Posted: May 29, 2015
Jamie Oliver has clearly proven himself to be one of the most outspoken ambassadors for home cooking, healthy eating and healthy food in schools. The most recent example being his petition fighting for food education. Jamie’s many television shows and campaigns around food in school and getting folks in the kitchen have always inspired me, and before those his first cookbook,The Naked Chef , helped me tackle new recipes outside of my mothers classics. I was excited when I recently ran back across his book Save with Jamie,which was published a couple of years ago. All that said I will do my best to review the book as I do any other, without bias and guided by four questions to ask of any cookbook.
1.Are nutrition facts included? The calorie count per serving is indicated in clear view beside each recipe, as well the book has a five page rundown in the index of the fat, saturated fat, carbohydrates, and sugar for all recipes. I would have loved to see protein, fiber and sodium in the rundowns as they are key when choosing a well balanced recipe. *p.s. Jamie, if you need a dietetic consultant for your next book you know who to contact.
2. Are the recipes accessible and well balanced?
Absolutely! The general theme of the book is how to save by cooking in batch, cooking with cheaper proteins, using your freezer, and using every last bit of any food item. Some of the kitchen tools and ingredients used may not be accessible. I give preference to recommending recipes that have a good balance of healthy protein, carbs/fiber, and fats which most of Jamie's dishes achieve. It is worth noting that some recipes may be too calorically dense to be eaten regularly, depending on your caloric requirements of course.
3. Is it free from nutrition myths and non-evidence based diet recommendations It is very important to me that any book providing nutritional recommendations beyond nutrient breakdowns try to do so through a nutrition professional. The author/chef may have good intentions but their advice needs to be guided by evidence. What I love about Jamie’s cookbooks and his general brand is that he focuses on what he does best, creating delicious and accessible meals; the healthy aspect is that you cooked it yourself. He does not preach about certain diets or health fads. refreshing. The cookbook sticks to basic cost savings, stretching ingredients, using every last scrap, meal prep & storage, and delicious recipes.
4. Are the recipes engaging and delicious? Absolutely! This is where Jamie’s cookbooks shine. All of the recipes have very beautiful and enticing photographs with easy to follow instructions. In Save with Jamie, he basically pulls and then re creates classically delicious comfort food from around the world, which makes for one of his most culturally diverse cookbooks to date.
I highly recommended this cookbook as it is a stand out in Jamie’s Collection.
Rob Lazzinnaro RD