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Jamie Oliver launches manifesto to cut childhood obesity in half as he welcomes government sugar tax

  • In an exclusive interview with The Mail on Sunday, the campaigner comments
  • He is calling for a ban on junk food advertisements before the 9pm watershed
  • Oliver said: 'I am asking is it appropriate to advertise food that is high in salt, fat and sugar to children at prime time when obesity is crippling the NHS?' 

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has launched a 'manifesto' to cut the scale of childhood obesity in half.

In an exclusive interview with The Mail on Sunday, the campaigner is calling for a ban on junk food advertisements on television before the 9pm watershed and to stop energy drinks being sold to children.

FAMILY MAN: Jamie Oliver with his wife Jools and their five children

FAMILY MAN: Jamie Oliver with his wife Jools and their five children

While he welcomes the Government's new 'sugar tax', the father-of-five said he would use social media to promote his new 11-point manifesto, which covers everything from food labelling to GP training and television advertising.

Oliver said: 'I am asking is it appropriate to advertise food that is high in salt, fat and sugar to children at prime time when obesity is crippling the NHS?'

 

'I don't fuss about my kids eating the odd burger… Jools is much stricter!': In his first interview since the crisis that rocked his restaurants, Jamie Oliver insists he WON'T waver in his new fight against obesity

I could retire,’ says Jamie Oliver with a weary smile. ‘Oh, I think about it every day.’ 

We’re used to seeing the celebrity chef as a cheerful chap with boundless energy but he has had a hard time lately, with part of his business empire coming to the brink of collapse and restaurants having to close. 

‘The past six months have been tough, in all sorts of ways,’ he agrees.

But he’s said to be worth £240 million, so why not pack it all in and sail away on a permanent holiday with wife Jools and their children Poppy, 16, Daisy, 15, Petal, nine, Buddy, seven and one-year-old River?

Jamie Oliver is launching a social media campaign to extend the ban on advertisements for junk food and drink on TV to after the 9pm watershed – as well as restricting what children can see online or on billboards at stadiums and schools

Jamie Oliver is launching a social media campaign to extend the ban on advertisements for junk food and drink on TV to after the 9pm watershed – as well as restricting what children can see online or on billboards at stadiums and schools

‘It would be really easy to do that. My life would be a lot easier and nicer,’ says Oliver, 42, when we meet at the trendy headquarters of his empire in North London. 

He’s dressed in the usual trainers, jeans, white T-shirt and checked shirt, but seems tired. ‘Having an opinion and caring is really bumpy in Britain.’

That’s the thing with Jamie Oliver: he doesn’t just want to sell you a plate of food (and the plate, and a TV show), he wants to change the world, or at least the way we eat.

After Fifteen (the restaurant chain staffed by people from disadvantaged backgrounds) and the high-profile effort to improve school dinners, he’s coming back with a new 11-point manifesto (see above, right) covering everything from food labelling to GP training, better catering for hospital workers and properly banning the sale of energy drinks to under-16s.

‘I feel that it’s the right thing to do. The only tools I have are the trust people have in me, and time. So that’s what I tell myself. “Don’t lie, and just f****** don’t go away.” ’

We’re going to talk about all of this, in a remarkably honest encounter in which he will discuss his business troubles for the first time and admit what went wrong.

Oliver is lobbying for more influence over a second go at the obesity strategy, which he expects the Prime Minister to announce by the summer

Oliver is lobbying for more influence over a second go at the obesity strategy, which he expects the Prime Minister to announce by the summer

He’ll also confess that although he wants to ban McDonald’s from advertising Big Macs to children, he would let his own kids go there.

‘Every industry has its crack, right?’ He means the thing it is addicted to. ‘The food industry’s crack has been salt, sugar and fat.’

But some of his own recipes have a lot of sugar in them and I’ll challenge him on that – as well as asking why he feels he has the right to tell people what to do. 

Because in the midst of all his own problems, Oliver is putting pressure on the Government to deliver a proper strategy to beat childhood obesity.

Theresa May published one last summer that had none of the restrictions on junk food advertising and promotion that Oliver had said would be most effective.

The one thing he did like in it was the sugar tax he had pushed for, which has just come into effect. But how will making a bottle of Coke more expensive change anything?

‘All the money [raised] is going to breakfast clubs and sports in schools. That’s the thing that makes people go, “Oh well tax for good, a bit like a donation, yes I’m happy to do that.” 

And it’s so much more than a tax. It’s a message to the industry: “Guys, we’re watching you.” 

'It’s the first time the Government has stood up and said, “Soft drinks are the single largest source of sugar. Forty years ago you were a luxury, now people use you as everyday hydration. You’re a problem.”

‘Similar taxes are applied to petrol, to gambling, to smoking. I don’t think it’s any different. 

'The reason for the tax on gambling is really clear: if you gamble a lot, if it gets out of control, the Government needs tax and resources because the kids go hungry and partners normally get abuse, there’s a pattern, you know?

‘Ultimately it is right for the state to incentivise people to turn a tap on and drink water more than open a can of sugary drink.’

Oliver is lobbying for more influence over a second go at the obesity strategy, which he expects the Prime Minister to announce by the summer. 

So is sugar the new smoking? ‘There are so many similarities.’ Does he enforce any of this at home? Jamie and Jools live in an £8.9 million Hampstead mansion with their children

So is sugar the new smoking? ‘There are so many similarities.’ Does he enforce any of this at home? Jamie and Jools live in an £8.9 million Hampstead mansion with their children

In the meantime, he is launching a social media campaign to extend the ban on advertisements for junk food and drink on TV to after the 9pm watershed – as well as restricting what children can see online or on billboards at stadiums and schools.

‘When do kids and teenagers actually watch telly? It’s the major TV shows after 6pm, things like X Factor when often there’ll be 11 junk food ads in the breaks. 

'So if you observe that the target isn’t where you thought it was, then you simply extend it.’ What kind of ads is he talking about?

‘Everything from Coke to McDonald’s. Domino’s. All the sweet manufacturers. There’s a long list. 

'It’s not saying, “Coke – you can’t advertise”. It’s saying, “You can’t advertise red [original] Coke. You should really be advertising Coke Zero.” 

'It tastes pretty similar. I can’t taste the difference. So it’s not a total bear trap.’

This all gets crunched down to ‘Jamie says we can’t have a Coke or a Big Mac’, doesn’t it? 

‘No, I’ve never said that. I’m asking, is it appropriate to advertise food that is high in salt, fat and sugar to children at prime time when obesity is crippling the NHS?

‘If you compare all this to smoking companies, they can’t advertise in the breaks on X Factor. 

'We’ve changed smoking from being normal to not normal. You’re seeing cancer rates drop. Diet-related diseases are doing the opposite.’

So is sugar the new smoking? ‘There are so many similarities.’

Does he enforce any of this at home? Jamie and Jools live in an £8.9 million Hampstead mansion with their children. 

At 16 and 15 Poppy and Daisy are at the age when girls stop listening to Daddy. What if one of them says: ‘I’m off to McDonald’s with my mates?’

Oliver sighs. ‘Honestly? If they wanted to go, I’d let them. Because they get really well fed 95 per cent of the time from us. 

'If they want to go out and have a fizzy drink I don’t care, because we have none in the house. My wife’s probably stricter. 

'She’d say, “Oh please, don’t.” But they’d only end up doing it in some other place.’

So that’s news: having campaigned against the company – and arguably shamed it into abandoning the use of ammonia-drenched ‘pink slime’ beef filler in America – Jamie would let his children go to McDonald’s.

Six of the Jamie’s Italian restaurants were closed and this year it was announced that a further 12 would have to shut, too, with the loss of a reported 450 jobs

Six of the Jamie’s Italian restaurants were closed and this year it was announced that a further 12 would have to shut, too, with the loss of a reported 450 jobs

‘I think going out and having fun is great. I don’t think they would, I don’t think Jools would, but for me as a parent, because I know they get really well looked after at home, I wouldn’t tell them not to. 

'I don’t want to alienate them from having a burger or having a pizza.’

Come down too hard and they’ll be sneaking around to a mate’s house to guzzle a litre of Coke, won’t they? ‘Yeah.’ Don’t do that every day and eat healthy the rest of the time, is what he’s saying. Trouble is, he says, deceitful food companies don’t make that easy.

‘A chocolate bar or a burger is quite honest. It has never lied to you. 

'But there’s a serious problem when you’re buying a loaf of bread with packaging that implies it’s healthy but there’s loads of s*** in it; or when the cereal aisle is full of sugar; or when BOGOF [buy one, get one free] deals in supermarkets are promoting such a load of s***e, they’re not helping people whether they’re poor or rich.’ Cereals really wind him up. 

'Calling it the cereal aisle or the breakfast aisle in a supermarket is almost like [a violation of the] trade and descriptions act really, because it should be called the cake aisle.’

Yes, but what about his own food? The Amazing Date Shake among the ‘fruit recipes’ on his website has more sugar than a can of red Coke. 

'Do people challenge him on that? ‘Yeah, that happens quite a lot.’

So what’s his answer? ‘I get what you’re saying. I do cooking shows where I make a pavlova, or I’ll do a cheesecake. 

'This is the joy of food, for sure. But if you analyse a hundred things I do, there is a pattern. 

'What I’m trying to say is that if you help people get it right most of the time there’s plenty of space to get it wrong. And one should love both.’

This is tricky, but is he ratcheting up the campaigning now to distract us all from his business troubles?

‘I haven’t ratcheted it up. We’re just trying to be more organised and collaborate more. 

'But the business has never been better. It’s never been more profitable, never been a happier, more productive place to work. The media group. That’s where you’re sitting now.’

MY MANIFESTO FOR BEATING CHILDHOOD OBESITY 

  • Ban TV ads for food and drinks that are high in salt, fat or sugar before the 9pm watershed. Restrict advertising on social media, billboards, bus stops and sports stadiums as well as outside schools. Ban the use of cartoon characters and celebrities to promote these foods. Ban cheap promotions that encourage people to buy them. 
  • Expand the sugar tax to cover more products.
  • Set compulsory targets for sugar and calorie reduction in food and drink.
  • Ban the sale of energy drinks to anyone under 16, requiring ID.
  • After Brexit, bring in new, clearer colour-coded pack labels so no food high in salt, fat or sugar can be sold as a healthy alternative.
  • Enforce proper food standards for all school meals, across the age range, monitored by Ofsted.
  • Compulsory training for GPs on aspects of nutrition, with patients weighed at every visit.
  • More support for national programmes to measure and weigh children.
  • Improve catering in public buildings so there are healthy options, particularly for shift workers and NHS staff.
  • New powers for local authorities to limit hot food takeaways near schools. 
  • New Government target to halve childhood obesity by 2030. 

He’s talking about the company that runs all his media content online, in books, magazines and on television. 

Other companies handle Jamie Oliver products, overseas properties and restaurants.

He owns them all, but they each have separate management – and one of them got into serious trouble last year, as the Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group recorded losses of nearly £10million. 

Six of the Jamie’s Italian restaurants were closed and this year it was announced that a further 12 would have to shut, too, with the loss of a reported 450 jobs. 

Still, I wonder what those people being put out of work made of Jools posting snapshots of their mansion on Instagram. Does he care about them?

Still, I wonder what those people being put out of work made of Jools posting snapshots of their mansion on Instagram. Does he care about them?

There are just 25 left. His two flagship Barbecoa steakhouse restaurants also went into administration, although he bought one back.

‘We’re now left with robust restaurants that do really well, but it’s a really tough market. 

'Caring doesn’t pay in this environment, do you know what I mean? I can’t take away my free-range chicken.’

That insistence on ethically sourced, organic food is part of what made Jamie’s Italian stand out in the first place, a decade ago, but it also made the ingredients more expensive. 

‘I don’t want to do what everyone else is doing, because I’d rather not have the restaurants. 

'But having gone through what we have I was able to go save thousands of jobs.’

Officially, the new CEO of the restaurant business, Jonathan Knight, says 1,900 jobs have been saved. 

Still, I wonder what those people being put out of work made of Jools posting snapshots of their mansion on Instagram. Does he care about them? 

What about the small suppliers whose friends took to Twitter to ask if they would get paid? ‘I do care. I was the only shareholder that put money in to save the business and to pay the staff. 

'In the old days, the whole business would’ve gone down.’

He put £3million more of his own money into the failing restaurant group so it could go into a company voluntary agreement, enabling a restructure and therefore escaping a complete wipeout.

‘We had parts of the business that were inefficient, we were in places we shouldn’t have been, there were rents we shouldn’t have agreed to.’

Other companies like Byron hamburgers have been hit by the same slump in people going out to eat in mid-range restaurants, he says.

‘This is the hard edge of the high street, which many of us are facing. There’s a legal process to go through but, on the whole, our suppliers have still got a customer and they’ll be seen right. We’ll work it out.’

He looks uneasy. ‘Look, it’s been very uncomfortable. I’ve had to man up and make a big decision. Do you just let it all go down or go in and let some go down to save the rest? We have got a great business, and we will bounce back.’

Now he’s fired up. The tiredness has gone. As he takes me to the door, Oliver sounds determined to keep campaigning. 

‘We’re vulnerable. The boss is getting a kicking left, right and centre. But we’ll keep going. It’s the right thing to do.’

 

 My favourite family recipes 

I wholeheartedly believe that cooking is one of the most valuable skills you can teach a child. 

Kids who know how to prepare fresh ingredients and can put together proper good, nutritious food are set up for life. 

Knowing how to eat healthily means they’re empowered with more options – and ultimately, they’re equipped to fight the influences that can lead to obesity and diet-related disease.

Get your kids shopping for ingredients as well as cooking them, so they see the whole process as something connected. 

Expose them to the widest variety of nutritious foods you can – the more experience and food knowledge they can gather, the more confident they’ll become to try new things. 

Spark their curiosity, and give them ownership over certain tasks.

Get excited together about fresh, colourful, seasonal ingredients, and get among it!

These recipes are firm favourites in the Oliver household – my lot love them. Come the weekend, we like to spend time making something delicious. 

It’s great when you can all sit down together and enjoy what you’ve created. I love it! I hope you do too.

Super shepherd's pie 

Super Shepherds Pie

Super Shepherds Pie

Lean minced lamb works a treat here, and gives us a bumper hit of vitamin B12, keeping our immune and nervous systems healthy and preventing a drop in our energy levels.

Serves 6

Total time 2hrs 15mins

INGREDIENTS

500g lean minced lamb

2 sprigs of fresh rosemary

1 x 400g tin of cannellini beans

2 onions

2 carrots

2 sticks of celery

250g chestnut mushrooms

1 heaped tablespoon plain flour

800ml organic chicken or veg stock

800g swede

800g potatoes

2 tablespoons semi- skimmed milk

15g mature Cheddar cheese

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon mint sauce

350g frozen peas

Put the mince into a cold casserole pan. Place on a high heat, add a really good pinch of black pepper and cook for 15 minutes, or until dark golden, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. 

Pick and finely chop the rosemary leaves, drain the beans, then stir both into the pan. Cook and stir for 8 minutes, or until the beans start to pop and it’s all getting dark and gnarly. 

Peel the onions and carrots, trim the celery, wipe the mushrooms clean, then finely chop it all (or blitz in a food processor). Stir into the pan and sweat for 10 minutes on medium-high, stirring occasionally. 

Stir in the flour, followed by the stock. Bring to the boil, then simmer on a low heat with the lid on for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4. Wash the swede and potatoes (leaving the skins on for extra nutritional benefit) and cut into 3cm chunks.

Cook just the swede in a large pan of boiling salted water for 10 minutes, add the potatoes for 10 more minutes, or until cooked through, drain well, mash with the milk and grated cheese, and season to perfection.

Check the consistency of the mince – you want it slightly wetter than you think, as it will thicken further in the oven. Add the Worcestershire and mint sauces, taste, and season to perfection.

Sprinkle the peas over the mince, letting them sit on the surface to help prevent the mash from sinking in too much.

Put spoons of mash randomly on top, using a fork to scuff it up and make valleys and mountains, increasing the surface area, and the crispy bits.

Bake for 50 minutes, or until golden and bubbling. Nice with seasonal greens.

CALORIES: 436kcal; FAT: 12.2g; SAT FAT: 5g; PROTEIN: 31.2g; CARBS: 51.2g; SUGAR: 15.2g; SALT: 0.4g; FIBRE: 11.8g.

Baked eggs in popped beans  

Baked eggs and popped beans 

Baked eggs and popped beans 

Mighty cannellini beans are a great source of protein, high in fibre, and contain Vitamin C as well as magnesium, a mineral that helps our muscles to function properly.

Serves 2

Total time 20mins

INGREDIENTS

  • 250g mixed-colour ripe cherry tomatoes 
  • ½ a lemon
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 sprigs of fresh basil
  • 1 x 400g tin of cannellini beans
  • 1 good pinch of fennel seeds
  • 2 large free-range eggs
  • 2 slices of seeded wholemeal bread
  • 2 heaped teaspoons ricotta cheese
  • Optional: thick balsamic vinegar
  • Optional: hot chilli sauce

Halve the tomatoes, place in a bowl and toss with the lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of oil and a pinch of sea salt. 

Pick, tear and toss in the basil leaves (reserving the smaller ones for garnish), then leave aside to macerate for a few minutes. Meanwhile, place a large non-stick frying pan on a high heat. 

Drain the beans and put into the hot pan with the fennel seeds and a pinch of black pepper. Leave for 5 minutes, shaking occasionally – you want them to char and pop open, bursting their skins. 

Pour the macerated tomatoes into the pan with 100ml of water, season, then leave to bubble away vigorously for 1 minute. 

Crack in an egg on each side, then cover with a lid, plate or tin foil, reduce to a medium-low heat and slow-cook for 3 to 4 minutes for nice soft eggs, or longer if you prefer. 

Meanwhile, toast the bread.

Divide the ricotta and spread over the hot toast, then serve on the side of the baked eggs in beans. 

Sprinkle the reserved baby basil leaves over the top and tuck right in. Nice finished with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and/or a drizzle of hot chilli sauce. Delicious.

CALORIES: 399kcal; FAT: 15.7g; SAT FAT: 3.6g; PROTEIN: 22g; CARBS: 40.7g; SUGAR: 5.8g; FIBRE: 12.6g.

Happiness Pasta: Sweet tomato, aubergine and ricotta

Happiness pPasta

Happiness pPasta

As well as being very low in saturated fat compared to most other cheeses, ricotta is also high in calcium, a nutrient vital in keeping our teeth and bones nice and strong.

Serves 4

Total time 1hr

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 aubergines
  • 1-2 fresh red chillies
  • 40g pine nuts
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 bunch of fresh basil (30g)
  • Olive oil
  • 2 x 400g tins of plum tomatoes
  • 300g dried wholewheat fusilli
  • 200g ricotta cheese
  • 10g Parmesan cheese

Sit a double-layer bamboo steamer over a large pan of boiling salted water. Halve the aubergines lengthways and add to the baskets skin side up, with the whole chillies. 

Cover and steam for 25 minutes, or until soft and tender, then remove. Transfer the chillies to a small bowl and cover with clingfilm.

Lightly toast the pine nuts in a large casserole pan on a medium heat, then lightly crush in a pestle and mortar. Peel and finely slice the garlic and finely chop the basil stalks, then add to the pan with 1 tablespoon of oil and return to the heat to cook until golden.

Tip the tomatoes into the pan through your hands, crushing and scrunching them up as you go. Fill each tin with water, swirl it around, and add to the pan with a good pinch of sea salt and black pepper. 

Bring to the boil, then simmer gently for 30 minutes, or until reduced by half, roughly chopping and adding the aubergines for the last 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in the pan of boiling salted water according to the packet instructions, then drain, reserving a mugful of cooking water.

Peel and deseed the chillies, then finely chop and stir into the sauce.

Tear in most of the basil leaves and season to perfection. Toss the pasta and ricotta through the sauce, loosening with a little reserved water if needed. Serve with the pine nuts and remaining basil leaves scattered over, with a grating of Parmesan.

CALORIES: 472kcal; FAT: 18.9g; SAT FAT: 5.3g; PROTEIN: 20.5g; CARBS: 60.2g; SUGAR: 12g; FIBRE: 10g.

Jumbo fish fingers 

Jumbo fish fingers

Jumbo fish fingers

The perfect family favourite to have in the freezer, fish, especially salmon, is packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for keeping our blood cholesterol healthy.

Makes 10 portions

Total time 25mins, plus cooking

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 x 1.2kg side of salmon, skin off, pin-boned, from sustainable sources
  • 2 large free-range eggs
  • 1 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
  • 250g wholemeal bread
  • 30g Cheddar cheese
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Cut the fish into 10 x 120g portions. The nature of the shape of the salmon side means that they won’t be uniform in size, but that’s all part of their charm. I tend to cut the side lengthways about 3cm thick, then into chunks from that.

In a shallow bowl, whisk the eggs with the paprika and a pinch of sea salt and black pepper. 

Tear the bread into a food processor, grate in the cheese, add 2 tablespoons of oil and whiz until you have breadcrumbs, then tip into a tray. 

Coat each fish portion in the egg mixture, let any excess drip off, then turn in the breadcrumbs until well coated all over. 

Transfer to a tray lined with greaseproof paper, layering them up between sheets of paper until they’re all coated (this is probably more bread than you need, but it is easier to work with – simply discard whatever’s left).

Cook right away or freeze in the tray. Once frozen, you can pop them into a tub or sandwich bags for easier storage.

To cook, place however many jumbo fish fingers you need on a roasting tray and cook in a preheated oven at 200C/400F/gas 6 for 15 minutes from fresh, or 20 minutes from frozen, or until golden and cooked through.

CALORIES: 325kcal; FAT: 18.6g; SAT FAT: 3.8g; PROTEIN: 29.1g; CARBS: 9.5g; SUGAR: 0.6g; SALT: 0.5g; FIBRE: 1.6g.

Mega veggie burgers

Mega veggie burgers

Mega veggie burgers

Tofu is a brilliant carrier of flavours, plus it’s high in protein, low in saturated fat and a great source of calcium and phosphorus, which make for strong and healthy bones.

Serves 4

Total time 45mins

INGREDIENTS

  • 350g firm silken tofu
  • 1 large free-range egg
  • 75g wholemeal breadcrumbs
  • 2 heaped teaspoons Marmite
  • 8 ripe tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 sprigs of fresh basil
  • 4 soft wholemeal buns
  • 400g mixed seasonal salad veg, such as cucumber, red cabbage, apples, cress, baby spinach  
  • Olive oil
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 50g Cheddar cheese
  • 50g gherkins
  • CREAMY BASIL DRESSING
  • 4 sprigs of fresh basil
  • 4 tablespoons natural yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ of a fresh red chilli

Wrap the tofu in a clean tea towel, then squeeze and wring it out to remove the excess liquid (about 4 tablespoons should come out. It’s messy, but really important to do this for great burger texture later). 

Place the tofu in a bowl, scraping it off the tea towel. Crack in the egg, then add the breadcrumbs and Marmite. 

Mix and scrunch together really well with clean hands, then shape into 4 even-sized patties that’ll fit nicely in your buns once cooked.

Roughly chop the tomatoes and put into a dry non-stick frying pan on a high heat with a pinch of black pepper, a splash of water and the vinegar. 

Squash the tomatoes with a potato masher, cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or until thick and delicious, then tear in the basil leaves and season to perfection (I sometimes add a pinch of dried red chilli flakes too, for a kick). 

If you want to plump up your buns, pop them into a warm oven for a few minutes.

Finely slice or prep all the salad veg. Next, pick the basil leaves into a blender and blitz with the other dressing ingredients and a pinch of salt and pepper until super-smooth. 

Place 2 teaspoons of oil in a large non-stick frying pan on a medium heat. Pick the rosemary leaves into the pan in four piles, place the patties on top and cook for 3 minutes on each side, or until golden.

Slice or grate the cheese, place on the patties, reduce the heat to low, then cover and leave to melt for 3 to 4 minutes. 

Spread the tomato sauce into the buns, then sandwich the cheesy burgers and sliced gherkins inside. Toss the salad with half the dressing (save the rest for another day), serve alongside the burgers and enjoy. Awesome.

CALORIES: 424kcal; FAT: 15.7g; SAT FAT: 4.6g; PROTEIN: 24.9g; CARBS: 44.8g; SUGAR: 12.1g; FIBRE: 9.3g.

Portable jam jar salad 

Portable jam jar salad

Portable jam jar salad

This delicious, colourful lunch will cause massive office envy. Make balanced jars by layering up carb, protein, veg and a little dairy. Keep in the fridge and mix before serving.

Serves 1

Total time 20mins

INGREDIENTS

  • 150g cooked pearl barley (75g if cooking from scratch)
  • 1 raw beetroot
  • 1 small eating apple
  • 2 heaped tablespoons fat-free natural yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 heaped teaspoon jarred grated horseradish
  • 1 handful watercress
  • 1 handful baby spinach
  • A few ripe cherry tomatoes
  • 100g of quality cooked thinly sliced lean roast beef
  • 2 sprigs of fresh tarragon
  • 4 shelled walnuts

Spoon the cooked pearl barley into the base of a 1-litre jam jar. Peel, coarsely grate and add the beetroot. Grate the apple, mix with the yogurt, oil and horseradish, then season to taste with sea salt and black pepper and spoon over the beetroot.

Pick the tarragon leaves and smash the walnuts. To make up the rest of your jar, layer up the watercress, spinach, tomatoes, roast beef, tarragon leaves and smashed walnuts, then pop the lid on.

CALORIES: 539kcal; FAT: 26.2g; SAT FAT: 5.1g; PROTEIN: 39.1g; CARBS: 40.7g; SUGAR: 20.1g; FIBRE: 5.4g.

Chocolate porridge 

Chocolate porridge

Chocolate porridge

Lean minced lamb works a treat here, and gives us a bumper hit of vitamin B12, keeping our immune and nervous systems healthy and preventing a drop in our energy levels.

Serves 6

Total time 2hrs 15mins

INGREDIENTS

l 500g lean minced lamb

  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 1 x 400g tin of cannellini beans
  • 2 onions
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 250g chestnut mushrooms
  • 1 heaped tablespoon plain flour
  • 800ml organic chicken or veg stock
  • 800g swede
  • 800g potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons semi- skimmed milk
  • 15g mature Cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon mint sauce
  • 350g frozen peas

Put the mince into a cold casserole pan. Place on a high heat, add a really good pinch of black pepper and cook for 15 minutes, or until dark golden, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. 

Pick and finely chop the rosemary leaves, drain the beans, then stir both into the pan. Cook and stir for 8 minutes, or until the beans start to pop and it’s all getting dark and gnarly. Peel the onions and carrots, trim the celery, wipe the mushrooms clean, then finely chop it all (or blitz in a food processor). 

Stir into the pan and sweat for 10 minutes on medium-high, stirring occasionally. Stir in the flour, followed by the stock. Bring to the boil, then simmer on a low heat with the lid on for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4. Wash the swede and potatoes (leaving the skins on for extra nutritional benefit) and cut into 3cm chunks.

Cook just the swede in a large pan of boiling salted water for 10 minutes, add the potatoes for 10 more minutes, or until cooked through, drain well, mash with the milk and grated cheese, and season to perfection.

Check the consistency of the mince – you want it slightly wetter than you think, as it will thicken further in the oven. Add the Worcestershire and mint sauces, taste, and season to perfection.

Sprinkle the peas over the mince, letting them sit on the surface to help prevent the mash from sinking in too much.

Put spoons of mash randomly on top, using a fork to scuff it up and make valleys and mountains, increasing the surface area, and the crispy bits.

Bake for 50 minutes, or until golden and bubbling. Nice with seasonal greens.

CALORIES: 436kcal; FAT: 12.2g; SAT FAT: 5g; PROTEIN: 31.2g; CARBS: 51.2g; SUGAR: 15.2g; SALT: 0.4g; FIBRE: 11.8g.

Super Food Family Classics and Everyday Super Food, by Jamie Oliver, are published by Penguin Random House. © Jamie Oliver Enterprises Limited (2015 & 2016). Photographer: Jamie Oliver
Super Food Family Classics and Everyday Super Food, by Jamie Oliver, are published by Penguin Random House. © Jamie Oliver Enterprises Limited (2015 & 2016). Photographer: Jamie Oliver

Super Food Family Classics and Everyday Super Food, by Jamie Oliver, are published by Penguin Random House. © Jamie Oliver Enterprises Limited (2015 & 2016). Photographer: Jamie Oliver

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR celebrityrave

Journalist, writer and broadcaster, based in London and Paris, her latest book is Touché: A French Woman's Take on the English. Read more articles from Agnes.

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