Indulgent and show-stopping, Vegan Cakes is the place where traditional baking rules are thrown out of the window, proving you don’t need dairy and eggs to create baked wonders. In Sarah Hardy’s book, you’ll find recipes for a pink vanilla dream cake and sherry berry trifle, a rose and ginger cheesecake and black sesame banana bread. Step-by-step recipes, yummy photos and tips about vegan icing and decorations, this is one all vegans – actual or aspiring – will love. Hardie Grant Books, R340.

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Yes, you’d love to lose weight, but where to start? Consulting dietitian Regine du Plessis gives all the info you need plus recipes for 1000 kJ meals, in A Slimmer You Cookbook. The introduction includes topics such as BMI (body mass index) and cholesterol, how to balance daily food intake with physical activity as well as the role of carbohydrates, proteins and fats in our diet. Don’t despair … it’s not all lettuce and lemon juice. Yes, you can have fried egg and bacon for brekkie, or tuck into a burger or yummy savoury beef mince. You can even splash out and enjoy chicken in red wine or ostrich fillet steak with baked potato. Got a sweet tooth? Sorry, no luck, as this book sticks firmly to breakfasts, salads, soups, chicken, meat, fish and pasta. Struik Lifestyle, R300.

Local foodie darling Sarah Graham has just released another of her brilliant cookbooks, this one featuring plant-based recipes. Super Natural is, Sarah says, ‘a celebration of vegetables (and their humble friends … fruit, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes and pulses)’. Great, seasonal, plant-based food. We will, this month, be making her whole roasted tandoori cauliflower flatbreads and her salted peanut butter oak cookies. Then so much more. As you’d expect from Sarah – amazing! Penguin Random House, R320.

Tucking into a delicious meal is one thing, but eating food that’s also good for you is not always a given. One way to cook your way to better health is to grab a copy of Mindful Eating. In it, Izelle Hoffman not only lists the ingredients that are your best nutritional friends (did you know that mustard helps build strong bones and sweet potato is an anti-inflammatory immune booster?), but gets down to the nitty-gritty with 78 recipes. Find yummy rosemary almond bread; honey-mustard and rosemary chicken tray bake; farm-style beef and veggie soup, as well as lamb and fig skewers with minty apricot glaze among the collection. Chocoholics please note – you’ll definitely want to try the fillet medallions with chilli-chocolate sauce, the sweet potato chocolate brownies and the guilt-free chocolate cake (yay!) Struik Lifestyle, R350.


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