In the introduction to his latest book, Super Food – Family Classics, British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver writes, “Easy, super-tasty & packed with goodness. That’s what you guys told me you wanted from the recipes in a healthy family cookbook, and that’s exactly what I’ve delivered throughout these pages. I’ve basically taken a whole host of classic comfort food dishes and ultimate family favourites that I know you love, and cooked, rewritten, tested and edited them to make sure they fit bang into my super-food philosophy. What does that mean? Well, it guarantees that not only will you be eating exciting meals that will tickle your taste buds, are super-delicious and will fill you up, but every one of those meals is totally balanced and will help to fuel, revive, restore and energise you, too ...
“Just like in Everyday Super Food , I’ve taken all the food photos, because that allowed me to be super-close to the recipes, interrogating and honing the ingredients, methods and techniques to be the absolute best they can. Backed up by a bumper section of health and wellbeing info at the back of the book, I want Super Food Family Classics to arm you with everything you and your family need to be the best you can be, and to live healthier, happier lives.”
Super Food – Family Classicsmay resemble one of Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop episodes (only with more enthusiasm than the American actress and lifestyle guru) but as I read the book, it’s easy to imagine Oliver saying the words, having watched so many episodes of his cooking programmes.
I’m not a fan of cookbooks that promote the health aspect of food – it’s usually at the expense of deliciousness, and too often the advice is proven wrong sooner or later (remember low-fat and carb-free diets?). Oliver, however, is advocating sensible nutritional changes: he uses wholewheat pasta and breads, bakes instead of fries (I’ll ignore that bit) and when he recommends a “balanced” diet, he writes, “You don’t have to be spot-on every day – just try to get your balance right across the week.”
The book contains some recipes that don’t sound or look appetising (the chocolate porridge, for instance), but others are much more tempting. These include grilled beef kebabs with shredded crunch salad, feta and pita; salmon and prawn fish pie with sweet potato and spud mash; ratatouille pie with filo, ricotta, basil and almonds; African prawn curry with scotch bonnets and sticky okra basmati; beef and Guinness stew with English mustard pearl barley; chicken and chorizo bake with peppers, sweet potatoes and spuds; and sausage pasta with broccoli, chilli and sweet tomatoes.