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Local families get cooking with Palace for Life

56 Carrots Diced| 84 Diced Potatoes| 28 Diced Leek| 28 Cubes Chicken Stock| 42 Diced Chicken Breasts| 28 Whole Onions| 28 Cloves Garlic| 5 Litres Boiled Water

In a bid to help more families in south London prepare low-cost and nutritious meals at home, Palace for Life Foundation hosted free cooking classes for families and children throughout January. In addition to learning new recipes, families were encouraged to bring their children along and eat together as a group, before taking home additional ingredients and a free slow cooker.

Families were given a step-by-step guide to good nutrition, advice on how to make the most of low-cost ingredients and guidance on safety in the kitchen. There were also activities and games run throughout for all of the children in attendance, all led by Palace for Life’s health and well-being coaches.

Kirsty, a local parent who attended one of the classes, said: “I enjoy cooking at the weekend and we try to cook more fresh food, however, when there’s school, after-school clubs and I go to work, we often go for quick options. I came here to try something new, get inspiration and for my son and so he could learn some new cooking skills.”

James, who attended with his sons, spoke to us about the session: “I enjoy cooking with my family but we have a busy life, so when we have that time to cook together, we enjoy it. We are very grateful for getting a slow cooker, it’s amazing, and it will help us with cooking for the family.”

Palace for Life have been running these sessions alongside an ongoing commitment to provide local people health and wellbeing support. Our weekly Healthy Eagles sessions run across Croydon and south London, providing education on healthy eating as well as opportunities to try new foods and meet new people. Find out more about Healthy Eagles here.

Below we have included the recipe for the chicken stew that was cooked at the sessions, along with some top tips from our coaches.

Slow cooked chicken stew

Ingredients Quantity Supermarket Cost
Carrots 4 0.40p
Potatoes 600g £1.20 (2kg bag)
Leek 2 0.60p
Chicken Stock 2 0.39p
Diced Chicken Breasts 400g (3 L breasts) £3.09
Onions 2 0.50p
Garlic 2 cloves 0.16p
Dry Mixed Herbs 1 tsp 0.30p
Mustard 1 tbsp 0.37p
Boiling water 350ml n/a
Gravy granules n/a 0.60p


1. Chop up the carrots, potatoes, leeks and onions and add to the slow cooker.

2. Peel the garlic and crush then add to the slow cooker

3. Boil 350ml of water and add chicken stock, dry mixed herbs and mustard. Add to the slow cooker

4. Cut the chicken into cubes and add to the slow cooker

5. Give everything a gentle stir to mix together

6. Place the lid on the slow cooker and set off on low for 8 – 10 hours or high for 4- 6 hours.

7. 30 minutes before the end take the lid off and stir in 2- 3 TBSP of gravy granules. Leave the lid off for the last 30 minutes to allow the stock to thicken up. If you aren’t able to wait the 30 minutes just stir in the gravy granules until the desired consistency is reached.


Top Tips

1.End of day discounts for meat and vegetables

Supermarkets from 8pm onwards have discounts on fresh foods that you can use or freeze.

2.Add in gravy granules to thicken the stew

Supermarkets sell gravy granules for 60p

3.Meat Substitutions

Use beef, lamb, Quorn meat, chicken drumsticks/thighs or tofu

4.Vegetable substitutions

Use whatever is in the fridge e.g. spinach, courgette, butternut squash, pumpkin, tomatoes, Peas, swede, peppers, sweet potato, etc.

5.Don’t peel the skin off potatoes or carrots

This adds more fibre to your meal

6.Save for the next day

Add the leftovers to a Tupperware box and warm up the following day – super tasty!


Use bread to mop up the gravy!

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