Food tips

Katy’s Kitchen: Affordable Recipes and Money-Saving Tips

Dear readers, I am delighted to have had the opportunity to write for this fabulous journal as part of the #yourmoneymatters initiative.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll keep you up to date on all things food in Somerset, sharing easy and affordable recipes, budget food tips and up-to-date nutrition and wellness information.

Unfortunately, since the pandemic, people are struggling more than ever to afford to put food on the table. Over the past 10 years, demand for food banks has grown rapidly year on year – reaching an all-time high last year with over 2.5 million people in the UK needing to use a bank food for a 3-day emergency food supply. Alarming and devastating statistics that will only get worse.

At Frome, I played a supporting role in various food initiatives. Helping people provide healthy, affordable and nutritious meals for themselves and their families.

Whether it’s cooking at community events, preparing healthy meals for children during school holidays, or organizing cooking classes for children and adults with additional needs.

These experiences gave me a huge desire to help people more and find ways to reduce their food costs and cook affordable, healthy and nutritious meals.

I share my recipes on my Facebook page “Katy’s Kitchen” and my audience has grown to over 2,500 followers. I spend much of my free time foraging in the local woods and I also share my love and knowledge of free foraging on my page.

I grew up on a small farm where we were pretty much self-sufficient. We grew our own fruits and vegetables and made our own jams and chutneys. All of our meals were home cooked using home grown, foraged or local ingredients. I think that’s where my love of food started.

As a teenager I had the opportunity to work in some amazing local food establishments including the Royal Crescent Hotel and Combe Grove Manor in Bath where I worked as part of a busy kitchen brigade.

I learned a lot and was one of the few university students who cooked all my meals from scratch. I’ve been a vegetarian since I was 8 years old and I certainly think it helped me to be more creative and inventive in the kitchen, especially in the 80s and 90s when being vegetarian was less popular with so much less choice than we don’t have any today.

leap of faith

My reconnection with the food industry only came a few years ago when my children were small and I needed some extra income. I took a part-time job cooking lunches at a little cafe in Frome.

This cafe later became a family business. When our family cafe finally closed, I worked at various local Frome restaurants and developed a good reputation for cooking good quality, delicious and nutritious food.

I took a leap of faith 3.5 years ago to start my own vegan and vegetarian food business. I have a weekly food stall at the Frome Saturday Market and organize parties and events.

I love to cook and I love making people happy through food. My business has grown steadily over the past 3 years.

I’ve been lucky enough to take part in cooking demonstrations alongside chefs on TV, appear in national newspapers, and win awards for my cooking. I have also shared many of my recipes in several local and regional newspapers and magazines.

I recently graduated as a Nutrition Therapist and am studying to complete my training. I can’t wait to live my next gastronomic adventure and share it with you too.

Katy Harris is a vegan and vegetarian chef from Frome.