A cookery group from Leven has branched out into the literary world with a cook book aimed at people living on their own.
The group, which is run by NHS Fife, has launched the new cookbook, designed to help people living by themselves create wholesome, healthy and cost- effective meals.
‘Cookwell: Live Well for One’ contains recipes from members of the ‘Cookwell: Live Well’ group, which meets at Leven’s Community Kitchen every week.
All eight of the members – seven women and one man – range in age from late fifties to mid eighties and the group aims to help members develop their skills and regain their confidence in the kitchen.
Recently, the group identified a need for a single-person cookbook after realising the vast majority of guides contain recipes for upwards of two people, which can be daunting for those looking for a straightforward dinner without having to convert portion sizes or the amount of ingredients used.
The new book ‘Cookwell: Live Well for One’ shares quick, easy, everyday recipes for one that can be created at a relatively low cost. And in a bid to prevent waste, the group has included several recipes with similar ingredients which can be used up throughout the week.
Lyndsay Clark, senior health promotion officer at NHS Fife, said: “This compilation of recipes from local people will give confidence to those who want to get not only into, but in many cases back into, the kitchen.
“The confidence of knowing you will be following instructions that are specifically written for single portions can be a key motivator in encouraging people to don their aprons and turn their attentions to improving their diet by incorporating some of the healthier, more wholesome foods that form a key part of our cookbook.”
Lyndsay added: “Alongside exercise, a good diet is vitally important to a healthy lifestyle and this cookbook can act as a platform not only to a better diet, but also the health benefits that can bring.”
The Leven Community Kitchen was set up in 2010 and plays host to a number of groups including the Cook Well: Live Well group. Working out of the catering department at Fife College’s Leven campus, Lyndsay said it is a very successful partnership between NHS Fife and Fife College.
She added: “Importantly, our Community Kitchen in Leven is not solely a place where people can go to share recipes and brush up on their cooking skills; it has also become a real social hub. Many of the people who have previously met at our classes have remained friends after they finish and continue to meet up.”
For more information on ‘Cookwell: Live Well for One’ contact Lyndsay Clark on 01592 226 498.
One of those relishing their return to the kitchen is Jan Duncan. She said: “When my husband passed away, I lost a lot of the confidence I used to have in the kitchen as, prior to his death, he preferred to eat out and I was finding that the small amounts of food I did cook only ended up in the bin.
“However, through attending the group and contributing recipes to the cookbook, I have now regained my confidence and I enjoy cooking and experimenting with food again.
“Through the group, I have met many new friends and, despite our class officially finishing, we still meet up. The social element of this initiative is one of its biggest and best strengths and I would encourage others who may be living alone to get in touch with Lyndsay Clark, sign up for her classes and tap into the benefits it can bring.”