Warning: This post contains swears.
I used to love making dinner. I’d talk about it with my work colleagues and we’d discuss which spice to use and whether I needed red or brown onion. And then I’d pop into the shops on the way home and buy those onions and ten other things I didn’t really need because you never know when tinned tuna will come on sale again. Better get some.
Now I’ve got kids and I stay at home with them, which would suggest I’ve got plenty of time to continue with the above dinner preparation method. Not bloody likely. I’m so frickin’ busy doing things like microwaving my coffee four times and then still chucking half of it out or playing with blocks or answering questions about how blue pegs are made etc etc that for a time there all we ate were the same four meals on rotation. The ones you can cook without actually being conscious and take less than half an hour from fridge to lips. There was that moment when I went to a Thermomix party and thought that maybe $2000 was an appropriate amount of money to spend on something which would make me butter chicken through osmosis. However, I did not buy a Thermomix for the reasons outlined here. Instead, I bought Jamie Oliver’s 15 Minute Meals from Booktopia.
15 minute meals aye? Sounds fabulous and just up my alley since I’m so time poor from being at home all the time. I like Jamie Oliver despite his virility (clearly evident by the FIFTH CHILD WTF???) and that turns my ovaries right off now that I actually have two kids. But he has a delightful lisp (not really; that kind of turns me off too) and every piece of food he touches looks good enough to roll around in. My husband and I watched a few of the programs where he cooks the recipes from 15 Minute Meals and they looked pretty special and super quick, so I bought the book.
Imagine my surprise when, in my first attempt to cook one of these meals 15 minutes before we usually have dinner, it took over 45 minutes AND my kitchen looked like a fucking bomb had gone off in it. This was bullshit! Ain’t nobody got time for a 15 minute meal which actually takes 45 minutes to make and then another 60 minutes to clean up after.
The only thing keeping me from launching that thing straight into the bin was the fact that it tasted sensational. Like, angels were singing and regurgitating hymnal globs of food into my mouth. So I kept the book and tried a heap of the other recipes, including this brief selection:
- The Blackened Chicken San Fran Quinoa Salad is a great summery meal and substantial enough for dinner. It’s also awesome for gluten-free freaks friends and has turned my husband into an eater of quinoa. (No small feat, let me tell you.)
- The Modern Greek Salad with spinach, chickpea and feta parcels is so good even my children love it (even the salad- no, not lying and yes, I got down on my knees and thanked the Gods that my children were eating something green which wasn’t in the shape of a frog).
- The Moroccan Mussels are spicy and delicious: my sister-in-law went out and bought the book straight after I served this up at a family dinner.
And now that I’ve cooked these recipes a few times over, they don’t take long. The quickest I’ve nailed one in is 20 minutes and I could probably go even quicker but I don’t have a team of lackeys to clean up after me, unlike Jamie Oliver.
So would I recommend this book? Absolutely. The meals are relatively quick and they are delicious. You could make them in 15 minutes if you had no care for what ended up on your ceiling or in your hair.
Are variations of meat and three veg on rotation at your house? Or are you a one-pot wonder kind of cook?
Have you a strange aversion to Jamie Oliver’s man-appeal? Or is it just me?
Within this post are links to Booktopia. If you click on the link and then buy something from them, I would get paid enough money to buy half a pink musk stick in 1983. This is not very helpful since a) it’s not 1983 b) the inflation rate in Australia is outrageous and c) I don’t like pink musk sticks anymore. However, I really like this book and I wouldn’t recommend it if I didn’t think you might like it too.
Linking up with Essentially Jess and #ibot