Set up in 2013, members of Lambeth GP Food Co-op include patients, doctors, nurses and local residents. Together they created a network of food-growing NHS gardens – and now they have published a cookbook with the aim of helping to improve the lives of patients while creating community well-being.
Inspired by Lambeth’s diverse communities, the book features 28 recipes. Proceeds will go to the Lambeth GP Food Co-op to build gardens for patients in hospitals and GP clinics.
Recipes range from starters like red onion marmalade and spring green miso noodle soup to mains like coconut tomato dhal or braised fennel with chickpea and lemon. Desserts include pumpkin pie, banana bread, and oat and banana pancakes. Readers can also find recipes for elderflower cordial and zen smoothie.
Local patients, GPs, NHS staff and residents all contributed to the recipe book.
One of them was Dr Kattya Mayre-Chilton, an international and specialist research dietician currently working in clinical trials for Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS foundation trust, London. Her love for cooking made her want to distribute her recipe for a honey frangipane and
“My family introduced me to cooking and gardening, with my grandfather being an agriculturalist and my dad being a botanist. And I had a wonderful year living on a farm in Latin America; growing food and cooking is a joy and something to share,”
Franklin Evagle from local restaurant Katakata also shared his recipe of Zen Smoothie. He writes: “Katakata originated from a Cameroonian dialect word meaning ‘never give up’. A healthy meal doesn’t need to break your bank account, it is about being creative and efficient with resources your have on your disposal. A healthy attitude is a must all the time.”
There are more than 37,000 people in Lambeth with long-term health conditions, and many of them are managing depression or loneliness. The benefits of gardens and gardening for health are highlighted in a 2016 report by the King’s Fund. These include reductions in depression and anxiety, improved social functioning and wider effects, such as opportunities for vocational development.
Ed Rosen, director of Lambeth GP Food Co-op contributed a recipe of latkes, the potato pancakes eaten by Jewish people during Hanukkah. He says he enjoys cooking and even had a “chequered career as a cook”, having been fired for giving customers larger portions of vegetables. “My three children have voted with their feet when it comes to my culinary skills,” he writes.
“The book is a practical expression of co-operation in action”.
The book costs £9 (including postage and packing) and can be ordered by emailing [email protected] or phoning 07908834203. Proceeds from the sale of the book will go to the Lambeth GP Food Co-op to build gardens for patients in hospitals and GP Clinics.