Easy Meals: Over 180 Delicious Recipes to get you Through your Busy Life by Rachel Allen, EPUB, 000730904X

May 7, 2017


Easy Meals: Over 180 Delicious Recipes to get you Through your Busy Life by Rachel Allen

  • Print Length: 352 Pages
  • Publisher: Collins
  • Publication Date: September 1, 2011
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005IH02NU
  • ISBN-10: 000730904X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007309047
  • File Format: EPUB





Title Page


Store Cupboard

Hearty lentil and onion soup

Artichoke salad

Haricot bean and tuna salad

Perfect mushrooms on toast

Spiced baked eggs

Spiced beans and corn salsa toppings for baked potatoes

Thai chickpea and mushroom curry

Tarka dahl

Poached eggs with bacon lentils

Instant dips

Huevos rancheros

Smoked salmon and chive fish cakes

Spaghetti with anchovies, garlic and chilli

Fusilli with tuna, capers and cream

Tinned-tomato pasta

Tagliatelle with bacon, peas and mint

Chicken and bacon pilaf

Bacon and potato gratin

Baked mushroom risotto

Tomato and rosemary risotto with meatballs

Spiced lamb pittas

Lamb meatballs

Chocolate, toffee and peanut squares

Easy lemon cake

Orange torte

Orange and almond cake

Gluten-free chocolate and orange polenta cake

Chocolate mousse

Oreo chocolate fudge sundae

Toffee peanut sundae

Chocolate marshmallow biscuit cake

Fruit sundae with strawberry coulis

Raspberry coconut pudding

Coconut and cardamom pannacotta

Vanilla buttercream squares

Ginger squares with lime frosting

Fast and Fabulous

Parsnip soup with porcini oil

Speedy chicken noodle soup

Five-minute pea soup

Chickpea and aubergine salad


Spicy prawns with feta and watermelon

Roasted vegetable couscous

Zac’s omelette wraps

Zac’s omelette wraps (cont.)

Mushroom and Gruyère tart

Tomato and goat’s cheese tart


Piadine (cont.)


Fusilli with courgettes and lemon

Spiced prawns, tomatoes and chickpeas

Quick prawn korma

Battered prawn stir-fry

Thai mussels

Scallops mornay

Thai steamed fish

Chicken stir-fry

Chicken paillard with creamy cucumber and courgettes

Chicken skewers with carrot and apple salad

Pan-fried chicken with mango salsa

Chicken noodle stir-fry

Pan-fried duck breasts with redcurrant jelly sauce

Lamb chops with parsley and mint sauce

Pork stir-fry

Pork chops with sage and apple

Garam masala pork with yoghurt

Maple black pepper pork chops

Seared beef salad

Stir-fried steak with kale

Spiced apples and pears

Baked peaches with honey and pecans

Coconut macaroon meringue

Banoffee pancakes

Quick blueberry trifles

Chocolate mascarpone mousse

Baked white chocolate vanilla custards

Quick fruit brûlée

Five Ingredients or Less

Sweet potato and Gruyère tortilla

Penne with smoked trout

Conchiglie with spinach, blue cheese and pine nuts

Penne with broad beans and asparagus

Fusilli with fried onions and olives

Fish baked with potatoes

Fish en papillote, three ways

Fish en papillote

Mackerel with chorizo

Fennel baked fish

Spicy squid salad

Salmon with capers and dill

Spanish mussels

Very fast red prawn curry

Yoghurt masala fish

Sesame-crusted chicken

Chicken livers with onions

Chicken, parsnip and potato bake

Tarragon chicken

Spiced fried chicken

Rack of lamb

Sumac lamb chops

Honey mustard pork chops

Fried potatoes with cabbage and chorizo

Flavoured butters for steak

Apple fool

Hot buttered plum pudding

Lemon posset

Cardamom and orange semifreddo

Yoghurt, apricot and pistachio pots

Chocolate zabaglione

Rhubarb and ginger meringues

Chocolate mousse cake

Strawberry and nectarine tart

Pear and cinnamon tart

Chocolate and banana tart

One Pot


Carrot, ginger and coconut soup

Red lentil soup

Cauliflower soup

Smoked sausage, bean and root vegetable soup

Asparagus and goat’s cheese risotto

Kale and bean stew

Mediterranean pasta

Fish stew

Fish chowder

Easy paella

Spring vegetable roast chicken

Chicken open-pot roast

Chicken and chorizo with rice

Chicken and couscous tagine

Chicken biryani

Pot-roast duck legs with onions and root vegetables

Lamb and chickpea tagine

Leg of lamb with roasted vegetables

Lamb shanks with potatoes and pearl barley

Lamb and sweet potato curry

Slow-roast shoulder of pork

Spanish pork stew

Sausage and lentil stew

Provençal beef stew

Beef pie

Beef and red wine hot pot

Caramel rice pudding

Cinnamon baked apples

Spiced plums in red wine

Pear, almond and chocolate crumble

Chocolate croissant bread and butter pudding

No Cook

Beetroot gazpacho

White gazpacho

Fennel and pink grapefruit with feta

Fennel and mango salad

Parma ham and nectarine salad

Pear and blue cheese salad

Mashed chickpeas on toast

Artichoke purée on toast

Chicken with basil mayonnaise on toast

Mixed root remoulade with ham

Thai crab toast

Spiced chicken open sandwich


Smoked salmon and avocado on rye toast

Japanese-style salmon tartare

Smoked mackerel, apple and fennel salad

Sardines on toast with basil and rocket

Oranges with honey, pistachios and mint

Quick banana ice cream

Little banoffee pots

Amaretto tiramisu

St Clement’s syllabub

Melon with vodka, orange and mint

Strawberries with amaretti


Fuss-free Extras and Sides

Roasted sweet potatoes

Roasted new potatoes

Perfect mashed potatoes

Sautéed potatoes

New potato salad

Paprika potato wedges

Fried kale

Root vegetable mash

Red cabbage coleslaw

Buttered cabbage

Roasted cauliflower with gremolata

Green beans with anchovies and toasted almonds

Sautéed courgettes

Broccoli and oyster sauce

Sticky roast carrots in maple syrup

Two ways with lentils

Plain boiled rice

Brown pilaf rice


Brown scones with treacle and sesame seeds

Poppy seed scones

Quick red pepper and pesto focaccia

Shortbread biscuits




About the Publisher



© Heather Favell





It seems like we all lead such hectic lifestyles these days. Even though I love to cook, often I just don’t have the time to make complicated food. I’d love to spend six hours cooking an elaborate meal, but sometimes it just isn’t realistic. I think that’s true for a lot of people. Our lives are so busy now it can be difficult to set aside time to cook. That said, I don’t think it’s always the case that the more time you take over a meal the better it is. Truly great food can often be made in minutes and only using four or five ingredients.

It’s not just time though; I often want fuss-free food for other reasons. Some days, for instance, I might cook a one-pot dish that bubbles away in the oven as I get on with other things. The other advantage of one-pot cooking is that with everything ready at the same time I don’t have to coordinate various different side dishes. There are other times when I can’t get to the shops so I need to make something using only ingredients that I already have at home. It is always so satisfying to be able to make good food using only things I can find in my cupboards, fridge or freezer, which means being able to use specific ingredients cleverly as well as knowing what things it’s worth stocking up on.

This book is about times like these, when you want to cook a great meal but don’t want lots of complex steps either in the preparation or in the actual cooking. That’s why you’ll find a chapter with recipes that use only five ingredients or fewer. I’ve also included a whole chapter for when you don’t feel like turning on the oven at all. The recipes are unapologetically simple and straightforward – most are very quick from start to finish – yet they never compromise on flavour. A hectic lifestyle doesn’t have to mean reaching for a sugary snack or ordering a takeaway. It’s perfectly possible to cook wholesome food without too much time or fuss. This book shows you how to do just that – make food that is quick and simple yet always delicious.



PS. The oven temperatures in this book are for a conventional oven, but if I am using a fan oven then I usually reduce the temperature by 10 per cent.



Store Cupboard


We all have times when we need to create a meal using only what we have in the cupboard, fridge or freezer. To prepare for those times when you can’t get to the shops, it’s worth stocking up on basic ingredients with a long shelf-life. Tinned tomatoes and beans as well as dried pulses and pasta are perfect for such occasions. The recipes in this chapter also include meats such as bacon and leftover roast chicken, which I often have in my fridge. My freezer is usually full of things such as minced lamb or beef and, of course, peas. I sometimes keep a few long-life and versatile luxury foods too, such as dried porcini mushrooms or artichoke hearts preserved in oil.

It’s not just savoury dishes that you can make with what you have on your shelves. Dry ingredients such as nuts, dried fruit and chocolate – both powdered and solid – make the store cupboard a treasure trove for baking and desserts.



Hearty lentil and onion soup


This is a rustic take on classic French onion soup. The lentils make it substantial and nutritious as well as bringing their own unique earthy flavour. The croutons are the perfect finishing touch, though you can make the soup without them if you prefer.

Serves 4 (v, if using vegetable stock)


10 minutes


1 hour


4 tbsp olive oil

6 onions (about 900g/2lb in total), peeled and finely sliced

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

150g (5oz) Puy lentils

3 tsp finely chopped rosemary leaves

1 litre (1¾ pints) chicken or vegetable stock


For the Gruyère croutons

4 slices of white bread

75g–100g (3–3½oz) Gruyère cheese, grated


* Pour the olive oil into a large saucepan on a medium heat and, when nearly hot, add the onions. Season with salt and pepper and cook, uncovered, for 25–30 minutes, stirring regularly and scraping the bottom of the pan to dislodge the caramelised pieces and mix them in, until the onions are a deep golden brown.

* Add the lentils, rosemary and stock. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat, cover with a lid and simmer for about 25 minutes or until the lentils are tender.

* Shortly before the soup is ready, preheat the grill to high to make the croutons (if using).

* Toast the bread on both sides, then cover each slice with a thick layer of grated cheese. Place back under the grill and toast until bubbling and melted.

* Season the finished soup with salt and pepper to taste and divide between bowls to serve. Place a whole crouton on top of each bowl of soup and add a grinding of black pepper. (If the slices of bread are too large, you may want to cut them into squares before serving.)


Rachel’s tip

I always like to cook using extra virgin olive oil as I think it provides a divine depth of flavour. Throughout these recipes I’ve just called for olive oil but I recommend using extra virgin if you can, especially when used in a dressing.



Artichoke salad



Artichoke hearts in a tin or jar are one of the more luxurious preserved foods. Combined with semi-sun-dried tomatoes and preserved roasted red peppers, this is a really wonderful dish.


Serves 4


5 minutes



125g (4½oz) preserved artichoke hearts (from a jar or tin), cut into bite-sized pieces

75g (3oz) preserved roasted red peppers (from a jar or tin), cut into 2cm (¾in) dice

50g (2oz) semi-sun-dried tomatoes, roughly chopped

½ red onion, peeled and finely chopped

3 tbsp olive oil

2 tsp red wine vinegar

2 tsp pesto

Salt and freshly ground black pepper



* Simply mix everything together in a big bowl, season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.



Haricot bean and tuna salad



The intense flavours of sun-dried tomatoes and pesto can transform a tin of tuna into something really special. You can make this 2–3 hours ahead – store in the fridge until ready to serve.


Serves 4–6


5 minutes



4 tbsp chopped sun-dried tomatoes

2 x 400g tins of haricot beans, drained and rinsed

4 small spring onions, trimmed and sliced at an angle

120ml (4½fl oz) olive oil

2 tbsp red wine vinegar

2 tbsp pesto

2 x 185g tins of tuna, drained and broken into chunks

Salt and freshly ground black pepper



* In a bowl, mix together all the ingredients apart from the tuna, then carefully stir in the tuna, keeping it in chunks. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.



Perfect mushrooms on toast



I generally have a few mushrooms in my fridge – they are quick to cook and this is a great way of serving them. The anchovies dissolve in the butter, imparting a lovely depth of flavour to this dish.


Serves 4


10 minutes


20 minutes



110g (4oz) butter

12 tinned anchovies, chopped

6 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced

800g (1¾lb) mushrooms, sliced

4 tsp chopped thyme leaves

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 slices of bread

25g (1oz) butter

100ml (3½fl oz) single or regular cream



* Melt the butter in a large frying pan on a medium heat and, when foaming, add the anchovies and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes or until the anchovies have disintegrated and the garlic is lightly browned.

* Add the mushrooms and thyme, season with salt and pepper and reduce the heat to medium–low. Stir well, then cook, stirring occasionally, for 10–15 minutes or until the mushrooms are soft and browned.

* Meanwhile, toast the bread and butter it, then place on plates.

* Stir the cream into the mushrooms, increasing the heat to allow it to bubble for 1–2 minutes, then taste for seasoning and serve on the buttered toast.



Spiced baked eggs


Here’s a slightly different way of serving eggs, and one that’s incredibly easy, too. As the eggs cook gently in the oven, they take on the flavour of the spices and the silkiness of the cream. They’re perfect with toast.


Serves 4 (v)


5 minutes


8–12 minutes



2 tsp ground cumin

½ tsp smoked paprika

Good pinch of cayenne pepper

4 eggs

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 tbsp single or regular cream


To serve

4 slices of bread

25g (1oz) butter


Four 100ml (3½fl oz) ramekins



* Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F), Gas mark 6.

* In a small bowl, mix together the spices. Break each egg into a separate ramekin and sprinkle half the spice mixture over each egg. Season with salt and pepper, then add a tablespoon of cream to each dish.

* Place in the oven and cook for 8–12 minutes or until the white is just set and the yolk is still ever so slightly soft.

* Just before the eggs are ready, toast the bread and butter it, then remove the eggs from the oven and serve with the buttered toast.



Baked eggs with smoked mackerel: Divide 1 fillet of flaked smoked mackerel between the ramekins before adding the eggs, then proceed as above but omitting the spices.



Spiced beans and corn salsa toppings for baked potatoes

These toppings are a fabulous way of dressing up baked potatoes.They are also great with nachos or tortilla chips.

Each recipe serves 4 (v)


10 minutes each


15 minutes for the spiced beans topping


Spiced beans topping

2 tsp each coriander and cumin seeds

2 tbsp sunflower oil

2 onions, peeled and chopped

4 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pinch of cayenne pepper

2 x 400g tins of pinto, kidney or black beans

1 x 200g tin of chopped tomatoes

1 tsp caster sugar


* Toast and grind the coriander and cumin seeds. Place the seeds in a small frying pan on a high heat and cook, tossing frequently, for about 1 minute or until they are browned. Grind them into a powder with a pestle and mortar or place them in a plastic bag and use a rolling pin to crush them, then set aside.

* Pour the sunflower oil into a large frying pan on a medium heat. When hot, add the onions and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and stir occasionally for 10 minutes or until the onions are soft and lightly browned.

* Stir in the ground spices and the cayenne pepper and cook for 1 minute. Drain and rinse the beans and then stir them in. Season with salt and pepper and use your spoon to mash a few of the beans. Next, stir in the tomatoes and the sugar, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and cook for 3 minutes or until the mixture is heated through. Taste for seasoning.

* Serve with baked potatoes and some crème fraîche or natural yoghurt, if you like.


Corn salsa topping

1 x 200g tin of sweetcorn

½ red onion, peeled and finely chopped

½ red or green chilli, deseeded and chopped

Juice of 1 lime

1 tbsp olive oil


* Drain and rinse the sweetcorn, then mix all the ingredients together and season to taste.

* Serve with baked potatoes, and some crème fraîche or natural yoghurt if you like.



Thai chickpea and mushroom curry

Green curry paste is an incredibly useful ingredient to have in your store cupboard – creating in an instant that subtle and complex balance of flavours that Thai food is all about. This delicious vegetable curry is substantial enough to serve on its own or with rice. To make it vegetarian, look for mock fish sauce, which is made from soy beans and often seaweed, or you can use soy sauce instead.

Serves 4


10 minutes


20 minutes


1 tbsp sunflower oil

250g (9oz) mushrooms, quartered

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1–2 tbsp Thai green curry paste

1 tbsp soft dark brown sugar

1 x 400ml tin of coconut milk

1 x 400g tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

150g (5oz) potatoes, peeled and cut into 2–3cm (¾–1¼in) chunks

1 tbsp fish sauce (nam pla) or soy sauce for a vegetarian alternative

Juice of ½ lime

Chopped coriander, to serve (optional)


* Pour the sunflower oil into a large saucepan on a medium–high heat and, when hot, add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook for 8–10 minutes or until the mushrooms are golden.

* Stir in the curry paste and sugar, then stir in the coconut milk. Season with salt and add the chickpeas and potatoes.

* Bring to a simmer and cook for 8–10 minutes or until the potatoes are soft, then stir in the fish sauce or soy sauce and lime juice. Serve immediately with a sprinkling of fresh coriander (if using).



Tarka dahl

Dahl is a traditional and simple Indian dish made from lentils. Red lentils are such a useful ingredient to have in your store cupboard. They are full of nutrients, easy to cook and have a glorious nutty flavour that can be enhanced by different spices.

Serves 4–6 (v)


5 minutes


15 minutes


400g (14oz) red lentils

8 slices of peeled root ginger 5mm (¼in) thick

1 bay leaf

50g (2oz) butter

10 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced

4 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp dried chilli flakes

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


* Place the lentils in a saucepan, along with the ginger, bay leaf and 1.5 litres (2½ pints) water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10–15 minutes, skimming off and discarding any foam that rises to the surface, until the lentils are soft.

* While the lentils are cooking, melt the butter in a small frying pan on a medium–high heat. When the butter starts to foam, add the garlic, cumin and chilli flakes and stir-fry for 1–2 minutes or until the garlic is lightly browned.

* Serve the cooked lentils on a bed of boiled rice with the garlic butter poured over the top and seasoned with salt and pepper.


In her new book, bestselling TV cook, Rachel Allen shares her ultimate fast and easy family recipes. You can always trust Rachel to help you get a delicious and doable dinner on the table. Whether the cupboards are bare or you just want a fabulous meal without the fuss (or the washing up) you’ll find the answers here. Any situation, any problem, these are recipes you can come back to time and time again for delicious dinner solutions. After all, making home cooking both simple and enjoyable is what Rachel does best. Easy Meals contains 180 family friendly recipes for any night of the week. And even better, as well as being mouth-wateringly delicious they are simple enough for even the most novice of cooks. This book is full of ideas and recipes that you can rely on to help you tackle the most common meal-time problems; when your fridge is empty, when you’re short on time, that use 5 ingredients or less or can be cooked in one pot, even delicious dinners you can serve up without so much as turning on the oven. Finally! A cookbook that truly understands the way your life works. Easy Meals is an essential kitchen companion.


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Thank you guys so much for this….would it be possible for collections of Donal skehan, Donna hay, Jamie Oliver,James Martin, John Whaite, Lorraine Pascale, hummingbird bakery, Nigel Slater to be available?…. Thanks again!