20/20 MEALS

Author: Julie Goodwin
Hachette RRP $45
Review: Monique Mulligan

Masterchef winner Julie Goodwin’s latest cookbook is aimed squarely at families with limited time and budget, a category you could say I fit neatly into. With six in the house and a busy lifestyle (like everyone I know), it’s important for me to be able to deliver tasty meals within budget, without hours of slaving in the kitchen … at least, on weeknights. If that’s you, and you need to spice up your menu, 20/20 Meals certainly fits this brief: “feed your family for $20 in 20 minutes”.


The cookbook opens with ideas on streamlining the kitchen for maximum efficiency, from organising the pantry and utensil drawer, to the essential or “non-negotiable” equipment needed for efficient home cooking. No, a Thermomix is not listed. For me, it’s commonsense … then again, I’m one of those people who loves to cook. There are money and time-saving ideas, which again I see as commonsense, but no doubt will be helpful to those less experienced or passionate about cooking. The recipes themselves are divided into five sections, ranging from Faster than Pasta to In a Flash. Each recipe lists the equipment required as well as the ingredients, with the idea being that you have everything ready before you set the 20-minute timer. The recipes are not particularly difficult and easy to follow.


This is the kind of cookbook I’d give to my adult kids when they move out of home, or to someone who isn’t a confident cook. It gently coaxes encouragement to those who want to deliver good value, timely and tasty home cooked meals but don’t really know where to start. For me, it’s on the basic side and there’s not a lot in there I haven’t seen before. However, while it’s not one I’m excited about, I do think it would be a good buy for less-experienced cooks.


Available from good bookstores and Hachette Australia. My copy was courtesy of Hachette Australia.


Monique Mulligan

Monique Mulligan

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