Have You Heard of A Girl Called Jack?

If the answer is yes, how awesome is she?  If the answer is no, you seriously need to get involved.

I first heard of Jack about a year ago in a glossy magazine article and have kept half an eye out for her ever since.  As a single mum living on benefits, sick of the generalisation and stigma of how ‘poor people’ lived Jack started her blog with her first article Hunger Hurts talking about the real impact of poverty on her and her young son, it is heartbreaking and enlightening and I would recommend anyone taking a look at this blog entry: http://agirlcalledjack.com/2012/07/30/hunger-hurts/ (I also don’t want to put to many words into Jack’s mouth and think you should hear it directly from her).

Jack started including recipes on her blog, showing how she tried to keep her son well fed and healthy on a ridiculously small amount of money.  Jack’s blog led to a wonderful budget recipes book and ‘A Girl Called Jack’ hit the bookshelf’s this month.  I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy.

A Girl Called Jack

One of the things I personally love about this cookbook is that you can tell it is written by a mum.  Anyone who has read my blog will know that I am all about looking for ways to get better food into my children and minimal work / things we can freeze for later.  Even though this is done from a  not wasting point of view the same principle applied.  Its not fussy or pretentious, just healthy food that you will leaving you feeling pleased at the end of the meal if your kid has eaten it, knowing they just ate a plate of goodness.

I also love that so many of the recipes are vegetarian.  Again this is done in the book because meat can be so expensive but for me… We know that red meat can increase your risk of Colorectal cancer so am drastically trying to cut down but after 33 years of living as a complete carnivore, I find it hard to make a meal that isn’t centred around meat, but this cookbook has given me numerous options.

The TIP at the end of most the recipes are a fab idea too.  They give you information like how long a dish can be kept in the fridge, or if you have any of this sauce left over it can be a pizza topping, or the stock made by cooking vegetables in this dish can be stored and used in this dish… this girl has though of everything!

Every recipe you can see Jack has thought about it, lived it, improved it, seen how it can be made better and cheaper and now all this fantastic knowledge is being passed on to anyone who wants it.

Ignoring the fact that I think Jack is an inspirational and amazing woman who I could learn a lot from, I think, standing alone, this is a fantastic cookbook.  It gives a fresh take on some old favourites and has so many helpful tips it’s an inspiration and much needed addition to my kitchen.

I am going to be starting with Jack’s Simple Fish Pie this evening, will let you know how it goes!

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