Earlier in the year, Northumbrian chef Chris Baber announced his debut cookbook, Easy, on Instagram. Within 24 hours, kitchen royalty himself, Gordon Ramsay, was shouting about the book on social media.

Baber’s fuss-free cooking is married with an infectious energy and genuine passion for food, which explains why he’s amassed over 161,000 followers on Instagram and YouTube videos that have been viewed over 4.5 million times.

Easy is filled with 96 simple, delicious, home-cooking recipes – here’s a small taste of what to expect.

3 Recipes From Chef Chris Baber's Upcoming Cookbook 'Easy' | Men's Fitness UK

5 Spice Hoisin Duck and Rice Bowls

This is a mashup of duck with hoisin sauce and roast Peking duck and rice. Roasting a whole duck is a real art form and takes over a day to prep, so I’ve used duck breasts to keep this quick and simple. They stay super juicy and I think are best served pink.

Ingredients (serves 2):

  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 duck breasts
  • 2 tsp Chinese 5 spice
  • 180g jasmine rice
  • 1⁄2 cucumber, diced
  • 4 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • Salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the soy sauce and honey to make a glaze. Set aside.
  3. Use a sharp knife to score the skin of the duck in a chequerboard pattern. Be careful not to score into the flesh.
  4. Pat the duck dry with kitchen paper. Season with salt and evenly coat in the Chinese 5 spice.
  5. Cook the rice according to the packet instructions.
  6. Put the duck into a cold pan, skin-side down. Turn the heat to medium and cook for 3-5 minutes until the skin is golden and crispy. Turn the duck over. Pour over the glaze to evenly coat the duck.
  7. If your pan is ovenproof, transfer it straight into the oven. If it’s not, put the duck on a preheated baking tray. Cook for 8-10 minutes for blushing pink meat or slightly longer for well done.
  8. Remove from the oven. Leave to rest for 5 minutes, then cut into thin slices.
  9. Serve on top of the rice with the cucumber and spring onions. Drizzle with the sesame oil and hoisin sauce. Give it all a good mix together before getting stuck in.

Per serving:
Kcals: 809, Protein: 25.2g, Carbs: 96.4g, Fat: 34.6g

3 Recipes From Chef Chris Baber's Upcoming Cookbook 'Easy' | Men's Fitness UK

Bean Chilli-Loaded Wedges

My loaded wedges make veg the star of the show. Bang them in the middle of the table and let everyone dive in. Pick and choose any toppings you like. The more the merrier for me. I love the contrast of creamy avo and soured cream against the rich spicy chilli and for some extra indulgence, don’t hold back on the cheese.

Ingredients (serves 4):

  • 6 sweet potatoes, skin on, cut into thick wedges
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 red onions, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated or crushed
  • 2 celery sticks, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 red peppers, diced
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chilli powder (optional)
  • 400g can kidney beans
  • 400g can chickpeas
  • 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 100g cheddar cheese, grated
  • Salt and pepper
    To serve (optional):
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 6 spring onions, chopped
  • 2 tbsp soured cream or yoghurt
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan.
  2. Put the wedges into a baking tray. Drizzle in 1 tbsp oil, season and toss together. Bake for 30-40 minutes until slightly golden and cooked through.
  3. Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp oil in a large pan over a medium–high heat. Add the onions, garlic, celery, carrots and peppers. Season and fry for 10-12 minutes until the veg has softened and taken on a little colour.
  4. Add the paprika, cumin and chilli powder and stir for 30 seconds.
  5. Add the beans and chickpeas with the liquid from the cans along with the chopped tomatoes and sugar. Season and bring to the boil.
  6. Cover loosely and simmer for 30 minutes until you have a thick, rich sauce. If the pan becomes dry during cooking, add a splash of water. Adjust the seasoning to taste.
  7. Pour the chilli over the cooked wedges, then scatter over the cheese. Return to the oven for 5 minutes or until the cheese has melted.
  8. Scatter over your chosen toppings and serve.

Per serving:
Kcals: 350, Protein: 18.1g, Carbs: 37g, Fat: 20.7g

3 Recipes From Chef Chris Baber's Upcoming Cookbook 'Easy' | Men's Fitness UK

Pesto-Baked Eggs

This tasty little number goes to show you can make a belter of a brunch with a few simple store cupboard ingredients in no time. If you have any fresh herbs lying around like basil or parsley, throw them on at the end. If you can’t get any canned cherry tomatoes, a can of chopped tomatoes works just as well.

Ingredients (serves 1):

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
  • 1 garlic clove, sliced
  • 400g can cherry tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp basil pesto
  • 2 eggs
  • Salt and pepper
  • Bread, to serve
  1. Heat the oil in a small frying pan over a medium–high heat.
  2. Fry the garlic for 30 seconds, then stir in the tomatoes and 2 tbsp of the pesto and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to medium, cover loosely and simmer for 8-10 minutes until you have a fairly thick sauce.
  4. Use a spoon to make two wells in the tomatoes. Crack an egg into each well, cover and cook for about 5 minutes or until the whites are set and the yolks are still soft.
  5. Take off the heat, spoon over the remaining pesto and drizzle with a little more oil. Serve with bread to dip in the egg yolk and sauce.

Per serving:
Kcals: 635, Protein: 25g, Carbs: 35.9g, Fat: 47.6g

Recipes extracted from Easy by Chris Baber (Ebury, £16.99), out 7 April 2022