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Love Food

Love Food

Susan's super-simple chilli chicken

We’ve all been there. Felt rubbish, eaten junk food, then felt even more rubbish. Not to mention regretful of the money we’ve spent. Now, a North Tyneside community group is on a mission to help break the cycle. Susan Proctor tells us more.

Hello! Tell us a little bit about yourself please.

I’m Susan and I live in a Karbon Homes property in Tynemouth. I work for North Tyneside Disability Forum, and get particularly involved in work to help people feel better, both physically and mentally, by eating well on a budget.

So, you believe that you are what you eat?

Absolutely. But I know how easy it can be to blow your budget on a couple of takeaways – then be left feeling ill from the worry of how you’ll afford to eat until your next cheque/pay day. And I know what it’s like to have to be very careful with your money and to live without a conventional oven. However, I also know that there are some great ways fresh food can help make a difference to your mind, body and wallet. I love nothing more than sharing my experience with others to help them take control.

What is North Tyneside Disability Forum doing to help change this?

We’re really excited about a new Food from Scratch cooking programme we’re about to launch. It will equip people with all the skills they need to shop, cook and eat smart –helping to put an end to hunger, anxiety and money worries. Sessions will be adapted to suit the needs of those taking part. We regularly work with deaf, blind and physically disabled users so have lots of ideas about how to make things work for everyone!

How will it work?

Run as cook-along sessions at home via Zoom, you’ll discover how to find cheap ingredients, get to grips with a menu of new recipes and learn easy and safe methods for cooking. And by the end of each session, you’ll have rustled up a new delicious meal from scratch to enjoy for dinner. The first programme of six weekly morning sessions will start on 19 April. We hope to move sessions into our centre in Shiremoor once COVID-19 restrictions begin to ease.

How can customers get involved?

Karbon has helped to fund the programme so customers will be given priority. We hope to train 500 people over a year and we’re open to interest from anyone. For more information give me a call on 01914 661 673 or email susan.proctor@ntdf.co.uk

To find out about the many other services offered by North Tyneside Disability Forum to help local people who are disabled, chronically sick and vulnerable, and emotionally fragile, visit www.ntdf.co.uk

Susan gives us a preview of the type of meal you’ll learn to make by taking part in Food from Scratch.

Why not give it a go yourself?

Ingredients

  • 6 skinless and boneless chicken thighs (I use thighs because they are really succulent and are cheap, but you can use three chicken breasts if you prefer)
  • 2 large white onions
  • 3 carrots
  • 2 red peppers
  • 2 handfuls of mushrooms
  • Chicken stock cube
  • Carton of passata (Tomato sauce made from sieved tomatoes. The cheapest kind works great in this recipe)
  • 1 or 2 teaspoons of chilli powder – depending on how hot you like it!
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 100ml boiling water

Method

  1. Chop the onions, carrots, peppers, and mushrooms.
  2. Add the onions and carrots to the bottom of a casserole dish.
  3. Pop the chicken straight on top.
  4. Sprinkle on stock cube, chilli powder and salt and pepper.
  5. Throw in the mushrooms and red pepper
  6. Pour in the passata
  7. Add the boiling water
  8. Cover with lid
  9. Cook, if you’re using a slow cooker, cook on high for six hours – stirring half-way through.

If you’re using an oven, cook on 200C/Gas 6 for 2 hours or until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce is piping hot. Stir half-way though.

We’re on the lookout for fabulous home cooks to feature on these pages! Nothing brings people together better than food. We cover lots of different communities and we’d like to know the dishes that matter most to you. Just drop us a line at communications@karbonhomes.co.uk to get involved.

If you’re struggling with money, contact our Money Matters Team who can help put you in touch with a local foodbank. Call us on 0808 164 0111.

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13 April 2021

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