Monday, January 30, 2023

Cookbook Review - 5 Ingredients by Jamie Oliver

I recently purchased a cookbook that I'm very excited about. It is 5 Ingredients Quick and Easy Food by Jamie Oliver. 

Sometime during the past year I have seen Jamie Oliver on his cooking shows on television. He was a new name to me and I only had the show on as background noise. But he caught my attention during one episode when he ran tomatoes across the shredder leaving behind a seedless, skinless tomato pulp. He added his resulting tomato sauce to small pieces of crusty bread. I don't recall now what else he added to his tomatoes, perhaps cheese and herbs but I had to try it. I used the tomatoes as a dip for my bannock bread. It was so easy, fresh, and delicious that I looked forward to more new ideas from Mr. Oliver. 

5 Ingredients Quick and Easy Food Cookbook

5 Ingredients Quick and Easy Food is exactly that; a collection of recipes that require only 5 main ingredients. I am adding the word "main" because it ends up that you still need things like salt, pepper, cooking oil. But the shopping list truly consists of 5 ingredients. 

For example, I had the Sausage and Apple Bake this morning for brunch. The shopping list was apples, red onions, parsnips, small pork sausages, and honey. The prep was exceedingly easy, the aroma coming from my kitchen was wonderful, and I had a delicious one skillet meal.

I was unable to find parsnips. After a quick internet search I found the recommended parsnip substitutes and chose carrots. The recipe also used salt, pepper, olive oil, and a tablespoon of red wine vinegar (which I did have but in previously years I wouldn't have had on hand and I would have been irritated that this item wasn't listed more prominently in the ingredients list). Other than the parsnips (which are available here at certain times of the year), I can easily find all of the ingredients in the recipes that I've bookmarked for later.

Tomorrow I will make the Peachy Pork Chops which includes adding bourbon and lighting it. This will be my very first attempt at flambe. Wish me luck!  Fortunately, Mr. Oliver gives a super easy meal to try which includes only garlic, rosemary, porkchops, a can of peach halves, and bourbon which gives me the confidence to try.

The book itself is beautiful. The recipe is on one page and a photograph of the finished dish is on the facing page. It is full of recipes (approximately 300 pages of recipes) and a gorgeous photo for each dish. 

The introduction states:

"Quick & Easy Food focuses unapologetically on genius combinations of just five ingredients that work together to deliver an utterly delicious result, giving maximum flavor, with minimum fuss. These are dishes you can get on the table in 30 minutes or less; or that are ridiculously quick to put together with just 10 minutes hands-on time, while the oven or stove then does the rest of the work."

There is no false advertising in that statement. The meals are quick and easy. Just my style. Yet, flavorful enough to feel as though I am eating something completely new from my usual weekly menu.

I was fortunate to find my copy on deep discount at a discount store. But the book is widely available on Amazon and in book stores. Personally, I would not have spent the original $35. However, now that I own the book I believe it is worth every penny. If you are on a budget I think you can find it in your price range.

As I mentioned above, the "5 ingredients" seems to include the main ingredients. You will also need salt, pepper, oil, and other small items that seem to be in most pantries. This is addressed in the brief introduction. 

Are these meals as complex and flavorful as the multi-star, multi-course restaurants I've been to? No. And that's not the goal. But they are different and delicious flavors that are super easy for the most busy home cook.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


  1. Sounds delightful and delicious, Dawn Rae. This cookbook also sounds perfect for meals for a one-person household where that one person likes to keep cooking as simple as possible. Thanks so much for the recommendation.

    1. You are very welcome. Thank you for commenting.

  2. I have followed Jamie Oliver's cooking for years. In the early 2000's he started a campaign called "Feed Me Better" where he traveled to schools to introduce heathy foods for children. I haven't seen this cookbook until now. Thanks Dawn for finding this book and your review.

    1. I love hearing that he did a "Feed Me Better" program. That is awesome! I'm glad to know that bit of trivia.

  3. Thanks for a great review Dawn. Sounds very interesting.

  4. I’ve been a fan of Jamie Oliver’s cooking for many years (Food Network addict here). His no-nonsense approach to cooking has always appealed to me. I can see that you will get more than your money’s worth out of your new cookbook purchase. Thanks for the review and recommendation

    1. Thank you! That is the only downside of swearing off cable/dish tv services for much of my adult life. I miss the wonderful gems here and there!

  5. I do love easy! I am always looking for new delicious recipes to add to our list for dinner options. The old standbys are consistently delicious, or they wouldn't have been a part of our dinner list for 40 years, but I do like adding something new when I can. It is really awesome when a dinner is so good that it becomes part of the constant list. I will most definitely be looking through this cookbook and also seeking out Olivia's show. btw, I hope you still have eyebrows :)

    1. Ms. Mouse... You know me all too well! haha. Rest assured, I still have my eyebrows. I was so terrified to light the flambe that by the time I got close, the alcohol had cooked out (I even tried using my long woodstove lighter! I was so scared). However, I can't imagine it being any more delicious!! Yummmmmm!

  6. This book also sounds like a great gift for someone I know who cooks a lot but needs simple, fast recipes (don't we all) - I'm adding this book to my gift list - thanks for recommendation

  7. Oh yum, a cookbook that I can really get into. I really dislike cookbooks that have an ingredient list that goes on forever and has things in it that you may never use again. Simple good food is what I love! Thank you for putting this cookbook on my radar!


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