Saturday, December 10, 2011

Weekend Cooking: Jamie's 30-minute Meals

Title: Jamie's 30-minute Meals
Author: Jamie Oliver
Publisher: Michael Joseph Ltd
Release date: September, 2010
Length: 288 pages

From Goodreads:
"In his new book, "Jamie's 30-Minute Meals", Jamie proves that, by mastering a few tricks and being organized and focused in the kitchen, it is absolutely possible, and easy, to get a complete meal on the table in the same amount of time you'd normally spend making one dish! The 50 brand-new meal ideas in this book are exciting, varied and seasonal. They include main course recipes with side dishes as well as puddings and drinks, and are all meals you'll be proud to serve your family and friends. Jamie has written the recipes in a way that will help you make the most of every single minute in the kitchen. This book is as practical as it is beautiful, showing that with a bit of preparation, the right equipment and some organization, hearty, delicious, quick meals are less than half an hour away. You'll be amazed by what you're able to achieve."

Personal opinion:
I have been watching some TV shows of Jamie Oliver lately and that is what inspired me to borrow one of his books at the library. While the book isn't vegetarian only, I love the fact that Jamie does pay attention to pure and organic products and that he is also very respectful about the origins of the meat he gets. In the register the recipes suitable for vegetarians are marked with a V, so they are easy to find and there are quite a lot of them. The downside is, that while Jamie uses plenty of veggies and vegetarian elements, very few total menu's were vegetarian. So to me it did came down to cook separate dishes even though that is not what the book aims at. On the other hand, this didn't really bother me because it turned out that I was quite intimidated by this concept anyway. To me it just seems impossible to put such menus on the table in just 30 minutes unless you have very fast knife skills and can multi-task easily. That are both qualities that I don't have ;) That and only having a 2 pitted stove, didn't make this concept work for me. However the separate dishes are still very inspirational and it is a joy to see what Jamie does with veggies in terms of flavor. It are very simple things to incorporate. I will surely pick up more cookbooks from Jamie.

Purchase links: Amazon

As I stated above I have made separate dishes from this book instead of whole menus. I am going to share Jamie's Sweet Chili Rice recipe here. I think it is an awesome recipe to give flavor to your rice.

Sweet Chili Rice (side dish - serves 4)
- 1 large mug basmati rice
- 2 spring onions
- 3 eggs
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1/2 lemon (I used 1/2 lime because I had one at hand)
- fresh coriander
- Sweet chili sauce
- bit of olive oil
- pepper

Slice the spring onions in small pieces. Scoop the mug full of rice in a pan together with 2 mugs full of boiling water (use the same mug) and let it cook for 7 minutes with the lid on. Add spring onions in a bowl together with the eggs, sesame oil, soy sauce and a bit of olive oil, mix well. Remove the lid from the pan and add the mixture to the rice, stir it in. Squeeze the juice of the lemon over it and add some pepper. Place the lid back on the pan, and leave with for 5 minutes on low heat. When done, add the chili sauce royally and top it with fresh coriander.

I used the rice cooker with the same amount of rice-water. This works perfectly, only you need to add in the other ingredients together with the rice from the beginning. Stir it trough and stir again at the end. Then add the chili sauce and coriander as above.

Jamie made a menu with the rice, bok choy, broccoli and asparagus in soy sauce and lime, scallops and brownies for dessert all in 30 minutes. I served the rice with stir fried mushrooms and veggies in soy sauce and lime.

Don't forget to check out the other participants of Weekend Cooking. Who knows where your next food inspiration will come from?


  1. I really need to get a Jamie book. Yes, I really don't think I own any of his books. This sounds like a book I'd like. The rice sounds really good -- I like that hint of citrus.

  2. 30 minutes seems like a bit of a stretch for me as well. I'm afraid I'm not that organized when it comes to my kitchen efforts.
    I like the fact that he makes it easy to spot the vegetarian recipes in his cookbook.

  3. I have a few of his books, I enjoy his recipes. Didn't like his shows at first but now I'm hooked :) The rice looks great, delicious flavors in there.

  4. 30-minute meals are the way to go for everday cooking during the busy holidays, when so much of my time is devoted to baking. We do a lot of stir fries in the wok at this time of year, but so much chopping is involved. The prep time makes those recipes a bit time-consuming. The rice looks delish.

  5. I have everything to make this I think I will!

  6. Great idea to borrow a book from the library and test out some of the goods.

  7. I'm not sure how you could make a whole meal in 30 minutes, but maybe it's a matter of practice? Maybe after the 5th time you can do it in 30 minutes. :-)

  8. I have always wanted one of his books. You are close enough you could go to Bruges and get a chocolate kitty.

  9. Every Saturday I love reading what you have put together. It's always so creative. You make being a vegetarian sound very appealing.

  10. That rice dish does sound yummy. I think I would love that with a raita! I've marked this one to try. Thanks for sharing!

  11. I never belive those 30 minute (or 10 minute or whatever) meals. You usually need an assistant to cut up veggies and what not in order to be that quick.
    The recipe sounds lovely, though.

  12. This looks like a very do-able and tasty recipe! It's been a while since we last made curry here, so I'll have to give that a go soon :) Yup, the downside of omnivore cookbooks, they usually don't have that many vegetarian recipes. I checked out Home Made Winter (Dutch) last week, about 80% of the recipes were really good and vegetarian. It's getting good reviews too. But nope, I don't think I'll be getting another Jamie Oliver again :/

  13. I do want to check out home made winter too! But the book is on the pricey side and the library doesn't have it.

  14. I became more familiar with Jamie Oliver because of his show about trying to cook healthier foods in schools and towns that had a higher obesity rate and started to research his recipes more. I've never tried them though, and I need to! As a vegetarian, I'm always looking to try something new and this looks fabulous!

  15. I wish I had a rice cooker too! :)

    Sounds like a nice recipe, though I'll have to try it without the eggs of course. What's that next to your rice, baked mushrooms?

  16. I got this book but am really not sold on it yet. Have only tried a few recipes though so am hoping that it grows on me!