Too often we hear that the art of cooking has been killed by fast food and convenience meals. Who needs a kitchen when the Asian place around the corner serves the best food, anyway?

But with these easy one-pot meals, you’ll not only be able to impress dinner guests with your culinary talents, you’ll also keep the dishes to an absolute minimum.

1. Thai veg and coconut broth

You’ll need:

• 175g medium egg noodles
• Two carrots, cut into matchsticks
• Half a head of Chinese cabbage
• 150g beansprouts
• 6 halved cherry tomatoes
• The juice of one lime
• Three halved spring onions, thinly sliced in the length
• One handful of roughly chopped coriander
• Two teaspoons of brown sugar
• One can of low-fat coconut milk
• One liter of vegetable stock
• One teaspoon of vegetable oil
• 1 ½ tablespoons of Thai red curry paste

What to do:

1. Fry the curry paste and oil in a large saucepan or wok and simmer for approximately one minute until fragrant.
2. Add the vegetable stock, coconut milk and brown sugar and let the mixture simmer for three minutes.
3. Add the carrots, Chinese cabbage and noodles and simmer for a further four to six minutes until everything is tender.
4. Mix in tomatoes and beansprouts and add the lime juice to the mixture. Season to taste. Sprinkle with spring onion and coriander and serve.

2. Sausage and lentil one pot

You’ll need:

• 400g sausages of your choice
• 250g lentils
• 150ml vegetable stock
• 125ml red wine or extra stock
• One tablespoon of olive oil
• One finely chopped onion
• One crushed clove of garlic
• One sliced red pepper

What to do:

• Heat oil in a pan, cook the sausages until browned and remove them.
• In the same pan, add onion, garlic, pepper and remaining oil. Cook until softened.
• Add sausages and lentils to the pan with the stock and wine. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes until lentils have softened and sausages are cooked through.
• Serve with bread of your choice. See our no-knead bread recipe here.

3. One-pot fish with tomato and black olives

You’ll need:

Four boneless fish fillets of your choice, such as hake or haddock
One can of chopped tomatoes
One large onion, roughly chopped
175g black olives, stones removed
One tablespoon of olive oil

What to do:

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
2. Heat the olive oil in an ovenproof pan.
3. Add the onion, stir, cook for two minutes and stir again. Add the tomatoes and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to the boil and add the olives.
4. Put the fish into the sauce, skin side down and drizzle with a little olive oil.
5. Bake, uncovered, for about 15 minutes or until the fish is cooked. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve with lemon wedges for squeezing over.

4. Beef and onion stew

You’ll need:

• ½ cup of chicken stock
• ½ bottle of dry red wine
• ½ tablespoon of olive oil
• ½ teaspoon of black pepper
• ½ tablespoon of salt
• 500g of precut stew meat
• 3 brown or white onions
• 4 sprigs of fresh thyme – (Learn about starting your own herb garden here.)

What to do:

1. Preheat the oven to 150°C.
2. Season the meat with the salt and pepper.
3. Heat the oil in an ovenproof pot.
4. Add the meat, brown on all sides and transfer to a plate.
5. Set aside one tablespoon of the drippings and discard the rest.
6. Add the wine to this and cook for three minutes, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot.
7. Return the meat to the pot with the onions and chicken stock and bring to a boil.
8. Skim off any foam that might have formed and add the thyme.
9. Cover and put the pot in the oven to cook until the beef is tender.

About The Author

Angie Gallagher

Angie Gallagher is a freelance writer in the Upper Karoo. Aside from writing content for Counting Coins, Angie has tried her hand at a few juvenile attempts at poetry filled with storms and stress, and a marginally successful radio station, Radio Grootoor, recorded on cassette tapes when she was ten.

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