Food That Loves You Back

Amerae Vercueil is a food stylist and photographer which explains why the photographs in Food That Loves You Back are stunning.

Food That Loves You Back

Plant-based eating is more than just putting vegetables on your plate. It offers the opportunity to experiment with different flavours and textures, and discover how a single vegetable can be transformed into a multitude of nourishing and tasty meals.
Amerae Vercueil has used her many talents to produce a book that will appeal to vegans and vegetarians looking for something different, as well as anyone who simply wants to add more veggies to their diet. Based on recipes that she enjoys cooking and eating, Food That Loves You Back  presents popular veggies in a way that will inspire you to go beyond ‘meat-free Mondays’!
If you’ve ever wondered what to do with Brussels sprouts, canned artichokes, leeks or lentils, this book has the answer. Healthy carbs are covered too, in the form of olive oil pastry, seed & oat bread, and flatbreads, and if you’re searching for a sweet treat to end a vegan meal, look no further than Amerae’s peanut butter and choc-chip cookies, banana gingerbread loaf, or show stopping date & chocolate cake with chocolate ganache.
Whole Beetroots
Chapters are divided into:
  • Leeks, Artichokes & Onions
  • Beetroot, Brussels Sprouts
  • Lentils & Chickpeas
  • Cauliflower & Mushrooms
  • Baby Marros & Brinjals
  • Broccoli, Spinach & Kale
  • Butternut, Carrots & Sweet Potato
  • Tomatoes & Red Peppers
  • Breads & Bakes
  • Mayo & Sauces
Recipes that caught my eye:
  • Roast Lees (p15)
  • Creamy Leek Sauce (p17)
  • Whole Beetroots (p29)
  • Red Lentil & Roast Carrot Dip (p52)
  • Sun-Dried Tomato Hummus (p63)
  • Chickpea Pancakes (p65)
  • Green Falafel Mixture (p76)
  • Cauliflower Salad (p92)
  • Cauliflower Soup With Crispy Bits (p101) *
  • Golden Mushrooms (p108)
  • Grilled Baby Marrow Roll-Ups (p112)
  • Pan-Fried Brinjals In BBQ Sauce (p120)
  • Brinjals Baked In Tomato Sauce (p125)
  • Steamed Broccoli Salad (p130)
  • Ultimate Green Salad (p139)
  • Green Pea & Dill Hummus (p141)
  • Carrot & Kimchi Salad (p187)
  • Carrot, Cashew, Red Cabbage & Broccoli Slaw (p188)
  • Roasted Tomato breakfast bowl with hummus & chickpeas (p199) **
  • Olive Oil Pastry (p206)
  • Wholesome Seed & Oat Bread (p216)
  • Date & Olive Oil Chocolate Cake (p227)

Date And Olive Oil Chocolate Cake With A Caramel Ganache

What I made:

I made the whole beetroot even though Dave is not a fan of boiled beets. But, it is a great idea to serve beetroot with dairy because of how it reacts with the oxalic acid. These were served with yoghurt sauce and feta, and I really enjoyed the taste combination. The date and olive oil cake was absolutely divine and it can be made gluten free, lactose free and refined sugar free. I made a caramel ganache to go on top of the cake, rather than the dark chocolate ganache in the recipe book as it was not clear how much chocolate to use, and I didn’t want to waste the coconut cream if I got my guess wrong.

Recipes to make:

In my notebook I jotted down a recipe for cauliflower soup with crispy bits *. This is a clear indication that I need to make this recipe at some stage, either the one I wrote down, or the one from this book. The roasted tomato recipe (**) caught my eye because of the breakfast bowl description. A few days before I paged through Food That Loves You Back I had eaten at Tashas and had the hummus toastie which is hummus, rocket, avo, roasted cherry tomatoes, feta, poached egg, za’atar spice & toasted village bread. A flavour combination I so enjoyed that I recreated it for dinner the following night.

My impressions:

I really resonate with Amerae as she uses seasonal produce. She feels it is important to focus on sustainable farming by buying locally where possible. She also practices the concept of buying the best quality ingredients she can find. I do the same, within my budget of course. It is also a great concept to buy only the amount of spices and dried herbs we need to keep them as fresh as possible.

Publishing information:
ISBN 9781485901051
Format Hardback
Published August 2021

Disclosure: I was sent Food That Loves You Back to review by Penguin Random House South Africa. I was not required to write a positive review. This post is in line with my blogging policy.

Take a look at what was previously posted on Lavender and Lime on May 11:


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14 thoughts on “Food That Loves You Back

  1. Vegetable-centered cookbooks really are a big trend in publishing recently, and it’s great that there are so many to choose from. I hope they really do help people to eat less meat. This one sounds very South-African centered, using either local names or local vegetables that I don’t recognize at all.

    best… mae at

    1. It is very localised with the author and publisher being based in South Africa. I am curious to know which names you don’t recognize so I can look up the American names 🙂

  2. Thank you for this review. Being a vegan, I would probably find this book interesting. I’ll look into it. Thanks.

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