Now that the evenings are getting lighter and longer, the Stylist office is feeling less inclined to hunker down in front of the TV with a doorstep-sized slab of lasagne of an evening – or at least, not every evening. Instead, we’ve been trying our hand at some fresh, spring-like recipes, making plans to grow our own vegetables, and generally embracing a life less sloth-like as the spring sun comes out.
But while we’re capable of following a salad recipe from the latest Ottolenghi cookbook, we also know the limits of our culinary skills. And when it comes to the latest healthy food trend coming out of Japan, we’re willing to admit defeat. This gastronomic craze is probably purely for Instagram – but that doesn’t make it any less inspiring.
Salad cakes are the brainchild of Nagoya-based food stylist and café owner Mitsuki Moriyasu. She tells CNN that she invented what she calls the “Vegedeco Salad” (decorated vegetables) in 2015, as a healthy alternative to traditional cakes.
Moriyasu shares photos of her mind-blowing creations on Instagram, where she describes them as “fun to eat! Fun to look at! A joyful moment!” And quite frankly, they make our homemade Caesar salad with shop-bought croutons look a bit inadequate.
The ‘sponge’ bases of Moriyasu’s cakes are made from a mix of soy powder, eggs and vegetable oil, plus marinated, diced and cooked Japanese vegetables such as daikon.
The rainbow frosting, meanwhile, is actually tofu – coloured with natural vegetable dyes such as red beetroot juice.
“It looks like a normal cake – but it’s made only of veggies. You can have it for breakfast, lunch – and it’s very suitable for dinner with wine,” says Moriyasu.
“Each cake tastes different, depending which vegetables we use – but I would say it tastes like something you’ve never had before.”
If you’re in the mood for eating healthily but not quite ready for salad cakes just yet, you can find a selection of vibrant, filling vegan batch recipes here.
Main image: instagram.com/vegedecosalad