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Lean Reviews – Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals

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A new addition to The Lean Times is Lean Reviews, where I will be reviewing books, apps and whatever else interesting that comes my way.

For the premier Lean Reviews,  I have chosen to review the new Jamie Oliver book, Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals.  This book has been very controversial in the UK, firstly because it is the fastest selling non-fiction book ever and has been slated that the recipes take more than the promised 30 minutes.  I personally think that it has been slated because Jamie Oliver seems not to put a foot wrong and the media are waiting for him to stumble.

I think this book and the television programme are fantastic.  It uses some store bought items to bring together a great meal in a small amount of time.  This is just the type of book to get people away from microwaved ready meals and on to cooking real food that is healthy and much less expensive.

At the start of the book, Jamie explains that the recipes might take longer the first couple of times attempting them but after a few tries, you should be able to get into the 30 minute range.  There is also a special symbol for when a technique has a video shown on the website which is really helpful if you are a novice cook or if it is a technique you have not done before.

The other thing, I love in this book, Jamie gives a list of all the equipment you will need to achieve the 30 minute goal.  There is nothing worse than wanting to cook and finding out that you are missing a crucial piece of kit.  All in all, I found this book a gem.  Sometimes you do not need to make every course that is suggested. I personally love the mains but can give the desserts or drinks a miss as I don’t eat much dessert and drink wine with dinner.

I think Jamie’ 30 Minute Meals is fantastic in the way it is written. The steps are precisely laid out with each step explained in an exact order. I would suggest putting the book in a recipe book holder or protect it with some plastic as it might get some spillage.

I do wish that Jamie would have done some more cost efficient recipes as many of his ingredients are not very inexpensive and if we are cooking more it is probably because we are budget conscious.  All in all, I think this is a book worth looking at if not owning.  I also enjoyed the television programme on Channel 4 but thought they should have put it on a bit later to catch people after work instead of at 6pm when most people are still battling their way home.

Have you used this book, do you believe the critics that you can not do the recipes in the alotted 30 minutes? Or do you love it and want to make all the suggested recipes?  Please drop me a comment.

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