As a long time food blogger & quasi recipe developer I’d been told that if there was one essential that needed to be added to my culinary book collection it was Karen Page’s The Flavor Bible. It sat on my amazon wish-list with hundreds of other titles & eventually got lost in the mix.
But when Karen’s latest endeavor, The Vegetarian Flavor Bible, was released late last year, it quickly trumped all others to the number one spot. It was on my Christmas list until I received the exciting invitation to be a part of the official VFB Blog Tour! Soon after, a kindly autographed copy arrived on my doorstep.
Karen Page is a two-time James Beard Award winning author, who revolutionized the way professional chefs & home cooks create new dishes -based on compatible flavors instead of recipes – with her best-selling book The Flavor Bible. She brings the same innovative approach to the plant-based cooking with The Vegetarian Flavor Bible released in October 2014. So what inspired a veg-version of this beloved “bible”? After losing members of her family to cancer, Page was shocked to learn that the leading cause of death in America is nutritionally controllable diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Page, a life long omnivore who grew up eating meat two to three times a day, was motivated by nutrition studies & began experimenting with vegetarianism. She eventually eliminated meat from her diet, lost digestive aches & pains, & more than 20 pounds in the process, while gaining new vitality & joy. Sparked by her newfound passion, The Vegetarian Flavor Bible is a celebration of plant-based cuisine.
I have a habit of taking my mug of warmed spiced almond milk to my bedside while reading myself to sleep with a cookbook (I read them like a novel, don’t you?). After reading the intro, I quickly sped past to the heart of the “bible” ~ the almost overwhelmingly extensive “Flavor Matchmaking Section.” Here you will find more than 400 pages of information on any vegetarian ingredient you can dream of ~ from fruits & veggies, to grains & legumes, nuts & seeds, & the spices & seasonings that will best enhance their flavors. And for those of you who consume dairy, you’ll find information on cheeses & milk.
In the pages of this book, Page shares what she’s learned about making dishes with the most healthful, nutrient dense ingredients available:
- Flavor profiles of hundreds of foods – along with their peak seasons botanical relatives, recommended substitutes, nutritional profiles, serving suggestions & other cooking tips.
- An alphabetical list of idea starters – including cuisines, ingredients, meal occasions, seasons, & tastes.
- A color coding system to aid in the selection of more nutritionally dense foods.
- Techniques that top veg-loving chefs use to maximize flavor.
- Tips for making vegetarian versions of standard dishes & for veganizing dishes.
- A side bar with master sommelier Pascaline Lepetier’s advice for pairing wine with plant-based dishes.
- A historical timeline of the history of vegetarianism.
- A chef’s-eye view of the subject with more than 100 photographs by Andrew Dornenburg.
As you can see, this book is a must have for budding chefs, bloggers, home cooks & foodies alike. Vegan Queen, Isa Chandra Moskowitz, even praised this book as “That beautiful best friend that knows everything.” As someone who is often perplexed by the contents of her CSA delivery, I know this book will be an invaluable resource for helping me create new & exciting dishes for myself & my blogs.
And without further ado, I am tickled to be able to offer a giveaway of the Vegetarian Flavor Bible to one lucky winner! Winner will be selected at random on 2/14/2015 & is open to US residents only. Enter now:
Good luck & happy cooking!