ABOUT NICOLA

Welcome to my little patch of goodness in sunny Nelson, New Zealand. Homegrown Kitchen is where I share my recipes inspired by the garden and seasonal produce. For many years (almost 20 years!) I have been studying, researching and teaching others about cooking and eating well through my food writing, and cooking workshops in Nelson and around New Zealand.

I started this online recipe journal (initially as nicolagalloway.co.nz) in 2004 as a place to share my love of cooking with the seasons and making food from scratch. With two young children, life is full… so the food we eat is simple, fresh and easy to prepare. The garden harvest and fresh seasonal produce form the heart of our meals, combined with everyday pantry staples.

I also love making homemade essentials such as sourdough bread, yogurt, preserves and ferments from scratch. I have spent many years refining and mastering these back-to-basics techniques while simplifying them to fit around our busy modern lives. I have shared these in-depth recipes and my favourite family meals in my cookbooks The Homemade Table (released October 2022) and Homegrown Kitchen (2017). These are also the subjects of focus in my cooking workshops around New Zealand.

Thank you for visiting, I hope you enjoy cooking my recipes in your own kitchen. Please leave a comment or email me if you have any questions. You can read more about my food and garden story below.

Nicola Galloway

Watch a short kitchen and garden video from 2013 – my children are so little!

My love for cooking began in my Nana’s kitchen. Once a week she would pick me up after school and we would spend the afternoon cooking a meal to share later with the family. It was this sharing of food around my grandparent’s table that shaped the way I now cook for my own family. I occasionally share some of my Nana’s recipes here, as they have become firm family favourites.

This early introduction to cooking led me to first train as a chef (1999), and then several years later I studied natural nutrition while living in Canada (2002). This sparked my interest in whole foods and traditional cooking techniques such as sourdough and lacto-fermentation to enhance the digestibility and nutritional value of the food we eat.

On returning to New Zealand in 2003 I combined my knowledge of cooking and nutrition to run cooking workshops in Nelson, and eventually all around New Zealand. I also began writing and contributing recipes and images to magazines and publications. I have written five cookbooks with my latest cookbook The Homemade Table (October 2022). My other cookbooks include Homegrown Kitchen (winner of the regional Easy Home Recipes section at the 2018 Gourmand World Cookbook Awards, and Highly Commended at the 2019 New Zealand Food Media Awards), Feeding Little Tummies (2011 – out of print), Cooking For Your Child (2006) and Alive! (2004).

Although I have a strong interest in healthy cooking from my studies, at the heart of my food philosophy is a love for cooking good food and sharing this with others. I find importance in knowing where my food comes from – whether from my own backyard, a local grower or a small artisan producer.

We are incredibly lucky to live in an area with an ideal climate for growing a wide range of vegetables and fruit in our backyard. With around 30 fruiting trees and plants ranging from a 30-year-old apricot to a thorn-less blackberry patch, a hedge of feijoas, plus nut and avocado trees, we grow a decent portion of our fresh produce needs. We also have free-range hens to supply fresh eggs.

This is all accomplished on a suburban property of about 800 square metres, with 30 square metres of garden beds. An indoor grapevine growing in our sunroom, just off the kitchen, literally brings the garden to our table. It is this indoor/outdoor space that gave life to this website, Homegrown Kitchen.

The garden is an integral part of my kitchen where I grow fresh seasonal food using basic organic methods. Before embarking on motherhood I co-owned an organic vegetable box delivery for 7 years (2005 – 2012). I came to appreciate that organic gardening is largely about feeding and nurturing the soil to grow healthy strong plants. Produce we then eat and gain the benefits of the healthy soil they grew in.

Every day I aim to spend time – however long or short – in the garden with my family. To take a break from the busyness of life, away from distractions and screens, to slow down to nature’s pace for a few quiet moments.

*Images above of the garden and chickens were captured by my talented photographer sister Ana Galloway.

  • Reviews & Awards

  • Winner Best NZ Food Website – The Foodies NZ Food Media Awards 2019
  • Nov/Dec 2019 OrganicNZ – Healthy Food Feature of Homegrown Kitchen – Save time and money.
  • July 2018 – Green Thinking – Stuff.co.nz. Reducing food waste + our 3 bucket compost system.
  • June 2018 – Homegrown Kitchen cookbook shortlisted for Best Cookbook Design in the PANZ Book Design Awards.
  • January 2018 – Homegrown Kitchen Cookbook – NZ Winner Easy Home Recipes Category – Gourmand World Cookbook Awards – finalist in the 2018 ‘Best in the World’ awards.
  • June 2017 – Sunday Star Times – Lynda Hallinan HK cookbook review
  • June 2017 – Stuff.co.nz Homed – home kitchen tour and interview
  • May 2017 – NZ Listener – Homegrown Kitchen cookbook review by Lauraine Jacobs
  • April 2017 – NZ Gardener – Homegrown Vegetables for A Chef’s Garden
  • April 2017 – interview on National Radio – Using vegetable scraps for stock making – listen HERE
  • March 2016 – Cooking segment on Whanau Living TV One – watch HERE.
  • February 2016 – interview on National Radio – Preserving the Harvest – listen HERE
  • Finalist: Best NZ Publication – 2015 Culinary Quill Awards – NZ Guild of Food Writers
  • March 2015 – interview on National Radio – Growing and cooking beetroot – listen HERE
  • February 2014 – Cooking segment on Whanau Living – watch it HERE
  • Finalist: Best Recipe Website 2013 Culinary Quill Awards – NZ Guild of Food Writers (current member)
  • Winner: Voted Best Food Blog – 2013 Munch Awards

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Join the Conversation

  1. What a gorgeous blog Nicola! Oh Nelson!! We would LOVE to live there when we return to NZ after our big stint over here in NWT Canada. Pleased you said hi by my blog as I now have another wonderful food/gardening blog to keep my eye on. Keep it up x

    1. Nicola Author says:

      Thanks Christina. It is a work in progress as I am sure you know all too well. If you come to Nelson please get in contact and we can talk Canada and cooking and blogging and gardening… I look forward to reading more of your posts too x

  2. Hi Nicola, thanks for visiting my blog and introducing me to your beautiful site – your lifestyle looks idyllic! I look forward to seeing more of your posts 🙂

    1. Nicola Author says:

      Thanks for visiting Samantha. I look forward to more of your recipes too 🙂

  3. Hello Nicola, thanks for visiting my blog — it’s lovely to meet you. I have a Canada connection too. I lived in Vancouver between 1989 and 2004, and I’m married to a lovely boy from Nova Scotia. We plan to retire in Nova Scotia and get stuck into a much bigger garden than we have now. But we do love our little Wellington oasis, and we get excited about all the edible things that grow here. I’m looking forward to reading your recipes and website.
    Cheers
    Sue

    1. Thanks Sue, it is always nice to meet someone with similar passions and interests (even if only on the cyber world!). I am also a keen yoga practitioner which I see is something you have studied. Thanks so much for stopping by 🙂

  4. Beautiful blog, so glad I found you!

    1. Thanks for visiting Sophia. I hope you enjoy my sharings.

  5. Nicola, I found your blog accidentally and it made my day.
    I am yet to dig into it deeper, but just a video says it a lot.
    I am planning on making a video myself for my website. But it would be hard to top yours.
    Good job!

    1. Hi Birute, thank you so much for the lovely comment. I am a very visual person so making a video was the best way to share who I am. Thanks for reading 🙂

  6. OMG – I am SO excited to have ‘discovered’ you and Petite Kitchen, my hubby is gluten-intolerant, and is coming off sugar; my children are also lactose intolerant… life is becoming more and more difficult in the kitchen! So I have been thinking about how to change our lifestyle to make it work for us – you both are inspirations, and I am looking forward to find the time to really sit down and read (my children are the same age as yours in here, so time is limited)! I am even more excited about the fact you’re both kiwis, which means the ingredients are local and easy to find… roll on summer, and a chance to restart our garden again!

    1. Hi Elizabeth, lovely to hear from you and enjoy reading through my blog when you have time, I can completely understand limited time!

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