Hi, I'm Barbara! I am the writer, photographer, and artist of Botanical Barbara. Through this blog, I share plant-based recipes that focus on whole foods with limited processed ingredients. It is my space dedicated to sharing content that inspires readers to embrace ownership of their health through knowledge, nourishing recipes, & holistic lifestyle inspiration.
What I prioritize when creating a recipe
The number one priority is that the final dish must be delicious. During the recipe creation process, I aim to get as many taste testers as I can for review and feedback. Not only for the dish's flavor and textures but also for the instructions.
An equal priority is recipe time. Many people are very busy and need straightforward instructions with quick preparation. I love sharing recipes that can be made in under 30 minutes, especially with seasonal ingredients.
Here's what you can expect:
Delicious - it's not hard to find incredible flavors in the plant kingdom, but this is number one! I want the dish you take time to prepare for yourself and/or your family to be flavorful and something you'll want to make again and again.
Straightforward with clear instructions - I learned to cook after transitioning to fully plant-based. The majority of my initial recipe searching was through Pinterest and Google. When I felt the need to elevate my database, I started browsing cookbooks and subscribed to the blog creators I trusted. There were many missteps throughout my journey of learning to cook plant-based. As my understanding of cooking methods and vocabulary grew, fewer failed dishes emerged. I write all recipe instructions as if someone was just learning to cook at an eighth-grade level.
High nutrient value & education - this is a health-focused blog, and my recipes are saturated in nutrients because that's how I live. While working as a Registered Nurse, most of my career was in community education. Teaching people how they can improve their health through plants and whole foods is what I love to do.
Minimal steps - not only is this a priority, so the reader understands what to do, but cooking shouldn't feel like a complicated task. It's a chance to connect with the food you consume and a vital skill for a thriving body. Easy meals you want to make again and again is my motto.
Variety of cooking methods I love experimenting with different styles and methods when cooking. Many recipes have the option to cook with an Air Fryer or Instant Pot, but neither is needed.
Substitutions - I grew up with my sister, who is allergic to nuts, seeds, and gluten. While not always possible, most of my recipes will have easy substitutions for those that are allergic to the common ingredients. I strive to create dishes that are suitable for everyone.
Beautiful - I have libra all over my astrology chart! It's my sun, rising, venus, etc. Beauty and aesthetic environments are high in my core values. The vibrant colors of food provided by the earth is such a gift. Styling the dish in each photo lights me up and is a skill I am passionate about advancing.
My vegan expertise
I walk the talk! Plants were at the very beginning of my journey over six years ago when I went vegan. Within that time, the vegan movement has massively grown. I am vegan for the animals and plant-based for my health.
When I decided to align actions to my beliefs and the deep knowing that plants would heal me - life shifted, and I am not interested in ever looking back.
As a Registered Nurse (BSN), I spent most of my career in community health, specifically with educating Medicare members (65+) who had chronic diseases like Congestive Health Failure and Diabetes.
The two undeniable trends I saw throughout my experience in healthcare are that when you are sick, the biggest impact is quality of life, and symptoms can change drastically with diet modifications.
I felt serious about educating myself on plant-based nutrition. It was no longer how to substitute this for that but more about what is happening biologically and how we can prevent this?
I've personally healed from a plant-based diet. Plants helped heal me of my adult cystic acne. When the dermatologist told me my only option was Accutane, I dug my heels in the sand and made drastic changes.
That journey sparked an intense desire to consume knowledge about how we get sick and how we can heal.
I have passionately been educating people about their health under systems that do not prioritize empowering those people with knowledge of plants. It wasn't until I left that I felt full freedom and power to share what I believe is critical to living a healthy life. Thus Botanical Barbara was born.
My philosophy on food
I believe in balance (you guessed it, I'm a libra) and freedom from fear. Discernment is a critical skill all humans must acquire to live happy, healthy lives. Food is the body's foundation, and not one body is the same.
There’s no right or wrong way to eat when you’re choosing meals with understanding and intention. The goal of Botanical Barbara is to provide you with knowledge and inspiration to bring more plants into your kitchen.
Frequently Asked Questions
My motto is "I can turn any dish vegan", so it's easy to get inspired. I get ideas from eating at restaurants when browsing the menu, browsing through cookbooks at my local library, scrolling through social media, seasonal produce, and intuitive food cravings!
I typically find something that lights me up, figure out the best ingredients to use with flavors that will make it taste mouthwatering, and then test out the best methods in my kitchen. My go-to taste tester is my husband, Michael (if you know him, you're aware he is very honest and loves to give feedback 🤣).
Besides that, I love sharing my meals with friends and family, and once it gets the thumbs up, it's on the blog.
The recipe I make the most is my Rosemary Chocolate Chunk Cookies. I love them because I can get cookies on the table in twenty minutes. I often skip the rosemary for a classic chocolate chip cookie. Beware, mine never make it to the cookie jar!
As for a main recipe, hands down my all-time favorite is Roasted Broccoli & Capers Pasta Salad with Basil. It has fresh flavors and is insanely easy to throw together.
Thanks for asking!
Recipes: Not at this time. I do not allow the republication of my recipe text or photos without my consent. If people copy and paste my recipes onto their websites, it negatively affects how my website gets viewed in the search results. That's not cool! It also opens up issues with copyright. If you have any recipe inquiries or questions, please reach out via email.
Photos: Yes, and thank you for sharing! Credit the photos with two links, one to back to the recipe post and one to botanicalbarbara.com
Yes! I love working with brands and am happy to promote products I like. Submit any inquiries to my contact page.
I'm not sure, but I'd love to help you out. The comment section is a great place to discuss and benefit by helping others out. Sometimes recipes can have typos or be confusing, so please leave a comment or shoot me an email, and we will clear it up!
Huge thanks for all the friendly and respectful comments! I LOVE RECEIVING THEM. Comments and recipe ratings are major for this blog being seen by search engines. With that being said, any offensive, off-topic, or generally rude comments will be removed. Especially if the comment doesn't allude to the recipe having been made by the submitter. I'm curating a positive environment for my readers, and we should all be kind to one another.
When I'm not Botanical Barbara I love being in the kitchen; it's the heart of the home. I also love going out to eat, especially when the evening is an experience with creative dishes, atmosphere, and getting dressed up.
My other love is shopping for vintage clothing and mid-century modern furniture with my husband. Home environments with modern design tickle a specific part of my brain that makes me happy.
Another joy is a good workout and lying by the pool with a great read!
Yes! At the time of our plant-based transition, we also lost our pig, Luna. Her passing shed light on how much factory farming is destroying our environment and causing immense suffering to the animals it consumes. We couldn't continue blindly eating, so my husband and I went vegan in her honor.