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October 12, 2010

As I mentioned in an earlier post I was fortunate enough to be approached by Yuppiechef and asked to do a review on the new Jamie Oliver cookery book Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals. I have spent a lot of time reading and paging through the book deciding which meal I wanted to make for the review.

Jamie's 30-Minute Meals

My first impression as I started paging through this beautiful book was that this is no ordinary run of the mill cookery book. The layout is different, it is full of energy, lots of colourful action photographs and focused multi-tasking. No time to mooch around in the kitchen, watching the tv in the lounge with one eye, while you half heartedly rustle up an evening meal. No time to faff about searching in overloaded drawers or cupboards for utensils or dishes, no time to stand and stare into the great icy depths of the fridge and wonder what to do while contemplating the sadlywilting, smelly cabbage way past it’s sell by date. It’s all about being focused, being organized, working fast and using shortcuts to prepare whole meals using fresh seasonal produce. He does not compromise on flavour or quality of the meals. I read through each and every one of the meals that he has outlined in the book and they are all good tasty seasonal meals that should satisfy the most discerning of palates.

I quote from the author’s notes for you: “If, like me, you love food, and have hungry mouths to feed when you get home after a long day, then allow me to let you in on a totally revolutionary new way of cooking. In this book I’m going to show you how to make a complete meal in the time you’d normally spend on one dish. What you’ll be able to achieve in just 30 minutes will absolutely blow your mind. It’s certainly blown mine. Once you start cooking this way, not only will you absolutely love it; you’ll never look back.”

Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals consists of 50 well choreographed and planned meals – main dish, side dishes, pudding and drinks that go together well. The recipes and instructions are written in such a way that you have no option but to multi-task. As Jamie says this style of cooking is all about using every minute available wisely while having fun and reclaiming your kitchen for the job it was meant for!

It is full of advice and tips on having a well organized kitchen and all the correct equipment. To follow this style of cooking you do need to know upfront that you will need to clear out your cupboards and drawers and sort out what you need and dont need. Ditch the stuff that you do not use or need. You also need to know that you will require some essential equipment like a microwave, a food processor,  a liquidiser and a complete and concise  list of other utensils and tools that he has listed for you.

I was asked to make one meal from the book for this review and the one I selected was CHICKEN PIE WITH FRENCH STYLE PEAS, SWEET CARROT MASH AND BERRIES WITH SHORTBREAD & CHANTILLY CREAM. I discovered that I am definitely not as energetic – or as fast – as Jamie is in the kitchen and my small space looked like a bomb had gone off in there after I had finished “banging it all on the table”! It took me 50 minutes from start to finish (I had to compromise and cut the veggies with my chefs knife as i don’t have a food processor) and I was breathless and hot under the collar by the end of that time – BUT I found the recipe and instructions easy to follow and the food at the end of the exercise was pronounced to be fantastic.


So if YOU, yes you reading this, fall into the category of people who say “I don’t know how”, ” its too expensive”  or  “I don’t have the time,” then this book is for you! Put it on your Christmas list with a link here for convenient online purchasing and maybe, just maybe, you could be lucky enough to find one in your Christmas stocking. If you can’t wait that long and you desire to release your inner foodie  immediately the good news is you don’t need to wait. Get your fingers walking across your keyboard and point that mouse in the right direction You can’t go wrong with this one and your family and friends will love the kitchen fiend you turn into! 🙂


browniegirl xx

37 Comments leave one →
  1. Supa permalink
    October 12, 2010 5:19 PM

    Excellent review Colleen, you were objective and honest. The meal looks very good, I like the idea of carrot mash, as I often leave out the starch in favour of an extra veg.

    • October 19, 2010 4:59 PM

      Thanx so much Supa. The carrot mash was very good. First time I have tried it xx

  2. October 12, 2010 5:21 PM

    Definitely something I need to look at. I’m pooped by the time I get home from the office, and if it wasn’t for Marmee, I’d live on coffee, toast and a ciggie for supper.

    • October 19, 2010 5:01 PM

      Bad Halfy! Shame man….you need to give these quick meals a try!! Hugs to you and Marmee xx

  3. October 12, 2010 5:23 PM

    phew – that looks like a whole load of work in the 50 mins

    I can manage a steak or grilled fish with a salad in that time

    • October 19, 2010 5:03 PM

      It was quite a lot of work Sidey. And a lot of fun too hehe. But I think one can get into it and manage the meals in 30 minutes xx

  4. October 12, 2010 5:26 PM

    I think that the time is not the important part but the getting it ‘right’. This is going to be another addition to my collection of Jamie’s books!

    • October 25, 2010 4:42 PM

      Its a good addition to any cook book collection Tandy. Yes, I agree, I’m also not too worried about the time factor but getting it right is tantamount. xx

  5. Bari permalink
    October 12, 2010 7:16 PM

    Oh dear Col! If it took you 50 mins & your kitchen looked like a bomb had hit it how do you think I will manage???

    • October 25, 2010 4:46 PM

      Haha Babs, the mind boggles :o) It was fun working against the clock like that for a change but I’m rather sloooow these days as you know! Its a great book with some really good recipes xx

  6. October 12, 2010 9:52 PM

    Brilliant, O Captain, my Captain! I’ll get the book (besides, he’s SOOOO cute!) ;-D xxx

    • October 25, 2010 4:51 PM

      LOL Jo! Worth it just from the cuteness factor hehe….Tha x so much. Let me know what you think of it when you do get it. I’ve been really enjoying listening to some rather good youtube rock songs from a particular groupie I know….. :o) xxx

  7. October 12, 2010 11:13 PM

    Do you think this book is something I would benefit from in my hectic work life? It would be a ton cheaper to purchase here too.
    Great write up.

    • October 25, 2010 4:59 PM

      thanx so much! Its a lovely book Chez, would always come in handy! xx

  8. October 13, 2010 5:19 AM

    I have ALL of his books my friend…absolutely fantabulous xxx Well done xx

    • October 25, 2010 5:01 PM

      Thank you buttercup. Lovely to see you friend. A nice collection of books you have by the sound of things….xx

  9. frootie-maureen permalink
    October 13, 2010 9:22 AM

    looks delish Brownie Lady :-)…although, and I don’t care if the darlink Jaimie Oliver makes it or not, I dont do carrots! Ewwww’s daft I know, but the only coloured veg I am partial too are corn, butternut and gem squash. So it would more than likely be a butternut and soet-patat mash in place of.

    Really beautiful pie though Colleen xxx

    • October 25, 2010 5:05 PM

      Nothing wrong with butternut and sweet potato mash frootz my girl hehe. Thanx so much for your lovely comment. Hugs xx

  10. October 13, 2010 2:03 PM

    I do love the idea of being able to create a whole MEAL (including dessert) in 30 mins! That’s the selling point for this book I reckon, for all the busy people out there!

    • November 2, 2010 11:52 PM

      Oh yes and a very good selling point it is too catty. Its a lovely book with a lot of really good tips in it and I really do recommend it for the busy folk but……I would have to really jack myself up to complete the meals in the recommended time! Its great fun though and 50 minutes for a whole meal with dessert and drinks etc is not bad going…..thanx so much for the visit and comment. xx

  11. October 23, 2010 9:45 AM

    Hi Colleen. How fab to be asked to review Jamie’s book – well done! I enjoy watching him on Channel 180 and find his simple approach so refreshing. This book does sound like a good one to have and, as our son gets married next April, a good one to include on the gift list! Ciao for now.

    • October 25, 2010 5:16 PM

      Hey Sandi, good to see you. Yes, I also have to admit to enjoying watching Jamie’s shows. This is an excellent book for a young newly wed guy :o) xx

  12. October 24, 2010 2:15 PM

    The cookbook looks fantastic! After having a Jamie Oliver feast only today, I’m very impressed with the quality of his recipes. The chicken pie looks superb.

    • November 2, 2010 11:53 PM

      Thank you Emma. As I have said in previous comments it really is a fab book. And I also do like Jamie’s recipes. The pie was delish! 🙂 Thanx so much for popping in. Hugs to you xx

  13. October 29, 2010 12:31 PM

    Great blog! really looking forward to trying the recipes! especiallythe chicken biryiani!!

  14. October 29, 2010 4:43 PM

    Oh wow, that chicken pie looks good! I must admit, I am not a speedy cook (or indeed a speedy anything :o)) – so I would probably be with you, hugging and puffing after 50 mins! Still, it looks like it was worth it in the end 🙂

    • November 2, 2010 11:57 PM

      Hehe….yep, you know me 🙂 It was a fun exercise and I look forward to trying more of the meals in the book. At my leisure of course…because I can LOL! The pie was scrumptious and the rush around was most definitely worth it. Thanx Jeanne xx

  15. November 1, 2010 1:25 AM

    This book is on my Christmas list. I am enjoying watching Jamie doing his 30 minute show, but can’t see me doing any of it in 30 minutes!
    Nice review.

  16. November 2, 2010 11:58 PM

    Thank you so much Nic, much appreciated. Its a fab little present this book. I would never be able to do the 30 minutes…..but thats OK! The recipes are worth it and taking it a bit slow won’t harm me 🙂

  17. Griet permalink
    November 6, 2010 7:24 PM

    Col, wow, I have missed so many post because of the move and aslo when Telkom did their THING. Stunning posts and I am going to try the RISOTTO, one of my favourite things. If I had read before today I would have made the Sticky Pudding to take to lunch tomorrow – going to the Natal family (D`s uncle and Aunt live in Margate, going to see his cousin that we last saw at our Wedding 28 years ago.

    Lots of hugs and love

    • November 15, 2010 11:58 PM

      Lovely to see you here again my friend. I know exactly why you have been MIA! Its a stressful thing…a big move like you just made. Hope the meeting with the family went well. Much love to you xx

  18. November 8, 2010 8:21 AM

    I’m definitely going to try the carrot mash.
    HOpe all is well with you, Brownie.
    Miss you on the ‘other’ side.

    • November 16, 2010 12:21 AM

      Thanx so much Bren, I also miss everyone that side. All is good here at the moment. Just very busy. We enjoyed the carrot mash. It was a good accompaniment for the delicious chicken pie and peas…great flavors xx

  19. March 24, 2011 4:17 PM

    What a fabulous blog, I have sent the link to my grandmother, Lindsay as she would love to see what you have done.

    • March 24, 2011 4:44 PM

      Hey Bronwyn, its so good to see you visiting here. Thank you so much for your lovely comment. Please tell Lindsay to comment when she visits. Love to hear from my readers 🙂 Hugs and love to you…I reckon your little dude is getting big already. They grow so fast. I just love my two little ones….apples of their granny’s eye they are! xx

  20. May 2, 2011 2:23 PM

    Great review Colleen! 30 minute meal + 30 minute dishwashing. I’m a big fan of J.O but no more cookbooks til I use the ones I have a bit more. Love to the family 🙂

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