“The food I made with Sarah was really good – after she left, I ate all of one salad and then, meaning only to try another one, took a bite and couldn’t resist eating all of it! I feel confident now in knowing how much of various ingredients to add to create a taste I enjoy.

I’ve tried cooking from books before but never had any success with the recipes, spending hours cooking and not enjoying the results at the end of it. Best of all, there wasn’t a tonne of washing up to do afterwards either!”

Alli’s challenges

Alli wasn’t cooking, instead she was reliant on shop bought salads and ready meals. She wanted to change this and get cooking with the aim of eating more healthily. She was keen to start by replacing the salads she was buying for lunch and to prepare some easy dinners.

How we overcame them

During one short phone call we discussed her likes and dislikes, the space and equipment she had in the kitchen and what she hoped to achieve from the course. Following this, I designed a bespoke three-session course for her; two hands on cookery sessions and one introduction to meal planning session.

For the cooking sessions, I devised some salads and dinners for us to prepare together. Six salads in two hours and three dinners in two hours is really packing in the work but gave Alli value for money, a challenge and plenty of ideas and confidence to cook for herself.

I thought about time-saving techniques, things she can batch prepare, what she can freeze for another time, as well as showing her how to cook intuitively. With the salads we didn’t follow any recipes, she learned to use her senses to create something that suited her palate as well as get to know which ingredients work well together. So, whilst we created six salads in our first session, the opportunities for a range of healthy lunches is so much more than those six meals.

Next step

Alli is now preparing some of the dishes we made together on a regular basis. She’s also getting her head around meal planning so that, once she’s bought some ingredients for those dishes, she has a plan to use them all up.

I’m looking forward to working some more with Alli, teaching her how to prepare her favourite meals and continuing to build her confidence in the kitchen.