Lifestyle Recipes · May 4, 2020

Five Recipes To Fall Back On


Sometimes knowing where to begin when it comes to cooking dinner can be the biggest question mark. I know the internet and Instagram is peppered with creative, colourful and almost art-like dishes- but sometimes, when I’m after something quick that suits my mood I find myself panicking and hounding BBC good food faster than you can say ‘WHY IS MY DOMINO’S APP NOT WORKING?!’

So, to get you started if you’re ever feeling a bit lost- I thought I’d share a handful of mine and Joe’s fail safe fallback recipes. The ones we use time and time again that suit all manner of moods, and always always do the job.

They’re not necessarily the most exciting, the most fancy or photogenic- but they’re certainly some of the most delicious. I also thought I’d add in some of our favourite spots to search for ideas below- in case you ever experience the kitchen overwhelm like I do (and can’t quite muster the energy to rifle through recipe books- which I can also recommend)…

School of Wok’s Chicken Chow Mein

Oh my god THIS DISH. Takes less than 15 minutes once you’re well versed and is comfortably one of the most delicious noodle dishes I’ve ever had. Joe nails it every time but it truly couldn’t be easier to recreate.

Jamie Oliver’s Spag Bol

So good we had it as our wedding meal. We almost always have a batch of this in the freezer ready to go, and it’s one (if not the) most delicious spag bol I’ve ever had. I know saying a Jamie Oliver recipe is the best I’ve had probably makes me sound a bit dull (or basic, but sue me)- but it’s bloody wonderful and I won’t hear otherwise.

Nadiya Hussain’s Prawn Malay Rice

From Nadia’s wonderful book Time to Eat, her Prawn Malay rice has become something Joe and I really, really look forward to. Very similar to Nasi Goreng, this is such a filling delicious dish- packed with flavour (and doesn’t take long either). For a great online alternative, Mary Berry’s Chicken Malay Rice is very similar.

Eataly’s Aquacotta Soup

We use the Aquacotta recipe from this wondrous Italian cookbook (and unfortunately the recipe isn’t available online), but this one seems to serve a very similar purpose. In short, it’s a traditional Tuscan soup which is made to varying recipes depending on the availability of the ingredients- which lends very well to our ever-changing veg supply! We don’t normally do it with mushrooms or eggs, and ours normally consists of thrown in carrots, onions, celery, potatoes, chilli, Swiss chard and tomatoes- which always feels really warming and hearty.

Fearne Cotton’s Salmon Tray Bake

Honestly, I think this was one of the first meals we ever cooked in our house together- I know, we went LARGE. But with neither of us having cooked much fish before we were like small fish in a very big pond of recipes (ho ho ho). Anyway- this is still great and three years later we’re still going. You can pretty much mix this up however you like, but it’s such a great way of getting in lots of veg, some nice fish and potatoes- and really not having to do much else. Win win!

because behind every nicely laid table is a very, very messy kitchen…
and some other favourite places for our favourite recipes to get you started:

Rukmini Iyer for one dish wonders, Melissa Hemsley for creative unpretentious dishes, Anna Jones for ‘omg this looks like it’s from a restaurant’ meals, god- Bon Appetit for everything, beautiful recipes for every mood from Bre Graham, for heavenly bakes I am in love with Benji Ebuehi, Rosie Birkett for wonderfully British dishes, I also adore Manon’s savory and sweet dishesand of course Gem for your seasonal recipe fix.

All of my other recipes from the blog can be found here.



  • Reply
    May 4, 2020 at 6:54 pm

    The Chow Mein recipe looks so simple, and yet it looks so yummy. I really need to try it sometime!

    Jodie |

  • Reply
    Chelsea Arnold
    May 4, 2020 at 8:34 pm

    I love this idea, having a few different types of recipes all in one place is really useful! x

  • Reply
    My May Goals. - The Kikki Edit
    May 4, 2020 at 11:21 pm

    […] Five Recipes to Fall Back On @WhatOliviaDid – if there’s ever a time for cooking and baking, it’s now. I look forward to trialling out a few of these recipes that Olivia put together. […]

  • Reply
    May 5, 2020 at 4:53 pm

    Spaghetti Bolognese is always a great way to go! It’s good and easy to make. My boyfriend and I enjoy making quick recipes since we’re busy most of the time, and stuff we can have leftovers of – so a big bowl of pasta always works! Our favourite is pesto, it’s just so good!

    Julia x
    Last Post: How To Improve Your Self-Care Daily (+ Free Resources To Help You Out) |

  • Reply
    Joanne Amarisa
    May 9, 2020 at 3:44 am

    Can I just say how much I adore those kitchen tiles?! And yes after two-or-so months of quarantine I’ve grown weary of thinking of what to make, so the title to this (“fall back”) is spot on.
    Fried rice IS the best *throw everything onto a pan* strategy. Also keen to try that spag bol! Hope you’re well, Liv. <3

    Joanne | With Risa

  • Reply
    May 11, 2020 at 9:44 am

    Your work gives immensely positive energy!! Good Job

  • Reply
    June 25, 2020 at 9:07 am

    The chowmein recipes looks great! I can’t wait to give it a try.

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