'I bloody hate cooking but these 3 recipes turned it all around.'

I am so done with cooking and I have been for a while. 

It's not just the cooking

It's the deciding what to eat (not only in the moment, but for the next four meals or so, because I'm a single girlie living alone, and recipes don't generally get made for one).

It's the going to the shops to buy ingredients.

It's doing the dishes afterwards. This, I hate the most.

It wouldn't be a stretch to say I have been in a deep, dark, damp and stinky cooking rut, and it's one I've struggled to claw myself out of more months and months and, okay, probably close to a year at this point if I'm honest.

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I used to be *the* meal prep gal — every Sunday, I'd whip up batches of nutritious food, divide them into containers so I was organised for the week ahead. But somewhere along the way I gave up. (I blame the lockdowns even if they were, like, three years ago now.)


But as I was reminiscing on the good old days of... always having food at the ready a couple of months ago, I realised I needed to make one more solid attempt to fight way back to food organisation, lest I get on a nicknames basis with my local Uber Eats delivery drivers.

That's when I stumbled across an app: Back to Basics by dietitian Lyndi Cohen. And before you roll your eyes and sigh, "sponsored", NO! No, friends, this is genuine, hard-earned love right here.

I signed up for a free seven-day trial to see whether the recipes inside would live up to my Very Strict And Important Criteria:



Few ingredients.

As little washing up as possible. 

And as I scrolled, a truly ✨magical✨ thing began to unfold. Most of the recipes seemed to offer... exactly what I was looking for. (Not to mention, being created by dietitian meant they were healthy, too.)

That was two months ago, and I've been cooking EVERY SINGLE WEEK since, without fail. 

I can appreciate that this is not exciting news for many, but if you've been feeling extremely blah about mealtimes lately too, I've got you. There hasn't been a single recipe I've tried that I haven't loved, but these are three that I've been cooking on repeat. And not a one takes more than 30 minutes from prep to stuffing your face.


Brilliantly Good Beef Chilli

Prep: 5 mins | Cook: 15 mins | Serves: 8

Brilliantly Good Chilli. Image: Back To Basics/Lyndi Cohen.

Let me tell you about this chilli, which does not have to be spicyIf you don't like spice (or you're whipping up a batch for the kiddos, the recipe does make eight serves after all), you can opt for as much/little spice as you please. I chuck in a handful of chopped jalapenos, but you do you. 


It couldn't be easier to make, it's filling, packed with secret vegies (we love that). My only tip would be, if you can start cooking early, let it simmer away for at least two hours. You can totally serve up after 15 minutes, but the longer you cook it, the better the flavours will be. 

Oh, also? Cheeky tip — I like to add a tablespoon or so of molasses for an extra deep, smoky flavour. But again, so non-essential.


  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 red capsicums
  • 2 brown onions
  • 800g beef mince
  • 70g Taco spice mix
  • 800g diced tomato, tinned
  • 800g tin black beans
  • 800g lentils


1. Add minced garlic, roughly chopped onion and de-seeded and roughly chopped capsicum into a blender. Pulse until a medium chop.

2. Heat a large pot to high heat, add oil. Once hot, add the blended vegetable mix. Cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Add mince. Cook until you can't see raw (pink) bits.

3. Add spice, tomatoes, black beans and lentils. Fill an empty tin with water and add it as well. Cook for 5-10 minutes. If you can, cook it for much longer. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


The longer you cook this, the better it will get! You don't even need the mince if you're vegetarian. This recipe is high in protein and fibre enough. You can serve with fresh herbs, brown rice or enjoy on its own. 

If you don’t have Mexican/Taco spice, use paprika and chilli spice. Portuguese spice is another good replacement.


Serve with parmesan — if you have and want. 

Pregnancy: Store leftovers in the fridge in an air-tight container as soon as possible or within two hours. Eat leftover foods within 24 hours and reheat foods to 'steaming' hot. Make sure beef is fully cooked before eating. Red meat can be really helpful in pregnancy to maintain healthy iron levels.

One Pan Moroccan Chicken with Couscous

Prep: 5 mins | Cook: 25 mins | Serves: 6

One Pan Moroccan Chicken with Couscous. Image: Back To Basics/Lyndi Cohen



It makes me a big fan of one-pan dishes, and this yummy chicken dish is one of my new favourites. I tend to cook it for a bit longer than the recipe says (because my oven is a piece of s**t), so just make sure the chicken is good and cooked through before you serve up. I also like to give it a bit of a stir midway through cooking. I have no idea why. I just do it. 


  • 1 cup wholemeal couscous, raw
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • 1 red capsicum (red pepper), chopped
  • 2 zucchini (courgette), chopped
  • 400g can chickpeas, drained
  • 2 tbsp Moroccan spice
  • 500g chicken thigh fillets, cut in half
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup shaved almonds
  • 1/4 cup dates, chopped (dried is fine)
  • 150g hummus, to serve (optional)


1. Turn on oven to 180oC (356F).

2. In a large casserole dish, add the couscous. Pour the stock in and give it a quick mix.

3. Layer the zucchini, capsicum and chickpeas on top of the couscous. Sprinkle vegetables with 1 tbsp Moroccan spice.

4. Coat chicken in 1 tbsp Moroccan spice all over. Place chicken on top of the vegetables. Drizzle with oil and add salt. Add almonds and dates. Cook in the oven for 25 minutes or until chicken is cooked and browned on top, then serve.


You can get Moroccan spice from almost all major supermarkets. If not, this recipe will also work with other spice mixes e.g. Portuguese. You can easily make your own Moroccan spice mix. Mix 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp coriander (ground), 1/2 tsp cayenne, 1/2 tsp pepper. 


This recipe works well with thigh or breast! If your pieces of chicken are large, it'll need to cook for longer. I
simply cut mine if they are too big. This also helps with portion control. FYI: In the photo, it's 400g of chicken so each piece is about 50g. 

The bigger the casserole dish, the more vegetables you can add! If you can, add a sliced red onion or use a bit more zucchini or capsicum to load up on the veg. 

Chicken stock would also work well here. 

Pregnancy: Store leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container as soon as possible or within two hours. Eat leftover foods within 24 hours and reheat foods to 'steaming' hot. Make sure the meat is fully cooked and fresh.

Beef Stir-fry with Greens

Prep: 8 mins | Cook: 10 mins | Serves: 4

Beef Stir-Fry with Greens. Image: Back To Basics/Lyndi Cohen.


Two. Two. That's how many steps this recipe has – TWO. Even making TOAST has two steps, so it pretty much doesn't get any easier.

I've made this dish with beef mince and with chicken mince, and can confirm, both are delicious. I also like to pop in a good shake of dried chilli flakes for some spice. And if you're not keen on cashew nuts (or cozzie livs has you scaling back — same), I can tell you firsthand it's tasty AF without. 


  • 500g beef mince
  • 1 bunch spring onion, sliced
  • 2 bunches broccolini (or broccoli)
  • 3 zucchini, sliced
  • 500 g microwave brown rice (cooked rice)
  • 1/2 cup cashew nuts (optional)
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce, salt reduced (or tamari for GF option)


1. Heat a large wok (or frying pan) to high. Add oil. Once hot, add beef mince and white bits of the onion. Cook for 5 minutes or until cooked. Add the rest of the ingredients (except for the rice) and cook for 5 minutes.

2. Serve with green spring onion bits and cashew. Add chilli if you wish!


Chicken, turkey, pork or vegetarian mince would work perfectly well in place of beef mince. If you're vegetarian, you can also use two tins of drained lentils in place of the mince. Don't cook it for as long. Leave out the nuts to make this recipe nut-free. Use gluten-free sauce alternatives such as tamari or gluten-free soy sauce if you can't eat gluten. 


If you're cooking for little ones, you can dish up for them before adding the sauce. Then they can add how much they want and it'll be lower in sodium. 

This recipe won't be it's best after being frozen. Aim to eat it fresh or for leftovers the next day. 

Don't love fish sauce? Just swap it for soy sauce. Of course, you can use a whole range of different vegetables instead of the suggested ones in this recipe. 

Pregnancy: Store leftovers in the fridge in an air-tight container as soon as possible or within two hours. Eat leftover foods within 24 hours and reheat foods to ‘steaming’ hot. Make sure meat is properly cooked before eating.

Find out more about Lyndi Cohen's Back To Basics app here. You can also follow Lyndi on Instagram.

Alix Nicholson is Mamamia's Weekend Editor, for more of her thoughts and feelings about washing dishes and... other things, follow her on Instagram

Image: Supplied.

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