Last week I picked up a cookbook from the library called Fabulous Food, Minus the Boombah – it wasn’t just the catchy title that grabbed my attention but that the author is none other than Jane Kennedy, a comedic heroine from my teenage days.
Anyone over the age of 30 who has grown up in Australia surely remembers either the D-Generation, The Late Show, or has at least seen The Castle (classic Australian film, please watch it if you haven’t yet!) or The Dish. I remember rushing home most Saturday nights in the mid 90’s from my part time job at a take-away Pizza shop so that I could watch The Late Show on the ABC – their skits were corny and mostly send-ups of TV shows, celebrities, politicians and sportspeople, and were absolutely hilarious…this was before political correctness went crazy mind you!
So after hearing Jane had put out not just one cookbook, but has a second called OMG! I Can Eat That?, I knew I had to take a look. In my search to find a copy I discovered that Jane is not only married to one of my other comedic heroes, Rob Sitch (yes, from The Late Show!), but that they have 5 young children together! (Throw Uncle Santo Cilauro in and I’m hooked).
Here’s a classic Jane & Rob skit I found on you-tube…it’s fairly harmless but probably not suitable for kids to watch unless you want them singing it for the next week – catchy!
Jane is introduced as someone who loves to cook and eat, but as someone who can’t eat anything she wants to because she gets FAT. She defines Boombah as food that makes your arse huge – Jane, I hear you!
Her recipes are mostly low-carb and low in sugar and added fats, with the usual breakfast, starters, dinner & dessert categories. She also has some interesting ideas for entertaining, and a great chapter on Takeaway substitutes such as a low-fat Beef Vindaloo. Her personal anecdotes (she has tried seriously weird diets that are alarmingly familiar to me!) and refreshingly honest quips make this cookbook a delight to read. There’s lots of lovely clean photography, minimum-fuss recipes, and Jane looking gorgeous and totally real.
On the downside, It’s not particularly vegetarian-friendly. One of the recipes that did jump out at me was the Creamy broccoli and leek soup.
After a particularly chilly night here last night (we’re Queenslanders, we don’t deal well with anything under 20 °C !) and a cool morning, soup sounded perfect.
Truth be told, upon reading the ingredients this recipe sounded terrible. Broccoli, Leek & mustard…in soup? I’d already decided on a quick and easy chicken dish for Mr B. and the kids, so whilst it was in the oven baking I decided I’d give the soup a go.
Creamy broccoli and leek soup with feta
Adapted from Fabulous Food, minus the boombah
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 375g broccoli florets
- 1 leek, finely chopped
- 1 Tablespoon wholegrain mustard
- 1 litre vegetable stock
- 2 Tablespoons oregano leaves
- 1 Tablespoon natural yoghurt
- firm feta, to crumble
- Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, and saute garlic, broccoli, leek and mustard for about 5 minutes, stirring often.
- Add the stock and oregano and bring to the boil, then cover and reduce heat to allow to simmer for 20 minutes.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool, then blend or process to a smooth puree. Season with salt/pepper then stir through yoghurt.
- Crumble feta over soup and serve hot.
* Jane’s original recipe uses chicken stock and Greek yoghurt – I wanted to keep mine vegetarian, and I only had natural yoghurt, but I thought the feta was a nice compromise – it probably increased the fat content though!
The verdict? amazing and no boombah! The wholegrain mustard definitely adds the lift, and I will absolutely be making this delicious soup again.
And the others? They really did have chicken tonight…Spanish Chicken with Chorizo and potatoes.
They feasted on Nigella’s recipe which can be found here, but seriously, its so easy I can probably describe it in a few sentences. I reduced Nigella’s proportions to make use of what I had in the fridge…bung a few chicken thighs in a well oiled baking tray, add some chopped potatoes and sliced chorizo. Sprinkle over oregano and red onions (no onion fans in this house so I omitted this), then zest an orange over the top.
Bake for 50 -60 minutes…I pulled mine out after 40 minutes to add some sun-dried tomatoes. Plate up and drizzle pan juices over the top…there is a LOT of boombah in this dish!
It was very well received…kids went gaga over the sausage so next time I’ll remember to add more of that…they can handle a bit of boombah every now and again!