Authors: Sonia Cabano and Jade de Waal

Publishers: Random House Struik

Price: R225

Reviewed by: Jenny Kay

I have always thought of myself as a wannabe vegetarian, but have never quite been able to give up meat. It can be quite hard to get a balanced vegetarian diet because eating only vegetables gets quite boring. I found this book quite inspiring, filled with practical everyday meals prepared with accessible ingredients.

The chapters have quirky titles like Quick, Light, Pure, Feast, Relax, Bake and Basic. Even if you don’t follow a vegetarian lifestyle you will find plenty of inspirational recipes to help you include more vegetables in your diet.

I have cooked a few recipes from the book and found the Indonesian peanut dip so addictive that it has become my standby dip to serve with crudités and a fresh baguette. There are a lot of tofu recipes and so far my favourite is the tandoori tofu. It really hits the spot when I’m craving something spicy.

Brinjals are one of my favourite vegetables and I love haloumi cheese, so the recipe for aubergine rolls baked with haloumi, rocket and red peppers went down a treat.

The baking section isn’t very big, but contains good basic recipes. This plum and almond upside-down cake was easy and tasted delicious served with whipped cream.


50g unsalted butter

115g light brown sugar

10 small plums, washed, halved and pitted

185g cold butter, cubed

225g light brown sugar

3 large eggs

50g ground almonds

62.5g cake flour

62.5g self-raising flour

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Lightly grease a 22cm springform cake tin and line with lightly greased baking paper.

Melt the first amount of butter with the first amount of sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Pour into the base of the cake tin.

Arrange the plums cut-side down on the melted butter in the tin.

Beat the cold butter and the second amount of sugar in a large bowl for 4-5 minutes until light and fluffy. Add one egg at a time, making sure each egg is thoroughly incorporated before adding the next.

Add the ground almonds and both kinds of flour and beat for another minute.

Spread the batter over the plums in the tin and bake in the centre of the oven for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean (start testing at 50 minutes).

Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes before loosening the sides of the tin. Place a plate upside-down on top of the tin and swiftly turn right-side up. Carefully remove the base of the tin from the top of the cake. Serve warm or cool.