Jamie and Me (Part 1 of my Julie and Julia project)

As described in my post: Working-Mom Problem No.1: Feeding the Hoard this winter I have decided to work through my hoard of cookbooks in an attempt to find new family recipes that I can cook quickly in the evenings that are both delicious and nutritious.

This week I started some of the meals in Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food. My overall observation of this book is that it contains some good old fashioned family recipes – it teaches you how to cook the basics, and does so in an easy-to-use fashion. The only negative things I would say is that each recipe seems to require a lot of ingredients, which are not used again in other recipes, which is not great for your pocket and the recipes do not appear to be good for your waistline. That said, let’s give it a shot.

This week I tried Pot-Roast Meatloaf, Cherry Tomato Sauce with Cheats Fresh Pasta, Lamb Rogan Josh. Jamie’s website gives the recipe for these dishes (and a few variations) so I won’t repeat the instructions or ingredients here.


Pot-Roast Meatloaf

The preparation for this is actually very easy, and it smells delicious cooking. It fills the whole house with that loving encasing smell of happiness. I will definitely be putting this on to cook the next time someone comes home in a bad mood. The only mistake I think I made was that I did not break down the crackers enough. Next time I won’t do this by hand, I think I will get out the pestle and mortar and give them a right bash.

On the Working Mom’s Scale

  1. It seemed nutritious without an unreasonable amount of calories …… 7/10
  2. Cooking was quick and quiet – took me less than 30 min ……… 7/10
  3. Leftovers the next day were grand …. 7/10
  4. All the family could eat it (although I would like to see a few more vegetables on my plate) 7/10

Overall 7/10

Cherry Tomato Sauce with Cheats Fresh Pasta

Seriously, he needs to get a better title for this dish. Everyone asked me what was for dinner and I struggled to tell them because I couldn’t remember the name of this (baby brain is still here folks). That aside, this recipe calls for the cook to buy fresh pasta sheets (such as one would use to cook lasangne) and then cut them up to resemble tagliatelle. I think this is fine if you happen to have sheets hanging around the house that you have to use up – but buying them specifically for this purpose was pointless. The dish was really heavy and sheets stuck together so Day 2 was a bit of a nightmare. Next time I will just buy tagliatelle and use that.

On the Working Mom’s Scale

  1. I added chicken to this dish because there was no protein …. 6/10
  2. It cooked quickly and quietly and was ready very soon after I started …. 8/10
  3. Leftovers were fine … but only fine… 5/10
  4. All the family ate it ….. 7/10

Overall 6.5/10

Lamb rogan josh

Lamb Rogan Josh

Right this one was a bit of a disaster. There is an optional? 800ml of chicken stock?? How can 800ml be optional? That is a significant amount of liquid! To be on the safe side I added it – and it was a total disaster. I ended up with Lamb Rogan Josh soup. We ate it as it was Day1, and it was greeted with great suspicion. The only saving grace was that I had shop bought naan bread to go with it which is always a hit in our house. Day 2 lunchtime I tried it as a soup. It was disgusting. For Day 2 dinner I tried everything to thicken it – I added flour, I boiled it for 30min. It improved it somewhat but it was still a bit on the dodgy side. In addition to all this it was very spicy. My husband loved that because he likes spicy food, I ended adding a lot of yogurt to cool it down – and had my grandfather been over for dinner I know that this would have been an absolute no-go. I might try this again with out the random optional 800ml, but so far it was a thumbs down.

On the Working Mom’s Scale

  1. It terms of a nutrition/calorie balance I think this recipe is quiet good …. 7/10
  2. It takes a long time to cook (simmering for 1 hour) but otherwise was easy enough …. 6/10
  3. Leftovers were a disaster, but had the original meal been better this would not have been the case …. 5/10
  4. All the family wouldn’t eat this because it is so spicy…. 5/10

Overall 5/10

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