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…

Best work-from-home lunches

Are you always resorting to dry toast for lunch when you work from home? Or a bit of cheese from the back of the fridge? You’re not alone. A lot of freelancers or people who work from home find it hard to prioritize cooking when there’s work to be done. But, all is not lost….

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’s 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, significantly more…

Spaghetti Frittata

This is a meal using 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 thanks to…

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 3 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 – contains 3 of your 5…

Tuna pizza bagel

Everybody loves pizza, and this is like normal pizza but even easier and quicker – perfect for a super swift lunch. 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 – 1 of your 5 a day…

Slow cooker chicken cacciatore with orzo

This is an easy, but indulgent, one-pot slow cooker meal. 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 4-6…

Paneer naan pizza

This is a super quick recipe, but if you want to give the paneer a bigger hit of flavour you could always leave it marinading for a couple of hours or even over night. Make in 15 minutes – Serves 1 – 2 of your 5 a day – Vegetarian Ingredients 50g paneer cheese, chopped…

Tortellini, pesto and asparagus soup

If you’re always buying fresh tortellini from the shop, but don’t know what the heck to do with it – then this recipe is for you. Just pop it in a really easy soup! No chopping required. Make in 5 minutes – Serves 1 – 2 of your 5 a day – vegetarian Ingredients 200ml…

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…

Oven-baked vegetable fajitas

This is a firm favourite in my house – it’s the go-to easy meal, which is probably dished up once a week. It’s by no means an authentic Mexican recipe. I’ve massively simplified it over the years, down to the very basics. So there are no blending of multiple spices to get just the right…

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

Not only is this 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 too. Make in 10 minutes Serves 1 2 of your 5 a…

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 super quick, healthy alternative my old go-to meal of pasta, cheese and peas. It’s easy to make and includes three portions of veg for the day and one portion of oily fish. Make in 5 minutes Serves 1 3 of your 5 a…

Sausage cassoulet

This is a simple version of the great classic from south-west France. It’s quite an indulgence and a small portion provides an amazing amount of fuel. It’s perfect for filling up the freezer – especially as the oven does most of the work for you. Make in 3 hours 30 minutes (30 minutes prep, 3…

Chicken noodle soup

This is my fresh version of the classic Heinz chicken noodle soup, and it’s nearly as quick! Make in less than 10 minutes Serves 1 1 of your 5 a day Dairy free Ingredients 1 sachet of miso soup paste 300ml boiling water 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce 50g cooked chicken breast, torn into small pieces…

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…

Tom yum noodle soup

I find this such a welcome treat for a bit of time out from work – it’s swift to make but packed with flavour. Noodle soup is probably best eaten away from the computer, so take this excuse to have a break from the screen and savour some amazing Thai flavours in just 15 minutes….

Butternut squash dhal

An easy curry to make in a big batch – and tasty too. The butternut squash gives this dhal a sweet kick and is perfect for adding another vegetable to your daily intake. Both spicy and filling, this is a great meal to warm you up and boost your energy when you most need it…

Pancetta, mushroom and spinach frittata

If eggs aren’t one of your go-to ingredients for a quick lunch or brunch, they really should be. This frittata is healthy, super quick to make, and can be eaten hot or cold. It’s just perfect for fitting in around your work demands. Make in 10 minutes Serves 1 1 of your 5 a day…