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Sample of culinary nutrition topics

Following is a sample of COOKABILITY learning topics, from no-cook healthy eating workshops to core skills cooking sessions.
Click on the tabs at the top of the box to read more about each subject.

Objectives

This mini-unit is ideal for groups of learners what do not have access to a full kitchen classroom environment.

Practice soup, salad and sauce-making skills without turning on the hob! A perfect lunch-time session, this mini-unit explores quick, flavourful lunch and light meal ideas that put emphasis on balancing flavours, colours and textures, and requires no cooking.

Sample recipes

  • Vegetable gazpacho
  • Couscous, haloumi cheese and mint salad
  • Prawns with avocado mayonnaise
  • Fruit salad with honey, yogurt and muesli

Mapping to functional language skills

  • Take part in formal and informal discussions;
  • Read and understand recipes and other texts;
  • Write documents, including extended writing examples, organising and communicating information, ideas and opinions, effectively and persuasively.

Learning Outcomes

  • Be able to use food preparation skills to make home-made food that does not use highly processed or ready-cooked foods;
  • Understand the value of preparing and eating whole foods and low-processed, naturally flavoured ingredients such as oils, vinegars, grains and raw vegetables;
  • Begin developing a strategy for selecting and shopping for ingredients that maximises value in terms of quantity, nutrition and flavour, and minimises spend;
  • Understand the nutritional value of balancing food groups within or across meals, using the eatwell plate guidelines.

Chef-led demonstration

Preparing vegetables for salads and soups, using an immersion blender to make fresh vegetable soups and sauces, analysing and balancing flavours, using textures and colours for attractive plate presentation. Chef-led discussions on kitchen hygiene, economising and shopping for ingredients, recipe variations, and eatwell plate ideas for making balanced, no-cook meals.

Skills practiced by learner

Preparing ingredients, peeling, chopping, and seeding a range of vegetables. Using an immersion blender to make quick vegetable soups and sauces. Balancing range of flavours (i.e. salt, sweet, bitter, sour, savoury) using seasonings and aromatic fruits and vegetables. Using food colours, shapes and textures to express creativity and enhance food enjoyment.

Objectives

This unit is designed to provide young cooks with culinary skills and meal planning ideas to get the most enjoyment and satisfaction from own-grown produce raised at school, home or community allotments.

Allotment or home gardening provides a rare microcosmic opportunity to experience the complete cycle of food production from managing and preparing the soil, to planting nurturing, harvesting, eating and celebrating locally produced food. A veritable earth classroom, allotments help us bring balance, make connections and produce wonderful ingredients to learn about and eat.

Sample recipes

  • Roast beetroot and tahini salad
  • Chilli cornbread
  • Pan-fried whitefish with warm tomato and chervil dressing
  • Chocolate truffles with stem ginger and green coriander seeds

Mapping to functional language skills

  • Take part in formal and informal discussions;
  • Read and understand recipes and other texts;
  • Write documents, including extended writing examples, organising and communicating information, ideas and opinions, effectively and persuasively.

Learning Outcomes

  • Be able to use food preparation skills to make home-made food based on ingredients from school or local allotments that do not use highly processed or ready-cooked foods;
  • Understand the value of preparing and eating whole foods and low-processed, naturally flavoured ingredients such as salad greens, root vegetables, and herbs;
  • Understand the nutritional value of balancing food groups within or across meals, using the eatwell plate guidelines.

Chef-led demonstration

Preparing vegetables for salads and cooking; preparing and cooking fish; analysing and balancing flavours; using textures, colours and shapes to create attractive presentations. Chef-led discussions on kitchen hygiene, economising and shopping for ingredients, recipe variations, and eatwell plate ideas for creating balanced nutrition.

Skills practiced by learner

Preparing ingredients, peeling, chopping, and seeding a range of vegetables. Preparing and cooking fish with a quick vegetable and her sauce. Balancing range of flavours (i.e. salt, sweet, bitter, sour, savoury) using seasonings and aromatic fruits and vegetables. Using food colours, shapes and textures to express creativity and enhance food enjoyment.

Objectives

This unit emphasises how easy and affordable eating healthy can be by introducing clear strategies that help young people get top value in return from precious time and money spent in supermarkets. Smart shopping methods introduced encourage learners to take small steps that develop into long-last improvements to their health and enjoyment.

Learning to shop wisely and shop efficiently sustains our ability to eat well. Smart shopping strategies are about learning reliable ways to get good value at every level – from saving time to getting the most nutrition, flavour and sustenance from our food pounds and pence.

Sample exercises

  • Eatwell meal planning and £10 shopping challenge
  • Comparing unit prices and making spot calculations to identify best savings
  • Using canned, frozen and seasonal-fresh strategies for getting best value when purchasing fruit & veg
  • Understanding food labelling to identify ‘real food’ and choose best nutritional value

Mapping to functional language skills

  • Take part in formal and informal discussions;
  • Read and analyse food labelling;
  • Write documents, including extended writing examples, organising and communicating information, ideas and opinions, effectively and persuasively.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand food labelling as a strategy for identifying real food ingredients and avoiding products with high levels of calories and salt;
  • Learn how to spot which items marketed as health foods really provide the wholesome value of real food and whole grains;
  • Learn how to calculate unit prices and find the best deal on supermarket shelves;
  • Begin developing strategies for purchasing more affordable products using canned, frozen and seasonally fresh ingredients;
  • Learn tips for creating a healthy pantry at home for making quick and delicious meals anytime.

Objectives

This unit introduces classic methods for preparing and cooking vegetables, pulses and rice, and gives time saving tips for preparing satisfying dishes requiring only a moderate amount of time and effort.

The UK daily guidelines are to eat at least five portions of fruit and veg, no more than 6g of salt, and keep saturated fat to 10% of total energy intake. Pulses – like lentils, dried peas and beans – are a good source of protein, complex carbohydrates, and nutrients. Together with vegetables and rice, they contain no cholesterol, contribute little fat or sodium, and yet are a powerhouse of satisfying energy and flavour.

Sample recipes

  • Lentil salad with grilled courgettes
  • Boiled broccoli or greens with olive oil, salt and pepper
  • Fluffy, boiled rice with curry and roasted vegetables

Mapping to functional language skills

  • Take part in formal and informal discussions;
  • Read and understand recipes and other texts;
  • Write documents, including extended writing examples, organising and communicating information, ideas and opinions, effectively and persuasively.

Learning Outcomes

  • Be able to use cooking skills to make home-cooked food that does not use highly processed or ready-cooked foods;
  • Understand the value of preparing and eating whole foods and low-processed, naturally flavoured ingredients such as oils, pesto, nut butters, and vinegars;
  • Begin developing a strategy for selecting and shopping for ingredients that maximises value in terms of quantity, nutrition and flavour, and minimises spend;
  • Understand the nutritional value of balancing food groups within or across meals, using the eatwell plate guidelines.

Chef-led demonstration

Preparing and roasting vegetables, reliable methods for cooking rice and pulses. Chef-led discussions on kitchen hygiene, economising and shopping for ingredients, recipe variations, and eatwell plate ideas for making balanced meals.

Skills practiced by learner

Preparing ingredients, peeling, chopping, seeding, roasting and boiling.

Objectives

This unit introduces time-saving methods for cooking favourite meat dishes with an emphasis on lean sources of protein, and accompaniments that add flavour, colour and plate-balancing panache.

Real food – i.e., traditional products that are close to nature and avoid highly processed ingredients – is not just about fruits, grains and vegetables! Meat is an excellent source of protein and provides access to some nutrients not easily sourced in vegetables. This unit focusses on inexpensive cuts of meat that are popular, easy to prepare, and provide great satisfying flavour.

Sample recipes

  • Barbecued lamb chops with basil and fresh salsa
  • Chilli with mince and lentils
  • Minute steak with griddled peppers
  • Pork kebabs with red onions and mushrooms

Mapping to functional language skills

  • Take part in formal and informal discussions;
  • Read and understand recipes and other texts;
  • Write documents, including extended writing examples, organising and communicating information, ideas and opinions, effectively and persuasively.

Learning Outcomes

  • Be able to use cooking skills to make home-cooked food that does not use highly processed or ready-cooked foods;
  • Understand the value of preparing and eating whole foods and low-processed, naturally flavoured ingredients;
  • Begin developing a strategy for selecting and shopping for ingredients that maximises value in terms of quantity, nutrition and flavour, and minimises spend;
  • Understand the nutritional value of balancing food groups within or across meals, using the eatwell plate guidelines.

Chef-led demonstration

How to set up a barbecue and manage hot and cold sides. Shaping, slicing, tenderising, skewering, and grilling meat. Chef-led discussions on kitchen hygiene including handling raw meat and cooked meat, cross contamination and doneness. Economising and shopping for ingredients, considering recipe variations, and eatwell plate ideas for making balanced meals.

Skills practiced by learner

Applying good hygiene practices with meat, Shaping, slicing, tenderising, skewering, and grilling meat.

Objectives

This unit explores the wonderful versatility that fruit brings to desserts, and features techniques for transforming this essential whole food into pure, crowd-pleasing satisfaction.

Naturally sweet, full of flavour and colourful reward, fruit sneaks in fibre and good nutrition to desserts without fuss or fight.

Sample recipes

  • Strawberries with pistachio and honey sabayon sauce
  • Banana Tarte Tatin
  • Orange and cinnamon apple crumble
  • Stewed fruit with vanilla and yogurt

Mapping to functional language skills

  • Take part in formal and informal discussions;
  • Read and understand recipes and other texts;
  • Write documents, including extended writing examples, organising and communicating information, ideas and opinions, effectively and persuasively.

Learning Outcomes

  • Be able to use cooking skills to make home-cooked food that does not use highly processed or ready-cooked ingredients;
  • Understand the value of preparing and eating whole foods, including fresh fruit, and cooking with low-processed, naturally flavoured ingredients;
  • Begin developing a strategy for selecting and shopping for ingredients that maximises value in terms of quantity, nutrition and flavour, and minimises spend;
  • Understand the nutritional value of balancing food groups within or across meals, using the eatwell plate guidelines.

Chef-led demonstration

Preparing fruit including skinning, seeding, slicing and chopping. Creating quick custard and caramel dessert sauces. Preparing quick sweet pastry from scratch.

Skills practiced by learner

Preparing a range of fruits for dessert making. Making homemade pastry including crumbles and tastes. Preparing cooked, egg-based and caramel sauces. Techniques for using up over-ripe fruit to avoid binning and wasting food.