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The power of nourishment

When trained midwife Kat detected a sizeable lump in her pelvic region, she knew it was something to be concerned about and had it checked out immediately. Several tests and scans later, it was confirmed that she had metastatic melanoma, an aggressive type of skin cancer.



This came as devastating news to Kat, who was looking forward to marrying Darryl, the love of her life, in 2016 and settling down to a long and happy life together.

Kat underwent palliative surgery but refused further invasive treatments. Little did she know at the time that she was already on the journey to what was to become the most fulfilling work she and Darryl would ever know; and it all began with food presented on a hospital tray.

“I know budgets are tight, but the food was carcinogenic food that would literally support the spread of cancer,” Kat says.

One day Kat photographed her food tray and made a vow that should she survive the cancer, she’d do all in her power to try to help people understand that good foods can go a long way in preserving good health.

Kat never ate any of the hospital food; instead, she took her nourishment from the green smoothies Darryl brought to her daily.


Overall, the statistics for surviving metastatic cancer aren’t good. Kat says many people have asked her how she survived it and she says that language around the disease is very important. “I never owned it. I never got angry or thought about ‘fighting it’. But I did feel determined about going with my own instincts as to dealing with it.”

Kat’s instinct was to begin an eating regime based on the extensive reading and research she’d been doing on nutrition and healing from disease.

“I believe diet plays a big role in healing the body. Basically, with the disease I had – of that magnitude – I couldn’t afford to make bad food choices. I made the decision to eat food that would support my nutrition and immunity, and give me the vitamins and minerals I needed, and I steered away from anything that would cause inflammation and send toxins through my body.”

Four years on and Kat is finally making good on that vow she made the day she photographed her tray of hospital food.

“Our plant-based mobile café came about because of three things: I always wanted to have my own café; there was nowhere to eat out that served healthy and tasty food; and, most importantly, this is our way of paying it forward. If we can provide people with one meal a day that’s packed with all the wonderful things to support their health, then that’s our job done. The power of nourishment can never be underestimated.”


When not out in their mobile café, Kat gives cooking demos at her home, showing friends and colleagues how to make simple nutritious plant-based meals that aren’t expensive or time-consuming.

“I love the creativity of thinking up new and different menus, and experimenting with new recipes. I’m so happy when I’m cooking – listening to beautiful music… I even dream of food now!”

Currently Kat and Darryl’s mobile café services a city health provider two days per week, and visits Ohoka Farmers’ Market every Friday. They’ll happily cater for any function or event, and look forward to festivals, such as the 2019 FGS Vegefest on 24 November, and the Aroha Essence Festival, 17-19 January 2020.

“We’re passionate about what we do, and have big plans to grow our business,” Kat says, “There’s nothing more satisfying than handing over our life-affirming food to customers.”





Kumara & Zucchini Fritters

Kumara & Zucchini Fritters

For many of us, annual holidays jetsetting around the world are the time to let go and forget about the diet. For others it’s the time to focus on health and wellness. But according to Hayes & Jarvis, we can have our cake and eat it


Kumara & Zucchini Fritters


The travel expert has released a study into the most well-rounded cuisines throughout the world, making it easy to find globalised cuisines that are as healthy as they are delicious.

Although New Zealand ranked slightly lower than Australia overall in eleventh place, it proved to have the best dinner option, serving up kumara fritters. So we hunted out our favourite recipe.

An easy and popular meal option that can be made ahead of time and perfect for the lunchbox, vegetable fritters are a great way to pack some nutritional punch into your day. Crispy and golden brown, these kumara and zucchini fritters can be served as a side dish or appetiser and they’re easy to customise to use up any leftover vegetables



2 medium-sized kumara – grated
1 small zucchini – grated
1/2 onion – grated
2 cloves garlic – chopped
2 tbsp chives – chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper – to taste
Olive oil or vegetable oil for frying

Dill Yogurt Dip
3/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup Greek yogurt
1 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp chopped fresh dill
Salt and freshly ground pepper – to taste



Combine grated kumara, zucchini, onion, garlic and chives in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat oil in large non-stick fry pan over medium heat. Add heaped tbsp of kumara mixture to hot oil, working in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan. Press gently with spatula to flatten. Cook until crispy, browned and kumara is tender, about 4 to 5 minutes per side, adding more oil to the pan as needed.

Dill Yogurt Dip
Meanwhile combine sour cream, yogurt, olive oil, dill and salt and pepper, stir to combine.

Serve fritters with Dill Yogurt Dip and garnish with fresh dill.