Sixteen years on since the publication of his first cookbook, “The Naked Chef”, Jamie Oliver has had, in my opinion, one of the most interesting journeys of all celebrity chefs.
While staying true to his simple and down to earth cooking style, he has campaigned tirelessly (from school dinners to his latest sugar tax initiative) for healthy food and food education.
Approaching 40, Jamie Oliver felt the need to re-evaluate his diet, work-life balance and lifestyle. The result of this personal journey is his latest cookbook, Everyday Super Food, focused on health, nutrition and wellbeing. The book is supported by a TV show Jamie’s Super Food, on Channel 4.
Everyday Super Food is a cookbook with a difference. Notice the clever play on words “Super Food” not “Superfood.” Food that has the power to feed, fuel, heal and nourish you.
“ Food is there to be enjoyed, shared and celebrated and healthy, nourishing food should be colourful, delicious and fun. ”
Writing this book, Jamie Oliver consulted with top experts in nutrition, health and sleep. A fresh approach when everyone these days claims to be a health guru! He has even been studying for a nutrition diploma and traveling around the world to uncover the secrets behind the longevity of some of the oldest people on the planet.
True to his true style, Jamie’s recipes are delicious and uncomplicated dishes but they are also designed to make us healthier, happier and more productive.
“ You can really make positive, sustainable change just by doing the odd thing differently, building on small new habits. ”
While fruits and vegetables are really the stars of the show, this is not a veggie cookbook. There are over 100 vegetarian recipes (some of the non-veggie dishes can easily be made vegetarian or vegan if you like). Yet with meat and fish portions kept to around 100g per person, Everyday Super Food has easily found a place in my flexitarian kitchen. You’ll also find a lot of wholesome ingredients such as chia seeds, quinoa, nuts, wholegrain, miso etc. Each recipe is introduced with its nutritional benefits and includes a nutritional breakdown.
It is not a book about losing weight, even though Jamie Oliver has credited his new slimmed down figure to his new lifestyle. It is about making better food choices. I could not agree with Jamie Oliver more that we all need balance to develop a “sustainable healthy relationship with food” allowing ourselves to fall off the wagon every now with the occasional “naughty day and treats”.
The book is divided in four recipe sections with 30 breakfasts, 30 lunches, 30 dinners plus some healthy snacks and drinks. Each dish is photographed by Jamie Oliver himself. Some of my favourite recipes include (omnivores will have to forgive my plant-based bias here):
- Awesome Granola Dust
- Smoothie Pancakes
- Black Rice Pudding
- Happiness Pasta
- Smoky Veggie Feijoada
- Tasty Energy Balls
- Raw Vegan Flapjacks
In the last part of the book entitled “Live Well: A Healthier Happier You“, Jamie Oliver shares in very simple terms what he has learned about better nutrition, better sleep and better lifestyle. I like the emphasis on good carbs and the importance of fat, but personally I prefer to keep dairy to a minimum. This section acts as a reminder of many things we probably know, yet have a tendency to forget.
And while Everyday Super Food is focused on health and nutrition, it touches at the end on the other factors influencing a long, healthy and productive life. According to the some of the oldest people on the planet Jamie Oliver has met, a (mainly) plant-based diet is important along with other things like purpose, movement, community and positive attitude. This has really caused me to reflect. As I mentioned earlier, a cookbook with a difference.
In keeping with the wellbeing theme of Jamie’s book, I wanted to share this Happiness Pasta recipe with Sweet Tomato, Aubergine & Ricotta. It is a simple and delicious vegetarian dish the whole family can enjoy!
** GIVEAWAY **
I have one copy of “Everyday Super Food” up for grab! See details of the competition below. Good luck!
Notice: Thanks to Penguin Random House for sending a complimentary copy of this book. I was not paid to review this book, all opinions and thoughts are my own.