As many people like to start the New Year with healthier habits particulary those with food, we were glad to meet with Jess, a local food influencer and the founder of Boo’s Little Kitchen, a recipe blog about what she loves best; food and cooking.
Shopping sensibly and stocking all the key store-cupboard essentials along with the best of fresh, local and seasonal produce are the secrets to her success! We also loved that Jess has inspired little helping hands in the kitchen and started a small veg patch in her garden which seen a very successful September courgette harvest!
Some of these recipes she has kindly shared with Net Zero can also be made with whatever is left in the fridge to help you save pennies and reduce food that goes to waste.
My food philosophy…
Healthy eats and indulgent feasts. My blog consists of what I cook everyday for my growing family including quick and easy, healthy mid-week meals to Saturday night fake-away feasts. My recipes will hopefully give provide a little inspo to try something new and to cook delicious food at home.
Originally from York, I’m a mid-thirty something living on the Isle of Man with my husband and my two beautiful little girls, Margot and Matilda – and newborn baby boy Barney! Oh, we also have a black cat called Boo and a Persian kitten called Snug.
Enjoy food and enjoy life…
There is nothing nicer then spending your free time cooking. Yes, I have been told I’m nuts for actually enjoying spending my free time the kitchen preparing a meal and as a way to relax! If you get out of the habit of thinking cooking as a chore and actually start to enjoy cooking a recipe, you will fall in love with food and cooking again.
These are my healthy winter warmers for you and the whole family. Quick, easy and on a budget, you can dine like royalty using local and low carbon food options.
Roasted tomato, Local Goats Cheese and hot honey bruschetta
The most GORGEOUS dish! Totally delicious, easy and oh my goodness MOREISH! Using local Manx honey, cheese and bread, this really is as simple and as tasty as it gets.
1 punnet of tomatoes – any you have to use up! I used cherry here as you can get them pretty cheap
1 bunch basil
4 tbsp olive oil
Local goats cheese
5 tbsp of your favourite Manx honey
3 tbsp chilli sauce or paste – Manx Red Mie chilli sauces work great! I always have Calabrian chili paste in my cupboard too
Ross Bakery Ciabatta or Noa Bakehouse focaccia, sliced
Pop your bread onto a baking tray and bake at 200c until crispy, turning halfway (don’t leave it as it burns easily). Meanwhile, roast your tomatoes with olive oil and bunches of basil in the same oven until squidgy, about 15 minutes.
Gently warm the honey with the chili.
Top the toasted ciabatta with a good spread of the smooth, creamy goats cheese and top with the juicy tomatoes. Drizzle over the hot honey and serve.
Roasted cauliflower and potato curry
So everyone loves a curry. And yes, jarred pastes are amazing to have in to throw together a quick curry in a hurry! But with a few staple spices in your cupboard you can knock up homemade, DELICIOUS curries that are better on the purse strings.
Garam Masala and Curry Powder make for the easiest spices to have in, I cannot live without them! But by sprucing up your veg by roasting it first with cumin seeds and onion seeds to create a deep, rich flavour will make your curries amazing! Mango chutney is also something to add for sweetness and something that already has delicious spices and flavour in, but will add that extra oomph of deliciousness.
The beauty of this dish? You can swap out the veg for anything you have in, using up leftover veg and reducing food that may go to waste!
1 package of baby potatoes, halved or 3 big spuds chopped up
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp black onion seeds / nigella seeds
1 cauliflower, broken into florets
1 onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 can tomatoes
1 tbsp mango chutney
Handful of frozen peas Salt
Coriander, coconut yoghurt and naan to serve
Pop your potatoes onto a baking tray and coat with olive oil, cumin seeds and the black onion seeds. Roast for 20 mins at 180c. Then add cauliflower and roast for another 15 mins at 200c.
Fry the onion and garlic in a little oil on a medium heat until soft and caramelized (don’t burn!). Now add in Garam Masala, curry powder, tumeric and ground ginger. Cook for a few mins. Add the tomato puree and fry for a couple of minutes more. Add in 100ml water and stir to form a paste and then cook until reduced again. Add 1 can of tomatoes, then fill up the can half way with water, swill and pour in. Season with 1 tsp salt and the mango chutney for sweetness. Let it cook for 15 mins or so.
Add in some frozen peas and the roasted veg. Stir well and heat through.
Serve with fresh coriander, a drizzle of yogurt and naan bread.
White Bean, Cavolo Nero and Butternut Squash bake
This easy and delicious bake contains no less than 7 veggies in one, amazing dish. Using simple pantry ingredients and local, in-season vegetables, this dish can be enjoyed as it is with a hunk of crusty bread or as a side dish.
You can also swop out any ingredients as needed. Use any canned pulse, even the ol’ favourite baked beans! No cavolo nero? Any green, leafy veg such as Kale, cabbage or spinach is fine! Butternut squash not your thing? Use pumpkin, sweet potato, swede or even regular old spuds!
If you find it a bit of a pain to prepare a butternut squash, supermarkets stock easy to use, purse friendly, ready prepared frozen butternut squash and sweet potato too!
2 tbsp olive oil
1 stick of celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 can of tomatoes
1 can of haricot beans (you can use ANY canned pulse you have)
2 large handfuls of cavolo nero OR any other dark, leafy green, chopped into chunky pieces
½ butternut squash, peeled and chopped into sticks
1 ball buffalo mozzarella (optional if you want to make vegan)
Salt and pepper
Tip your butternut squash onto a baking sheet and drizzle with a little oil and salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes until softened. While your squash cooks, heat up the olive oil and fry the celery, onion and carrot with the garlic until softened, about 10 minutes. Add in the tomato puree and fry again for a few minutes. Add in the tomatoes and a splash of water (I rinse out the can to get the remaining tomatoes out and use this). Bring to a bubble. Pour in the drained beans and fold in the cavolo nero. Pour into a baking dish and top with the roasted butternut squash. Rip over the buffalo mozzarella and bake for 15 minutes until golden and bubbling.
To follow Boo's Little Kitchen and find more recipes see instagram.com/booslittlekitchen/