Jamie Oliver’s 15 MINUTE MEALS

I am a huge fan and admirer of Jamie Oliver, both his food and the work he does. He literally changed my views on food and cooking. I am not a foodie and cooking doesn’t come naturally to me. I don’t have a feel for flavours and can be a stickler for measured amounts but Jamie is slowly bringing me around. But one of the best things Jamie has converted me to is cooking everything from scratch. I refuse to use jarred sauces or anything else pre-prepared and laden with preservatives. I used to often use a jar of pasta sauce or other pre-prepared shortcuts as a way of saving time but after having kids I’ve seen the affect loads of preservatives can have on behaviour and Jamie has shown me that you can still cook quickly from scratch.

Jamie’s Ministry of Food is far and away my favourite cookbook and a week still does not go by where I don’t cook at least one recipe from that book. Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals was a revolution and a revelation although I have to admit the only time I made the 30 minute mark was when I dropped one of the courses! Now Jamie takes this concept another step further with 15 Minute Meals.

When I first heard this was Jamie’s next book I joked that with 30 Minute Meals they usually took 60 minutes so 15 Minute Meals must take 30. On my first look through the book I couldn’t believe these meals could be cooked in 15 minutes.15 minute ratatouille? Curry sauces? I tweeted my disbelief and got this (awesome) response:


@PnPBookseller you’ll be just fine do what it says and pull your finger out and you’ll be laughing I’ve had teenagers doing them under time

So I decided to set myself a challenge of cooking a 15 Minute Meal every night for a week. Originally the goal was 7 nights but after consultation with the family we decided on 5. And I have to say Jamie is right, you can cook these meals in 15 minutes. Jamie has also changed the format of the recipes for this book and they are much clearer and more straight forward than 30 Minute Meals which does make it easier to make the time. Jamie also gives nutritional information for each meal including calories, fat, sugar and saturated fats and each recipe comes in with very good numbers. The book is divided up between Chicken, Beef, Pork, Lamb, Seafood, Pasta, Soups, Sandwiches, Vegetarian and Breakfast. I chose 5 for the challenge but will definitely be cooking more and will add them to this blog as I cook ‘em

Mustard Lamb & Irish Mash

Time: over 15 mins (gravy issues)
Taste: delicious (needed more gravy)
Cook again: You bet (with more gravy)

Spicy Cajun Chicken, Smashed Sweet Potato & Fresh Corn Salsa

Time: well over 15 minutes
Taste: unbelievably delicious, could have eaten more despite being full
Cook again: Daughter wanted it again tomorrow

Beef Kofta Curry, Fluffy Rice, Beans & Peas

Time: nailed 15 minutes
Taste: sauce and rice tasty, koftas needed more spice or some onion
Cook again: if I wanted a curry would cook something else more slow cooked

Chorizo Carbonara

Time: easy 15 minutes
Taste: good, very garlicky
Cook again: already have a great bacon carbonara which takes under 15 minutes which beats this

Pork Steaks, Hungarian Pepper Sauce & Rice

Time: way over 15 minutes, don’t have slicer attachment plus, you know, pork
Taste: Stunning, one of the best
Cook again: in a heartbeat, both kids loved it


Felafel Wraps, Grilled Veg & Salsa 

Time: a bit over 15 minutes
Taste: really delicious, especially the salsa
Cook again: would love to try felafel cold but no leftovers

Chilli Con Carne Meatballs

Time: 15 minutes
Taste: Sauce full of flavour, meatballs missing onion
Cook again: maybe

Crispy Polenta Chicken Caesar Salad

Time: 30 minutes
Taste: yummy
Cook again: possibly

ISBN: 9780718157807
Format: Hardback
Publishing status: ACTIVE
Price: $49.99
RRP: $49.99
Title: Jamies 15 Minute Meals
Publication date: 08/10/2012

   All photos © Kate Page & © Jon Page

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