Welcome to my world of eating plants


Hello. I guess you are reading this because you are curious about attending one or more of the cooking courses. That’s fantastic! I hope your appetite will be fuelled by what I am offering.

Eating more plants is nothing new. Infact the way I see it, it’s taking the easy road. Nothing extreme and not complicated. Basically the courses are made up of simply practical, delicious and economical ways of providing meals for you and your family. Just because there is no meat involved, and we limit the dairy or exclude it, or use wheat free flours or alternative sugars, does not mean there is anything less delicious or difficult about the meals we can make. To the contrary; meals based mainly around plants are not complicated, not expensive and not tasteless. Have I got your attention? I do hope so.

I don’t intend on getting preachy in this session of cooking classes, trust me. But I do believe that today more than ever the choices we make when choosing our food is often a political one whether we know it or not. But enough! Let’s just get to the cooking.

Over half of the worlds population has survived very well without a reliance on dairy or alot of meat since forever! The Western diet however paints a different picture. I hope you are not venturing into this world of eating plants as a quick fix, or as a ‘diet’. It’s a lifestyle and I hope you will let me show you how to make it work for you into perpetuity.

As for me, my memorable ventures into the world of vegetarian foods included very early on the Mainstreet Cafe in Manchester Street, Christchurch NZ back in the 1980’s. Around that time I purchased the infamous vegetarian bible the Moosewood Cookbook, what a revelation! From there my appreciation for wholesome eating grew and morphed into a lifestyle. But it took a while, as it was not until many years later, as a result of following the twisted path that I finally set about kicking the dependency on meat and dairy eating. Along the way I met self sufficiency,the emergence of the Slow food movement , the Farmers Markets, organics, my business ventures;The Organic Food House and my plant based food business Kernel at the Ohoka Market and the organic certification of our vegetable garden The Frost Pocket at Ohoka. My health, my loved ones health and the health of the planet and the link with what we eat was also a no brainer and only reaffirmed my commitment to making good meals from plants. The local, seasonal, fresh and organic movement has got alot of people thinking about their daily diets. So I think now is a good time to share with you a whole new way of eating; and you know what? It’s easy and it tastes really good.

Even science is telling us that eating plants is better for us and the planet. Not that we need science to tell us the obvious.

I have made many delicious recipes from using plants over the years and you can too! The range of recipes is never ending from the savoury to the sweet. For single to full on catering functions, plants can keep everyone happy.

Contrary to some opinions on veganism in particular, you will not find me pretending a plant is not a plant, I don’t do the fake meat or fake cheese. I mean what’s the point? Either you choose to eat plants or not. If you want to eat Mozerella then buy a good genuine artisan made kind,or you want to eat meat then eat organic, and locally farmed from someone you can trust. But really why not consider going without meat and dairy at least 3 times a week. I don’t believe there is such a thing as a vegan or a vegetarian, to the contrary you eat vegan and or vegetarian but you cannot be one. Strict and zealout like attitudes to a plant based diet do not I believe make for good eating habits. Good eating habits form the foundation of our every day existence, and everyone that you cook for. I aim to make this part of your lifestyle, so it has to be flexible, sensible, realistic and achievable. Over 4 weeks I can show you how to pull it off to last a lifetime!

There may be a time in our lives when your health benefits from good quality ethically raised animal meat. In this case meat can be a medicine. Even Buddists have been known to eat the meat dish their hosts have prepared for them as a courtesy. To have an animal slaughtered for you is however a step too far in my mind. There is such a thing as good quality meat and there are quality dairy products often only found at the hand of the local food artisans at the farmers markets.

So to be clear, I am not a strict vegan or vegetarian nor am I a doctor of anything or a qualified nutritionist; which is probably a good thing. I do however appreciate the quality of life without meat and dairy and the lives of sentient beings. I also don’t rely on processed foods vegan or not to fill any voids. It’s all about the whole, all about the plant.

So, the courses like my own diet, sometimes allow for the use of good quality eggs, honey, dairy and wheat. But as you will see many of my recipes also go without all of the above and still taste fantastic and are nutritionally loaded.

My passion is eating plants and making really good, tasty, delicious, nutritious snacks, meals and occasionally decadent sweets from them. Let me show you how.

No matter how much you don’t know, how lousy a cook you think you are, let me show you otherwise. Even if you already share the passion for plants I can keep you excited about cooking with them! It’s easy, it’s practical, it’s economical and best of all it tastes fantastic!

Sign up for a course or even better for all of them as there is alot of ground we can cover! Hope you will join my in my kitchen and our food garden.

Barb Warren