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Members of some of Family Action’s FOOD Clubs in Nottinghamshire have been enjoying trying out a wide range of new recipes as part of our Take and Make project. Here, Natalie Cordier, one of our FOOD Club Assistants, explains how the project has been supporting families to cook and eat meals and snacks containing different sources of protein. 

“Our Take and Make project has been running in Nottinghamshire for about six months. As part of the project 50 families in three different Nottinghamshire regions received protein-rich products in their weekly FOOD Club basket, as well as a different recipe each week.

We tried to use local suppliers whenever possible, for example, a local butcher and a local fruit and vegetable supplier. As well as including meat, other plant based proteins were also introduced in the project, such as Quorn, beans and lentils – including protein rich items that families would not have necessarily tried before.

One of our project aims was to encourage all the family, including the children, to get involved in cooking and eating together. Towards the end of the project the families received some measuring spoons and a cupcake making kit, specifically aimed at encouraging children to get involved in cooking.

The Take and Make recipes proved to be very popular with families. Fish pie, for instance, was a firm favourite. We also had good feedback about the corned beef hash and the scotch eggs, with the children particularly enjoying helping to make this dish. As for my own family, we loved making and eating the pavlova and the beef pie!

During the project we used lots of different protein sources, including fish, chicken, mincemeat, stewing steak, sausage meat, pork strips, quorn, broccoli, eggs, lentils, to name but a few….  One of the more unusual dishes we made were spicy fajitas made with tinned mackerel.

We have received good feedback from our FOOD Club members. The families enjoyed getting to try new foods and recipes, and loved being able to prepare at least one extra meal a week from the additional items they received in their FOOD Club baskets.

We kept the recipes to £5 or less for four portions, so families knew that they could replicate the dish in the future for a reasonable cost per head. We had a few families participating who had three or more children, so we provided suggestions on how to bulk out meals to feed five or more people, for example, by adding beans, lentils or extra vegetables.

We are delighted to be offering a second Take and Make project in the Spring, and are busy developing new recipes for the families to try. They’ll all be given a large folder so they can easily keep all the recipes from the two projects together for future use! We are also excited to be able to expand the project to include more clubs, so that additional families can take part.”


“We really enjoyed the Take and Make course. It was a really useful course for our family.  We used all the foods that were provided for the recipes. It was great to cook all the meals from scratch using the easy to follow instructions – the recipes were fool proof!  Our favourites were the sweet and sour chicken, the fish pie and the quiche. We wouldn’t normally make fish pie but the pre packed mix made an excellent fish pie. We really enjoyed it. We will make all of the recipes again. We used the quorn in a stir fry and it was good.” (Take and Make participant)

Find out more

If you’d like to try some of the Take and Make recipes, visit our Recipes page.