Four planet-friendly recipes from One Pot, Pan, Planet by Anna Jones

Bubbling filling and crisp top: Saag aloo shepherd's pie.
Bubbling filling and crisp top: Saag aloo shepherd's pie. Photo: Issy Croker/HarperCollins

Cooking in a more sustainable, planet-conscious way shouldn't be complicated, British recipe writer Anna Jones believes. 

As the working mother of a young child, she relies on affordable low-waste recipes that deliver on flavour without taking up too much time or energy.

"Limiting the pans and processes used keeps things quick and easy but still, I hope, knock-out delicious," Jones says in her new book, One Pot, Pan, Planet.

Anna Jones' new book.
Anna Jones' new book. Photo: Supplied

This collection of 200 all-in-one recipes celebrates common vegetables while drawing on the flavours and cultures that surrounded her growing up in London. 

Saag aloo shepherd's pie

This is one of those recipes that made me do a victory dance when I got it out of the oven. I could tell before I ate it from the smell and from the bubbling filling and crisp top that it was going to be everything I had wanted it to be.

INGREDIENTS

For the rajmamasala base

  • 2 tbsp ghee or coconut oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • small thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 green chilli, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 x 400g can pinto or borlotti beans
  • 400g can tomatoes

For the saag aloo top

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  • 1kg small new or red-skin potatoes, large ones cut in half
  • 500g cauliflower, broken into small florets, stalk roughly chopped
  • 50g ghee or unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 200g baby spinach, washed

METHOD

  1. Add a little oil to a large pan, add the onion and cook for 10 minutes over a medium heat until soft and sweet. Add the garlic, ginger and chilli and cook for another 5 minutes.
  2. Add the spices to the pan and stir for a couple of minutes until all smells fragrant. Next, add the canned beans and their liquid, the tomatoes and 400ml (a can 's worth) water.
  3. Simmer for 25 minutes until the tomatoes are broken down and you have a thick, flavoursome gravy.
  4. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180 fan-forced (200C conventional) and put the potatoes into a large pan (leaving enough space to add the cauliflower later). Cover with boiling water, add half a tablespoon of salt and bring to the boil. Cook for 15-20 minutes until the potatoes are almost cooked then add the cauliflower for the last 6 minutes. Drain well.
  5. Put the empty pan back on the heat, add 1 tablespoon of ghee or butter and the cumin and turmeric, cook for a minute or so then add 100ml water, the potatoes and cauliflower and half the spinach. Stir to wilt the spinach and use the back of a spoon to crush the potatoes a little.
  6. The beans should be thickened by now. Stir in the other half of the spinach then spoon into your baking dish. Top with the potato, cauliflower and spinach mixture, drizzle with oil or melted ghee and put into the oven for 30-40 minutes until the filling is bubbling and the top is brown and crunchy in places.

Serves: 6

One Pot, Pan, Planet by Anna Jones, published by HarperCollins, RRP $49.99. Photography by Issy Croker.
Saag aloo shepherd's pie; Preserved lemon and herb-baked orzo; Chocolate and almond butter swirl brownies
Photograph © Issy Croker
Single use print & online only

Most greens would work here in place of the kale. Photo: Issy Croker/HarperCollins

Quick chickpea braise with kale and harissa

This is a meal in a pan, a pan full of all the things I want to eat on a cold weeknight, and there is little more comforting than that. Most greens would work here in place of the kale. If you don't have preserved lemons, the zest of an unwaxed lemon will do fine.

INGREDIENTS

  • olive oil
  • 1 red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic  cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 big handfuls of kale (about 200g), leaves roughly chopped, stems shredded
  • 1 heaped tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 preserved lemon
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 x 400g cans chickpeas
  • a bunch of flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped

To serve

  • 4 tbsp plain yoghurt of your choice
  • 1 tbsp harissa
  • tahini, for drizzling 4 flatbreads

METHOD

  1. Put a little oil in a large frying pan, add the onion and cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes.
  2. Once the onions have had 5 minutes, add the garlic, kale stems (leaves go in later) and turmeric to the pan and cook for a couple of minutes.
  3. While that happens cut the preserved lemon in half, remove and discard the flesh, then finely chop the peel. Add this to the pan along with the tomatoes and the chickpeas, including their liquid.
  4. Cook for about 10 minutes, until the tomatoes have thickened and reduced. Add the reserved kale leaves and cook for a few minutes until wilted. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Stir in most of the parsley.
  5. Ripple the yoghurt and harissa together in a bowl and serve with the braise, a drizzle of tahini, the last of the parsley and some warm flatbreads.

Serves: 4

One Pot, Pan, Planet by Anna Jones, published by HarperCollins, RRP $49.99. Photography by Issy Croker.
Saag aloo shepherd's pie; Preserved lemon and herb-baked orzo; Chocolate and almond butter swirl brownies
Photograph © Issy Croker
Single use print & online only

Yoghurt-baked orzo. Photo: Issy Croker/HarperCollins

Preserved lemon and herb-baked orzo

I have been trying to find an authentic recipe for this since I heard about Syrian yoghurt-baked orzo from a friend. I couldn't find a recipe that sounded like the one my friend Holly described, so I made this up. I am sure it is a long way from the traditional recipe but it has all the things I want to eat with orzo. I'm still in search of the Syrian version. Please do get in touch if you have a good recipe.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 medium leeks, washed, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • juice of an unwaxed lemon
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds, roughly ground with a pestle and mortar
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 green chilli, finely chopped
  • 100g baby spinach, washed
  • 350g orzo pasta
  • 4 generous handfuls of mixed soft herbs (I like parsley, tarragon, mint and dill)
  • 400ml plain yoghurt of your choice
  • 1 organic egg, beaten, or 30g ground flaxseed
  • ½ large preserved lemon, flesh discarded and skin finely chopped
  • 1 tsp sumac

To serve

  • 4 spring onions
  • thinly sliced zest of 1 unwaxed lemon

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C fan-forced (220C conventional).
  2. In a 28cm baking dish (I use a round one), toss the leeks with the olive oil, half the lemon juice, the coriander, fennel and chilli and season well with salt and pepper. Cover tightly with foil and cook in the hot oven for 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, toss the spinach in a large mixing bowl with the orzo, half the herbs and all the remaining ingredients. Season well with salt and pepper.
  4. Remove the baking dish from the oven and stir through the yoghurt, spinach and orzo mixture. Pour over 400ml boiling water and stir again to combine. Cover the dish with foil (or a lid if it has one) and return to the oven for 25 minutes.
  5. After this time, remove the foil, squeeze over the remaining lemon juice and return to the oven for 5-7 minutes until the top is crisp and beginning to turn golden at the edges.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes before sprinkling over the remaining herbs, spring onions and lemon zest.

Serves: 6

One Pot, Pan, Planet by Anna Jones, published by HarperCollins, RRP $49.99. Photography by Issy Croker.
Saag aloo shepherd's pie; Preserved lemon and herb-baked orzo; Chocolate and almond butter swirl brownies
Photograph © Issy Croker
Single use print & online only

Make these sweet swirls vegan if you prefer. Photo: Issy Croker/HarperCollins

Chocolate and almond butter swirl brownies

Chocolate and nut butter, a flavour friendship rarely bettered. If you can't have nuts, then sunflower seed butter will work here, too. To make your own nut butter, blitz raw or roasted nuts for a minute or two until you have a coarse powder, scrape down the sides and blitz again until you have a smooth paste. If it looks dry at that point, add a little coconut or groundnut oil, and blitz again. Sweeten with a little honey, maple syrup or vanilla, if you like.

INGREDIENTS

For the chocolate batter

  • 200g dark chocolate, chopped into 5mm chunks (150g for melting, the rest for the top)
  • 100g coconut oil
  • 100g white spelt flour
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 2 organic eggs, or 8 tsp flaxseed
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or paste

For the almond butter batter

  • 75g golden caster sugar
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 organic egg, or 4 tsp flaxseed
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or paste
  • 100g smooth almond butter

METHOD

  1. Heat the oven to 160C fan-forced (180C conventional) and line a 20cm x 20cm brownie tin with baking paper.
  2. For the non-vegan brownies: For the chocolate batter, melt 150g of the chocolate (saving the rest for the top) with the oil in a small pan over a low heat. Whisk together the dry ingredients. Create a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the eggs and vanilla. Stir to combine. Pour in the melted chocolate and give the batter another stir until the chocolate is mixed through. Make the almond butter batter by whisking together the sugar, baking powder and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Add the egg and vanilla, whisk again, add the almond butter, stir until well combined and set aside. The batter will be thick.
    For the vegan brownies: Follow the steps above, replacing the eggs with the flaxseed. For the chocolate batter, mix 8 teaspoons of flaxseed with 6 tablespoons of warm water in a separate bowl. For the almond butter, mix 4 teaspoons of flaxseed with 3 tablespoons of warm water in a separate bowl. For both mixtures, leave to thicken for 15 minutes before using.
  3. Dollop alternate heaped spoonfuls of each batter into the tin. Once all the batter is in, use a butter knife to swirl it in figures of eight. Top with the remaining chocolate, pressing each piece slightly into the batter, then sprinkle with a pinch of flaky sea salt. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the brownies are just set with a little wobble and the almond butter swirls are golden. Take out of the oven and leave to cool in the tin completely before cutting.

Makes: 12

This is an edited extract from One Pot, Pan, Planet by Anna Jones, published by HarperCollins, RRP $49.99. Photography by Issy Croker. Buy now