Friends Who Do #SmartCooking

Exercising is easier, more enjoyable and far more sustainable when you have a training buddy. Any fitness fanatic will tell you that. So having Mel and Angela being huge fans of the ‘one pot dinner club’ has made the first week of my energy diet properly convivial. It’s great to know I have friends out there who are already successfully implementing a simpler, better lifestyle.

Angela was so enthusiastic about this and so we got talking all about the tips and tricks to save time and energy in the kitchen. One of the BIGGEST advantages for me is the dish washing. I HATE washing dishes. Can’t stand it. But prepping all my dinners as one-pot meals means – ta-dah! – I don’t have to scrape and wash four or five pots, pans and lids every night. It’s just one!

Another top-notch time and energy saver is to cook enough food in your one-pot meal to have enough to freeze for lunch at work the next day, and even dinner, too. (I’m failing a bit on this last point, because the food I’m making is so properly yum that saving any for the next day is too much to ask of a man who loves food like I do!)

I asked Angela to share some of her favourite recipes, to help me further cement my energy diet – here’s one that you can try and it makes enough for four large portions. It’s a vegetarian dish, but you can add bacon and remember to adjust your cooking time by around 20 minutes if you do.

Angela’s Easy Beansy One-Pot Spinach and Tomato Sauce Angela's Easy Beansy One Pot Winner!

What do you need?

  • One Biggish Pot (big enough to fit all the ingredients, but not “witches’ brew” size)
  • 500g Spinach
  • 1 can of white kidney / cannellini beans
  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • 1 tin of chopped peeled tomatoes
  • 4 fresh tomatoes, chopped but not peeled (those skins are super good for you!)
  • 80ml All Gold Tomato Sauce
  • 30ml Soy Sauce
  • Ready-made rice or baked/mashed potato to serve. You can make a whole heap of rice in advance and freeze this, I freeze mine in portions of 120g (for me) and 150g (for husband) to ensure no wastage. Note: Potatoes are not great to freeze though, so if you want to serve them with this meal, I suggest making them fresh.


Rinse the spinach in a colander or sieve with some salt water (you can use the same colander to rinse the beans and chickpeas). Put the pot on the stove, turn the stove onto high and throw in your tin of tomatoes, the All Gold Tomato Sauce and the Soy Sauce. Gradually add the spinach – it takes up a lot of space, but wilts nicely into the sauce. Then add your fresh tomato, rinse the beans and chickpeas and add these too. Bring it to a boil, stirring so the sauce doesn’t stick to the pot. You can add a little water if you don’t feel there is enough liquid, but I don’t recommend adding more than 60mls so that you don’t dilute the flavour of the sauce. Reduce to a simmer and leave it for 10 – 15 minutes, until all of the spinach has wilted nicely.

This makes enough sauce for at least 4 hearty servings.

This is a very high fibre, low fat, vegetarian dish. You can, however, add some meat like ham or bacon (this would be epic with bacon!) but you may need to cook it for a bit longer, up to 20 minutes if you do add meat. Side note: I love cooking with tomatoes because they are SO good for you, if you’re trying to trim your own fat they are super tasty and can form the basis of a VERY tasty meal that feels satisfying and delicious while still helping you achieve your health goals. And keeping the mess in ONE pot? Bonus!

Serve with rice or baked potato and enjoy!

P.S. – Don’t forget to enter the 6-ingredient, one-pot competition – you could win a R25 000 gas braai.)

© Dave Luis 2015. All Rights Reserved.

I was prompted to write this as part of my effort to reduce my monthly bills and so I joined the #SmartCooking campaign as part of an energy efficiency drive. This is a sponsored post.


18 thoughts on “Friends Who Do #SmartCooking

  1. These are really great tips and recipes being offered me! Such ease and quickness, 20 minutes I could that without breaking a sweat.

    Can’t wait to see this series expand, you know for the peopl who are less healthy. lol… Something with just a little more grease in it 😛 Something with balance though, so this is my challenge for this series. Finding a recipe that intrigues the grease in me but also something that Uncle Timmy would approve of.

    Keep em coming though,cheers!

  2. Mmm, before I forewent carbs, I used to make a kickass spicy chicken jambalaya in one pot. A more paleo-friendly dinner winner in our house is frittata and salad. My favourite topping/filling combo is onion, jalapeño, tomatoes, chorizo and basil. Feta works really well too if you’re on the banting wagon and allowed cheese.

    1. I’m so impressed with the wide variety of one-pot dishes on offer, that my friends are already making – and I think that by sharing recipes here we find more ways to increase menu options, but still save on energy with a simple one-pot dish!

  3. The lovely thing about my one pot meals is their extreme versatility – easy to add or take away the bits you don’t want 🙂
    Thanks Dave for encouraging us on our #SmartCooking adventures!

    1. I’m just blown away by the simplicity and ease of changing the menu. It’s added time to my day and allowed me to still be creative in the kitchen.

      1. Personally, I would swop the tomato sauce for tomato paste or passata. Tomato sauce is too sweet.

  4. One-pot cooking is something we really struggle with. More often than not, we look around the kitchen after a meal to find that 80% of our pots and pans have been used! Today I cooked breakfast for 8 guests…all on gas. I got compliments from everyone except the poor woman washing up, who had to clean all the pots and pans!

    1. I guess not all meal times or situations fit the one-pot mould, especially at breakfast – but some of these one-pot dinners are great for you to try for your guests.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s