By Jan

These tips come from Jan, a Live LAGOM participant. Live LAGOM is a 3-year project helping IKEA customers live more sustainably at home, supported by Hubbub. These tips were originally shared in the Live LAGOM Facebook group. Get in touch if you'd like to join the group for more tips and advice like this.

What’s on the menu?

  1. Savoury mince in gravy with roasted new potatoes and carrots
  2. Minestrone soup
  3. Chicken, vegetable and noodle soup
  4. Chicken and broccoli stir-fry
  5. Pesto pasta
  6. Bacon, potato and celery soup


  • 10 large carrots (8 sliced, 2 diced)
  • 1.5kg new potatoes (halved)
  • 1 large head of broccoli
  • 700g chicken breast (200g in 5-10mm cubes, 500g in 2cm cubes)
  • 6 Bratwurst (or 8 sausages)
  • 1 pack penne pasta
  • 1 jar pesto
  • 1 stalk of celery (sliced)
  • 1 punnet cherry tomatoes (halved)
  • 3 courgettes (2 sliced, 1 diced)
  • 500g beef mince
  • 2 nests of angel hair vermicelli
  • Spaghetti for one
  • 2 rashers smoked bacon
  • ½ can sweetcorn
  • 4 white onions (diced)
  • 1 head garlic (finely chopped)
  • 1 red pepper
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • ½ tube tomato puree
  • 1 punnet mushrooms (2/3 sliced, 1/3 diced)
  • Parsley
  • Paprika
  • Thyme
  • 2 Chicken stock cubes
  • Beef stock cube


  1. First, prep the celery, half of the potatoes and one of the onions so you can get the bacon, potato and celery soup immediately underway. Take 4/5 stalks of the celery and cut them into chunks. Throw straight into a large pan with the halved potatoes, a chopped onion, some garlic and the 2 rashers of bacon. Add about 2 litres of water and the stock cube, put the lid on and leave it on a medium heat while you prep the remaining vegetables.
  2. Put the bratwurst/sausages in the oven at 180 to cook while you make the soups. Both soups start with the same base; ¾ of a diced onion, 3 stalks of chopped celery, ½ of the diced mushrooms and garlic. Into the minestrone add the equivalent of 2 diced carrots and the diced courgette. In the chicken noodle soup add about 200g diced chicken breast (no bigger than 1cm cubes, ideally 1/2) and the ½ can of sweetcorn.
  3. When the mixtures have sweated out and the chicken cooked, add chopped tomatoes and a small amount of pasta to the minestrone and chicken stock and some spaghetti (or angel hair vermicelli) to the chicken noodle soup. Add about 1 litre of chicken stock to the minestrone and 1.5 to the chicken noodle. Add parsley to both soups and thyme (or oregano) to the minestrone, put on the lids and leave to cook on a medium heat. Once the bratwurst has cooked in the oven take 2 (or 3 sausages) and chop into small cubes and chuck in the minestrone with some paprika. Leave the oven on, you’ll be using it again in a few minutes.
  4. At this point, the bacon, celery and potato soup should be done. Check the potatoes have cooked through before adding lots of seasoning. Ladle the mix into a food blender and blend before pouring straight into the tubs to cool. Give the pan a quick clean out and put straight back on the stove with the rest of the new potatoes and some boiled water from the kettle. Boil them for about 10-15 minutes so that they’re soft but still firm. The other two soups should be finishing, first the chicken noodle then the minestrone. Season well and ladle into tubs.
  5. Drain the potatoes and tip onto a large baking tray with plenty of olive oil, a few crushed cloves of garlic and thyme/rosemary. Stick in the oven for about 20 minutes. Par-boil the sliced carrots in the same way as the potatoes but only for 5-10 minutes and drain. Then put into the oven on a baking tray with some oregano and star anise if you have them.
  6. Put a pan onto boil with enough pasta for 4 servings. Take all of the sliced courgettes and throw into a wok with some olive oil on a high heat. After a couple of minutes add the sliced mushrooms. A couple of minutes later add the halved cherry tomatoes. Stir occasionally whilst slicing the remaining bratwurst/sausages into thin slices (about 5mm). Added the bratwurst to the vegetable mix. When the pasta is ready, drain it and add combine with the jar of pesto and vegetable mix. Box up the pasta mix into 4 portions.
  7. The roasted potatoes and carrots will be done by now so they can come out. You’ll need a small pan of water, a large frying pan and a wok for this last bit, all on a high heat. In the large frying pan add the remainder of the onion, garlic (and any remaining celery/courgette if you want to). Once it’s sweated out add the beef mince and cook till brown. In the wok add the rest of the chicken with olive oil (or sesame if you have it) and brown it. Put the water to boil at this point and add the vermicelli when it is, it only takes a few minutes to cook so keep your eye on it.
  8. When the mince is brown add a stock cube, ¾ litre of water and some flour and stir till it’s like the filling in a cottage pie (alternatively just make a pint of gravy and add). Once the chicken is brown, add the soy sauce, sliced pepper and the broccoli heads and stir for a couple of minutes adding the vermicelli (drained) when it’s ready and stir together.
  9. Finish up by boxing everything up. The stir-fry just goes straight in a tub, and the mince with the roasted new potatoes and carrots.