This book is "guaranteed to get people excited about their vegetables"

Worthing author Tana Jackson offers The Garden Pantry, a collection of delicious recipes using unprocessed, completely natural plant-based produce.

Tana Jackson
Tana Jackson

The book is self-published and is available at £12.95 including postage from, aged 53, promises a vegan-friendly cookbook ideal for people with food intolerances: the recipes do not contain any meat, fish, dairy, gluten, salt, sugar, honey or nuts.

As Tana says, in the UK an estimated two million people are living with a diagnosed food allergy and 600,000 with coeliac disease: “The book explores some myths about a plant-based diet, looks at food intolerances and the avoidance of the 14 key allergens businesses have to tell people about if they are using any of the ingredients in the food and drink they provide. A variety of top tips for cooking are covered and there is a really useful page listing the basic store cupboard ingredients needed to create the healthy recipes.

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“This is a great book for anyone who is detoxing or simply looking to make some exciting changes to their diet. This book is guaranteed to get people excited about their vegetables.

“Before my diet became completely plant-based, I found myself developing a number of food intolerances so I gradually eliminated the different types of meat, fish, dairy, fats, salt and nuts, etc until I was left with a diet consisting mainly of vegetables and carbohydrates.

“I started to look into the many products that have been developed to substitute the meat, fish and dairy etc that is missing from a vegetable-based diet and was disturbed to find that these products could easily be described as some of the most processed food in the Western world.

“When I was eating meat, fish and dairy, I avoided processed food because it is supposed to be so bad for you, but when I started to buy the substitutions this became a minefield and I started to create recipes using unprocessed, completely natural, plant-based produce.

“I kept my recipes really easy to follow as cooking does not need to be complicated, and I decided to share them with people who have had a similar experience in a fun and creative way.

“Working with my friend Melanie Thorpe, we developed some friends called the Cheflings who can help people have some fun in the kitchen making good wholesome food for the whole family to enjoy. The illustrations of the inventive little Cheflings throughout the book were produced by Melanie Thorpe using a graphics tablet.

“Connected to her mobile phone Melanie draws onto the tablet using the stylus and the drawing is viewed on the screen of her phone. The technique is fascinating and produces the drawings as wonderful vibrant digital watercolours. It is hoped that the Cheflings will engage children and could encourage them to have fun in the kitchen and maybe help pass some quality time during these difficult times.

“It took us over a year to get The Garden Pantry to print and we have started work on a sequel called The Cheflings Burger Van which will be filled to the brim with natural plant-based ideas for burgers you can pop in a bun.

Tana added: “I started writing the cookbook at the end of 2019 as I wanted to share the recipes I had created with people who have had a similar experience to me. I also wanted to provide people with recipes that are suitable for people with food intolerances that use natural and unprocessed ingredients.

“For example, if you have decided to give up meat in your diet why would you try to replicate a chicken drumstick using strange ingredients that are processed to replicate the texture of meat? Instead, why not celebrate a butternut squash or cauliflower chopped into pieces and roasted in spices in the oven. These vegetables are delicious in their own right.”