The secret to cooking without ‘recipes’ – Stonesoup

How to cook without recipes

Video How to cook without recipes
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Like most people, when I was learning to cook I was a slave to recipes. While it was a good way to start learning different techniques and ingredients, it had some frustrating limitations.

What happens when you can’t buy a particular ingredient? And what do you do with that leftover half bunch of herbs? Or jar of sauce?

Or worse, what do you do when you need to cook something but don’t have the luxury of having time to pour recipes and go shopping for exotic ingredients?

Over the years, with a lot of trial and error, I began to learn to cook more instinctively, on my own.

No prescriptions from other people.

In my head, without really being aware of what I was doing, I started thinking about recipes in general terms rather than specific ingredients.

From there, I developed a collection of starting points or ‘template recipes‘. So every time I walked into the kitchen and looked inside the fridge to figure out what to cook, I had an advantage.

He knew what had worked before to make that soup or stir-fry and could use that knowledge as a springboard for a new dish or meal


Why try ‘template recipes’?

Template recipes provide a springboard or “workout wheels” to help you take the first steps to break free from recipes


They are designed to give you some support and structure, while providing plenty of ideas to get you started.

At the same time, they are there to encourage you to think for yourself. To try new things. Experiment and develop your own recipes and style.

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Would you like to see an example?

I’ve included a 2 Minute Meal Plan template recipe below…


ketchup ‘baked’ legumes from The 2-Minute Meal Plan


I’ve never been a fan of baked beans from a can. These ketchup beans are another story. The onion, paprika, and ketchup combine to make a dish you’d swear you’d been “baking” for hours.

per person 1 tablespoon butter, optional 1/2

aromatic vegetable, 1/2 can legumes, drained 2 tablespoons ketchup (or ‘tomato sauce’ for Australians!) 1 teaspoon spice, optional 1

. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the butter and aromatic vegetables and cook for 5-10 minutes until the vegetables are soft and lightly browned.

2. Add legumes, ketchup and spices.

3. Stir and simmer for a couple of minutes to make sure everything is warm. Flavor and season.

VARIATIONSbutter alternative – any oil with which it is normally cooked.

Aromatic vegetables: Onions are my favorite, but celery or carrots would be good instead.

Legumes – I’ve used cannellini beans in the photo, but any canned or cooked legumes will work. Try butter beans, borlotti beans, black beans, chickpeas or lentils.

No ketchup? – I really recommend getting a small bottle to try with this dish. I’m not really a big fan of ketchup, but I love these legumes. Otherwise, try tomato paste and a large pinch or three of brown sugar. A good BBQ sauce will also work.

Spice – smoked paprika of first choice. Next option is another paprika, dried chili (you may want to reduce the amount if it is very hot). Coriander or cumin seed would be interesting. And curry powder would work if you’re in the mood for a curry.

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More protein – Preheat oven to 180C (350F) while onion cooks. When the legumes are ready, make a small pit in the middle and crack and egg in it. Bake for about 10 minutes or until the egg whites are set and the yolks still liquid.



Wondering if the template recipes in the 2-Minute Meal Plan will work

for you?

It’s not for everyone…

If you’re happy with your current meal planning system, then it probably won’t add much value. Unless you want to learn how to cook more freely and creatively.

But if planning your meals each week causes you trouble, then chances are the 2-minute meal plan system will help.

Just like it has already helped these readers…

Amy, 2-minute meal planner “I just bought the eBook and I’m only on page 57 of the first part, but I can already say I LOVE IT. I was so excited when you announced this a few days ago, and I knew it would be just what I needed. And it is!!!! I’m really excited to start implementing the things I’m learning and to gobble up the rest of the books.

A million thanks for this ebook, it’s absolutely brilliant. I can’t really remember the last time I was so excited about a purchase. I think I will also have a much happier husband thanks to this book 🙂

” Cat, 2 minute meal planner “I really like the recipe templates and formula to find out how much product and protein to get for each person. I also love the tips and suggestions for solving problems for vegans.”

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Kate, 2-minute meal planner. “The whole system was very helpful to me. I learned how to plan meals better for a week and, on top of that, improvise with ingredients. Preparing food ceased to be a stressor and became a joy!

2MMP Video 3D Cover

To pick up your copy today, go

Greetings Jules x

ps. A big THANK YOU to all the early risers who have already purchased the 2 minute meal plan. I’m very excited about the response. I really appreciate you supporting Stonesoup!

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