but can’t spare the time? This vegetarian version can be popped in the oven, where it’ll cook away while you answer a few emails. Not only is this much less bother (and washing up!), it’s also quite a bit healthier. It makes a perfect easy breakfast…

Roasted vegetable & falafel bake

I am a big fan of falafel, but the ready-made ones you can buy in the supermarket tend to be really dry. While I don’t have time to make my own, I’ve found a simple and delicious way to liven up shop-brought ones. It’s a really easy, hands-off recipe that you can pop in the…

Slow cooker bacon & sweetcorn chowder

This recipe is super easy – simply pop it in the slow cooker and let it cook while you work. It releases lots of lovely smells over the day… before providing you with a warming, wintery dinner. Even better, kids love it too! This isn’t quite a dump-and-go type recipe as you do need to cook…

Easy tomato spaghetti

This is by far my favourite way to eat leftover spaghetti at the moment. It’s so quick and simple – admittedly so much so that it hardly needs a recipe, but I wanted to add it to the site for inspiration. The fresh tomato and parsley give it such an amazing flavour that it’s hard…

Sweetcorn & black bean quesadilla

These quesadilla can be thrown together in just ten minutes and are packed full of veggies, using store cupboard ingredients. You can’t go wrong! Make in 10 minutes Serves 1 Vegetarian Ingredients 100g tinned black beans 80g sweetcorn 5 cherry tomatoes, sliced 40g Cheddar, grated 1 tbsp chopped coriander 2 tortilla wraps 1 tbsp oil…

Peas on toast

Yep, peas on toast. It’s just peas on some toast, but it’s so good and so easy. And using frozen peas means you don’t have to have much in the fridge for this to work. You could play around with it and add some fancy cheese (goats, feta, blue?), or a pinch of chilli, or…

Salt & pepper roasted chickpeas

I’m a bit of a crisp fiend – if there’s a packet in the house, I just can’t help myself. And that can be pretty dangerous when you work from home! So, on my quest for an alternative I’ve discovered crunchy roasted chickpeas. They are really easy to make and equally addictive – but luckily,…

Spaghetti frittata

This is a meal for using up leftover spaghetti. I’m a little bit obsessed with using leftovers at the moment, as it feels like cheating – you get a solid meal, without putting the effort in. The first couple of times I made this spaghetti frittata it felt much too heavy on the carbs. But…

Panzanella salad

This is a super quick take on an Italian classic – based on fresh tomatoes and leftover bread. You can think of it as a deconstructed tomato and mozzarella sandwich, but it tastes much better than that sounds. Try it – I’m sure it’ll soon be your go-to meal of the summer. Make in 5…

Roasted pepper & black bean nachos

This meal may well look indulgent, but it does include at least three portions of vegetables – so surely that counteracts the crisps and cheese! Either way, it makes a brilliant quick and easy meal. Make in 35 minutes (5 minutes prep time, 30 minutes oven time) Serves 1 – vegetarian – gluten-free (check the…

Tuna pizza bagel

Everybody loves pizza, and this is like normal pizza but even is easier and quicker – perfect for a super swift lunch between task. These take me back to the amazing G&Ds cafes in Oxford, who serve a brilliant variety morning, noon and night. Make in 5 minutes Serves 1 Ingredients 1 bagel 1 tbsp…

Slow cooker chicken cacciatore with orzo

This is an easy one-pot slow cooker meal that feels wonderfully indulgent. There’s no need to make anything else to go with it, as the pasta cooks right there with it. You might want to pour yourself a glass of wine though… Make in 4 hours 20 minutes (20 minutes prep, 4 hours cooking) Serves…

Paneer naan pizza

This is a super quick recipe, which is perfect at the end of a long day working from home. If you want to give the paneer an even bigger hit of flavour you could always leave it to marinate for a couple of hours or even over night. Make in 15 minutes Serves 1 –…

Tortellini, pesto and asparagus soup

This low prep, quick meal is perfect when you’re short on time. It’s ready in just five minutes, plus there’s absolutely no chopping required. Great for freelancers with deadlines to meet! Make in 5 minutes – Serves 1 – Vegetarian Ingredients 200ml vegetable stock 40g frozen peas 6 thin asparagus spears 100g fresh spinach and…

Stuffed sweet potatoes

This is a super easy lunch (or dinner) recipe –  a perfect alternative to that boring sandwich or dry toast. It requires such little effort, just pop the sweet potatoes in the oven for a bit, then add the topping before devouring swiftly. Make in 50 minutes (with a 45 minute break) – Serves 1…

Seafood and asparagus stir fry

This is a bit of a indulgent meal. It might be super quick but it’s definitely not super cheap, as it’s full of gorgeous fresh ingredients – prawns, scallops, asparagus and tenderstem broccoli. But if you’re happy to push your food budget a little, this is an amazing quick mealtime treat. The intense flavours of…

Sheet pan vegetable fajitas

This is a firm favourite in my house – it’s such a go-to easy meal, which we probably dish up once a week. It’s by no means an authentic Mexican recipe, so there are no blending of multiple spices to get just the right flavour. You just bung in one spice and you’re done. It’s…

Spaghetti Puttanesca

This is a super swift recipe – at just 15 minutes. If you’re using leftover or fresh spaghetti, you can get it down 10 minutes, including chopping! This is a perfect meal to grab if you’re short on time but are after something super tasty. The anchovies, olives and capers give this a pretty strong…

Chicken and chorizo sheet pan

This is a super easy, hands-off meal. Especially as there’s no worrying about adding herbs or spices, as all the umami flavour comes from the chorizo and chicken while it’s cooking. This recipe gives you two half an hour chunks of time to get back to work while it cooks – if you can concentrate…

Gnocchi with feta, spinach and peas

This is not only a recipe that requires absolutely no chopping at all, it also uses ingredients with a good shelf life – making it a great meal to cook when you’re low on time as well as groceries. Plus, it’s super tasty. Make in 10 minutes Serves 1 Vegetarian Ingredients 70g frozen spinach 70g…

Roasted vegetables with feta and pesto

This recipe is exactly as the title suggests – vegetables roasted in the oven with feta and pesto stirred through. It’s pretty simple to make, but feels really quite indulgent. Amazingly, the roasted cauliflower is one of the tastiest vegetables I’ve eaten. Usually I find cauliflower pretty underwhelming, but accidentally adding it to this dish…

Hot smoked salmon and bean tagliatelle

It’s taken a while, but at last I’ve come up with a healthier alternative to my old standby working-from-home meal of cheesy pasta with peas. It’s easy to make and includes three portions of veg and one portion of heart-healthy oily fish. Make in 5 minutes Serves 1 3 of your 5 a day Dairy…

Sausage cassoulet

This is a simple version of the hearty classic from south-west France. It feels like an indulgence, but it’s pretty cheap to make. Plus, a small portion provides an amazing amount of fuel for your working day. It’s perfect for filling up the freezer too – especially as the oven does most of the work…

Chicken noodle soup

This is a perfect way to use up leftover chicken – plus it’s great for warming you up, if (like me) you’re currently refusing to put the heating on while working from home! This quickly stops me shivering at my laptop. Make in less than 10 minutes Serves 1 1 of your 5 a day…

Edamame

They look pretty dull, don’t they? They are, in fact, the perfect snack – ready to eat, nutritious and (dare I say it…) delicious. Edamame beans are young soybeans and are really popular in East Asian cooking. They are rich in protein, fibre and nutrients such as maganese, phosphorus, folate and vitamin K. These beans…

Cheat’s peach melba

A super quick dessert for when you want a treat without taking too much time out. Peaches and raspberries are truly the taste of summer, so why not bring a little summer back to these autumn days. Make in 5 minutes Serves 1 1 of your 5 a day Ingredients 100g sliced tinned peaches in…

Fish pie

This is a brilliant fish pie to cook in a big batch and pop in the freezer, when you’ve got a bit of spare time. It’s one of my favourite domestic tasks – batch cooking in the kitchen, while catching up on podcasts. It’s a great use of time and you’ll thank yourself when you’re…

Roasted vegetable lasagne

Lasagne is always quite a treat, and this roasted vegetable lasagne is no exception. Fortunately, it’s fairly light, helping avoid that slump after eating. Also, the cheat white sauce of crème fraiche and parmesan means you don’t need to spend any time stirring on the hob. Make in 1 hour 30 minutes (with 2 x…

Mediterranean baked sea bass with potatoes

This is a great way to cook fish – the juices of the olives and tomatoes make a tasty sauce which the fish cooks in, giving it great flavour. And it’s not much trouble at all really – the oven does nearly all the work. Made in 40 minutes (2 x 15 minute breaks) serves…

Sweetcorn with chipotle butter

Corn on the cob is a brilliantly easy treat – and this simple chipotle butter makes it extra special. It’s a tasty way to up your vegetable intake, as sweetcorn counts as one of your five a day. It even contains two antioxidants that are good for eye health – pretty handy. Ingredients 1 corn…

Instant frozen yoghurt

This is a super quick and easy treat – and in fact, it’s not too bad for you either. The crushed amaretti biscuits on top are optional, but it’s a great excuse to buy a bag and treat yourself with your morning coffee… Ingredients 1 tbsp honey 200g plain yoghurt 250g frozen summer fruits spoonful…

Goats cheese, roasted pepper and pine nut tart

I’ve categorised this as Quick Cook recipe, however it does require 12 minutes in the oven so you could sneak back to your desk for an email or two, if you like (or you could just have a well earned rest). This recipe is super easy and requires minimal fussing. Premade puff pastry is great…

Oven-baked bacon and porcini mushroom risotto

I bet you didn’t expect to have time to make a risotto during your busy work day. It turns out that risotto doesn’t have to be labour-intensive – after a quick fry and a stir, it’s into the oven for 20 minutes, allowing you to get back to work. Even better, it’s just as creamy…

About the Freelancer’s Cookbook

While working in-house at a busy publishing company, I was always dreaming of what I could cook if I was closer to my kitchen. Maybe I’d rustle up an exotic salad for lunch or have a hearty stew bubbling away, ready in time for the end of the day. Once I decided to go freelance…

Caribbean fish stew

This is quite an intense, spicy fish dish – that’s down to the lime, coconut and chilli working together. It’s a great afternoon pick-me-up after a hard morning’s work. Plus, the white fish is a great source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids and makes up one of the recommended two portions of fish each…