As a show-stopping finale for Carers Week 2016, Vegetarian for Life put together a brilliant afternoon for carers supported by Harrow Carers charity.
Around 20 carers gathered in a local church hall in Harrow, North London. The principal tutor, Alex Connell, and cookery school manager, Jonathan Smith, had prepared a session full of practical demonstrations and interactive learning.
Says Jonathan: “We started with a quiz of popular food items that really demonstrated how important it is we look closer at what produce, buy, and put into our body.”
Everyone understands the importance of good nutrition and variety for those with long-standing care needs, but often forget how vital it is for carers to maintain their well-being in order to fulfill their role. Harrow Carers aim to promote choice and independence for carers – including in dietary choices.
There was a cookery demonstration of tasty and nutritious dishes with a familiar ring, such as Quorn and Leek Lattice Pie, Mushroom and Ale Pie, Nut Roast, Cottage Pie and Lancashire Hotpot. Desserts included Chocolate Mousse, Pecan Pie, Banana Pancakes and Raspberry Torte.
And the talk on good vegetarian nutrition prompted a lot of discussion from what turned out to be a very warm audience. Present were vegetarians and vegans since birth, and also omnivores that wished to discover more and reduce their consumption of meat and fish.
As one carer said: “I’ve been buying pesto jars for many years, but now I’ll be making it myself knowing that I can make an equally delicious vegetarian version for my brother who I care for every day.” The highlight for another carer was: “Sampling the nut roast – tasted better than our grandma’s meat one!”
The day finished with a buffet of everything demonstrated where people chatted and shared ideas for variations on the dishes or minor tweaks to suit different tastes and circumstances. Everyone left well-fed and with a recipe pack to take home to try things out for themselves.
Finally, a special thanks must go from all of us to Nishma Shah of Shambhu’s Vegan Catering who helped tirelessly in the kitchen.