Vegan chocolate cake and easy midweek one-pots that even meat lovers will adore Leave a comment

In her book, One Pot, Pan, Planet, Anna Jones has made it easy to eat delicious food, while being mindful of the planet. Containing 200 easy recipes, she limits the pans and simplifies the ingredients needed for all-in-one dinners, ensuring that dinner is just moments away.  

One-pot orzo with beetroot, thyme & orange

This orzo cooks all in one pan to a satisfying deep purple with the spoonable feeling of a risotto. You can use any colour of beetroot you like here; I love the deep magenta of the red ones but yellow and pink work well too

One-pot orzo with beetroot, thyme & orange


  • a bunch of beetroot (around 650g), peeled and grated

  • 300g orzo pasta

  • a small bunch of thyme, leaves picked

  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

  • 2 tbsp good olive oil, plus more for finishing

  • ½ vegetable stock cube or 2 teaspoons stock powder

  • To serve:

  • zest of a small unwaxed orange or clementine

  • 4 handfuls of rocket 100g feta or vegan feta-style cheese, crumbled (optional)

  • a few handfuls of toasted chopped nuts (walnuts, almonds or hazelnuts will all work well)

  • a drizzle of olive oil


  1. Put the grated beetroot, pasta, thyme leaves, garlic and vinegar into a medium lidded pan with 1 teaspoon of sea salt, the 2 tablespoons of oil and 850ml water. Crumble in the stock cube or add the powder.

  2. Place the pan over a high heat, cover with a lid and bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 minutes until the pasta is cooked and all the water has been absorbed.

  3. Stir it every minute or so to make sure that the pasta doesn’t catch on the bottom of the pan. If the orzo looks a little thick (you want it to be the consistency of risotto) add a little more hot water.

  4. Spoon onto warm plates and finish with some orange zest, peppery leaves, a crumbling of feta (if using), some toasted nuts and a good drizzle of oil.

    Squash/lemon/sage – swap in the same amount of grated squash for the beetroot, use lemon in place of the orange, and top with crispy sage leaves
    Broccoli/chilli/ oregano – swap out the beetroot for 850g of roughly chopped broccoli and use lemon in place of the orange, oregano instead of thyme, and finish with chopped red chilli and lemon zest 

    Extracted from One pot, pan, planet by Anna Jones, published by Harper Collins. Photography © Issy Croker

Asparagus & lemon sauté with maple seeds

This recipe was a happy accident when I ordered ten bunches of asparagus from the greengrocer instead of two. It’s one to make in prime asparagus season. I also make it in winter with purple—sprouting broccoli

Asparagus & lemon sauté with maple seeds


  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds

  • 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds

  • 3 tbsp maple syrup

  • a good pinch of dried chilli flakes

  • the zest and juice of an unwaxed lemon

  • 2 x 400g bunches of asparagus

  • 1 tsp sesame oil

  • 2 heads of greens or 200g sugar snap peas

  • 4 nests of egg or rice noodles, cooked

  • For the sauce:

  • 1 tbsp maple syrup

  • 1 tsp sesame oil

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce

  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar

  • a pinch of dried chilli flakes


  1. For the brittle, toast both types of seeds in a dry frying pan until they start to give off their aroma. Once toasted, add 3 tablespoons of maple syrup, a good pinch of salt and the chilli flakes and cook for another minute, until the syrup begins to bubble up around the seeds and thicken (but not darken).

  2. Take off the heat and transfer to a plate lined with baking paper, sprinkle over the lemon zest and leave to set.

  3. Mix the sauce ingredients together in a bowl with a tablespoon of water and put to one side.

  4. Cut off the asparagus tips and set aside, then cut the stalks into 5cm pieces on the diagonal up to the last 3cm from the base. Discard these end pieces or keep in the freezer for vegetable stock.

  5. Wipe out the frying pan with kitchen paper and put it back on a high heat. Once it’s very hot, add the teaspoon of sesame oil, the asparagus tips and stalks and the greens or sugar snaps and cook for 3—4 minutes, until the edges char and the asparagus softens slightly. Pour in the sauce and add the noodles and cook for a further minute.

  6. Roughly chop the brittle and serve the noodles with the maple seed brittle on top, and quarters of the lemon for squeezing over.

    Seasonal variations 
    Spring – asparagus or podded broad beans
    Summer – courgettes or runner beans
    Autumn – kale or peeled, thinly-sliced squash
    Winter – purple-sprouting broccoli or frozen green veg

    Extracted from One pot, pan, planet by Anna Jones, published by Harper Collins. Photography © Issy Croker

Chocolate & muscovado fudge cake

My insatiable sweet tooth knows almost no bounds, so cake is something I take very seriously. This dense, gooey (and incidentally vegan) chocolate cake made with coconut oil is as much of a hit with my two-year-old as it is with my vegan brother

Chocolate & muscovado fudge cake

Total Time

1 hours 10 mins


  • For the icing:

  • 100g olive, coconut or vegetable oil

  • 65g dark muscovado sugar

  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder

  • 200g dark chocolate finely chopped

  • For the cake:

  • 200g plain or light spelt flour

  • 1 ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

  • 75g cocoa powder

  • 250g dark muscovado sugar

  • 75g olive, coconut or vegetable oil, plus extra for greasing

  • 1 ½ tsp vinegar (I use cider)


  1. Heat the oven to 180°C/16O°C fan/gas 4. Grease a 20cm round springform cake tin with oil and line the base with baking paper.

  2. Put all the icing ingredients except the chocolate into a saucepan with 60ml cold water. Heat until everything is melted, making sure the mixture doesn’t boil, then turn off the heat, add the chocolate at once and leave it to sit. After about a minute, the chocolate should have melted. Whisk until you have a thick icing and set aside. It should be cool by the time the cake has baked and cooled.

  3. For the cake, whisk the flour, bicarbonate of soda, a good pinch of sea salt and the cocoa together in a bowl. Make sure there are no lumps of bicarbonate of soda.

  4. In a separate bowl, mix the sugar, 375mI of just-boiled water, the oil and vinegar. Stir the mixture into the dry ingredients, then pour into the prepared tin (it will be quite a wet batter). Bake for 30-40 minutes.

  5. When it is ready, the cake should have pulled away from the edges of the tin and a skewer inserted into the centre will come out clean. Cool for 30 minutes in the tin, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Spoon over the icing and decorate as you like.

    Decoration ideas: 
    Grated chocolate
    Fresh flowers
    Chopped candied nuts
    Chopped stem ginger
    Crumbled chocolate
    Flakes of sea salt

    Extracted from One pot, pan, planet by Anna Jones, published by Harper Collins. Photography © Issy Croker

Extracted from One pot, pan, planet by Anna Jones, published by Harper Collins. Photography © Issy Croker

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