How Jamie Oliver has influenced my cooking & a great offer

Yeo Valley have had some fantastic on pack offers this year, I’ve been introduced to all sorts of brands which I haven’t come across before and we even acquired some brilliant Boden T-shirts for the kids for free earlier on in the year. I was thrilled to hear that at the moment the on pack offer is a chance to win a copy of Jamie Oliver’s 15 Minute Meals.
The link between Jamie Oliver and Yeo Valley is fairly well established, he uses Yeo Valley yogurt in all his dishes. They have lots of shared values, Yeo Valley are all about good food and you can discover more about their ethos at their Yeoniversity where you can attend some brilliant courses and where they try to educate school children and adults about farming, cookery and the environment. From personal experience I can say that a trip around the Yeo Valley Farm will change the way you think about dairy forever! It did for me, I’m a busy mum on a budget but I now realise how important it is to feed your children the best food you can. Jamie’s Ministryof Food is equally enlightening and a really important initiative; a series of food centres based around the country where people can go to learn how to cook. I know people in their thirties who wouldn’t know how to even cook a bowl of pasta, wouldn’t really know what it means to eat good food and wouldn’t even dream of opening up a cookery book. Thats why we need initiatives like these!
Jamie Oliver is one of my all time favourite cooks. It’s not for the reasons that you will automatically think though, yes his recipes are yummy. I particularly like cooking his roast pork with apricots for extra special sunday dinners. No, its because I like the whole ethos of his cooking and it sits so well with us as a family.

I recently acquired a copy of his 15 minute meals and I have cooked a couple of recipes from it which get a big thumbs up, however the main thing I love about it is the introduction with its hints and tips which WILL make you a better cook. You see, Jamie really ‘gets’ that as a busy mum you can’t provide a silver service dinner, but at the same time its really important to think about how you are serving food. You want to make it look appealing to the kids, but also to be practical. As a family you want to share food and for the whole experience to feel good. Over the years he has inspired me to serve up large bowls of food rather than individually portioned up dinners, bowls that children and adults can help themselves to. I’ve found that the sense of independence and sharing that this fosters encourages children to eat and be independent. I was also inspired a few years ago by Jamie to put the cutlery on the table in a mug or jug and one of the kids will take over the job of dishing them out and feel helpful, it works every night.

With my little 11 month old weaned, I am trying to make sure he gets a lot of dairy in his diet and thats why for me, Jamie and Yeo Valley are such a good fit. The shared ethos, love of good food and the sheer ‘Britishness’ of it all appeal. I have been rummaging through my pile of Jamie Oliver cookbooks and without a doubt Happy Cow burgers with old school coleslaw (made with Yeo Valley natural yogurt) and corn on the cob is a massive hit. You’ll find this recipe in Jamies 15 Minute Meals cookbook alongside one of my little boys most requested dinners: Lamb Lollipops, curry sauce, rice and peas! I really like this new cookbook, it has the usual feel of a Jamie cookbook with great photos and tips, but the recipes do seem to be a bit quicker and there is a lot of inspiration to be found. If you haven’t ever delved into a Jamie cookbook, this is a great one to start with. You’ll find loads more about the offer on the Yeo Valley website but essentially all you need to do is pop to the shops and buy some yogurt to get started…
Disclaimer: I’m part of the Yeo Valley Brand Ambassador scheme

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