Jamie's Ultimate Veg (TVNZ 1, 8:30pm Thursdays)
We should all be eating more vegetables. Mums have been saying this for years but lately dads have started saying it too. Now our cooking dad, Jamie Oliver, has made a whole new show about it.
"Come on, you know it makes sense," he cajoles us at the start of Jamie's Ultimate Veg. "It's better for you and it's better for the environment."
That's about as far as he takes the environmental angle, which is fine. You get the sense Oliver is embracing this current need to change our habits in the face of climate crisis simply because it's the right and necessary thing to do, not because it's something he's particularly passionate about. To be honest: same! Very relatable.
To try and get excited about the prospect of eating more veges, he's travelling to some parts of the world where they're actually good at cooking them. Will the PR boost that vegetables receive from this show offset the environmental impact of flying a film crew halfway around the world? Hard to say.
Maybe it's worth the carbon emissions just to see Oliver in India. "We've got a cow over there, a monkey up there, a geezer with a foot massager," he says excitedly pointing out the bloke carrying an electric foot massager on his shoulder like a boom box. "This is even worse than South End on a Friday night."
This wide-eyed amazement carries over to the food. He watches transfixed as street vendors whack "big wodges" of veges inside naan, then slap them on to the wall of the tandoor. "Namaste," he compliments them, "or, as we say in Essex: nice one."
Back in his England kitchen studio, Oliver takes all this newfound knowledge and inspiration and turns it into a dish he calls an Indian-inspired chip buttie. "It's almost like bubble and squeak that's gone via Delhi," he explains. "It's completely bonkers … but I love it."
The chip buttie looks nice, you've got to admit. But like every other dish Oliver whips up in this episode – hearty vegetarian cottage pie, green mac 'n' cheese, a vege pad thai – he's made vegetables taste nice the easy way, by burying them in carbs.
A full nutritional audit of Jamie's Ultimate Veg might reveal some shortcomings to this method. There are plenty of other ways to make vegetables (or any food) taste nice. Seasoning them, for example.
Oliver takes what could only be described as a conservative approach to seasoning. Look at the way he sprinkles tiny pinches of salt and pepper into a big wok of pad thai – we've all seen enough other cooking videos to know this simply isn't enough.
Still makes you want to go and order a vege pad thai for tea, though, doesn't it? Maybe that's all that really matters – seeing more vegetable-based dishes on TV and wanting to eat them. Even if we do take Oliver's advice on how to cook them with a (very small) grain of salt, his work here is done.