REVIEW: SAVE WITH JAMIE BY JAMIE OLIVER

SAVE WITH JAMIE

Author: Jamie Oliver
Michael Joseph RRP $49.99
Review: Monique Mulligan

Book Cover:  Save with Jamie: Shop smart, cook clever, waste lessDo you really need another cookbook? That’s what Blue Eyes asked when Jamie Oliver’s latest cookbook, Save with Jamie, turned up last week. Um … yes! He’s only joking – we both know he enjoys the testing and tasting that follows the delivery of a new cookbook. Blue Eyes likes to shop smart and waste less, so once he heard that was the aim behind Oliver’s latest cookbook, he was won over in an instant. Cook clever, shop smart and waste less … sounds like a winning kitchen recipe to me.

We’re a family of six (not counting pets) and budget is important to us. So is tasty, nutritious food cooked with love – for the people and the produce. I love to cook a variety of food, but sometimes the budget does get in the way. Save with Jamie offers families on budgets ways to cook efficiently – by reducing waste and using leftovers in a tasty way. The book contains 120 money-saving meals, as well as loads of tips for getting the most out of ingredients. Oliver describes what’s in a well-stocked kitchen, freezer, fridge and pantry (adding tips to make sure food quality is not compromised), before sharing a bunch of “happy, and colourful, optimistic dishes”.

The recipes are divided into sections – veg, chicken, beef, pork, lamb, fish. Got some leftover chicken? Oliver has several ways to use that up. Same with leftover pork, lamb and beef. We rarely have leftover roast meat, but one thing I do is buy whole BBQ chooks, tear them up, freeze the meat and use the bones for stock, which I also freeze. You could replace this frozen, shredded chicken in a number of the recipes in this book.

I’ve marked heaps of recipes in this book – they’re family friendly (as well as budget friendly), so I think we’ll be trying more than half the recipes. We tried the Singapore Noodles tonight (Oliver uses leftover chicken; I used the aforementioned BBQ chook) and it went down very well, with only two requests – make more and add hotter chilli! Here are some others that have caught our fancy:

  • Hungover Noodles
  • Chicken Stew
  • Chicken & Chorizo Paella
  • Sticky Chicken Chinese Noodles
  • Spiced Beef Tagine
  • Banh Mi
  • Smoked Ham Hocks with Parsley Sauce

Over time, each of these will be added to my weekly menu (yes, I write a menu for shopping and display it on a blackboard to answer the ‘What’s for dinner?’ question).

Save with Jamie is a good-looking book and the instructions are easy to follow. If saving money while eating well is on your agenda, I’d highly recommend this cookbook as a kitchen staple. It’d make a great gift for those just moving out of home, too.

Available from good bookstores and Penguin Books Australia. This copy was courtesy of Penguin Books Australia.

Bookish treat: I’m munching on a fruit platter as I write this. Fruit in season … way to go.