No ‘Retreat’, no surrender – ‘Conscious Eating’ is here

No ‘Retreat’, no surrender – ‘Conscious Eating’ is here
Jenny Morris

Fooding Around with Jenny Morris

Daniel Jardim, one of the most beloved vegetarian South African chefs, launched his first solo cookbook, ‘Retreat: The Joy of Conscious Eating’ in March 2014.
‘Retreat’ is a collection of over 80 delicious vegetarian dishes combining Western nutrition with Eastern healing philosophies to create sensational meals with a strong emphasis on how to live in greater harmony with the seasons.

Daniel shows us how to create a greater sense of mindfulness in our everyday lives by enjoying a deeper connection with the food that we prepare, and offers a glimpse of what it is like to be on retreat with Daniel.
Photographs by Sarah Kate Schäfer accompany the mouth-watering and unusual dishes to reflect Daniel’s playful interaction with a wide array of flavours and influences – from Thai and Japanese, to Moroccan and Indian.

The dishes are aimed at aspiring cooks of all levels and are a heartfelt celebration of the joyous communion that we can experience through food and eating. “My hope is that this book opens up the possibilities for nourishment and growth that cookery can bring; that you find renewed interest in everyday ingredients as well as an introduction to exciting new flavours; and that you explore the joyous possibilities that await you once you truly begin to play with your food,” says Daniel.

Daniel grew up in a family of cooks and began inventing dishes from a very young age. On his thirteenth birthday he announced to his family that he had decided to become vegetarian.
He spent eleven years in the UK where he studied Holistic Nutrition and offered advice on food supplementation. When he returned to South Africa in 2007, Daniel became the resident cook at the Buddhist Retreat Centre in Ixopo, KwaZulu-Natal, and created the recipes for the extremely popular cookery book ‘The Cake the Buddha Ate’ (published by Jacana Media, 2011).

Let’s Cook!

Baby Spinach and Strawberry Salad
Strawberries are a spring gem that bear the promise of bountiful summer fruits that will soon be available . Their keen fruitiness makes them a flavorsome salad ingredient too.
What’s more they can be blended with the tiniest seasoning to make an instant and vibrantly colourful dressing.
I like to select the firmest strawberries in the punnet for the salad and then use any riper strawberries to go into the blender.
Strawberries love black pepper, so be generous with the grinder in your hand.
Serves 4


  • 100g baby spinach, washed and drained
  • 100g strawberries, trimmed and quartered
  • ½ cucumber peeled, deseeded and sliced
  • 1 tbls poppy seeds
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Half a cup alfalfa sprouts rinsed

Ingredients for the dressing:

  • 100g strawberries trimmed
  • 5ml olive oil
  • 5 ml rice vinegar
  • Pinch of mustard powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all the ingredients except the alfalfa sprouts in a bowl.
Blend dressing till smooth, drizzle over the salad, garnish with alfalfa sprouts.
© Retreat Daniel Jardim 2014 Published By Jacana Media