To call British TV chef Jamie Oliver passionate about good eating is an understatement. He’s written 20 cookbooks, starred in loads of cookery series, and campaigned to get the British government to address the lack of healthy school meals, and to tax sugar in a bid to reduce obesity.
In 2012, he launched Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Day: an opportunity to focus on nutrition and dietary health, to realise how food affects our bodies, and learn how to make better food to ensure a better future for ourselves.
Today marks the fifth Food Revolution Day. To help inspire you to cook healthy meals for yourself, here are three basic recipes everyone should be able to put together.
A simple omelette
This year, Oliver is encouraging people to create a healthy omelette inspired by their country. It’s a great dish to master – quick, filling and healthy – and very adaptable. Here’s the recipe our nutritionist Wynnie Chan uses.
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup milk
- salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon oil
1 Crack the eggs into the bowl. Add the milk, some salt and pepper to the eggs, and beat with a fork until blended together.
2 Heat the frying pan over a medium flame. Add the oil to the frying pan.
3 Slowly pour the eggs and milk mixture into the frying pan.
4 As the omelette starts to set, gently tilt the pan away from you. Allow the mixture to run to the edge of the pan.
5 Once the omelette has set, use a spatula to loosen the edges around the pan, then fold the omelette in half.
You can vary this recipe by adding different ingredients to the omelette before you fold it in half. For example, throw some grated cheese, chopped green and red peppers, chopped mushrooms, ham or onions on top. The choice is endless.
A great way to use vegetables that are past their best, and get your five a day! You can use almost any type of fresh vegetables, but frozen and canned also work. Just remember that softer choi will need less cooking.
- 500g mixed vegetables, washed and chopped into equally sized pieces
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 vegetable or chicken stock (you can use water, too)
- 1/2 an onion and/or 1 clove garlic, finely chopped (optional)
- herbs and spices of your choice (optional)
1 Heat the oil in a large pot over a medium heat. Add the onion/garlic if using, and fry gently for 3-5 minutes until soft, but not browned.
2 Add the vegetables and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, or until slightly softened. The time needed will depend on what vegetables you are using.
3 Season the vegetables: a little salt and pepper is always a good start, but if you like particular flavours, add them now – curry powder, fish sauce, oregano ... whatever you like (but probably best to keep it within a set cuisine – save fusion cuisine for other dishes!)
4 Add enough stock to cover the vegetables by 3cm. Add some water if you need more.
5 Turn down the heat and put the lid on the pot. Leave to cook for 30 minutes.
6 Check the vegetables. If they are soft enough for you, turn the heat off. If not, check every 5 minutes.
7 Taste the soup. Does it need more salt? A squeeze of lemon juice? Fix it!
8 Your soup can be eaten as it is. But if you prefer to drink your soup, use an immersion blender or jug blender to whizz it until smooth.
Easy tomato sauce
This is the basis for so many dishes: pasta, pizza, poured over meatballs, simmered with chicken in it, the current hottest breakfast around, shakshuka ... there are so many uses for this, and it’s as easy to make it yourself as it’s easy to buy a jar filled with additives and preservatives. No excuses!
- 1 tin tomatoes
- 1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 1-2 garlic cloves, finely chopped (optional)
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper
- pinch of sugar
1 Heat a saucepan over a medium heat, then add the oil and butter. Once the butter has melted, add the onion and garlic (if using), and fry gently until softened.
2 Add the tomatoes, with all the juice, and a pinch of salt. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low-medium.
3 Cook for about 40 minutes, crushing the tomatoes lightly with a wooden spoon, and stirring occasionally.
4 Taste the sauce, and add more salt if necessary, and a pinch of pepper and sugar.
5 Serve in millions of ways!