While I'm not usually into cookbooks about healthy food, I am a big fan of Jamie Oliver. I own a few of his cookbooks and always find his recipes tasty and simple to execute. To be honest I cringed a bit when I saw he released a book with the byline 'recipes for a healthier happier you' but when I was in Easons and had a proper look at it I thought hey, why not? I figured it might help me include some more vegetables in my diet during the week.
The book wasn't cheap, it cost me €41.10 in Easons but I'm pretty sure you can buy it on Amazon for cheaper. That said, I use it very often so I think it was a good investment. I waited until I had cooked 10 recipes from the book before writing about it. So now I can heartily recommend it and here is why.
The book is divided into five sections: breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks & drinks and a section about living well. I particularly love the breakfast section and I've cooked quite a few dishes for my weekend brunches. It's much more than chia pudding and bircher muesli, there are pancakes, harissa waffles, breads, muffins, eggy dishes... It's a great mix of sweet and savoury dishes and many of them are quite 'brunchy', perfect for the weekend.
Most of the recipes serve two people, which is handy if you're a couple and don't want to eat the same thing a few days in a row. I like it because you can buy just enough for the quantity needed in the recipe and you're sorted. The ingredients for the recipes are very accessible, easy to find and once you start using the book your pantry will be filled with different grains, pulses and varieties of pasta. Each recipe requires just a few ingredients and unlike other healthy cookbooks you don't even need to go to a health food shop to get what you need. While the book wasn't cheap the recipe don't call for expensive ingredients, they have been costed up by Jamie's team and come on average at £2.50 per portion
The book is true to Jamie Oliver's cooking style, the food is colourful and full of flavours but it's really accessible to any level of cook. It's about the balanced plate philosophy and some of the portions are surprisingly massive; I was never hungry after eating a meal cooked from the book. It doesn't feel too much like diet food or super healthy food, the dishes are nutritious and satisfying. With many dishes inspired from Indian, Asian or even Mediterranean food the recipes are very diverse in terms of flavours.
If you usually like Jamie Oliver's books and if you want to eat relatively healthy, without having to ditch carbs, dairy products, meat or other delicious things then it's the book for you!