Simply cooking

Cooking simply


Becoming more efficient in the kitchen, simplifying your life, but also knowing how to improvise with the ingredients you have on hand, that's what we learn in the new recipe book Cooking with what you have. 

Jessika Langlois, nutritionist, is the author of book Cuisiner avec ce qu'on a, published by Éditions Québec Amérique. She thinks it is possible to eat well, while remaining simple. 

“I wondered why we reinvent the wheel every time we come across a new muffin or quiche recipe. I found that the proportions of the different ingredients change all the time according to the recipes. So I created basic frameworks from which we can make variations. Thus, the same basic muffin recipe can be made with bananas, and another time with blueberries or dates, simply by changing one ingredient. It’s by mastering the basics that you can then improvise, that’s my motto,” says Jessika Langlois.

In addition to advice on how to simplify your life and equip yourself with the tools you need to be efficient, Jessika Langlois explains the basics of different dishes that you can then decline in several variants, depending on what you have in the fridge.

“Once you understand the basic quiche or muffin recipe, you can go with what you have in the fridge or with what is on special. If we have goat cheese and tomatoes, that will be it. You can experiment, change the aromatics. To improvise is to give yourself the right to make mistakes. What I want is for people to take ownership of the recipes, note in the margins what they liked or disliked. I even chose paper that was not too glossy for the book, so that we could write easily! she said laughing.

50 Recipes

Thus, we discover over the 50 recipes the basics of quiche, soup, meatballs, muffins, cookies, puddings, as well as recipes for risotto and “one pot pasta” that can be declined in five variants . Roasted chicken is also in the spotlight, as well as ways to prepare leftovers and make broth with the carcass.

“I want people to understand that by mastering a basic recipe, you actually know how to make a lot of recipes. If we know how to make a roast chicken, we know how to make lots of variations of roast chicken. Just change the aromatics, and it feels like eating a completely different dish. It can be useful as much for a young person who goes to an apartment, or for someone who has a family to support or who becomes single. It gives you self-confidence and allows you to improvise with what you have. » 

5 tips to simplify your life, according to Jessika Langlois

  1. Adopt basic recipes that you then just have to vary by interchanging an ingredient that gives flavor. For example, in a muffin recipe, change the blueberries to raspberries or cranberries.
  2. Prepare in advance in large quantities the base of a dish, and freeze it. For example, make several portions of meatballs with a neutral flavor, which can then be used in any sauce, curry, Swedish or tomato sauce, depending on your inspiration. 
  3. Cook a whole chicken and use the leftovers to cook different dishes, such as pasta or risotto. Then make a broth with the carcass. This saves time while avoiding food waste. 
  4. Cook the cookies or muffins by doubling the recipe and making two variations, for example one with dates and the other with chocolate chips. You can then freeze them and take them out the same morning to put them in your lunch box. 
  5. Adopting the “one pot pasta” technique, both for pasta and for the risotto. Cooking everything in the same pan saves time and avoids too much dirty dishes. Very appreciable, evenings in a hurry!

Linguine puttanesca with prawns

Servings: 4 | Preparation: 15 minutes | Cooking: 15 minutes


  • 300 g (10 oz) linguine < /li>
  • 625 ml (2 1⁄2 cups) of water
  • 2 ml (1⁄2 tsp) of salt
  • 250 ml (1 cup) canned whole tomatoes, drained
  • 225 g (1⁄2 lb) fresh or defrosted shelled raw shrimp
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 125 ml (1⁄2 cup) coarsely chopped pitted black olives in oil
  • 60 ml (1⁄4 cup) drained capers
  • 2 ml (1⁄2 tsp) hot pepper flakes
  • 250 ml (1 cup) arugula
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. In a large skillet or braiser, place the linguine, water, salt, tomatoes, shrimp, onion, garlic, olives, capers and hot pepper flakes. Using a pestle, mash the tomatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer for 9 minutes, stirring a few times. Remove from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Pepper to taste.
  2. Divide among four soup plates. Garnish with the arugula.

Tip: For a little shortcut, use black olive tapenade. Reduce the quantity to 60 ml (1⁄4 cup).

Quiche with cherry tomatoes, goat cheese and basil

Servings: 4 | Preparation: 15 minutes | Cooking: 35 minutes


  • 6 eggs 
  • 125 ml (1⁄2 cup) flour
    unbleached all-purpose
  • 500 ml (2 cups) milk
  • 250 ml (1 cup) halved cherry tomatoes< /li>
  • 125 ml (1⁄2 cup) crumbled fresh goat cheese
  • 60 ml (1⁄4 cup) fresh basil, leaves whole


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).
  2. In a large bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk. Gradually add the flour so as not to make lumps, then add the milk. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Add the cherry tomatoes, goat cheese and basil. Mix gently. Pour into a 23 cm (9 in) diameter quiche pan with a non-removable bottom (or into a tart pan).
  4. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until until the center of the quiche is set.
  5. Serve with green beans

Inspired: Do you have a piece of quiche left? Top two slices of toasted multigrain bread with a generous serving of cold quiche. Add a touch of mayo and enjoy your new kind of egg sandwich! 

Sausage, mushroom and beer risotto

Servings: 4 | Preparation: 20 minutes | Cooking: 30 minutes


  • 15 ml (1 tbsp.) butter 
  • 225 g (1⁄2 lb) Toulouse sausages, sliced ​​(from 3 to 4 sausages)
  • 60 ml (1⁄4 cup) chopped onion
  • 250 ml (1 cup) sliced ​​white mushrooms
  • 250 ml (1 cup) arborio rice
  • 125 ml (1⁄2 cup) beer,
    your choice
  • 750 ml (3 cups) no salt added chicken broth
  • 60 ml (1⁄4 cup) grated parmesan cheese


  1. In a casserole or saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the sausages and brown for 2 minutes on each side. Remove from pot and set aside. In the casserole, add the onion and the mushrooms and sauté until the mushrooms are golden. Add the rice and stir to coat well.
  2. Pour in the beer and reduce until it has almost completely evaporated. Return the sausages to the pot. Add broth. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the rice is tender but still slightly firm in the center (al dente). Stir once during cooking.
  3. Remove from the heat and stir in the parmesan. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let stand covered for about 5 minutes.
  4. Serve with a vegetable or a green salad. 

Tip: On the run? Use commercially sliced ​​mushrooms! 

Double bran muffins, dates and walnuts

Servings: 12 | Preparation: 15 minutes | Cooking: 25 minutes


  • 2 eggs 
  • 125 ml (1⁄2 cup) brown sugar
  • 60 ml (1⁄4 cup) canola oil 
  • 250 ml (1 cup) milk 
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) vanilla extract
  • 250 ml (1 cup) whole wheat flour
  • 125 ml (1⁄2 cup) wheat bran
  • 125 ml (1⁄2 cup) oat bran
  • 10 ml (2 tsp) baking powder
  • 2 ml (1⁄2 tsp) baking soda
  • 250 ml (1 cup) chopped dates
  • 125 ml (1⁄2 cup) chopped walnuts


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F), rack in the middle.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the eggs, brown sugar and oil for 2 minutes. Add the milk and vanilla, then mix. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, stir in the flour, wheat bran, oat bran, baking powder, baking soda, dates and walnuts, then mix just enough to moisten the batter.
  3. Spoon into muffin tins previously greased or lined with parchment paper. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Tip: You don't need not both types of sound at home? Use just one, but stack the quantities. 

Inspiration: You can easily replace the dates in the recipe with cherries, cranberries or dried figs. Use what you have on hand.

Chocolate Pudding

Servings: 8 | Preparation: 20 minutes | Baking: 25 minutes


  • 250 ml (1 cup) flour
  • 125 ml (1⁄2 cup) sugar
  • 10 ml (2 tsp) baking powder
  • 1 ml (1⁄4 tsp) salt (optional)
  • 1 egg
  • 60 ml (1⁄4 cup) canola oil
  • 60 ml (1⁄4 cup) milk
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) vanilla extract
  • 125 ml (1⁄2 cup) brown sugar
  • 250 ml (1 cup) water
  • 125 ml (1⁄2 cup) cocoa powder, divided


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F), rack in the middle.
  2. In a bowl, mix half the cocoa, the flour , sugar, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the center. Add the egg, canola oil, milk and vanilla and mix with a wooden spoon or spatula until the batter is smooth. Transfer to a 20 cm (8 in) mold. Reserve.
  3.  In a small saucepan, combine the brown sugar, water and 60 ml (1/4 cup) of the cocoa. Heat over medium-high heat until the brown sugar has dissolved.
  4. Carefully pour the syrup over the cake batter. Do not mix.
  5. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the dough only (no sauce) comes out clean.
  6. Let cool for at least 15 minutes. Serve hot or cold

Inspiration: For an even more chocolaty version, add 60 ml (1⁄4 cup) of dark chocolate chips when preparing the sauce. The original recipe without “extra nuggets” is excellent and will make a great dessert for a little Tuesday. But for a festive day, take out your delicious chocolate pastilles from Tanzania (or the one you like!) and spoil your guests! A little touch of coffee in the sauce is not bad. Coffee and chocolate go so well together! Add a shot of espresso or 5 ml (1 teaspoon) of instant coffee.