There comes a time in a dietitian’s and food blogger’s life when the culinary stars align, and you find yourself staring at an email in disbelief. For me, that moment came a few weeks ago when I opened an invitation to be on the virtual book tour for The Vegetarian Flavor Bible, a new book by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg. This tour celebrates registered dietitians and National Nutrition Month.
Guys. My jaw dropped.
As long-time readers of this blog know, I’ve been a Karen-and-Andrew fan for years. Their book The Flavor Bible made the list of my five most influential cookbooks and served as the main inspiration in my contest-winning recipe for the the National Honey Board. Needless to say, I’ve treasured our dog-eared copy of The Flavor Bible.
I received a copy of The Vegetarian Flavor Bible to review–Christmas in February, indeed. The moment when I stacked my copy of The Flavor Bible and The Vegetarian Flavor Bible next to each other sent shivers down my spine.
And when I opened The Vegetarian Flavor Bible for the first time, I squealed like a fangirl.
Karen and Andrew were kind enough to let me cartoonize them for this post. In retrospect, I’m not sure they would have agreed to be PowerPoint-ed if they had known what they were getting into (crazy-haired chef, anyone?). Yet I
cackled like a mad scientist as I drew was given free rein, and below is the result. This, of course, is how I imagine them at work:
Clearly I’m obsessed with their books.
Those of you who clicked here while searching for a review of The Vegetarian Flavor Bible are probably wondering where it is (and possibly wondering what is wrong with the author of this post). Fear not! This book is incredibly informative and packed with inventive flavor pairings that just work.
Years of using The Flavor Bible has taught me to be creative with food, to step outside the confines of a recipe and go wild in the kitchen. As a registered dietitian, I love The Vegetarian Flavor Bible‘s emphasis on the flavors of a plant-based diet through pairing for vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, seeds, and more. I’m not a vegetarian (and my time as a Kansas City BBQ Society judge would certainly shatter that impression), but I appreciate how this book offers ideas for how to include more produce in your diet in a light-handed way.
I couldn’t wait to try out a pairing. I decided to go from zero to 60 and try a pairing for a food that’s the only entry on my one-item “Foods With Which I’d Rather Stand Up in Front of an Audience and Give a Speech Naked Than Eat” list.
According to The Vegetarian Flavor Bible, celery goes well with a multitude of flavors, including onions, apples, and walnuts. I read these pairing and was like, “wait, I love ALL of those flavors.” Why not add celery?
I decided to dust off an old THIH recipe and cook up some apples ‘n’ onions, Flavor Bible-style.
Topped with toasted almonds, this apples ‘n’ onions ‘n’ celery dish was delicious. Sauteing chopped celery with apples and onions somehow softened the celery flavor and turned it into a fantastic complement for the rest of the dish. The toasted walnuts added crunch, while the honey gave the dish a little sweetness. Use maple syrup for a vegan version of this dish.
Honey Apples & Celery with Toasted Walnuts
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Ingredients (4 servings)
- 1/4 cup walnut pieces
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 small onions, peeled and chopped
- 1 large apple, cored and chopped
- 1 large stalk celery, chopped
- 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
Preheat oven to 200 degrees F. Spread walnut pieces on baking sheet and toast in oven, stirring every five minutes, for 20 minutes, or until walnuts are light brown and fragrant.
While walnuts are toasting, heat olive oil in medium saute pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add apple and celery and cook for an additional five minutes. Remove from heat and stir in honey or maple syrup. Serve immediately.
Finally, the moment you’ve been waiting for: the giveaway! Karen is kindly offering a copy of The Vegetarian Flavor Bible to one lucky THIH reader!
To enter, leave a comment with your favorite fruit or vegetable. That’s it! Contest runs until next Thursday, March 12th at 9am PDT. Contest open to U.S. residents.
Healthfully yours, dear reader.