vanillafood cookbook

Cooking the Books

Image source: Photographer amy hemmings

Guests gathered to feast on dishes from the newly-released VanillaFood Cookbook. Deb Caruso was there to catch every mouthwatering morsel.

When Nilla Tomkins realised her dream of producing a cookbook using the favourite dishes from her popular cafés, it seemed only fair to celebrate with a feast fresh from the pages of the 230-page tome.

Nilla’s decade-long dream to share her recipes for wholesome and real food that tastes as good as it looks came to life with the launch of the VanillaFood Cookbook in December 2020.

With more than 70 vegetarian recipes and a plethora of vegan and gluten free and dairy free options, the cookbook has been met with a hearty reception from foodies all over the globe.

Sales have been strong with thousands of books bought locally as well as shipped overseas to countries including Nilla’s home country of Denmark but also Japan, Switzerland, Spain and USA.

Nilla said producing the cookbook was a fun and creative process.

“Working with the team at IN Publishing (who also produce Hello Sunshine Magazine) made the process easy and allowed me to focus on adapting the recipes for the home cook.

“Every day I am surprised with orders from around the world and customers who come into our cafés and share the favourite dish they have created at home.

“For me, that is the best bit.”

If the VanillaFood Cookbook is a project from the heart, Nilla’s next move is a project from her home, a cookbook sharing stories and dishes from her early life in Denmark.

For now, purchase the stunning cookbook online, from a local bookstore or the VanillaFood cafés.







Roasted Beetroot Hummus

I love the vibrant pink colour that beetroot adds to hummus. Roasted beetroots, with their sweetness add a delicious twist to the traditional hummus! It’s easy and healthy and can be served as a dip, added to salads or in wraps – Nilla


  • 2 cups chickpeas, cooked
  • 2 medium beetroots, cut into quarters
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, for roasting
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 large lemon, zest and juice
  • 4 tablespoons unhulled tahini
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • Sea salt 
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup filtered water


Preheat the oven to 160°C. Place the beetroot quarters on a lined roasting tray, drizzle with olive oil and roast for 35 minutes.

Place the chickpeas, roasted beetroot and garlic into a food processor and process until ground. Add the remaining ingredients and process until creamy, adding more water as needed to reach desired consistency.

Add more lemon juice or salt to taste.

Drizzle with olive oil and sesame seeds when serving.

Store in a jar in the fridge for up to 1 week.

About the Author /

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Deb has 25+ years' experience providing strategic communications and brand reputation advice to clients in the government, business and not-for-profit clients. She is passionate about Noosa and is an active member of her community, providing PR to Slow Food Noosa and other clients. Her passion lies in working with small businesses to help them succeed. She is planning to release the Tastes of Noosa cookbook with Matt Golinski in 2019.

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