Released in 2012 by popular chef, Jamie Oliver, Jamie's 15 Minute Meals follows on from the popular 30-Minute Meals cookbook and is designed to deliver "super quick, tasty, nutritious food that you can eat everyday of the week."
The book begins with an introduction written by Jamie, and some tips on how to cook fast, essential equipment and pantry staples.
After the introduction, the book is divided into sections, such as Chicken, Beef, Pork etc. Each recipe is made up of 2-3 separate dishes, so you can mix and match to create new meals (eg. combine the salad from one 'meal' with a main dish from another 'meal').
While the majority of the meals are meat-based, there is a vegetarian section too.
The 'Veggie' section contains 11 recipes and includes meals such as:
Camembert Parcels with Autumn Salad & Cranberry Dip (p. 236)
While some of the recipes looked complicated when I first flicked through the book, once I got started I found that the recipes were actually quite manageable, with easy-to-source ingredients and step-by-step instructions.
Since getting the book, I've developed a few favourites from the book - the 'Spicy Cajun Chicken with Smashed Sweet Potato & Fresh Corn Salsa' on page 28 is the family's current favourite. It's healthy, easy to prepare and cook, and - most importantly - the kids enjoy it.
As with a lot of the recipes in the book, I make a few adjustments (I swap Cajun seasoning for Moroccan, so it is less spicy to suit our children's tastebuds, omit the okra and polenta, and I often use canned corn instead of fresh corn) but the flavour combination is still fantastic. I've also found that using canned corn and preparing the Salsa earlier (then leaving it in the fridge) makes the meal preparation at dinner time much quicker and easier.
Spicy Cajun Chicken, Smashed Sweet Potato & Fresh Corn Salsa. As the food-splattered pages indicate, this recipe is a favourite of ours.
In many of the dishes, Jamie has taken a traditional recipe and put his twist on it. For example, with the 'Modern Greek Salad with Spinach, Chickpea & Feta Parcels' (p. 230), Jamie adds Almonds and Coriander to the Greek Salad, but leaves out the Feta, however, he teams the salad up with the parcels, which have feta, so the two dishes work well together.
The Best Fish Baps with Mushy Peas & Tartare Sauce' (p. 214) provides a healthy alternative to store-bought fish burgers. Again, the ingredients are simple (eg. the fish is coated with salt, pepper, cayenne, flour and parmesan, and cooked in olive oil), and you can team the fish burgers up with some home-made chips or plain mashed potato if you're not a fan of mushy peas.
The Best Fish Baps with Mushy Peas & Tartare Sauce (p. 214)
The 'Turkish Flats' is another recipe that requires simple ingredients such as salt, pepper, cumin seeds, rosemary and paprika to season the lamb mince.
One of the good things about the book is that Jamie uses herbs and spices that you're likely to have on hand at home, or that can easily be found in the supermarket. I've also found that the recipes work just as well if I have to substitute herbs or spices (or leave some out altogether).
Turkish Flats with Shred Salad, Feta & Herbs (p. 114)
At the beginning of the book, Jamie states that he worked with nutritionist, Laura Parr while writing the book to ensure that the meals were healthy, as he wanted people to be able to cook from it every night of the week.
Overall, it's a great cookbook with tasty recipes. The images throughout the book are beautiful (a photo of every recipe is contained in the book), and there is a handy fabric bookmark attached to the spine of the book.
I can't vouch for the '15 Minutes' claim, as I tend to take my time with cooking and often prefer to chop by hand than use the food processor, but I've found the recipes to be fairly quick to make compared to my usual dinner recipes.