There’s only 2 more days to go in the inaugural New Zealand Nutrition Foundation Food Week!
Having completed 16 radio interviews and five interactive celebrity cooking demos with audiences of hundreds, and with 600 “likes” on the Food Week Facebook page, Sarah Hanrahan from the Nutrition Foundation is justifiably satisfied with progress so far.
The approach of Just Cook – promoting positive, no stress cooking, with basic, inexpensive pantry essentials and just talking about food in a positive light has been received well by people so far. “It’s so much more practical and well received than telling people what not to do”, said Sarah when we spoke to her today.
With rising food prices and cost of living increasing, many families struggle to manage on an average New Zealand wage (as shown by Campbell Live reporter Tristram Clayton’s reality check in living on a budget), Just Cook, and its message “Just get in the kitchen and cook!” shows it’s absolutely still possible to make healthy, tasty meals in the home without breaking the budget.
Research shows the biggest barriers to cooking at home are time, money and knowledge. Just Cook provides practical tips on how to address these barriers, such as knowing where to add a tin of beans or a cup of oats or to make meals go further for a fraction of the cost, adding good nutrition without compromising taste. The Food List – a handy list of pantry, fridge and freezer foods to keep on hand at all times – is a great guide of kitchen essentials that can help those shopping on a budget prioritise what’s needed. And the Just Cook interactive kitchen houses easy, affordable, tried and tested recipes that cater to any combination of ingredients commonly held in NZ pantries.
The programme also has a schools component for year 10 pupils which will be followed and evaluated in the coming weeks. Students are challenged to produce a recipe on a budget to feed a family of five, using items in the pantry list and a few extra dollars.
As I write this, Sarah is just packing up from the final celebrity chef cooking demo in Britomart, where Masterchef finalist Nadia Lim cooked up a storm from the Food List in the fabulous kitchen provided by Fisher & Paykel.
You can access the celebrity chef recipes here, proof that some of our top foodies have great ideas for inexpensive food!
We welcome any of your favourite recipe ideas or comments for making meals go further on a budget – please post these in the comments section below.