Jamie's 15-Minute Meals

Jamie’s 15-Minute Meals

Author: Jamie Oliver

Publisher: Penguin Books

Price: R350

Creating a sumptuous and healthy meal in 15 minutes seems like such an impossible task. But celebrated and quirky chef Jamie Oliver makes it look so easy in his cooking show, Jamie’s 15-Minute Meals.

I enjoyed the programme so much that I was thrilled when he did a cookbook. For me, it seemed like the answer for many working mothers who don’t have the time to slave over a hot stove to ensure that the meals they plate up to their families are nutritious.

The 287-page book is filled with lovely recipes with beautifully photographed pictures of the food. The cookbook begins with Oliver’s 15-minute meal philosophy – fast, tasty, affordable, good-for-you food – and ends with notes on nutrition from his head nutritionist Laura Parr.

The true test for me, however, was whether I could replicate one of his meals in exactly 15 minutes. So one hot Sunday morning, I decided to cook one of his recipes – Gorgeous Greek Chicken, Herby Vegetable Couscous & Tzatziki – which was perfect for a light lunch.

Before I began, I took out all the necessary ingredients and prepared my cooking station, just as Oliver suggested. Once everything was ready, I set the timer on my oven. The meal, which consisted of three components – fried chicken in a little olive oil, vegetable couscous and tzatziki (mostly grated cucumber and plain yoghurt) – was really easy to do, but still the clock was against me.

Unfortunately, it didn’t take me 15 minutes to put this meal together. It took me just over 20 minutes. I could blame it on the children who wanted my attention, but the truth is I am no Jamie Oliver.

Still, the meal came out delicious. The chicken was moist, the couscous flavourful and the tzatziki was refreshing. Best of all, my family thoroughly enjoyed it. - The Star