Stir it Up: The local recipe bag using veg from our Kitchen Garden

Local entrepreneur, Jacquie McBeth, tells us about her recipe bag initiative ‘Stir it Up’ and shares her recipe for Chiswick Harvest Risotto using veg fresh from our Kitchen Garden.

Stir It Up started with my little daughter really. She was pickier than a giant panda, eating only toast, milk and fish fingers and boldly refusing anything else put in front of her. I started hiding veg in food she enjoyed, keeping an eye on sugar and filling her with fibre. I started blogging about it, sharing meal ideas, tips and tricks with other parents at the end of their fussy food tether.

The blog became a business and since then, we’ve run hundreds of cookery clubs in schools, children’s centres and private homes, teaching kids and their families how to prepare good food, enjoy more veg and gain confidence in the kitchen.

Image: Jacquie collecting produce from our Kitchen Gardener, James

Fast forward to March 2020 when a timely new opportunity presented itself in the shape of Feed the City, a small business incubation scheme run by Impact Hub King’s Cross and the idea of the Stir It Up Recipe Bag was born.

Stir it Up is a Community Interest Company delivering veg-packed recipe bags to nearby communities. Our aim is to feed families well, reduce packaging and keep as much money in the local economy as possible. We invest in sustainable and ethical farming practices and use our profits to support community projects.

Before we launched, we made friends with several horticultural groups, including Chiswick House & Gardens who now supply us with fresh, organic vegetables. Beetroot, courgettes, green beans and chard from the Kitchen Garden will be making an appearance in our recipe bags over the next few weeks.

To celebrate our partnership, I’ve created the Chiswick Harvest Risotto, bursting with the best seasonal produce Chiswick House & Gardens has to offer. It’s featuring in our Recipe Bags. Get our Little Summer Recipe book here– easy, quick summery food before it’s too late!

Chiswick Harvest Risotto

No need to keep stirring this one, it’s quite hands off and has a beautiful lemony flavour. This recipe makes a big panful, so you’ll almost certainly have leftovers! You could fry it up next day, arancini style and have it with a side of sausages.


  • 1 large spring onion, or 8 small ones finely sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 500g risotto rice
  • 1 lemon, zest peeled off in strips
  • 2 medium courgettes, cut in half lengthways then sliced
  • 200g runner beans or French Beans, trimmed of any tough side ribs and cut into diamonds
  • 1.3l veg stock
  • 1 bunch of chard, shredded finely
  • Oil or butter
  • A glass of white wine
  • 100g cheese and 40g butter or non-dairy spread for the final stir through


If you have a heavy-bottomed, deep-frying pan, use this, if not, just use a large pot. Warm 2 tbsp oil over a low heat and add the spring onions. Fry for a minute or so until softened then add the garlic, fry for 2 minutes. Make your stock.

Pour in the rice and 1 and a half teaspoons of salt, stir to coat and add the wine, stirring until the wine has evaporated. Throw in the courgettes, lemon zest strips and beans and pour in the stock.

Simmer gently for around 15 minutes until the rice is tender. Stir through the cabbage, put a lid on, and allow to steam for a further 5 to 10 mins. Stir through the cheese and butter and serve with a twist of pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Follow Jacquie McBeth on Facebook @stirituprecipebox, on Instagram @shestirsitup and on Twitter @shestirsitup

Find out more about her recipe bags at