Monday, 8 October 2012

Review: Jamie Oliver's Super Quick Hash (from the Meals in Minutes Cookbook)

Photo from Jaime Oliver, Meals in Minutes
Recipe available at the following link:

It is well known that the Nerd spoils me with his cooking.  Since he first watched Jamie Oliver's Meals in Minutes television program, the Nerd has been besotted with cooking healthy, the Jamie Oliver way.  And I have been the happy beneficiary of his efforts.  Jamie Oliver makes many delicious meals, and healthy ones, at that.  Not only are they generally balanced meals, they are good in terms of calories and carbs too, which makes sticking to a healthy eating plan simple to do. 

Far and away the Nerd's favourite cookbook in recent months has been Jamie Oliver's Meals in Minutes, the book that complements the Meals in Minutes television show.  Those of you who know what I eat will know that 80% of my prepared meals come from this cookbook. And I'm ok with this.

Why?  Because the food is delicious, that's why.  Tonight's meal was a case in point.  This evening the Nerd prepared Jamie Oliver's Super Quick Beef Hash with Baked Potatoes, Butter Beans & Bacon, and Goddess Salad.  I give this meal 5 full bellies out of 5, and 2 enthusiastic thumbs up.

The nice thing about the concept behind Oliver's Meals in Minutes is that each set of recipes presents an entire meal.  No longer do you have to hunt and peck for a main, a vegetable and a starch to make a meal.  With Meals in Minutes, all of the work to create a tasty and healthy meal is done for you.  Even better, the cooking instructions (in the book) are staged so that you can prep the meal in the natural order in which things need to happen - - no more guessing when to put on the potatoes and when to start the beef cooking.

Some people have complained that the cookbook is an over-promise - - Oliver says that the meals can be prepared from start to finish in 30 minutes.  Those who cannot replicate this stunningly low prep time complain that the book is inherently flawed.  I choose to look at the 30 minute promise as mere puffery, where "30 minutes" = "a comparatively short amount of time" in the real world.  The Nerd has made many of the meals out of the Meals in Minutes book, and while he has never managed to make a single one in 30 minutes, none of the meals have taken an hour, and most can be made in 40 - 45 minutes or so.  To me, that's still mighty fast, considering that this represents the total time from beginning of prep to food on the table, and considering the fact that the Nerd is no professional chef.

Tonight's meal delightfully satisfying.  The Goddess Salad was fresh and light, and the dressing with the lettuce and avocado made a wonderful pairing - creamy and delicious.  We cheated here, and ate the entire salad between the two of us (rather than saving any for leftovers).  Our excuse was that the avocado would go brown, but really, we just didn't want to stop eating it.  No matter, it was low in calories but high in deliciousness, so we regret nothing.  The baked potatoes were, well, baked potatoes.  As such, they were filling and satisfying.  The Butter Beans and Bacon were rich and almost irresistible.  The bacon added a subtle smoky richness that complemented the butter beans in a wonderful way.  Finally, the Beef Hash had an intriguing sweetness from the Worcestershire sauce.  The hash had a delightful layered flavour that went well with the other dishes and also stood on its own.  We both plowed through this meal with gusto, and I would happily have this meal again, any time.

Yes, it is a common feature of Oliver's meals that they are dish-intensive, and the Nerd once again used almost every pot and pan in the house, but it was well worth it.  Besides, we rationalized the massive stack of washing up as an acceptable trade off for 4 dishes, especially when each dish was so satisfying.

Both the Nerd and I were full after this meal, and so we had no temptation to eat more than a single serving as sometimes happens.  Tonight we were very satisfied with the portions, and quite content to put the remaining portions into storage containers for leftovers.  And given that the ingredients were all fairly inexpensive, the value for money for this meal was excellent.

In terms of ease of prep, this was apparently a nice straightforward meal to prepare, requiring no advanced techniques.  It was so easy to make that I could probably have made it, if the Nerd would ever let me into my own kitchen. 

Estimated nutritionals:                          Calories  Carbs   Fat   Protein
Butter Beans and Bacon, 1 serving        129          16g      3g        8g
Baked Potatoes, 1 potato        178          38g      1g        5g
Super Fast Beef Hash, 1 serving        247          11g    12g      25g
Goddess Salad, 2 servings        185          13g    15g        4g
TOTAL MEAL:                                      739          78g    31g      42g

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for the nutritional breakdown. I've been cooking this probably every other week, but I've just started tracking my calories. I too have started a recent weight loss mission. My blog is .

    Thanks again