more on the 30 minute meals....

4 June 2011

Its nice to know I'm not alone when it comes to the kitchen....
Getting a meal at night always seems to be such an interruption to my day....
and especially when I'm not organised!
I hate that 5.00pm question....
"What are we having for dinner tonight"

I thought perhaps I might give my a little review of what I have cooked from the book.....
and Id LOVE to know what recipes you have tried too. kids can be fussy....
They don't eat HOT...they don't like unusual vegetables.
We don't eat a lot of seafood (mainly due to availability)
Ian isn't a fan of strong spices...
and I attempt to avoid rosemary and capsicums....
so as you can see I have a few adaptions to make when I cook with the recipes....but they still work just fine.

Over the last few weeks Ive been using Sunday night as the night to prepare the meals for the week.
I sit with my 30min meals planner....and a shopping list.
Its a lovely feeling on Sunday night....knowing in advance for the entire week what we will be eating...
and hitting the shops once a week on a Monday.....and getting all that we need for the week has been a huge has dropped our grocery bill by a lot.
Of course we do duck down for fresh milk etc if needed ..... but all the major shopping is done. is what we have tried from the book so far.....and my thoughts...

p54- Spaghetti Puttanesca and garlic bread - this was the only real disaster.....not one of us liked it.....and it was also the night I invited guests for tea after spruking about how good the recipes

p58 - Cheats Pizza and 3 delish salads - this is the BEST...we have had it twice now.... Mitch has decided he wants it for every birthday from now on....its his favourite.

p70- Spinach and Feta Filo pie and tomato salad - delish!

p86 - I just made the Kimchee slaw to have with BBQ- it had a lovely fresh taste...and made stacks.

p90 - Chicken Pie, french style peas and sweet carrot smash - this was nice....the kids weren't a fan of the peas though.

p96 - Mustard chicken..Quick dauphinose potatoes and greens - very noice!

p110 - Chicken skewers...amazing satay sauce and fiery noodle salad - we have had this twice also....its probably my favourite...and I love the flavours in the fiery noodle salad. 

p120 - Piri piri chicken and rocket salad - I was really worried as I was making was loaded with chili and capsicum.....and the steam from the oven even burnt my eyes....but as far as was lovely....and not actually that Id definitely make this again.....although.....I did reduce the chili by half as I made I think the recipe as is...would be very hot.

p210 - Superfast beef hash...jacket potatoes and lovely butter beans and bacon.
This was was easy.....and tasted nice.

p216 - steak Indian style...spinach and paneer salad and we had poppadoms.
This was lovely....but seeing as I didn't use the curry paste in the recipe....and substituted for a green curry one I already had in the fridge I cant really comment.....but Id totally make the green Thai curry version again.
I m not a fan of the paneer was a bit tasteless I thought.

p220- Meatball sandwich...pickled cabbage and chopped salad....
This was nice.....we all enjoyed it...

p236 - seared pork fillet and meaty mushroom sauce...potato mash and garlic beans.
This was delicious....and the mushroom sauce is the best!
Ive made the mushroom sauce alone a few times just to have with BBQ and salad.

p240 - pork chops...crispy crackling....crushed potatoes and mint cabbage.
This was really nice.....and Ill make it again.

p256 - Catherine wheel sausage...horseradish salad......sage and leek gravy
This was an interesting way to cook a sausage.....and we all loved the apple combined with it.
The sage and apple gravy was nice.

So there you have it....
Obviously there have been nights where we have cooked something very simple and not from the book...
other nights we have cleared up leftovers....
but I'm slowly working through the book.. and more importantly enjoying it.

Thanks for the recommendations as far as Jamie's other books go....
My dear friend from Qld  Ron is a Jamie fan.....and I recall him raving about the books when they visited years ago.....Ron even cooked a delicious Guinness stew and some other of Jamie's recipes while they were makes me wonder why its taken me so long to cotton on!
Ill definitely have the 'Ministry of food' book on my wish list.


  1. wow sounds like you are really enjoying this book !!!!!
    been looking at your creations you have been working on, they are just awesome ... well done...I always love visiting here ... so inspiring Mardi ..
    wishing you joy and love always .. big hugz from Heather xox

  2. Anonymous10:23 am

    Well done Mardi! I think I might have a look for that the moment I'm working through Jamie Does... and it's sooo good, not one failure yet! The other night I cooked Moroccan beef tagine and it was DELICIOUS...and I usually hate beef stew. The man's a genius :)

  3. I bought that book (i have a jamie oliver crush), but i gave it to my mother-in-law as a gift. After reading your post, i think i need to go buy myself another copy!