Lambeth Food Co-operative recipes – easy to follow and even easier to eat

We take a look at the latest cookbook from the co-op, which offers a 'social prescription'

It’s a new year, so if you want to kick it off with some home cooking that’s kind to your body – especially if you indulged over Christmas – here’s a health co-op coming to the rescue with some recipe ideas.

Lambeth GP Food Co-op was set up in 2013, with members including patients, doctors, nurses and local residents. Together they have built a network of food-growing NHS gardens – and here is their second cookbook.

The intention is to teach people about food, encourage healthy living, and foster community wellbeing.

There are 31 recipes, inspired by Lambeth’s diverse communities, with proceeds going to the Lambeth GP Food Co-op to build gardens for patients in hospitals and GP clinics.

The GP garden communities provide a space and a reason for people to socialise, learn and grow food together, says the co-op. People who participate are improving their own health and wellbeing.

This results in people feeling less isolated and better in themselves and, as GPs are now reporting, requiring fewer appointments.

Food grown at the gardens includes spinach, sweetcorn, tomatoes, broccoli, celery, peas, herbs.

The co-op adds that encouraging urban food gardens will provide people with another tool as the world adapts to the challenges of climate change, and its planning to do more work to improve the network of gardens in the coming year. 

Through regular events and an active social media presence, it emphasises its place as a co-op within the NHS and promotes the values of co-operation.

Ed Rosen, director of the co-op, says: “This recipe book is a practical expression of our work as a co-operative. Everyone has a contribution to make, no matter how modest. 

“Our guiding principle in making this recipe book is that everyone has a recipe to share.

“Each recipe is a kind of social prescription from us to you, given in the spirit of helping each other towards healthier lives and enjoyment.”

Recipes include starters, such lettuce and herb soup, and vegetable and potato croquettes. And there’s a wide range of tasty mains, including a West Indian oil-down stew, vegan chilli, and a prawn and courgette curry.

Desserts include a tea loaf, Norwegian apple cake and – for something a bit closer to home – a Bakewell tart.

We’ve put a couple of recipes to the test – harissa spiced chicken with pomegranate couscous, and the smoky cinnamon chick peas – and they’re easy to follow and even easier to eat.

The book costs £8 (including postage and packing) and can be ordered by emailing [email protected] or phoning 07908 834203. 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.

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