The Jamie Oliver show down…

I love cooking.

I find it such a creative release to get in the kitchen, get totally engrossed in the smells, colours and creation that is food and then sit down to lavishly indulge in my own piece of art.

I could sit and watch cooking shows for HOURS on end….especially my fav, Mr. Oliver.

Loved his 30 minute meal creations and yes, I bought his book. And now there’s the 15 minute new release…..and no, I have not bought the book – yet.

Enter: The Skeptical Me.

Before I was a parent I would tell myself, “I don’t have any spare time….!”  And now that I am a parent of 2, “I seriously have NO spare time…!” 

(Quickie: Our new little baby girl arrived just 9 days ago and we are all well, healthy and settling in great!)

Jamie assures us all you don’t need a lot time to whip up healthy, quick meals “in under 15 minutes”…. and as Tman and I were sitting down on the weekend eating our Takeout Pizza (with no cheese :)) because I had “no time or energy” to cook dinner that night, I realised that I should give his recipes and ideas a crack before admitting defeat!

On the menu that night he presented a beautiful “Grilled Chicken and Quinoa Salad” – and all under 15 minutes and you can see the full recipe here…

As I was watching him and getting mesmerised by his creation (whilst munching away on my delicious Crust Pizza…), my mind started coming up with the excuses as to why that wouldn’t work for us…

1. I don’t have those ingredients on hand and hardly ever do…

2. I hardly buy some of those ingredients as they don’t have a good “fresh life”…

3. It’s still not simple enough to whip up “quickly”…

And then I head butted myself.  With my baby now “out of me”, I am keen to get stuck into training and get my pre-baby body back again!  The reality is that I AM going to be time-poor and this is NOT going to change, so the only thing that I can change is my attitude towards our meals at home.

“Jods, give it a go and adapt things, don’t keep saying it’s all too hard and there’s only so many nights in the week you can get Take-out Pizza!!!”

My Version of the Recipe with what I had in the fridge was….

Grilled steak instead of Chicken

….I rubbed the steak in paprika, grilled it to medium rare, then smeared it with mustard seeds and dressed it with the juice of a fresh orange.  Then cut it into thick slices….

Quinoa Salad, Jodie style…

….I only grilled 1 x zuchinni.

….Everything else was fresh cut and tossed in with the juice of 1/2 orange and some balsamic vinegar.

Replacement ingredients were:

– 1/2 yellow capscisum

– 1 cut up orange

– 1 diced shallot

– 3 pieces of cut up proscuitto (fat trimmed off).

On the side: Served some steamed Asapargus on the side…

VERDICT: 4 Stars

It was a winner and I’m glad I took up the challenge. It was quick to cook, easily adaptable with what I had in the fridge, fresh, tasty and a healthy meal, with less calories than Jamie’s (no avocado or cheese).  PLUS there were leftovers that Tman happily devoured for his lunch.

Not the best picture, and certainly not as tantalising as Jamie’s, BUT as a budding Chef, what I like about this plate is…

a) It’s the leftovers being eaten the next day, which means Tman really did like it.

b) There was an URGENCY with Tman eating it…it was like he had to get it quickly before I started picking at it!

c) The plate was empty within 5 minutes…

Downside…. It did NOT take 15 minutes, as the reality in our house-hold is I’m multi-tasking cooking AND feeding a toddler with lots of end of day rountine stuff on the go.  This is not going to change in the near future so something that I’m going to have to get used to.

So, any other budding Chefs out there who want to take up Jamie’s 15 minute meals as a Challenge?

Here’s Jamie’s Full Recipe again for you here…

Jods :)

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