Jamie Oliver's '15-Minute Meals' are put to the test by HELLO! Online

If you liked the 30-minute version – the UK's fastest and best-selling non-fiction book ever – then Jamie Oliver's new, 15-Minute Meals, will "knock your socks off".

To celebrate the release of the super-fast food guide, we've set ourselves the challenge of cooking Jamie's mouthwatering Veggie Chilli with Crunchy Tortilla & Avocado Salad – yes – in 15 minutes.

So as the ladies of HELLO! Online gathered around the stove, with the ingredients out and the oven set to gas mark 6, the timer and the tweets begin!


Starting with some comic slapstick using a hand blender instead of the food processor advised, garlic, onions, chilli and spices are blitzed to the best of my ability before being poured into a sizzling pan.

As a side note, 15-Minute Meals author and celebrity chef Jamie re-assures his amateur cooks and avid readers that all the recipes include "beautiful ingredients that will slap you round the face with their big flavours".

But I'm not quite sure he meant being stunned in the eye with a spray of escaping onion…

Whilst still mourning the absence of a properly chopped base, I cry into our chilli as I add my pulses and vegetables to the passata.

Aware that it's already been ten minutes I plead for the assistance of an extra hand to stir whilst the salad is being prepped.

But, unfortunately not being blessed with the chopping skills of the expert chef, or having a mandoline at hand, the peeling of 'cucumber ribbons' requires slightly more concentration and time than anticipated.

A couple of minutes later, an avocado almost falls apart at the faintest touch causing quite a mess. Although, hurrying to combine the crunchy salad, it looks like the meal might be saved with a dash of lime and chopped chilli.


Out come the plates and Bish, Bash, Bosh – I'm done!

Having avoided any kitchen cuts or throwing of wine across the kitchen, I can say, at best, the result looks 'rustic'. Safe in the knowledge that Jamie would've appreciated its rough but yummy finish we stop the clock – it's only just gone 28-minutes past!

What Jamie describes in his introduction as "methodical, clever, sociable and fun" recipes which brighten up the mundanity of a mid-week dinner is tried, tested and proven.

So whilst the kitchen calms to a halt we finally tuck in to discover, with a sigh of relief, it tastes pukka. Cheers Jamie!

Try one of Jamie Oliver's quick and delicious recipes from 15-Minute Meals yourself:

Veggie Chilli with Cruncy Tortilla and Avocado Salad

Golden Chicken with Braised Greens & Pototo Gratin



Report: Christine Humphrey

Jamie's 15-Minute Meals is published by Michael Joseph, Penguin
Recipes © Jamie Oliver 2012 jamieoliver.com
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