I have seemed to have collected a lot of recipe books over my time. But I've actually had a clear out. If I've got at least one meal idea or recipe from that book, that I use (and we liked) then it's worth keeping. Otherwise I've got rid.
I have (now let me count) five Jamie Oliver recipe books. In fact, they're not mine, they are actually hubby's. But my favourite, and the one I use the most, is The Ministry Of Food.
I bought it for Hubby, either for Birthday or Christmas last year, because I thought it looked good, and it was cheap with someone like The Book People (and secretly I wanted it).
There are two bibles in my kitchen; Tana Ramsay Real Family Food, and The Ministry of Food by Jamie Oliver.
Now, firstly, I want to say that I do have a husband that can cook, and when it was just the two of us we used to take it in turns, but nowadays I do most of the cooking. I'm at home all day, it makes sense. Since becoming a full time housewife, and having two young children, and being a bit of a believer of what goes in, has to come out, i.e. all this artificial rubbish really can't be good for us, I've wanted to move away from using ready meals/jars, and provide good home cooked food. I especially feel it's important for my children's health and growth.
Now, I am someone who can cook (but then I believe everyone can cook). I can follow recipes, or at least tries but I'm not one for doing anything too fancy. I'm just not that confident... or patient. I don't like all this faffing about either. Recipe books for me have to be laid out in a clear, concise fashion. I like to know the prep time, the cooking time etc. too. And the actual recipe needs to be easy going. If there are things in it I just wouldn't entertain in my cupboard, or it's about marinating the day before - forget it!
Though, I must say, the jars in my cupboards have been replaced with all sorts of wholesome ingredients, herbs and spices! I now see a new recipe and think, oh good, I've got that!
Tana's is laid out beautifully. Bullet points and everything. I can see quite quickly if I want to try a recipe in this book. I've actually tried many. This book has definitely earned its place on my kitchen shelf - and title of bible. And her book is really for the family and kids in mind. I see this book being really handy introducing my children when they're a bit older to wonderful new tastes and flavours.
Jamie's Ministry of Food is great whether you can or can't cook. Whatever you do, don't think, 'I can cook, I don't need this book!' You do!
There really is no excuse for cooking from jars, packets, and ready meals. Everyone can eat healthily - and quickly! Don't use the excuse about lack of time! There are at least two pasta recipes that can be done in under ten minutes, which both of my boys love. They're bloody scrummy! And soooooo simple!
It has loads more recipes too that can be done in under twenty minutes... probably no longer than if you used a jar. Real Family Food has a 'Food In A Flash' section. You can create some great healthy meals in no time at all.
Ministry of Food covers some of the basics, that even I needed to know. It has stew recipes for each meat, that I've adapted to my own uses, depending on which vegetables I get in my fruit and veg box. Roast dinners! Vegetables! Gosh, I love his cabbage and bacon recipe with Worcester sauce.
Variety is the spice of life! Start it with your food - and get cooking!