Bored of Lunch – The Healthy Slow Cooker Book


How about this…. Top of the best seller charts in Ireland for the past few weeks has been a cookbook ‘Bored of Lunch – The Healthy Slow Cooker Book’, written by social media sensation, Nathan Anthony. It’s really worth pricking up your ears when a cookbook is giving Prince Harry’s publishing sensation, ‘Spare’, a run for its money….
What’s going on? It’s quite simple, Nathan Anthony who has over a million followers on social media has just written the cookbook that the millions of people who work long hours and need quick, easy recipes, have been desperately craving.
It’s a brilliant story, Nathan who comes from Portadown, started his blog in 2020 during the pandemic. He wanted to share the meals he was cooking in his own kitchen ‘to help people to cook healthier, more interesting meals at home’.
Nathan is anxious for people to know that he is not a trained chef, has never actually worked in the hospitality industry and neither does he have a background in nutrition. His career is in finance, in his day job, he’s a super, busy project manager in one of the largest companies in the UK, FTSE 100 but he absolutely loves to cook at home, and his food has certainly struck a chord.
Nathan’s recipes tick all the boxes, they are affordable, satisfying, flavourful, and overall, really quick and simple to make. A dream, come true for those who are trying to keep all the balls in the air, feed their family, healthy, nourishing food and are fed up of eating the same meals over and over again.
The book is flying off the shelves and bringing joy and fun to the many who feel they are just too busy to cook.… Bravo, Nathan.
He makes brilliant use of his slow cooker.  Most of the recipes are cost-effective and perfect for those who want to prepare meals for themselves and for the family for the week ahead. Most recipes are made with ingredients that you are likely to have in your pantry or are easy to source so you won’t have to go hunting in a deli or specialist shop.
Each recipe has a calorie count because that’s what he likes to keep track of himself.
It’s also worth noting that slow cookers use significantly less electricity than regular ovens and hobs, a not insignificant fact, in the midst of this cost of living crisis. However, if you don’t have a slow cooker, all of the recipes can of course be cooked in a regular saucepan on the stove and many are one pot dishes.
There’s much to choose from, weekday lunches and dinners, light meals, family, favourites, comfort food, feeding a crowd, and even a chapter on fakeaways….
Here are a few of Nathan’s recipes to tempt you.

Recipes from ‘Bored of Lunch – The Healthy Slow Cooker Book’ by Nathan Anthony, published by Ebury Press 

Chorizo, Carrot and Chilli Soup

I’m obsessed with chorizo and its smoky flavour enhances any dish.  Like all my soups, this could be made in a large saucepan on the hob – just bubble all the ingredients away for 25-30 minutes, then blitz until smooth. 

Serves 6 

170g (scant 6oz) chorizo, sliced

7 carrots, chopped (skin left on)

3 potatoes, chopped (skin left on)

1 red chilli, sliced 

3 garlic cloves, chopped 

1 tablespoon curry powder 

small handful of fresh coriander 

1.2 litres (2 pints) vegetable or chicken stock 

salt and pepper, to taste 

chilli flakes, to garnish

If you have the time, heat a non-stick frying pan over a high heat on the hob, then place the chorizo in the pan and sear until browned on both sides.  If you’re in a hurry, just skip this step.

Reserving a few slices of chorizo for garnish, place all the ingredients in the slow cooker, stir and season to taste.  Cook on high for 3 hours, then blitz the soup with a handheld blender until smooth.  Garnish with the reserved chorizo and a sprinkle of chilli flakes. 

Honey Chilli Beef Noodles 

This is a quick and lean version of one of my favourite local Chinese takeaway dishes, and one of the most popular recipes I have ever shared with my online followers.

Serves 3

400g (14oz) beef steaks, thinly sliced 

4 tablespoons dark soy sauce 

5 tablespoons light soy sauce 

2 teaspoons rice vinegar 

5 garlic cloves, crushed 

2 tablespoons hoisin sauce

3 tablespoons orange juice

4 tablespoons honey 

2 teaspoons chilli flakes

1 tablespoon cornflour, mixed to a paste with 1 tablespoon water 

1 red pepper, sliced 

200g (7oz) dried egg noodles

350ml (12fl oz) hot chicken stock

chopped spring onions and sesame seeds, to garnish 

Place all the ingredients, except the red pepper, noodles and stock, in the slow cooker and stir.  Cook on high for 2 hours.  Add the red pepper, noodles and stock, stir and cook for another 15-20 minutes, stirring after 10 minutes.  Garnish with spring onions and sesame seeds.

Chicken and Peanut Curry

I adore anything with peanut butter in it.  The lime, chilli and curry powder give this dish a great flavour profile and the long, slow cooking makes the chicken taste even more incredible.  If you like a thicker sauce, add the optional cornflour paste in the ingredients.  Serve with rice.

Serves 3 

3 chicken breasts or 6 thighs, cut into chunks 

juice of 1 lime

4 tablespoons peanut butter 

handful of fresh coriander

4 garlic cloves, crushed 

1 tablespoon curry powder 

400ml (14fl oz) tin of reduced-fat coconut milk 

2 tablespoons soy sauce 

1 red bird’s eye chilli

1 tablespoon cornflour, mixed to a paste with 1 tablespoon water (optional)

salt and pepper, to taste 

chopped spring onions, chopped peanuts, chopped red chilli and fresh coriander, to garnish 

Place all the ingredients in the slow cooker, stir and season to taste.  Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-7 hours. Garnish with spring onions, peanuts, chilli and fresh coriander.

Sweet Potato, Chickpea and Spinach Curry 

This gorgeous curry with chunks of sweet potato and comforting chickpeas has added sweetness from the mango chutney.  There is lots of sauce here, but you could add more veg and some vegetable stock to stretch it further. 

This goes great with rice, but the sweet potato makes this curry quite filling so you can just serve it on its own if you’d rather.

Serves 4 

400g (14oz) tin of chopped tomatoes 

400ml (14fl oz) tin of reduced-fat coconut milk 

1 teaspoon vegetable bouillon powder 

1 tablespoon mango chutney 

1 tablespoon curry powder

1 tablespoon ground cumin 

1 tablespoon garam masala 

1 teaspoon honey 

4 garlic cloves, crushed 

3 large, sweet potatoes, cut into small chunks 

1 onion, sliced 

1 handful of spinach

1 teaspoon peanut butter

handful of fresh coriander, chopped 

400g (14oz) tin of chickpeas, drained 

salt and pepper, to taste 

extra fresh coriander, to garnish 

Place all the ingredients, except the chickpeas, in the slow cooker, stir and season to taste.  Cook on high for 2 hours or low for 4-5 hours, then add the chickpeas and cook for another hour.  If it’s more convenient, you could add the chickpeas from the start, but they might lose some of their texture.  Garnish with extra coriander. 

Vegetarian Lasagne 

I aim for one Vegetarian day every week and when I’m craving pasta or something warming, this doesn’t disappoint.  I love lasagne and this veggie version is packed full of flavour after a long, slow cook.  I never say no to lasagne.  

This is a perfect midweek meal with garlic bread, salad and light coleslaw.

Serves 6 

120g (scant 4 1/2oz) pine nuts or other nuts 

3 x 400g (14oz) tins of chopped tomatoes 

1 tablespoon red pesto 

5 garlic cloves, crushed 

2 teaspoons vegetable bouillon powder

1 tablespoon dried oregano 

1 tablespoon dried thyme 

1 tablespoon tomato purée 

1 courgette, finely chopped 

1 red pepper, finely chopped 

1 onion, finely chopped 

100g (3 1/2oz) mushrooms, finely chopped 

handful of fresh basil, chopped 

1 aubergine, sliced 

8 sheets of dried lasagne 

1-2 tablespoons basil pesto

100g (3 1/2oz) ricotta cheese (or extra Mozzarella)

100g (3 1/2oz) Mozzarella, shredded 

1 large tomato, sliced 

salt and pepper, to taste

Place the pine nuts, tinned tomatoes, red pesto, garlic, vegetable bouillon, herbs and tomato purée in a food processor and blitz for 15-20 seconds until the pine nuts are in small pieces but still have some texture.  Place the mixture in a mixing bowl, season to taste and add the courgette, red pepper, onion, mushrooms and fresh basil.  

Place one-third or the vegetable mixture in the slow cooker and top with one-third of the aubergine slices and one-third of the lasagne, breaking up the sheets to fit the pot.  Dot with one-third of the basil pesto, one-third of the ricotta and one-quarter of the Mozzarella.  Repeat the layers until the ingredients are used up, finishing with the remaining Mozzarella and the sliced tomato on top of the final layer of lasagne sheets.  

Cook on high for 4 hours.  If you have an ovenproof slow cooker pot, place it without the lid under a preheated grill for 10 minutes to create a golden crust on top.

About the author

Darina Allen
By Darina Allen


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