We all know it's healthier to cook unprocessed food from scratch, but the pressures of daily life means that meals too often come ready-made, from the freezer, or courtesy of Deliveroo.

Award-winning veggie food writer Anna Jones is on the case -  even the title of her new book Easy Wins (Published by 4th Estate on March 14) is encouraging and reassuring.

Taking 12 affordable and easily available hero ingredients, the Hackney-based mum of two shares her golden rules for easy wins in the kitchen, with simple, flavourful recipes that are kind to both the planet and busy schedules.

Ham & High: Anna Jones is an award winning cookery writer who lives in Hackney with her husband and two childrenAnna Jones is an award winning cookery writer who lives in Hackney with her husband and two children (Image: 4th Estate)

With chapters on lemons, olive oil, onions, peanut butter, mustard, tahini and more, Jones distils her 20 years of experience into 125 dishes for every night of the week, that come together quickly.

Jones is an influential voice in modern vegetarian cooking, who believes veggies should be at the centre of every table.

The author of the bestselling One: Pot, Pan, Planet, A Modern Way to Eat, A Modern Way to Cook and The Modern Cook’s Year, says: "These simple ingredients shown a little bit of love and attention come together to make more than the sum of their parts. This to me is an Easy Win. A little moment of kitchen alchemy that reassures me. Recipes that are reliable sources of joy in a world that is ever-changing."Ham & High: Anna Jones Easy Wins is published by 4th Estate on March 14.Anna Jones Easy Wins is published by 4th Estate on March 14. (Image: 4th Estate)

Easy Wins: 12 flavour hits, 125 delicious recipes, 365 days of good eating also offers practical advice on how to season, create layers of flavour and texture, plus ideas for vegetarian swaps, how to reduce waste, and use less energy when cooking.

The recipes, which include some from friends and favourite cooks, come with the highest endorsement. Jamie Oliver calls them ‘Clever, delicious, heartfelt and wholesome,' while Regent's Park food guru Yotam Ottolenghi says: "For when it's 8pm, you're starving, and you want a Tuesday night triumph. An easy, honest, delicious win."Ham & High: Traybake Lemon Dal with pickled green chilisTraybake Lemon Dal with pickled green chilis (Image: Matt Russell)

Traybake Lemon Dal with pickled green chillies (Serves 4)


1 tablespoon coriander seeds 2 teaspoons cumin seeds

2 x 400g tins plum tomatoes

2 tablespoons ghee or other cooking oil

2 unwaxed lemons

A thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled

8 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced

2 green chillies, sliced

2 teaspoons golden caster sugar

50ml white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon sea salt

a bunch of coriander (30g), chopped

1 teaspoon ground turmeric a cinnamon stick

1 tablespoon Kashmiri chilli powder (or ½ teaspoon if using other chilli powders)

1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds

300g split red lentils

1 x 400ml tin coconut milk

800ml hot vegetable stock

250g paneer or firm tofu

warm rice, parathas or roti,

yoghurt and chutney to serve


Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan.

Add 1 tablespoon coriander seeds and 2 teaspoons cumin seeds to a high-sided baking tray and roast in the oven for 2-4 minutes until fragrant, then remove and tip into a pestle and mortar and crush before returning to the tray.

Drain 2 x 400g tins of tomatoes and add to the tray. Use a potato masher or the back of a large spoon/fork to crush the tomatoes to release their juice and flatten them a little, and spread them evenly over the tray.

Add 2 tablespoons ghee or oil, then grate in the zest of 1 unwaxed lemon and 1 thumb of ginger and add 8 thinly sliced cloves of garlic. Toss the tomatoes in the spices and roast for 30 minutes until sticky and intensified in flavour.

Add the spices and lentils

Once the tomatoes have had their time, remove them from the oven and stir in 1 teaspoon ground turmeric, a cinnamon stick, 1 table­ spoon Kashmiri chilli powder and

1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds. Add 300g split red lentils and pour over a 400ml tin of coconut milk and 800ml hot vegetable stock. Cover tightly with foil and return to the oven for another 40 minutes.

After 40 minutes, carefully take the tray out of the oven and remove the foil. Stir the dal, then season well with sea sale. Tear 250g paneer or firm tofu over the top of the dal and squeeze over the juice of the 2 zested lemons.

Return to the oven for a further 15 minutes or until the edges of the paneer are beginning to turn golden, the dal is creamy and the lentils are soft.

Finish with the chilli and serve Serve with rice, parathas, yoghurt and chutney and the pickled chilli and coriander mixture. Will keep in the fridge for up to 7 days.

To make the quick pickle put 2 sliced green chillies, 2 teaspoons golden caster sugar, 50ml white wine vinegar and a teaspoon of salt into a small bowl and mix well. Add the zest of a second unwaxed lemon. Stir through a bunch of chopped coriander, stems and all. Put in the fridge to keep cool.

Ham & High: Double Lemon Cake with Streusel toppingDouble Lemon Cake with Streusel topping (Image: Matt Russell)

Double Lemon Cake with Streusel Topping (Makes a 23cm cake, serves 12)

'This is my ideal cake. Lemony, soft-crumbed and streusel-topped. This cake is loaded with three types of lemon: lemon zest scudded through the cake batter, the curd on top and a hit in the streusel topping.


250g plain flour, plus 80g for the streusel topping

20g porridge oats

250g plus 2 tablespoons golden caster sugar

zest of 2 unwaxed lemons

200g unsalted butter at room temperature, plus 70g cold unsalted butter and a little extra for the tin

80g ground almonds

1½ teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

½ teaspoon sea salt

3 large organic or free-range eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

250g natural yoghurt or oat yoghurt

100g good-quality lemon curd, plus extra to serve

creme fraiche, to serve


To make the streusel topping put 80g plain flour, 20g porridge oats, 2 tablespoons caster sugar and a pinch of sea salt into a bowl and mix well. Add the zest of 1 unwaxed lemon, then add 70g of cold unsalted butter. Use your fingers to rub the butter into the flour like a crumble mixture until large sticky clumps have formed.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan. Grease a 23cm cake tin with butter, then line with baking paper.

Put 250g plain flour, 80g ground almonds, 1½ teaspoons baking powder and 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda into a mixing bowl with ½ teaspoon sea salt and mix with a whisk until there are no lumps.

In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, or in another mixing bowl with an electric hand whisk or wooden spoon, cream 200g unsalted butter and 250g golden caster sugar until pale and fluffy. This will take about 3-4 minutes in a stand mixer and longer by hand.

Scrape down the bowl and add 3 large organic or free-range eggs one at a time, mixing on a low speed until each one is incorporated, then mix in 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, the zest of another unwaxed lemon, and 250g natural yoghurt or oat yoghurt.

Add the dry ingredients to the batter in the mixing bowl and mix until just combined. This is a very forgiving cake, but minimal mixing will make it as light as possible.

Scrape the batter into the prepared tin and level it gently with a spatula, then spoon over 100g good-quality lemon curd in little patches and use your spoon to swirl it in a little.

Scatter the streusel topping evenly to the very edges of the cake; don't pile it into the middle or it will sink.

Bake the cake for 1 hour, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cover the top of the cake with foil if it looks like it's browning too fast. Allow to cool for 15 minutes in the tin, then remove from the tin and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.

Serve with creme fraiche rippled with a little lemon curd.