(Bacon) Meals in Minutes (Actually Hours)

I picked up Jamie Oliver’s  Jamie Oliver’s Meals in Minutes: A Revolutionary Approach to Cooking Good Food Fast after reading a positive review on Vitafamiliae (an excellent blog if you don’t already read it – click over if only to see their awesome blog header).

“Entire meals–in minutes!” I thought, “That’s JUST what I need!”

Apparently I overlooked the part where Lora from Vitafam mentioned that even when she and her husband work together the recipes take more like 45 minutes than 30.

I’m not against recipes that take a long time, but since I got the book thinking it was a quick dinner fix, I was a little disappointed to find that even when I skip two or three of the dishes in one of the featured meals, it takes me an hour or so to get it to the table.

However, I will say that if you can get over the expectation of quickness, one very nice aspect of the book is how Jamie lays out recipes in sets as meals, and then gives the instructions in the order you should tackle them to get the whole thing together at once.  That’s a skill you probably already have if you cook for your family a lot, but it’s always nice to have someone do the calculating for you.

Another plus is the range of interesting and unusual chicken and salad dishes in the book.  I do tend to put the same old salads together all the time and so I really liked the ideas in the book.  It also inspired me to put more thought into side dishes, rather than focusing on the main dish and throwing a boring salad and steamed green vegetable on the plate to fill in the space.

My husband loved that the recipes in this book rely heavily on bacon.  Bacon in salad, bacon on chicken, bacon, bacon, bacon.  If you are his Twitter follower, you probably saw lots of bacon-themed dinner photos because he is THAT enthused by heavily baconed cookery.  Fortunately for his waistline, I use turkey bacon.  But still, for one memorable meal I cooked fifteen pieces of bacon for the main dish and salad.  I know, right?

Recipes we particularly enjoyed included:

  • Tray-baked chicken (chicken with oregano, paprika, tomatoes, bacon, and rosemary)
  • Chopped salad (with avocado and feta and bacon)
  • Herby salad (bacon, fennel, mint, garlic)

Recipes we do not recommend included:

  • Crunchy salad (fennel, radish, lemon – sounded good, but wasn’t, probably due to lack of bacon)
  • Piri Piri chicken (peppers, onions, whatnot, but no bacon)
  • Beet salad (includes feta, but no bacon – wasn’t bad, but sort of meh)

Overall I do think the approach of grouping recipes into meals and presenting them in time order is helpful and we did like lots of these recipes, so I would recommend Meals in Minutes, in spite of the false advertising in the title and opening chapter.


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links and is fueled by bacon.  At least indirectly.

6 thoughts on “(Bacon) Meals in Minutes (Actually Hours)

  1. It makes me kind of sad to see the beet salad on your list of not-recommended recipes, but I’ll have to try it anyway because of my love for beets.

    Which meal was it that took 15 pieces of bacon?

    And I’ve already got the book requested from the library. Happily a copy was already available so it should be waiting for me this weekend when I make my trek to pick up my latest stash.

    1. I do love beets in salad generally but this one was only so-so. Have you ever tried that salad at Harry & Izzy’s that has beets in it? It’s AMAZING.

      The 15 pc bacon dinner was the chopped salad and the chicken with tomatoes from the list. They weren’t supposed to go together, but I made them the same night.

      Definitely make the mustard chicken; I’ve made it three times since Lora Lynn suggested it in the comments!

      1. Well, rats. I was hoping it was just that you weren’t all that crazy about beets to begin with.

        I have had that salad at Harry & Izzy’s and it really is fabulous. Back when Puck’s used to be at the IMA they had a ridiculously good beet salad as well.

        The only reason I’m not going to promise to make the mustard chicken is because I don’t really like cooking chicken. It kind of skeeves me out. We eat mostly beef and lots of vegetarian meals because of that, with the very occasional chicken dish when I just can’t avoid it any longer.

        Yes, I fully admit that it’s a weird hangup.

        I’m mostly excited about the book for the salad ideas – I am terrible about getting into a total rut with salads and then none of us want to eat them because we’re so bored with them.

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