Top positive review
296 people found this helpful
Especially good for new cooks
on April 18, 2010
My husband has food sensitivities, so I've been cooking at home for a long time. I mainly bought this book to generally support the movement and see what Jamie Oliver was up to with the Food Revolution. I didn't expect to really find many--if any--recipes that I would be able to use. But I did.
* TONS of photos. Every single recipe has photos, both of the finished dish and of the preparation. Yay!
* He doesn't just give you the recipe (add 2 onions, chopped). He walks you though the process (Chop two onions and set aside). So you can usually cook as you read the recipe.
* He tells you what to serve with the recipes, and the recipes for suggested sides are in the book. Yay!
* Many of the recipes can be easily adapted for allergen-free cooking. My husband is senstive to gluten, corn, dairy, honey, legumes, and some nuts. That's a long list, and I was still able to adapt several recipes.
* He offers recipes for all meals: breakfast food, lunch food, suppers, desserts. You could use this as your only cookbook.
* The dessert section is amazing. We generally don't eat dessert in our house...at all. I think sugar makes you want more sugar, and it's a nasty cycle. But these desserts, while clearly luscious, include a lot of healthier stuff in the preparation, like fruit and oats. And the photos depict appropriate serving sizes. They look very elegant. I'm glad I'll have something wholesome to serve when company visits.
The not so good:
* There isn't any nutrition data for the recipes
* Some of the recipes, while simple, can take some real time to prepare (fine by me, but I'm not trying to whip together dinner in a frenzy when I get home from work)
* Many of the recipes serve 2 people. Which is fine, but it took me some time to adapt. I've purchased ingredients for a recipe only to realize later that I didn't get enough.
In the end, the recipes are quite good. These are not recipes that will show up in Gourmet magazine. And they won't all make the list of the world's healthiest foods either. There are several comfort food recipes...spaghetti, stew, cheesy pastas, roasts. But overall, I'm pleased. Even experienced cooks will be able to find some things of interest here. And this is an awesome collection for someone trying to transition to real food from a diet full of McDonald's and pizza rolls.
Update: I've cooked several more recipes from this book since I wrote this review, and I am growing more and more pleased. At first I blew off some of the recipes; I thought I didn't need another recipe for roasted chicken. But I made it, and it's great. I have cooked many recipes from the book now, and so far nothing has flopped. This is the only cookbook I own that I can say that about.
Update #2: I'm still cooking from the book all the time. I'm a complete convert. I've purchased copies for other family members now...even for my total foodie of a father-in-law. We are all fans, and the majority of my everyday recipes now come from Jamie Oliver. Everyone knows I'm a Jamie Oliver fanatic now, so when people like something I cook they don't ask, "Where did you get the recipe?" They ask, "Is this from Jamie Oliver?" I've become a proselytizer for the book. And still, after all this time, nothing has flopped.