Cooking for one is a drag – other than an omelette or fried eggs, everything you make is for more than one. You either freeze it or toss it out… So I’m always on the lookout for interesting meals that might tempt me to cook.
I was in Sobeys this afternoon, I went to pick up some yoghurt when I walked past a display of Jamie Oliver’s recent cookbook: Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals – don’t ask me why I stopped, picked one up and opened it – I haven’t looked at a cookbook in more than 10 years (I have a cupboard full of cookbooks which I haven’t looked at in that long; I certainly haven’t bought one for longer than that). I do peruse recipes online if I’m going to try something to see how it might be made – Danish Rødkål, for example (that’s Danish red cabbage – this particular recipe doesn’t add apples, I do); and I collect an occasional recipe which I put in a binder which I keep beside my microwave oven. But I just walk past recipe/cooking books!
This time, I stopped and actually looked through the book – they were half-price – Sobeys and Jamie Oliver are on a mission to bring better food to Canadians. Sobeys has their “Inspired” magazine which I do pick up quarterly when I see it at the checkout – there are usually several useful recipes in each issue. I guess I was interested to see what Jamie Oliver was bringing to the enterprise.
I came home, sat at my kitchen table, and began reading the book – I have to say there were very few recipes that didn’t appeal to me – they’re simple (maybe not all of them can be made in 15 minutes – that wasn’t what I cared about – I was interested in how the meals were balanced, easy to put together, many of the ingredients I already have in my kitchen). Jamie begins by saying you need four essential tools: a food processor, blender, immersion blender and a kettle – I glanced over to the end of my counter top and there they were – all four of them in a row, ready to go.
I can see the book is going to sit on my kitchen table for quite some time – offering me ideas for feeding myself (I don’t have to make the four servings most of the recipes will provide – the recipes are easy enough that I can scale them down to two servings without compromising the taste).
So, I’m recommending the book. I could taste the food as I read each meal – the recipes are accompanied by very well done photos of food served in Jamie’s rustic style – his point is to make us realize we can cook interesting, healthy meals for ourselves if we’re willing to think about it – the “15 minutes” – to let us see we can do it in less time than it takes to order take-out!