In 2016, university student Ben Lebus noticed none of his friends were cooking (uni students living on Pot Noodles? Who knew). Armed with some basic kitchen equipment and his smartphone camera, Lebus started creating recipe videos – aimed at busy young people who wanted to cook good food without breaking the bank – and posted them on YouTube. Now, MOB (meals on a budget) Kitchen is a brand with four books, 465,000 followers on Instagram and a touring food truck. The latest book, Speedy MOB (from where these recipes come) offers a roster of vibrant dishes ready in just 12 minutes.
There is a reason behind the commitment to 12 minutes, rather than 10 or 15 – and it’s not simply an attempt to best Jamie’s 15-Minute Meals. “It allows us to use ingredients like pasta and gnocchi,” Rebus explains, “as well as providing enough time to flash-fry fish and knock up quick sauces and salads.”
But be warned: “There is no lounging around chatting if you want to get it done in 12 minutes.” This is reflected in the pages of the book, each photo crowded with chopped ingredients, splatters of pasta sauce and a gaggle of young MOB Kitchen acolytes forking spaghetti straight from the pan.
The book is an ideal gift for a university student or keen kitchen beginner. It’s fun, casual, have-a-go cooking that instructs you to chuck stuff in, add a bit of this, give it a stir and serve it up, promising big flavours on a small budget – and even less time.
Speedy MOB by Ben Lebus is published by Pavilion (£14.99). Order a copy from books.telegraph.co.uk.
The ultimate cheat’s chilli, lacking none of the flavour and served with zingy guac and cheddar cheese. As an extra, serve with some tortilla chips for scooping.
Prep time: 2 minutes | Cooking time: 10 minutes
- 225g chorizo ring
- Olive oil, for frying
- 1 x 450g jar of roasted red peppers
- 2 fat garlic cloves
- 2 tbsp Cajun seasoning
- 3 x 400g tins of kidney beans
- 1 x 680g jar of passata
- 2 limes
- 2 avocados
- 1 small bunch fresh coriander
- Extra-mature cheddar cheese, grated
- Peel the chorizo and slice into rounds, roughly half a centimetre thick. Heat a large saucepan over a high heat. Drizzle in some olive oil, then scrape in the chorizo. Leave to fry.
- Meanwhile, remove the peppers from the jar with a fork, roughly slice and add them to the pan along with the unpeeled garlic, crushing the cloves into the pan. Add the Cajun seasoning and stir, cooking for a further minute.
- Open the tins of beans, drain the liquid in a sieve and then add to the pan. Pour in the passata. Season with salt and black pepper and give everything a good mix. Bring the chilli to the boil and let it bubble away while you make the guacamole.
- For the guacamole, cut one lime in half and the other into four wedges. Halve and pit the avocados and scoop out the flesh into a small bowl. Squeeze over the juice from the lime halves, season with salt and black pepper and then smash up with a fork.
- Tear the coriander over the chilli and serve at the table with the bowl of guacamole, cheddar cheese for topping and the lime wedges for squeezing over.
Squeeze the lime juice over the avocados and season before you start to mash them. They will be easier to smash as the lime and salt help to break them down.