Summertime and living should be easy. And one-pan meals are a key factor. Whole meals from the electric frypan, the wok and saucepan take the stress out of cooking as well as reducing the washing up.
Electric frypans are often overlooked as an economical and convenient method of cooking. The non-stick coating makes them excellent for one-pan meals and oriental stir-fries, especially when rice is used. And the cost of cooking a roast and vegetables in a frypan is about half the price of cooking one in a conventional oven.
Wok stir-fries are popular any time of the year but summer is the time to make the most of seasonal vegetables. The veg can be balanced by reheating express or 90-second microwave rices that are readily available now in interesting flavours such as lime and coriander, and coconut, chilli and lemongrass.
Pasta can be cooked in the same pan as the vegetables. Place 150 grams of fettuccine or linguine in a large frying pan with two cups of halved tomatoes, three chopped spring onions, crushed garlic, one cup of peas, basil leaves plus about 4 cups of water. Bring to the boil and cook until the pasta is al dente and the water almost evaporated. Turn the pasta often using tongs.
This one-pan meal cooked in a wok needs some carbohydrate to balance it. Frozen naan bread can be warmed in the microwave as can a packet of 90-second rice. Get the recipe
This is one easy lasagne to prepare. Get the recipe
One-pot mac 'n' cheese
1½-2 cups dry macaroni
1 cup each: frozen peas, corn kernels
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1½ cups milk
1 Tbsp each: flour, wholegrain mustard or similar
Pinch each: chilli flakes, salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 cups grated tasty cheese
- Bring a large saucepan (10 cups) of water to the boil. Slowly stir in the macaroni so the water doesn't go off the boil. Cook until just tender, about 12 minutes.
- Add the peas and corn and simmer for 2 minutes.
- Meanwhile, whisk the egg, milk, flour, mustard, chilli flakes and salt and pepper in a bowl.
- Drain the pasta and vegetables through a sieve or colander. Place the egg mixture in the empty saucepan. Whisk over low heat, until thickened. Stir in the cheese, until melted. Return the pasta and vegetables to the saucepan and heat through.
- Great served garnished with shaved parmesan and chopped parsley. Serves 4