Community creates cheap eats cook book to help make ends meet

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A COOKBOOK is stirring up interest in putting tasty and cheap eats on the table.

More than 50 volunteers contributed their favourite recipes to create an East Durham Community Cookbook.

Visitors to community centres including the Glebe Centre in Murton, Shotton Community Centre and The Robin Todd Centre in South Hetton, helped compile the recipes.

Traditional dishes such as Scotch broth and meat and dumplings, all feature in the book, and with the help of the Cook for Life Health Improvement Team, they have been tweaked to be affordable and healthy.

Lindsey Wood, deputy manager of the East Durham Trust, said: “The team looked at reducing salt or using leaner cuts of meat and adding more vegetables, to get your five a day.

“Our launch day has been really successful, there was not a free seat in the house.

“It has been really well received and the communities are pleased to have been involved.”

Dave Coulson, a finalist in Masterchef: The Professionals, from Wingate, contributed a spaghetti bolognese recipe to the book.

Malcolm Fallow, the trust’s chief executive, said: “Research tells us that there is most certainly room to improve the diet of the local communities, with an over-reliance on takeaway food and a general lack of awareness when it comes to cooking and food preparation.

“This project has tried to address this by sharing good practice and injecting some expert advice.

“There is no question that this initiative has led to improvements in local eating habits.

“I am also sure that those involved had a lot of fun in the process.”

The cookbook is available from the East Durham Trust, which is based in Community House, Yoden Road, Peterlee, and through the community centres involved.