Yahoo Food’s Cookbook of the Week is Everyday Super Food: Recipes for a Healthier, Happier You by Jamie Oliver (Ecco), a chef, bestselling cookbook author, and star of numerous cooking shows.
Chef and cookbook author Jamie Oliver (Photograph: © 2015 Paul Stuart)
After 30 years in the kitchen and 16 bestselling cookbooks, each with their own accompanying television show, British chef Jamie Oliver knows the recipe for success. And year after year, book after book, Oliver manages to give his fans what they want, while also pushing them to try something new.
In Oliver’s latest release, Everyday Super Food, healthy eating comes into focus. This isn’t entirely new territory for Oliver. He’s a longtime champion of improving school food in the United Kingdom, and his charity, the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation promotes food education across the U.K. as well as in Australia and the United States. But in Everyday Super Food, Oliver’s commitment to healthy eating is more personal.
Tasty Fish Tacos, Game-Changing Kiwi, Lime, and Chile Salsa (Photograph: Jamie Oliver Enterprises Limited)
Oliver, who made his name as the Naked Chef when he was in his 20s, turned 40 this year and he took that milestone seriously. He set about talking to and learning from health and nutrition experts in order to pin down the most important health information — he’s even studying for a nutrition diploma. Everyday Super Food is the culmination of that journey, or what Oliver likes to call his “natural diary.” The book is so close to Oliver’s heart, in fact, that the chef took all the photos himself.
While the book was released in October, people looking to avoid overindulging during the holidays will enjoy Everyday Super Food’s recipes. You will find 30 breakfasts, 30 lunches, 30 dinners, and a handful of snacks and drinks, in addition to a miniature guide to healthy eating. Most of us want to be happy, healthy, and productive, says Oliver, and in order to do so, we need to make good personal health a top priority. Making the decision to do so is up to us, but Oliver aims to help us get the food part right — and enjoy it along the way.
Oliver refers to some specific U.K. guidelines, but the basic ideas are universal, and revolve less on calorie counts or rigid meal plans and more on creating a balanced plate, which means eating mostly vegetables, fruit, and good carbs, plus some protein, some dairy, and only a small amount of foods high in fat and sugar. While never getting too technical, Oliver shares the knowledge and recommendations he’s picked up on his personal journey, which extends beyond food to include getting enough sleep, moderate alcohol consumption, and the value of being part of a community.
Skinny Carbonara, Smoky Bacon, Peas, Almonds, and Basil (Photograph: Jamie Oliver Enterprises Limited)
Oliver’s nutrition section is informative and accessible, and thankfully it never overwhelms, but you could easily ignore it and focus on the food. As in previous books, Oliver reveals a fondness for curries and a love of Italian ingredients and preparations. But this time around there are fewer pasta and pizza recipes and very few desserts, aside from some frozen yogurt and energy balls. You won’t find any cocktails, just some flavored waters and therapeutic teas. Vegetables and lean proteins tend to dominate, but Oliver never dips into diet territory. Start your day with berry pocket eggy bread, pistachios, yogurt, honey, and cinnamon; enjoy tasty fish tacos, game-changing kiwi, lime, and chili salsa for lunch; and dig into bombay chicken and cauli, pappadams, rice, and spinach for dinner, and you’re unlikely to feel deprived. There’s also a skinny carbonara for those of us who just can’t give up bacon.
Visit Yahoo Food throughout the week for recipes from Everyday Super Food (Ecco).
Check out other books from Yahoo Food’s Cookbook of the Week: