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For the Foodie Who Likes to Read: Best Cookbooks of 2015

Vickie de Beer, Kath Megaw and Libby Doyle

Cookbooks come in all fonts and flavours and are both decorative and practical – making it the perfect purchase for any household.

Whether you prefer healthy living or decadent indulgence, there’s a cookbook out there for you (and another one for your mother/father/significant other).

Pour yourself a cup of tea, sit back and have a look at our list of the best cookbooks of 2015:


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1. The Low Carb Solution For Diabetics

The Low Carb Solution For DiabeticsWinner of the 2015 Sunday Times Food Weekly Cookbook Awards:

When working mother Vickie de Beer’s life changed forever after her son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, she and leading paediatric dietician Kath Megaw set about creating a low-carb lifestyle plan for diabetics – and, in the process, developed an arsenal of the most effective systems and day-to-day strategies for practically dealing with diabetes.

Part emotive journey, part cookbook and part medical reference, and all bundled up in the care and love of devoted parents, The Low-Carb Solution For Diabetics (Quivertree) is the fruit of their combined findings – at once personal and professional, and essential reading that effectively “closes the gap” for families coping with diabetes.


2. Mariana’s Country Kitchen

Mariana's Country KitchenMarianas se vier seisoeneMariana’s Country Kitchen (also available in Afrikaans as Marianas se vier seisoene) by Mariana Esterhuizen was published by Human & Rousseau in October last year and was named Best Newcomer at the 2015 Sunday Times Food Weekly Cookbook Awards.

Mariana serves food fresh from her own extensive vegetable, fruit and herb garden; prepared in her own unique way. Her delightful book includes recipes for the restaurant’s top dishes, along with vegetable dishes, classic dishes, and Mariana’s favourite childhood foods. Divided seasonally into four sections, this is the ultimate cookery book for those who love fresh, honest, delicious in-season eating.


The following four books were shortlisted for the 2015 Sunday Times Food Weekly Cookbook Awards:

3. Bitter + Sweet: A Heritage Cookbook

Bitter+SweetBitter + soetNiël Stemmet se jongste boek, Bitter + soet: ‘n Erfeniskosboek, het vroeg verlede jaar by Human & Rousseau verskyn.

Bitter + soet vertel die verhaal van Mietha Klaaste wat op die plaas Langverwacht, in die omgewing van Robertson grootgeword het, soos oorvertel deur Niël Stemmet. Die verhaal vat ons terug na daar waar Mietha se ma, Sarah, Oumies en Oubaas se huis skoonmaak en haar pa die voorman op die plaas is. Oumies en Oubaas se oudste seun, Johan, trou met sy nooi Susan, kom woon op die plaas en kort voor lank maak klein Daniël sy verskyning. Mietha word uit die skool gehaal om na hom om te sien – en daarmee begin ’n hegte verbintenis wat oor jare heen sou strek.


4. The Supper Club

The Supper ClubPresenting The Supper Club by Phillippa Cheifitz – a collection of easy-to-follow recipes for every occasion:

Cheifitz and a group of her friends get together for a supper once a month. The venue, host and menu change on a monthly basis and the menu is matched to the season or particular occasion. This is the inspiration for the book: preparing a well-cooked and delicious meal for friends to gather around the table and reconnect.


5. Baking For Pleasure and Profit

Baking For Pleasure & ProfitBak vir pret & profytBaking For Pleasure & Profit by Christine Capendale is for anyone who bakes and sells or simply wants to learn the tips and tricks from a professional. Chapter one is about the business part of home baking. There are more than 90 unique recipes with variations and creative ideas to help turn them into signature products. It contains short cuts, tips, and proven results rarely found anywhere.

Recipes are suitable for home industries, catering and farmers markets.

This book is also available in Afrikaans as Bak vir pret & profyt.


6. Real Food – Healthy, Happy Children

Real Food - Healthy, Happy ChildrenSustained energy? Check. Reduced sugar cravings? Check. Improved concentration? Check.

Check-marks, too, for: increased health and vitality, enhanced athletic performance, longer and deeper sleep, improved digestion, strategies for fussy eaters, and helping your child reach and maintain a healthy body weight.

All these topics are addressed by South Africa’s leading paediatric dietician Kath Megaw in her upcoming book, Real Food – Healthy, Happy Children (Quivertree). Co-written with Daisy Jones, Phillippa Cheifitz and Jane-Anne Hobbs, the book offers a low-carb solution for the whole family – with recipes for moms, dads and kids of all ages.


7. World Atlas of Food

World Atlas of FoodJenny Morris’ World Atlas of Food (MapStudio) is a compilation of over 100 countries and includes a world of flavours. We present to you, from every continent on the globe (excluding Antarctica) the essence of traditions, food styles and flavours comprising of elements that serve to make a country unique.

World Atlas of Food is a journey of the senses, offering armchair travel into the kitchen of six continents.


8. Raising Superheroes

Raising SuperheroesThe Real Meal Revolution (Quivertree) was all about taking on the global obesity epidemic with a revolutionary approach to eating; it challenged ingrained beliefs, it sold (and still sells) in record-breaking numbers throughout South Africa, and it changed people’s lives.

With Raising Superheroes (Jacana) the authors have now set out to revolutionise the way we feed our children. It’s time, they believe, to challenge the kids’ food industry and our old assumptions; it’s time to give our children the best nutrition possible, and the best start in life.


9. TWO

TWOStruik Lifestyle is proud to present TWO by Seline and Leandri van der Wat:

During the screening of the MasterChef South Africa 2013 series, TV viewers were both fascinated by, and impressed with, the Van der Wat sisters.

Seline and Leandri’s relationship and their varying cooking styles and personalities kept audiences on the edge of their seats right up until the final episode as they were ultimately placed second and third – no mean achievement.


10. The Banting Baker

The Banting BakerJacana Media is proud to present The Banting Baker by Catherine Speedie:

The Low-Carb High-Fat diet, known more colloquially as the Banting diet, is not just about upturning the food pyramid and thus the conventional wisdom around food and nutrition that has ruled for the last 40-odd years. It’s about waking us up to what our bodies are naturally “wired” for in terms of optimal sustenance and body weight. It’s about realising that along the trajectory of commercial and industrial “progress”, we’ve lost sight of our humanness – our basic biology if you will.


11. Home: Food From My Kitchen

HomeBuilding on the success of her two previous books, and in support of her TV series, Sarah Graham’s Food Safari, Home: Food From My Kitchen encapsulates cooking throughout southern Africa.

Within the standard cookbook format of Brunch, Salads, Soups, Snacks, Meat, Poultry, Pasta, Seafood, Desserts and Baking, she presents food that is simple but beautiful, delicious and healthy. Most of the dishes can be prepared as easily outdoors as in your kitchen, and the recipes will work for family meals as well as casual dining with friends.


12. Sweet

SweetStruik Lifestyle is proud to present Sweet, a book of delectable treats by Sam Linsell:

Sweet – a word that in the culinary realm conjures up notions of decadence, irresistible deliciousness, indulgence and yes, basically palate bliss. Those treats we crave when we’re happy, sad or in need of a pick-me-up, and which make the world feel like a wonderful place. These are what Samantha Linsell presents in Sweet – and so much more! The dizzy array of sweet temptations will make your head spin and take you back to that state of excited contemplation that you last experienced as a child before a birthday party.


13. Low Carb is Lekker

Low Carb is LekkerLow carb is lekkerLow Carb is Lekker is the brainchild of Inè Reynierse, who embarked on a mission to make the benefits of a low-carb lifestyle an achievable, budget-friendly reality for her friends and family. Her “decarbed” versions of South Africa’s most popular and well-loved recipes soon caught the attention of various social networks and the growing need for a basic Low Carb is Lekker recipe collection.

There are easy low-carb, wheat-free and sugar-free alternatives to some all time family favourites (think bobotie, mac ’n cheese and curry and “rice”), quick comfort foods (gnocchi and chicken pie) as well as decadent treats (malva pudding, chocolate brownies and milk tart spring to mind).


14. All Sorts of Salads

All Sorts of SaladsAll Sorts of Salads by by Chantal Lascaris features over 70 delicious recipes for main and side salads. Gone are the days of having lettuce as your main ingredient as this book will take the home cook out of his or her salad rut and provide some interesting and tasty dishes to explore and enjoy!

The book is for anyone who wants a greater choice of salads in their daily diets, including those who want to prepare them for health reasons.


15. South African Cookbook for Diabetes

South African Cookbook for DiabetesSuid-Afrikaanse kookboek vir diabetesHilda Lategan has hand-picked the best recipes from the two volumes of South African cookbook for diabetes and insulin resistance, so that you and your family can enjoy delicious and healthy food every day.

This book is also available in Afrikaans as Suid-Afrikaanse kookboek vir diabetes.


16. Cape Fusion

Cape FusionSouth Africa’s fusion father, Shane Sauvage, is back with an ocean-inspired, all-new take on South African regional ingredients and flavours. Owner of La Pentola restaurant, Sauvage is the winner of the American Express Platinum Fine Dinning Award for the 11th year running, only one of 89 restaurants country wide to carry this honour. Chef Shane is taking food creation and wine pairing to another level.

With combinations to tempt the palate and fill your table with a feast of innovative and delicious cuisine made easy for the home cook, Cape Fusion is a sensory journey amplified by world-class, step-by-step food photography and scenic photography capturing the natural beauty of the surrounding landscape.


17. South African Flavours and Traditions and Braai and Potjie Flavours and Traditions

South African Flavours and TraditionsBraai and Potjie Flavours and TraditionsSouth Africa Flavours and Traditions by Sophia Lindop invites you on a journey through our richly diverse country with its colourful people and fascinating food. Please stay a while and enjoy the tales of adventure, determination and courage at our table as we serve up this, our South Africa.

Braai and Potjie Flavours and Traditions invites you on a journey into our great outdoors where we light a fire and encourage you to stay a while and enjoy this unique South African tradition.


18. Taste the Little Karoo

Taste the Little KarooProe die Klein-KarooStruik Lifestyle is proud to present Taste the Little Karoo (Afrikaans: Proe die Klein-Karoo) by Beate Joubert:

The little Karoo is known for its beautiful landscapes, food traditions, atmosphere and warm hospitable people. Joubert captures the essence of this region and its people through the recipes included in Taste the Little Karoo. These unique recipes range from snacks and side dishes, breads and soups to salads, hearty meat dishes and braai recipes, as well as delicious desserts to round off a meal. There is also a chapter that provides recipes for the pantry such as pesto, dukkah and chutneys.


19. The Democratic Republic of Braai

The Democratic Republic of BraaiIt is your democratic right to gather with friends and family around braai fires throughout the country and celebrate with a meal cooked over the coals of a real wood fire.

This is the promise of Jan Braai’s Democratic Republic of Braai (Bookstorm). Fireworks brought us the basics of braai, Red Hot showed us that braai could be so much more. Now The Democratic Republic of Braai brings you the greatest braai recipes that Jan knows – it’s your right to braai the best.


20. Market Food

Market FoodPresenting Market Food by the mother-and-daughters cooking team Dianne and Lissa Stewart and Jessica Cairns:

Which is your favourite market? The explosion of markets all over South Africa led Dianne Stewart and her daughters, Lissa and Jessica, on a trip around South Africa in search of the best market food. Each market has its own distinct personality, and provides locals and visitors with relaxed and informal meeting places where family and friends can get together, share a meal and fill their baskets with some of the finest home-made fare and produce this country has to offer.


21. Sugar Free

Sugar FreeJonathan Ball presents Sugar Free by Karen Thomson and Kerry Hammerton, with a foreword by Tim Noakes and guidelines by Tamzyn Campbell:

Sugar Free (also available in Afrikaans as Suikervry) is the first self-help book written in South Africa to help people overcome sugar and carbohydrate addiction. It is written by authors Karen Thomson and Kerry Hammerton with the support of dietician Tamzyn Campbell and a foreword by Prof Tim Noakes. It advocates the low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) way of eating.


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