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Jamie Oliver’s Super Food Challenge Day #6 + #7

by Elizabeth Young

published on 22 September 2015

What I made:

  • Smoothie Pancakes, Berries, Banana, Yoghurt & Nuts

What I thought:

Pancakes are my fall-back crowd pleasing weekend breakfast dish. Of a Saturday or Sunday morning we get through a tonne of them, happily frying them up in butter and drowning them in caster sugar. Of course they’re tasty, but I’ve often wondered if I could attempt a less artery-clogging alternative. That’s where Jamie Oliver’s Smoothie Pancakes from Everyday Super Food come in, entering stage right in a puff of wholemeal flour.

These pancakes are a revelation. Both wholesome and filling, they make a perfect treat for a lazy morning at home. Fried without using any fat, they still manage to feel indulgent thanks to the sweet, creamy yoghurt, honey and nut topping. We all loved them and will definitely be adding these to our regular weekend roster.

So, what a week it’s been. I’ve done a LOT of cooking (definitely more than I would have on a non #SFChallenge week) but I feel refreshed and reinvigorated by it all. The experience has got me thinking about food in a whole new way and, brilliantly, has sparked numerous family discussions about the importance of health in what we eat. My stand out dish of the week? Going to go right back to the beginning and choose the Pesto Crusted Fish with Veggies. It’s the kind of simple midweek meal that I will make again and again and, for me, it really illustrates what Everyday Super Food is all about: simple, healthy meals that you will cook and eat with JOY.

Pancakes | Jamie Oliver

What I made:

What I thought:

With a bit more time to play with at the weekend, I decided to try out a couple of the cooked breakfasts from Everyday Super Food. I’m a HUGE fan of beans on toast so on Saturday, I picked the recipe for Baked Eggs and Popped Beans. I really loved this recipe, it was much easier than cooking a fry up and had that same, substantial-brunch feel that kept me full until dinner time. The creamy ricotta on toast was a delicious butter substitute and the beans tasted SO much fresher and more tasty than my usual tin of Heinz!

On Sunday morning, I made the Magic Poached Egg recipe with tomato and avocado, which really woke up my tastebuds! Although I thoroughly enjoyed eating this at a rather leisurely 11.30 am, I’m not sure I would have fancied the grated red onion, chilli and coriander first thing in the morning. Like my breakfast from the previous day, this was really filling and, since as I ate it so late, tied me over until dinner.

Speaking of which, I definitely saved the best until last with the Griddled Steak and Peppers with Herby Jewelled Tabbouleh Rice. Aside from the fact Jamie was already onto winner with the fillet steak (probably my favourite thing to eat in the world), I absolutely loved the flavours in this dish. Nutty brown rice, toasted pistachios, sweet pomegranate, salty feta and fresh, aromatic herbs, it really did tick every box for flavour.

It has been a pleasure cooking from Everyday Super Food this week, and to savour every meal knowing that I’m putting something nutritionally balanced into my body. I found it very easy to adapt the recipes to my partner’s dietary needs and have thoroughly enjoyed everything that I cooked. Although some of the recipes were fairly quick and easy to prepare, I definitely spent much longer in the kitchen than I usually would and have had to be a lot more organised in my meal planning. That said, I have leftovers from almost every meal in my freezer that I can enjoy whenever I’m too busy, or lazy, to cook. I think the secret to Everyday Super Food is to plan ahead and cook in batches so that you prepare healthy meals when you have the time, and can enjoy the leftovers when you don’t. There are lots of recipes that I have tried this week that will become part of my regular repertoire or at least influence my style of cooking in a positive way. Good job Jamie!

Jamie Oliver Recipes

What I made:

  • Earl Grey Banana Bread with Griddled Nectarines, Yoghurt and Nuts
  • Salmon Ceviche, Chopped Salad, Black Rice Balls
  • Roasted Squash Laksa Bake, Chicken, Lemongrass, Peanuts and Rice

What I thought:

There were a couple of splurges this weekend (one fry up, one burger and chips), but despite the indulgences, our Everyday Super Food meals were our favourites.

The breakfast dish was so delicious that we ate it twice (and I had banana bread instead of toast on my fry up!). The banana bread was dark and intense. You could taste the dates and maple syrup, which gave it a much more complex flavour than your usual banana muffin. The whole thing was sweet and warm and went perfectly with a cup of black coffee.

I’m a big fan of ceviche. It’s a fresh and tender and zingy dish, and this version was pretty good. I’ve never tried using pomegranate juice in the marinade before, and it’s definitely a great addition. This is a great low-effort lunch. A little chopping, a little squeezing, and you have something tasty in no time. The black rice is sticky and squelchy and loads of fun to play with. Rolling it all into balls reminded me of the messy jobs my mum would give me when I hung out in the kitchen with her after school.

The laksa bake was such a great dish for a wet autumn night. Having eaten it for a second time, I’ve decided that I’m a huge fan of brown rice baked in stock. It’s like a hug. And in this case, it’s a hug topped in soft squash and tender chicken thighs with a marinade that’s creamy and herby with a sparky chilli kick. We still have an enormous jar of the marinade in the fridge, and I intend to spend the next week smearing it all over anything I can think of.

I undertook this challenge to try and find a way of eating that did me less harm without sacrificing all the things that I love about food. I feel like I’ve achieved precisely what I set out to do. These recipes aren’t about self-denial and causing the least amount of harm. They’re about doing the most amount of good and celebrating all the amazing things that we have available for us to eat. The dishes I cooked this week have all featured wholesome additions that I’ll be carrying over to my everyday cooking, from substituting processed ingredients for things like brown rice (massive fan by the way – what a delicious ingredient), to adding nuts, seeds and fruits as garnishes.

I loved almost everything I ate this week, with the mango and oat yoghurt, corn and mango salad, and steak and tabbouleh rice being particular highlights. But for me, my stand out dish was the squash laksa bake. It’s warm and comforting, really tasty, and very simple and quick to pull together. The smell of that spicy, herby coconut marinade wafting through the house was just the ticket on a particularly grim and wet evening.

Jamie Oliver Recipes

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